Nazi flag theft upsets widow

01:28, Apr 27 2010
DEVASTATING LOSS: Raglan widow Wyonne Wright holds a copy of a photo including her husband, Whitfeld, centre, and histank crew posing with the nazi battle flag stolen from the Raglan and District Museum on Sunday afternoon. Museum president Patrick Day looks on.

The widow of the Raglan war veteran who captured a nazi flag during WWII is devastated at its theft from the local museum on Sunday afternoon.

Wyonne Wright's husband, Whitfeld, and his sherman tank crew from the NZ 18th Armoured Regiment claimed the flag from a building evacuated by the Germans in Italy in 1944.

The 66-year-old war relic was on its first ever display at Raglan and District's Museum exhibition entitled Raglan and the Anzac, celebrating the district's involvement in the two world wars.

The flag, which was hanging from a doorway, was stolen along with a copy of a photo of Mr Wright and his tank crew posing with the flag and their descriptions which were pinned to the wall. The theft took place sometime between 3pm and 3.15pm on Sunday.

Mrs Wright and Raglan Museum bosses expressed their disgust at the theft yesterday.

"It's been a big family loss," Mrs Wright said. "The family are all devastated by it. It's been a great keepsake and I think all those men (in the photo) have passed on now."


A second Raglan local, Rex Tucker, was also in Mr Wright's tank crew and is also in thephoto.

The flag was estimated to be worth about $1500 on its own but could be worth more with offical descriptions and the period photograph.

Museum president Patrick Day said the theft had been distressing for him and his staff.

A flying helmet and German propaganda sheet were also stolen the same day but its unknown if the two thefts were linked.

"It's very distressing especially coming in this month. We lost much of our reserve collection on the Raglan Wharf fire."

Mr Day wanted the museum to stay closed until the Waikato District Council makes up its mind up on plans for a new museum, which he hoped would boast a security and fire alarm system.

Anyone with information on the theft is urged to phone Raglan police on 07 825 8200.

Waikato Times