This post is not really in the spirit of the photo challenge – I certainly wasn’t the photographer and neither was my maternal grandfather, Fred,  who is standing on the back row, seventh from the left.  I suppose it is just possible that it was his camera they used to take the photograph, the one he is holding in this post.

All human life is here, gathered to take part in the ‘All Nations’ football match, Royal Flying Corps Training School, Aboukir, 1918.

All Nations Fotball match

In the years that followed the Great War, Fred immersed himself in work and local good causes. He was responsible for what was claimed to be the first ever floodlit football match and was associated with the Andover Carnival from its inception, becoming overall chairman in 1955.  During World War II he was a full-time officer in the Andover Fire Brigade, having joined as a volunteer in 1925; he was called to help at the blitzes at Portsmouth and Southampton. Not many years after his return from RFC Egypt, he was also responsible for raising the money for his town’s first ambulance.

Humanity:  the quality of being human; kindness or mercy – I think my grandfather had it in spades.

Andover's first Ambulance


  1. LaVagabonde · September 14, 2014

    Sounds like an extraordinary man. My maternal grandfather was also a man of profound compassion. They just don’t make people like that anymore.

    • northumbrianlight · September 14, 2014

      I agree – perhaps it has something to do with being born in a time when there was much more scope for ordinary people to do extraordinary things and the modern disease of cynicism had yet to take hold.

  2. Cate Franklyn · September 14, 2014

    Bravo to Fred!!! A real human being.

  3. Tish Farrell · September 14, 2014

    It’s great see more Fred photos, Robin.

  4. Tina Schell · September 14, 2014

    A lovely story, I’m sure your grandfather was terrific how nice that you know his history. I do have to disagree with laVagabonde tho. There are many like that still around. Just look at the work Thirdeyemom is doing for a great example!

    • northumbrianlight · September 15, 2014

      Many thanks Tina – aha, all the makings of a lively debate 🙂

  5. sustainabilitea · September 15, 2014

    Doesn’t matter who took the photos, the story and photos certainly portray humanity.


    • northumbrianlight · September 15, 2014

      Many thanks Janet – I have another photo from the football match which I must publish soon.

  6. socialbridge · September 15, 2014

    Such an evocative photograph. Thanks for sharing it.

    • northumbrianlight · September 15, 2014

      It is certainly of its time – I have another which I will post shorty – it has got me wondering about the identification of my grandfather in the group photo. Mysterious 🙂

      • socialbridge · September 15, 2014

        How do you mean about the identification of your grandfather in the the group? I’m intrigued as I have a host of old photos in which identification can be a bit an issue.

      • northumbrianlight · September 15, 2014

        Well, although on the back of the photo it identifies Fred as being 7th from the left on the back row, I am not convinced it is him. He looks similar, but significantly, as you will see in the next post, he has a centre parting and I can recognise him. The guy in the photo above has a side parting and lighter hair – maybe Fred was behind the camera after all.

  7. restlessjo · September 15, 2014

    He certainly was! I can’t but help thinking they were a different breed in those days. No offense, Robin, but you probably know what I mean. Maybe they had to be?

    • northumbrianlight · September 15, 2014

      Absolutely none taken Jo, I agree entirely – see the conversation with Julie/LaVagabonde above.

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