Family delighted after thief returns stolen keepsakes

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A ROYAL Marine medal and items left at the Peebles grave of an Afghan hero by his young daughter have been returned after they were stolen, writes Kenny Paterson.

The family of Alec Lucas were distraught to discover that two glass hearts left by his child Cara and a medallion from a Marine colleague had been taken from Peebles Cemetery.

The items were missing for about a week but on the same day the theft received media attention, they were put back in their place.

Alec’s father Adrtian told TheSouthern: “It was just before we left to go on holiday to Weymouth that we discovered they had been returned.

“I hope it was just kids who did not realise what they have done but it restores your faith in humanity that they were put back.

“The family is very glad.”

In a letter to another Borders newspaper last week, Mr Lucas appealed for the jewellery to be returned.

He said: “We are very disappointed and upset to find that small graveside items have been removed from our son’s grave.

“Would the person who has taken the two glass hearts and a Royal Marine medallion from our son’s grave at Neidpath Cemetery kindly return the items.

“The glass hearts were put there by his daughter and the medallion by a colleague of my son, a fellow Royal Marine assault engineer.”

He continued: “If it is a child (and we prefer to think that it is) the parents may notice the 35mm medallion that is red on one side and green on the other.

“Perhaps they could do the decent thing and return the things to Alec Lucas’ grave.”

Alec Lucas died in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan on November 24, 2008, leaving behind fiancée Jill Drummond and baby daughter Cara.

The 24-year-old was buried with full military honours in his home town, with hundreds of fellow Peebleans lining the High Street to pay their respects at his funeral.

Since his death, an annual football tournament has been set up in Mr Lucas’ name in his hometown, raising about £58,000 in just three years for local football clubs and the Royal Marine Benevolent Trust.