As well as the group photographs of the Wolverhampton Volunteers on this web site, this page goes into some of the people involved in this militia. These named photos have survived in our family albums.

It is difficult to dispute the contention that the Volunteers had strong elements of Dad's Army, which some 100 years later satirized the 1940's from the viewpoint of the 1970's.

The photo of a slightly corpulent bank manager, Henry Evans, seated on a chair smoking a cigar would hardly put much fear into a would-be Napoleon. The date of the photo is almost certainly post 1870. Any French threat of invasion under Napoleon III had long been put paid to by the Prussians, yet still the tents and the camps of the earlier photographs persist. Standing next to Henry is clearly a prototype Private Pike. The satire is probably doubly strong that this was a force of gentlemen on a picnic, ready to fight an enemy that did not exist, in a part of the country that was far from any front line.

Certainly Henry Evans's first cousin Thomas Bradney Shaw-Hellier took part in the early volunteer movement. The second photo here shows him at a flower bedecked window. It is possible that it is not a Volunteer's cap that he is wearing, as he soon joined up in the regular army, but the photo seems to fit in this section showing the unmilitary nature of much of the volunteers' activity.

There are three other photos of identified individuals in the album of Florence Marten, all probably dating from the 1870's.

There is Edward Hickman almost certainly related to the prominent Hickman family. Sir Alfred Hickman was later to become MP for Wolverhampton and also Mayor. There is also a picture of Tom Hickman, not in uniform, in the same album.

Separately we know that the early manager of Henry Evans' bank was James Forsyth, dubbed 'General' in another of the surviving photos.

Lastly there is a Mr Speight (or could be Mr Lepeight) and Arthur Mallby. Unlike the Hickmans, these names do not appear in other family surviving documents.

It should be possible to date the pictures a little more accurately by the uniforms and caps. The last batch of three have similar caps bearing the symbol later used by the South Staffordshire Regiment. In the picture of Henry Evans at the top they are wearing peaked caps and the insignia appear to be different. The photos therefore show a little about the evolution of volunteer groups that were harnessed to later assist in the mass military mobilization in 1914.