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Not Brentford New

Great West Road Opening, 1925

King George V inspecting a line of soldiers of various ranks, with flags and bunting in the background; the public are seated in tiers behind

Roger Davis has provided 9 photos taken at the opening of the Great West Road, 30th May 1925, by King George V and Queen Mary.

'Brentford & Chiswick As It Was' includes more information about this major road project: the first by-pass of Brentford High Street.

This photo shows King George V inspecting men from the Middlesex Regiment? (the cap badge appears to be from this regiment). Many of the men have the 1914 Star, British War and Victory medals from their service in the Great War. They carry rifles with bayonets.

Jacqui Meekins writes (February 2010): 'We believe the third soldier on the right as you look at the photo is my dads dad who was a private in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. There is some family confusion about this because my grandad left the army at the end of the war - so was no longer a soldier by 1925. (Possibly he was still in the reserves?) His name was Joseph Aubrey Meekins.'

'My grandmother, Dorris Meekins, claimed that the families of those soldiers on parade were allocated temporary tiered seating, which was built for the event. She was a spectator at the event and can be seen with her baby, (my dads older brother Victor Meekins) My dad wasn't there as he wasn't born until the following year - 1926. My grandparents, Joseph Aubrey Meekins and Dorris (2 r's!) Meekins were married in 1920 and lived in Ealing.'

If you recognise anyone in this scene please get in touch.

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Published February 2009; last updated February 2010