Posted 11 months ago
This has to be one of my more interesting sale finds.
I bought initially to use as a notebook as most of the pages are blank, but, i won't be using this.
A small note/sketch book, approx 4" by 2" with, what i thought at the time, was shopping lists with some nice sketches in the back, it wasn't until i got it home that i found that it likely belonged to a British army officer.
The field sketches date from 1894-97, of battle fields of the Napoleonic War and the shopping lists, army notes, which are undated unfortunately.
The field sketches & boats are great but he's not quite so good at drawing buildings or animals, which he's well aware of.. there's a poor sketch of a peacock, done from Buntons Hotel SA, with the word 'bad' scrawled next to it, lol.
I've since found out the books made of Moroccan leather with gold edged paper and wouldn't have been cheap in its day.
Unfortunately the owner didn't write his name in it.
I've tried researching who it could've belonged to, the sketches (a lot from South Africa), and other things about it led me to the name William Bodle, though I'm sure they're others it could also have belonged to. But, he did serve with the Norfolk and Suffolk regiment during WW1 (the book was found in Norfolk) at the grand old age of 60! and mentioned in dispatches, he also served in the late Boar War, was a founding member of the South Africa police and was born and is buried at Alfriston, mentioned in the back of the book.
If anyone has any info on William Bodle that'd be great or know of any examples of his handwriting or dates when he travelled to South Africa, which might be able to confirm or rule him out.