Fringe Box



Letter: Help Needed To Identify Compton-Related Old Photos

Published on: 22 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 24 Mar, 2020

From Fiona Curtis

I have in my possession a number of old photographs that were recovered from a house clearance in Compton many years ago.

They are beautiful photos and it would be lovely to be able to put some names to faces, should anyone have any information about the Marshall family who lived at Church Cottages, Compton for much of the 20th century.

This photo is thought to be of Mary Marshall (nee Ellis), Gertrude and one of her sisters. Click on images to enlarge in a new window.

The lady who collected the photos was Gertrude Marshall (1888-1978). She was the daughter of James Marshall (1851-1931) who was born and died in Compton, and Mary Ellis (born in Puttenham 1847, died 1912).

James worked as a gardener at Eastbury Manor, before it became a care home.

Gertrude’s siblings were, Ernest, William, Mary Ann, Walter, May, Alice, Gertrude.

There are also a couple of nice sketches from ‘Jas Russell’ from Puttenham dated around the time of the First World War.

A picture believed to be First Word War Old Contemptibles. Click to enlarge in a new window.

I have two photographs of the Old Contemptibles, possibly the Guildford association.

I am sorry to say I know very little about this association apart from the fact that one picture features Major Rudkin from Compton.

Can anyone help identifying the people in this photo?

Any interesting information, photos or anecdotes about the history of Compton and its people (or Jas Russell) would be gratefully received as I am close to completing a book about the village.

Please email me at

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Responses to Letter: Help Needed To Identify Compton-Related Old Photos

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    March 22, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Very interesting indeed. Let’s hope you find out more. Do let us all know if you do.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    March 22, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    You may have already seen this, there are a number of group photos with personal ID captions on the village website album.

  3. Fiona Curtis Reply

    March 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Many thanks, John for reminding me about this album.

    It was produced by Major Rudkin in the 1930s and in 1940 he had a letter published in The Times newspaper suggesting that communities do likewise.

    Indeed, several of these photos are included in the book along with many others.

    Over the years I have collected and digitised photographs, news clippings, albums (including the one you mention), programmes, autograph books, maps, postcards, letters, keepsakes and photographed a quantity of Victorian / Edwardian clothing that belonged to Gertrude Marshall (mentioned above).

    Compton residents and those with an interest in history have been extremely helpful but it is always interesting to see what might be ‘out there’.

    A request for information a few years ago resulted in some fantastic (and previously unseen) Victorian images of the Hooker family (wheelwrights) that were sent from America and pictures of friends of the Wattses (from Watts Gallery) were sent from Derbyshire.

    I hope you enjoyed the album and thanks for taking the trouble to respond.

  4. Philip Hutchinson Reply

    April 1, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    The last photo looks very much to me like it was taken on the bowling green at Guildford Castle. The size of the willow tree in the background, and the people standing in a line but below the level of the grass fits.

  5. David Kay Reply

    April 15, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    When was it converted to a care home? I currently work there.

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