The physical appearance of an ancestor can only be truly obtained from photography or a portrait.  The next best thing would be a written description.  These can be found within some army enlistment documents.

Take the example below.  This is from the enlistment documents for William Cooper, dated 5 February 1896, when he was examined to determine his fitness to join the Royal Artillery of the British Army.

He is declared “fit” by the army surgeon:

and is also measured and the following description is given:

  • Age: 19 years and 6 months;
  • Height: 5 feet 8 and a half inches;
  • Weight: 147 lbs;
  • Chest: Minimum 35 and a half inches;
  • Maximum expansion: 38 inches;
  • Complexion: Fresh;
  • Eyes: Blue;
  • Hair: Brown;
  • Religious denomination: Church of England; and
  • Distinctive marks: “Small mole left side of neck 1 inch below the collar bone”

So, why the picture of actor Kiefer Sutherland? Well, although a bit older than William Cooper, Kiefer has the same height, weight, eye and hair colour as our 1896 recruitee.
The War Memorials Trust, with the support of the Imperial War Museum and English Heritage, is asking for volunteers to record the status of the UK's war memorials.

rootspast is getting involved and you can too by clicking on the link below:

In memory of all those who fell in battle.  Relatives in our thoughts this Remembrance Sunday who lost their lives in the First World War, include:

John Wilson, Private 14398 - 8th Battalion Devonshire Regiment
Killed Loos, France, 25.9.1915, aged 20

Arthur Wheelhouse, Sergeant 731 - 7th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment
Killed Ypres, Flanders, Belgium, 26.8.1916, aged 33

Leonard Jackson, Private 31272 - 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed Somme, France, 1.6.1918, aged 27

James Haslam Holt, L/Cpl 35737 - 22nd Battalion Manchester Regiment
Killed Vicenza, Italy, 13.7.1918, aged 33