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Tarrant, Edward Alfred
Egypt and Palestine Photograph Album, Documents, Ephemera, and Military Medals, of Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 1939-1945

Photograph album - 194 photographs; plus 23 pieces of ephemera, documents, photos, including military medals, as follows:

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Description of Collection:

1 photograph album inscribed: “To My Dear Mother and Dad, My Travels, Trials, and Tribulations, With All My Love, 19th July 1944, Teddy,” includes 194 black and white photos, a mix of commercial and vernacular snapshots, compiled by Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant, dated 18 May 1942 to 27 February 1944; bound in red cloth, tied binding, measures 13” x 9 ½”; approximately 90 of the 194 photographs are vernacular snapshots, taken by Sgt. Tarrant, or his military friends, the other photos are commercial photographs, of the sites he visited; the photos measure between 2 ¼” x 3 ½” to 3 ¼” x 5 ¼”; the album documents Tarrant’s trip to Durban, South Africa in May 1942; Ismailia, Egypt in June 1942; Jerusalem, Palestine, July 1942; Cairo, Egypt, September 1942; Alexandria, Egypt, September 1942; Gaza, Palestine, July 1942; Cairo, Egypt, March 1943; Jericho, Palestine, July 1943; Christmas 1943; Alexandria, Egypt, October 1943; Cairo, Egypt, October 1943; Tel Jaina, Palestine, February 1944; Tel Aviv, Palestine;  Beersheba “Race Meeting,” February 1944; “Odds and Ends.” Photos include images of architecture, landscapes, local inhabitants, soldiers, etc.

1 Certificate, Registry of Birth for Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant, dated 2 June 1914, District of Paddington, witnessed 11 July 1914, by registrar of District of Paddington, Paddington South, [London, England.]

1 paper card certificate for the Confirmation of Sgt. Edward A. Tarrant, dated 21 March 1929, signed by S. Nowell Rostron, Vicar, measures 4 ½” x 6”.

1 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserved (Ground Section) Notice Paper, Five Year’s Reserve Service (Form 1866A), 4 printed and manuscript pages, dated 20 June 1939, for Sgt. E.A. Tarrant, includes Tarrant’s “Certified Copy of Attestation,” survey of questions that he answers and swears to and signs.

1 government issued notebook, 36 manuscript pp., plus blanks, bound in wrappers, written by Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant, dated 1 March 1944 to 26 Nov 1945, Tarrant uses the notebook to keep track of the letters he wrote and received, indexed, listing names and dates, in rear are miscellaneous memorandum notes on packages received, etc.

1 Royal Air Force Service and Release Book (R.A.F. Form 2520A Airman) for Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant, 28 printed and manuscript pp., paper wrappers, measures 4” x 5 ¼”, various stamped dates, mainly 26 Nov 1945.

1 letter, 1 typed page, 2 January 1957, written from the Military Branch I, Admiralty, Bath, Somerset, to Sgt. E.A. Tarrant, concerning Tarrant’s desire to acquire photographs of the H.M.S. Sheffield and model maker drawings of the Southampton Class, applicable to the Sheffield, attached are 4 printed pages of forms for ordering the photographs and drawings.

1 Certified Copy of Death Record of Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant, dated 22 June 2000, 1 printed and typed page, with envelope.

5 real photo postcards, not dated, circa 1942-1945, photos of Sgt. E. A. Tarrant and other named servicemen (Dick, Jimmy, Norman, Star) in military uniform; one photo is outside their tent, one posing with background of Pyramids at Egypt; third photo outside the “Garrison Institute,”; one of Sgt. E. A. Tarrant; other not labeled.

1 “The Defence Medal,” silver or cupro-nickel disk, 36 millimeters (1.42 inches) in diameter; awarded to Sgt. E. A. Tarrant; The Defence Medal is a campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, to be awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of services in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served from or outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat, such as attacks from the air.

1 “The War Medal 1939–1945,” silver or cupro-nickel disk, 36 millimeters (1.42 inches) in diameter; awarded to Sgt. E. A. Tarrant; The War Medal 1939-1945 is a campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom on 16 August 1945, for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth who had served full-time in the Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.

7 small black and white snapshots, of which 6 measure 3 ½” x 2 ½”, of Sgt. E.A. Tarrant posing with other soldiers, one photo measures 5” x 2”, showing a number of soldiers at an outdoor theater of some kind, these photos are not labeled.

1 large black and white photograph, measures 9 ½” x 4”, showing a large group of soldiers (airmen) posing, near a military airplane, presumably Sgt. E. A. Tarrant’s outfit.

1 view book of Durban, South Africa, wrappers, measures 8” x 6”, includes 24 views of Durban, most views have child’s scribbling in pencil in margins, as well overlapping into the views, torn up envelope tucked in, sent to “Mr. & Mrs. Tarrant, London, England.”

Sgt. Edward Alfred Tarrant (1914-2000)

Edward Alfred Tarrant was born on 2 June 1914, Paddington, London, England. He was the son of Leopold Ernest Tarrant (1879-1966) of Brixton, and his wife Ethel Florence Restall (1885-1969), of Bristol. The couple married about 1908 and had at least several other children beside Edward (Eric, Betty, Albert, possibly others). Edward was baptized at the parish of Saint Matthew, Bayswater, London. The Tarrant family lived for many years in Paddington.

In the 1939 English Census, Leopold E. Tarrant was working as a private chauffeur, his wife a housewife. His father had worked as a chauffeur since at least 1914. Leopold also served in World War One.  In this same 1939 census Edward is found attending the RAF Central Flying School. Before going into military service, Edward’s occupation was listed as a shipping clerk.

Sgt. E. A. Tarrant entered military service in 1939 and served the entire war (2 September 1939 to 26 November 1945). He served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. His overseas duties included Palestine (April 1942 to November 1944) and Egypt (December 1944 to November 1945). In Tarrant’s notebook, he details with dates, and place names, and vessels, his excursion from Scotland, to Palestine, by way of Durban, South Africa, then from Egypt back to England after the war had ended.

From his account of the letters he wrote and received, Tarrant corresponded mostly with his mother and his siblings, and a few select friends.

Sgt. Tarrant died on 21 June 2000, at Watford General Hospital, Watford, Hertfordshire, England.