Thieves steal fibreglass pig containing father's ashes

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Media captionAppealing for the pig to be brought back, Jane Gilmore described her father as her hero

A woman whose father's ashes were inside a fibreglass pig stolen from her garden says she is "devastated" and fears they will never be returned.

Jane Gilmore, of Bloxham, Oxfordshire, believes the theft of the life-size pig and piglet was premeditated because both had been attached to the ground.

Ms Gilmore put the ashes of Norman Simmons inside the largest of the two pigs after her dog knocked the ear off.

Mr Simmons, who set up a farm in Essex in the 1950s, died in 2008.

Ms Gilmore, who grew up on the farm in Wickford, said: "I bought the pigs as a memorial to him. My father and I spent many a year together on that farm, since I was three years old.

"He was in the Navy (during World War Two) and when he was out on manoeuvres he caught TB. He ended up in hospital in Australia for 18 months and by the time he recovered, the war was over.

"The doctors advised him to do a job outside so when he came back home, he bought his mum and dad's cottage and built himself a farm. He bought himself a book and taught himself farming."

Image copyright Jane Gilmore
Image caption Norman Simmons taught himself farming after the end of World War Two

Ms Gilmore said the pigs were thought to have been taken on 14 November.

She said: "I was literally devastated. I was absolutely in bits - speechless, very upset.

"What was even more annoying about the whole thing was they were concreted and wired into the ground so whoever did it came prepared. It was premeditated.

"It's one thing to come on to someone's property and take something but people don't know the stories behind what they are taking.

"The worrying thing is if it's kids - like a dare - in which case I'm not hopeful of finding them again."

Image copyright Jane Gilmore
Image caption Ms Gilmore fears children may have taken the pigs as a dare

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