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Remembered Today:

Where was this photo taken? any suggestions


amanda.oconnor1
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Can anyone help me This photo was in my granddads wallet. I know he was shot and wounded during the great war but I do not know where or when. All I know is the photo was taken by Lovell Smith Richmond.

He carried the photo with him until his dying day in 1972

As a nurse I love the photo and would love to share it with others but do not now how

Mandy

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There seem to have been three military hospitals in Richmond, two for British Army soldiers and one for soldiers of the South African forces.

1. Richmond Military Hospital - Grove Road, Richmond TW10 6LF.

2. Richmond Red Cross Hospital - Old Friars, The Green, Richmond TW9 1NH.

3. South African Military Hospital - Richmond Park, Richmond TW10 6JQ.

Given the limited number of staff shown and the prominent red crosses on the VAD uniform, it seems more likely that your photo shows the middle of the three, which was a smaller establishment (100 beds from late 1915), although that is pure conjecture.

There is an excellent website with a list of hospitals and each entry is a clickable link to the individual details of the hospital concerned, here: http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/briefhistoryauxhosps.html

Forum Member, Sue Light, is an expert in this area and might be able to make a more positive identification.

There are some details here too: http://richmondww1.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/6-november-1914/

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I think it's possible to date this photo to sometime between 1917 and 1919. The nurse sitting front row 2nd from L has 3 stripes on her R sleeve which I believe were introduced in 1917 and denote a single years 'efficient' service (or something similar). She's a VAD, and it looks like the rest are, too. A couple don't have red crosses on their uniform which may denote that they were Probationers (i.e. not officially trained nurses).

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I think the fact that they appear to be Red Cross VAD's would support Frogsmile's suggestion that they are the staff of the Red Cross hospital rather than the military hospital.

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Because of the three stripes mentioned above, the photo had to have been taken after June 1918. The women in the front row without the red crosses but with 'army style' hats are almost certainly trained nurses, and the woman in the centre of the front row with a darker dress (maroon/red) probably the Commandant.

For the period this was taken, the uniforms are surprisingly 'uniform' and to me it suggests that these women were very much part of one detachment, rather perfectly ordered by the Commandant. Because of that my guess would definitely be Richmond Red Cross Hospital at Old Friars and Abbotsdene on The Green. I feel the much larger military hospital would have more randomness to a group such as this, and also a military nurse or two on view.

Sue

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Am I seeing the same nurse in this image of Red Cross Hospital, Richmond, Surrey??? 2nd from right, no Red Cross and dark sleeves??

Compared to amanda's image 4th from left, front row no red cross but with medal.

Perhaps, just being hopeful

TEW

Edit, and another Lovell Smith image of Richmond Red Cross Hosp on BRC site

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I found THIS page on a web-site devoted to 'lost' hospitals in London. It explains a little about the hopital including some photos of the building as it is now. I suspect that your photo was taken at the back of the building. Seems that initially the staff consisted of a matron, 2 nurses and 25 VAD's of Surrey/4 VAD, Richmond Division,and this explanded to about 45 staff by the end of the war. Looks like about 33 of them are presnt in your picture. The hospital closed in April 1919, so that narrows the date further. Seems that the King and Queen visited on 14 Feb 1918, maybe the image has something to do with the visit? It might explain the 'uniformity' that Sue described in her earlier post? Perhaps your grandfather was there at the time?

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Thank you all for your help.

I have tried to find anything out about my granddad and his war for many years . I have learn so much today

Sue as a nurse myself it is good to know someone has such knowledge in nursing history thanks you for your experience.

Frogsmile thanks for your info on the hospital it has been good to look up the history of the hospital

Tew yes I do think the nurse is the same person

I do think this is the right place

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I doff my cyber cap to those experts who in the space of about 24 hours came up with an identification that seems a perfect fit.

I just looked at it and thought " How on earth can that be identified from those little snippets?" - but you did!

Well done!

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The fact he carried this photo with him to his dying day would indicate that these women must've played a very big part in his recovery. Maybe some helped save his life or at the least made his time there as comfortable as possible.

My sister is a nurse & one of her first patients when she was a new nurse 20 yrs ago still sends her cards at Christmas, Easter & her Birthday. And yes his wife asked her for a photo in her uniform to keep forever. She saved his life literally by herself one night & they have never forgotten her. He is hale & hearty & over 70 now & honors her every day.

It's too bad you don't know the full story of your GF's time there but his gratitude to these fine dedicated ladies is evident. I'm glad he survived his wounds to have a life & family.

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Loader thank you for your loverly thoughts.

I am a nurse myself and I often wonder how much that photo influenced my decision. My granddad died when I was 10 years old but I remember being enthralled at looking at the photos in 'Granddads wallet" and asking him to show us his war wounds.

