Priceless conflict medals stolen from army veteran's home

A Northern Ireland service medal
A Northern Ireland service medal

A military veteran is appealing for the public’s help to trace two medals stolen from his family home.


Andrew Cunningham was appalled to discover that two of his service medals had been taken from his stepdad’s house in Bickershaw.

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The dad-of-five, who served with the Royal Signals for almost a decade, is attempting to trace the treasures which he was awarded with following tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland.

As well as the medals, the thieves stolen his mum’s wedding and engagement rings.

“These things have real sentimental value,” he said. “I was in the military for just under 10 years.

“The tours that I got medals for were Northern Ireland and Irag. I did 18 months in Ireland.

“I spent a lot of my adult life in the military, I didn’t get chance to come home that often.

“The idea was to give them to my children.

“They have always been really interested in my military career and they have asked all about the background of it. So the medals were meant to be passed on to them.

“They have also taken all of my mum’s wedding jewellery from the flat, that’s where my mum died.

“My step-dad feels like he has lost everything, all of those memories.”

Andrew, 40, first learnt about the burglary after receiving a call to say that a window had been put throguh at his stepdad’s flat on Church Avenue.

He frantically tried to get hold of his stepdad, Alan Leach, who was at work at the time - but was unable to make contact.

As soon as Alan returned home and discovered that all of his priceless items had been taken, the family called the police, who immediately sent a forensics team to investigate.

However despite this, none of the items have yet been recovered.

“My sisters are understandably really upset too,” said Andrew. “My mum’s wedding ring was just a plain band so it will be harder to track.

“But with the medals, I know exactly what is engraved on them so I will know if I see it.

“If anyone sees two medals for sale on buy sell swap groups I would really like them to message me. They’re court mounted.

“They are engraved 25073731 Sig Cunningham.

“One is a Northern Ireland medal with an clasp and the other is an Iraq 2003 with clasp and rosette.”

Anyone with information about the incident or who sees any of the items up for sale should contact Greater Manchester Police on 101.