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 Cecil Beaton's war photography

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 14:22

Beaton is famous as a portrait photographer of the powerful and wealthy but during World War II he worked extensively for the Ministry of Information, using his skills to document people and events during the conflict, often with a subtle artistry which even today gives the images a resonance and power to convey much more than their content might suggest. The Imperial War Museum in London will shortly be staging an exhibition of his work from this period (they had one in Manchester two years ago) so I thought a sneak preview might be in order.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-10
This is one of the more famous images from the collection. It depicts a young blitz victim, Eileen Dunne, and was used by the MOI in press releases and newsreels to highlight Londoners' resilience to their plight. No one knows what became of little Eileen in later life and the War Museum are actively seeking anyone who might have information which they can then use to augment this rather striking portrait. Let's hope things got better for her after 1941 when this picture was taken.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-11
Beaton was on board HMS Alcantara when she sailed to Sierra Leone and took this picture of a sailor repairing signal flags en route. The sailor's identity is unknown so the IWM would also like if anyone who might have an idea could tell them more about him.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-12
The church of St Lawrence Jewry in Guildhall took a direct hit during a bombing raid on December 29th 1940 and Beaton was on hand to record the aftermath. Wren's 1677 building was to lie derelict for another 17 years before it was finally restored to its former glory as the Lord Mayor's official place of worship by another Cecil, the architect Cecil Brown. If you visit the church be sure to find the window at the back of the vestibule and have a look. It's a treat.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-13
Siwa in Libya, 1942. Soldiers of the Long Range Desert Group have just returned from patrol and Beaton has captured them lighting up their long anticipated smokes. Again, the IWM would love to learn these men's identities and their fates, if anyone knows.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-14
Another "lost" identity which the IWM would like to pin down - this was taken in a Tyne shipyard and shows a welder with her kit who obligingly posed for Beaton on her break.

I've collected a few more which I can post later if anyone's interested.


Last edited by nordmann on Sat 08 Sep 2012, 16:43; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 15:14

yes please...
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 16:08

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-15
A young sailor on shore leave, taken in Harrogate in 1941, and another subject who the IWM would love to trace. The graffiti is interesting and lends the picture a very modern air indeed.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-16
A WREN poses for Beaton in Portsmouth 1941. Besides that she crewed a harbour launch there is nothing else known about her.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-17
A young girl points out Lana Turner to her less than fascinated father in Cairo in 1942. The film being advertised "Ziegfeld Girl" was Jimmy Stewart's final Hollywood production before embarking on a distinguished wartime career in the US Air Force.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-18
The shattered roof of a mortared fire station in Tobruk, Libya, in 1942, a year after Rommel's famous siege of the port which proved a turning point in allied fortunes when it was ultimately relieved and the German forces forced to retreat to Gazala. Operation Crusader, the defence of Tobruk, had at least showed that Rommel was beatable in combat.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-19
The Blitz. A workman cleans up debris in Mary-le-Bow church after its first damage by bombing, taken by Beaton in January 1941. On May 10th the same year it took a direct hit and was totally destroyed. Architect Lawrence King supervised its restoration between 1956 and 1961, and in 1964 it was reconsecrated.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-20
A picture of Neville Duke, 20 year old fighter pilot with 92 Squadron in Biggin Hill, 1941, pictured by Beaton with his Spitfire. Duke was unknown at the time to the general public though after the war became a renowned test pilot and even briefly held the air speed record in 1953 in a Hawker Hunter F Mk3. Readers of the Eagle comic will have known Duke as Vice President of The Eagle Club and it is said that his flying exploits were the inspiration for "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future".
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 17:30

Cecil Beaton's war photography Yezide10
Yezidee recruits to the Iraqi Levies, with their distinctive plaited hair, in 1942.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Welder10
Another picture of the same welder as above, this time less formally posed.

Cecil Beaton's war photography V0_mas10
A youth working as a caulker at the same shipyard on the Tyne. The pictures were taken for a magazine article depicting how industry was being continued in the absence of its traditional workforce.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Jewisj10
A Polish refugee in British Palestine. By the time this child arrived in the Summer of 1942 he had already survived being uprooted from his birthplace and moved to Siberia by the Soviets in 1939, separated from his family and then further deported to Tehran, and finally being sent to one of the British-run refugee camps in Palestine.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Davidd10
Flight Lieutenant David Donaldson at the controls of his Wellington bomber at RAF Mildenhall in 1941. Donaldson was later promoted to Wing Commander at the age of 28.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Articl10
Bloomsbury Square, London, during the blitz. I've tried to find this rather striking drinking fountain myself when I've been in the area and failed. Does anyone know if it's still there?

