Percy Coleman


Gymnastics display in June 1910 at Brookland, Kent

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Regrettably little is known about Percy Coleman and his work as a photographer. Born on 16 April 1886 at Playden near Rye, he was one of many children of Elizabeth Sarah Coleman and James Batchelor Coleman, a brewery drayman. After leaving school he became a market gardener, but by the time the 1911 census was held he had taken up work as a photographer. He married Beatrice Hickman at East Guldeford on May 4, 1912. In 1915 he joined the 13th Motor Ambulance Convoy of the 566th Company of the Royal Army Service Corps, describing himself as a chauffeur. By this date he and Beatrice had had three daughters: Winifred, Nena and Nancy.

Percy survived the war and returned to Sussex. What he did for a living for the rest of his working life has not been established. He died on June 21, 1961 in hospital at Hastings, aged 75. Probate papers record his address as 14 Elmsmead Cottages at Iden. He left Beatrice effects of ?328.

Percy Coleman is believed to have been the author of some cards of midsummer festivities held in 1910 at Brookland in Kent, such as the card of a gymnastic display reproduced above. Puzzlingly, all the cards are initialled PJC yet Percy is not recorded as having a middle name.

Percy is also presumed to have been the publisher of a postcard showing "Smailham Gate House" near Guestling and another of the "Grave of the late Mr Liddell at Peasmarsh", covered with floral tributes. Liddell died in 1911. Both cards are marked "Photo by Coleman. Playden. Sussex", with no initials but with captions in untidy capitals resembling those on the Brookland cards.

See also this website's entry for Albert Hales

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