How long can a woman's loyalty to her husband last after his death? Seventeen years? No; till death, as this story suggests.

A widow in Britain died when she tried to fight burglars who snatched her handbag containing the ashes of her husband who died 17 years ago.

Police believe Nellie Geraghty, 79, was assaulted as she desperately tried to cling on to her bag. She was found with severe head injuries in the alleyway close to her home in Shaw, Oldham, Manchester, according to the Mirror.

Geraghty kept her husband's ashes in a velvet handbag bag for 17 years. It is believed that the large sum of money was also there in the bag. The strap was still in Nellie's hand.

"The fact it contained such an important item suggests she may have put up a fight to keep hold of it, resulting in her being assaulted," superintendent Catherine Hankinson of Greater Manchester Police said.

Meanwhile, two boys, aged 14 and 17, have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and remain in police custody.