Childhood memories of WWi veterans

The Battlefields Book

The Battlefields Book

Navy Week 1937

WATCH: Navy Week at Portsmouth in 1937

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When I was a boy in Portsmouth I often used to see elderly gentlemen walking the streets. Little did I realise that many if not all of these men would have fought in the First (or Great) World War.

No doubt many fought on the Western Front or in the Royal Navy. Perhaps some were veterans of The Somme and others of the Battle of Jutland.

They always looked smartly-dressed in suits or tweeds and as sharp as a new pin.

Although they all looked elderly to a 10-year-old, most would have been about the age I am now - 61.

I’m so glad I didn’t have to go through what those old chaps did when just teenagers or in their early 20s.

The reason I explain this is that, as I wrote a few months back and my Remember When colleague Chris Owen re-iterated some weeks ago, in less than two years it will be the centenary of the beginning of the Great War - July 28, 1914.

As we know, time goes so fast and it will not be long before Chris and I will be writing about the people of the News circulation area who did their bit for King and country.

If you had a relative from our area who came through the war or who gave their life, please let me know. If you have a photograph of themn, that would be even better.

If you have a relative buried in one of the many war cemeteries in Northern France, please let me know. I’m planning a trip there and might be able to locate and photograph the grave.

Thank you.

Now on the same subject, here is a copy of the front cover of volume one of two of Twenty Years After. The Battlefields of 1914-18 Then & Now

published in 1938. It proves that Then and Now photography is not a new idea.

Indeed I have been to the former Western Front to take photographs of the villages as they are now, so have a trio of pictures from a shattered village during the war, re-built in 1938 and as it is today.

Fascinating

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