Territorial Terror Two: WW1 Railway Engineer Soldier’s Postcard Home Returns By Post To His Family 108 Years On.


Some of you may remember reading my January 2018 about this simple comic ‘Burlesque’ military postcard from 1911, following up the identity of the writer Annie Harrop and its intended recipient,  her 20 year old brother Willie Harrop of Crewe:


Railway employee William Harrop (b. Crewe 1891) went on to serve in and survive WW1.

Annie’s Postcard home 23/ 24 July 1911 

His unusual  service in WW1 was partly due to his special trade as a Locomotive Engine Fitter for The LNWR .

The Harrops were a railway family in the railway town of Crewe, his Crewe born-and-bred father Thomas being a Locomotive Engine Painter, also for the LNWR. Eventually several more sons, Walter Baden Harrop (Baden Powell or BP being a Boer War name?) and Lewis Harrop became LNWR apprentices.

William Harrop’s address by 1916 seems to have moved next door to 74 Westminster Street and he Attested to Enlist and serve from 1916 with the Royal Engineers, ROD Railway Operating Division at Longmoor.

Willie died aged 75 in 1966. You can read more of the story here: https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/territorial-terror

Over a year after the blogpost

A few weeks ago Kathryn Harrop / Morris contacted me about this postcard and the associated family history research behind this story. She has been researching the Harrop side of her family, so could confirm some of my research ideas.


Kathryn said: “This story is about my great uncle and yes Annie [Harrop] did marry John Prince. Thank you for the info, it will really help me find out more about my Dad’s side of the Harrop family.”

Kathryn’s research confirms that Postcard writer Annie married John Prince in 1921 and she died in Crewe aged 87 in 1980.

It seemed to me a suitable home for Annie’s postcard to her brother Willie was back with the Harrop family.  They may no longer live in Crewe but it has given me great satisfaction to post it back to the Harrop family 108 years later!

It reminded me a little of this unusual postcard project Postcards from Time by Ben Curran http://www.postcardsfromtime.org/index.html


Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, April 2019.


Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

4 thoughts on “Territorial Terror Two: WW1 Railway Engineer Soldier’s Postcard Home Returns By Post To His Family 108 Years On.”

  1. Dear Mark, I will be forever in your debt for the kindness you showed in sending me the postcard. It has opened a huge chain of ancestry for me and my family. From this one postcard I have now located several family members who I didn’t know existed. Forever grateful, Kathy


    1. Kathy
      Thanks you for your fascinating message – so glad to have been of help. Apologies for not posting this follow up sooner – Busy on the other blogs with ideas for the Scouting Wide Games for the tabletop since Easter. Mark


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