Australians in the Market Place

Soldiers from all round the world – members of the British Empire and others – all rallied to the cause in the First World War. Just what the cause was, most probably was an unknown quantity to men who spent weeks sailing to Britain from the other side of the world, to fight a world war.

Salisbury Plain was already established as a training area so it was not surprising that these fighting men from overseas gathered in places on and around Salisbury Plain and that included Market Lavington. Our photo, which we think dates from 1916, shows Australian forces in Market Lavington Market Place.

australian Soldiers in Market lavington in about 1916

This was a very different Market Place from the one we know today. The soldiers are parading with a view of the east side of the market place behind them. These days, the buildings there date from around 1990 and include the chemists shop on the corner and a hairdresser’s.

Back then the buildings dated from the 16th or 17th century and included Mrs Hayne’s sweet shop and, on the corner where the chemist shop is now there was Briant Tobacconist shop.

briant's shop stood where the chemist shop is in 2011

Between 1916 and 1990 (in about 1960) the old Tudor buildings were pulled down and replaced with a car park and yard for agricultural engineers. It was when that was no longer needed that Rochelle Court was built.

But to return to the soldiers. It is no doubt a long shot that any of them might be recognised but here’s a close up of a few of them.

Some of the Australians in the Market Place at Market Lavington. How many of them were killed in the war, or fell victim to the flu outbreak at the end of the war?

Do get in touch if you can tell us anything.

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3 Responses to “Australians in the Market Place”

  1. Australians in World War One | Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] our friends in Australia. We have shown a photo of Australians marching through Market Lavington (click here) but here we look at two Australians who had a portrait taken, no doubt to send home to their loved […]

  2. mwinnett Says:

    Are these Australians? The uniform doesn’t look right.

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