A soldier's photographs

Discussion in 'General' started by Peter Halsall, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. Peter Halsall

    Peter Halsall Member

    I wonder if anyone can identify any of the buildings illustrated in these photographs. They were found in the personal effects of my uncle, Joseph Halsall who served with the 6th Cameronians. That suggests that they are likely to depict places anywhere from Ostend to Bremen, but you never know!


    Attached Files:

    CL1 likes this.
  2. Bruneval

    Bruneval Well-Known Member

    Evening Peter,

    The photos are all taken in Brussels.

    Scan 0003: Halle Gate, Brussels.
    Scan 0004: The monument of King Leopold I in Laeken Park, Brussels.
    Scan 0005: Saint-Jacques on the Coudenberg, Brussels.
    Scan 0006: The Anglo-Belgian War Memorial is a monument in Brussels.
    Scan 0007: Chinese Pavilion, Laeken, Brussels.
    Scan 0008: Japanese Tower, Laeken, Brussels.
    Scan 0009: The Royal Palace of Brussels.


    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    ozzy16, Owen, Tricky Dicky and 2 others like this.
  3. Peter Halsall

    Peter Halsall Member

    Thats brilliant Bruneval, thank you so much. After you identified the first two I tracked down a few of the others on google images, but was struggling with scan 0003 and scan 0008. It makes sense now. Soldiers were often given leave in Brussels for rest and relaxation, Brussels being intake with little or no damage. He must have acquired these there and I think sent them home in letters to his mother. sadly the letters did not survive but the photographs did!


  4. Peter Halsall

    Peter Halsall Member

    Indeed Brussels sounds like good fun in the period after liberation. Just came across this account from a WAAF on WW2 People's War. Adds a little 'colour' to the photos.

    '... the War is still on, but fighting had moved far on. British forces had freed Brussels, and it was now a leave centre for men from the Front, for Allied troops. To accommodate them many large buildings had been taken over. The Metropole Hotel was, I think, the A.E.F. Club, the Montgomery (Monty) Club was a former Royal Palace, and so it went on. Entrance to clubs, theatres, concerts, Opera House, etc. was free, as were the trams and trains. ‘Charge it to Churchill!’ was the cry. Trams were grossly overloaded with people on the roofs. Meals in the clubs were cheap, and there were things we in England had never seen for years – thanks to Americans. My first visit to the A.E.F. Club got me a cream tea – scones, cream, jam, tea, for 1/- (5p). The YWCA, for the women's services, had been the house of the top Gestapo man - thick carpets, chandeliers! Those men coming to Brussels from the front had their priorities – a haircut, a bath, a good meal, a pint, and evening entertainment – so the city was lively indeed'.

Share This Page