North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas
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Lost WW1 Tapestry Uncovered In Museum Vaults

The North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas lists the names of more than 1,000 men who lost their lives in World War One.

North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas

The work was designed and painted in 1923 by returning servicemen (Picture: Stoke-on-Trent City Council).

A huge memorial tapestry commemorating soldiers killed in the First World War has finally been found and put on display at the Potteries Museum in Stoke. It had been missing for over 30 years.

The North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas depicts a panorama of the battlefields where soldiers from the regiment fought between 1914-1918.

North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas
The work goes on display from this weekend (Picture: Stoke-on-Trent City Council).

It was designed and painted in 1923 by returning servicemen who then went on work as ceramics artists and designers.

The tapestry includes the names of more than 1,000 local men who died on the Western Front.

North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas
The tapestry pays tribute to more than 1,000 local men who died (Picture: Stoke-on-Trent City Council).

Historian Levison Wood uncovered references to the painting (which was last seen in 1985) when he was researching a book about the 6,000 North Staffordshire servicemen who fought in the war.

He then traced the canvas to The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, where it was ‘found’ by a curator who searched among half a million artefacts in the artefacts stores.

North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas
The work had not been seen since 1985 (Picture: Stoke-on-Trent City Council).

The wall hanging will now be going on public display in the museum from this weekend but only a three-metre section will be visible while large sections are restored.

It will then go on permanent display in the museum to mark the centenary anniversary of the Royal British Legion in 2021.

North Staffordshire 5th Battalion Memorial Canvas
The Imperial War Museum says the work is of national and international significance (Picture: Stoke-on-Trent City Council).

The tapestry has been described as being of national and international significance, and as one of the best finds relating to the First World War in the last decade.

More: New Exhibition Shows Rare Shots Of WW1's Aftermath