Cymbeline, Mells Theatricals 1919

20th April 2016

We are really delighted that Keith Wadley has got in touch, and given us a fascinating insight into Bill Jones, the man behind the photograph of the crowd at the unveiling of Mells village war memorial on 26th June 1921.

So far we have discovered 4 different shots taken on the day by Bill  (the photographs have the number etched into the photographic plate with Bill’s trademark circle of dots around the number), and Keith has recently acquired number 5 (see below) which shows the monument after everyone has left, adorned with the first wreaths placed on it.

Bill Jones, whose full name was William Marchant Jones, was many things: a local photographer, shop keeper, thespian, author and entrepreneur. Living his life in nearby Coleford, his photographs are a fascinating glimpse of social history in the first half of the twentieth century, and are a reminder of how industrial as well as rural this part of Somerset was and is.

A keen amateur thespian, he also documented local theatricals, including the some of the performances and pageants which took place in Mells before and after the First World War. These included ‘Cymbeline’, shown in the image above, in 1919; we are thrilled that Keith has tracked down photographs of this, as it the very play referred to by Lutyens in a letter to his wife referring to the village war memorial written in 1919.

Keith is keen to track down more photos by Bill, so if you have a photo you think might be of interest, usually with Bill’s initials W.M.J. or H.J. at the bottom, please get in touch.

To see more  photographs of old Coleford, including photos taken by Bill, pop along to the events below coming up at the British Legion, Coleford.

unveilingwarmemorial5  WDML2  Cymbeline





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