Special Military Training?

Enjoy today two photos that show us that sometimes military training and camp isn’t all marching and push ups. I don’t know who the subjects are, but they were in the same pile as these pictures of Earl “E. B.” Scott and his buddy. Location and date are unknown but I’m guessing in the 1940s to 50s.




Four Great War soldiers

Today is Veterans Day, November 11. You may have heard that Veterans Day originated with the Great War, the war to end all wars, World War I. Originally called Armistice Day, it was a moment of silence observed at 11:00 a.m. on November 11th, because that was the time designated in the Armistice Agreement for an end to hostilities on the Western Front. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. In the days before internet communications, explicit and defined times and dates were important so that everyone got the message loud and clear. The armistice was a success and World War I came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, and ultimately the fall of Berlin.

The Great War sadly was not the war to end all wars.

One hopes that these four soldiers returned home from battle, healthy and able to pick up their lives, but we can never know. The photo carries no identification on the reverse. World War I also gave rise to the term “shell shock” which today we would call post traumatic stress disorder. 100 years ago, there was no treatment for this syndrome. Men were expected to deal with it and get on with their lives. I can only imagine how terrible it must have been.

Thank your local veteran today, for their sacrifices and service to your country. It is not an easy job to perform, and in America, can be woefully under paid, under supported and unsung. While we find it easy to wear yellow ribbons, the colors of our flag, or put up signs saying “we support our troops,” our Veterans Administration is underfunded and our Veterans hospitals are understaffed. Not only do our active duty military suffer daily, but their families make deep sacrifices – deployments separating parents, family deployments to foreign countries and frequent moves, children changing schools annually – and sometimes, they make the greatest sacrifice of all in the death of their military family member. Veterans are frequently affected with long term consequences of their deployment and the action they have seen, both physically through illness/injury, but mentally through PTSD and the deep scars left by the missions they conducted. It cannot be an easy life to live, and we must appreciate every man and woman who choose to live it.

Read more about Veterans Day and the history of this holiday

History of Veterans Day – via Office of Public Affairs, US Dept of Veterans Affairs

Why do we wear a poppy? – via The Telegraph UK

In Flanders Fields – poem written about WWI

The Remembrance Poppy – via Wikipedia

De Teu Londres Amigos



This photograph of a handsome young man was taken in Islington, Newfoundland. The year is unknown but after World War I, Newfoundland had a minimal military presence, so the photo is possibly from the WWI era.

At that time, Newfoundland was still an independent country although under the British dominion, and owing allegiance to Britain. Since the military in Newfoundland had been virtually nonexistant since 1870, a recruiting effort took place, and eventually enough men were raised to create the Newfoundland Regiment.  After basic training and acclimating to military life, the Regiment was eventually sent to Suvla Bay and the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign. This Regiment escaped with relatively few casualties (40 deceased, 150 ill), and they went on to fight again at the Battle of the Somme. They were not as lucky during this battle, and on July 1, 1916 they lost approximately 90% of their number (670 of 780) were lost. The following day, only 68 men were able to make it to roll call. It was a devastating blow to the Regiment, but recruiting efforts back in Newfoundland continued and their ranks swelled again. They continued to see action, sometimes terribly, with April 23, 1917 being the last day for 435 of their numbers at the Battle of Arras. Throughout the war they deported themselves with incredible valor, earning the distinction of “Royal” being added to their name by King George V, an honor that had not been bestowed during battle for the previous 101 years.

After WWI, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment saw very little action over seas, and sent no infantry to fight during WW2. They did send two artillery units and have since maintained a presence, however limited, in world activities. After becoming a Canadian province in 1949, the Regiment has been the primary military presence in the province, and they have acted as U.N. Peace Keepers around the world. Amazingly, in August 2010, the regiment experienced their first combat loss in almost 100 years, when Corporal Brian Pinkson died of wounds sustained in Afghanistan. July 1st continues as Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador in honor of those many men lost in 1916.

Monday Back

De teu Londres amigos, Dinie

The back of the photo has a handwritten note, which maybe someone else can decipher more accurately. The writing in green ink is angled across the top left corner. I can’t make the name turn into something I am familiar with (not Diane, Dane, Dario, etc.). The studio was called Watson’s. It is possible this man was not part of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, but in fact visiting Newfoundland as part of the recruiting efforts by Britain, or even later on in the 20th century. We shall never know though, since whoever he was, he didn’t sign his last name.

UPDATE; Thanks to Pierre Lagace’ at Lest We Forget, the dating of this photograph has been changed to World War II era. Pierre believes this might have been a British sailor not stationed on a ship – as his hat band would say the name. Possibly the man was stationed in Newfoundland and had his photo made while there. It makes the salutation “to your London friends” have a little more context, certainly.

Rough Night

Just a little nap

For this week’s Sepia Saturday, I could have followed the prompt and given you a photograph of a nice, formal arrangement of soldiers.

But I just couldn’t resist this.

Click over to Sepia Saturday for military shenanigans and formal portraits alike.

Ten hut!

Cdr. W. E. Johnston

This naval commander was W. E. Johnston. I do not know what a CIC Officer is. Vintage 1955 is my guess. The photo is mounted on hard cardboard and the label with the name was placed directly onto the front of the photo. Any other identifying information on the back of the photo is lost.

Fire Chief

This is an undated snapshot of three men in front of some type of large vehicle in the barn. I assume from the note penned on the back that it is the fire station somewhere….any input from readers is greatly appreciated!

“My self, Wall and Strom (who was fire chief until transferred) now that handsome guy on the left is the big wheel. Looks like he can handle the job don’t he?????”


It certainly is NOT cold enough for dog sleds here where I live – although it is “chilly” by our thin skinned standards, a cool 70 degrees, ha ha. This photo was captioned “Dog team, Ft. Wainwright Alaska, Jan 1962, 69 below.”

Wow. That’s cold.

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