Wonderful Old Victorian Photograph.Muster of The Volunteer Reserve.Annual Camp.

The coins placed on this photograph are to stop unautherised copying of the full image. They do not hide any blemishes on the photo.
I really like this photograph. I find it fascinating for all kinds of reasons. A raw, behind the scenes look at the reallity of a Victorian or early Edwardian muster camp. Not the usual uniformed ranks of men marching or seated in lines, but the gritty comradeship of the cooks and bottle washers of The Volunteer Reserve. A more scary and mottly bunch you wouldn't want to meet and yet a very artful picture with the tall chimneys of the boilers all at crazy angles. The photographer must have seen the potential of the scene and has packed so much into it. Every face and posture tells a story of hardship and tough resolve.
There is very little information given on the mount board, just the name of the studio, Maurice H. Hack, of Cheltenham and Ross On Wye. In pencil on the back is written, Muster of Volunteer Reserve, Annual Camp. No dates or location, but it looks like a muddy field, probably in Gloucestershire in around 1890-1905. These men remind me of photo's I've seen of men from the industrial Black Country to the West of Birmingham, but that can only be speculation. At first I thought the photo was taken by a lake, until I realised that the large white area behind them is in fact the huge
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