13 November 2012

Not Impossible...

I have often wondered whether this chap in the centre (click to enlarge), from an early 1915 image of the West Ham Battalion Drum & Bugle Band somewhere in the Borough, is Black or Mixed-Race. It is perfectly plausible and it could be argued that in the Docks area of London not in any way unusual or unknown.

It's difficult to tell, as the ways of black and white photography back then in the early days of the technology can cause tones and shadows which are liable to be misinterpreted. But, I don't know why, I simply have a sneaking suspicion that this man is black or mixed-race.

From the same photograph is this interesting scene. Is that a father with his son? Did dad survive? Depending on his age the son may also have been called up by 1918.

The sad thing about WW1 research is that little questions like these will always remain unanswered - unless the relatives do the initial digging...


Black Presence said...

Yes he will be. there were plenty of black soldiers serving in WW1. Most of their stories are largely lost but there are plenty of examples around.

thanks for uncovering this new one.
Check out our article on Black soldiers in WW1


Doreen said...

We must learn to share our information so that they too can pass it on. Stories like the 2 Jamaican pilots who were in World War one which was an accomplishment since they first had to reach the UK and then they had to pay for their training to fly the planes.Knowing that kind of information gives the 2 min silence a different meaning.