IMAGES of the Front that ended up in the newspapers were very different to those taken by LCpl Fred Brocklehurst.

Fred, of Toller Lane, was 18 and at Leeds University when he enlisted at Bradford’s Belle Vue Barracks in August, 1914.

He crossed to France with the 6th Btn (Bradford Territorials) on April 16, 1915, taking a camera with him. Fred’s candid images of life in the trenches include trench digging, bayonet training and larking about in a tin bath.

About 150 of his photographs, in an album alongside names of soldiers and places, were discovered at a Skipton flea market in the 1970s. In October 1915 the Bradford Weekly Telegraph reported that Fred, son of a Bradford councillor, was hit by shellfire in a trench on the Yser Canal, north of Ypres. One man, LCpl Jarvill Knowles of Bedford Street, Bradford, was killed and nine were wounded, including Fred, who was admitted to the Field Ambulance with a shrapnel wound in his back and returned to his unit nine days later. Surviving a gas attack on the Canal and further fighting, he was later appointed Battalion HQ cook, with large shoes to fill. His predecessor, Sgt John Hammond, was killed by a German sniper in May, 1915. The loss of this well-liked figure was keenly felt by the battalion. He had come from Darlington to serve the Officers’ Mess at Belle Vue Barracks since 1901 and married a local girl.

Fred’s experiences as a chef inspired an episode of TV’s Emmerdale 1918, in which stars from the soap explored life in Esholt during the 1914-18 conflict. Bradford WW1 Group advised on the programme.

Actor Mark Charnock, who plays pub chef Marlon Dingle, learned about front line conditions that Fred worked in, preparing food for hungry troops. “The conditions were monstrous,” said Mark. “There would have been dead bodies and explosions everywhere, gunfire, horribly injured men being carried past, rats, rain - and in the middle of it he was trying to cook for loads of men, cooking stuff that would hopefully give them that little taste of home at the end of another horrifying day.”

Fred’s Service Papers reveal an intriguing story. In winter 1915 his battalion was billeted at the village of Souich. Billets were overcrowded and it was bitterly cold, and “the method of passing time was in hard work and much exercise - wood-cutting parties in the forest and furious games of football in a muddy field”.

It was here that Fred came before a Court Martial and was found guilty of ‘stealing coal, the property of a civilian in the village of Pas-en-Artois’. Despite Lt Col Wade, commanding officer of the Territorials, blaming Corps staff occupying the village in preceding days, Fred was sentenced to 56 days Field Punishment. On his discharge in 1919 he discovered his medals had been withheld because of his conviction.

Back home in Bradford, he went to see Lt Col HO Wade who, wounded and declared unfit for service abroad, had continued duties at home until the end of the war, before returning to life as a Bradford solicitor. Asked by Fred for his support, Wade wrote a letter pleading his case - and his medals duly arrived.