MEDALS awarded to one of Hereford's most famous former residents have been stolen.

Composer Edward Elgar's Grand Cross of The Royal Victorian Order, Breast Star and accompanying Badge with Sash were taken from the National Trust property where he was born in Lower Broadheath, Worcester.

Police said that at around 1.45am on June 27, unknown perpetrators gained access to the cottage at The Firs, Elgar's Birthplace.

There was an untidy search of the premises and the medals and picture taken.

Local Response PC Nick Garth said: "I'd like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the early hours of Thursday 27 June in Lower Broadheath in the area of the property.

"We are currently investigating this burglary and appealing to the community to get in touch with any information they may have to help us with our investigation.

He continued: "The medals and the signed photograph are of high value to the National Trust and we are appealing for any information relating to their whereabouts."

Michael Smith, National Trust General Manager for the South Worcestershire Portfolio said: "What has happened is very upsetting. The items that have been taken are key elements of our display and are of national significance. It is of paramount importance that we get these returned, they are irreplaceable."

If anyone has any information regarding this burglary or the whereabouts of the items please call 101 quoting 22/58084/19. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.