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Herts Great War Portraits

PUBLISHED: 12:49 05 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:57 05 August 2014

Sidney Lovell M.M 1/1st Bucks Bn. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Sidney Lovell M.M 1/1st Bucks Bn. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

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Great War Portraits is a photographic record of World War I veterans Hemel Hempstead photographer Keith Collman met on trips to battlefields, at reunions and visits to homes, compiled over 25 years

Sidney Lovell M.M 1/1st Bucks Bn. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light InfantrySidney Lovell M.M 1/1st Bucks Bn. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Here are four Hertfordshire men Keith met and photographed, recording not only their faces, but also their time at war.

The book includes men and women who lived into old age, unlike many of their contemporaries, and who took part in some of the most historic battles and campaigns of the Great War.

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Sidney Lovell M.M. 1/1st Bucks Bn. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

Bill Partridge 7th Bn. Middlesex Regt., Durham Light Infantry and R.A.F.Bill Partridge 7th Bn. Middlesex Regt., Durham Light Infantry and R.A.F.

Sid lived in Tring. He went to France in March 1915 and served on the Western Front for two-and-a-half years until November 1917 when his battalion was sent to the Italian front. There he was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field after clearing enemy dug-outs. He ended the war with the rank of sergeant. Two of his brothers died during the war. Both are remembered on the Tring War Memorial.

Sid died in 1992 at the age of 98.

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Bill Partridge 7th Bn. Middlesex Regt. Durham Light Infantry and RAF.

Alf Razzell 8th Bn. Royal FusiliersAlf Razzell 8th Bn. Royal Fusiliers

Bill was born in North London and lived in Hemel Hempstead in later life. In 1912 he emigrated to Canada. He returned in 1914 and enlisted into the Middlesex Regiment, going to France in March 1915. He served on the Western Front throughout the war. He was wounded on July 1 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In 1917 he was commissioned and served in the Durham Light Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1918 he joined the RAF as an observer gunner. He was injured when his aircraft crashed in the final months on the war. 
Bill died in 1986 at the age of 93.

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Alf Razzell 8th Bn. Royal Fusiliers.

Born in South London, Alf enlisted in September 1914 and went to France in May 1915. On July 7 1916 his battalion attacked during the Battle of the Somme at Ovilliers and suffered heavy casualties.

Bill Jarvis 2/19th (County of London) Battalion (St. Pancras)Bill Jarvis 2/19th (County of London) Battalion (St. Pancras)

Alf was wounded later in the battle and went to Watford to convalesce. There he met his future wife Winnie. In 1917 he returned to his battalion in France and took part in The Battle of Arras where he was captured and made a prisoner of war until the conflict ended. 
In 1919 he married Winnie and settled in Watford. He died in 1995 at the age of 97.

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Bill Jarvis 2/19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras).

Bill lived in Welwyn Garden City. He served on the Western Front from 1916 where he laboured for the engineers and miners, spreading the chalk excavated from the tunnels that were being dug under the German lines ready for the Battle of the Somme. Before the battle commenced, his battalion was sent to the Middle East, where he served in Salonika, Palestine and Jordan. In the early morning of December 9 1917, Bill’s battalion received the white flag-of-truce just outside Jerusalem. This was passed up the chain of command and General Allenby accepted the city’s surrender. In September 1939, Bill joined the RAF and was put in charge of a balloon in London for the duration of the war.

Bill died in 1986 at the aged 88.

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Great War Portraits is available at greatwarportraits.com.

Keith Collman can be contacted at 01442 399234 and kc@greatwarportraits.com

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