Widnes families share stories of their ancestors who served in the First World War

Runcorn and Widnes World: Elsie Lewis with some of her father's medals and photographs Elsie Lewis with some of her father's medals and photographs

WIDNES families trying to find out what their ancestors did during the First World War led to a fascinating roadshow.

More than 60 relatives brought guns, medals, photographs and old newspapers to Widnes Library for military historians to photograph, record and research.

They will be displayed in a future exhibition.

Elsie Lewis, whose father, Wilfred, was a soldier, came in with a collection of his medals, postcards, photographs and an embroidered badge from his regiment, the Lancashire Hussars.

Elsie, aged 82, from Widnes, said: “My father never talked about the war. We don’t know where he served.

“He was in a field hospital as we have found some notes.

“I was only 11 when he died.”

Wilfred, a fitter from Halton View, died in 1943, aged 58.

He served in the Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry before the war.

Her mother, Annie, was a volunteer at a military hospital in Dutton, before she got married.

Elsie added: “We have her autograph book where the soldiers have written messages. There are some references to the Somme Battle. She wrote letters for the soldiers who were injured and they drew pictures for her.

“I think it must have been quite exciting for her.

Amateur historian Tony Miller brought guns, bayonets, shrapnel and bullets.

Halton libraries are hosting a kiosk as part of the Great War Stories Cheshire project. It will be on display in Widnes Library until Friday, March 28.

Halton Council leader Clr Rob Polhill said: “The kiosk holds collections of historic images from across the region.

“The photographs show different aspects of the Great War, the men who went away to fight and never returned, the people left behind and the war memorials.”

Elsie Lewis with some of her father’s medals and photographs (Picture saved as ‘ELSIELEWIS’) Tony Miller shows a shell casing from August, 1916 to Terry Lloyd MBK170314 Some of the First World War memorabilia MBM170314 Lisa Greenhalgh, an archivist from Cheshire Records Office with the headmaster’s log book from Widnes Secondary School from 1915-1922 MBH170314

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