Edward Reeves — “Our Men”

Box E


D8861/005 — Edward Reeves Photography, 159 High Street, Lewes, 2017
Image 2: H07168 — ’Our men’ Billeted soldiers at Edward Reeves


‘Our Men’ — Tom Reeves 4th Generation Photographer at Edward Reeves Photography

Audio transcript at bottom of page


“When ten thousand new army recruits were billeted all over Lewes in September ’14 a number of families commissioned my granddad to take group photographs of them with their soldiers. As it was obviously, it was a source of great pride that they were helping the war effort and in some cases lasting friendships were being formed. This picture shows ‘our men’, in inverted commas, the four recruits that were billeted with us. And the photograph was taken in the garden at the back of the studio. Three of the men are Shaw, Welsh and Philbean but now we don’t know anything about them, we don’t know where they came from, we don’t know where they served, or who they served with and we don’t know whether they survived. But their ragged clothes indicate that they, along with a lot of other people, may have seen army service as offering a better standard of life that they were used to at home. And on a personal level it was good to know that we did our bit during those two weeks in 1914. I wonder what my father, Edward, who was then aged six, made of the sudden presence of four extra men in the house and how they fitted into the domestic routine of what even now is an exceptionally inconvenient house!”