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Soldiers From Just Photos?


Suffolk_Cousins
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I have recently inherited an old photo album from the early 1900's. It contains alot of photos of Soldiers with their regiment badges visable but sadly no names on the back. I was wondering if it is possible to identify a soldier from these photos some how? Or is that just wishful thinking?

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Hi Suffolk Cousins, probably a good place to start would be to post some of the pics on the forum and see what happens, there's plenty of eyes around here that can ID badges, and if they are related to you I guess there's a strong possibility that they can be identified

cheers, Jon

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Please upload your photos, some of us need confirmation of the regiment in which our ancestors served, your photos may hold answers for us. Thanks.

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I will scan the photos in asap.

You'll have to excuse me because I'm a complete novice at this but what I was wondering was when a soldier was part of a regiment did he have a photo taken to be attached to his 'file'?

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I'd say not Suffolk, most of the photos were done by high street photographersfor individual soldiers to send home to family and loved ones, some may have been produced for battalion histories etc. Looking forward to viewing your pics,

cheers, Jon

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I was wondering was when a soldier was part of a regiment did he have a photo taken to be attached to his 'file'?

No, the idea of photo IDs was not part of the 'culture'. Also the technology was a little cumbersome. Most studio photos were taken on plate cameras and prints taken directly from the glass negative (contact prints).

Photos might be in regimental records if the soldier had done something 'special' (e.g. won an inter regimental boxing champoinship, marksman competition etc.)

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Thanks for your replies everyone :) All help regarding the uniforms, medals, badges, regiments etc is much appeciated as I truly don't have a clue!!

The links to photos of the unkown soldiers are below although number 1 does say on the back 'Fred Sep 7th 1915' and number 2 has the same date but with the name Jed

Unknown Soldier 1 Has been Identified as Fred Fitch born 1888 Cavendish, Suffolk died 20th Sep 1917

Unknown Soldier 2

Unknown Soldier 3 Is this a certain type of uniform?

Unknown Group Of Soldiers Says on the back Cpt. Barnett 1917

Unknown Soldier Group 2 Sent as a postcard dated 1914

Suffolk Reg Postcard sent from Brighton on Feb 21 1915

3 Unknown Soldiers Possibly recovering?

Unknown Army Drill This is sent from an Arthur Fitch saying about doing an army drill and that he is in the front. Arthur has been identified as 3rd from the left.

Unknown Soldier 4 Has been Identified as Arthur Fitch (brother to Fred) born 1895 Cavendish, Suffolk

Unknown Soldier 5 This gentleman looks very distinctive!!

W G Powell The back of this reads 'From your sincere friend, W. G. Powell. It would be lovely to return this to his distant relatives

4 Unknown Soldiers

Unknown Soldier 6

Unknown Soldier 7 Identified as the same man as the 2nd from left on the '4 unknown soldiers pic'

Another Unknown Group Has 1918 on the back

Marching Soldiers

Wesley Percy Chapman This chap is my great grandmothers brother. I was told that he was killed by a German sniper just after the war was annouced as over but I don't think the dates match!

Unknown Or Not? I was told that this was the same person as above, Wesley Chapman. But he is wearing a different badge isn't he? He doesn't look the same person to me either

Unknown Soldier 8

Unknown Soldier 9 This was on the same page with the 2 below

Unknown Soldier 10

Back Of Postcard This was on the back of the above. Can anyone make out who its from?

A Soldier and Family

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Hi Suffolk,

both Fred and Jed are from a Suffolk battalion, if you know their surnames they'll be much easier to find. I can't tell you what the medal is that Fred is wearing, perhaps some kind of proficiency medal, there are plenty of eyes around here that will give you a positive ID though,

cheers, Jon

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Thanks Jon :) I would say that their surnames would be Fitch for Fred and Jed, the rest so far though I woulnd't have a clue. There seems to be loads of photos so all pairs of eyes are very welcome!

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I think that your Brighton group are in what is called embarkation order with the rolled great coat worn diagonally. However I'm surprised that belts appear to be missing. Possibly taken just prior to departure for France (but was Brighton used as an embarkation centre?)

The three recovering soldiers are definitely not wearing standard uniform under their coats and their trousers look very unusual - more like pyjamas than anything else (hospital blues?). Give the sticks, the fact that their coats look too big for them and their faces (which do look a bit wan) they certainly do look convalescent.

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Nothing constructive to add unfortunately but what wonderful old photos, oh to know the history that goes with them.

Hope Forum members can provide some answers for you.

Cliff

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Thanks Cliff, fingers crossed hey! They are lovely photos aren't they. I wonder how many of them actually survived the war

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My tuppence worth

Picture 3, unknown soldier 4 and unknown army drill all have the same person in them. Army drill the person is the third from the left.

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Thanks Cliff, fingers crossed hey! They are lovely photos aren't they. I wonder how many of them actually survived the war

Excellent photos, some of teh best preserved I('ve come across. Thye cover several regiments of course.

1 Suffolk

2 Suffolk

3 ???

4 Manchesters

5 Royal Artillery

6.Suffolk

7 RA, Suffolk, South Staffords

8 ???

9 Suffolk

10 Suffolk

11 Army Service Corps

12 Gloucesters

13 Army Service Corps

14 Glouceswters

Thanks Cliff, fingers crossed hey! They are lovely photos aren't they. I wonder how many of them actually survived the war

Excellent photos, some of teh best preserved I('ve come across. Thye cover several regiments of course.

