Thieves have stolen a Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) and other Second World War medals worth £2,000 from the Yorkshire Air Museum.

The award for gallantry belonged to Harry Potter actor and former bomber air crewman Edward Charles James Gardner, who died in 2010, aged 85.

Less than a week before Remembrance Sunday, the criminals broke into a cabinet in an outbuilding and stole the DFM, which is the highest award other than the Victoria Cross that can be awarded to non-commissioned flight crew.

Along with it they took three other war medals, all of which now belong to the Yorkshire Air Museum which houses the Allied Air Forces Memorial. North Yorkshire Police are appealing for anyone who has information about the thefts or know where the medals are to contact them or Crimestoppers.

The medals were stolen during opening hours on Monday.

Mr Gardner was born in 1924 and served with the RAF's No 10 Squadron during the Second World War for whom he completed 30 sorties as a rear gunner in a Halifax bomber.

After the war, he turned actor, making his screen debut in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb in 1964 and appearing in more than 30 films including as Knight Bus driver Ernie Prang in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He also appeared in Shakespeare productions and on television and in theatre.

The stolen medals were:

  • The DFM - a silver, circular medal, with George VI's head on it, a blue and white ribbon and Jimmy Gardner engraved on the side;
  • A War Medal - a silver, circular medal, with a green, black and orange ribbon;
  • A 39/45 Star Medal - a six pointed star-shaped medal, with dark blue, red and pale blue ribbon;
  • An Air Crew Europe Star Medal - a six pointed star-shaped medal, with a black, yellow and pale blue ribbon which has an additional France and Germany metal clasp attached to it.