Images from the Front

Many families in the Parish of Kingsbury Episcopi have photographs which were taken during the Second World War.

In this section – Images from the Front – you will find photographs which were collected and taken by people from, or connected to, the Parish, who were serving members of the armed forces – photographs taken/collected while they were on active service.

The image at the top of the post is from David Hebditch’s album – 1770 Squadron, airborne.

The image to the right is from Reg Vaughan’s album – HMS Devonshire.

In 2020 the UK commemorated the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day (Victory in Europe Day, and Victory in Japan Day).

The Kingsbury Time Travellers – the local history group – asked people to look-out their photographs connected with the war, to prepare for an exhibition scheduled for the 2020 May Bank Holiday of commemorations. Many people responded and agreed to share their photographs.

Image from D.Hebditch – showing the ship HMS Indefatigable with a plane from 1770 Squadron above.

The photographs which came to the archive were taken in many parts of the world, including the North Atlantic, India, North Africa, Europe.

Some capture the daily lives of the people in these areas, and the urban and rural landscapes where the troops were sent.

Image from Sidney Harris’s album – India.

Some families have relatively few photographs and so the ones that have survived are all the more precious. It is only now, 75 years on, that we may recognise the significance of what these photographs represent, when young men and women left their homes to travel across the world to fight for what they believed was right.

In some cases, the number of photographs in family albums is much greater, and paint a vivid picture of the experiences of the Second World War, a world away from Somerset and The Levels.

Image from Joe Male’s Album – Italy – of the Trevi fountain, Rome.

Not only photographs, but also postcards capture the images of places visited by the UK armed forces during the war.

This collection shows the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands. On the back were notes written by Hubert Manning which record the devastating effect of fighting and bombing on the city. The Battle of Arnhem in September 1944 was the basis of the 1977 film “A Bridge Too Far”.

Hubert arrived in 1945 to witness the desolation of the city. He then went on to Berlin.

The links below will take you to the albums belonging to individuals connected to the Parish. If you have photographs from and of the Second World War, which you would like to go into the Parish archive, please contact us.

D. H. Hebditch’s Album : Royal Naval Air Squadron 1770 HMS Indefatigable. Photographs shared by his son William Hebditch.

Reg Vaughan’s Album : Royal Navy HMS Devonshire. Photographs shared by his daughter Sandra Male.

Reg Vaughan’s Diary : HMS Devonshire 1941-1943

Hubert Manning, RAF : Postcard Album Photographs shared by his daughter Hazel Manning-Johal.

Joe Male’s Album : Photographs shared by his nephew Jonathan Male.

Sidney Harris’s Albums : Photographs shared by his son Bryan Harris.

South Africa/India with the 10th Glosters

India Album

Kenneth Hebditch’s Albums : RAF . Photographs shared by his nephew Kenneth Hebditch.

Local People – North Africa;

Landscapes of North Africa;

RAF Friends and Colleagues.

A short Film : WW2- and the nine men from the Parish who were killed