1914-1919. Hardcover. A vernacular photo album of a W.W.I British Army company based in Iraq and India by an unnamed photographer/soldier between 1914 and 1919.
17 snapshots depict groups of soldiers on their off hours as they toured Mesopotamia, Coonoor, Basrah City (sic) during the Mesopotamian Campaign. These include: a company group shot of 11 soldiers clowning for the camera with a homemade caption card, "Cheero! Keep smiling! Here we are again! Xmas greetings from 'Mespot'" dated 1914; a company picnic in November 1918, and 'A view of a cemetery at Basrah' with Christian crosses as head stones, possibly lost comrades from the 1914 Battle of Basra.
Four related images show river views of naval vessels, with captions which read, "Diving for treasure which was lost off one of the transports"; "View of one of the naval boats which used to lie in the river"; "Divers at work raising a sunken launch, launch marked X"; and "An American ship".
Vernacular images of Muslim natives with handwritten pencil captions include, "Native coffee shop", "Arab women buying dress material", "Chapatti seller", "Indian labourers", "Some women after a little palm oil." Several shots of the religious feast, "The Muharran (sic)" around 1918 or 1919, and '...Muharran showing the natives beating their chests." Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar when warfare is forbidden.
The Battle of Basra took place in 1914 (modern-day Iraq) between British and Ottoman troops, resulting in the British capture of Basra and a step forward in protecting Persian oil fields, with approximately 350 British losses, and 1,000 Ottoman losses.
12 x 10" 3/4 black leather and buckram boards on standard photograph album from the early 1900s, first 8 double pages removed. The first page with ink caption, "The Pond Bonchurch IW" (Isle of Wight) but the image missing, 16 double sided card pages with 40 images, the last 20 pages blank.
Most images (40) 4 x 3"; (7) 5 5/8 x 3 3/8", (1) 2 5/8 x 1 5/8" of Basrah Cemetery, and one loosely inserted of an Arab family in front of palm trees. Some images somewhat faded; front hinge starting, otherwise good condition. Item #25437