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Remembered Today:

Where is this?


A.A.Savery

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Hello all,

I recently went to visit my cousin to pick up a photo of my great grandfather, Joseph Forsyth Taylor.

Although not directly involved in the Great War, he was the father of my grandfather, William Gladstone Taylor of the 9th Black Watch battalion who has been much researched on this forum.

How delighted I was on opening the frame to look at the back of the photo, revealing another photo of my grandfather from November 1914 outside a butcher shop with some army pals.

Apart from the date and a number written in pencil, there is nothing on the back which gives me any clues as to where this photo was taken. However, together with the two photos is a ‘portrait folder’ with the name and address of:

The Ideal Studios,

1, The Broadway,

Acton, W.3

I can only imagine that it is somewhere in London as he had two months previously signed his attestation papers at Kingston upon Thames, before beginning his training at Aldershot.

The way that my grandfather is holding that dog makes me think that it could be his own dog and therefore fairly close to where they lived at Goodge Street.

Perhaps I can share this photo with you all and at the same time hope for a miracle that someone may have a similar photo to compare it with.

Any ideas or comments anyone?

I would be pleased with any contributions.

Thanks,

Tony

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I have no idea where the shop is. What I can tell you is that Acton is well out to the west of London. Googe Street is central, West End, just off Tottenham Court Road. If your Grandfather was in Acton, he was well away from his own manor.

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Thanks for your thoughts on this Tom.

Some of his sisters lived at Acton, but I suppose that would not really have any bearing as to the location of this shot.

Are all of these soldiers Black Watch?

Cheers,

Tony

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This won’t help matters but I may know the name of the dog.

In his letters from the front he often said how much he missed Kelpie and I always imagined that it was a dog. I don’t know exactly why I thought that as I suppose he could just as easily have been a rabbit.

No, no……….. now I remember! His father took it for walks.

I wonder if they messed on the pavements in those days?

Tony

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This won't help matters but I may know the name of the dog.

In his letters from the front he often said how much he missed Kelpie and I always imagined that it was a dog. I don't know exactly why I thought that as I suppose he could just as easily have been a rabbit.

No, no……….. now I remember! His father took it for walks.

I wonder if they messed on the pavements in those days?

Tony

That would explain it. I'll bet his sister dragged him down to the local photographer to get his picture took. While not impossible, the chances of a soldier taking men from another unit to meet his family seems remote. The dogs did indeed foul the pavements in those days but compared to the piles of horse droppings on the streets, it was probably seen as a minor nuisance.

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While not impossible, the chances of a soldier taking men from another unit to meet his family seems remote

Hi Tom,

Generally I suppose that this would have been the case. However, my grandfather did have many friends and relatives who were also serving in the army at that time.

On the other hand, assuming that these lads were all from his own unit, would it not seem more likely that this photo was taken near to where he was stationed at Nigg?

I don’t know how long he would have been at Aldershot, but as he had previous army experience with The London Scottish, then perhaps he was very quickly sent up to the reserve camp within a couple of months.

Is it possible to detect anything looking at the clothes of the butcher, wife and children?

The dogs did indeed foul the pavements in those days but compared to the piles of horse droppings on the streets, it was probably seen as a minor nuisance.

Anyone with a decent garden would have been there like a flash with a wheelbarrow.

Cheers,

Tony

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How many of Grandad's pals would have been able to meet him in London for a family visit? Only those in the same mob I think.

I don't think he would have been in Nigg for long. 9th Batt. BW were in 15th Div. My GF was 8th Batt. who were in 9th Div. They went from Aldershot to France in June 1915. 15th Div were in France at Loos. i.e. September 1915 so I think they probably followed the 9th Div in July or August. I assume you mean Nigg on the Moray Firth. This was probably a TF camp. I didn't know that BW were up there. My guess is that the ' butcher shop' photo was taken on embarkation leave although Aldershot is near enough to to London for a weekend pass. The open fronted shop is very typical of the time and could have been a fishmonger or a fruit & veg merchant. The butcher is wearing a jacket and that may well imply owner or manager. The lady and kids are typical of the time. I can show you photographs of my mother which would slot right in there. Their presence might suggest a private shop with living quarters behind or above the shop. So, a brother/sister/cousin/etc. who owned or managed a butcher shop. ( and could feed a bunch of hungry squaddies in Town on leave) .

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Hi Tom,

Thanks for you’re your thoughts here.

The camp at Nigg was most certainly at Moray Firth as you said. However I may have to revise my ideas as to when he was there.

According to his letters he went back to Nigg in June 1916, three months after being wounded in his foot. He gives his battalion as being 3rd BW who were reserves.

Quotes from his letter:

Once again I am back again in this old hut. I have made up my mind to try and stick training and then volunteer in a few weeks.

