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Wartime photos discovered in pages of second hand book

After buying a used book from the coop in Mirfield, Peter Batley found an old photograph of soldiers from 1943 being used as a bookmark - it still has all the names of the soldiers on the back in pencils - he is on the lookout for their relatives and wants to solve the mystery.

After buying a used book from the coop in Mirfield, Peter Batley found an old photograph of soldiers from 1943 being used as a bookmark - it still has all the names of the soldiers on the back in pencils - he is on the lookout for their relatives and wants to solve the mystery.

A man is hoping to trace the original owner of a 70-year-old photograph after finding it in the pages of secondhand book.

Peter Batley discovered the picture of five soldiers in a book about real-life murders that he bought in the Co-operative in Mirfield shortly before Christmas. The picture has five nicknames written in pencil on the back, along with the date 1943.

Mr Batley, 65, of Gateways, Art Outwood wants to hear from the owner or relatives of the soldiers so he can return the photograph to them.

The names on the back of the picture are Sammy, Slim, Smudge and Ban Dan, as well as a fifth name that is unreadable.

Mr Batley said: “My mum lives in Mirfield and I take her to the Co-op to do her shopping. Before Christmas they had a stall selling second hand books and I bought one about true crime. I was about half way through reading it when I found the photograph.

“I wouldn’t normally have bothered but it is coming up to the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War - and the names are written on in pencil so it has done well to last for more than 70 years.

“The date on the photograph is 1943, so I think it must have been taken in North Africa or Italy as we weren’t in Europe until 1944.

“It was being used as a bookmark so it could be that someone has donated a book without realising that this was in it.

“It would be nice to find a relative of someone in the picture or to be able to give it back to the owner.”

Anyone who recognises the soldiers can call Mr Batley on 07990 996377.

 
 
 

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