Picture of the week

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14 August 2017


Battle of Flowers

It was quite appropriate that this photograph should arrive this week, because Jersey has just held its annual Battle of Flowers. This picture was taken 104 years ago, during the 1913 Battle, and is one of many which have been offered for sale in the past couple of weeks, no doubt trying to capitalise on the anniversary week. This is a particularly good quality image and also features a variation on the usual theme at the time of a flower-bedecked horse-drawn carriage, because this time the carriage is being pulled by boy sailors. The photographer was Percival Dunham, the island's first true photojournalist, who had an eye for something different. It's not clear whether these were genuine boy sailors, or just dressed as such, but the uniform of the man leading them seems somewhat incongruous. If they were, some would undoubtedly have been in uniform for real the following year, when the Great War broke out. Among other careers which would be cut short by the conflict was Dunham's own as a staff photographer with the Jersey Illustrated Weekly and Morning News. He left Jersey in 1914 to serve as a gunner in 503 Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery, and although he is believed to have survived the war, he did not return to his previous work in Jersey. We have a page dedicated to a substantial collection of his work.


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