‘Disrespectful in the extreme’: Cherished family war medals snatched from Wigan widow’s home

By Olivia Parry

Cherished medals from two generations of soldiers have been stolen from a Wigan house – and now police are making a plea for their return.

Seven war medals awarded to the late husband of Nora Ince, 78, and also his father, were stolen from her home on Swinley Road.

Also taken in the raid, which occurred between Friday August 17 evening and Monday August 20 morning, was a stamp collection containing a rare Victorian Penny Black.

PC Vanessa Edwards, based at Wigan, said: “Nora’s late husband and his father served their country with distinction and it is disrespectful in the extreme for someone to steal their hard-earned medals.

“The burglars would have known that, even if they are not worth a huge amount financially, they will be of great sentimental value.

“This crime will disgust all right-thinking members of the community and I want to reassure the victim and residents that we are determined to reunite her with her precious mementos.”

Both men served in the Royal Artillery and were stationed in Malta. Nora’s husband was called James Ince and served from 1952 to 1954 and his father was called Robert Ince and served from 1914 to 1918.

She can remember that some of the medals were on multi-coloured ribbons and she thinks these where her husband’s father’s medals.

The men’s names are on the medals but unfortunately there are no photographs of them.

The rare Penny Black stamps usually have cerated edges but this one had straight edges and had a postal stamp on it. This was valued approximately 10 years ago at £50.

PC Edwards, added: “As a result we have issued a limited description of the medals and the stamp collection. Unfortunately there are no photographs of the stolen items, but I am now appealing to anyone offered medals or stamps in suspicious circumstances to call us.

“In particular I want to appeal to antique dealers to take note of the descriptions and keep an eye out for anyone offering medals or stamps that do not seem entirely legitimate.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on Wigan on 0161 856 7124 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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