A BRAVE soldier from Cleator Moor received the Military Medal during World War One after he imprisoned around 40 German servicemen.
And Major General Sir Berkeley Moynihan, who presented the medal, told Frizington-born William Langton his actions actually deserved the Victoria Cross! - the highest award in the British honours system.
His story has been uncovered by the Cleator Moor WWI project with help from the family of Mr Langton, who was living in Cleator Moor when he enlisted.
Dave Farrell, project leader, said the Major General told Mr Langton his efforts warranted the Victoria Cross.
"He enlisted with the 8th Battalion Border Regiment who saw action during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, when Langton was wounded for the first time.
"He recovered and re-joined his unit, seeing action at Messines, in the Ypres area, in May 1917.
"It was here while Langton's unit was advancing through a fortified farm thought to have been abandoned, he was cautious and threw a hand grenade into the building.
"Two enemy soldiers emerged and started shooting at the rear of Langton's comrades.
"He shot them dead, only for around 40 German troops to emerge and surrender to Langton, who promptly took them prisoner and marched them all back to HQ."
Mr Langton was awarded the Military Medal before being discharged in October 1918, after receiving shrapnel wounds to his leg.
"Major General Sir Berkeley Moynihan specifically said that the qualifying action should have resulting in the awarding of a Victoria Cross, the nations highest award for valour," said Mr Farrell.
The soldier returned home to work in the iron ore mines, also spending time as landlord of The Wheatsheaf on Birks Road.
He died, aged 63, in 1958 and is buried at St Mary's Church, Cleator.