A Canadian community has thanked a former postman after he returned a prized WW1 artefact.

Tony Groves, of Effra Road, Wimbledon, found a large quilt embroidered with a whole list of names after his uncle, a WW2 veteran himself, died last year.

Although he had mentioned it shortly before his passing, the family were not sure of the quilt's existence until they discovered it in his home, with the name Shorncliffe Military Hospital embroidered onto it.

The hospital, based in Folkestone, Kent, housed wounded soldiers evacuated from the front line during WW1.

Soldiers went there and convalesced before their long boat trip back to Canada.

In the summer of 1915, in Georgetown, Canada, its Women's Institute decided to create something which could keep up the recovering soldier's spirits in hospital.

The quilt was 'signed' in embroidery by 355 people, who each paid 10 cents for the privilege, and when completed, it was sent to the hospital, not to be seen again until last year. Ted Brown, a journalist for the Independent Free Press in Georgetown, said the community are indebted to Mr Groves.

He said: "My brother-in-law, a member of Esquesing Historical Society, told me they had received an old quilt from the United Kingdom that was dated 1915, created by members of the Georgetown Women's Institute.

I think the people of Georgetown owe Tony Groves a huge thank you. He has returned a piece of history home to its roots, and in doing so, reminded us once again of that eternally important phrase- ‘Lest We Forget’"

A retired Mr Groves, said: "After I found the quilt I started doing a bit of research and found out all about the hospital. I still don't know how or why my uncle had it, but when I found it I thought it best it was returned to the community where it belongs.

"I'm just glad it got there ok. As a former postman I know things can get damaged in transit, and something so unique could not be lost, so I'm pleased they can now put it on display as a reminder."