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Bedfordshire WW1


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I have been collecting images from WW1 for many years, I have a particular interested in views of my home town and county.
Naturally many feature the Scottish Division that dominated the area in the early days of the war.

I invite comments.
Cheers

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Thanks for those photos. The Battalion I'm researching (5th Gordons) was in Bedford from August 1914 to May 1915, so I'm always interested in anything to do with that town. You asked for comments about the photos. I was interested in the mixture of uniforms of the men marching - civvies, trousers and kilts, so, taken early in the war I suppose. Do you have a date for it? Will you eventually add captions? Hope so.

I look forward to seeing others.

Carolyn

Melbourne

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi - really great pictures.

I posted a fairly long reply to the original thread about these pictures before I found out they were here (it is under the units header in the thread about a funeral in Bedford). Apologies that reply would probably be better here.

I am very interested in the 4th Gordons with whom my great grandfather (Cpl James Stephen McDonald 1529) served (DOW 1919 he is buried in Bedford Cemetry, memorialised in All Saints Church Queens Park) in that post I indicated the source of some other photos of Bedford and the Gordons stay there.

Chris

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I just had a bit of a closer look at the group picture, I am in no way an expert but a couple of observations

The tunics appear to be of varying patterns (with and without pocket pleats) I would guess the omission of pleats would be an austerity measure? Two different styles of headgear with and without diceing.

A couple of individuals appear to be wearing what I think are referred to as "On Imperial Service" pins on their right breast pocket - which I believe would indicate they are Territorials who had volunteered (as they did almost to a man of course) and on one individual (behind the child with the blurred face on the right) the shape of the shoulder title is visible and appears to have 3 layers (as in "T - 4 - Gordon") :)

and now the long shot - do you see this face anywhere?

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Do you have any late war photos from the Bedfordshire hospitals?

Steve.

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Also a 'somewhere in Bedford' view, that I am hoping someone will recognise.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k116/ras...nning/jock2.jpg

I can't help with the location although I have sent it on to my dad who grew up in Bedford and knows it well so perhaps he can help... What is most interesting to me about this is the arms uniformsand equipment, almost all of the other pictures I have seen of the Highlanders in Bedford have them wearing a mixture of the "correct" cutaway tunics and regulation (non highland regiment tunics with square fronts) all of these men have cutaways. Also, unlike all of the other pictures I have seen, appear to be wearing the 1903 Pattern Bandoleer equipment with additional belt pouches rather than the 1908 webbing. It is also a little difficult to see for certain but it looks to me as thought they are armed with (Long) Magazine Lee-Enfields rather than SMLEs. If I am correct, it would seem to date this picture as very early in their stay in Bedford probably in late August or Early Sept 1914. I believe the first Gordons arrived in Bedford on August 16th.

Again - wonderful pictures and thanks for posting them.

Chris

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Steve.

I have some pictures of patients and staff at Howbury Hall (Renhold) VAD Hospital, that is all I am afraid.

Chris.

I suspect Castle Road, but have never confirmed the location, like your Father I grew up in Bedford and to this day the Victorian suburbs are all very similar, making it quite difficult to identify locations. Many of my pictures show Long Lee Enfields, as most Scottish units were only in Bedford during the early months of the war.

Cheers

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Once again, many thanks for the photos. (By the way, what do I call you? Not sure if "Raster" is your name or a "nom de forum")

I was wondering if at some stage I could include a couple of the pictures on my web site (about 5th Gordons) - especially the one of the un-named soldier. Who knows, someone may claim him! With full acknowledgement given to you of course.

Which university is your son attending? I work at Monash Uni - a fitting place for someone interested in WWI to work, I think.

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Hi Carolyn.

My name is John Wainwright, my son William is in his first year at Monash (small world). As you say a fitting place to work!

You are welcome to use what you like, can you let us have a link to your site?

Cheers

John

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Tell him his Dad says "get a job" :angry:

The next one is captioned A&S H Russell Park Bedford.

[Broken link removed]

 

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John,

I am fairly certain I have seen this image captioned "Gordons Parade in Allen Park" - I recall becuase I bid what I thought was a ridiculous amount and was still outbid on Ebay some months ago :( . It was a commercially produced card.

Carolyn, your site is really excellent - I enjoyed browsing it this afternoon, someday I would like to have something similar for the 4th BN but I am a long way from it!

I have a number of individual WWI portraits/photocards of Gordons but none have any provenance so I cannot ID battalion or even location (save by photographer on some) but if you would like to see them drop me an email and I will scan them in for you.

Still waiting on feedback on Bedford location from the previous picture from relatives!

Chris

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Hi Chris.

This is definately Russell Park as it remains virtually unchanged today (opposite The Embankment). My Copy is on a cabinet card and has a Christmas message printed on it.

Here are 3 more.

[Broken links removed]

 

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DOH! My mistake (I was looking at some other things at the time) my question was meant to be not the location - I am in fact familiar with the park because my grandparents lived out along Cardington Rd and we would walk over the fields (just up from Tesco and that weird pyramid) and down the river to the embakment - but the regiment.

Wonderful selection of pictures again....my printer is going to be busy - and my eyes tired! Thanks again.

Chris

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John

Thanks for wonderful photos from a town I used to know quite well. Reminds me that I enjoyed the descriptions of the Jocks in the town from Colonel Nicholson's book 'Behind the Lines'.

Charles

(ex B (Bedfordshire) Coy 6 R Anglian)

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Glad you like them Charles, were you based at Kempston?

Here is one of the 5th (I think) Seaforths leaving for active service, marching down Bedford High St, Passing the Cross Keys, a pub I still drink in when back in Bedford.

13.15, Saturday May 1st 1915.

They are wearing the non regulation hat that has been the subject of some discussion in the past.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k116/rasterscanning/1c.jpg

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That is a fantastic picture!

I know EXACTLY where that is....and I am trying to figure out what the photographers vantage point was.

Again Long Lees! (and no signs of O8 webbing - but they don't appear to be wearing any webbing at all - not even waistbeltsjust large-packs)

I have not seen pictures of the hat before either - if I search the forum will I find the debate to which you refer?

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This is fascinating - if inconclusive, for me at least none of the images in the earlier thread are visible, I assume this is a result of server space limits.

I really think a digital archive of these images would be priceless as a reference. I cannot believe this is an original thought.... does such a thing exist?? If not - should it?

Thank you once again for posting your pictures they are absolutely fantastic.

Chris

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Glad you like them Charles, were you based at Kempston?

Here is one of the 5th (I think) Seaforths leaving for active service, marching down Bedford High St, Passing the Cross Keys, a pub I still drink in when back in Bedford.

That is correct, in the modern drill hall by the Keep. I like the Cross Keys photo - I have seen it or one very similar before and got a nice then and now comparison

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One you may recognise Charles

Opening of the Bedfordshire Rgt War Memorial opposite The Keep.

 

[Broken link removed]

 

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Excellent photo - took part in several Remembrance Sunday parades there in the early 90s.

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Hi John,

I just want to thank you again for the great photos. I've added the postcard-type one "Were doing our duty" to my website in the brief section I have about Bedford:

http://gordonhighlanders.carolynmorrisey.com/page5.htm

I've just read Nicholson's Behind the lines, so will add a bit more information when I have time.

Do you have any information about the measles outbreak of 1914/15? I've read a bit about it in a couple of other books - mainly statistics. I wondered if you knew of any local accounts.

Once again, that's for the photos - a wonderful resource.

Carolyn

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McConachies "Student Soldiers" has a couple of pages and quotes from the local papers about the measels etc outbreaks.

Chris

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