Today's episode of the BBC’s popular Repair Shop sees the restoration of an item that is the only physical link a Herefordshire man has with the father who died when he was just three years old.

Francis Suttill’s father, Major Francis Suttill, DSO, was parachuted into France in October 1942, recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to lead a group who were to receive drops of parachuted arms and sabotage equipment and train local resistance fighters in their use.

“His mother was French and his ability to speak French was spotted in 1942,” said Mr Suttill, aged 80, of Bishopswood Leigh, near Ross-on-Wye.

“He was trained and parachuted into occupied France, where he organised drops to teams all over northern France,”

“I met a survivor of one of these teams in the Loire valley when I was researching my father’s activities in 2007, and visited the area to see if I could find the field where the drops had taken place.

"I was just about to give up when I saw a farmer picking fruit.

"When I managed to explain to him what I was looking for, he almost embraced me with delight.

"He was Jacques Bordier and, aged 19, he had helped his father with the drops on their farm.

"He very proudly showed me three cells from one of the containers which he had managed to keep concealed – despite strict orders to the contrary!

"It was obviously dangerous to keep such items but as a farmer he could not resist a good bucket.

"Six years later, at a reunion, Jacques presented me with one of the cells, which my family call ‘the rusty bucket’.

"Unfortunately, my father was caught and killed. This cell is the only tangible link that I have to his time in France.

"Ever since I was given the bucket, I had thought about how to conserve it and, when I mentioned this to a friend whose grandmother had been one of my father’s couriers in France, she told me all about the Repair Shop, so I sent them a video and they contacted me almost by return."

Today's Repair Shop on BBC1 at 4.30pm documents the restoration of this rare memento, one of very few surviving examples of the thousands that were produced.