A HEARTBROKEN family are pleading for the return of their “stolen history” – after thieves ransacked their Leeds home and made off with precious mementoes of their war hero ancestor.
The Denbigh family, from Horsforth, are offering a reward for the safe return of a bravery medal given to their great grandfather Percy Denbigh for his efforts in the First World War when he saved the lives of three men in the Battle of Ypres, as well as other medals handed to other war heroes in the family.
The Gallantry and Service medal was given to Sergeant Major Denbigh after his bravery.
A box full of five medals, letters of written confirmation, leather dog tags, uniform mementoes and ribbons were taken in the raid sometime on May 9 to 10.
Retired joiner Brian, 75 and wife Margaret Denbigh, had been away and returned on Sunday at 4pm to find their back door kicked in.
Their daughter Lindsey Cooper said: “It is just devastating. They have stolen our history. The thought of someone searching your home and then taking the most sentimental things, which mean so much to us all, is just heartbreaking.
“It is just devastating. They have stolen our history. The medals are irreplaceable.”
“My parents are simply distraught as the medals are irreplaceable.
“It is affecting my dad’s health. They are very shaken up.
“We want to appeal to anyone who is offered these medals, or to pawn shops or similar to look out for them.
“The police have been brilliant and supportive.”
Thieves took jewellery as well as the memorabilia.
Mum-of-three Lindsey, 36, added: “My great grandfather Percy died in his early 30s leaving three sons including my grandad Stanley, who himself was involved in the Liberation of Belsen at the end of World War Two.
“All of these medals, and the accompanying certificates, have been stolen.
“I need to publicise this story, to try to appeal to pawn shops and collectors to help return these medals to my wonderful father, who is in poor health.”
Percy Denbigh and Stanley also lived in the same family home in Horsforth, before Brian took over.
Lindsey said the family would offer a small reward if any information leading to recovery of the medals was given to police through official channels.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Anyone who has been offered or seen these distinctive items should contact PC 2129 Alana Scott at Leeds District Neighbourhood Policing Team at Weetwood.”