This week we have a selection of snapshots taken by a Corporal Hayes in Egypt in 1936. They depict a number of topics including the River Nile, some native children, a broken lorry and most interestingly a parade with standards at Mersah Matruh. These photographs are hardly Cecil Beaton, but they show the increasing democratisation of photography as it had moved out of the realms of officers to a universal hobby with simple box brownie cameras. Dr Michael Pritchard of the Royal Photographic Society explains:
The Brownie democratised photography simply through the sheer volume of sales. A $1 or 25-shilling camera capable of producing reasonable results was innovative, and coupled with Kodak’s ability to provide directly or through an enormous number of chemists and photographic retailers a developing and printing service meant that photography became accessible irrespective of your social class or photographic skills.
These photographs are hardly great works of art or composition, but are very evocative and give a glimpse of interwar soldiering in Egypt.