TWO men from Barrow and Millom have managed to locate the family of John Edward Kelly, a war hero who's lost medal has been returned home to his family in time for Armistice Day.

Russell Townsend discovered the medal at the bottom of some boxes he bought last year.

Mr Townsend, who works at The Bridge Cafe in Millom, tried for over 12 months to locate the family on the internet but he was unsuccessful.

Mr Townsend described the medal as 'annoyingly' sitting in his cupboard and not with the family of the solider.

He said: "I had been looking for over a year for the owners but I did not find anything.

"It had frustrated me for months, and with Armistice Day coming up, I wanted to desperately find the rightful owner."

Mr Townsend's friend, Sam McKinlay got involved with the search and struck gold.

Mr McKinlay and Mr Townsend searched online and managed to locate the medal to John Edward Kelly, a Royal Navy Merchant Gunner throughout the Second World War.

Mr Kelly served on Navy ships all over the world including America and Australia.

Through the powers of social media, they managed to track down Mr Kelly's Grandaughter, Kelley Evans.

She took to Facebook to express her thanks.

She posted: "You’ve absolutely made my Mum's day, she is over the moon.

"Thank you so much, my sister Janine, and I are so grateful.

"Your perseverance has paid off, and you’ve made our family so happy."

Sam McKinlay, who's father fought on the Somme in the First World War, said it was very satisfying that his persistence paid off.

He said: "This year is a special Armistice Day because it is the 100th year marking the ending of the Great War.

"My father fought for our country and I know I would want his medals with me.

"That medal should be with the family on Sunday and I am glad it has been returned."

Pauline Wallace, daughter of Mr Kelly, has expressed her thanks to Russell and Sam.

She said: "I can't express my appreciation to them both for their efforts in returning the medal to us.

"I am delighted to have it back and I can't thank them enough."

Mrs Wallace described her Father as a man with the great sense of humour.

She recalls Mr Kelly keeping talk of the war to a minimum throughout his life.

She said: "I know he was a gunner throughout the whole duration of the war and he served all over.

"He could not straighten out his fingers due to the vibrations of the gun on the ship.

"He used to tell me some stories including eating two dinners at Christmas, but he kept war talk to a minimum."

Mr Kelly used to work down the pits in Northumberland before moving to an electrical company after the war.

He spent many years at various substations and he never learned to drive.

He then retired before his death aged 70 in 1981.

Mrs Wallace said she used to go around various substations with her father.

She said: "He used to take me to all sorts of places when he worked there.

"He always used to ride everywhere because he never learned to drive."

The qualification requirement for war medal was full-time military work with 28 days of service, wherever rendered.

Qualifying service in the Merchant Navy was 28 days of service anywhere at sea during the qualifying period.