A 92-year-old war veteran who had his medals stolen on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings has told of his sadness that he will not be able to pass them on to his sons.

Dixie Dean, who served with the Grenadier Guards in the Second World War, had his medals, along with those of his father from the First World War, stolen by a con man.

Police have launched an investigation after 11 medals were taken from the retired fireman's home in Whetstone, north London, when he was in the property.

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The incident happened on Friday morning as veterans and world leaders gathered in Normandy to pay tribute to those who fought and died in the D-Day landings 70 years ago.

A man claiming to ­represent a water company knocked on Mr Dean's door and said he needed to check the water pressure. He was allowed in and appeared to look at the taps in the kitchen before leaving a short while later.

Mr Dean noticed items in his bedroom had been disturbed and the medals had been stolen.

He said: "I was sitting here when the front doorbell rang. I opened the front door and the chap stood there. He showed me an identity disc and said he'd come to turn the water pressure down.

"He was mucking about in the kitchen and while that was going on my son rang up and he said 'You want to be careful, there's a lot of con men around'. Whether this alerted this chap ... he said he'd got to go next door and he went out.

"I went upstairs and found my Zimmer frame had moved. I thought my son must have been up there but when I went into my bedroom I saw stuff strewn on the floor."

He added: "They were tucked away. I'd had them mounted. I used to wear them if I went to reunion dos or anything like that."

The value was not the most important thing, he said. "What's the more important thing is them going when they would have passed down to my sons.

"That's more to the point. Now they've gone ... they can't be passed on. If I get another set back it's not quite the same thing."