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97-year-old veteran pushed over and robbed in own home

Harry Melling served his country with distinction in the Second World War. Photo:

A 97-year-old Second World War veteran has vowed to bounce back after a "horrific" doorstep robbery at his own home.

Harry Melling was pushed to the floor and had his wallet ripped from his trousers in the attack at his home in Newtown, Wigan.

The widower who risked his life serving his country on submarines during the war, said: "It was a shock. It unsettled me for quite a period of time and it has disturbed me.

I had had a friend in the house. We had been having a drink and a chat and he left. I remember this fellow at the door and after that it was vague.

However, although I would say that I was afraid at the time, I'm certainly not afraid now. I find that a bit remarkable but it has affected me.

At 97, you have supposedly seen it all but this was definitely a new thing and I have had to try to overcome it.

I wouldn't say I am brave, probably more stubborn.

– Harry Melling
Harry is being supported by his nephew Matthew Melling Credit: ITV Granada

The pensioner, a former warden at his local church, St Mark's Church in Newtown, is being supported by his extended family.

This was a horrific incident, in which a war veteran who served on submarines in WW2, was targeted and robbed in his own home.

He had just enjoyed a visit from a friend before he was confronted by a man who pushed his way into his house and forcefully robbed him.

Fortunately, the victim wasn't hurt but has been left shaken and scared in his own home. Please help us catch whoever did this by getting in touch with any information you have.

– Detective Sergeant Phil Housley, Greater Manchester Police

The suspect is described as 5ft 8in, of medium build and wore dark clothing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 7124, 101 quoting incident number 2354 of 12/10/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.