1 Suffolk

2 Suffolk

3 ???

4 Manchesters

5 Royal Artillery

6.Suffolk

7 RA, Suffolk, South Staffords

8 ???

9 Suffolk

10 Suffolk

11 Army Service Corps

12 Gloucesters

13 Army Service Corps

14 Glouceswters

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Hi

Soldier 7 Looks like a territorial in the Gloucestershire Regiment, he has volunteered for oversees service, hence the Imperial service badge on his right breast. Photo probably taken 1914 early 1915.

Soldier 6 Looks like a member of the Army Service Corps

Group of 4 above more Gloucester's Territorials, but the photo taken about 3 months later I would guess.

W.G.Powell is in the Army Service Corps, in a tropical tunic.

Soldier 5 I think is in the Suffolk's

The three recovering soldiers are from left to right Royal Artillery, Suffolk's, and one of the Staffordshire regiments.

The 9th Suffolk's photo depict a lot of the men wearing "Kitchener Blue" stop gap uniforms

I hope that helps a bit.....Gareth

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Hi Suffolks, some of the best pics I've ever seen, what a fantastic collection....please say you have more....

L/Cpl 14304 Fred Fitch 9th Suffolk KiA 27/09/17, born Cavendish, Suffolk, enlisted Sudbury. Do the towns ring any bells?

1. 9th Suffolk, Fred Fitch.

2. 9th Suffolk, Jed Fitch.

3. Kitchener Blues, Arthur Fitch? - the men hated this, they had the appearence of postmen. I recon 9th Suffolk.

4. Manchesters TF battalion - note the (s/t) - T / ? / MANCHESTER.

5. Royal Artillery (field or horse) I imagine that they're drivers, note the gun limber to the right.

6. 9th (Service) Battalion Suffolks, formed in Bury St. Edmunds, September 1914 part of 24th Division. The 9th landed in France on 31st August 1915 - note the Kitchener Blues and the SUFFOLK s/t used as a collar badge. would say early months 1915 as they moved from Shoreham to Aldershot in June 1915.

7. Hospital Blues, from L - R, Artillery, Suffolk and South Staffs - this mans hand is bandaged and is his right sleeve pinned?

8. 9th Suffolk - note the chap in waistcoat on the right, same man in pic 3. - I think this pic also in Brighton

9. L/Cpl Fred Fitch, 9th Suffolks - I think this photo taken in France - note he's put on a few pounds since pic 1.

10. Pte. Jed Fitch, 9th Suffolks - I think this photo taken in France - note he's put on a few pounds since pic 2.

11. Army Service Corps

12. Gloster TF battalion.

13. Royal Army Service Corps - note RASC s/t, became Royal in 1918 - this is the same man as pic 11 - note war fatigue.

14. Glosters TF battalion - don't see many photos of boys in the garden with their SMLEs

One sad note, after landing in France, the 9th Suffolks were pretty much marched straight into the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915, in a matter of hours some of the faces in these pics would have paid the ultimate price. The division was withdrawn a day later with over 4000 casualties. Sgt. Saunders of the 9th Suffolks won his VC in this action.

Thank you so much for posting these pics, I don't think we were expecting such quality, looking forward to the next installment,

cheers, Jon

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Nothing to add regarding identifying the soldiers but would like to say what excellent quality the photos are.

It's so nice to see the original quality of them, rather than the usual grainy newspaper ones we usually gets to see.

Many thanks!!

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Brilliant photos! Thanks for posting them!

5. Definitely artillery men. To my eye the shoulder title on the tunic on the ground looks like RFA.

cheers

Steve

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Wow I wasn't expecting so many replies, thanks everyone :)

Well spotted GeoffW, that means that Unknown Soldier 4 is Arthur Fitch born 1895 Cavendish, Suffolk brother to Fred Fitch. Can't place Jed in the tree though so perhaps he wasn't a Fitch, just a friend. I forgot to add that Fred Fitch died on 20th Sept 1917 although how/where I don't know yet.

Gareth I didn't realise until now that unknown soldier 7 is the 2nd from left on the group of 4 soldiers. What is a tropical tunic by the way?

Jon - I have actually got about 5 more photos but because they haven't got their hats on/badges visable I didn't think anyone would be very interested! I will scan them in though if you'd like? Yep Fred Fitch was born in Cavendish, Suffolk :) I take it Kitchener Blues means they were a cook? Would the 3 recovering in picture 7 all have gone out to fight again? Surely pics 9 and 10 don't contain the same ppl as pics 1 and 2 Jon?

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HI Suffolk Cousins,

Kitchener Blues means that they are hospital patients recovering from wounds etc.?

and were issued the blue uniform...

Cheers,

Ivan.

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HI Suffolk Cousins,

Kitchener Blues means that they are hospital patients recovering from wounds etc.,

and were issued the blue uniform...

Cheers,

Ivan.

Wrong ones Ivan, Kitchener Blues were dark and issued to the K battalions of 1914 and due to khaki dye shortage, Hospital Blues were much lighter,

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Hi Suffolks,

they've aged 10 years in 18 months on the battlefields of France. The things that they must have endured in that time, beyond anything we can ever comprehend. They've definately put on a few pounds..plenty of machinocie and sea pie,

looking forward to the next instalment,

cheers, Jon

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