Saturday, 23 April 2016

Looking for the story behind the soldiers and finding Miss Crane ........ late of Bury St Edmunds

Now yesterday I was awaiting news of these men.

They were captured by a commercial photographer who added just the caption “Army Service Corps, Horse Artillery, Woolwich.”

The rest as they say waited on the delivery of the card from the dealer who sold it to my old friend David Harrop.

We both had high hopes that when it arrived it would offer a possible date and a more detailed location, along with the name of the distributor a message and a name and address.

Well three out of six is not bad, because with the arrival of the card we got the message, the name of the person who sent it along with and address and the company who produced the card.

Sadly the post mark is unclear but there is enough to suggest it was Edwardian which I thought might be the case given the uniforms.

And I know it was sent by Miss Elsie Crane to 59 St Peter’s Villa, Risbygate Bury St Edmunds with the simple sentiment of “with love and kisses to all you at home, best wishes.” 

The distributors were A & G Taylor who modestly claimed to be “The biggest photographers in the World” and judging by the number of picture postcards in the archives and for sale there does seem to be some truth in the claim.

They had studios on Regent Street, and Queen Victoria Street in London and within two decades of being founded in the 1860s had branches all over the country.

One source suggests they closed down in 1903 which I suppose gets us a little closer to when then men posed with their horses.

A first search for Miss Crane has proved inconclusive and I think nu 59 has gone which just leaves me to fall back on that row of houses in the distance and wonder exactly where we are.

Location, Woolwich, London



Picture; “Army Service Corps, Horse Artillery, Woolwich” from the collection of David Harrop

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