YOU never ask the questions until it is too late…

The Storey family, in Kent, have a story about their grandfather and a pocket watch which once belonged to him. On the back, the watch is inscribed: “Presented to JJ Storey, 6th DLI, from the public of Shildon for Distinguished Conduct in the Great War.”

The story goes something like this: Lance-Corporal John James Storey won two medals – he was gazetted for a Military Medal on October 7, 1918.

He won one medal after carrying a wounded soldier back to safety while under heavy gunfire. He won the second after assuming control of his unit when his officer was killed and successfully leading the men to capture a machine gun post.

He went with his stepfather, George Sherwood, from Shildon to collect one of his medals – the presentation was probably at Darlington – but the two of them got so drunk in the pub beforehand that they were unable to attend the ceremony.

At the end of the war, L-Cpl Storey, a miner, returned to Shildon and lived with George and his mother, Isabella, in Garbutt Street along with three step-siblings, Florie, George and Charles. He married Catherine Wilson on December 11, 1918.

In 1930, he took his family down to Aylesham and found work in the Kent coalmines.

He died in 1960, and his family would love to know his full story. If you can help, either contact Memories, or researcher Margaret Hedley on 07977-546332 or L-Cpl Storey’s service number was 250158.