Tag Archives: cadet

Four 1880s Brattleboro cadets 

1880s cadet buddies. Caleb L. and John C. Howe. Brattleboro. Cabinet Card. Private Collection.

These four teens from Brattleboro, Vermont were most likely cadets, maybe in a marching band?

Photographer Caleb Howe chose to take this picture horizontally, preferring to catch the boys in close-up. One of them is smiling and the others seem comfortable in front of the camera.

The card has yellowed with the passing of time.

Back of card.

Caleb Howe & Son. Back of card.

Photographer: Caleb Lysander Howe & Son (John C. Howe). Brattleboro. Vermont.

Caleb Lysander Howe (1811-1895) was a highly respected photographer in his home state of Vermont. He began his craft on the road in the late 1840s. During the Civil War he photographed a great number of soldiers who queued at his studio door for a chance to get their portrait taken. He also photographed Union General John W. Phelps on a card with the similar backing.

Howe’s son joined him in the business in the early 1880s. Since his initials appear on that cabinet card as well as the one I have I believe these were made a couple of decades after the war, by the end of the general’s life who passed in 1885.

Caleb Howe was also a singer and musician. There is a page dedicated to his life that is worth a look. There you can see the John W Phelps card.

C. Stan, the WWI era British army cadet

Photograph in tintype frame. Private Collection.

Circa 1910 British army cadet. RPPC in tintype case. Private Collection.

This circa 1910 British cadet who can’t be more than 12-13, is proudly posing in his green wool uniform with peaked cap and sword by the side.

I find this photograph quite beautiful yet sad and haunting. This boy went on to fight in the First World War at a very young age, of this there’s no doubt.

I also find interesting that his paper picture was framed in a tintype case.

So I asked myself, “is there a name or note hidden to the back of the picture?” I opened it.

Well, it wasn’t all for nothing (I think I would have kicked myself if I found nothing but something told me). It did reveal a note, the partial name of the boy and that this is a RPPC with the divided back, which dates the picture to around 1907-1914; it fits the era of the uniform.

I think his surname was either Stan or Stanley, and his given name most likely Carl or Charles.


From C. Stan to Dick.

Of course I put the case back together and wrote the name in pencil on the outside.

Those cases are fragile but this one had already been meddled with by someone who removed a tintype and replaced it with this RPPC, so I took a chance. I can imagine a family member lovingly doing this or the boy himself to give as a keepsake.

One million British soldiers and allies died during World War I. I set to research some for a match and got sidetracked reading the many individual stories of those who fell. I won’t lie, as an army wife it was particularly emotionally exhaustive, and a partial name isn’t enough to come to a definite conclusion, but I tried. I did find two soldiers by the shared name of Charles Stanley who died in 1917 and 1918 at the same age (19). No one by the name Stan Carl or Charles died during the war is all I can say for sure.

(On Netflix in the U.S you can catch Our World War, a three part BBC docu-series of particularly powerful individual stories of British soldiers who experienced those truly horrible years. If you can get past the choice of music for the soundtrack I highly recommend it. The husband says it is to relate to younger audiences.)

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