Interesting photos

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by cpunk, Feb 7, 2007.

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  1. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    My mother died last year and in the last few weeks, my siblings and I have been clearing the family house for sale. Amongst the odd bits and pieces we turned up were a couple of photo albums which my father had assembled of old family pictures including a few of my Grandfather Walter during his military service as a volunteer in WW1.

    My Grandfather was born in Newbridge on Wye in 1886 as the seventh son of an innkeeper and small scale farmer. He went to London in the early 1900s to 'seek his fortune' and got a job as a sales assistant at John Lewis's department store on Oxford Street, where he met my Grandmother (whose father owned London's first vegetarian restaurant which was nearby). In 1914 he volunteered for the QVR (which was the central and east London TA infantry battalion) and got to France around the back-end of 1915. He was promoted quite quickly, making it to platoon sergeant in time for the Somme and was commissioned in the field, into the 7th [I think] (City of London) Fusiliers early in 1917. He commanded an infantry platoon for a while, but by mid-1918 was commanding a platoon in his divisional trench mortar company. In October 1918, he was awarded the MC for taking one of his mortars out of cover and personally knocking out a series of German machine gun positions which were holding up the British advance.

    After the Armistice, he spent some time in Belgium but wasn't tempted by the military life. He took his gratuity, married my Grandmother, and bought a draper's shop in Builth Wells which he ran until he retired in the late 1940s. Oddly enough, although he was a largely self-educated draper, both of his sons were PhD-level scientists: my uncle was 'Head of Radiation' at AWRE Aldermaston; my father was College Tutor and Senior Warden at Imperial College London.

    Attached Files:

  2. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    A couple more photos: with his div HQ in 1918 (note attached American officer) and with his brother (also an MC recipient) and the Belgian family he was billeted on in 1919. He appears to have aged somewhat in this picture!

    Attached Files:

  3. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

  4. Nice photos.

    Walter is a good-looking chap; what happened to the genes by the time they got to you? Father spend too much time visiting bro at Aldermaston....?
  5. I say! Were your family originally 'trade'?
  6. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Trade would be a polite description: I make no claims to be descended from anything other than a long line of Welsh sheepshaggers.
  7. I can see the family resemblance, though your grandfather appears to have kept his figure.
  8. Are you sure? Is it the bright eyes, shy 'come hither' look or white woolly coat that gives it away?

    In all seriousness though, cracking photos.
  9. If your relative was an officer in the Seventh Battalion of the London Regiment in early 1917, then he might have known the grandfather of a chap who sent me some poems that his grandfather wrote in his notebook. He was a private soldier in the 1/7th Londons and recorded in some verse the capture of Bullecourt by the Londons in May 1917.

    Send me an email address and I might be able to put you in touch with another descendent of the Shiny 7th.