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The birthplaces of army children born between the wars, if not in India and other sunny stations, are likely to be those camps and garrisons where the British Army retained permanent bases (and still do), such as Catterick, Aldershot, Colchester, Tidworth and Bulford.
Created using watercolour, pen and black ink and graphite on thick, moderately textured, cream wove paper, it is now part of the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.
If the civilian aspects of life outside barracks, camps and garrisons (such as the climate, the language or dialect spoken and the currency used) can change with bewildering frequency (often within a matter of months, but more usually within the space of a year or two) the touchstones of army children's immediate environment 'within the wire' typically remain reassuringly constant.
Over the centuries, the ways in which the British Army has catered for the families of its serving soldiers have gradually expanded from being limited to providing accommodation and schooling to supplying spiritual, community, practical and personal support and advice, courtesy of the chaplains, what is today known as the Army Welfare Service (AWS) and affiliated charitable bodies like the SSAFA) Forces Help.
And when abroad, the challenge of living in an alien culture may additionally be cushioned by, for instance, the availability of certain familiar British products and foods stocked by the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI); medical and dental treatment and care; and, thanks to the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), British television and radio programmes.
The two images below illustrate the contrasting fortunes of those nineteenth-century army families that, on the one hand, were accorded 'on-the-strength' status and were therefore allowed to accompany their soldier husbands and fathers on overseas postings, and, on the other, were not recognised as being in any way the army's responsibility and were consequently left behind to fend for themselves.
When World War I broke out, he was seconded to the King's West African Rifles in Nigeria as an instructor.