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Spalding family appeal for return of Dunkirk veteran John Corcoran's medals which were stolen in burglary



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The medals awarded to a soldier for his bravery in the Second World War were stolen by the ‘total scumbags’ who ransacked an elderly couple’s home.

Dunkirk veteran John Corcoran’s medals, and even his service book, were among the items stolen from the Spalding home of his daughter and her husband, Geraldine (76) and Peter Woods (81), on Tuesday.

While the couple had popped out for an hour, vile thieves broke into their home and ransacked the upstairs - stealing jewellery as well the four medals.

Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043738)
Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043738)

Their daughter Lesa Jeffery, of Spalding, has now put out an appeal to track down her grandfather’s medals.

She said: “My grandfather fought for this country and lost a lot and then someone has taken those medals with no understanding of that.

“Because of men like my grandfather these people are able to walk around and enjoy the freedoms they have.

Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043741)
Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043741)

“The Jubilee weekend brings into focus that so many lost their lives or came back different people and they did it for us.

“They (the burglars) did not earn those medals - my grandfather did. They mean nothing to them - just money.

“They are total scumbags.”

Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043729)
Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043729)

John was a regular soldier in the Royal Artillery after enlisting on March 29, 1935, in Canterbury.

He was among the soldiers who were involved in the dramatic events at Dunkirk at the start of the Second World War.

The British Expeditionary Force had to be evacuated from the French benches by civilian and naval boats between May 29 and June 4, 1940.

Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043732)
Lesa Jeffery is appealing for the return of her grandfather's medals which were stolen (57043732)

John was also awarded the Burma Star medal, which honours service in the Far East.

Mrs Jeffery said: “My grandfather came back from the war feeling guilty because he has survived and his friends hadn’t.”

Mr and Mrs Woods had left their home in The Parkway at around 11am and returned at noon, when they discovered the theft.

The burglars had climbed over the back gate and went on to use a crowbar to get into the home.

Ignoring the laptop computer on the ground floor, the burglar went upstairs to ransack most of the bedrooms, pulling out clothing from drawers.

They found the four medals - which included Mrs Jeffery’s great-grandfather’s First World War medals - along with John’s service books within an old suitcase, as well as old family pictures.

They also took John’s golden cufflinks along with a watch given to Mrs Woods on her 21st birthday.

A small pair of elephant earrings which had been left to Mrs Woods by a friend were also taken by the thieves.

Mrs Jeffery said: “My mum and dad are very strong people.

“These people have gone in there looking for anything they can get their hands on, but they don’t realise the harm they could do to people afterwards.

“Mum was so upset by the earrings as they were given to her by a friend and they could not go to the funeral due to the pandemic.”

Mrs Jeffery did praise the police officer who attended for his work in doing door-to-door inquiries.

Police are appealing for information or footage. Anyone who can help contact officers on the 101 number quoting incident 173 of May 31.



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