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In the classic World War II Antiques Roadshow, Fiona Bruce took BBC viewers to the Thiepval Memorial to the missing in the Somme. However, two First World War photo albums caught the attention of one expert who was fascinated by their contents. Although, when it came to the assessment, the military expert warned the guest.

The guest also brought with him the diary of his grandfather, who was a sergeant in the First World War.

He explained that his grandfather died when he was a small boy, but when he discovered two photo albums, he was “reluctant to talk” about them.

The expert examined one photograph showing the guest’s grandfather and his brother Jim from the trenches.

The guest mentioned that the grandfather told him that he should take a “secret” picture.

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Discussing why the guest’s grandfather had to secretly take the photos, the expert shared: “Well, it should be remembered that in the first years of the war it was not such a problem.

“As the war progressed, it was clear that the war would not be over until Christmas, and then things began to change.

“And politicians understand that if Mr Smith was sitting at his breakfast table reading the paper and the headline said, bodies, for example, which can be very politically damaging.

“So the government decided it wasn’t really a good idea for soldiers to be photographed.”

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When it came to the assessment, the military expert noted that the albums are unique.

“Well, these photos have value,” he explained. “There are no others like this.

“And I think they will cost somewhere in the region of £400 to £500.”

However, the guest was quick to point out that he would never sell them.

“The monetary value is, of course, inconsequential. It’s nice to have two albums, so both my daughter and my son will have something to pass on.”

“Oh, no,” interrupted the expert, giving a warning to the guest.

“Don’t separate them, whatever you do, never separate them.

“Once you separate these two albums, I guarantee they will never find their way back together again. Find one keeper.”

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.


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