A former commando has slammed thieves who stole a commemorative plaque he donated to Ninewells Hospital to thank staff who helped him battle cancer.
Stuart Lavery had presented the plaque featuring a Royal Marine Commando beret and dagger cast following treatment more than two years ago.
The chairman of 45 Commado Veterans in Arbroath has terminal multiple myeloma cancer which effects the blood and bones.
The 67-year-old still attends Ninewells Hospital for monthly check-ups and was contacted on February 12 to be told the plaque had been stolen.
“I gave it to the staff to thank them for me living over two years ago, ” he said.
“It was the difference between life and death with the treatment I got.
“They contacted me earlier this month to advise it had been stolen from ward 34, what kind of callous person takes that?”
Stuart said the plaque featured an engraved personal message, thanking the Ninewells staff for the care they gave him, making it easily identifiable.
He said the thieves might attempt to dispose of that part.
“There is a big market for military memorabilia but I would imagine that wee plaque thanking the staff will be destroyed if it’s been stolen,” he said.
“It was a nurse who contacted me. She finished her shift one day and when she came in the next day it was gone.”
Stuart put a message on social media, alerting people to the theft, and it has been shared widely.
He said: “People were in agreement with me that is absolutely despicable what has gone on here.
“I’m attending Ninewells Hospital on Friday and I’m hoping to get a few more details when I’m there.”
Stuart who served with the Royal Marines in the 1970s and 80s in combat zones across the world including Northern Ireland, is hoping veterans across Tayside will help share the appeal for information
He added: “The item cost £75 and was all hand made. It features a plaster cast of the beret and the dagger and it was screwed to the wall in the cancer ward.
“Someone would have had to have a right go at it to take it off. Given how busy I know that ward is I feel it would have to have been done at night.
“I know the staff who were there at time of the presentation were chuffed that I’d handed it over to them to say thanks.
“Hopefully we can get it back, there are around 25,000 veterans around Tayside and I know some of those have sharing the appeal.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “It was brought to our attention that the plaque was missing from ward 34, Ninewells Hospital.
“This is very upsetting and has been reported to Police Scotland.”