THE SON of a Darlington man who served in the Second World War will pay tribute to his father after discovering 'mountains' of photographs which meticulously documented his time as a soldier.

Cyril Foggin was a joiner and cabinet maker who, at one point, did the woodwork at Newbus Grange near Neasham Road, Darlington.

When the Second World War broke out, he left the UK to serve as a sapper and a medic where his role involved building and repairing roads and bridges.

It is thought he was involved in building the pontoon bridges at D-Day and spent several years posted to India and Japan.

Almost 20 years after his death in 1998, Cyril's son, Tony Foggin, stumbled across photographs, letters and documents detailing Cyril's experience.

Mr Foggin, aged 68, said: “I was cleaning out our dining room and they were in a drawer. I had never seen them before. I was absolutely, totally gobsmacked, there’s mountains of them.”

Each photograph was sent home to Cyril's wife in Darlington and included snapshots of himself, his troops, locals and the landscape.

He captioned every picture with short, handwritten letters describing what he saw.

One photograph, dated January 20 1946, pictured locals in India washing their clothes. It said: “A typical scene of Indian laundry (Dhobi). They don’t scrub them – they just bash them clean on stones!! Cyril”

The photographs were paired with a booklet commemorating Cyril’s service as part of a group of British and Indian soldiers, officially named 'BRINDJAP', who were posted to Okayama, Japan, after the war.

In its introduction, the booklet said: “The faces you will find in this booklet are those of officers who reached their ranks in leadership through years of battle, administrative and specialist experience.”

It added: “In peace years some were regular soldiers, but some were farmers, clerks, mechanics, office workers, artists, tradesmen, businessmen, factory hands: ordinary people.

“They belong to many different races and religions, and they talk many different languages. But in war they were welded together.”

Mr Foggin has decided to honour his father’s memory by creating an album with each caption recreated next to its photograph.

He said: “It’s absolutely fascinating. He sent these home to his wife, to my mum. They’re like little love letters but with history.

“He started to write an autobiography about the things that happened, like when they were going across the jungle in India and they had to hold their guns up in the air so they didn’t get wet, and he said it was hard work.

"It was all about the war, he must have seen some horrendous things and he never talked about it at all.

“That's the thing, there was no back up or support for these people when they came home and everything that they did they tried to block out by not talking about it.

“I’m just glad I found these because it gives me an insight into my dad.”