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
Six 'all clear' women told they have cancer after investigation into Oxfordshire Breast Screening Service assessments
7:40am Thursday 18th December 2014
SIX women who were given the all clear after breast cancer screening have been told they have the disease following an investigation.
12:30pm Thursday 18th December 2014
A collision involving a cyclist and a car has taken place in Blackbird Leys, closing a road.
11:02am Thursday 18th December 2014
A MAN who exposed himself to a woman in Headington is being sought by police.
10:04am Thursday 18th December 2014
THE FATE of two turkeys on an Oxfordshire farm this Christmas was decided by an online poll by radio station JACKfm.
9:30am Thursday 18th December 2014
OXFORD United’s rising stars will get a taste of the big time tonight as they attempt a giant-killing against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup (7).
9:10am Thursday 18th December 2014
FAMILIES gathered by candlelight at a vigil for youngsters and their teachers targeted in a Taliban terrorist attack.