Saturday, 24 June 2017

So what was he doing in Haywards Heath in the arms of a Red Cross nurse?

Now this postcard has set me thinking.

The caption is easy enough to follow........... “The Manchesters are holding their own at Haywards Heath.”

It leaves little to the imagination but perhaps offers up a challenge to historic accuracy.

I am pretty sure that none of the eight Pals’ Battalions went through the army camp at Haywards Heath on their way to France and the Western Front in September and November 1915.

Their route took them from the North West to Grantham and then Salisbury with some then making the short journey to Southampton and the rest to Folkestone or Dover.

It could of course be the Regulars are the Territorial battalions but as yet I haven’t done the research.

Or it may just be an enterprising postcard company cynically using the Manchester’s and no doubt substituting the names of the Lancashire Fusiliers or the West Kent’s to a standard image of a soldier and a nurse.

That way you can be pretty sure that someone will buy a card.

All of that said I like the image which David Harrop sourced for me and which was the final picture postcard to make its way into the book Manchester and the Great War which was published in February of this year.

But that is another story.

Location; Haywards Heath

Picture; “The Manchesters are holding their own at Haywards Heath” from the collection of David Harrop

*A new book on Manchester and the Great War,

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