A woman has unearthed a tragic story of a Leytonstone chaplain killed in World War Two after discovering his name on an antique suitcase.

Jenni Crane, 35, bought the suitcase last year when shopping in Crystal Palace with the intention of using it as decoration and storage for her shoe collection.

But when she discovered the name Rev GEM Parry and E11 postcode written on it, she started a journey of discovery about the life of the military chaplain.

George Edward Maule Parry was briefly reverend and Sunday school teacher at St John’s Church, in Church Lane, Leytonstone, in the early 1940s before he was killed on June 6, 1944.

Rev Parry was serving with the 6th airborne division and was killed aged 29 while defending wounded men during a German raid on a medical aid post.

The Argus, Melbourne, reported on July 12, 1944: "Parry was killed with a knife or bayonet while defending helpless wounded men during a German raid on a medical aid post.

"The Germans set upon the wounded in a frenzied state, shooting and bayoneting them, Rev. Parry threw himself between the Nazis and the wounded troops."

Military chaplains are unarmed.

After spending 18 months researching the story, Ms Crane will make and present a BBC Radio 4 programme about the forgotten soldier, speaking to antiques experts while searching for family members.

Ms Crane said: “Being an actress and presenter makes me a good researcher and finding out about the man took a great deal of persistence.

“I think the story has been long forgotten for 75 years and will find a new voice with the discovery of these memories.

“Parry’s father was Welsh and lived 20 minutes from where I grew up in Pontypool and it is thought that the suitcase was used in World War One too.”

Ms Crane, who lives in Streatham Hill, has teamed up with media company Blokmedia to produce the documentary.

Alongside the radio documentary, Ms Crane has started a campaign to get recognition for Padre Parry and for him to be awarded a medal.

She will meet minister of state and deputy leader of the House of Lords, The Rt Hon. the Earl Howe, alongside interviewing Army chaplains.

She said: “My curiosity has unearthed the most remarkable story and I am so proud to be able to bring this man’s brave story to light.

"It is a mystery as to why the suitcase turned up in Crystal Palace.

“So, the next time you are throwing something away, or in a charity/antique shop, do some digging- you never know what treasure is there to be found.”

The programme will be broadcast in 2016 and will also see Ms Crane head to Normandy to visit Rev Parry’s grave.

She is calling on anyone with information on Rev Parry or ex-military chaplains contact Ms Crane on 07952817665.

To sign Jenni’s petition visit change.org and search ‘Padre Parry.’