Thursday 23 July 2015

Buried Alive - Cpl George Webber - France 1918

Everyone's worst nightmare - buried alive and eaten by rats.

This article is from The Daily Telegraph dated 22nd October 2000

There is a rather pedantic discussion about what cap-badge George was wearing at the time he was being bayoneted and buried alive on the excellent Great War Forum. But apart from that there is very little information about George.

The irony is that George was eventually killed by a prescription asthma spray in 1949.It looks as though his asthma was caused by the inhalation of mustard gas that destroyed parts of his lower lung. They got him in the end!

A remarkable man to say the least 

Alan Lowndes and Bill Brandt - Sheffield

I've just posted an article to the site on the artist Alan Lowndes (1921 - 1978)

In one of the articles there is a reference to the auction of a photograph from Sheffield 1937. The auction took place in November 2006

The black and white photograph that was auctioned was by the noted photographer Bill Brandt. In 1937 Bill visited Sheffield and took some of the most iconic photos of the inter-war period. But no-one knows who the toddlers where and where the photographs were taken.

The children must have been relatively well off - at least they had shoes!!

The Sheffield Star dated Tuesday 7 November 2006 carried this report

Mystery toddler stars in auction

ONE of the most valuable photographs ever taken in Sheffield is expected to fetch up to £2,000 when it is auctioned next week.

The 10x8 inch black and white photograph, simply titled 'Sheffield', was taken in 1937 and is valuable because it is by one of Britain's greatest photographers, Bill Brandt.

It shows a toddler in a Sheffield back yard, with clothes on a washing line in the background.

The only mystery is the identity of the toddler, who would now be in her 70s, but who was never named.

Bill Brandt's photographs are now much sought-after and sometimes sell for extraordinary sums. One of his views of London, taken in 1952, was sold at Christie's in Paris last year for a staggering 53,608,a new world record for a Brandt photograph. The Sheffield picture will be auctioned at Sotheby's in London on November 14.

Brandt's fans include the Yorkshire-born artist, David Hockney, who says: "Bill Brandt made pictures of the north of England around the time I was born.

"They are carefully composed and seem to me very real. I say he made pictures, rather than took them, because he regarded the image as the important thing, rather than the purity of execution.

"His techniques understands the power of images. It's that, for me, that gives them their strength in a time when a photograph as documentary evidence is fading fast. They survive and enter the memory because they were constructed by an artist."

In their book, 'Brandt: The Photography of Bill Brandt', authors Bill Jay and Nigel Warburton say: "During the 1930s and 1940s, Brandt was at the centre of the thriving photo-journalistic industry, doing a series of important stories for photographic magazines such as Liliput and Picture Post.

Sunday 5 July 2015

473 - 481 Crookesmoor Road, Sheffield

In November 2014 I received this e-mail from someone who is seeking information on the following

"I have just been on your excellent website. Regarding the Crookes area I was wondering if you have any photos of the buildings next to the Unity church on Crookesmoor Road when the shops were there.My grandfather & father owned a shop there after the war up until 1968.I would be grateful if you have anything as I have been searching for many years"

The only photo I can find is on Picture Sheffield which was taken on 17th November 1966 from a vantage point high up Conduit Lane


The buildings in question are 473 - 481 Crookesmoor Road, Sheffield. None of the buildings are shops now - they all seem to be multiple-lets

Photographs taken 18th June 2015

If any reader can supple me with any additional information about this row of properties especially photographs, please contact me. 

The Last VC in Crookes (Sheffield) - July 1962

Quite a few years ago I posted as series of articles on people that had been awarded the Victoria Cross and also had "a Sheffield connection"

One of the seven listed was James Welch VC who was awarded his Victoria Cross for his actions on the Western Front in April1917.

I have added additional material to James's article in the interim but whilst I was in the Sheffield Local Studies Library the week before last I came across his name in the Sheffield Telegraph dated Tuesday 17th July 1962. James (74) who was described as "Sheffield's only living VC" had been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, and then a banquet at the Mansion House in London. Attending these events would be over 200 holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross.

But rather sadly the next day's edition of the Sheffield Telegraph carried a rather sad report that George was not able to attended the events due to continuing ill-health.

The report mentioned that James lived at Western Road, Crookes. A look at the Kelly's Directory for 1962 gave the entry "188 Western Road - Jas Welch"

I passed the house today "Sunday 5th July 2015" and from my observations the house is a buy-to-let/ student property, and of course there is no mention that this was the home of Sheffield's last living Victoria Cross holder