Cecil Beaton's war photography Large10
Back in Lt Donaldson's Wellington, this time with a study of the unnamed rear gunner in position.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 17:51

These are just stunning and all new to me. Thank you for posting them.

The studies of people are superb but the two that especially struck me are the Tobruck fire station which I find so reminiscent of a Cornelia Parker installation and the Mary-le-Bow interior which might be a Dutch 17th c painting.

Any more?
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 17:53

Loads. I'll stick up a few more after dinner.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 19:02

Cecil Beaton's war photography 19420610
Princess Elizabeth in the uniform of the Auxiliary Territorial Service which she joined in 1944. Her recruitment was intended to be heavily publicised (hence the Beaton portrait), not only to show the royal family's committment to contributing to the war effort but also to raise public opinion of the ATS itself, many of whose members felt that both they and their organisation were the butt of too many derogatory opinions.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Washin10
The Siegfried Line was nothing on the Western Desert in 1942, as Beaton's picture demonstrates.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Aeropl10
A derelict and abandoned Italian troop carrier. Beaton stayed with the Long Range Patrol units for a period of two weeks in which they crossed over five hundred miles of desert following a tactical German retreat. Along the way they found much abandoned Italian equipment, pretty much all that remained of the Italian army which had been based in Libya when Italy declared war on the Allies in June 1940. In December of the same year Operation Compass had all but obliterated the Italian presence, necessitating the arrival of the Afrika Korps under Rommel to prosecute the Axis campaign.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-21
Bomb damage to the prestigious His Master's Voice shop in Oxford Street. The shop, only recently re-opened after a disastrous fire in 1937, was an early casualty of the blitz. Amazingly it stayed open for business throughout the war.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Stpaul10
The western facade of St Paul's dimly visible through the arch of a burnt out building after the heavy raid of December 29th 1940. Beaton was accompanied on this commission by the American photographer Toni Frissell, then his apprentice and later to become a renowned war photographer in her own right. She may indeed have taken this image as Beaton seemed to restrict himself to the Gresham Street and Cheapside area on the day.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Tumblr10
This one we know was taken by Toni Frissell and shows a young boy sitting amidst the ruins of his house. I find this one heartbreaking.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 19:47

These are truely outstanding Nordmann, even the simplest subject such as the washing line tells a story. And every shot permeates a poignancy that only the better photographers are able to capture and portray.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 21:07

They’re wonderful… and being black and white makes them all the better.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 21:08

A few final ones to whet the appetite for the IWM exhibition then ...

Cecil Beaton's war photography Annean10
The ruined interior of the Church of St Anne and St Agnes off Gresham Street after the December 29th 1940 raid. Like Mary-le-Bow this Christopher Wren church was to lie derelict for many years subsequent to the raid, eventually to be restored by and rededicated to the Lutheran Church in 1966.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Driver10
North Africa, 1942. Unnamed jeep driver.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Ship_m10
The ship on whose construction our welder friend above was working. The Tyne shipyards were frequent targets for German bombs, making the welder's job as hazardous in all probability as that of the man she had replaced. Despite this deadly attention, the requirement to train almost an entire workforce from scratch, and the difficulty in obtaining raw materials for the job, the Tyne shipyards still managed to produce 545 vessels by the war's end.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Bermon10
A woman made homeless by bombing receives a hot meal at a relief station in Bermondsey.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Liddel10
Gunner Anthony Liddell takes a bath at the leave station in the Viceroy's Residence at Simia in India in 1944.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Wrens11
Wren officers taking a breather outside the Royal Navy Training Centre in Greenwich in 1941.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 21:46

Cecil Beaton's war photography Robins10
Squadron Leader Michael Lister Robinson, then of 601 Squadron Tangmere, sitting on the wing of his Hurricane in 1941. In 1942, after having been "rested" but having insisted on being put back on ops, Robinson was lost while leading the Tangmere Wing at the head of 340 Squadron. His remains were never found. Robinson's personal papers, accessed after his death, contained some rich anecdotes, including this account of the downing of an Me109 on August 16th 1940 which differed somewhat from the official log entry: "He [the German pilot] never rose above 100 feet until well south of Maidstone and then throttled back. I overtook him and formated on him, pointing downwards for him to land. He turned away so I carried out a dummy quarter attack, breaking very close to him. After this he landed his Me in a field. I threw him a packet of twenty Players and returned to base."

