A Falklands War veteran who had his treasured medals stolen 15 years ago received the perfect birthday gift – after police were able to deliver them back home.
Anthony Paterson, whose distinguished career saw him serve in the Royal Navy for 24 years, was left devastated back in July 2005 after war medals were stolen from a house on Mowbray Road in South Shields.
Anthony – who was on holiday at the time – had to endure a painful flight home after learning that his South Atlantic Medal, awarded to servicemen and women who served during the Falklands War, and his 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal had both been stolen.
As the years passed, Anthony reluctantly accepted he would never get the sentimental relics back – until his wife Lorraine sensationally spotted them up for sale on a London-based medal website a few months ago.
That allowed detectives in Northumbria to spring into action, locating the business and asking their counterparts at the Metropolitan Police to seize them.
On Monday (July 20), just eight days after Anthony’s 57th birthday, police visited his home in Pelaw and were able to reunite him with his well-earned medals after they had successfully been transported back to the North-east.
“It was the best birthday present – a wonderful end to a long story,” Anthony said. “I was so upset when they were stolen, I was absolutely fuming.
“Over the years, I lost hope that I’d ever get them back – so this was an incredible surprise and I’m really grateful to the police who were able to bring them home to me.