A BRADFORD academic, who swapped bringing up children to research First World War heroes, has produced a fascinating book.

Dr Kathryn Hughes uncovered unknown tales of heroism by Bradford citizens and, after four years of painstaking research, has now published Great War Britain: Bradford Remembering 1914-18.

Dr Hughes was signing copies of the book at the Bradford Local Studies Library at the weekend.

She said: “It has been a labour of love. It has been fascinating to uncover all these untold stories about Bradford.”

Dr Hughes, a doctor in environmental science, spent time bringing up her family, but when the children were old enough she decided to change course.

She said: “The former chief librarian, Sue Caton, encouraged me to do this. I hadn’t a particular connection with the First World War, I had no ancestors involved that I knew of. But when I started to research I got hooked. All these wonderful stories kept coming out.”

Dr Hughes’ research included browsing through four years of copies of the Telegraph and Argus from the war period, and digging out records and documents from the National Archive in London. Among the stories she uncovered was that of a former Bradford Grammar School pupil, who was the sailor who spotted torpedoes heading towards Lusitania and then played a big role in rescuing passengers.

“He was a hero, and one that people don’t know anything about,” said Dr Hughes.

Another hero was Percy James Pybus, who was boss of the Phoenix Dynamo engineering works in Thornbury, and persuaded the Government to use the premises as a munitions factory.

Having spent four years putting the book together, Dr Hughes is now embarking on a new three-year project for the Bradford Bulls Foundation to research what happened to former Bradford Northern players and staff in the First World War.

She will be doing another book signing at Saltaire Book Shop on Thursday, at 7pm.