A special album of Great War photographs

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A special album of Great War Photographs


An album of photographs revealing previously unknown aspects of life in Jersey during the Great War was given to the Photographic Archive of La Société Jersiaise in 2014. It is described in these terms on the Archive's Facebook page: The First World War (1914-1918) generated more photographs than all previous conflicts put together. However, until recently Jersey photographic archives contained relatively few records of the profound impact of the First World War on islanders’ lives. With the First World War now beyond living memory, photographs are vital as objects with the power to transport us back in time to witness the experiences of our forebears. Upon the centenary, photographs have emerged from attics, albums and shoeboxes to reveal the faces and tell the stories of islanders during the Great War. One special album donated to the Société Jersiaise in 2014, in the words of its compiler John Edward Coombs, and Gordon Owen his late son, contains 208 'photos that each and all speak for themselves'. Largely unseen until 2014, the album documents an island community from 1914-1918 which was forever changed by war.

We have chosen a selection of these photographs to give them a wider audience

John Edward Coombs, who compiled the album. He served in the Militia, but did not join his four brothers in the Army, probably because he was so short
A uneral cortege of a Militiaman who died after contracting pneumonia while on guard duty passes through York Street
It's over. A crowd gathers outside the Evening Post offices in Bath Street to hear news of the Armistice in November 1918
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