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Street ID:

My dad, after a bit of sleuthing in Bedford thinks he has positively identified the street in the unidentified picture (above with the soldiers parading) I am waiting for an email on the exact location / house numbers but he says it is DENMARK STREET (off Russell Park which would make sense given the other pictures there) and that the street is practically the same today. I am awaiting an email with comparison photos. There is a shop (just visible midway down the street without the gable end) which (according to his research in Bedford Libarary) was a fishmonger's is now a fish and chip shop!

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Excellent photos John.

I think jock2.jpg could well be Castle Road - there looks to be a shop down the road, which could be 23, still a shop, with the passageway leading down to the Embankment next to it. Numbers 25 upwards would run towards the left of the photo. 18 Albany Road (pre-Panacea) protrudes in the distance. I'll try and take a photo and confirm either way. [i've just seen 4 G's response which could blow this theory out of the water]

Isn't a3a.jpg in Bedford Park with the pavilion in the near distance and Foster Hill Road running behind ?

best wishes

David

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Hi Carolyn.

I read your Bedford account, very interesting. The soldiers diary linked in number 23 of this thread mentions indirectly deaths from measles but I have no other information I am afraid. I am certain the local paper will have plenty, as confirmed by Chris. Next time I am in Bedford I will look.

Chris / David I appreciate your efforts (and your Dad's Chris).

I would be interested to see the evidence either way if possible.

Cheers

John

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David

a3a.jpg is I think taken on the high school playing field although the pavilions look similar.

Cheers

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Me too! Apparently attaching photos is proving more of a challenge than expected! :blink: I will ring this weekend and see if we can't talk though the process!

Chris

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Carolyn, This is from the Campbeltown Courier of January 23, 1915 which quotes from The Bedford Times and Independent -

"Highland Troops at Bedford - the Epidemic of Measles - Deaths among Scottish Territorials

The health of the Scottish troops who have been quartered in the English town of Bedford and its vicinity since the middle of last August has within recent months given rise to the wildest rumours, creating alarm not only in the place itself, but no doubt also in the far scattered districts of the Scottish Highlands from which the men have been drawn. Argyllshire people have been peculiarly interested in this matter, as the bulk of the men from the county who have joined the fighting services of the country are stationed at Bedford, viz., the 8th (the Argyllshire) Batt. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and the Argyll & Bute Batteries of the 4th Highland (Mountain) Brigade, R.G.A.

In last week's issue of the 'Bedfordshire Times and Independent' the measles epidemic among the troops was dealt with at considerable length, and as the statements made and the statistics given are of uncommon interest and importance to many of our readers, we take the liberty of reproducing the article from our English contemporary.

OFFICIAL FIGURES

So many rumours have been prevalent of late, many of them grossly exaggerated, as to the number of deaths of Scottish Territorials, that it seems desirable to give the actual figures. This we ('The Bedfordshire Times') are enabled to do, having before us, by the courtesy of Major Keble, D.A.D.M.S., H.D. (T.F.), the vital statistics relating to the Highland Division T.F., in Bedford from August 17, 1914 to January 9, 1915.

The deaths during that period from acute infectious diseases number 33, viz.-

From Scarlet Fever 3

From Diphtheria 3

From Measles 27

In addition, there have been 3 fatal cases of pneumonia, 1 of uraemia, and 2 of violence,

making the total number of deaths from all causes up to January 9, 1915, 39. These figures

should at once and definitely put a stop to all the talk of 'hundreds of deaths.' The average

number of troops quartered in and around Bedford during the past five months has been about

17,500, and the total number of deaths works out at the low rate of 2.22 per 1,000.

