Brighton in old picture postcards

Brighton in old picture postcards

:   John Montgomery
:   Brighton
:   Sussex, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2725-7
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Brighton in old picture postcards'

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49. Infantry Territoria1s on the march along what was then a country lane at Patcham, north of Brighton, in the summer of 1912. The soldier in front, with the bicycle, is probably the company runner. This battalion was part of the large volunteer army of week-end soldiers attending annua1 summer camp under canvas at Falmer or Whitehawk. None of the men and lads seen in our postcard could have guessed that only two years later they would be marching not along a lane towards Brighton, but up to the front line in Flanders, perhaps never to return home.

50. The Bishop of Lewes is seen here with civic dignitaries and leading Sussex freemasons at the laying of the Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School, in the Dyke Road, on June 13, 1912. The stone was laid by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who was Provincial Grand Master. The school was built quickly and was opened on September 17, 1913, when the boys left the original school in Buckingham Road, but when war was declared on August 4,1914, the new buildings were requisitioned by the govemment as the 2nd Eastern Command General Hospital, and for the duration of the war thousands of wounded servicemen passed through the schoolrooms, which had become wards.

51. In September 1914 the first batch of 300 war casua1ties arrived at the converted 2nd General Eastern Hospital. The war against Germany and Austria was only a month old. 500,000 volunteers had joined the colours, in response to a great wave of patriotism and propaganda, to become part of Kitchener's first arrny, and the losses were very heavy. Our postcard shows townspeople, mostly young women, crowding outside the former Grammar School building to gaze at their wounded heroes. The town, like others in all the countries involved, was shocked because so many of the men were victims of shelifire, or were limbless, yet were often mere boys. From this date until November 1918, Brighton seemed always to be full of wounded servicemen. Since those times, thousands of young Brightonians have been educated in these same school buildings.

52. On January 9, 1915, King George V and his consort Queen Mary visited the 2nd General Eastern Hospital, formerly the Grammar School. This postcard, issued by the enterprising local firm of G.A. Wiles, shows the bearded monarch deseending the main steps to be driven away in one of the royal Daimlers. An attendant holds a rug to put around the King's legs. The Queen is not in the photograph, because she had gone to visit another military hospital fuil of wounded soldiers and sailors,

53. Wounded Indian soldiers are seen in the Dome, which was part of the Royal Pavilion military hospital in 1917. Beneath the old cut-glass chandeliers, many thousands of volunteers from the Indian Empire, who had been sent to fight in the cold, muddy trenches of the Western Front, were nursed back to health. The photograph appears to have been posted, with nurses, doctors and attendants standing still, while several patients look up at the camera, and men remain motionless on the balcony. The Dome was converted into a hospital in 1916. Nowadays it is hardly recognisable from our picture. A large stage is used for shows, conferences, and pop concerts; there are rows of seats where the casualty beds once stood; no trace of the wartirne hospital now remains. During the 1939-1945 war there was dancing at the Dome nearly every night, led by Canadians and other troops stationed in the district.

54. Men of the 53rd Sussex Voluntary Aid Detachment, assisted by Boy Scouts, with motor ambulances and stretchers stand around at Brighton Station in 1918. They were waiting for the arrival of hospital trains from London, Newhaven, and Dover, bringing casualties from field and base hospitals on the Western Front. Hundreds of wounded men were collected every week, for transfer to the several military hospitals in Brighton and Hove. 1918 was a particularly terrible year, when the war-weary allied armies met the fuU onslaught of the last great German advance, before the armistice in November. Nowadays, the same railway platforms are crowded with holiday trippers and business men commuting to London.

55. This is a rare card showing Edward, Prince of Wales, outside the Royal Pavilion on February 1, 1921. Later, he was to become King Edward VIII and subsequently, after his abdication in 1936, Duke afWindsar. When our postcard was published he was the best-known young man and most eligible bachelor in the world. He was 27, but looked younger. Fresh fr om his tour of Canada and Australasia he came to Brighton to unveil the Chattri at Patcham as an Indian war memorial. The Mayor, Councillor Southall, seen on the left, had urged people to display flags and bunting, and thousands of townsfo1k turned out to greet the prince. His lack of formality was appreciated; na time was wasted in bowing; at the prince's request, the writer Rudyard Kipling, who was present at the officialluncheon, made na speech. The Prince had come, he told everyone, to meet his ex-service comrades of the Flanders battlefields, and that is what he did on this memorable day.

56. On the morning of his 1921 visit the Prince drove in a procession of cars to the downs at Patcham, where he unveiled the Chattri which had been built as a memorial to the Indian troops who were ritually cremated there after dying in the Royal Pavilion and Dome military hospital during the First World War. The heir to the throne, seen here standing in front of the memorial, wore the uniform of a Colonel in the Welsh Guards. A film of this event was shown at 8.20 that same evening at the Duke of York's cinema, Preston Circus. This showed the unveiling of the monument and also the progress of the royal car through an avenue of 1,600 cheering, flag-waving school children who lined the route.

57. Field-Marshal Earl Haig drives along East Street on November 30, 1920, during an official visit to Brighton. The former Commander-in-Chief of the British army on the Western Front was greeted by cheering crowds, and reeeived the freedom of the town. Arriving at the station, he was met by unemployed men holding a banner inseribed: 'It's work we want, not charity.' In later years Earl Haig was severely eriticised by war historians for the immense easua1ties suffered by the armies under his commando But on this day, in the Dome, the Mayor referred to him as a eampaigner for peace. 'We owe a great deal to you my Lord,' he saldo 'It is a great deal that we ean never repay.'

58. This is an early aeroplane view of central Brighton in about 1920, showing the old Aquarium, the Royal Albion and Royal York Hotels, the Steine gardens, and St. Peter's and St. Bartholomew's Churches. In the centre of the card the minarets of the Royal Pavilion and Dome look like a erop of onions. Brighton was one of the first English towns to be photographed extensively from the air, because of the building of nearby Shoreham aerodrome as early as 1910. Pioneer fliers like Oscar Morison, Gustav Hamel, Clarence Winchester, and Eric Pashley were constantly taking aerial views of the town, but few early prints have survived. The white building on the left of the card, Iooking like a vast greenhouse, is the oid floral market hall, now demolished, which stood on the western side of the Town Hall. Equally interesting is the dome of Brill's Baths, to the left of Pool Valley, before the building was replaced by the Savoy (ABC) cinema.

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