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The History of Saltford: ONLINE MUSEUM

20th Century (page 3)

The People of Saltford

On this page we have photographs and images of the people of Saltford during the 20th Century (see next page for WW1 and WW2).

Scroll down the page to see:-

  • 1930s incl. Ladies' Ankle Competition & local farm workers

This page:-

20th Century Saltford page 3
(People & Miscellaneous items of interest)

Next pages:-

20th Century Saltford page 4
(World War I & World War II)

Document Library

Previous pages:-

20th Century (p.2 River, Landscape & Aerial Views)

20th Century (p.1 Buildings & Roads, Transport)

19th Century

18th Century

17th Century

5th - 16th Century

BC - 4th Century

Also see:-

TIMELINE (300 BC to the modern age)

(Back to A - Z)

1900s - 1920s

Thatched Cottages at 20-22 High St. Saltford, 1900.

High Street with (on right) Norman
House & Rose Cottage, 1901.

Queen's School, Saltford, 1900s.

Queen's School, Saltford, 1902.

Top row: [?], W J Curtis, [?], Arthur Consbury, Alfred Barnett, Brown, [?], Percy Lavington, Frank Lavington.
2nd Row: Miss Stella Slade, W H A Trimby, Claire Rowlands, Kate Hutchings, Ada Weymouth, Mabel Ollis, Beatrice Brimble, Ingram, Edith Trimby, Stan Lavington.
3rd row: S Hale, Harry Slade, Frank Robbins, Lavington, Weymouth, Ernest Evans, Elsie Brimble, Evelyn Anstey, Alice Haines, Eileen Dredge, Miss Vincent.
4th row: Clifford Brown, May Harding, Florence Evans, Florrie Millard, Vincent, Nellie Lavington, Ellen Louisa Hutchings, Dave Mitchel, A Knight.

Golfers at Saltford Golf Club, 1905.

postcard image
Hannah Gregory,
Saltford Ferry & Houses

(early 1900s).
This colour tinted postcard shows Hannah Gregory
who with Charles Gregory worked the ferries
(1868 - 1908) from Ferry (now Willow) Cottages.
Ferry service ceased in 1929 when "the boat
was worn out and the traffic not sufficient
to bear the cost of purchasing a new one".

Colonel Vilett Rolleston
1842 - 1921
(lived at Saltford House from 1898 to 1921)

Colonel Vilett Rolleston, 1900s (estimated).

This imposing gentleman, Colonel William Vilett Rolleston, photographed at the rear of Saltford House where he lived, was a veteran of the 2nd South African Boer War (1899-1902), and at one point Chairman of Saltford Parish Council (elected in 1904), Chairman of Saltford & District Conservative & Unionist Association (elected in 1904), Churchwarden at St Mary's Church, President of Avon Rowing Club and a JP. He leased Saltford House from 1898 (he was then Major Rolleston).

Colonel Rolleston's signature (1907)

After the 'Relief of Mafeking'* following a seven month siege (October 1899 to May 1900) during the Boer War, it is reputed that he gave every man in Saltford a pint of beer. He was also known to carry packets of tobacco with him which he shared with local men in the village and also sweets for children which he purchased from the grocery shop of Jimmy Williams which was just below Saltford House on the other side of the High Street.

   * A British garrison of 2,000 officers and men led by Col Robert Baden-Powell had been surrounded in Mafeking by a Boer force of some 5,000 men but were eventually freed by British forces commanded by Colonel BT Mahon. When news reached Britain of the relief this was met with much public celebration. The siege established Baden-Powell as a celebrity in Britain; he went on to start the Scout Movement a few years later.

Colonel William Vilett Rolleston was born in 1842, the eldest son of George Rolleston of Great Pan Manor, Isle of Wight and Augusta Maria Young, daughter of Sir William Young, Ist Baronet of Bailieborough Castle, County Cavan, Ireland. He held commissions in the 17th Regiment and the 2nd West India Regiment, then became Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 5th Militia Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment from 1897 to 1903 which he commanded when it went to South Africa in 1902.

