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George Lane: 1942

George Lane: 1942

April 1942. "Sixty-year-old George Lane, former house painter, is a valuable worker in the De Land, Florida, industrial pool [of small machine shops]. He served in the last war with the British Army from Vimy Ridge to the Occupation. Two of his sons are in the American Army, one with the Air Corps in Australia. His daughter volunteered for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. Seven of his nephews are in the British Army. Using his old skill with the brush, he is now painting De Land pool products." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information.


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Vimy Ridge

When Vimy Ridge is mentioned, people inevitably think of the 1917 attack by the Canadian Corps (including my Great-Grandfather) under Sir Julian Byng and Arthur Currie. For the attack the British attached one division (the British Fifth Division) and the bulk of the heavy artillery. What isn't so well known is that the French first tried to take the Ridge twice in 1915 and suffered something like 150,000 casualties. The British Army held the Vimy Ridge position from February to October 1916, when the Canadians took over. In May 1916 the Germans made an attack on the British positions to prevent mining and tunneling activities by the British.

As to George's age, he might have been cconscripted after May 1916 when Britain extended Conscription (adopted in January 1916 for single men from 18-41) to married men. By 1918 almost 1/4 of the total male population of Britain was in the service.

That paintbrush

won't need much cleaning!

The Last War

if I understand it well, the "last war" mentioned in the capture must have been WW-I. So George must have been in his thirties during that war, not as a private I suppose, but as a professional. At Vimy Ridge the Canadian Corps (helped by the British Army?) fought against the Germans in 1917. So I am puzzled a bit about when he joined the army (as is said "he served ... from Vimy Ridge to the Occupation") so must have been from 1917. By the way, what is meant by "the Occupation"? And then: when was he a house painter: before or after he served in the army? And at the time of the photograph he is painting "De Land pool products", but I can't imagine what kind of products he is painting, seems more to be products for a bridge or something, but a pool .....??

[As stated in the caption, George is working for the De Land industrial pool of small machine shops. Pool means group. Not something to swim in. He's painting a motor rack for a radial aircraft engine. - Dave]

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