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Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 10:04 GMT
Dame Vera's home burgled
Dame Vera, 82, is known as the "forces' sweetheart"

Burglars have ransacked the home of Dame Vera Lynn making off with wartime mementoes and valuable antiques.

Thieves broke into the property in Ditchling, near Burgess Hill, East Sussex, on Tuesday.


I'd like to get my hands on them
Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera, 82, who became known as the "forces' sweetheart" during the Second World War, was helping publicise a school for handicapped children and for children with cerebral palsy when the raiders struck.

"I'd like to get my hands on them," she said.

"They smashed down the French doors at the back of the house. I have every type of security device but they still got away."

The break-in was discovered by Dame Vera's daughter and husband who live next door. Police said no-one was in the house at the time.

The raiders stole a Regency table, an ormolu French clock, Canterbury mahogany magazine rack and an oil painting.

"All the antiques were of sentimental value, bought over many years while working very hard and saving up during and after the war," said Dame Vera.

"The things they stole were objects I started collecting at around 1941, nice things I wanted to have."

Dame Vera said she had now been burgled nine times - all the other times while she was living in London.

"I don't understand how people could smash their way into somebody's house," she added. "It's one of the worst things people can do."

But Dame Vera said she had had taken photographs of the antiques and hoped that they would be recovered.

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See also:
02 Sep 99 |  World War II
The forces' sweetheart
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