He married Martha Florence Morris, the fifth daughter of Mr Joseph Morris, of Hill House, Notts, in 1864 and they had two sons and three daughters. They moved to Saltford in 1898. Colonel Rolleston's two sons were Mr S V Rolleston, barrister-at-law, and Captain George Rolleston, of the Shropshire Light Infantry. The eldest of his three daughters married Lieutenant-Colonel J.P. Freeth, R.A.; the second married Mr Laurence Ryland, barrister-at-law; and the third married Mr C Nesbitt Hill.

Colonel Rolleston died aged 79 on 22nd November 1921. A memorial service was held at St Mary's, Saltford, and he was buried at Blunsdon St. Andrew, near Swindon.

Col Rolleston's South African Cob, 1900

Whilst living in Saltford Colonel Rolleston rode a horse named Griff (or Griffe), a fine cob (pictured in 1900 at Saltford House), that he had brought home from South Africa, but he was also one of the first (or first) car owners in Saltford (his 1906 Bristol Touring Car is pictured in our 20th Century transport section).

The following is from the announcement of Colonel Rolleston's death in the Bath Chronicle (26 Nov 1921 edition):-

An Esteemed Saltford Resident

About 20 years ago the Colonel came to Saltford to reside, and became much esteemed in the district. He represented Saltford on the Keynsham District Council and Board of Guardians for several years. He was formerly Chairman of the Assessment Committee and also of the House Committee. Made a Justice of the Peace for Somerset soon after he settled in Saltford, Colonel Rolleston attended regularly the Keynsham Petty Sessions, and also sat occasionally on the bench at Weston. He was a staunch Conservative, and was on the Unionist Executive of the old North Somerset party organisation. Deeply interested in fauna and flora, he was a Fellow of the Zoological Society and also a Fellow of the Royal Botanical Society.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
The Bath Chronicle (26.11.1921)
Photograph of Col Rolleston courtesy of Marc Lynn (www.flickr.com/photos/mllsharp/)
'A History of Saltford Village' by Percy Sims (1976)
The Post Office Bath Directory 1915

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Saltford School, 1914.

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Saltford Sewage Treatment Works, Saltford Mead c.1914.
Click here for larger version.

Image courtesy of The Museum of Bath at Work (2022).

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Henry Charles (Charlie) Hardiman Tarr
(Tunnel House, Saltford from c.1910 - 1919)

Charlie Tarr in 1914. (Photograph courtesy of Sally Smee)

Henry Charles (Charlie) Hardiman Tarr (1873 - 1919) was an architect and co-inventor and joint patent holder of early 20th C ventilation and dust extraction systems. He lived at Tunnel House, leased from GWR, with his wife Charity ('Cherry', née Petter). Enlisting for WW1 military service in 1917, he joined the Egypt Expeditionary Force in Feb 1918.

He died of pneumonia at Ras-El-Tin hospital on 2 Feb 1919 just before his 46th birthday and is buried in Alexandria. He was recorded as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps (Main Supply Depot) at the time of his death but was subsequently recorded as a Major (we might presume he was acting Major at the time of his death).

Charlie was a rugby player in his youth and was one of the founders of Keynsham Rugby Club in 1894*.

*Information source: Patrick Casey, Historian, Clifton RFC, Bristol, 2017.

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Saltford War Memorial, Bath Chronicle, 20th November 1920

Saltford's War Memorial was unveiled in its original location in the centre of the High Street at the end of Beech Road in November 1920. It was moved in 1966 to the corner of Norman Rd/Beech Rd/High St.

Saltford, 1924.

Permission for this photograph's publication has kindly been given by a grandchild of the person, who was awarded the Military Cross, second left in the photograph. The grandchild wishes to remain anonymous.

