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  1. ITV Report

The remarkable story of the Welsh soldier who ended the First World War

The First World War was a time of great suffering and loss.

But according to claims, it could have been much worse, had a former policeman from Neath not happened upon a stash of papers in a deserted German base.

It is thought the discovery shortened the war by months, saving thousands of lives in the process.

Ernest Rollings had already distinguished himself in battle after winning the Military Cross for Gallantry, but it wasn't until later that the former cavalryman turned tank commander was involved in a raid that changed the course of the war.

It was August 1918 during the battle of Amiens when Rollings was ordered to make for the village of Frameville - the location of a German headquarters and to retrieve whatever information he found there.

In a deserted farmhouse, he came across a complete plan of the German defences.

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This information caused the Allied High Command to change its plans which is thought to have led to the war being shortened by a year.

After the war, Rollings returned to Neath as a police officer but his story eventually found its way into a national newspaper which launched an appeal for who they named 'the man who ended the war'.

Ernest didn't come forward himself - but another officer - and Rollings shot to national fame.

In front of Neath's Empire cinema a week later, he was presented with a cheque for £5000 and was awarded the Freedom of the Borough.

Ernest's granddaughter, Anne Day, has visited the museum in Bridgend where his war memorabilia - including the revolver he carried at Frameville is displayed.

Ernest Rollings' granddaughter has visited the South Wales Police museum where Ernest's memorabilia is kept

I knew him as a fairly quiet reserved man.

I think what he enjoyed most was being in the company of his family.

I don't think he had much pleasure from being recognised. I don't have the words to express the way I feel.

I find it absolutely overwhelming that his actions and heroism led to so many lives being saved.

– Anne Day, Ernest Rollings' granddaughter