Sunday, 8 February 2009

Physical descriptions part 2

Maternal great-grandfather Edwin GALE

Born 25th September 1853 in Islington, Edwin was the eldest child of William GALE, a retired seaman, and Sarah BALDOCK, daughter of a London brewer.

At the age of 18 Edwin begins what is to be a life-time career in the army and it is from these enlistment papers that we get a physical description of our great-grandfather.

Edwin was a relatively small man at only 5’5 ½ tall with a modest chest measurement of 37”. His complexion is described as “fresh” and he has grey eyes and dark brown hair. Touchingly, his discharge papers from 1901 remark that Edwin’s hair is now “dark brown turning grey”, his chest measurement has expanded to 40” (middle-age spread perhaps) and he has grown to a full adult height of 5’ 7”. It is possible to imagine also that Edwin had a slight limp; the result of a “fracture of the right leg” during his service that may have begun to trouble him as he got older.

No photos have yet been discovered of our great-grandfather but at least from his army service record we get an idea of how he may have looked in life.

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