Now that the Centenary of the end of World War I has taken place, it’s timely for a project which focuses on the years succeeding the end of the Great War. In 2019, I will be fundraising for a project, which addresses the fates of a group of soldiers who trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1911-12.
The stimulus for the project was a recent vintage fair discovery; I stumbled across three photograph albums, which depict recruits, or ‘Snookers’ as they are called in the album, initially looking incongruous in their civvies, being drilled by a fierce-looking sergeant. The albums trace their journey through military training, sports days, competition days with RMA Sandhurst and finally to their turning-out parades.
As you look more closely at the albums, you can recognize the familiar outline of the Royal Military Academy buildings, which are still there today, although now converted into apartments and residential houses.
There are annotations against some of the photos, which provide more clues to the people whose faces smile out from the photos, one in particular who is labeled H.J.M., possibly the owner of these albums? Maybe someone will recognize him as their great grandfather?
In addition, there are the well-dressed ladies visiting on parade days, frozen in time in their Edwardian long dresses, keeping a watchful eye on the children.
My community project has an important purpose; to revitalize the membership of some fantastic local history societies, whose great collective knowledge is in danger of being lost, once their current elderly membership is gone.
Follow my blog to find out more about the progress of this project.