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Falklands veteran has stolen medals returned nearly 40 years on

Mr Eamer holding his medals
The medals went on sale online, where they were spotted by a friend of Mr Eamer

A Falklands War veteran has been reunited with his war medals, nearly 40 years after they were stolen.

The medals were taken from the boot of Keith Eamer's car on the day of his wedding in 1984.

A friend recently spotted the medals on sale online, and the police were able to return them to Mr Eamer, from Gloucester.

He said: "I was in a state of shock to be honest. I had given up all hope of them being found."

He added: "I wasn't even convinced that they were mine."

The medals are engraved with Mr Eamer's name, rank and number.

Mr Eamer said: "I put the medals in the boot of my car after the wedding ceremony, and the next day they were gone. I was devastated.

"And it didn't go down well with the regiment either, as I got seven days' restriction of privileges!"

The medals were presented to Private Eamer for his service in the 2nd Batallion Regiment (2 Para), in Northern Ireland and the Falklands War.

Keith Eamer in military uniform with his friends on his wedding day
Keith Eamer wore the distinctive burgundy beret of the Parachute Regiment on his wedding day in 1984

Mr Eamer said he was overwhelmed with emotion when it finally sank in that the medals were his, and he would be reunited with them ahead of Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

"It's been on my mind all my life," he said. "It's the best Christmas present I'll ever have."

Mr Eamer had been wearing replica medals at military ceremonies since the originals were stolen.

"It never sat right with me. I never felt complete on Remembrance Day.

"When you're next to veterans that you've served with, you feel a bit of a fraud."

Mr Eamer inspecting the medals
Mr Eamer stated that he had felt like "a fraud" wearing replica medals
Mr Eamer hugging the policewoman who returned the medals
Police were able to reunite Mr Eamer with his medals after they were spotted for sale online

Mr Eamer expressed his gratitude to Gloucestershire Constabulary for their support in returning his medals.

The service medals were initially posted for sale online by War & Son, dealers of military medals and antiques in Leominster.

Steve Nuwar from War & Son explained that they bought the medals from a widow, whose husband had amassed a large collection of medals over the course of 30 years.

A photo of Steve Nuwar inspecting the medals.
Steve Nuwar is from War & Son, dealers of military medals and antiques

Mr Nuwar said: "The collector had British war medals all the way from Waterloo to Wireless Ridge.

"He had acquired these medals [Mr Eamer's] about 30 years ago. They were actually being kept in ice-cream tubs."

After being told about the online listing, Mr Eamer contacted War & Son. They immediately took them off their website and began to process of returning them.

"This is completely without precedent," said Mr Nuwar.

"We have helped families reacquire medals that have gone missing over generations. But we have never had anything happen like this, where the medals were stolen and returned to their original recipient."

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