A 94-year-old D-Day veteran making his first visit back to Normandy was forced to cut his trip short after learning that burglars had ransacked his home in Wales.
Former Royal Marine Eric Vaughan, 94, of Prestatyn, was making a nostalgic return on a cruise ship to where he landed with commando reinforcements after D-Day in 1944, when a neighbour told him and his wife Beryl of the break-in.
The veteran came home to find his laptop, two cherished watches, including a rotary wrist watch given to him as a 70th birthday present by his wife, a jack knife and some valuable old German currency all missing.
Mr Vaughan, who served as a Royal Marine Commando in Normandy, has since been left shaken by the incident and feels unable to make such a voyage again.
He said “I felt anxious and broken hearted when I came back and I am still down. It has taken a lot out of me, I do not feel the same.”
The former factory worker ,who joined the Marines in 1942 but now has limited mobility, has lost dozens of his fellow troops in service in North Africa and Italy.
After serving his country so honourably, Mr Vaughan and his wife were shocked that anybody would burgle them in their quiet cul-de-sac retirement community.
Speaking of her husband’s service, Mrs Vaughan said: “What is the point of fighting for your country if this is what happens to you? He saw some terrible sights in the war and thought he was doing his best for his country, but people just couldn’t care less.”
“I think some of the younger ones, who have probably never worked, just see life differently to us and they have no respect or responsibility, it is the way they live their lives,” she added.
The couple’s house was secure before they left and only after several failed attempts of trying to enter, did the burglars manage to force a lock open through a kitchen window.
A North Wales Police spokesman said the burglary was reported by a neighbour on July 14 and is currently under investigation.