Face behind the lens

Herbert James Banks EMN-140724-120236001
Herbert James Banks EMN-140724-120236001
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When we printed an early 20th century picture of Wragby School students gardening, town photographer John Edwards was able to give more information about the man who took the image - headmaster Herbert James Banks, pictured above

“He was head of Wragby Boys and Girls National School from 1888 to 1917 and was a very go ahead master, teaching the boys woodwork and gardening,” said John. “He also dammed Wragby Beck in 1898 with the help of pupils and parents to build a swimming pool, which was still in use until the end of the second world war.”

John also informed us during the First World War about a dozen men from Wragby were on the troopship ‘Mercian’ when it was torpedoed in 1917 with a large loss of life.

“Luckily all the Wragby boys survived, one having been in the water 17 hours, which speaks highly of their swimming skills learnt in the local beck,” added John.

The photograph of Mr Banks is from the John Edwards Collection.