Old Curiosity Shop – WWI photos

WWI 24 Sqn Stage

WWI 24 Sqn Stage


WWI 24 Group

WWI 24 Group

We do generate a steady trickle of interest from our Web Site and BLog and here is the contents of an interesting email from a Mr John Healy.

Some time ago he purchased an old photo album in a second hand book shop in Winchester, Hants embossed with the initials W.E.J. (He was always a Biggles fan from childhood). The album it turns out, contained several photos of SE’s and one of a theatre stage emblazoned with a crest of 24 Squadron RFC. There are also photos of personnel in costume and normal attire.

Here are a couple of extracts from the album to add to our on-line historical archive that keeps on growing.



3 Responses to “Old Curiosity Shop – WWI photos”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    My long dead father’s older brothers (my uncles), John William Jackson & Alfred Jackson were Theatrical Producers- producing plays and musical revues etc in the West End, and later in Europe from approx 1910 – 1939.
    Both started off in Music Hall as one of the “Eight Lancashire Lads” in the late 1890’s with other members of the Jackson Family of Lancashire.
    John William and Alfred – later trained and produced their precision dancing Troupes of “The Jackson Girls” mainly in Paris and became hugely successful. When Alfred Jackson wanted to step down or retire (I’m unsure which) he was able to confidently hand over his “Jackson Girls Troupe” to his then chief dancer – Margaret Kelly, who later became known as “Miss Bluebell” and called the Girls “The Bluebells”. The rest, as you might say, is well documented history including a 1980’s BBC documentary serial.

    I’m giving all this background because John William Jackson served in the RFC during WW1 around 1917, in one particular place called Chipilly in France, and was instrumental in forming the “MONOS” Concert Party – who were a group of entertainers made up of British servicemen active in France at the time.

    In the photo of the “concert party stage” shown on this page, you can actually read a sign that says “MONOS” on the board placed at the top of the small flight of steps to the stage.
    John William Jackson was maybe either in part-ownership/or producing at the “Alhambra” Theatre in London at the same time and was “able to request that they send large trunks of props/costumes etc to France for the Monos shows”, which they did. They called their concert party “The Monos” because of the type of engines their planes were fitted out with i.e. sic. the Mono Soupape Engines.
    How John William Jackson managed to Serve his Country in France yet still be a Theatrical Producer, I have no idea! as I have never found his complete service records – except for recently discovering the following very valuable and interesting piece of information which confirms he was:-

    ….with the RFC in South Farnborough
    ….No: 69468
    ….Rank 3rd A/M
    ….Theatrical Producer
    ….Enlisted 4-4-17
    ….Discharged 23-5-17
    … Place of Casualty: Recruits Dept, South Farnboro………

    ….”discharged. His services being no longer required having been …..selected for appointment to a Temporary Commission as 2nd …..Lieutenant (on Probation) for duty with RFC (? next word)
    …..War Office Letter 43/yo/593(msk)504
    …..Total Service 50 days”.
    (it also provides his wife’s name and contact address in London)

    I have gathered all this information from the various websites I have subscribed to over 10 years,+, and produced our family tree which is quite an interesting read featuring Charlie Chaplin as a youngster.

    I am wondering if Mr John Healey, who found the old photo album in Winchester, would kindly upload some more photos from it please? There might be some photos of my uncle John William Jackson as a young RFC Airman or other valuable information.
    is there anyone else out there who can help point me in the right direction & throw some more light on John’s WW1 service please?

    thank you for reading


    (copyright information)

    • the24sec Says:

      Lizzie – your comment is a story in itself. Its amazing what you can discover when searching the web. I will contact John Healey direct just in case he does not see this comment to pass on your request for the possibility of additional material.

      • Lizzie Says:

        Thank you so much..of course I await in great anticipation! I will keep logging in to see how things are going.


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