[ALBUM] Photograph Album of Military Dentist in The Middle East 1945.
Oblong folio. 191 captioned photographs, all black and white, averaging four to a page, average photo size 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. Bound in colourful hieroglyph embossed leather, thong bound, strong and solid, a very handsome album. Most photographs captioned in white chinagraph to page, some captioned in ink to lower border. The album begins in Dieppe, with a number of references to “Medloc” in the captioning, most likely referring to a Medloc RAF transport train system which ran from the Middle East and Europe, taking new officers and men out to new barracks, and returning men for leave and new duty stations. The album progresses through Toulon, with a number of images of the scuttled French Fleet, continues to Malta, across the Mediterranean, Port Said and eventually into Egypt, there are a number of typically Egyptian images; the pyramids, the sphinx, native Egyptians (occasionally referred to rather off handedly, the use of the word “bint” to describe Muslim women is common...so that’s a thing). The album then shifts location to Ein Shamar RAF station in what was then Palestine, on station images are plentiful, planes, men and materials in their every day environment, along with more candid shots of “Bedouin Types”, parts of Tel Aviv and a number of images of Jerusalem, including the Wailing Wall, one of which depicts an orthodox Jew in a position of worship at the wall with the caption “Cheer Up Mate!” So, again, that’s an apparently fairly typical thing; careless disregard for other people’s belief systems. An apparent lack of what we will charitably call “awareness” of other people’s holy sites doesn’t stop our RAF dentist from visiting every single site he recalls from Sunday School and photographing it, so as a pictorial record of a Palestine that within 3 years would be irrevocably changed, it’s actually quite useful. So, ten out of ten for contributing to the historical record, three out of ten for cultural sensitivity.