FOR many families, items from the First World War - such as medals of loved ones, photographs and letters sent home - have been treasured keepsakes for the past century.

Now people are invited to take such items to a roadshow organised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, where experts will record them for a national digital archive. Held in partnership with Oxford University, the event is at City Hall on Saturday, February 2, from 11.30am-3pm. With other roadshows taking place in Plymouth and Portsmouth, this is the only event of its kind in the North.

Lest We Forget: Keep Their Stories Alive will be opened by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Zafar Ali. The Bradford Roll of Honour, containing around 30,000 names of Bradfordians who fought in WW1, will be on display, with archivists on hand to help visitors look through it. Also on display will be artefacts linked to the Indian Army, including a presentation by Bradford World War 1 Group.

Volunteers from the group, and other local history organisations, will join a team of experts to help people learn more about their keepsakes and record them for the archive, preserving WW1 artefacts and memories for future generations.

More CWGC stories: Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds roadshow in Bradford

A previous Lest We Forget roadshow in Edinburgh uncovered some rare items, such as an original WW1 grave marker and photographs of trench life.

Max Dutton, Assistant Historian at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said: “Archives provide a vital link with the past. Thanks to the funding of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Lest We Forget allows us to preserve our WW1 heritage for current and future generations”

Those attending the City Hall event will include Gordon Green, a former Bradford Grammar School pupil, whose two great-uncles are on the school’s WW1 roll of honour. The two brothers were killed in action less than a month apart in 1917. Mr Green has a death penny, medals and telegrams among WW1 items handed down.

He said: “How many times did I walk past the school war memorial? Never did I realise that inscribed on it were the names of two of my great-uncles, Frank Clough Mitchell and George Felvus Mitchell.”

Frank was 39 at the outbreak of war. A piece merchant in the textile trade, he lived in Saltaire with his wife, Laura. Frank enlisted as a Private in the Honorary Artillery Company and died on March 15, 1917, between Puisieux and Bucquoy. He is buried at Hebuterne.

George was a wool merchant and lived with wife Lucy and their two children in Heaton. Aged 31, he was posted to a Scottish regiment, the 1st/4th Seaforth Highlanders, part of the 51st Highland Division. He was killed at the Battle of Arras (Vimy Ridge) on April 9, 1917 and is buried in the Roclincourt Valley cemetery.

“Unfortunately his full army record has been lost (as were many),” says Mr Green. “There are no surviving photographs of him in uniform.”

* Visit Live ammunition and weapons will not be allowed into the roadshow.