My grandfather was always proud of the fact that he had been baptised in the Suez Canal. So it was in a spirit of pilgrimage that in the Easter after the end of the War he travelled to Jerusalem.

The first set of photographs were taken by him, and the captions, where present, are all as noted by him on the backs of the prints.


HB_1619_St Pauls Steps

St Paul’s Steps – from where he is reputed to have addressed the crowd of Jews that were mobbing him – St Anthony’s Tower

(The tower of St Anthony’s Coptic Monastery)


HB_1611_Jerusalem Golden Gate

Jerusalem – the Golden Gate


HB_1625_Jerusalem - RO Church

Russian Orthodox Church – Mount of Olives. Easter 1919. All the roof was gilt and looked wonderful in the sun. It was sealed up so we couldn’t go inside.

HB_1624_Jerusalem - Easter 1919

Jerusalem – showing the dome of the Mosque of Omar. Taken by me from the Mount of Olives. Russian Church on the right. Easter 1919.


HB_1622_Jerusalem - Mosque of Omar

Jerusalem – Mosque of Omar

HB_1623_Jerusalem - Temple & Mosque of Omar

Jerusalem – Temple area & Mosque of Omar



The house where Lazarus was raised from the dead


HB_1626_Mount of Olives - Easter 1919

Church of the Ascension taken from the tower of the German Church on the Mount of Olives. Easter 1919.



The remainder of the photographs of Jerusalem and Bethlehem are postcards of Christian holy places. The messages written to the family give a clear picture of the impact that these places had on my grandfather.

PC_01 Dead SeaPC_04 Monument of AbsalomPC_05 Rachel's TombPC_08 Grotto of the NativityPC_06 The Manger

PC_07 Bethlehem Basilica

“Basilica, Bethlehem. The oldest Christian church in the world – below this is the birthplace of Christ.”


“A view of the Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem. The large tree is an ancient olive tree some hundreds of years old & reputed to have descended from the actual olive trees at the time of our Lord’s visit. The garden has been much modernised. Love Hy. Easter 1919”

PC_03 Holy Sepulchre

“The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Contains site of Calvary and sepulchre where Christ was buried        – of course this is disputed by certain authorities.”

PC_02 Holy Sepulchre

“The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Easter 1919. The Sepulchre where Christ was buried after Crucifixion.”

PC_09 Ecce Homo

“Jerusalem, Interior of the Ecce Homo Basilica. Presented to me by the Mother Superior of the Church of Our Lady of Sion, Jerusalem – which stands on the site of the Ecce Homo Arch – during my visit there. Easter 1919 HB. The Arch and Wall forms the reredos behind the Altar shown in the photograph.”

My grandfather retained a keen interest in the Holy Land for the rest of his days, proof of which can be seen on his – now my – bookshelves, on subjects ranging from the history of the English church to the development of the modern state of Israel.

© Paul Barham, March 2018

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