A 95 YEARS old Normandy landings veteran, whose Prestatyn home was burgled while he was on holiday, has been subsequently showered with offers of help

Eric Vaughan was forced to return from a nostalgic visit to the battlefields last August because his home had been broken into.

The burglar had forced the kitchen window and had taken a laptop and a number of wartime souvenirs, including two watches and money from the time including a Nazi Reichmark.”

However Eric, and his wife Beryl, have had their faith in human nature restored by the number of offers of help they have received following the story being published in the Rhyl Journal.

They have also been presented with special edition watches celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice by Rotary Watches, to replace the stolen watches.

Beryl explained offers of help flooded in from the Royal Marines Association, the Royal British Legion and members of the public.

She said: “Just over a week ago Rotary Watches got in touch saying they would like to replace the watch which had been stolen in the burglary. Two of their people came, one from London and one from Ipswich, and presented Eric and me with watches, special editions they produced for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

“The Royal Marines Association and the Royal British Legion have been in contact with offers of help and have arranged a trip to National Arboretum in Staffordshire, and to dinners and lunches.

“Everybody has been very kind and supportive, and that has restored our faith in human nature. Numerous people have offered us money but we’ve thanked them and asked they give it to charity.”

Last August the Journal reported the couple had been on an English Channel cruise in the liner Black Watch, when a phone call from a neighbour told them their home had been burgled and ransacked.

Beryl said: “We were a day out of St Malo when the call came. The crew were wonderfully supportive, they arranged for us to get home straight away and booked the last two seats on a flight from nearby Dinard to East Midlands Airport.”

“When we got home after the flight and a long taxi ride, we found the burglar had forced the kitchen window and had taken my laptop and a number of Eric’s wartime souvenirs, including two watches and money from the time including a Nazi Reichmark.”

Eric, who served as a Royal Marine Commando with 47 Commando in Normandy, and the Allied advance through northern France, Belgium and Holland, said: “It was bitterly disappointing to be called back and very distressing to see our home had been ransacked.

“This was to have been the first time I had been back to Normandy since 1944, and at my age I doubt I’ll go again. I had been looking forward to seeing some of the places where I served and reviving my memories.”

He said he joined the Royal Marines in 1942 and was demobbed in 1946. Originally from Bodelwyddan, he returned there to work for the MOD at an Army camp. He was subsequently employed in a factory making electrical products in St Asaph.

In addition to his British war service medals he was also awarded the French Legion d’honneur. He has a son who lives in Bodelwyddan.