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1930: Ladies' Ankle Competition

Image from souvenir programme courtesy of
Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society

On 5th July 1930 a "Ladies' Ankle Competition" was held in Saltford as part of the village fete. There is no known record of the lady who, according to judge Mr Percy Titley, was judged the winner.

Beauty competitions of the 1930s were not about swimsuits and hour-glass figures but the shape of ladies' ankles. Ankle competitions were held across England and in many of these pageants entrants would stand behind a curtain. The purpose of the curtain was to conceal the contestants' age and identity, so that all that could be seen was legs clad in stockings and feet within shoes.

In this example of an ankle competition in Kent (1932) the
male judge is touching and measuring the ladies' ankles...

Such shows were often promotional events for hosiery companies, with winners receiving free stockings from the event sponsors, as well as adulation from spectators etc.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society (2016)
www.lifebuzz.com & www.dailymail.co.uk (2016)

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1920s Christmas Card


This features a reproduction of the original watercolour by Elizabeth (Daisy) Davies, sister of the last manager of Keynsham Brass Mills. c.1920s.

Hornby's Farm workers, Saltford, July 1931







Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Alan Sims (2015)

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Saltford School Pupils 1932

photograph + link
Headmistress Miss Hockey and her pupils, Saltford School, 1932.
Click on photograph for larger version (opens in new window).

The names of the 66 pupils pictured with Miss Hockey are:

1st (front) row (L to R): Bert Brimble, David Roch, David Gane, Eric Copp, Gordon Gane, Daphne Gane, Peggy Shellard, unknown, Grace Smith, Michael Hanham, unknown, Frank Curtis, Fred Willis.

2nd row (L to R): Hazel Witchell, Georgina Read, Edna Shellard, unknown, Kathleen Stiles, Marie Pope, Greta Dowling, Arthur Smith, Peter Pope, John Shellard, Nancy Lavington, Betty Smith, Jocelyn Tibbs.

3rd row (L to R): John Roch, Roy Miles, Olive Minty, Kitty Weymouth, (Miss Hockey), Olive Tanner, Elaine Lavington, Maurice Willis, Lorne Witchell.

4th row (L to R): Teddy Tibbs, Ronald Derrick, John Durston, Gordon Nottly, Arthur Southwood, Vic Wilson, (?) Hamilton, Cecil Hall, Vic May, Stan King, Ernest Smith, Douglas Copp.

5th row (L to R): Christine Williams, Kathleen Durston, unknown, Edie Bourne, Margaret Minty, Betty May, (?) Read, Thelma Cook, Nora Read, Elsie Reed, Peggy Wilson.

6th (back) row (L to R): Irene Reed, Queenie Bourne, Kathleen Brown, Gwen Minty, Joyce Minty, Ethel Cook, Ida Reed, Delphine Tibbs.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
From Olive Brown (née Minty - in 3rd row) via her nephew Rob Taylor (2016)

1936 St Mary's Choir outing to Kelston Round Hill


Some of Saltford Golf Club's characters from the Bristol Evening Post. Image courtesy of Saltford Golf Club.

Hornby's Farm worker, Saltford
July 1931


Messrs Batstone & Williams outside their grocery store, 14 High St (then 2 Walnut Cottages), c.1943 or 1944

This photograph appeared in the 11th March 1995 edition of the Bath Chronicle as part of a "Down Memory Lane" series of old photographs. It had been supplied by Ernest Williams from Bath who ran the grocery store "Batstone & Williams" in the High Street at No. 14* (now a private dwelling) with Mr Batstone from 1939 to 1944. The masking of the telephone number on the hanging shop sign was a wartime security measure.

When Colonel Rolleston lived at Saltford House from 1898 to 1921 he purchased his tobacco which he shared with local men and sweets for local children at this store when it was ran by Jimmy Williams (possibly a relative of Ernest Williams) - see above.

*The three cottages of which No. 14 was the middle cottage, are thought to have been built in the early 19th Century and were at one time named "Walnut Cottages"; the store was No. 2 Walnut Cottages and Mr Arthur Batstone was listed as living there in the Post Office Bath Directory for Saltford of 1937 whilst Mr J (Jimmy) Williams is listed in the 1896 Directory (these can be seen in our Document Library).

