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.


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.

Happy together

This little snapshot shows an Army man and a woman. The hairstyle on the woman looks more motherly than wife-like, but since there was no information on the photo I can’t say for sure how these two are related. The back of the photo was stamped “Cunningham Studio, Gainsville, TX, February 24, 1946.”

Four guys party

For this week’s Sepia Saturday post I really tried to figure out where this photo might have been taken, but I really can’t quite make out what the sign behind these four fellows says. We have two sailors and two Army men. They look to be at a celebration of some kind, what with the flags and bunting in the background and a lot of people behind them. The photo isn’t dated but it appears to be a World War II era image. It was *probably* taken somewhere in California because I can make out some of the letters on that sign, and the shop features an ice cream parlor, but other than that…..

UPDATE: some great information was provided by reader Ed: “the man on the far left is a Marine, he is wearing a service dress jacket and hat that was worn between 1908-1930′s , it is noted for its taller crown stance, and smaller upper ring in comparison of the shorter crown and larger ring of those of the 1930s-present day. The man between the two sailors hat insignia I believe is not military, it is a key stone design, and was worn by the Pennsylvania (keystone state) state police, AND I believe thats a whistle lanyard going to his pocket as well. The civilian to the far right is wearing a straw hat, large knot tie and cellulous clip in collar, with a vest and jacket, all in vogue between 1905-early 1930s. The sign on the left side says top to bottom California- Fruit- Market. but I believe with the state trooper this is a Pennsylvania picture, and the ice cream parlor is part of a market that has the very trendy for WWI period hot comsumer prouct of “california grown fruit” , the bunting on the window is very WWI , with the rossette of stars, can’t say I have seen that in WWII pics. The sailors are in their winter uniform (Oct-April?) with the dixie cup hats that were first used in in the early 1900s as well.”

Click through to Sepia Saturday where the prompt suggests crowds, market day, cattle and tea stands.

Follow the crowds

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