AN expat war hero has been left devastated after thieves stole his priceless military medals.
David Russell, 70, is appealing to locals to keep an eye out for his trio of gongs, which include a Queen’s Jubilee medal, a Gulf War medal and a Northern Ireland General Service medal.
Russell, who was a captain on the HMS Sheffield during the Gulf War, had the valuable awards stolen in a burglary at his house in Manilva.
His wife, former British model Sally Russell, 74, also lost a string of priceless heirlooms during the late night raid last month.
During the three hours they were out, thieves blew their safe off the wall and stole an estimated €50,000-worth of jewellery and cameras.
However, it was a sapphire-encrusted bracelet, given to Sally during her christening-Churchill and Vera Lynn – that is most heartbreaking.
“It was absolutely horrible, they took all my priceless jewellery,” she told the
Olive Press this week.
“I have been collecting for decades and had planned to give all my pieces to my granddaughter when I pass away.”
The daughter of former BBC director-general Robert Foot added she had also lost a pocket watch that her father had acquired during his long career, which involved a spell as a lawyer in India.
He was a good friend of wartime Prime Minister Churchill, who personally offered him the role as the boss of the BBC.
“It’s not really about the money, what is most heartbreaking are my father’s items they stole,” explains Sally.
“They took his old pocket-watch which is of course absolutely irreplaceable, I’m still devastated and sickened.
“I’m so upset that someone has done this,” added Sally, who was a model for Raymond
“I really hope readers can keep an eye out for our items at various car boot sales or online over the next few months.”
Her husband (inset left), who also served during the Falklands War, added: “I just want to get my medals back as they mean a lot to me.
“I feel sick to my stomach that they are out there somewhere.“