I have said for many years I wanted to discover his war history. Now I have found this wonderful website I am asking people who know how to trace him.

I am very grateful to all the help I am receiving

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I just looked at it and thought " How on earth can that be identified from those little snippets?" - but you did!

A good example of the importance of photographer's stamps - without that it would have been impossible

Sue

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It looks very much like it was taken here. You can see the double drain pipe on the ground floor, just behind the sun dial (in the foreground). On the original you can see the hint of a wall coming out on the right. The foliage is obstructing the other windows, however it looks worthy of consideration. I had a similar experience looking for the location of one of my grandfather's group photos in Cambridge. It looked right but the number of window frames behind the men was wrong. I then found out that the building was extended and replicated identically. Without that knowledge I'd never have known.

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Hi I have a nurses album belonging to nurse Makey Broad and I can confirm it was the Red Cross Hospital in Richmond.

Indeed this nurse asked the King and Queen to sign her album which they did !

I am very lucky because she annotated her postcards so I can name several of the nuses in the photo from one of her postcards of 1916 which seems to confirm the Commmandant/Matron was the same person if the image shown is of the1918/9 period. As she also annotated soldiers names I may have a photo of Amandas Grandfather.It is indeed a small world Mike

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Wow how exciting. I have just read a PM telling me granddad was wounded around 20th August 1918 ( she has a database of injured soldiers) This fits in with this photo.

I then check in with this post and receive the loverly photo from Will, yes I agree this is the place today.

Then Mikethejockey has totally made me speechless. Have you digitalised any of these photos?

My granddad left his wallet with photos of his family in it but no photos of him in uniform

Thank you all again

This has been an emotional journey in trying to trace my granddads war

Mandy

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Mikethe jockey When you get a chance could you send me a list of the names. I would like to give these ladies the acknowledgement they deserve

Loader sums my thoughts up nicely

The fact he carried this photo with him to his dying day would indicate that these women must've played a very big part in his recovery. Maybe some helped save his life or at the least made his time there as comfortable as possible.

My sister is a nurse & one of her first patients when she was a new nurse 20 yrs ago still sends her cards at Christmas, Easter & her Birthday. And yes his wife asked her for a photo in her uniform to keep forever. She saved his life literally by herself one night & they have never forgotten her. He is hale & hearty & over 70 now & honors her every day.

It's too bad you don't know the full story of your GF's time there but his gratitude to these fine dedicated ladies is evident. I'm glad he survived his wounds to have a life & family.

Mandy

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Mandy,

I put a link on your Rootschat thread to this one the other night - just so they could keep tabs on progress :thumbsup:

Phil

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Edith Makey Broad has a Red Cross Record. Her Hospital service seems to only be indicated by 'Surrey 14'.

I had wondered as per Loader the significance of him keeping the photo so close and for so long. I had thought that had one of the nurses been especially significant he would probably have pointed her out to people over the years, so much so that her image may have suffered some damage. I downloaded the image and had a good look but could see no such signs.

One nurse, 2nd row from back, 2nd from right may have a 'J' written on her, it's a bit of a wobbly J though. Otherwise the 2 nurses extreme right, 2nd row back are a bit smudged - maybe from a thumbprint when held so many times?

I did initially wonder if maybe your grandmother was one of the nurses but obviously you'd know that and recognise her.

TEW

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Hi Tew

I too had wondered the same thing but nothing was ever said.

Granddad did have a sweetheart when he entered the war but in my mums words

He was upset she had sent parcels to his brother and said if you like him then be with him. They did marry post war.

I wonder if the real reason was he had someone else in his heart at that time.

My grandmother was someone from Liverpool who he met post war and married in 1923

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Hi Mandy

Oh dear I have started something to date I have now found the same postcard in Nurse Broads album,it was taken on armistice day!

Unfortunately this is one she did not annotate but have others from which I can identify most of the nurses.Will do that and research others please confirm which of your Grandfathers had the image

Mike

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Thank you Mike

Granddads name was George Hennessey

I am just glad to know where and when the photo was taken.

So thank you for your efforts

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Mandy,

I put a link on your Rootschat thread to this one the other night - just so they could keep tabs on progress :thumbsup:

Phil

Thanks Phil

I had not heard of this forum until recently.

it is good for others who don't know where to go for help

Mandy

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Hi Amanda

I have two postcards in the album showing all patients in November 1918 so I believe your grandfather would be on these but image too big to load up so trying to readjust.Still comparing nurses for names so anybody else can help further.

Mike

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Hi Mike,

Thanks to the response

The photos you have are priceless,you must be very proud of them. How did you come to acquire them if you don't mind me asking.

Mandy

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Hi Amanda

These 2 images were in Nurse Broads album with many others of interest although most ar eof an earlier time than when your grandfather was in the hospital

Mike

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