A guy named Roger has contacted me via a friend. He has a rather interesting painting of a King's Liverpool soldier.
You can read what Roger has found out and where he has looked in his message below. Thought I would post it here in case others have any thoughts about it. Also im hoping that by posting it in a lot of places it may get recognised, long shot I know.
I bought a portrait of a Soldier of the First World War at a Car Boot Sale in Lancaster early during 2008. All I know about it is that the young man pictured was apparently a member of the Liverpool Regiment.
I contacted the Liverpool Echo and as a result, they ran a story during November 2008 as part of their 90th anniversary of the Armistice remembrance along with a picture of the portrait. As a result of the feedback I received from their readers, I have chased-up loads of contacts in a bid to discover who this soldier was, what happened to him or – failing that – at least who painted the portrait. So far, I have had no success. Having said that, I have received some really interesting nuggets of information from various people. Chief among these is Simon Wilkinson, who sent me the following e-mail:
It’s a wonderful painting. I hope you find out who he is. Good luck…
I’ve just had another look and it struck me that the cap badge is all brass. This may be a clue. The standard King’s Regt. badge was bi-metal. I know that the 5th Btn. wore a blackened brass version and the 7th & 9th Btns. wore an all white metal version. Perhaps there was a battalion who wore an all brass version?...
I have a theory – it’s a wild stab in the dark, but see what you think:
I would say this painting was copied from a photograph. I would also say it’s unusual for a private to sit for a painting. Maybe this is a young man who fell and his family wanted something to remember him by. They paid an artist to turn a photograph into a painting – a more impressive memorial perhaps?
I would therefore say he was a casualty from a non-regular battalion
The e-mail trail led to Eric Roper, the Secretary/Newsletter Editor of The King's Regiment Association Liverpool Branch. He put a picture of the portrait and an article by one Keith Page in this Newsletter, Issue 13 (of April 2009). Keith also gave me the e-mail of the Liverpool Museums Service. I sent two e-mails to this contact, offering to lend my portrait to be seen by Liverpuddlians in the hope that someone somewhere might actually be able to unravel the mystery of the Unknown Soldier. Sadly, I got no reply to either of them. So I went to the offices at Albert Dock and tried to persuade them to put the picture on display in the King’s Regiment part of the Museum, but they would not do so.
I contacted Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers football clubs to ask if they would feature the portrait and a bit of information about it in their match day magazines. Only Everton actually replied, politely pointing out that that was not a role they thought any football club should play: if they started featuring stories like mine, the floodgates would open and there would be no room for any soccer-related stuff in their programme.
So the trail has run cold.