Family Photographs from WW1:
A Band of Brothers
Many servicemen during the First World War visited their local photographer for a commemorative portrait and often friends or brothers would pose together, wearing their various military uniforms. Above are three brothers who, born between 1891 and 1894, were healthy young men when war broke out in August 1914. The photograph is undated but was evidently taken during the war.
John (Jack) and Charles Mabbs (left and centre) served in the 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, while their younger brother, Frederick Mabbs, joined the 7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. Jack was wounded in Mombasa in 1915 and later received the Silver War Badge (aka Silver Wound Badge), while Fred, who served in France and Belgium, was also wounded, judging from the wound stripes seen here on his left sleeve. Fred’s nickname was ‘Duke’ because he had met the Duke of Windsor and had offered him a cigarette (which he took!)
Happily, all three brothers survived the Great War and Charles, who had been involved in guerilla and commando warfare, remained a career soldier, going on to train British Commandos in the Second World War. Charles ended his days as a Chelsea Pensioner and the above photograph was taken in 1968, shortly before his death.
With many thanks to Beryl Venn (nee Mabbs), daughter of Charles Mabbs, 12th August 1891 – 5th July 1969.