Tribute to late sweetheart stolen

PUBLISHED: 10:45 07 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010

Mary Flanders

Mary Flanders

AN elderly woman was left devastated when a tribute to her late sweetheart was stolen from her Littleport garden last Thursday. Mary Flanders, 81, placed a cross of red roses in the garden of her Victoria Street home in memory of her 83-year-old love inte

AN elderly woman was left devastated when a tribute to her late sweetheart was stolen from her Littleport garden last Thursday.

Mary Flanders, 81, placed a cross of red roses in the garden of her Victoria Street home in memory of her 83-year-old love interest John Ellis, who died on February 15.

The couple lived next door to one another for five years, until Mr Ellis went into care in December.

They would still speak on the phone every day, and Miss Flanders would take the bus to Soham to visit him after spending years cooking for Mr Ellis who was ill with cancer.

"I sent him a card for Valentine's Day," said Mrs Flanders'. "By this time he was very poorly, but when he didn't phone I was very worried. We would always speak every day, and when he came back from Addenbrooke's last year he was like a skeleton. I fed him up so he could get about again in his buggy."

She was unable to go to his funeral at Bury Crematorium, and instead installed the cross as her own private tribute, but when she went to visit her sister on Thursday afternoon, the cross had disappeared.

"He gave me two tubs of flowers when he moved into Keith Leonard, and I put the cross in one of those," said Miss Flanders.

"All our gardens are open, there's no fencing or anything and you just go up the garden path. Anyone can just walk in, but I don't know who would do this. Nobody knows what I've gone through since he died. It's the only thing I've got left to remember him."

If you have any information about Mrs Flanders' cross, contact the Crime Incident Management Unit at Cambridgeshire police on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

A devastated Mrs Flanders showed the Ely Standard where the tribute to Mr Ellis used to sit.

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