Title and statement of responsibility area
Charles Bridges fonds
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Physical description area
155 b&w photographs in one album.
1 album of photographic negatives.
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Charles Bridges served with the Royal Canadian Engineers in World War II. Bridges may have been born in England; there is one photograph of him as a toddler in Bury St. Edmonds, one photograph of him as a boy and one as a young man in 1937 before he joined the military.
Scope and content
The problem with this collection of photographs is that two entirely different looking men are indentified as being Charles Bridges. One Bridges (A) is photographed with a bomb and given the rank of Major although the caption indicates doubt about this. The other man (B) is in the uniform of the RCE and is identified as a Captain whose first name is given only as “C”, presumably for Charles. However, the photograph is stamped on the back “Mond Nickel Co. Ltd”, a company that merged with INCO in 1929, a decade before the war began. There are several matches to Bridges (B) in the photograph collection made by the archivist There are only two matches to (A). It is not possible to match the three non-military photographs to either man. The album of negatives contains the information (presumably in the seller’s handwriting) that Bridges was at a bomb defusing school in Horsham, England from Nov. 1940 to May 1942.
The photographs were by compiled by an unknown individual who captioned the album “Major Charles Bridges, RCE, 148 WWII Photos. English bomb school & with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in Holland.” The complier placed a photograph of Bridges (A) on the cover. Most of the photographs are not captioned. A few of the photographs are identified as being taken in Holland; one was noted as Box Hill (England); another was captioned as Taplow Hospital, i.e. the Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow, Berks. The captions are done in different hands. Only two of the war photographs are dated, one 1944, the other 1945. Some are stamped as being printed in Appledoorn, Holland. The pictures depict bombs, military camps and vehicles, nurses and hospitals, ships including the Empress of Britain, a garden party, and a parade. The album of negatives contains an index by Bridges of what was photographed in Surrey, Hampshire and Somerset from 1940 to 1942. The index begins with huts at 4 C.C.S. in Dorking in Oct. 1940. Also included are B Company at Box Hill, Whiteley Camp, Bramshott, Porlock Moors, D Company Officers’ Quarters, Captain Curry (adjutant), Major MacClintock, Colonel and Mrs. Henshaw, Easter Sunday Services at Wentworth, Canadian Corps Field Punishment Camp, Park Lane in London, Nurse Terry Healy at Box Hill, some German bombs, Horsham Bomb Disposal (B.D.) school, demolitions at Epsom, Charles Bridges, Jo Bridges (wife of Charles Bridges) and Captain Bates, among many others. The handwriting of the index matches the caption on the Box Hill photograph in the album which contains an image of Bridges (B).
Immediate source of acquisition
The album of negatives (68-2009) was acquired from Alphabet Bookshop in October 2009. The album of photographs (11-2010) was acquired from Morris Norman in 2010.
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There are no access restrictions.
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Further accruals are not expected.
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