EMBROIDERED postcards and silk bookmarks were popular with First World War soldiers who often sent them home from the Front.

These items became cherished keepsakes of sweethearts and families - even more treasured to those whose men never returned.

David P Whithorn is President of Bus to Bradford - a group of City fans who research and commemorate former players who served in the 1914-18 war. The group takes its name from a village in northern France called Bus-les-Artois where many Bradford men were billeted before marching to the Somme. The village they called ‘Bus’ offered a last taste of leisure - a beer and card game in the estaminet and watching silent films on a screen set up in a barn - before marching to the battlefields.

David has been in touch with news of bookmarks which appear to connect two members of a local family who lost their lives on the Somme. He writes: “Finding two silk commemorative bookmarks, once belonging to two members of the Edmondson family of Allerton, on an internet auction site has prompted a member of Bus to Bradford to attempt to trace current family members to give them back.

Although the two share the same surname, Edmonson, and at times both lived on Allerton Road, a direct relationship between them has not yet been found - although there must be a link. Apart from this, their stories are astonishingly similar.

James Edmondson was born in 1897 to Arthur and Grace Edmondson who in 1911 lived at 56 Willow Street. James was a member of the 11th Battalion West Yorkshire regiment. He would lose his life on September 22, 1916 with a working party to a random shell in the vicinity of the ‘Willow Patch’ north of Becourt on the Somme. His body was found after the war and relocated to Adanac Cemetery on the Somme. James was not married, but left siblings: Wilfred and Harold.

Benjamin Edmondson was older, born in 1879. He married Sarah Ann Ackroyd in 1899. In 1911 they were living in Wood Street with their children Clarice, Harry, Dorothy and Lucy. As an older soldier, Benjamin served with the 21st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, a pioneer battlion used for heavy labour rather than fighting.

Benjamin lost his life less than a month after James on October 19, 1916. He too was on a working party, digging a communication trench in front of the village of Les Boeufs, and he too was killed by shellfire. He died just a few miles from James. His body was found after the war and is buried in Guards Cemetery on the Somme. Using modern records and maps, it was possible to identify the location where both men fell.

The tragedy was not complete for the Edmondsons of Allerton. In 1919 Joseph Edmondson (Benjamin’s nephew), having served with the Northumberland Fusliers, lost his life - this time ‘at home’. He is buried in Scholemoor Cemetery.

Any help reuniting these two silk bookmarks back with their current families will be gratefully received!”

* Email David Whithorn at david.whithorn@tiscali.co.uk