Cecil Beaton's war photography Tea10
The Forces Canteen in Victoria Station, London, 1942. The soldier in the picture had been a butler working for a close friend of Beaton before the war. The encounter was entirely coincidental, neither recognising the other until the soldier turned round. That moment of recognition was recorded by Beaton's camera.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Gurka10
Spot the Gurka. This was taken during the long Arakan Campaign and showed the Gurkas' expertise in camouflage technique.

Cecil Beaton's war photography March10
Men of the Long Range Desert Group "march" towards Beaton in a light-hearted moment during the 1942 occupation of the Libyan Desert. This proved temporary as the Allied forces were soon retreating themselves after Rommel had regrouped and would be forced into a stand at the second battle of El Alemein in November that year. This battle would prove to be the decisive break for Montgomery's forces, though I wonder how many of the smiling faces we see here survived to partake in it?
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 22:10

And finally ...

Cecil Beaton's war photography Mother10
China 1944. A mother rests her head on her sick child's pillow in the Canadian Mission Hospital in Chengtu. The suffering of both is palpable.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 22:46

Wonderful pictures Nordmann truly atmospheric.

I hope it’s not too disrespectful but I couldn’t help thinking the two Yezidee recruits reminded me so much of these two guys…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq7DGvfnr3U
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySat 08 Sep 2012, 23:37

Wonderful photos, thanks. You found the boy in the rubble of his home heart-breaking, I think it was the one of the woman with her meal that I found most distressing. Something about her being there eating by herself, and the look of her. The little Polish boy also looked as if he had endured a lot and gone without enough food.

Neville Duke looks a lot older than 20 to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySun 09 Sep 2012, 00:13

Duke died as recently as 2007. He was flying his private Cessna with his wife when he took ill and made an emergency landing on the grass runway at Popham Airfield in Hampshire. He had suffered a serious aneurism but had still managed to keep control of the craft. From the airfield he was transferred to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey where he died later that day. He was 85 years old.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptySun 09 Sep 2012, 03:52

The former butler in the canteen doesn't look best pleased to see Beaton. His expression seems to be saying, "Ah shit, I thought I was shot of you lot".
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyMon 10 Sep 2012, 20:07

Beaton was wasting his time with most (not all) the posed "society" stuff he produced.

This work is absolutely superb.

Thank you for posting these photographs, and thank you for informing us of the forthcoming exhibition in London.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyTue 11 Sep 2012, 07:47

The exhibition is now on. It runs from 6th September 2012 until 1st January 2013.

There are also several events - talks and discussions - linked to Beaton's work.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/cecil-beaton-theatre-of-war
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyTue 19 Nov 2019, 18:36

@nordmann wrote:
Cecil Beaton's war photography Articl10
Bloomsbury Square, London, during the blitz. I've tried to find this rather striking drinking fountain myself when I've been in the area and failed. Does anyone know if it's still there?

One reason why the fountain is not able to be found in Bloomsbury Square would seem to be that this looks like a case of misidentification. Bloomsbury Square, including its Garden, is about 100 yards long by about 70 yards wide. It features broad lawns, mature trees, a prominent statue of 18th century Whig statesman Charles James Fox (erected in 1816) and is surrounded by handsome, 4-storey, Regency terraced houses. The location in Cecil Beaton’s picture is clearly not Bloomsbury Square. Nor is it any of the other squares of the Bedford Estate in Bloomsbury. Here’s the same spot from another angle:

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-beatons-londons-honourable-scars-photographs-of-the-blitz-04

Let’s look at the clues.

(i) The buildings of the street behind in the second picture (even taking in to account the bomb damage) seem quite shabby or at least down-at-heel. They also look more Victorian than Georgian. In the background of the first picture there are the zig-zag gable-ends of a low-level commercial building – i.e. a warehouse or factory or the like. In front of that building are visible 2 young trees and there is also a branch visible of tree on the left-hand side of the second picture but nothing substantial enough to denote a formal park or garden.

(ii) The kerbstones in the pictures have a distinct curve in the manner of a circus.

(iii) The prominent post with a circle at top is a road traffic sign. If the circle had been painted white then it would have denoted a speed limit. The circle, however, is darker (it would actually have been red) and indicated an imperative instruction e.g. ‘turn left, one way only’. This would have been written in black lettering on the white box situated below the red circle on the post. The lettering, however, is indecipherable in the picture. Intriguingly, in the second picture the back of the white box is visible and forms 2 raised flaps. One wonders if these flaps would have been lowered or raised depending on the time of day or the day or the week.

