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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Private J.E. McIntosh: WWI

Private J.E. McIntosh: WWI

My grandfather, James Edward McIntosh, 13th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps (with the 5th Division) in his uniform.

At one point, he was declared "missing and presumed killed". He and his men had gone in to collect the wounded in an area that had been previously held by the Germans. There was a shelling and someone reported that they had seen a shell land where my grandfather and his men had been seen walking. It took them three days to get back to their unit and in the meantime, a telegram had been sent to my great-grandmother. My grandfather tried to get a telegram to his mother but there was a "push" on and no personal messages were allowed. It was another few days before he could send a telegram telling his family he was alive and well. View full size.

The 5th Division.

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Mom and the medals

Thanks to Patrick (paddywack), my Mom has had the chance to see and touch her father's WWI medals for the first time.

I am sure that my mother never saw my grandfather's WWI medals while my grandfather was still alive. She never mentioned them and I know she would have if she had seen them. It is entirely possible that my grandfather simply gave them to his parents or one of his sisters and that they ended up in house contents when one they died. We'll never know.

I suspect that for my grandfather, who was at Divinity school when war broke out and went on the the ministry, the experience of war was enough. I doubt the medals meant anything beyond a reminder of an experience he would rather not have had. He did his duty, he survived, he moved on.

For us, they are a tangible link to him. It is also a link to a history none of us can really touch.

Like my 2nd great-grandfather's Civil War medals that ended up in a junk store and were bought by a collector, they eventually found their way back to us.


Patrick and I made contact and he kindly offered me the medals!

The mails being slow as molasses, in January, they are somewhere in transit. I will post when they arrive. It is incredible that I will soon be in possession of two of the few tangible pieces of my grandfather's life.

Strangely, it was serendipity that enabled me to come into possession of my GGGrandfather's (on my Dad's side) Civil War medals, a few years ago, too, after I found that a collector had purchased those at a junk shop. I can't help wonder how both these treasures ended up being discarded/sold. I am just very glad that they ended up in safe hands.


I only just spotted this post. I sent a message as per tterace's suggestion. I included my email address.

I just hope I am not too late.

J.E. McIntosh medals

I bought a set of medals on eBay recently and when I came across your post I suspect they're your grandfather's. Looking at his medal index card he seems to be the only James E McIntosh in the RAMC. I'd be happy to return them back to you/your family; let me know if you're interested!

[You can try contacting the user directly via the contact form; click the user's name and then the "Contact" tab. -tterrace]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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