THE JULY 1918 PHOTOGRAPH was taken by Panora Ltd. of 60 Doughty Street, London WC and is marked “No. 2656”. This company was renowned for producing panoramic photographs of large groups of people. Negatives from before September 1968 have not survived.
The image would have been taken by gluing together several photographic plates taken with the camera – by rotating it carefully on its tripod mount. People are arranged in a curve, rather than a straight line. This process can result in some blurring – this is unfortunate if this occurs across someone’s face, which it does in the case of this photograph.
The photograph, within its original frame, measures 49” long x 10” wide and was once owned by Royal Engineer (Railways) John Keystone Wrigley and his wife Ada Ruth Ross Wrigley (nee Myring, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve Sister). It has not been determined whether the photograph relates to John or Ada – there is no evidence either way.
In support of John, is the fact that his division (the Establishment for Royal Engineer Services) did maintain specialist plant so it could be possible that some men like him may have been employed at hospitals. However, evidence of any Royal Engineer being attached to Home Hospitals has not been discovered within War Establishments tables, to date.
In support of Ada, her nursing career had culminated as a Q.A.I.M.N.S. Reserve Sister at Etretat, France, before she and John married in September 1915. So, having her husband overseas in the Army and with no children, it would be logical for such a qualified woman to volunteer her services yet again – and find herself at Colchester.
This site contains profiles of identified and unidentified personnel – in an attempt to illustrate the diversity of people employed at the hospital, in order to provide medical care for the sick and wounded admitted to it. There were, with certainty, many more people who worked at the Colchester Military Hospital but they will probably never be discovered.
The photograph has 355 people in it and each person has had their image logged and saved – more often than not, those individual images are better than those appearing in the row images. Each person deserves to be visually remembered for posterity, even though it is not possible to put a name to the majority of them here.
No names have accompanied this photograph and any identification of individual (or speculation) has occurred through research by the author. If anyone can identify any person/s in the images, please get in touch. Contact details can be found on the Contact page.
Many people have helped me with my research and, in return, I am more than happy to help others who wish to use any details as an educational resource – this is the purpose of this website, to share. If anyone thinks something is worth copying, I hope I am worthy of being credited. I shall be pleased to help, if asked. That said, please respect the fact that some images placed on this website belong to others and are labelled accordingly. Out of respect and legality, permission to use any of these should be sought from the respective individuals or institutions – I can provide the contact details.
All the images presented on this site, will run from left to right across the photograph – likewise, the following images depicting the photograph in ten sections:
This web-page http://www.greyandscarlet.com/colchester-military-hospital.html holds an identical photograph of the July 1918 General Military Hospital staff; together with a Ward 7 photograph (taken at Christmas 1917) and a photograph of a Nurse (Hallet) and soldiers.