A CANCER-STRICKEN pensioner has been left heartbroken after irreplaceable items were stolen from her home while she was in hospital.

A silver dollar that was given to Minnie Alcock’s late husband when he escorted Winston Churchill to the US during the Second World War, an ivory card box used by her grandfather in the 1870s and a compact given to her by her late son are among the treasures taken.

As reported in the Echo, the items and other jewellery – described by police as of ‘high sentimental and monetary value’- – were stolen from Mrs Alcock’s home in Abbotsbury Road sometime in the last 15 months.

Mrs Alcock, who is nearly 85, endured a five-month hospital stay due to blood infections and only realised the theft had taken place when she wanted to dress up for a meal on Mother’s Day.

She believes this is when the items were taken.

She said: “I went into hospital for a minor operation and it turned out to be worse than they thought. My stay was extended to three weeks and that turned into five months.

“When you’re ill, you’re not thinking of dressing up, so it wasn’t until Mother’s Day that I decided, as my daughter was taking me out, that I would dress up.

“I went to get the jewellery from the dressing table in my bedroom and it was gone.

“The locket stolen contained the last photo I took of my late husband and a photo of my son, who I lost unexpectedly 12 years later.

“It was very sentimental to me. After my husband died I put his photo in there so I could wear it and always have him with me.

“A bracelet was also taken which was made out of my great-grandfather’s time keeping watch. This is my family history. These are things that can’t be replaced because they have been handled by people who are no longer here who meant a lot to me. I really am heartbroken.”

Mrs Alcock has decided to speak to the Echo about her ordeal in the hope that anyone who may have been offered the unusual items will contact the police.

The box is described as ivory and brass with playing card design on top, the locket is 18 carat gold, oval shape and on a gold chain.

There is also an eternity ring made of white gold with diamonds all around among the stolen items.

She said: “If your radio or television is stolen, it’s bad but it’s all replaceable. I can’t get any of my family history back.

“All I’ve got now is what I know in my mind.

“Whoever’s done this has really kicked me when I’ve been down.”

Detective Constable Steve Blackmore, of Weymouth police, said: “The loss of these items is very distressing for the victim as they have a high sentimental value.

“I am appealing for anybody who has information that could help recover the items to contact police as soon as possible.

“I would also like to hear from anyone who has been offered high value jewellery for sale in strange circumstances or for an unusually low price.

“All calls are treated in the strictest confidence.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting crime number 17:244.