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

The descendants of Robert Turner, a hero of World War Two, who had his photo taken at Bradford’s famous Belle Vue Studio in Manningham, will be visiting the museum run by Bradford Council. Their purpose is to view 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 his portrait.

Robert’s son, grandson, and great-grandsons will have the opportunity to see the photo, one among over 17,000 images comprising the Belle Vue Studio Collection, which forms part of PHOTOS BRADFORD: The Photo Archive of Bradford District Museums and Galleries.

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

This war hero was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, as well as the Atlantic Star for his minesweeping duties during the Battle of the Atlantic. His efforts ensured the safety of British sea lanes, keeping them open to America.

Turner, a notable businessman in Bradford’s third generation, hailed from a family that operated a furniture shop on Godwin Street, along with a bed and mattress factory in Bradford.

He was an avid motorcyclist who achieved victory in various sporting competitions and was also a member of the West Riding Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.

The Belle Vue Collection contains two photographs of Robert Turner. This extensive collection comprises approximately 17,000 negatives and prints, with around 10,000 of them already digitised and accessible for online viewing.

Capturing moments from the 1950s to the 1970s, the images offer a diverse and vibrant representation of life. Among them are portraits of individuals, couples, families, and larger groups. Some evoke humour, while others convey seriousness, as well as poignant and touching moments.

For some individuals, the photographs serve as mementoes of significant life events like weddings or religious confirmations. Others capture more casual occasions, such as the need for a student ID card or a passport photo.

Many images showcase individuals who migrated to Bradford from the Indian Subcontinent, Europe, and the Windrush Generation, highlighting their experiences and adaptation to their new lives.

Significant efforts have been made over the years to catalogue and identify the people featured in the photographs. This ongoing work continues, as there is still much to uncover.

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.”

To view the photos online, visit: