Three generations of the same family to come face to face with hero ancestor

Article dated Wednesday Jul 12, 2023 at 03:58 PM

Three generations of the same family will come face to face with their hero ancestor when they visit Bradford Industrial Museum.

The descendants of World War Two hero, Robert Turner, who had his photo taken at Manningham’s famous Belle Vue Studio in Bradford, will be visiting the Bradford Council-run museum to have a look at PHOTOS BRADFORD: The Photo Archive of Bradford District Museums and Galleries, which houses their ancestor’s image, and have their photograph taken with a copy of their ancestor’s portrait.

Robert’s son, grandson and great grandsons will view the photo, one of over 17,000 images which make up the Belle Vue Studio Collection, which is part of PHOTOS BRADFORD: The Photo Archive of Bradford District Museums and Galleries.

During World War Two, Lieutenant Commander Robert Turner D.S.C. R.N.V.R. was the commanding officer of HMS Olive, a Tree-Class Trawler, which was a class of anti-submarine naval trawler.

The Second World War hero was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and also the Atlantic Star for minesweeping duties during the Battle of the Atlantic, keeping the British sea lanes clear to America.

Turner was a prominent third generation Bradford businessman, whose family ran a furniture shop on Godwin Street, as well as a bed and mattress factory in Bradford.

He was an enthusiastic motorcyclist who won a number of sporting cups and was also a member for West Riding Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.

There are two photos of Robert Turner in the Belle Vue Collection, which has around 17,000 negatives and prints, 10,000 of which have now been digitised and made available to view online.

The images all taken between the 1950s and 1970s are rich and varied with all of life captured. There are individuals, couples, families and larger groups. Some are humorous while others are serious; poignant and moving.

For some, such as those celebrating a wedding or religious confirmation, the photographs commemorate one of their life’s most important days. For others it was much more casual: the need for a student ID card or passport photo.

Many of the images are of people who migrated to Bradford from the Indian Subcontinent, Europe and also as part of the Windrush Generation and were taken to show how they were getting on in their new life.

Over years a huge amount of work has been carried out in order to catalogue the images and attempt to identify the people they portray. This work is ongoing and there is still so much to do.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “Our Bradford District Museums and Galleries Photo Archive is wonderful, containing images from across the decades and the Belle Vue Studio Collection is a remarkable body of images which capture life in Bradford between the 1950s and 1970s.

“We’re delighted to be able to welcome the Turner family to the Bradford Industrial Museum, to come face to face with this photo of their hero father, grandfather and great grandfather.

“We are still working to identify those captured as part of this collection, so anyone who thinks they or their family members or friends may have had their photo taken at the Belle Vue Studio, should take a look through the archive and see if there’s anyone they recognise.”

The photos can be viewed online by visiting:

Underline image

Recent stories