A WAR veteran whose medals were stolen from his house, forcing him to return early from his holiday, has said he is “amazed” that they have been returned to him.

As previously reported in the Gazette, David Broadhead’s house in Rooksdown was broken into on the night of October 9, and a safe, containing the medals, was taken.

He said it was “draining” knowing that someone else had his medals, which he was awarded after serving in the Falklands and Gulf Wars for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Now, David has praised two members of the public who found his medals dumped, and tracked him down to return them to him.

“I’m just absolutely amazed the fact that they returned the medals,” he told the Gazette.

“It was like getting extra Christmas presents, it was just amazing. I didn’t think I would see them again.

“They took the time to find out who they belonged to and took them back to the police station. They came all the way from Micheldever to meet me.”

Since the Gazette ran the initial story on the theft, David has been met with an outpouring of support.

He was contacted by someone from the Falklands Island Government, whilst the South Atlantic Medal Association gave him information on how he could book a trip back to the islands at some point in the next year.

He was also contacted by the Ministry of Defence Medal Office, who replaced the stolen medals.

“The carnage of what they caused is stupidity,” David continued.

“They have got nothing back but it caused me a lot of hassle.”

He says that as well as the medals, the safe contained two tie pins given to him by his dad, as well as his will and a watch.

The thieves gained access to his house via the conservatory, and three months on they are still waiting for the floor to be fixed.

However, David said he was incredibly grateful to Hampshire Police for their support, as well as to the Gazette for the original story.

“It made them too hot to handle,” he continued. “Every day I would search on the internet contacting everyone in a 100-mile radius. Each time I searched, your story came up first.

“I would urge other people in a similar situation to contact their local paper.”

David’s medals were found by passers-by in Micheldever, close to Carousel Park, on December 17, the same day that police conducted a raid.

They were investigating more than 50 house burglaries since the start of September, codenamed Operation Hawk.

Three men from Micheldever, aged 30, 35 and 56, as well as a 26-year-old man from Southampton, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a dwelling burglary with intent to steal.