(iv) Another sign low down against the railings (partially visible in both pictures) reads ‘GENTLEMEN’ and so obviously indicates a public convenience.

(v) There is a further sign on the side of the building on the right of the first picture but it is only half visible and again the lettering seems indecipherable.

(vi) The width of the road in the second picture would suggest a medium size thoroughfare – i.e. not a back-street in the City.    

When one considers that Beaton’s London’s Honourable Scars set depicted St Paul’s Cathedral, Paternoster Row, St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe and St Clement Danes then one can see that when he said 'London' he seems to have meant it literally – i.e. the City of London. (Granted, St Clement Danes is just across the boundary inside Westminster but only just and one could still be stood within the limits of the Square Mile in order to photograph it.) This again would count against Bloomsbury Square (or anywhere else in Camden) as being the location of the picture in question. Those first 4 locations (St Paul’s Cathedral, Paternoster Row, St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe and St Clement Danes) are all located within a quarter of a mile radius of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe. Bloomsbury Square, however, is nearly half a mile further away again to the north-west of St Clement Danes which itself is on the edge of that radius. It just doesn’t seem to fit. If one imagines that Cecil Beaton with his camera took a walk on the morning or afternoon of that day taking the photographs as he went along then the picture in question must surely have also been taken within (or a least quite close to) that radius. An added problem in identifying the location is that so much of the City and adjacent areas has changed since 1940 in terms of street layout. Old maps, therefore, are a must. An historical detective puzzle.
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyWed 20 Nov 2019, 09:11

That girl certainly led me a merry dance some years ago - I'd forgotten I'd posted about her here.

You'll be pleased to hear that I eventually found her and she's thankfully still in situ - and as you say the photograph was badly captioned. In reality she sits directly opposite the gates to the old Foundling Hospital, now referred to as Coram's Field Park, on Guilford Street about 300 yards from where the caption placed her.

Wikipedia tells me that she was erected in 1870 by "the Misses Whiting" in commemoration of their mother. She's Grade II listed nowadays, so hopefully she'll be around for a while yet. She's a depiction of the Samarian woman in John's gospel who Jesus meets at the well, cadges some water from, and then shows his gratitude by basically accusing her of being a serial husband murderer and currently living "in sin" - cheeky bastard.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Water_feature%2C_Guilford_Place_WC1_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1324656

The poor quality buildings on Lamb's Conduit Street as indicated in Beaton's photograph, quite out of step with much of the rest of Bloomsbury, betray their origin as "charity" constructions, one side built by the Rugby Charity in the late 18th century and the older south side put up by the Bedford Charity. Bedford, who developed much of that area in an extremely ruthless fashion (he demolished houses he didn't own while the occupants were still in residence,) excited the extreme ire of his neighbours the Gray's Inn lawyers who objected strongly to what was happening on their doorstep. At one point there were pitched battles between Bedford's construction workers armed with picks, shovels and sundry other tools and gangs of incensed lawyers armed with cudgels, swords and small firearms. The site of these battles was what was then the wasteland "buffer zone" between the Inns and his estate, still the site of Lambe's 1564 conduit and an unconsecrated graveyard occupying what is now Red Lion Square (in which Cromwell had been unceremoniously interred after to his exhumation and symbolic "execution" by Charles II). By the 1700s the enmity between the Bedford family and the lawyers had not abated, which was what prompted the former to establish a charity and develop the area around the conduit as accommodation for "distressed gentlemen" - thereby ameliorating the relationship somewhat. The lawyers were offered partial ownership of the ground rent on these premises and the Inns got some free landscaping out of it to remove the eyesore of the conduit - as the this local extension of the Holborn Conduit also erected by Lambe had always been in their eyes, what with it attracting droves of the "great unwashed" into the area to collect clean water in pales. The Inns later capitalised further on the area by inviting Rugby School into their patch to construct, via a new charity, even more poorly constructed dwellings on their side of the old battleground. That Rugby Estate still derives quite a bit of income from managing these properties which, by the late 19th century, had actually subsumed the old Bedford Charity properties too.

Now I'll go sleuthing after the "Misses Whiting" - such maternal devotion and such good taste in sculpture shouldn't go unacknowledged, I feel. They deserve a little shout out ....
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PostSubject: Edited: mini-park not mini-part   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyWed 20 Nov 2019, 09:56

I must have walked past that statue a number of times, nordmann.  I worked on Southampton Row (not sure if the road is called Southampton Row there) but we were near the corner with the street where the British Museum was situated.  I remember that there were a few minor museums in the neighbourhood and several blue plaques.