I have just drawn my rifle and equipment, and it sure to come a bit strange after being without so long.

Unquote.

From this it should be fairly clear why I believed that he had initially been at Nigg before joining the BEF at Parkhouse Camp in Salisbury.

As you say, the 15th Division then left for France in July 1915.

I’d be glad of any extra information which could clarify this.

Many thanks,

Tony

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Harking back to the slightly more irrelevant side of this topic, I have just ‘googled’ for KELPIE and discovered that it is in fact an Australian dog.

My excuses here to doggie minded people for my ignorance, but it does however open up some other possibilities, assuming that the dog my grandfather is holding is a genuine Kelpie with an Australian passport.

For instance, would there have been many ‘army mascot’ dogs brought into Britain at that time? If so, then it is surely not beyond the realms of possibility that this particular canine friend was handed over to my grandfather’s family for safe keeping.

Call it what you will, conjecture, brainstorming or just plain madness. :rolleyes:

Cheers,

Tony

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Hi Tom,

Thanks for you're your thoughts here.

The camp at Nigg was most certainly at Moray Firth as you said. However I may have to revise my ideas as to when he was there.

According to his letters he went back to Nigg in June 1916, three months after being wounded in his foot. He gives his battalion as being 3rd BW who were reserves.

Quotes from his letter:

Once again I am back again in this old hut. I have made up my mind to try and stick training and then volunteer in a few weeks.

I have just drawn my rifle and equipment, and it sure to come a bit strange after being without so long.

Unquote.

From this it should be fairly clear why I believed that he had initially been at Nigg before joining the BEF at Parkhouse Camp in Salisbury.

As you say, the 15th Division then left for France in July 1915.

I'd be glad of any extra information which could clarify this.

Many thanks,

Tony

The 3rd regular Batt. was the training batt for most regiments. A regular would do his training with the 3rd and then go on to 1st or 2nd as his posting. The 4,5,6,7, were TF batts. and then 8, 9 were New Army, 9th and 15th Div respectively. During the war, I believe 3rd were still the training batt but the posting could be to any of the other batts as required. Re the Kelpie. Long before it was an Australian dog, it was a Scottish water goblin. A person drowning in a Scottish river had been taken by the Kelpie.

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Hi. Can't help an awful lot, but the 3rd Black watch were definbitely at Nigg from the outbreak of war until November 1917; as Tom says, they were train recruits and receive retruend wounded prior to drafting.

I can't see anything to identify the photograph, so it is possibly a canard to assume it was taken in Acton, or, indeed, in London at all. despite the lack of oven-ready haggises hanging in the window, it might even be 'at home'.

The 8th Bn went to France on 5th May, '15, followed by the 9th in July. However, are we sure your man was in either of these battalions? His previous service with the London Jocks would mean little at that stage of the war, unless he were posted to a Regular battalion as a reinforcement. Had he been with the 8th or 9th Battalions, prior service would probably result in NCO status, norhing more. The badge looks (as best I can tell) like the Black Watch one.

Goddge Street is very close to Euston Station, not far from Warren Street, which is itself not unadjacent to Chenies Street, home to the 12th Londons (Rangers). No relevance there, though, I suspect.

Incidentally, Goodge Street is also a safe, but rather predictable, starting move in championship matches of Mornington Crescent, as it protects the laterals whilst opening all moves on the Northern and Circle Lines.

Sorry I can't help more.

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Hi All,

Don't forget the 3rd Bn was originally the Special Reserve Bn providing trained soldiers for the 1st and 2nd Bns. The 8th BW (K1) & 9th (K2) Service Bns of the Black Watch were raised in Perth but gathered and trained in Aldershot. The 11th Bn would be the Training Bn for the New Army Bns- supplying drafts of trained men, however it was not formed in 1914.

8th BW

8th Aug 1914 - Albuhera Barracks Aldershot

Mid September 1914 - move to Maida Barracks

16 Jan 1915 - Move to Alton, MG Section to Holybourne

March 1916 - Bordon/Longmoor area

9th BW

6th September 200 recruits arrive at Aldershot, from Perth, for the 9th BW

Share barracks with the 8th BW, until they move Maida Bks (22 Sep 1914)

End of September - Red Tunics and Broderick Caps

10-22 Nov 1914 - Move to Liss

20-21 Jan 1915 Issue of Kilts

Tony, cannot see the detail of the photo. I could not tell you if it is London. However, it is very probably London, Aldershot, or one of the big towns in Hampshire. If your great grandfather's family was in London, I don't suppose it would be too much of a problem for him and a few friends to get a pass and jump on the train - it probably would not take much longer than it does now. The lack of kilts is not a problem as during November 1914 the 8th and 9th had still not been issued with them.

hope this helps

Aye

Tom McC

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The 3rd regular Batt. was the training batt for most regiments. A regular would do his training with the 3rd and then go on to 1st or 2nd as his posting. The 4,5,6,7, were TF batts. and then 8, 9 were New Army, 9th and 15th Div respectively. During the war, I believe 3rd were still the training batt but the posting could be to any of the other batts as required. Re the Kelpie. Long before it was an Australian dog, it was a Scottish water goblin. A person drowning in a Scottish river had been taken by the Kelpie.

