Stolen War Medals Returned To Museum

Original wartime medals reported stolen from the D-Day Museum in Southsea have been recovered by Hampshire Police.

Information obtained by police earlier this month led officers to locate and recover the medals from two shops in Southsea. They say shop staff did not know the medals were stolen, and are not suspected of any crime.

The medals have been returned to the museum and will go back on display in due course. They are:

A British Empire Medal hanging from a fabric red ribbon with a thin white stripe down either side. On the front of the medal is a picture of Britannia seated and Vernon Harold Sellwood's name is engraved along the edge. The medal was awarded
to Vernon Harold Sellwood, who was serving as a messenger in the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War. Aged only 15, he received the award for bravery in undertaking the duties of a fireman during the air raid on Portsmouth on the night of 10-11 March 1941.

A set of four Second World War campaign medals: the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal. These medals are unnamed and when stolen were pinned on a piece of card covered with red felt. The medals
and ribbons are all in good condition. The medals were to a Normandy veteran, Harry Cripps, who served in the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment and landed on Gold Beach on D-Day. These are the type of medals that were awarded to all soldiers who landed in Normandy.

Andrew Whitmarsh, D-Day Museum's development officer, said:

"We're hugely relieved and pleased that these medals have been found. They are of huge significance to the families that donated them to the D-Day Museum and are part of the history of the city of Portsmouth. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped secure their return."

One of the investigating officers PC Paul Jennings said:

"Persistence and perseverance shown by officers from different departments enabled lines of enquiry to be pursued promptly and thoroughly. We are delighted to have made the difference in this case and recovered important historic symbols of people's sacrifice for this country."

Jason Scott Libby, aged 37, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on Monday, May 13, 2013 when he was remanded in custody to appear in court again on June 10, 2013.

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