A British Family on the Rhine, Bunde 1964–1966 (part 2)

This second album starts again with confusing inscriptions. The first four photos are inscribed ‘Tidworth – March 1964’. All the images feature a multi-generational family gathering with a Christmas tree and decorations in the background. Tidworth is a garrison town on the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain.

By April, 1964, the family were back in Germany, now living in Bunde. On 13 May, 1965, their third daughter, Alison Teresa, was born. It struck me that Alison would now be 59 years old, younger than many of my friends and relatives. Why doesn’t she have these albums? Susan and Nicola are shown starting school at Tildonk, Ursuline Convent, on 1 September, 1965, spending half-term back at Tidworth.

With a growing family, the freedom and practicality of a touring caravan dragged along by a huge Volvo Wagon now suited the family’s needs. There are two pages of tourist postcards – a dozen or so photographs of picturesque German towns.

There are also 10 photos taken at an army training camp in Denmark, some showing soldiers peeling potatoes, a trope signifying punishment duty used in B-movie war films. There is one image featuring ‘”Baker” “The Accident Man”‘. A ceremony celebrating the Royal Army Service Corp becoming the Royal Corp of Transport is also shown. The album ends with the family taking a Christmas Day walk in the woodlands of Rhinedahlen in 1966.

Urgency, spontaneity and a spirit of adventure characterise the first album; there is a sense of security in this second one.

Nigel Martin Shephard

Published by The Family Museum

We are an archival project about amateur family photography, based in London and set up by filmmaker Nigel Shephard and editor Rachael Moloney.

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