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Tom Morgan

A slim chance, but....... locate this spot?

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I'm always impressed at how accurately members can pinpoint modern canal locations from old photos.  There isn't much to go on in this photo but I thought I'd ask.  From his cap-badge, this man could be a soldier in the Royal Engineers, so I assume he's from the Inland Waterways and Docks section.  Are there any clues as to the location?

ww1canal.jpg

Edited by Tom Morgan
correct a typo.

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13 hours ago, BuckbyLocks said:

Devizes.  Series of photos now found in the Imperial War Museum Archives, but probably originally taken for a magazine. 

Are you sure? It bears a passing resemblance to the pound above lock 44, but I don't think it is - no house where the cafe now is (and I don't think that's a totally new building but stand to be corrected) or at least if there is it's very well hidden - it isn't the top lock (50), it isn't lock 46 and it isn't any of locks 28-43. The very straight edge fits lock 44 but few others if any in the flight.

 

It also seems slightly overpopulated with narrow boats - they weren't all that common on the K&A, and tended to stay below Devizes Locks

 

You may be right, but I'm just testing the assertion

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No idea of the location but the horse driver is in a dangerous position between animal and canal.It  Might be for photographic posing reasons but he should  be the other side of the towline and swingletree. Where he is , if the horse deviates sideways , as they do when e.g.  starting away from a lock , the driver gets knocked into the water .

  • Greenie 1

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Possibly the Basingstoke Canal, when soldiers were being trained to work on canals during the 1st WW.

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1 hour ago, billh said:

No idea of the location but the horse driver is in a dangerous position between animal and canal.It  Might be for photographic posing reasons but he should  be the other side of the towline and swingletree. Where he is , if the horse deviates sideways , as they do when e.g.  starting away from a lock , the driver gets knocked into the water .

And the collar doesn't fit the horse properly

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I wrote an article on wartime canals, published in Vol 5 of Waterways Journal. This was one of the photos which could be Devises, though there was also a photo on the Basingstoke, near to Aldershot.

in lock.jpg

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1 hour ago, Pluto said:

I wrote an article on wartime canals, published in Vol 5 of Waterways Journal. This was one of the photos which could be Devises, though there was also a photo on the Basingstoke, near to Aldershot.

 

That lock is in a cutting - again I don't think it's Devizes. It doesn't look right for the top lock and all the others are not in a cutting and have the towpath on the other side

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Pluto might be right.

 

I'm going by the rather faint building in the background, which seems to be a bit different, and the hedge alongside the horse, but could this be Maton Lock?

Needless to say the arboreal growth changes much.

 

https://tinyurl.com/sdgobku

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Although the IWT had a depot at Aldershot and the article in the 'Great War' Magazine from 1918 is very careful to not name any locations which might be of use to the enemy, especially Richborough, I understand that the training camp was at Longmoor, IWT being a Railway branch of the RE.  The sign at the far right of Pluto's picture is headed GWR.  I am sure this set of 9 photos has been discussed before on the Forum and I have always believed, as I still do, that the canal is near Devizes. Anyone who has attempted to access the wonderful pictures in the Imperial War Museum Archives will know that they are not at all user friendly and in this case they too do not disclose the location.

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Poor horse needs a farrier and a good feed.

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The photos with catalogue numbers q53949 - q53954 seem to be the same boats (BEDFORD & ESSEX) and/or the same people, so the ones in that series that might help further are:

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs 

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs 

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs

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Bittern, pictured at Avoncliff, was used by the Red Cross to transport wounded soldiers on recreational rips on the Avon and the K&A...

 

bittern.jpg

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Training Schools for Boatmen - Improving the Channels

 

In March 1917 the canal companies and carriers had about 1,200 boats lying idle for want of boatmen and crews for many of these boats crews have since been found.  The Canal Control Committee took steps to secure men for canal work through the existing channels of employment but as the number so obtained was insufficient an arrangement was come to under which suitable men of the Transport Workers Battalions were made available for service on canals.

[...]

But the number of such men who had had experience in navigating boats was limited and the Control Committee therefore decided train men of these battalions in the work of navigating canal boats. 

A training school was established on the Kennet and Avon Canal, and already a considerable number of men have been trained and out as efficient boatmen.  Arrangements have also been made by some of the canal companies in the North and Midlands to train men of the battalions on their own waterways Approximately 400 men of the battalions are now engaged in canal work.

 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uXg1jOHgDVwC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

pages 424-427

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9 hours ago, Dorlan said:

Bittern, pictured at Avoncliff, was used by the Red Cross to transport wounded soldiers on recreational rips on the Avon and the K&A...

 

bittern.jpg

The bow of that boat is similar to one photographed on the Coal Canal - I'll see if I can find it. The distinctive feature is the upstand the name is pained on.

 

There are at least three different boats in the pictures, Bedford, Essex and Bittern.

 

To add the locks are consistent with K&A locks, and I'm not sure they are consisent with Basingstoke Locks. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are Devizes, Seend, Semington, Bradford and Widcombe would also be possible locations - I feel a walk from Bath to Devizes coming on once we get better weather  

 

11 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

The photos with catalogue numbers q53949 - q53954 seem to be the same boats (BEDFORD & ESSEX) and/or the same people, so the ones in that series that might help further are:

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs 

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs 

 

 

I'm reasonably confident those two ARE Devizes top lock

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A final report on the War Transport Battalions can be found in the National Archive LAB101/2. Their canal activities were something of a sideline, and their main use was in the docks and ironworks. I have attached a graph of the numbers employed on canals taken from the final report. It is a difficult subject to research as little information was kept. At least two men drowned whilst working on the L&LC, but apart from newspaper reports, I have found little else about them. There are some papers in archive material for the L&LC and Rochdale canals.

1919 final report 43 graph.jpg

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