THE medals of a hero who fought in both world wars have been snatched by burglars – just before Remembrance Day.

Four awards given to Walter Burley for his service in World War Two were stolen from his daughter-in-law's house near The Rye, High Wycombe.

His granddaughter Julia Burley, of Maybrook Gardens, High Wycombe, has spoken of the huge value the medals have to her family and pleaded with the culprit to return them.

Silverware and jewellery were also taken but she said the family only care about retrieving the medals.

She said: “It's pretty horrible and it's just distressing really.

“It's our family history that has been taken is and is something will we pass through the generations and to the grandchildren and now we can't.

“We don't care about the other stuff we just want to get the medals back.

“It doesn't mean anything or have any value to anyone out but it does to us.”

Mrs Burley, one of five grandchildren, appealed to anyone who may discover the medals – which include an Italy Star - or anyone who may be offered to buy them – to hand them over to police.

She said the timing of the theft - which happened just over a week before Remembrance Sunday - could not have been worse.

The burglary happened when her mother was away. Her father, Walter's son, died about seven weeks ago.

She said her grandfather was proud of the medals and added: "In circumstances of the world wars he went and did something for his country, which is fantastic."