Is that you Billy … ?

I thought I would take brief respite from the Norwegian ‘expedition’.  I have been in the attic again, this time searching for my dad’s photographic album of our 1963 holiday near Bergen.

There are boxes of photographs, negatives, postcards and documents dating back two generations up there and one day I must sort it out.  In the meantime I can still do some random poking about and come up with unexpected treasures.

The exploits of my maternal grandfather, Fred, have featured in a number of posts on this blog and in this book.  He was a Chief Mechanic with the Royal Flying Corps stationed in Egypt during the Great War and at first sight I assumed this postcard was another from his collection. However, not only is he not in the photograph but the hangar and their uniforms don’t look right for Aboukir in Egypt. The penny then dropped – this is not about Fred but Billy who was stationed in the UK. I have now convinced myself that he is standing on the back row, second from the right.  This guesswork is based on his only other image which can be found on the post Great Uncle Billy where the uniform is identical. Nobody else looks vaguely like him, the hairline, ears and dark eyes seem to match and why else was the image kept.

Great Uncle Billy ...
(click on the image to enlarge)

As it states in the earlier post, his funeral was marked with military honours at Andover Cemetery in the presence of his mother, father, ‘chums and superior officers’ and his fiancée, Miss Coombes.  Were some these heads bowed at his graveside on 11th November 1918.


  1. LaVagabonde · January 11, 2015

    I enjoy the results of your attic expeditions. So much history in your family.

  2. la_lasciata · January 11, 2015

    It seems to be the English who have attics. Which, of course, are filled with years and years and wonderful things. I have read about this very often. 🙂
    You are lucky, Robin (for I understand that to be your name).

    • northumbrianlight · January 12, 2015

      Holy haberdashery Batman, I am unmasked! You are right, something I have yet to forgive my parents for 🙂
      English attics, the realm of the unknown and the horror story.

      • la_lasciata · January 12, 2015

        And magic, don’t forget !

  3. Cindi · January 12, 2015

    Such history — it comes alive through your words and the images you find.

    • northumbrianlight · January 13, 2015

      Many thanks Cindi – I am about to investigate the war records for both Fred and Billy which might lead somewhere, probably into the second book 🙂

  4. restlessjo · January 12, 2015

    I think you could spend a long time in that attic, Robin! It would tide you through the rest of the Winter quite nicely. On the other hand, I’m starting to see ‘Snowdrop walks’ advertised 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · January 13, 2015

      Too draughty up there in the winter and too hot in the summer which I guess is why the job never gets done. The snowdrops are still very shy around our way. 🙂

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