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.
Our top stories
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.
11:32am Sunday 2nd August 2015
PART of Oxford Castle Quarter is cordoned off after a man was attacked in the early hours of this morning.
11:17am Sunday 2nd August 2015
SUNLIGHT shining through the window of a house sparked a blaze in Sibford Gower.
11:10am Sunday 2nd August 2015
There are delays of up to 30 minutes on CrossCountry between Reading and Birmingham New Street due to a broken down train at Oxford.
8:30am Saturday 1st August 2015
DEVELOPERS wanting to transform Cowley’s Templars Square Shopping Centre said they hope their plans will spur more development in the area.
5:13pm Saturday 1st August 2015
A FLASHER exposed himself to a woman in Bury Knowle Park yesterday.
11:41am Saturday 1st August 2015
Fire crews have put out a house fire in Sibford Gower.