Saltford Scouts at Hunstrete, 1945.

The members of Saltford Scouts pictured here are:
Back row (L-R): Cecil Ewins, Bob Shellard, Roy Parsons, Clive Thompson, David Bradwell, John Baker, Mr Sabin (Asst. Scout Master).
2nd row (L-R): Jimmy King, Maurice Hawkins, Dave Taylor, James Murray, Micky Whittle.
Front row sitting on grass (L-R): Harrison, Elizabeth Sabin (daughter of Mr Sabin), not known.

Ivor & Margaret, 1945

Childhood sweethearts from Saltford Ivor Stabbins (19) and Margaret Waller (17) are pictured here in 1945, the year Ivor's service with Keynsham Homeguard finished with the end of WW2 when he then went into National Service joining the RAF. They married in 1950 and lived their 60+ years of married life here in Saltford.

You can download Ivor's personal account of Saltford life and in particular the local Home Guard that he joined (under age at only 15) in 1941 here (pdf opens in new window):-

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Miss Josephine Newton at Saltford Station c.1947.
Original photograph owned by Mr Fred Blampied.

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Saltford Football Team (1950s)

1953: Street parties for Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation

Haselbury Grove


Beech Road and Chestnut Walk

image image

LH picture: Gentleman wearing chain of office is George Ashton, Chairman of Keynsham Rural District Council.
RH picture: Boy on left wearing blazer is Peter Beer who became a senior Royal Air Force officer and was Equerry to the Queen 1971-1974, on promotion to Air Vice-Marshal he was appointed Commander British Forces Falkland Islands 1991-1992. The boy on the right wearing a cap is David Cox who became well known in the village as Saltford Group Scout Leader.

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1950s 'Saltford Evergreen Club'. The lady standing with the clipboard is Mrs Dorothy Hitching, W.I. Chairperson. Dorothy lived at 7 Beech Road.

St Mary's Church:- Mr D Reakes, Rev J Evans & Mr Garland, 1955.
Photograph kindly provided by Alison Thorne. © SEG.

Signalman Dave Boston working in Saltford signal box c.1957.
Photograph (© Robert Coles) kindly provided by Dave Boston.

Signalman Harry Hurley, Saltford signalbox (1958).
Photograph kindly provided by Stella Hurley. © SEG.

Signalman Harry Hurley (on right), Saltford signalbox in 1958.
Photograph kindly provided by Stella Hurley. © SEG.

1958 carnival time, Saltford Sports Field.
(L to R) Joyce Clout, Queenie Palfrey, Lily Woodberry, Edith Williams.
Photograph kindly provided by Robert Woodberry. © SEG.

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St Mary's Rector Rev Evans, Church Wardens & organist, early 1960s.

Saltford Brownies c.1961.

Front row (kneeling): Alison Willis, Unknown, Jennifer Hutchings, Alison Jayne, Angela Woodberry, Diane Wingfield, Marie Miles, Unknown, Unknown, Ann Purcell, Jula Benjamin.
2nd row (crouching): Julia Savage, Deborah Vaughan.
3rd row (standing): Pat Shepphard, Sally Hazell, Denise Woodman, Linda Pow, Elizabeth Christie, Gillian Brain, Christine Thomas, Susan King.
Back row (standing): Vivian Stoate, Mrs Hathaway, Coryn Chambers, Linda Hutchings, Unknown, Unknown, Elizabeth Wiltshire, Unknown.

