The Museum of London recently acquired the archive of press photographer Christina Broom. Initially, a photographer of street postcards Broom (who, unusually was the breadwinner for her household) has achieved fame for her work capturing portraits of soldiers setting off for (and returning from) World War One. In this centenary year it’s no surprise to see a little exhibition of these photos in particular in the foyer of the Museum of London.
This is just a small selection of the many images that could have been chosen. There is little stiff formality, even in the more conventionally posed photographs, as Broom’s skill lets a warm humanity come through. Lads lean round a ‘Bermondsey Boys’ sign; a machine gun regiment look as menacing as possible behind their newly acquired weapons. These are people still putting on the stiff upper lip but also looking like they know what’s ahead. In the latter case there wasn’t much ahead as they were all dead soon after the photo was taken.
There will be presumably be more from this archive in the coming years. In the meantime, the Museum has a nice video explaining the collection: