Lt Col A S P Murray, Captain T G L Ballance, Sgt Henderson and Pte Turner, 16 DLI

Looking like a still from a classic silent movie, this hugely evocative photograph was taken by an Army Film and Photo Unit cameraman while the battalion was on a training 'scheme' somewhere in southern England, I would guess sometime in early mid-1942. A Grenadier Guards officer, Colonel A S P Murray was Commanding Officer of the 16th DLI between March 1941 and May 1942. Very well regarded by all, he brought the 16th DLI to a very high level of discipline, turn-out and efficiency. So much so that it became the only one of the three new 1940 'Dunkirk' DLI battalions, the 14th, 16th and 17th, to serve overseas in the frontline.

The officer in the centre of the photograph is Captain T G L Ballance, who commanded C Company in early 1942, before moving to HQ Company later that year. Sgt Henderson sent a copy of the photograph to his wife back in Newcastle and annotated the reverse, as seen below. Left to right are: Lt Col Murray, Capt Ballance, Sgt Henderson and Pte Turner. See the next page for a second photograph, which features Ballance, Henderson and Turner only.

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