THE MYSTERY of the First World War card game featured in The Press has been solved and pensioner Brian Elsegood now has a copy of the rules.

Brian, 79, told The Press the Militaire cards originally belonged to his uncle, Arthur, who fought in the Great War and was killed in 1918, aged 24.

They were passed on to Brian by his father, Walter – Arthur’s younger brother – who was himself a tank gunner with Montgomery’s Eighth Army in the Second World War.

But Brian said while he knew the game was played in the trenches in World War One, he had no idea how to play it – despite contacting everyone from the Chelsea Pensioners to the Imperial War Museum.

After running the story on Tuesday, The Press was deluged with telephone calls and emails from all over the world, including Australia.

Many people who got in touch had managed to track down the rules of the game online.

Paige Doyle, of the World War One daily website Daily News From World War One – 100 Years On, sent a fuller email, complete with instructions.

“It’s a pick up and discard game,” she said. “The rules are normally in the box. Leather boxed sets for officers. Paper boxes for lower ranks.”

Brian said he is now up for playing anyone who wants to challenge him – once he has mastered the game himself. But he now faces another problem – some of his cards are missing.

“I only have 40 cards,” he said. “It’s a shame as some of the NCO cards are missing. However, I’ve looked around and there is apparently another pack somewhere so once I find them we’ll be ready to go.”

He now plans to introduce friends at his snooker club to the game.

Leeds Armouries Museum are also sending a photographer to capture a picture of the cards.

How to play Militaire - With thanks to Paige Doyle

• You deal seven cards and then the pack is put in the middle with the top card turned over and showing

• Each player takes it in turn and can pick up the visible card or take a chance with the “blind” card from the pack

• He then discards either the card he picks up or another card from the hand and the round moves on

• The aim is to get sets of three or four cards the same and/or a run of 3, 4, 6 or 7 cards in order of rank.

• The winner is the first to get a) Two sets, or b) a set and a run, or c) an unbroken run of 6 or 7 cards

• Points are scored according to the winning values and are kept on a cribbage-style scoring board.