A SOLDIER’S widow had the bicycle he gave her stolen during a First World War memorial service.
Brenda Monk, 75, and her daughter left their bikes outside St Helen’s Church in the centre of Abingdon during the special service marking 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.
But when they got out of the service on Monday last week, the lock had been cut off and her bike – an anniversary present from her late husband Bill Monk – had been stolen.
The great-grandmother, of Lenthall Road, said she had been saddened by the crime.
She said: “It is the irony of it. It was the last thing I expected. It makes you wonder what the world is coming to.”
Mr Monk, who passed away in May 2012, served in the army for 22 years and rose to the rank of Sergeant.
After joining the Royal Army Service Corps, which became the Royal Corps of Transport, he served in Germany, Northern Ireland, the Persian Gulf, Cyprus and Hong Kong between 1953 and 1977.
The 76-year-old had bought the £270 red Raleigh Oakland for his wife in March 2012, as a gift for their 54th wedding anniversary.
Mrs Monk, a former checkout manager at the Marcham Road Tesco store, last night said: “It was my lifeline. I shopped on it, I visited people on it.”
She had been singing in the choir with her daughter when her bike was taken.
Her daughter Brenda Pratley, 53, of Dearlove Close in Abingdon, said it showed there was a story behind every bike theft. She said: “It is not just about a bit of metal with wheels on it.
“It was her means of transport but most of all a treasured gift from her husband. He was in the army most of his life and on Monday evening he would have been there honouring his fellow serviceman along with us all. We were devastated. People were out doing dishonourable things when we were honouring the people who did honourable things.”
Thames Valley Police spokeswoman Rhianne Pope said the bicycle had been taken between 8.45pm and 11.10pm on Monday, August 4.
She said the force was investigating but no arrests had been made.
Call police on 101 if you can help.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
11:10am Monday 22nd December 2014
A LORRY containing egg boxes has caught fire on the A40 near Witney.
9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.
UPDATE: Queues along Abingdon Road as Westgate shopping centre car park fills up with Christmas shoppers
4:35pm Monday 22nd December 2014
A RUSH of shoppers to the Westgate Shopping Centre has caused traffic to queue down Abingdon Road in Oxford.
1:19pm Monday 22nd December 2014
THE A4130 is partially blocked in both directions by a car crash between Didcot and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.
12:10pm Monday 22nd December 2014
PEOPLE in Oxfordshire with cancer and rare diseases could get advanced diagnosis and treatment under a new genetics project.
6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014
December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?