The largest number of deaths, it will be seen, is due to measles, and it may be said at once that

this danger was foreseen. The real difficulty as to measles, and some other infectious diseases,

arises in the case of men like the Camerons, who come from the Western Highlands and Isles,

where such diseases are unknown. They have no such resisting power as is built up in town-

bred populations which for generations have been subject to the disease. When they get

measles it goes very hard with them, and the disease is utterly unlike that which we know in

the case of our children. This is unavoidable, according to the official military medical

authorities. All that can be done is done. The men who have been in contact with measles and

are susceptible are removed to the Huts at Howbury. Then, if they are attacked, they are

removed to the Measles Hospitals at Goldington Road and Ampthill Road. The official

medical view is that the number of deaths, deeply regrettable as it is, is not large under the

circumstances; and all the evidence goes to show they are right. The statistics, brought up to

January 9th, 1915, show that the first case of measles occurred on October 13 and from this

till January 9 there were 416 cases - 8 in October, 72 in November, and 336 in December and

the early days of January. The cases and deaths were thus distributed:

Unit / Cases / Deaths

4th Camerons / 141 / 14

8th Argylls / 101 / 4

4th Brigade R.G.A. / 51 / 4

6th Gordons / 33 / 3

5th Seaforths / 30 / 1

4th Seaforths / 26 / 1

6th Seaforths / 19 / 0

4th, 5th, & 7th Gordons/ 12 / 0

Field Ambulance and Lovat's Scouts/

416 / 27"

This seems to be a pretty good snapshot of the epidemic, the resulting panic and the official response.

Mike Morrison

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Hello to everyone who has contributed so far. I feel a bit like a gatecrasher!hughmccarthur_bpb_article.doc Please follow the link to my posting elsewhere in the Forum regarding Signaller Hugh McArthur of the A&SH:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...565&hl=hugh

I am a Bedford boy (born and raised) although I live just outside town now in one of the small villages. For a long, long time I have been fascinated by the story of the Highlander's "invasion" in the early years of the Great War. I also attach an article that I wrote for the Bedford Pipe Band newsletter a couple of years ago. Time precludes me adding more at this stage, but I will return!

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Finally the a comparison picture (sort of)

Best dad could manage so far is is a very low res scan but I think it does demonstrate the location. Major features: order of frontages, mouldings on gable fronts, shape of doors/porches and relative position of shop. (none of these are too clear on the scan but apparently on the original it is and two or three residents who enquired as to what dad was doing concurred that it was indeed the place)

Tried to resize for and crop comparison - different lense angle obviously but not too bad

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Is this the same neighborhood?

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Hello CSSMo - no I don't think that it is precisely the same neighbourhood BUT it might be possible to identify this too - any chance that you could send me a larger version of the file.

Off the cuff it looks like one of the slightly more upscale areas (the houses are much bigger and detatched not terraced) perhaps somewhere like Landsdowne Road or Deparys Avenue? - maybe even Bromham Road (I am writing this from memory from the US having not been to this area for 3 years!) I can set my dad to look for this too! Or perhaps "piper" or John have an idea? I will look through some of the identified pictures in a couple of books I have to see - my bet is this one will be easier to find as the houses are big and fairly distinctive.

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This seems to be a pretty good snapshot of the epidemic, the resulting panic and the official response.

Mike Morrison

Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to send such a lengthy and informative reply. I certainly appreciate it.

Regards

Carolyn

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You're quite welcome, Carolyn. As the Highland Division had not yet deployed, it must have been frustrating to lose men to disease before they had faced the enemy. Of course, they made up for lost time when they did deploy.

Mike Morrison

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4th Gordons -

email sent. Happy to share. Looking at the number on that postcard, there must have been tons of them.

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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 think this may be Howbury Street or one of those next door. Many of the Scots were billeted in the Russell Park area.

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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 think this may be Howbury Street or one of those next door. Many of the Scots were billeted in the Russell Park area.

Just seen a further posting stating Denmark Street which is next door and with the detail provided would seem to be the correct street. As stated it hasn't changed a lot.

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Hi John,

I hope you're keeping well.

I can confirm that Jock2.jpg is Denmark Street. I popped down there this morning and took the attached comparison photo. The blue house in today's photo is the first full frontage on the left handside of the WW1 image. The shop a few doors down is now the Denmark Street fish and chip shop (and very good they are too!) ... I don't know what it sold during the time the Highlanders were in town.

Although Jock4.jpg has a De Parys look about it, I have a sneaking suspicion that it could be Rothsay Road towards the junction with the Embankment. I didn't have time to get a photo today, but the other problem at the moment is the amount of foliage still on the large trees.

