Long lost photo of RAF Squadron Leader is brought back to life thanks to college in Huntingdon

Photography tutor, Kris Brown, and students Emily Bevens with Chris Potter.

Photography tutor, Kris Brown, and students Emily Bevens with Chris Potter. - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon man has managed to recover a priceless photograph of his father – an RAF Squadron Leader who served in the Second World War - thanks to Huntingdonshire Regional College’s photography department and a little DIY.

Chris Potter, of Surrey Road, was redecorating his kitchen when he discovered a 35mm negative hidden beneath papers attached to a pin-board.

He instantly recognised the person featured as being his father, Clifford Hodges-Potter, who served as a Squadron Leader in the RAF during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and bar.

After making enquiries, Chris was directed to Huntingdonshire Regional College as it has the facilities and equipment to re-create the photograph.

Chris said: “It’s like finding a little treasure. I was 11 the last time I saw my father so it’s very special to have photographs of him. In a way, we have resurrected my dad.”

“I’m so pleased that the college could help and I’m grateful for the expertise of the staff and students here in bringing the past to life.

“The photo is magnificent. I’ll be sending a copy to the rest of my family who will be thrilled.”

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Born in Argentina, to British parents, Clifford attended Harrow before returning to Argentina with his family and, later, he completed his air training in Canada.

He returned to the UK in 1940 to serve at various airbases and eventually became a Squadron Leader as part of Bomber Command.

Photography tutor, Kris Brown, and level 3 photography learner, Emily Bevens, printed the negative on black and white photography paper and developed it with chemicals.

Kris Brown added: “It’s great that we were able to help Chris revive a part of his family history.

“It just goes to show how important traditional techniques are and how relevant they continue to be in teaching photography in an increasingly digital age.”