Keighley residents can get help identifying wartime ancestors

Keighley News: Andy Wade, right, and Ian Walkden, from Men of Worth, look at First World War archives in Keighley library Andy Wade, right, and Ian Walkden, from Men of Worth, look at First World War archives in Keighley library

Keighley district residents who own old photographs of unidentified soldiers from the First World War have been offered assistance from a military history initiative.

The Men of Worth Project wants to use its tried and tested research skills to help people who think they may have photos of family members, but cannot put names to faces.

Project member Andy Wade, who lives in Oakworth, said: “We’ve already been able to identify soldiers in photos using the Keighley News archive in Keighley Library.

“We were thinking that maybe we could use this to help people who might have old pictures in attics or photo albums. They may think they have a First World War photo of their granddad, for example, but they aren’t sure it’s him.

“These names often get lost because at the time photographs are taken, people rarely write names on the backs of the pictures because they think ‘well, I know who this is anyway’.”

He currently has 1,700 named First World War photographs from the Keighley News archive, while he also knows of two men from Haworth who have many more images they hope to identify.

“We’ve got the facility to find out these names, so now it’s just a case of people coming forward and supplying us with their photos.

" Trying to work things out is a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. For example, we can use census records to give us bits of extra information.

“There are quite a lot of old wedding pictures with unnamed men stood at the back who are in uniform. They could be a younger or older brother who happens to be home on leave at the same time as the wedding.”

People wanting to take up Men of Worth’s offer can call 07792 665336 or e-mail andy@menofworth.org.uk get in touch with the group.

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