Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

Old group photo, Ministry of Munitions, Dept of Explosives Supplies ou


19 replies to this topic

#1 Pete's Historicalia

Pete's Historicalia

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 28 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:19 PM

Hi,

I'm not sure whether this is the right forum or topic area but can anyone tell me about this large old photo I found at a car boot sale? It was filthy dirty and broken as in the first photo below, so I've temporarily removed it from the frame while I get new glass and fix the original frame and mounting. The inscription reads "Ministry of Munitions, Department of Explosives Supplies. (Acid and Fertilizer's Branch) May 24th 1919".

I was wondering where the department was located and who the manager was (I guess he is the one inset in the photo and also far right of the group on the ferry). It'd be great to know where the photo was taken but suspect that'll never be known.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

The photographer's name on the bottom right I think reads "N. Mrčches" and the address is very obliterated by the roughly cut edge but says "KET PLACE" and "HAMES", so presumably Market Place, and Thames.

Many thanks!

Pete

#2 11kilo

11kilo

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 20 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 July 2012 - 06:45 PM

Hello

I'll have a dig around and revert.

Is there any chance you could send me a better scan of the whole photo to: pattisona AT Gmail DOT com?

I might be able to ID the uniformed officer.

Cheers

Andy

#3 Justin H

Justin H

    Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 223 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Longworth, Oxon
  • Interests:Gallipoli and Mesopotamian campaigns, Dorsetshire Regiment (2 and 5 Btns), Wiltshire Regiment, RGA TF. , The Coldstream, RASC, and Salisbury Plain during the war

Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:01 PM

Diffcult to see properly wthout a higher resolution scan but those look lke punts in the background.

Could be near Oxford

Salters Steamers still operate boats that look similar to that in the picture

See: http://www.saltersst...co.uk/index.htm

Justin H

#4 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,405 posts

Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:40 PM

any chance of a detail closeup of the visible standing officer - looks like might be RA

#5 Pete's Historicalia

Pete's Historicalia

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 28 posts

Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:28 PM

Sorry for the delay in responding and thanks for all of your responses! I'll email Salter's and see if it one of their boats.

I've tried to get some closer images of the various officers:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

#6 Jim Strawbridge

Jim Strawbridge

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 2,581 posts

Posted 26 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

Not a munition family outing but I am guessing that it is an outing of a government department. The inset may be that of Sir James Dobbie.

#7 old owl

old owl

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,252 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Yorkshire, uk

Posted 26 August 2012 - 04:15 PM

The officer standing right of centre appears to be RASC and has a QSA? ribbon on his chest. The officer standing centre is a Lieutenant R.E. and the officer seated is probably a Major and could have a R.W.Fusiliers or Northumberland Fusiliers badge, but this is hard to tell.

#8 David Filsell

David Filsell

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,859 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

Not inportant, but I don't think I have ever seen a picture of a officer wearing a shirt with a 'half penny' stiff collar before. Infact he last time I saw one I wearing it myself. Can you get stiff collars starched anymore?

#9 Justin H

Justin H

    Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 223 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Longworth, Oxon
  • Interests:Gallipoli and Mesopotamian campaigns, Dorsetshire Regiment (2 and 5 Btns), Wiltshire Regiment, RGA TF. , The Coldstream, RASC, and Salisbury Plain during the war

Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

Do post back if if turns out to be one of Salters' boats

Justin H

#10 jdoyle

jdoyle

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 834 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Swindon/Harold's X

Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:07 PM

any chance of a close up of the photographers name and address?

#11 old owl

old owl

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,252 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Yorkshire, uk

Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:16 PM

any chance of a close up of the photographers name and address?


I think that Pete spelt out what he could make of the photographer's name and address in Post 1 :thumbsup:

#12 jdoyle

jdoyle

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 834 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Swindon/Harold's X

Posted 28 August 2012 - 02:07 PM

I think that Pete spelt out what he could make of the photographer's name and address in Post 1 :thumbsup:

he did indeed but it would still be of interest to see.

#13 jdoyle

jdoyle

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 834 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Swindon/Harold's X

Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:37 PM

Diffcult to see properly wthout a higher resolution scan but those look lke punts in the background.

