Veteran's army treasures returned after family trace him on Facebook

World War Two veteran George with, from left, Mary walker who found the pictures and Marcel Booth. From left at the front are Lauren and Kerrie Dilley, Karen Roscoe and Debbie Roscoe

George Dilley left with brother-in-law Jim Langford

George with, back, Charlie Brackenberry, brother, and late wife Lilian, and youngsters Peter Langford, Karen Dilley and David Dilley

George, third from the right with Army colleagues and friends enjoying a pint

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A WORLD War Two veteran has had old army items returned to him — after his family was traced through Facebook.

Three photographs belonging to 87-year-old ex-Lancashire Fusilier George Dilley, were discovered in a barn in Tottington by Mary Walker, having gone missing more than 10 years ago. A document of his time in the Army was also found.

Mrs Walker, who works at Asda in Pilsworth, passed the items on to her colleague Marcel Booth who, having seen Mr Dilley’s name inthe war record book, set about tracking down his family.

After an extensive search, Mr Booth eventually got in touch with Mr Dilley’s granddaughter, Lauren, on Facebook and was able to hand back the items to Mr Dilley.

The photographs show widower Mr Dilley with his brother-in-law; with his friends in the Army; and with his wife, children and brother.

Great-grandfather Mr Dilley, who lives at Hewlett Court in Ramsbottom, served in the Lancashire Fusiliers from 1944 to 1945 as a soldier and cook.

He was visited by Mr Booth, Mrs Walker and his family at his home to reminisce about the items.

Mr Dilley said: “It was a very emotional moment, very nice, indeed. Words cannot explain how indebted I am to Marcel and Mary for returning these items to me. They are great souvenirs and I’ll treasure them forever.

“I don’t understand Facebook or the Internet or anything like that. I don’t even have a mobile phone!”

Mr Dilley’s daughter, Karen Roscoe, said: “My dad’s over the moon. He’s really happy.

“The Army was his life and it meant the world to him, so he’s absolutely buzzing.”

Mr Booth, who lives in Unsworth, only found out about the photographs around five weeks ago, after Mrs Walker handed them over to him.

He said: “Mary came to me because she knew I was a big advocate of the Internet and social media.

“I searched for the surname ‘Dilley’ on Facebook and found Lauren. Straight away she said ‘that’s my granddad!’.

“It was a lovely moment when I gave the photos to George — he was really overwhelmed.” Mrs Walker, of Brandlesholme, has kept the items with her other paperwork ever since she discovered them and dug them out when doing a clear-up recently.

She said: “When I moved house, the paperwork got forgotten. But one day I was sifting through it and I found the items again.

“I had no idea I still had the items with me.”

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