Saturday, January 02, 2016

Pte Dorchester

Private Dorchester is referenced only once in Nurse Oliver's album and that is in a faded photograph, one of a series of five, pasted onto a single page. I am unsure whether this photograph was taken at Beechlands or Hickwells although I suspect it was taken at Beechlands as one of the men, Trooper Hicks, was certainly a patient at Hickwells from May 1916 but transferred to Beechlands the following month. Another of these faded photographs appears to show lupins growing and as these plants bloom in late May / June and continue through to August, I deduce that Beechlands is the more likely location. But I could be wrong.

He appears in the photo above, the middle of three men, seated cross-legged on the ground.  Other named men in this photograph are, from left to right:

Back row
Sergeant Milne, Private Hilton, Sergeant Richey

Middle row
Trooper Hicks, Private Foster, Rifleman Deers, Hart, Garland

Front row
Rifleman Hardcastle, Private Dorchester, Rifleman R Nicholson

There is not enough information to positively identify Private Dorchester beyond his rank and surname, although he also appears in another undated and un-named photograph (below). Here, I believe he is the man seated far right with his arm in a sling. Trooper Hicks is also in this photograph, lying on the ground on the left.

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