1960 Carnival (High Street) - Drag Queens
Photograph kindly provided by Robert Woodberry. © SEG.

1960 Carnival - Drag Queens
(L to R): Harold Hurlow, Ken Clout, Reg Woodberry, Bill Williams.
Photograph kindly provided by Robert Woodberry. © SEG.

c.1960 Carnival (Sports Field)
(L to R): Angela Woodberry, John Palfrey, John Williams (in pedal car),
Robert Woodberry, Roger Williams, Gillian Brain.
Photograph kindly provided by Robert Woodberry. © SEG.

c.1960 Carnival (Sports Field) - '6 wives of Henry VIII'
(L to R): Unknown (holding head), Betty Williams, Elizabeth Williams (on ground),
Unknown, Lily Woodberry (with mandolin), Rosemary Hurlow, Queenie Palfrey.
Photograph kindly provided by Robert Woodberry. © SEG.

Saltford School: 1960s

Here we have photographs taken in the early 1960s (c.1961/62) of the exterior and interior of Saltford School in Queen Square. You can click on each image to see a larger version.

photograph + link
Click on photograph for larger version.

photograph + link
Click on photograph for larger version.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Saltford School archives (2017)

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Alan Durman's mural at Saltford Hall, 1961

photograph + link
Click on photograph for larger version. © Saltford Community Association.

Saltford Hall was officially opened in 1961. A wall painting had been commissioned from Saltford resident and professional artist Alan Durman. The mural was restored in 2012 and this photograph was taken then.

Alan Durman (1905-1963) was a versatile artist and photographer. He is most famous for painting a unique style of posters for British Rail in the 1950s and 1960s that advertised travel locations around the country and are now considered to be very collectible.

Those posters often featured his daughter Shelley Durman who is reputedly included in the Saltford Hall mural which he painted in a similar style to his British Rail posters.

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Summer lifestyle in sixties Saltford (1964)

David, Ella and Robert Taylor
strolling down Mead Lane

David & Robert Taylor, Robin Nicholls, John Blight & Tony Evans
eating ice creams by the sailing club, Mead Lane

Robin Nicholls, John Blight, David & Robert Taylor
playing at the Outlook, The Shallows

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1963 - 1984: The rise and fall of Vermipeat in Mead Lane, Saltford


In 1963 Hugh Folliott of The Lons, Bitton, purchased the old mill building next to the Jolly Sailor Public House in Mead Lane to set up a horticultural business to manufacture and market his invention, the all-purpose compost Vermipeat, and other related products, including Vermipeat Readi-pots. After Hugh Folliott died in 1969 the business was run by his son Tony Folliott.

Tony was joined from 1972 by Hugh's son-in-law and daughter, John and Julia Scott, who had moved to Saltford to work in the family business. The workforce at that time numbered 20 but despite healthy order books the business struggled financially mainly due to high the cost of Vermiculite, a major constituent of Vermipeat, and other factors. John became the sole Director in 1974 when Tony moved to Australia.

Vermipeat was a mixture of sphagnum moss peat, exfoliated Vermiculite (Vermiculite heated in a furnace to 2,000o F causing it to expand like puffed wheat) and English China Clay in powdered form. It proved popular amongst professional growers and was marketed at many trade shows around the country including the Chelsea Flower Show. Customers included Highgrove (King Charles III's residence in Gloucestershire) and Badminton House.


In January 1982 the weight of a heavy snowfall brought down the roof of the ramshackle old mill. That, competition from similar products to the Readi-pots, and financial difficulties for the business led to the eventual closure of the Saltford factory in 1984 when the company was bought out by Silvaperl. The factory building in Mead Lane was sold to Saltford Pottery who subsequently renovated the whole site and converted the factory to Industrial Units for rent. For just over 20 years the factory in Mead Lane had produced a high grade horticultural product, probably the first soil-less compost incorporating Vermiculite produced in Britain, and employed many local people.

Footnote: John and Julia Scott joined Silvaperl, John having the role of Market Development Director, in 1984 following the purchase of Vermipeat Ltd by Silverperl. They subsequently left Silvaperl in 1987 to avoid a move to Lincoln where a new factory had been built. John and Julia then set up a home-based wholesaling horticulture business in 1988, purchased sole rights for the Vermipeat compost and the Silvaperl mail order business and diversified into other allied products.