Many thanks again for your help thus far Tom.

With that fascinating additional item of Scottish folk lore, it seems to strengthen my belief that the dog in the photo is his own. Again, just speculation but I can just imagine is mates telling him that it looks like a water goblin. It could be a stray that he found and it begs the question;

Were soldiers allowed to keep dogs?

Cheers,

Tony

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Hi. Can't help an awful lot, but the 3rd Black watch were definbitely at Nigg from the outbreak of war until November 1917; as Tom says, they were train recruits and receive retruend wounded prior to drafting.

I can't see anything to identify the photograph, so it is possibly a canard to assume it was taken in Acton, or, indeed, in London at all. despite the lack of oven-ready haggises hanging in the window, it might even be 'at home'.

The 8th Bn went to France on 5th May, '15, followed by the 9th in July. However, are we sure your man was in either of these battalions? His previous service with the London Jocks would mean little at that stage of the war, unless he were posted to a Regular battalion as a reinforcement. Had he been with the 8th or 9th Battalions, prior service would probably result in NCO status, norhing more. The badge looks (as best I can tell) like the Black Watch one.

Goddge Street is very close to Euston Station, not far from Warren Street, which is itself not unadjacent to Chenies Street, home to the 12th Londons (Rangers). No relevance there, though, I suspect.

Incidentally, Goodge Street is also a safe, but rather predictable, starting move in championship matches of Mornington Crescent, as it protects the laterals whilst opening all moves on the Northern and Circle Lines.

Sorry I can't help more.

Thanks Steven,

It certainly all helps with my 'brainstorming'

I can't say that I know anything about Mornington Crescent, but it sounds a bit like a John Waddington game to me. If it has to do with travelling on the London Underground, then it sounds like fun! Love to know more.

My grandfather was most certainly in the 9th Black Watch when the BEF sailed to France in July 1915.

Cheers,

Tony

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Hi All,

Don't forget the 3rd Bn was originally the Special Reserve Bn providing trained soldiers for the 1st and 2nd Bns. The 8th BW (K1) & 9th (K2) Service Bns of the Black Watch were raised in Perth but gathered and trained in Aldershot. The 11th Bn would be the Training Bn for the New Army Bns- supplying drafts of trained men, however it was not formed in 1914.

8th BW

8th Aug 1914 - Albuhera Barracks Aldershot

Mid September 1914 - move to Maida Barracks

16 Jan 1915 - Move to Alton, MG Section to Holybourne

March 1916 - Bordon/Longmoor area

9th BW

6th September 200 recruits arrive at Aldershot, from Perth, for the 9th BW

Share barracks with the 8th BW, until they move Maida Bks (22 Sep 1914)

End of September - Red Tunics and Broderick Caps

10-22 Nov 1914 - Move to Liss

20-21 Jan 1915 Issue of Kilts

Tony, cannot see the detail of the photo. I could not tell you if it is London. However, it is very probably London, Aldershot, or one of the big towns in Hampshire. If your great grandfather's family was in London, I don't suppose it would be too much of a problem for him and a few friends to get a pass and jump on the train - it probably would not take much longer than it does now. The lack of kilts is not a problem as in November 1914 the 8th and 9th had still not been issued with them.

hope this helps

Aye

Tom McC

Thanks for that Tom,

Your handy details of the 9th BW movements before embarkation seems to tally pretty well with my grandfathers letters.

You also mention Liss, which he gives as his address in for one of his letters.

C/O A.E.Baker, Station Road, EAST LISS.

I believe that this was his landlady from what he says, but after that his letters were addressed as Parkhouse Camp.

Any idea why he should have been in digs at Liss?

It's a pity that the photo does not show the complete name of the shop. Some is visible but it would take some clever detective work to reveal the location from that.

There is just one soldier in the photo that seems out of place to me, comparing him with the others. He seems to me to be rather portly and perhaps not done the amount of training that the others have done. I wonder if he is from another regiment?

Great stuff Tom.

Cheers,

Tony

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I can't say that I know anything about Mornington Crescent, but it sounds a bit like a John Waddington game to me. If it has to do with travelling on the London Underground, then it sounds like fun! Love to know more.

You need to listen to Radio 4's "I'm sorry I haven't a Clue" as it is regularly played there......

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/comedy/clue.shtml

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Sorry for the diversion!

