A HISTORIC piece of First World War memorabilia has been stolen from a Canvey museum.

The trench knife was taken from its display case at the Bay Military Museum, in Western Esplanade, while volunteers were showing people round.

Allan Reed, museum volunteer, said it was a significant and important part of Essex’s military history.

It has the markings GMH Stealing, Essex Reg 1916 inscribed on it and has a knuckle duster grip and has Sheffield Steel and Vulcan on the blade.

It was taken sometime between 10am and 1.15pm on Monday, May 5.

Anybody with any information about the theft, or who may have been offered the item for sale is asked to contact Pc Lisa-Ann Gore.

She said: "The museum would like to get the piece back as it is very important to them. It is also a weapon and we would like to get it back in safe hands. I would urge anyone with any information to contact me as soon as possible.”

Anybody that can help is asked to contact Pc Gore at Rayleigh on Essex Police 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.