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About those who fought

This part of the site is dedicated to those who fought in the Great War. As far as my own family history goes, I know that my paternal great-grandfather, Ernest J. Saxon, fought and survived the War. My maternal Great-Uncle (William Bertie Goody) was a regular soldier who served before the War, and died very early on - killed on the 21st of October 1914 near Poelcapelle and, with no known grave, commemorated on the Menin Gate. He served with the 2nd Worcesters but died even before their famous stand at Gheluvelt at the first battle of Ypres. There were no family pictures of either William or Ernest handed down, so I don't know what they looked like or very much about them, although William Goody's service file does survive at the National Archives.

Private William Bertie Goody: a name on the Menin Gate

However, I have collected many pictures relating to the First World War over the years, and this page contains several of these. Seeing the faces of those who participated in the war makes you remember that they were just like us, but they lived in a world that was very different. This human face of the War is what fascinates me - the experiences of the men rather than the tactical and strategic analysis of the battles. How did they feel, what did they do and how did they cope with it?

If you have any information relating to any of the photographs shown on this page, I would love to hear from you! E-mail me at Webmaster.

The image below I believe is of the 9th Hampshire Cyclists, digging in what might turn out to be good practice for digging trenches.

Members of the Hampshire Cyclists

Next, members of the Somerset Light Infantry, most probably New Army, and the gun they have is actually a wooden mock-up, based on a Maxim.

Members of the Somerset Light Infantry

The close-up of the gun below shows it is wooden, used for training purposes (identification courtesy of Paul Reed).

The wooden mock-up Maxim

Now, members of the Army Service Corps, outside their tents, location unknown.

Army Service Corps

I haven't identified this unit, but the name behind them suggests a time relatively early in the War.

Soldiers at "Kitchener's Villa, Hitcham.

Now, those they fought. Again unit unidentified, but photograph believed to have been taken at Montecouve near Soissons.

German soldiers at Montecouve.

I find these photographs fascinating - to look at the faces and imagine what they must have thought and felt, whether they survived or not............I will never know, but the faces bring the reality of the War home to me in a way that words cannot.