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Group 1

Harry in his helmet, along with his "minder" and the woman we suspect may be my Great-grandmother, Mabel Reed. Plus the (second) pram baring the A-board on which he displayed the postcards for sale. The placard in the foreground describes the wager.

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One of the postcards Harry sold on his journey. It is signed by the man himself using his true name, so that was obviously done after he finished his walk. Inserts at the top are of the minder and the helmet.

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Group 2

Harry (in helmet) and his minder (far left) being greeted by an unknown couple. The woman with the child appears to be the same woman as above. The A-board is in position (but does not appear to have any postcards on it!). This was taken in 1908 (during the first year of his journey).

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Harry Unmasked!

A photograph of Harry (seated) later in life without his mask! We do not know who his companion is. It has been suggested that it may have been his minder on the journey, but from looking at all our photographs and newspaper cuttings, we think this is a different gentleman. What do you think?

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Closer Detail

An extract from the Group 1 image above, shown at full size to show more detail. The placard on the helmet reads, "Walking round the World" (though it is not clear on this photograph). The badge on his chest says the same, with a central bar stating "Masked". (This bar is omitted on his minder's version of the badge!)

Most of these images have been reduced in size from the originals (and very slightly touched up in some cases), to make them suitable in size to be put onto the WEB site. If for any reason you want the originals, I can E-Mail them to you. A couple of the images were apparently scanned in "two passes", and they did not meet correctly at the join, if you examine them closely. This means a thin strip of the photograph is missing, causing the image to look squashed at that point. I've touched-up Group 2 quite a lot to try and disguise the join, but I have left the front of the pram un-touched, to give you an idea of the severity of the problem.

I'm delighted to say that many visitors to this site have been kind enough to send me copies of photographs and postcards of Harry that they have come across for themselves. With their permission, I have included these below, along with an acknowledgement to them.

If you have any such image that you would care to share, I would be happy to hear from you and include the picture below, along with your name.


Postcards supplied by Linda Culm

The two postcards on the left were very kindly supplied by Linda Culm. She has a great interest in Strange stories such as Harry's. Linda bought these two postcards at an antique fair in Redhill around Feb-April 2000, without knowing who he was. After a little research, she found this site in May, and very kindly agreed to get the postcards scanned and sent through to me, and also gave me permission to display them on this page.

These postcards are interesting (for me anyway!) as they contain early pictures of Harry with the original pram (something I did not have on the site before). Also, their "uniforms" do not contain the "Walking round the world" motto which they wore later in the journey. From these, I also suspect that the helmet may have changed somewhere along the way. Compare the second postcard with the "Closer detail", above, and see what you think! Up to now, I had never had any indication of a possible second helmet.

Clicking on the pictures will take you to a page that includes both the front and back images of the postcards, for your reference.

I would very much like to say a big "Thank you" to Linda for her assistance with these postcards and some enjoyable email exchanges. I wish her well in her own research for Strange stories, especially those in the lead-up to the second world war period, which is her own particular hobby. If you have any material along these lines that might be interesting to Linda, I would be happy to forward it onto her for you, or to pass her your email address so she can get in direct contact with you. Just drop me a note.

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Newspaper cutting supplied by Chris McKnight

This image was discovered by Chris McKnight in his local paper, Daily Echo dated July 24, 2000. Many thanks to Chris for taking the trouble to scan the image and send it to us. The picture is very similar to one of the postcard images that Linda sent in (above) and I personally suspect that these are part of a batch of pictures taken in a studio, that were turned into postcards for Harry to sell on his journey.

Chris informs me that the original photograph was sent into the paper by a Mr. Frank Henson from Poole, Dorset, who also has an old newspaper article. This might be worth following up (though we have not done so yet.

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Postcard from Simon Bensley

Simon contacted us in August 2001 to say that he had an interest in Harry's story, as he heard about Harry a couple of years previous from the Daily Mail article and he shared the same surname. He and his wife had recently visited Oliver Bone (the curator of the Ancient House Museum, Thetford) and coincidentally just a few days later whilst walking through his home town of Bath happened to see this postcard staring back at him from an album of a chap selling old postcards. Simon snapped up the postcard and has been good enough to send me a copy for use on the web site. The pram has the newer carriage with equal-sized pneumatic tires.