Different charity but from my time in London I seem to recall that people like buildings from the Peabody Charity to this day.

I didn't know about the fighting between the the Charity's representatives and others and although I worked as a legal secretary for some of my working life I don't recall any lawyers I worked for carrying cudgels, swords and small firearms.

To mention Cecil Beaton's war photographs which are the subject of this thread, I wasn't familiar with this aspect of his work and found the prints intriguing.  It's so easy (especially if like me you were born a few - only a few -  years after Hitler gave up) to forget how thoroughly knocked about London and other major cities were by the horrors of war.  There is one "City" church which was never rebuilt after the war and has been made into almost a mini-park where City workers eat their sandwiches in summer (maybe even in winter if they are hardy beings) but I can't remember its name.  I wonder if C Beaton ever photographed that church.


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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyWed 20 Nov 2019, 10:07

Not quite blue plaque material, LiR, but I did discover while rooting around t'internet today that William Butler Yeats once attended a seance in Lamb's Conduit Street organised by the then Lady Rothermere. T.S Eliot was another regular attendee apparently. Yeats seems to have got into the spirit of things (pardon the pun) quite enthusiastically, at one point squeezing the hand of the lady sat next to him so hard that he hurt her, before then collapsing in a shuddering fit while screaming tracts of Milton's "Paradise Lost" at the top of his voice. Sure beats charades ...

Not having much luck sussing out the Misses Whiting but I did unearth this little gem - a 1966 recording of William Bennet's "Woman of Samaria" cantata which he composed in 1867, three years before the statue in Guilford Place was erected. The Whiting girls may even have been inspired by this, and I wouldn't blame them if they were - a beautiful piece which Priscilla might add to her list of dubious "benefits", I imagine Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyWed 20 Nov 2019, 10:09

Deleted - Nordmann got there first, and more eloquently, about the Bloomsbury drinking fountain's exact location and history.


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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyWed 20 Nov 2019, 11:09

MM and nordmann seem to be well versed in quirky history...
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PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyWed 20 Nov 2019, 13:09

@nordmann wrote:
You'll be pleased to hear that I eventually found her and she's thankfully still in situ - and as you say the photograph was badly captioned. In reality she sits directly opposite the gates to the old Foundling Hospital, now referred to as Coram's Field Park, on Guilford Street about 300 yards from where the caption placed her.

Guilford Place is also located just 200 yards in front of what was Beaton’s place of work at the Ministry of Information off Russell Square. But well done for finding it. I had spent more than enuff time pouring over old maps of London trying to find some long-forgotten tiny circus in Farringdon or the East End or some such place. Even the street maps from 1940 don’t show the triangular island at the centre of Guilford Place. It’s just represented as a hollow Y-junction. One would probably need a higher scale Ordnance Survey map for that.

I suspect that when Cecil Beaton’s Honourable Scars work was published, he probably said to the editor that it was a picture of 'a Bloomsbury square' but that this was heard as 'Bloomsbury Square', printed as such and has persisted to this day. And this erroneous caption has been repeated and reproduced (without checking) by institutions including the likes of the Imperial War Museum.

But it didn’t get passed Res Hist!
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nordmann
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nordmann

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Cecil Beaton's war photography Empty
PostSubject: Re: Cecil Beaton's war photography   Cecil Beaton's war photography EmptyMon 25 Nov 2019, 12:07

When I included this image of St Lawrence Jewry in my original post I mentioned it was worth checking out the window as it now stands.

Cecil Beaton's war photography Cecil-12

For those who can't get to see it in person this is what I meant. The picture shows Christopher Wren with his main carver and mason, as well as the workmen involved in the building of Wren's little masterpiece - all of which represents a faithful restoration of the 19th century window destroyed by the Luftwaffe in December 1940 along with the rest of the church. However if you look carefully at the bottom you'll notice the architect Cecil Brown and the local vicar in the mid 1950s discussing the restoration of the very windows in which they now feature:

Cecil Beaton's war photography Christopher_Wren_window%2C_St_Lawrence_Jewry%2C_London

I love little quirks like this when I'm dodging the rain in London - every street has them if one has the patience to look out for them (something typical Londoners are probably worst of all at practising in their own city).

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Cecil Beaton's war photography Empty
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