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Remembered Today:

Litchfield Garrison Old Soldiers


CarylW
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Thought I'd share this since all the old soldiers and Matron Minns were named in the group photo
Found it in a Snapper 1926, but may have been taken earlier. Obviously post war, as all are wearing medals, even Matron Minns has a medal (although it might not be clear in the scan) . Some of them have good conduct stripes and the years of service are in brackets after names. Have no idea why they are all gathered for a group photo. There wasn't an accompanying article Can anyone shed any light?

Old%20Soldiers.jpg

Caryl

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  • 6 years later...

I'm just bumping this old thread up as I'm thinking of including the above photograph in a blog

I've noticed in the thread below that Sue Light identified Matron Minns (pictured above) as matron of No 2 General hospital Le Havre

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=151935&hl=%2Bmatron+%2Bminns#entry1462234

Can anyone shed any light, or speculate as to the purpose of the group photo?

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Caryl

I've got the service file of Ethel Minns here and have had a go at wading through all 164 pages. Her father was a captain in the merchant service, and although she went to school in King's Lynn, almost all the addresses in her file have some connection to your area (though I realise don't relate to the photo). Over a period of time she gives many addresses, but frequently Frodsham, Cheshire, Waterloo, Lancashire, and particularly Blundellsands. She trained as a nurse at Liverpool Royal Infirmary. Eventually I found an entry in her file that shows she was posted to be Matron of the Military Hospital, Lichfield, in February 1923. She couldn't have been there for more than a year or two, as went to one or two other places before she retired in 1928. But that's obviously her connection to Lichfield. Her 'medal,' if it's on the right lapel of her cape, is her service badge. She may have medal ribbons on the left hand side.

Sue

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Nice photograph.

One question - why is Private Broughy (2nd left front row) holding a tunic and hat. It seems to be a strange thing to do in a group photo.

Sepoy

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Thanks Sue. That explains her connection to Lichfield. Interesting that Matron Minns had addresses in the Cheshire and Merseyside area. In the photo in the Snapper I can just about see a medal ribbon on the upper left hand side of her cape.

Sepoy, the photo isn't very clear in the journal, sort of poor quality newspaper standard but it is bigger than the one I posted above so I can just see that there is a little boy wearing a hat and large (for him) tunic with his head bent forward. Not so easy to see in the one above.

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I'd thought it something akin to a ventriloquists dummy or perhaps some sort of mascot/doll?

As you have the better copy, I'll defer to your knowledge!

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I'd thought it something akin to a ventriloquists dummy or perhaps some sort of mascot/doll?

As you have the better copy, I'll defer to your knowledge!

You could be right Kevin. I'll rescan and use a higher resolution. This was scanned using an older scanner/printer a few years ago, although the original image is poor quality

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At the risk of stating the obvious with one or two exceptions all, including Matron Minns, have over 20 years service (and one of the exceptions has 19). Was this the criteria rather than a connection with the hospital? Another common factor, with the exception of the Matron and a couple of L/Cpls, they were all Privates. As you ask for speculation perhaps it was simply a memento cooked up over a couple of pints, the boy/dummy/mascot seems to indicate they weren't taking it too seriously and it wasn't an 'official' photograph.

Lichfield Garrison was at Whittington Barracks which were built as the Depot for both Staffordshire Regiments and were in use as such in 1914 and for most of the twentieth century.

The Matron and RAMC were probably hospital staff at the Garrison Hospital; as for the East Yorkshire soldiers there are some Lichfield connections but as the picture has been dated by Sue I'm guessing the facility was used as a Training Depot for that Regiment post war (the 1st Bn went to China in 1925 and then to India so the 2nd would probably have been the Home Bn in 1926).

Have you seen this site? http://www.whittingtonhistorysociety.org.uk/heath.asp?a=5

follow the link to Staffordshire Past on the Society site where there are some great pictures.

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum is still located at the barracks, perhaps they can help? They may be interested in your find although the soldiers' records will be at the MOD

The barracks site is being redeveloped but a number of listed buildings remain (http://lichfieldlive.co.uk/2011/04/18/new-plans-to-redevelop-whittington-barrack-are-unveiled/) someone may be able to identify the doorway in the background.

No answers but maybe some more leads?

Ken

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Thanks for replying Ken. Yes, I had visited the Whittington History Society site and will contact them. I'll also look more into the 2nd EYR men and look for individual connections to the barracks or hospital. It is likely, given their length of service that they served with family members of mine who were career soldiers and were also in the 2nd Bn, hence my interest in the photo and the purpose of it.

Perhaps it was just a reunion dinner for those who had a connection to the barracks and this photo was one for the OR's, plus Matron Minns. The NCO's and Officers may have had seperate photos taken

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