Could be near Oxford

Salters Steamers still operate boats that look similar to that in the picture

See: http://www.saltersst...co.uk/index.htm

Justin H


possibly a Salter's built boat for Joseph Mears? (Going on the M on the 2 visible lifebelts)

Mears ran trips from London out towards Henley etc. The Dept of Explosives had a building at Storey's Gate, Westminster, SW1 not far from Westminster Pier which was one of the stops for Mears boats.

Might be worth sending the image to the website owners at the following link to see if they can confirm the boat as either a Mears or a Salters vessel (my guess is the Richmond Belle from Mears).

http://www.simplonpc...esLaunches.html

They have a collection of postcards and may know the photographers name. George Bushell appears to have been an active photographer in Market Place from 1919 onwards but I'm finding nothing re a Mreches or variation of this name

Was 24th May Empire Day in 1919?

Ancestry has a number of medal index cards for officers with Ministry of Munitions (and variant spellings) entries e.g.

Capt Thomas North Whitehead, ASC
Lt Richard Barclay Williams, RE
Lt A H Campbell, RE
T/Capt Clifford Haydon, ASC
plus a number who were RFA, RGA, RH & RFA, RA

Finding images of the officers (and civilians) to match with the photo is proving difficult.

#14 Pete's Historicalia

Pete's Historicalia

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 28 posts

Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

Here is a close up of the photographer, sadly a bit obliterated by damage:

Posted Image

#15 Pete's Historicalia

Pete's Historicalia

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 28 posts

Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:22 AM

I contacted Liam Challis of Salters Steamers, who then put me in touch with Simon Wenham who took a look and responded:

Dear Pete,

Thanks for your email. Unfortunately the photo is just too close to be able to identify the steamer. There were a lot of steamboats around at that time (see Frank Dix's "Royal River Highway"), so I couldn't say what it is off the top of my head. The steamer does have slanted windows on the saloon, however, and that is unusual. It has a flat roof, so if it were a Salters' boat, then it would be one built in the twentieth century. There are plenty of photos of Salters' boats (and other firm's craft) here, so you could have a look and try to identify it: www.simplonpc.co.uk/SalterBros.html

I don't think Salters' would've had an "M" on their lifeboats, although they did have one boat beginning with M at that time (Marlow - which didn't have slanted windows). I expect it may refer to Mears, one of the major operators in the Richmond area (some of which were built by Salters - the simplon website has photos of quite a few of them, and some of them are still operating).

As for the party, the firm carried hundreds of groups per year, so it's impossible to say who they were, etc. The archive has some lists of passenger groups, but that wouldn't say anything more than the title of the group, which you have here. The boats were very popular during the war (and afterwards), so it's not surprising to see a group like this on there, although I guess the photo was produced for some reason (i.e. having a person highlighted on the photo).

Thanks again and I'm sorry not to be able to offer any more than that!

Simon

#16 Pete's Historicalia

Pete's Historicalia

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 28 posts

Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:25 AM

I wonder if the cap badge on the boatman is identifiable to a company (possibly Mears):

Posted Image

#17 Pete's Historicalia

Pete's Historicalia

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 28 posts

Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:32 AM

As Jim Strawbridge suggested the inset photo of the gentleman certainly looks similar to Sir James Dobbie ( http://www.rsc.org/A.../1897to1944.asp )

Posted Image

#18 jdoyle

jdoyle

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 834 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Swindon/Harold's X

Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

Here is a close up of the photographer, sadly a bit obliterated by damage:

Posted Image


thanks for this. Have tried more variations but still coming up blank.

#19 MartinBennitt

MartinBennitt

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 2,634 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:France
  • Interests:military history, esp WWI, current affairs, cinema, playing golf badly

Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:55 PM

It certainly looks like Mrèches to me. Googling the name reveals that it is pretty uncommon but it does exist. There seems to be a small part of the first letter of the place name at the extreme-left of the torn off bit. Looks like an upright, so Henley would fit, as it has a Market Place, while Marlow wouldn't as it has a Market Square.

cheers Martin B

#20 old owl

old owl

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,252 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Yorkshire, uk

Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:02 PM

Looking at the space to fill and also the first letter, which could be a K, it would seem that Kingston-upon-Thames would fit the gap better, and this does have a Market Place :thumbsup:

Robert



Reply to this topic