Monday, 23 May 2016

Uncovering the story of Clarie

Now this is someone I will never  be able to put a name to.

Nor can I date the photograph or have any confidence in saying where it was taken.

But I think there may be a clue in the cap badge which while it isn’t very clear I think  belongs to the East Lancashire Regiment.

And I am a little more certain about that because this photograph comes with two others sent by Herbert to his wife.  Someone has added in a different hand “11th (S) BN. E. LANCS REGT”

Of course this maybe a mistake but there is one further connection because on both cards Herbert refers to a Clarie.

And this is the name writtten on the back of our card

Not much I know but interesting enough to want to know more especially as the 11th Service Battalion of  the East Lancashire Regiment was formed in Accrington on September 2 1914 and are more popularly  known as the Accrington serving first in Egypt and then in France.

They took heavy casualties during the Battle of the Somme but as for Herbert I have no idea.  There is no surname or address and so for now that pretty much is that.

It was uncommon for young women or wives to have their photograph taken wearing part of their sweet heart's or husband's uniform but the identity of this soldier is now lost.

And our young women may instead be Herbert's wife who was called Sophia.

I just don't know.

The handwriting identifying it as Clarie is in the same handwriting as that of the “11th (S) BN. E. LANCS REGT” which may mean I am on a loop to no where attempting to fit clues together which someone in the past got wrong.

But it is also possible that she was from Manchester who had a sweet heart in the East Lancs.

The photograph is part of a larger collection of picture postcards from Manchester in the possession of David Harrop.

David will be mounting an exhibition marking the centenary of the battle this July in the Remembrance Lodge at Southern Cemetery.

Picture; of an unknown young woman possibly called Clarie, date unknown from the collection of David Harrop

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