Shropshire Star

'Disgusting' - Plaque honouring Somme war hero stolen from church by thieves

A village church is reeling after being hit by thieves for the third time this year, with a plaque commemorating a war hero of a well-known area family amongst the items taken.

Church warden Janet Brick

The plaque was installed in The Church of Saint Gregory the Great in Morville, near Bridgnorth, in loving memory of Thomas Hoblyn-Robins of the Shropshire Yeomanry who fell at the Battle of the Somme in the First World War aged just 20.

The Hoblyn-Robins family kept nearby Croft Farm in Morville in the 1950s before leaving the area.

Plaque that was stolen

Two brass candlesticks, a brass vase and two brass candle holders were also among the items reported stolen between 9am and 5pm last Tuesday, August 9.

Church warden Janet Brick at the spot the plaque was stolen from

In March, thieves also took candlesticks, candles and a brass vase from the church in the quiet village, and the next month broke in again when they only got away with a vacuum cleaner.

Ian Rowe from the church said they weren't in touch with any of the present day Hoblyn-Robins family but it was upsetting that the thieves would take the plaque, which they must have had to unscrew from its fitting.

He said: "This commemorates a war hero and is bound to have sentimental value to the family or other people even who use the church, some of whom may have known the family.

"It is the third time this year we have had a theft from the church - which will remain unlocked for parishioners and visitors - and whilst each time nothing major of monetary value has been taken, it is just the thought that somebody would do something like this in a quiet village and at a place of worship."

People took to the church's Facebook page to express their disappointment with the news, including one person who recently got married there.

Charlie Welding wrote: "That's so sad to read. I can't understand someone stealing from a church. Please do the right thing and return the items. We were married here last Saturday and will always have a great fondness for Morville."

Lynne McCormack said: "That’s disgusting and shows a complete lack of respect. I hope the thieves think better and do the right thing."

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said anyone with any information or who may see the items offered for sale is asked to please get in touch by visiting quoting reference 22/79428/22.