VETERAN paratrooper Cyril Bayliss says he feels complete again after being reunited with an important piece of his uniform.

Cyril, 82, who lives in Windhill, Shipley, was in the Ambassador pub, in Bradford city centre, after attending a Remembrance Sunday service last month.

He left his maroon beret on a table to make a phone call, but when he returned soon afterwards it had gone.

Despite an extensive search and appeal through the Telegraph & Argus and social media, the beret never resurfaced. Friends and former military personnel who knew heard about the plight, vowed to take it upon themselves to secure a new beret and badge for the veteran so he could continue wearing it with pride at subsequent services.

Friend Denise Mitchell, who used to run the Travellers Rest, in Windhill, where Cyril enjoys a pint said he was heartbroken when it went missing.

"He put on a brave face but there is an unwritten rule that you don't disrespect veterans," she said.

Together with former Royal Artillery soldier Ben Hainsworth, from Baildon, Jamie Lambie, staff sergeant from One Para, at Catterick Garrison, and others, a new cap was bought.

"It is an authentic piece of uniform from the para regiment, complete with an authentic badge," explained Ben.

"You can buy similar maroon berets and badges over the internet, but we wanted to make sure we could present him with an authentic piece of Parachute Regiment kit.

"We felt it was only right that we do that for Cyril. He has deserved it."

Cyril served in the British Parachute Regiment for several years, including a stint of National Service. He later rejoined the regiment on attachment at Thornbury and has also served in the Territorial Army.

In his working life, he was in the post room at City Hall.

Denise added: "Cyril said a group of young people were near the table where he left the beret and that they might have seen it and taken it as a joke.

"We hoped they simply hadn't realised what they had done and would return it. He is trying not to show he is upset."

On Sunday evening, a special presentation of the new beret was made by Ben to a beaming Cyril who said he was thrilled.

"I am so happy to be able to wear the beret again. I feel complete. Everyone has been wonderful in trying to find the one which was lost and I am really grateful to them for getting me a new one," he said.

Cyril also said he had started going back to the Old Comrades Club, at Thornbury Barracks after drifting away for a while.

He said: "I enjoy it. We meet on the second Tuesday of the month for a chat and a get-together so I want to thank Ralph Richards for organising for me to start going again."