Heartless burglar stole family's 'irreplaceable' remembrance card marking soldier son's death

Cpl Philip Westburg died when he was 27.
Cpl Philip Westburg died when he was 27.

A father has spoken of his heartache after a burglar took a remembrance card given to him by the British Army following his son's death.

Ian Westberg was left devastated after a burglar stole a purse containing the card and sentimental photos from his home on February 17.

Mr Westberg, 57, said: “My wife had gone downstairs to make a cup of tea and unlocked the back door to let the dog into the garden.

"Soon after, we realised her handbag was gone. It hit my wife incredibly hard. We were both upset.

“The army gave us this card and it meant a lot. Small photos of our children were also taken. They are irreplaceable.”

Cpl Philip Westburg, 27, suffered a haemorrhage at his Warwickshire army barracks and died in 2013.

He had joined the army in 2007, serving as an ammunition technician for the 121 Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps and had been awarded a medal for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Durham Police are appealing for the public's help in reuniting Cpl Westburg's parents with their keepsake, which is the size of a credit card and has the Soldier’s Prayer on one side.

Detective Constable Alistair Rogowski said: “One of the items taken was a unique and sentimental remembrance card which was handed to the parents of a soldier.

"It is of great significance and they would desperately like to have it back.

“Police have already searched the area but have been unable to locate this card. Please can members of the public keep their eyes open because we would like to return it to the family."

Mr Westberg and his wife live in Ushaw Moore.

A man has been charged with a string of burglary offences and remanded in custody.