An appeal for readers’ help in solving the mystery of an old black and white photograph has been successful.
We have had two responses to our appeal.
Joey Stewart from Abbeydale told the Sentinel that Johnny Mullan, who is pictured second row, left, was his wife’s grandfather.
“They are the Old Contemptibles. They are all ex-servicemen who fought during the First World War.”
Mr Stewart said to qualify as an ‘Old Contemptible’ you had to have been among the first infantry or cavalry to land in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Apparently, the nickname arose from an apocryphal insult levelled at the force by Wilhelm II, which was turned on its head by the soldiers.
“They used to hold a Drumhead service every year. They paraded from May Street, down Browning Drive to St Columb’s Park, every September,” said Mr Stewart adding that they met in the Services Club, Crawford Square, while their standard is now in St Columb’s Cathedral.
Meanwhile, Derek Coll, grandson of Mr Mullan, and Mr Stewart’s brother-in-law, said he remembers being taken to the meetings near Ferryquay Gate, but had to wait outside.
“I was about eight years old and I remember my grandfather gave me money to go to the shop. I would have stayed outside in all kinds of weather,” Mr Coll said.