I picked up this little gem in a Palmer Massachusetts antique store a few months back and never took the time to look at the photo closely until this past week. The frame was intricately created; something not often seen in run of the mill WWI photos. The gold stars on the corners and bottom of the image should have been a dead giveaway. Once I decided to look at the photo a little closer, I took the frame apart from the back and began to uncover the identity of the soldier depicted in the image. I knew he was a member of the 7th Infantry Regiment; this was evidenced in the collar disc. The 7th New York eventually became the 107th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Division. Harold was in Company H.
The reverse of the photo was beautifully inscribed with everything I needed to know to track this fellow down.
Harold Edward Manners
Killed in France in the
Great War, Sept. 29th 1918
aged 23 years
After extensive research I’ve learned that Harold was killed during the operations before the Hindeburg Line east of Ronssoy, September 29th, 2918. His citation for the day reads:
“This soldier, with great gallantry and determination, advanced against unusually difficult enemy positions composed of strongly fortified machine gun nests until killed.”
I found an auction result online that showed his medals which were sold in 2008 at an auction in NY. A beautifully inscribed NY veterans medal for a KIA was included. I wish I had that grouping!
Harold E. Manners – KIA Meuse-Argonne 1918
A wonderful set of negatives from a family in Pennsylvania shows the lighthearted side of aging WWI veterans. An elderly member of the 316th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Division pals around with friends and family while showing off his war medals. A Purple Heart medal was awarded to our subject for wounds received in battle, and was likely delivered to him in the early 1930s when the current medal was officially created. Enjoy the images!
Legs Wraps and All!
June 22nd, 2022 UPDATE
Incredibly, an ancestry geek like myself whose husband is related to the WWI veteran above was able to positively identify the veteran after searching online and finding this site. Special thanks to Amanda who provided me with the name of Elmer Brandt Sweigart to pin to the name of the elderly WWI vet.
One of the hardest and most desirable WWI portrait photos to acquire has to be the female service member. Whether it be a nurse, hello girl, liberty loan officer, YMCA worker, or welfare worker, they are hard to find and always fetch a high price. Check out my “better” examples of these photos.
Caught in the act of painting!
We here at Portraits of War have spent countless hours scanning and editing the photographic work of Alva, but have neglected to post a series of photos relating to what he looked like while stationed at Kennishall nearly 70 years ago. I hope you enjoy seeing the face of the man responsible for recording the everyday activities around Knettishall.
August 25th, 1944,
Glenn Miller poses with some members of the 388th Bomb Group. Only a few months later Miller went missing during a flight over the English Channel,. spurring 70 years of mystery and intrigue. His death is still an unknown, although many suggest that he was in fact a German spy. The second image shows the crowd during the concert – snapped by Alegre from the front of the stage.
Some of Glenn’s best known hits are Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, A String of Pearls, Little Brown Jug and Tuxedo Junction. Many of these songs are likely lost on my generation, but will be familiar to many of the readers of this blog. Please check out the links listed below for some vintage Glenn Miller footage!
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Alva Alegre had an uncanny ability to capture the subtle beauty of his female subjects. Here are some superlative examples which capture the personalities of the women portrayed.
Platinum Blonde Beauty
Color at Knettishall
One of my favorite topics within the collection has to be the various sketches and murals strewn about the Knettishall barracks. From the humerous to the erotic, Alva painted it all. Enjoy!