Is it possibly on leave, at home, before going overseas? I would imagine quite a few chaps would have joined up from the home town, so this could just be their final farewell. Or, as others suggested, a day out; however, if it's his own dog, then home is more likely. Although there may have been pets/mascots with the unit, I would have thought it unlikley he'd have his 'own' dog with him.

As for the slightly more big-boned gentleman, he could be Transport or Stores possibly.

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You need to listen to Radio 4's "I'm sorry I haven't a Clue" as it is regularly played there......

Thanks Jon,

I am delighted to see that it is hosted by my great hero of British jazz trumpet players, Humphrey Lyttelton.

I'll try to find more time to listen to the radio.

Cheers,

Tony

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Anthony,

Just a thought, and, I hasten to add; I am in no way a genealogist, but it would be useful to have a look at the 1881, 1891, & 1901 censuses to see if your great-great grandfather or relatives were butchers/poulterers by trade. Judging by the look of the children, even the oldest looks to young to be a new born baby on the 1901 census - it is a pity that the 1911 census is not available yet.

Anyway, back to point, there is a good chance they will probably be in the same location in the 1901 census, if they have an established shop. Could be worth looking into. The census may provide the address, then try to source some history and photos of the family area. I would think the significance of this this shop will be either:

1. Family

2. Friends from his old area - which would probably be near his home anyway

3. His landlord's family, in Liss (if they were not in barracks)

Again, I reiterate that I am no family historian and hope that I have not diverted your research into this photo, and that there may be some useful thoughts in this post

Aye

Tom McC

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Sorry for the diversion!

Is it possibly on leave, at home, before going overseas? I would imagine quite a few chaps would have joined up from the home town, so this could just be their final farewell. Or, as others suggested, a day out; however, if it's his own dog, then home is more likely. Although there may have been pets/mascots with the unit, I would have thought it unlikley he'd have his 'own' dog with him.

As for the slightly more big-boned gentleman, he could be Transport or Stores possibly.

Steven,

There is no doubt about this scene having taken place before he went overseas, as he had only just joined up on 7th September 1914 and this was November of the same year. He left with the rest of the 15th Division for France in July 1915.

From all of our discussions and the dates presented by Tom McCluskey, I am now thinking that this may well be a farewell from his own home base in Goodge Street before leaving for Liss.

On the other hand if this photo was taken in Liss, then the dog may well belong to the butcher as it would be less likely, as you have suggested, that he would have taken it with him.

Yes, lorry drivers are usually substantially proportioned, due to their 'greasy spoon cafe' eating habits.

A good point that!

Also someone with access to the food rations would perhaps get more than their share.

I am still hoping to find a clue as to the location from the name above the shop.

Thanks,

Tony

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Anthony,

Just a thought, and, I hasten to add; I am in no way a genealogist, but it would be useful to have a look at the 1881, 1891, & 1901 censuses to see if your great-great grandfather or relatives were butchers/poulterers by trade. Judging by the look of the children, even the oldest looks to young to be a new born baby on the 1901 census - it is a pity that the 1911 census is not available yet.

Anyway, back to point, there is a good chance they will probably be in the same location in the 1901 census, if they have an established shop. Could be worth looking into. The census may provide the address, then try to source some history and photos of the family area. I would think the significance of this this shop will be either:

1. Family

2. Friends from his old area - which would probably be near his home anyway

3. His landlord's family, in Liss (if they were not in barracks)

Again, I reiterate that I am no family historian and hope that I have not diverted your research into this photo, and that there may be some useful thoughts in this post

Aye

Tom McC

Tom,

I have done quite a lot of research into the family history. I can't say that I have ever come across any kind of shopkeepers.

Thanks to your dates, things are pointing towards the Poulterer and family being friends in London or the landlord at Liss. It now looks a lot less likely that he could have been anywhere near Scotland at that time.

I have blown up the signboard above the shop which looks very much like ‘poulterer’, but that’s all I can read.

The large letters look as if it could be ‘Baker’, making the landlord at Liss a likely candidate.

Many thanks,

Tony

post-14730-1178809500.jpg

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Assuming the picture on the site is not clipped, could it not be Butcher ? Which seems more likely in conjunction with poulterer. Strangely enough it would also be more likely to be a fishmonger and poulterer.

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Assuming the picture on the site is not clipped, could it not be Butcher ? Which seems more likely in conjunction with poulterer. Strangely enough it would also be more likely to be a fishmonger and poulterer.

Tom,

The top of the picture is exactly as you see it, with nothing having been clipped.

As you say, ‘Butcher’, does seem to be a likely solution for the large letters, with the only part of the third from last letter appearing as a block, which could therefore be the letter 'h'.

That would also rule out the 'g' in fishmonger; Nevertheless, an interesting thought though.

Thanks,

Tony

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