Grays – can you shed any light?

Hannah Salisbury, Audience Development Officer at Essex Record Office (ERO) needs your help…

Do you know something that could help to unravel what is happening in this photograph?

Photograph of Warspite Boys’ Band and army recruits at Grays station, 1914 (I/Mb 357/1/17)

Photograph of Warspite Boys’ Band and army recruits at Grays station, 1914 (I/Mb 357/1/17)

According to our catalogue it shows army recruits at Grays station in 1914, accompanied by the Warspite Boys’ Band.

The Warspite was a training ship anchored off Woolwich in Kent run by the Marine Society, which trained boys and young men for a life at sea. (You can find out more about the training ships on this page of the fantastic workhouses.org.)

I’ve approximately identified three distinct groups within the crowd shown in the picture, as labelled below. Area 1 shows the Warspite Boys’ Band, area 2 shows the men I think are the army recruits, and area 3 shows the crowd gathered to watch.

You can see the band and a group of men following, possibly new recruits?

You can see the band and a group of men following, possibly new recruits?

I am trying to pin it down to a date, and ideally it would be wonderful to find a newspaper article or some other document to explain more about what is going on in the photograph. If you think you have any information that could help, I’d be very grateful if you could get in touch: hannahjane.salisbury@essex.gov.uk

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