War veteran’s new medals

Colin Smith with his replica set of war medals
Colin Smith with his replica set of war medals

A war hero whose medals were stolen by heartless thieves has been presented with a replica set thanks to a conscientious police officer.

Colin Smith, 93, received the new medals to replace those swipedfrom his Ferrybridge home in August.

But PC Michael Deakin – investigating officer and member of the armed forces – took it upon himself to help the veteran in his time of need by commissioning a new set be made in time for Rememberance Day.

Sgt Jon Bird, of Pontefract and Knottingley neighbourhood policing team (NPT), said: “PC Deakin understands more then most the importance of the medals.

“The medals themselves had little financial value to the thief and the other items taken – a TV and jewellery – were far more valuable from a monetary point of view. But in terms of a sentimental value these medals were priceless to victim

“Mr Smith was devastated when they were taken so we decided to see what could be done to bring a smile back to his face.”

PC Deakin organised for a firm in Bournemouth to donate the medals, which included two 1939 - 1945 StarAtlantic Stars, a Pacific Star, a Burma Star, an African star and a 1939-1945 war medal.

The pensioner was presented with them by an officer attached to the Yorkshire Universities Royal Naval Unit based in Leeds and Insp Richard Sullivan of the NPT.

Sgt Bird added: “Mr Smith fought in the war and served on numerous ships as part of the Royal Navy. He was even torpedoed by a German U boat.

“The medals were an important reminder of what he went through and of friends who didn’t make it.

“At this time of year is even more important that we mark the ultimate sacrifice so many people made for this country.”