After saving a pendant from the scrap bin, a keen historian is appealing to the people of the Calder Valley to help identify a soldier whose photograph appears in it.
The pendant was part of a house clearing lot at a general sale auction in Sandbach, Cheshire, when Jean Hood saw it and bought it for less than £50.
In the pendant it says “sterman” “en Bridge” and “morden” which led Jean to believe the soldier must be from either Hebden Bridge or Todmorden.
In the year that marks a century since the start of the Great War, Jean is asking residents if they can identify the soldier - either as a man or a young boy.
Jean, who lives in Sandbach, Cheshire, said: “I’m really a naval/maritime historian, but a couple of weeks ago I was browsing my local house-clearance/general sale auction in Sandbach, Cheshire, where I live and I saw a gold-framed, double-sided pendant containing back-to-back photographs.
Both featured the same person. In one he was a boy; in the other, a young soldier in the uniform of what my more army-minded contacts say is the Royal Artillery and more specifically the Royal Field Artillery.
“I felt sorry for it, being, as it were, thrown out as irrelevant to the lives of the current generation, and so I bid successfully for it. It didn’t even cost much.
“Being eternally curious about matters historical, I wondered if it were possible to identify the soldier.
“I dismantled the pendant, and on the back of the picture of him in his uniform was the right hand half of the photographer’s details: ‘sterman’, ‘en Bridge’ and ‘morden’.
“The only place I could think that would fit was Hebden Bridge, so tried a search on ancestry for someone whose name ended in esterman and who was a photographer. Sure enough there was a chap called Westerman.
“I’m making the logical assumption that the man in the photo is, therefore, from the Hebden Bridge/Todmorden area, and may well have grown up there, too.
“The existence of the pendant with the two photos may suggest that he died, and this was perhaps a mother or sister’s memory of him.
“I have a list of Royal Field Artillery dead of Todmorden from the First World War memorial but can’t find a similar memorian for Hebden Bridge.”
Jean said she would be prepared to give the pendant to a museum of the soldier’s family, but mainly wanted to make sure that his story was told.
Anyone with information about the soldier is asked to contact Jean via her website at www.jeanhood.co.uk