Thursday, June 01, 2017

Sergeant Richey

One of the pages in Nurse Oliver's album contains five badly faded photographs of convalescent soldiers at Beechland House.  The photograph above is probably the most detailed of the five and certainly the one that has withstood the test of time the best.  Neither Edith Oliver or Frances Blencowe named the individuals who appear in photographs in their albums; with the exception of these five.
The photos were clearly taken at Beechland House and date to June or early July 1916.  Apart from the fact that lupins can be seen in full bloom in a couple of the photographs and the men appear to be blinking into the sunlight, Trooper Hicks appears elsewhere in Nurse Oliver's album and dated his entry May 1916.  He was obviously still a patient when Hickwells was vacated and Sussex 54 VAD moved into its new Beechland House premises in June 1916.  He left hospital on 5th July 1916 and so the photograph must date to between the move to Beechlands - about 6th June 1916 - and George Hicks's departure the follwing month.  The individuals who appear in the photograph above are named as:
Back row: Sergeant Milne, Private Hilton, Sergeant Richey; middle row: Trooper Hicks, Private Foster, Rifleman Deers, Private Hart, Bombardier Garland; front row: Rifleman Hardcastle, Private Dorchester, Rifleman R Nicholson.

Three of these men also appear in another photograph in Nurse Oliver's album (above).  Identified soldiers in this photograph are Private Hart (holding the dog), Rifleman Nicholson (second from right) and Sergeant Milne (far right).  This photo almost certainly dates from around the same time in 1916.
A Rifleman Hughes is named as appearing in another one of the five faded photographs but the image has suffered badly and I have not reproduced it on this website.
The photogaph below appears elsewhere on this site and may have been taken at Hickwells rather than Beechlands; it is impossible to say which. George Hicks also appears in this photograph, recumbent front left. 

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