The lost grave of a Fermanagh man who fought in World War One has been found and marked after 52 years.

Joseph Balfour, from Shallany townland near Kesh, served in France and Belgium and survived four years of conflict that claimed the lives of over 30,000 Irishmen. He returned to his farm and died in 1966 at the age of 74. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Castle Archdale Church of Ireland graveyard but the exact location of his last remains were lost.

Research undertaken by historian David Keys of Lack on the First Fermanagh Ulster Volunteers 1914-1919 uncovered information about the old soldier and with the help of the war hero’s nephew Leslie Balfour the grave was found.

Cemetery superintendent Bobby Beacom helped to locate the last resting place of the forgotten hero. Arrangements were made for stonemason Stuart Brooker to design and install a suitable memorial stone which was put in place for Remembrance Day 2018.

“I must thank Leslie Balfour for sharing his family’s history and for covering the cost of the gravestone. Without Bobby Beacom this grave would have been lost forever,” said David Keys.

At the age of 23 Joseph joined the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1913.

On February 5, 1914, he was awarded a certificate of competence from the Ulster Signalling and Despatch Riding Corps of the UVF.

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War he joined the ninth battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was promoted to Lance Corporal and Signaller.