A “long lost” plaque commemorating the deaths of soldiers in the First World War has been discovered in the cellars of Ingrow Primary School.

The plaque, which lists the names of hundreds of soldiers, was given to Ingrow Council School many years ago.

And although at one time it was displayed in Victoria Hall, the plaque was sent back to the school where it had been collecting dust in the cellar until it was found.

“One of the teachers had mentioned to me that there was some old memorabilia in the cellar, so I had them bring it up,” said Louise Smith, executive head teacher of Ingrow and Long Lee primary schools. “As soon as I saw it, I knew it was something special.”

Because of its importance, Mrs Smith asked her dad — who served in the RAF for 16 years and is an expert on history from the First and Second World Wars — about it.

“He’s absolutely dedicated to these kind of things,” said Mrs Smith. “I’ve spent my life listening to his stories and I’ve always been inspired by him.

“He’s particularly interested in the lives of everyday men and he really enjoyed helping me find out more about it.”

The plaque was cleaned and put up in the main entrance of the school.

But it was not until recently that Mrs Smith discovered the true importance of it.

Gordon Shaw, the poppy appeal organiser for the Keighley branch of the Royal British Legion, was contacted and research by him and his colleagues discovered that the plaque was a “long lost” item on the United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, it’s an absolutely fantastic item,” said Ian Walkden, a Royal British Legion member.

“One thing that I love about Ingrow is that it’s a school with an illustrious history,” said Mrs Smith. “And this plaque is an outstanding piece of history that must be shared, particularly at this time of year in the run-up to Remembrance Day.”

Angela Wilkinson, head of school at Ingrow, said Remembrance Day had always played an important role in the lives of children at the school.

On the day, pupils in years five and six go to a memorial in nearby St John’s Church to observe two minutes’ silence at 11am.

“They’ve gone every year for a long, long time,” she said.

The school also wants to put together a resource pack that other schools could use to access the plaque’s history.

“We would like to track down the families of men listed on the plaque, because I believe some of their ancestors are here now – I recognise some of the names,” said Mrs Wilkinson. “This plaque makes me want to find out more about the history of the school.”