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Remembered Today:

Photos of units

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Hi all,

I was wondering if photographs of soldiers or the battalion, were taken as standard when they joined up or when they arrived in France. Or were the taking of photographs the responsibility of the individual soldier.

I only ask because i have no photo's of my relatives and would like to have some.

The Bn that they were in are listed in my signature at the bottom of this page. Would anyone know if there is anybody who collects or has a collection of photo's from the great war?.



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There are several types of soldier photos - other forum members may like to add to this...

1. A studio photographer would turn up at an annual camp, the barracks, training area (happened pre-war and during war) and take group shots and single soldier shots. They often have numbers to identify the picture, so, I assume, the soldier could place his order for a picture(s).

2. Individual soldiers or small groups would have pictures taken with their pals at a local studio. This happened at home and on active service.

3. Official photographs taken for the regiment/battalion. Usually the officers or NCOs, sometimes whole companies, platoons.

4. War correspondent type pictures, mainly general scenes, that appeared in the national press etc.

It might be worth asking if the IWM photo archive has any pictures of the battalions you want. It's a long shot, but you never know. You are quite right that there may be someone out there who collects to a certain regiment/battalion that you want.

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Do the regimental museums hold any battalion photos? My Great Grandfather Lewis John Ley enlisted in September 1914 and disembarked in France 1st May 1915 just in time for 2nd Ypres. He was discharged due to sickness in July 1916. He was in 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.

I have read that Imperial War Museum has a large photo collection.

Any thoughts on how best to proceed?

Many thanks,

Kevin Ley

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Hi Kevin,

I have spoken to IWM and they dont hold many photos at all. But it would be worth you emailing them to see if they have any photos for your specific query.

I am still trying to contact a person who has a lot of ww1 photo, to see if there is any hope of what we want.

Iwill let you know.

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