Suez and Kubri – 2

“Taken at Suez during the time we were stationed at Kubri and on our subsequent move to Suez early in 1917.”

The second set of photographs from the encampment on the Suez Canal. While there is clearly some overlap with the first set, the photographs have been kept in their original groupings. As with the first set, all photographs were taken by Harry Belson (with the possible exception of the picture of Lt. Col. Bremner), or were taken with his camera, and captions, where present, are as he has annotated them.

There is very little commentary to this set of photographs, and while the images speak for themselves the stories behind them may never be told – from the picnic in the desert to the brisk funeral procession which has a resonance with much more recent scenes in the Middle East.

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Isolation Compound at Suez – Diphtheria contacts

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An unsuccessful trial of camels in a sand cart. The whole lot bolted causing much fun. Taken down in the desert in Feb. 1917. HDB

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A village near Suez wiped out by cholera – Just behind our isolation compound at Suez

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One of a number of photographs of Harry Belson, taken by one or other of his comrades.

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Lt. Col. Bremner, C/O 1/1 F.G. 163 Brigade, 54 Division (Norfolk)

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Our “bivvy”. Please note the sweet smile which nearly brought on brain fever from keeping up the pose. We only did 3 exposures in getting this. HDB Palestine 1917

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HB_1629_Egyptian well & ox - Oct 1917

Egyptian well and ox

HB_1630_nr Cairo - Virgin's Well - Oct 1917

This is the well (near Cairo) where Joseph and Mary with the child Jesus rested whilst fleeing Herod. Known as the “Virgin’s Well”.

These last two images are signed “Harry, Oct. 1917”. However, that date would have seen Harry in the midst of the campaign for Gaza, and after that he would not see Egypt again until the end of the War. One possible explanation for the apparent discrepancy is that the photographs were amongst those printed before the campaign and posted to the Belson family from the front (I can see nothing on the official records about any detachments being sent back into Egypt at the height of the Gaza campaign).

© Paul Barham, May 2018

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