A son is desperately appealing for the return of his father’s war medals which were pawned to pay for food and bills.

Harry Barnett, 73, says it would mean the world to him to have the six medals, one of which is the Distinguished Conduct Medal which was presented at Buckingham Palace, returned more than 60 years after they were lost.

His dad, James, won the medals in the Second World War and was also mentioned in dispatches after his valiant efforts in Burma to overcome an enemy base.

Mr Barnett, of Rosabelle Avenue, Wivenhoe, said: “As far as I am concerned he was a hero for his country, without a doubt."

The medals will have James Barnett and his number 3521772 engraved around the edge, and Mr Barnett hopes to donate them to the Lancashire Fusiliers museum.

He has asked anyone with information to contact him via gazette.newsdesk@nqe.com

See today's paper for the full story.