|George left London on April 10 1914, sailing from on the SS 'Indrapura' bound for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was 17 and was said to be going with a cousin (not yet identified, but had to be from the Ricketts family). They spent some time in the outback, working for a farmer who fed them only on jam sandwiches. Eventually they managed to escape by climbing a fence.||This photo was perhaps taken a couple of years later. George in a uniform without any markings must have signed up (for the navy) only recently. It was thought to have been taken in Woking but in a studio with a large woodland backdrop (largely removed here to keep the size down) it could have been taken especially to send home to England.|
This is quite a motley collection of young men in the
army (mostly) or in the navy, plus quite a few not apparently in uniform
at all. It is not known whether they were going to or coming from Australia!
George however is very obvious in the middle, as if in a spotlight! If
this was before the 2nd photo above, then he was perhaps issued with his
uniform (unmarked) in England. The Aussies were very keen to join the
war and 'have a go'. George certainly looks quite happy
These uniforms look more finished!
George, like the two at the front, has one stripe now
and the anchor plus the dark colour indicating quite clearly that they
are in the navy. The young man on the front left also has 3 stripes on
his right cuff, plus a star so he seems to of higher rank, The sailor
in the middle at the back is presumably a midshipman. The inscription
on his cap is impossible to read. Are they just
friends or are they in a special group?
And finally for now - George in later life with his wife Maggie. You may be able to make out the name of the studio...
George is wearing his uniform, complete with crown and anchor, with obvious pride!