THE grandson of a First World War hero he never knew existed has begun tracking down members of his long lost family…thanks to The Oldham Times.

James Gott, aged 78, launched the search for his cousins after discovering the grandfather he thought had died in the Great War, Harry Gott, in fact lived until he was 84 in Oldham.

Researching his family tree James found out his own father Frank was one of Harry’s 11 children.

Harry survived the war as part of the Royal Army Medical Corps and received three medals.

He died in 1962, and James remembers his father visiting Oldham then, probably to attend his funeral.

As we reported recently, James could never understand why Frank never talked about his own father, who brought up his family at 7 Sarah Street in Oldham – now no longer there.

He believes it may be because the family became disconnected after Frank joined the Navy to serve in the Second World War, moving and remaining in Portsmouth when he married local girl Elsie there and where James now still lives.

After appealing through our columns, James has had contact from four children of his cousins, Terence Gott, David Fielding, Carole Sunman, who lives in Shaw, and another called Lisa, whose surname is so far unknown.

“So far I have only received text messages from my new-found relatives,” said James. “But I am really excited to find members of my extended family and I am so grateful to The Oldham Times for publicising my search and helping me find them.

“I’m looking forward to talking to them and hopefully meeting up with them.”

James launched his search for his family after watching the ITV programme Long Lost Family