It is my intention to get as many comparison shots of the sites pictured in the WW1 images to show how things look c.92 years on. However, I think it best to wait a couple of weeks until autumn is properly underway and the leaves are off the trees.

I remember seeing a couple of photos in one of Richard Wildman's books of the pipes and drums of one of the Highland units marching up St. Cuthbert's Street, passed 'The Ship' and O'Dell's the cobblers. Also another photo of the kilties pre, or post parade in what is now known as Harpur Square (outside the Library and what was Bedford Modern School) ... do you have these images in your collection? Thinking about it, there's another photo somewhere of Highlanders outside their billets in De Parys, in "undress" performing, or having just performed a sword dance.

I don't know how often you pass through Bedford on your travels, but next time you are here, if you have the time and inclination perhaps we could meet up and "walk the course" laid down by the images you've kindly shared with everyone?

All the best, for now,

Richard

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Hi 4th Gordons

Can you send me the image and I'll see if I can identify the location?

All the best

Richard

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Wilco!

Dad went up to the cemetry today and cleaned up James' grave a little.

I spoke to him on the phone and sent him the picture too - the race is on! (although he is down the 406 in Yardley Hastings so you have positional advantage :)

He mentioned that there is a pub in the vicinity called "The Gordon Arms" he said he would check to see if he could discover when it was so named - assumption being post 1915...

picture to follow via email

Chris

PS I didn't see your pic attached

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Here is Richards pic of Denmark Street.

and, although the angle is a little bit different - a merger.....to compare to the original!

Chris

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it must have been frustrating to lose men to disease before they had faced the enemy. Of course, they made up for lost time when they did deploy.

Mike Morrison

Very sad indeed. I have details of one poor laddie from the 5th Gordons who died before even leaving Peterhead. He died in early September of a chill while on guard duty. (Wonder how he would have coped with life in the trenches?) The townsfolk and military gave him a bang-up funeral, complete with honour guard, pipes and bugles. Soldiers' deaths were a novelty to the town then. But not for long.

Carolyn

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Richard & Chris

Thanks for your continued work on this, it is greatly appreciated, I thought the merged picture worked well and has an almost ghostly feel to it.

I would greatly appreciate seeing the pictures when you have them Richard and would enjoy meeting up at Christmas when I will be visiting Bedford.

I do not have copies of the pictures in Richard Wildman's books, but do have copies of the books. However he did use one of my pictures, taken in The Grove, in one of them.

The Gordon Arms, in Castle Rd certainly was a pub in the war, I saw a fantastic picture of highland troops outside it having a drink, they were hanging out of the windows and generaly having a good time. To my eternal shame, I passed up the chance to buy it, as I thought at the time it was over priced.

Not sure if it was called the Gordon Arms then though.

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Hi John,

I wonder if the Gordon Arms was named in honour of General Gordon (of Khartoum fame). Gordon was killed in 1885 and I would have thought that much of the development around Castle Road (inc. the pub) would have taken place at much the same time? Just a supposition!

I think Chris might be working his magic on another merged photo that I've sent him a comparison of ... this shows mounted Highland troops (artillery) on Bromham Road passing by the end of Beverley Crescent, heading towards Biddenham.

All the best, for now

Richard

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Well - I dunno about magic but....what happens on a wet Sunday in Illinois

Thanks to Richard for finding the exact location!

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Went down to Castle Rd and Denmark St and satisfied myself that the photo was indeed of Denmark St from 26 upwards - fish bar would be 34 ? Noticed the railings had gone from all properties - WW2 effort ?

Had a look in the AVL for the area. Only 1 of the houses in the photo is mentioned - 26 occupied by Fred Jones of the East Anglian REs.

Gordon Arms is number 118 Castle Rd but this is not shown as a pub in AVL but that doesn't mean it wasn't.

Occupied in 1918 by Archibald and Robert Johnson, also both REs, but regulars.

A check of Kellys 1914 would confirm. I'll see what I can do.

David

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I didn't get all of them in because of scale etc but here is a map giving what I think is the rough location of some of the identified pictures so far (I couldn't remember which way round Bunyan / Howards stautes were!). I also wasn't certain of the Loyal North Lancs Funeral procession location so I left that out. Chris

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