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Not such a tall story.

Posted by Big John on August 29, 2011

I don’t remember a great deal about my grandfather as he died when I was about ten years old, but I do remember that he was not a very tall man, and yet he is by far the tallest man in this photograph taken around 100 years ago …

My grandad is the one on the far right of the picture and, apart from one fellow at the back, he appears to be about a ‘head’ taller than his companions .

The studio photograph below was taken around the same time and shows my grandparents before the start of World War I. My grandfather is wearing the uniform (complete with spurs and riding crop) of The Royal Field Artillery (TF) as he was a member of The Territorial Force (similar to US National Guard) …

(click on images to enlarge)

From the picture I have estimated that the old boy was about 5′ 8” or 5” 9” tall, so no giant, which means that some of the other men in the first picture must only be around 5′ tall or even less.

Perhaps they were a bit on the short side due to genetics, a poor standard of living or an inadequate diet, although this is hard to believe when you look at the girth of the blokes in the front row.

My grandad went on to fight in the ‘Great War’, and I expect that many of his ‘short-arse’ mates did the same. So I suppose that you could say that they were all …

… “short in stature, but long in courage”.


2 Responses to “Not such a tall story.”

  1. Rummuser said

    My grand father was 6′ tall as is my father though now since he has shrunk and is stooped he does not show that height. I am the tallest in my generation of four siblings at 5’10. My son however is 6′ and a couple of his cousins are taller too. I think that height is a combination of the two genes as both my mother and my wife were around 5’2″.

  2. Ginnie said

    I love old pictures like that. It is strange to think that they were probably the norm for the day … short, that is.

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