Calm of an English village after hell of the trenches

Wounded and invalid soldiers' trip to Rowlands Castle, July 17, 1916 PPP-150120-101001001
Wounded and invalid soldiers' trip to Rowlands Castle, July 17, 1916 PPP-150120-101001001
jpns-22-07-17 retro July 2017

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One can only imagine how these men must have felt on a day out to a quintessential English village.

No doubt many of them must have thought they would never again set foot in such a place, let alone enjoy a pint in a pub beside the green.

George V and Queen Mary visit the newly-opened cenotaph off Guildhall Square in August 1922 PPP-150120-101033001

George V and Queen Mary visit the newly-opened cenotaph off Guildhall Square in August 1922 PPP-150120-101033001

We must assume that the Railway Hotel at Rowlands Castle had just enjoyed the custom of these wounded soldiers from the First World War in a photograph taken by the famous Southsea photographer Stephen Cribb.

He rose to fame largely through his pictures on naval themes.

But here he has accompanied the ‘invalid soldiers’ into the heart of the English countryside as part of their recuperation.

Doubtless many of them would soon be declared fit again and despatched back to the battlefields of France and Belgium or farther afield.

As you can see, Cribb took this wonderful photo on July 17, 1916. I wonder how many made it to the armistice two years later?

Margaret Sandover, of Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, provided today’s pictures, which she found when clearing a relative’s house in the Portsmouth area.

We continue the First World War theme with the picture immediately below – a picture I’ve not seen before.

It shows George V and Queen Mary visiting the newly-built cenotaph to the dead of the First World War off Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in August 1922.