A MUSEUM curator in York came across a piece of genuine military history while carrying out a belated spring clean.

Michael Sullivan, a retired Major who now curates the York Army Museum, decided to roll up his sleeves and clear out the storeroom when he came across an item leaning against a damp wall.

He said: “The objects were sorted into three groups: ‘dispose – and not before time’, ‘put to one side for a subsequent review’ and ‘definitely needs to be kept’.

“When we identified the object propped against and facing the back wall, it certainly fell into the last category.”

The framed flag was inscribed with a claim that it was “the personal flag of the first lord Amherst, Colonel of the Regiment from 1751 to 1757”, and was believed to have been flown at Quebec after its capture in 1759.

The regiment in question was the 15th Regiment of Foot, later the East Yorkshire Regiment and the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, which fought against the French during the Seven Years War in North America.

“When Lord Amherst presented it to his former Regiment is not recorded,” said Michael, who served with the regiment for 38 years. “However, it is safe to say that, with the help of the Association of Independent Museums, this flag, which is of national as well as regimental significance, has been restored to a condition of which everyone involved can be proud.”

Rod Allison, from Tadcaster firm Gallery 42, has created a special frame for the flag, to allow it to be taken to its new temporary home overseas.

“The flag has been reframed and is heading to Germany to hang in the mess hall of the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment stationed out there.

“I’m very happy that the regiment will have access to a piece of its history,” said Michael.