They sold the Vermipeat Trade Mark in 1993 and continued to run the business until 2005. While living in Saltford John was heavily involved in community activities, including as a District Councillor for 6 years, Chairman of Saltford Community Association for 3 years, and was Chairman of the first Saltford Parish Council in the modern era for 8 years from 1991 (there is a photograph of John in the 1990s section). He passed away in 2009 aged 83.

Information Source:
"Ups and Downs of an Interesting Life. The memoirs of Capt. John Scott M.N." by Julia Scott (2010)

St Mary's Choir at Harvest, c.1967.

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St Mary's Rector Rev Stephen Wells & others, 1970s.

St Mary's Rogation Sunday service, 1971.

To open larger version of the above 1971 photograph click here (opens in new window).

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Donald Victor Reakes

Donald Reakes, c.1980.

Donald Reakes (23 Jan 1915 - 16 Sept 1983) was a well-known member of the community of Saltford. A Saltford Historian of Wedmore Road, Saltford, and a skilled craftsman and maker of musical instruments, he died at the Bath Royal United Hospital at age 68 in 1983. He was also an inventor and was famously photographed on the River Avon in Saltford in the 1940s riding his "water-bicycle".

Donald Reakes & "water bicycle", Saltford, 1940s.

A Bathonian, he first lived in Saltford from 1933, moved to Bristol during WWII, and then came back to the village in 1953. During the war he was an electrical engineer at Pensford Colliery for 3 years, and served in the Home Guard in Bristol, and in Saltford.

For 18 years he was a delivery man for the Saltford High Street village stores and his last job was at a cash and carry warehouse in Bath. An active member of St Mary's Church (he can be seen in many photographs about St. Mary's on this website), he was a member of the choir for 50 years, and also the Sunday School superintendent, Churchwarden and a lay reader.

In addition to making puppets and giving puppet shows in aid of charity, as a craftsman he was best known for making more than 100 zither-type musical instruments.

An authority on Saltford's history, he lectured to local groups and conducted guided tours around the area, both for adults and children. He belonged to both the local community and residents' associations.

When he passed away in 1983 he left a widow, two daughters and two grandsons.

Acknowledgements/Information Sources
Photograph and information kindly provided by Donald's daughter, Alison Thorne. © SEG.

St Mary's Choir, 1983.

To open larger version of the above 1983 photograph click here (opens in new window).

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1991: Saltford Parish Council

The first Saltford Parish Council election in the modern era was conducted under the auspices of Wansdyke District Council and held on Thursday 2nd May 1991. On 15th May 1991 at the first council meeting Cllr John Scott was elected Chair and Cllr Duncan Hounsell was elected Vice-Chair.

Saltford Parish Council, 1991

Back row, standing (L to R): Cllr Frank Vine, Cllr Maurice Short, Cllr John Dunford, Cllr Francine Haeberling, Cllr Patricia Vine, Cllr Mark Davies, Cllr Sheila Bateman.
Front row, sitting (L to R): Cllr Duncan Hounsell (Vice Chairman), Cllr John Scott (Chairman), Mr Roger Kinsman (Parish Clerk).
Not shown: Cllrs Lynne Davies and Eric Linfield.

Results of the 2 May 1991 election:

John Scott (Independent) 1000 votes; John Dunford (Independent) 995; Duncan Hounsell (The Liberal Democrats) 988; Eric Linfield (Independent) 983; Mark Davies (The Liberal Democrats) 977; Lynne Davies (The Liberal Democrats) 949; Francis (Frank) Vine (Independent) 949; Francine Haeberling (Independent) 947; Patricia Vine (Independent) 911; Maurice Short (Independent) 772; Sheila Bateman (The Labour Party) 523.

Not elected:
Mark Toghill (The Labour Party) 392; Michael Simmons (The Labour Party) 369; Douglas Street (The Labour Party) 368.

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On page 4 you can find WWI & WWII >>


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