Shock of ransacked home ‘killed’ Harold Hill granddad

09:47 18 January 2013

Raymond Grinyer had a huge heart attack after discovering his home had been burgled.

Raymond Grinyer had a huge heart attack after discovering his home had been burgled.

Archant

A war veteran died shortly after discovering his home had been ransacked by thieves while he and his wife stayed with relatives over the Christmas break.

Raymond was station officer at Hornsey Fire Station, in north LondonRaymond was station officer at Hornsey Fire Station, in north London

Great-grandfather Raymond Grinyer, 85, suffered a heart attack on January 6, hours after inspecting the chaos caused by looters at his Harold Hill home of 36 years.

Mr Grinyer’s son, Raymond Jnr, 55, was with his parents when they discovered the break-in.

“It was sickening,” he said. “They had gone through everything. My dad sobbed his heart out. He was very agitated. Then he began to look unwell. When the paramedics came they could hardly find a pulse.”

He added: “The shock of it killed him.”

Raymond, left, aged 18. He helped clean up in the aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.Raymond, left, aged 18. He helped clean up in the aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.

An eternity ring Mr Grinyer had given wife, Ann, 83, for their 60th wedding anniversary and his war service medals were among the haul taken from the couple’s Grange Road home.

The childhood sweethearts would have celebrated 65 years together in August.

Daughter Valerie Ribbons, 49, said: “Our dad did not die peacefully, that’s what’s so hard to come to terms with. He had a troubled death and was in a heightened state of anxiety and immensely distressed when he found the house had been burgled.

“I don’t think any of us will rest until [the burglars] are caught.”

Mr Grinyer with daughter ValerieMr Grinyer with daughter Valerie

She added: “My dad had done nothing to them apart from fight for their freedom. This is just so undeserved and unfair.”

Mr Grinyer, who leaves behind four children, 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren, was taken to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, before being transferred to specialists at London Chest Hospital, in east London.

Mrs Ribbons said: “As time went on he had trouble breathing. He began to panic. He knew he was losing the fight and dying – that’s the hardest thing to bear.

“He left our lives with such a troubled mind – frightened and distressed. I just wonder will he ever be able to rest peacefully?”

Mr Grinyer, a former fire station officer in Hornsey, north London , who spent his free time raising money for charities, died, surrounded by family, in the early hours of January 7.

Thieves jemmied open a back window at the Grinyers’ home between December 26 and January 6 and the family think they may have returned a number of times.

Passports, bank cards, jewellery – even piggy banks containing cash for the Grinyers’ grandchildren – were also taken during the raid, thought to have cost the elderly couple thousands of pounds.

The family are offering a “substantial reward” for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Former Army signaller Mr Grinyer had not long returned from a trip to Japan, where he had been stationed in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bomb.

Mrs Grinyer said: “He was away in the Army for two-and-a-half years and wrote to me every day. We got married when he was 21 and I was 19. He had brought silk from Japan for my wedding dress.”

The family have now set up a Facebook appeal page, urging anyone with information to come forward.

Raymond Jnr said: “Dad was a devoted family man who was genuine and loyal. We want justice for him.”

The family are currently making funeral arrangements.

DS Sara Yems, from Havering Police, said: “Our thoughts go out to them at this difficult time. There was a large amount of jewellery and personal items stolen during the burglary, some of these were of sentimental value.

“We are keen to hear from anybody who may have seen or heard anything suspicious or may have information as to the whereabouts of any of the property stolen.”

Contact DS Yems on 01708 756259, call 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, May 22, 2015
The body was found near Eel Pie Island [Photograph from Google StreetView]

The dead body of a man was found in the river today near Eel Pie Island.

Friday, May 22, 2015
Police are 'extremely concerned' for Kaylie, who is believed to be in the company of Fred Finch [Photographs from Metropolitan Police]

Detectives are appealing for the public’s help to trace a vulnerable 16-year-old girl who has gone missing and is believed to be in the company of an older man.

Friday, May 22, 2015
King's Cross has been evacuated (Picture by Jake Ellacott)

King’s Cross station is open again after a fire alarm led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of bank holiday travellers.

Friday, May 22, 2015
(Picture:: PA)

There are severe delays on the Central Line after a woman was hit by a Tube train.

Friday, May 22, 2015
The woman was dragged through the gates of Brockwell Park in Brixton and raped

A 41-year-old woman was dragged into Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, near Brixton, before being raped by two men.

Breaking News

Friday, May 22, 2015

There are severe delays on the Central Line after a woman was hit by a Tube train.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more