Veteran George Tye's ashes stolen from Melksham home

The ashes of an 89-year-old naval veteran have been stolen from his empty home in Wiltshire, police have said.

George Tye had lived in Sarum Avenue, Melksham, for about 20 years when he died in 2011.

His son Charles, who lives in the United States, has been visiting his father's home to clear his belongings.

Wiltshire Police said the ashes had been kept in two cardboard tubes which were inside a bag near the fireplace where Mr Tye had liked to sit.

The burglary happened some time between 30 December and 3 January, police said.

'Extremely close'

The ashes were to be scattered in two locations - at Paisley, Renfrewshire, where the remains of his mother were laid to rest, and at sea, to honour Mr Tye's Royal Navy career.

Three bottles of whiskey, which were intended as a gift for a neighbour, were also taken.

Charles said: "I was horrified when I discovered that the bag with my father's ashes had been taken. I was extremely close to my father and it would mean a tremendous amount to me to get them back.

"My reaction was that I shouldn't have left the ashes where they were, but they were in my father's favourite spot where he sat in his chair.

Det Con Nicky Caffrey said: "It is possible that the burglars took the bag and the cardboard containers believing them to contain bottles of alcohol.

"Once they opened the containers they may have discarded them somewhere, not realising the significance of the contents."

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