Hopes treasured wartime weapons will be returned to museum in Skegness

A Webley 0.38 revolver like the one stolen from the Village Church Farm in Skegness. ANL-180412-081329001
A Webley 0.38 revolver like the one stolen from the Village Church Farm in Skegness. ANL-180412-081329001

Treasured wartime weapons have been stolen from a collection at a Skegness museum - resulting in an appeal for any information leading to their recovery.

The items - a First World War trench fighting knife and a Webley 0.38 revolver - were taken from a locked cabinet at the Village Church Farm during Sunday’s Christmas market at the venue.

A First World War trench knife like the one stolen from the Village Church Farm in Skegness. ANL-180412-081305001

A First World War trench knife like the one stolen from the Village Church Farm in Skegness. ANL-180412-081305001

Kelly North, assistant manager at the museum, said: “The gun is deactivated but is part of a very unique collection that one of our volunteers has spent many years collecting.”

Rodney Martin, the volunteer who is behind the collection of First World War wartime memorabilia at the museum, is devastated by the loss.

“These items are irreplaceable because each of them have a story behind them - that’s what makes them special,” he said.

“I’ve been building the collection over many years - some of the items have been donated by visitors who love to come back and see them on display.

“I bought the items that were stolen four or five years ago, The Webley 0.38 revolver was an officer’s pistol and used into the Second World War.

”The displays are enjoyed by so many people and it is devastating when something like this was happened.”

When the knife and gun went missing, volunteers were busy helping at the museum’s Christmas market.

“There were a lot of people there that day and we were all busy in many areas,” said Rodney.

“When I looked at the cabinet I thought it looked a bit empty and when I checked I realised the knife and gun were missing. It looked like someone had prized open the lock and taken them.”

CCTV was installed at the museum at the beginning of the year following two previous burglaries, when the property was “ransacked”.

“We are hoping someone knows something and the items are returned, but we will have to look at ways to make the collection even more secure,” said Rodney.

“We will carry on, though - we have amazing volunteers and so many people who enjoy what we do.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting incident number 0251 of 02-12-2018.