The Anderson Fonds: The People

There were a number of photographs of people and groups in the collection that do not immediately appear to tie to a location or an event. They are important to the collection as I am sure they will be the clue as to who was the photographer(s) and who were the central characters in the group of photographs.

Initially I was confused as I thought one of the images had Fred Walsh in Mons, Belgium at the end of the war. I now realize that is a picture of his brother Joe Walsh, who survived the war and came home to Milton in June of 1919. That may be a valuable clue as the S. S. Mauretania which repatriated: 54th, 75th, 87th, 102nd Canadian Infantry Battalions left
Liverpool on 32 May 1919 and arrived in Halifax 31 May 1919. This ties in well with the concept of “the Sergeant” in the pictures being a member of the 75th Infantry Battalion. Until we have his service record we will not know if he was a Sergeant when he was discharged or if he is the other person with the Sergeant. In addition, there appears to be two (2) Sergeants, one more formally dressed wtih Good Conduct bars, perhaps a Company Sergeant Major or Quarter Master Sergeant. More to follow on that topic.

This image on the reverse says “Two Duds” and I am thinking they meant to say “Two Dudes“, but maybe not. The person on the left is a Sergeant but he appears to be the more casual “Infantry Sergeant” with the floppy cap and greatcoat. You can see the Sergeant stripes on the left arm sleeve (on the right looking at the photograph). The fellow beside him may be Joe Walsh (if the Sergeant is not Joe), which I base on the fact of his lanyard and lace boots. I have sent in a query to the experts.

The second Sergeant is the one that was shown with the horse pictures and he appears to be better dressed. The caption on the back of that photograph, which is also on the Horse Page, reads “One of my horses“. As such, I believe he is one of the photographers and may be a Sergeant of the 75th Infantry Battalion. I do not believe he is the same Sergeant as shown in the first picture.

The “Fancy Dress Sergeant” appears in the next picture with a young girl and on the reverse it says “Two great friends“. It appears to me to be the same Sergeant that is in the horse picture. Note the quality of his dress and his cap. He is wearing spurs (and we know he is in the horse pictures) and he has Good Conduct stripes on his lower arm.

The next photograph is labelled “Two Canadian German’s with a prisoner – ha! ha!“, so it is not referring to either of them by name or as a friend. They may just be others in the group, however I believe the one with the moustache appears in other photographs.

It may well be there was a party taking place, as the next image says “Our 4th Division Con Party Couple” and it is known the men often had what were called “Concert Parties” with some crazy shows (i.e. some may have heard of the “Dumbbells“. As such, do not make the assumption that he is kissing a lady! The “Square Patch” he is wearing on his shoulder (it would be green for the 4th Division” appears not to have anything above it to designate a division group, which would mean he was with the “Division Head Quarters and Elements“. Other photographs also refer to the 4th Division Head Quarters.

The men appear in a group shot with what the back says “A Belgian Family“, so perhaps if they were lucky they talked a few of the young ladies into participating in the concert party. This does not appear to be the same family as shown in the page on La Hulpe with the 75th Battalion, but I assume that is where these pictures were taken, prior to departing to Le Havre, France and then on the England. It would appear that the soldier with the moustache may be the same person that was shown above in the German helmet.

Another moustache appears in the next photograph labelled “A friend of mine” on the back and there is writing on the front that says “The Officers’ Trench“. I am not sure if we can tie this man into any of the other photographs. There is no indication where that picture was taken and I assume they have been shuffled many times over the years and were in no particular order.

There is no significance that I see to the last image that is labelled “A Belgian Tus….” but it is included as it was there and may fit in somewhere!