A callous burglar has stolen five irreplaceable Second World War medals belonging to an 88-year-old war veteran.

Geoff Mellor, of Almondbury,only received one of them, the Arctic Star, last year – 68 years after his 19th birthday which was spent on the notorious Arctic convoys.

The medals were created for veterans who risked their lives in protecting shipping convoys north of the Arctic Circle throughout the Second World War..

Father-of-two Geoff, married to Nancy, served on board the Zambesi-class destroyer HMS Myngs.

Geoff Mellor pictured in 1945 aged 19
Geoff Mellor pictured in 1945 aged 19
 

He was called up on April 27, 1944 and de-mobbed in May 1946.

Geoff, who also has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, was deployed to help protect the convoys between the UK and North Russia.

The convoys faced attack from German U-boats and Geoff, a torpedoman, remembers how three British ships were sunk, including HMS Lapwing.

His abiding memory was of the extreme cold.

Geoff Mellor's ship, the destroyer HMS Myngs
Geoff Mellor's ship, the destroyer HMS Myngs
 

Mr Mellor said the theft only came to light when he and his 88-year-old wife turned the house upside down in a bid to find her purse which was also stolen along with his Kindle. The medals were in a red box inscribed with Russian writing.

Det Sgt Kelvin Lecomber, of Kirklees CID, said the burglary occurred between 8.30pm on Sunday and 4.35pm on Monday. It is thought the burglar crept in through an insecure window.

He said: “This is a despicable act. To steal an 88-year-old man’s wartime medals requires a particular kind of callousness.

“I understand there are only three Arctic Stars in Huddersfield and anyone who can help us with any information should come forward immediately.”

Mr Mellor, a father-of-two, said: “I feel very sad and very cross.

“I was only presented with the Arctic Star last year on August 16 in a special ceremony at Turnbridge WMC, hosted by the Royal Naval Association branch in Huddersfield.

“Another one, a Russian medal, was presented to me by the Russian Embassy 20 years ago. I was also awarded the Burma Star, a 1939/45 medal and a European one.”

Anyone who can help the police should ring 101 and ask for DS Lecomber.