Lincoln woman in plea to find lost Second World War engagement ring
During the Second World War, one fighter pilot risked his life to save his childhood sweetheart from a Russian labour camp.
Now, more than 60 years later, his granddaughter has launched a desperate plea to find a lost ring that sealed their love.
Decorated Polish war hero Andrzej Piaskowski was separated from Anna Trnobranska as war broke out across Europe.
But even amid the devastation of the global conflict, nothing could stop the couple from exchanging their vows and they were married by proxy on Midsummer's Day in 1943.
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After the war they started a new life together in Tehran, Iran, where Mrs Piaskowska was given her engagement and wedding rings.
However, tragedy struck just a few years later when the young woman died from a brain tumour.
Now, her granddaughter Anna Fletcher, from Lincoln, is appealing for help in finding the precious engagement ring, which was given to her by her mother. She believes the heirloom was taken from a changing room in Debenhams after she accidently left it behind.
Miss Fletcher, 34, of Harpswell Road, said the ring had "enormous sentimental value" because of the story behind it.
"I was absolutely beside myself when I realised I had left it behind," she said.
"I was panicking and crying and I knew I'd have to tell my mum I'd lost it. I was absolutely heart broken.
"It means everything to me. It's the only thing I have that belonged to my grandmother.
"It's beautiful. I loved it and wore it every day."
The ring, lost on Sunday, December 30, is thought to be worth hundreds of pounds.
It has a hallmarked, gold wishbone band with a large round diamond and a large pearl attached to it.
There are a dozen smaller diamonds set into the band.
Mr Piaskowski, who later moved to East Barkwith and ran a shop in Bardney, died when Miss Fletcher was 12.
The ring was passed to Miss Fletcher by her mother eight years ago.
"It's the meaning behind it, not the value, that is so important to me," she said.
"It's completely unique and so distinctive that I'm hoping it should be easy to spot. That's what I'm clinging on to."
Miss Fletcher took the ring off to avoid snagging a top she was trying on, but it was only later that she realised she had left it behind.
She says she has tried everything to get it back, including contacting jewellers, the police and Debenhams.
A spokesman for the department store said: "We are very sorry to hear of Ms Fletcher's lost engagement ring, and have taken any action we can to help her find it."
Miss Fletcher has appealed to anyone who may have picked up the ring to hand it in to a police station.