A WIDOWER who donated wartime memorabilia to a museum has appealed for their return after they were stolen by a “despicable”


Ron Wardle, 93, gave a collection of items to the East Essex Aviation Museum, in St Osyth, about three years ago.

He donated a silver cigarette case and a collection of letters and Army ribbons, but recently discovered they had been stolen from the museum.

The items were left to Ron by his wife and came from a soldier she was close to and wrote to during the Second World War.

When she died, Mr Wardle promised her he would put the items on display.

He donated them to the aviation museum in the Point Clear Martello Tower, where volunteers have amassed an impressive collection of memorabilia.

But museum bosses say a man came into the tower and took the items, claiming he was a friend of Mr Wardle’s. Now Mr Wardle has called for the culprit to return the stolen gear.

He said: “It’s like stealing from a grave. I don’t care who it is or how it gets back and I don’t care about having it back myself. I just want it returned to the museum as I promised my wife it would be.”