Simon contacted me again in December 2001 to say he had found another postcard. As Simon says, "There is a new sign in front of the pram and the helmet does not appear to have any ventilation holes in the top unlike some of the others. There is also a piece of writing in the bottom right corner which says LEPARD CROYDON which I presume is the photographic studio name.". In fact, the pram is the original with solid tires, so this second postcard probably pre-dates Simon's first postcard to me.

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Postcard from Glenn Horan

Information comes from all sources! Glenn found this particular postcard up for auction on the eBay web site, for which he posted a bid. He believes the postcard eventually made over 100 USD in the auction.

Glenn found my site here, whilst doing a little research into the postcard. He was kind enough to supply me with a copy of the scan, which also includes a couple of close up insets showing more detail, that can be seen when you bring up the full image by clicking on the small image to the left. You can tell this was taken in the same photographic session as the "Group 1" picture at the top of the page.

Many thanks to Glenn for giving me permission to display the scan here.

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Postcard from Eddie Prowse

Eddie heard about Harry's story from the BBC's History Programme, and was later pleased to come across a postcard, which he has kindly copied and sent on to me. The quality is not great, but it is interesting in that it is not in the normal posed style, but rather looks like a quick photograph taken at some sea side resort, in the company of an unknown person. Eddie tells me, "the correspondent does not mention the subject of the card in her message, it is about domestic arrangements for Easter. The card is postmarked Weymouth - April 18th 1908."

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Postcard from Patrick Craze

Patrick was kind enough to contact me in september 2005, attaching a copy of the postcard to the left. It is the same image as "Group 2" above, but with an insert of an unmasked Harry in one of the pram's wheels. Obviously, this cannot have been sold by Harry during the journey itself, but goes to show there must have been continuing interest even after the journey ended. The reverse of the postcard contains no address or message, only a printer's message: Extra copies can be obtained from A. Rapp, 159 High Street, Winchester. The gentleman in the inserted picture certainly seems to be the same person who is seated in the "Harry unmasked" picture above, although he seems to be in uniform here.

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Postcard from Ian

Ian (sorry, no surname given) kindly sent me a copy of this postcard in January 2006, which he was then selling on eBay. It was obviously taken at the same time as the first postcard from Simon Bensley above, as Harry has hardly moved at all between shots. However the minder has moved his arms and gained the small bag for this photograph. On the reverse are the words: Passed through Woburn Sands Sept - 22 - 1908. No stamp or address.

Not obvious on the reduced image for the web site, but just visible on the original, I can see that the A-board displays the "Group 1" postcard top left, the postcard from Glenn Horan top right and the pamphlet he sold with all the rules and route to the lower left. The last postcard is very feint and I am only able to make out two shadowy figures with a pram, which could be several of the above.

Note: I didn't follow up the eBay auction so have not got the new owner's permission to display this image. If that person is you, and you want me to remove this image, I shall of course do so when you prove your ownership of the original.

Picture from West Sussex Record Office

Picture from West Sussex Record Office

Gillian Edom of the West Sussex Record Office is working on a two year project called Joining up our Heritage. They have nearly two hundred digitised tithe maps are working to attach additional material to the maps in order to give a wide range of background information. The main aim of the project is to identify sources of data in local museums and archives and to add them to their database.

Gillian came across this photograph and did some research on it, finding this web site. She very kindly contacted me in August 2009 and we have exchanged some interesting emails. This resulted in them setting up a section of their own web site to document interesting articles found during the project. This picture of Harry taken at Kingston by Sea in West Sussex on 14th February 1908 is the first entry to be upload to this new section of their site. Clicking the image will take you to their web site entry for the picture.

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Images from my Mother's collection

Whilst visiting my parents in July 2009, and going through some records with my mother, I noticed she had some photographs that I didn't already have on the web site. This has now been rectified.

The top is another group photograph of the three usual characters, but taken in a different studio to any of the above.

More interesting to us as his ancestors, is an photograph of Harry later in life, taken outside his house when he lived in Wivenhoe.

Thanks go to Christophe Beyls. I have made use of his Slimbox2 software for viewing many of the images above.

If you, too, have any similar material about Harry which I could use here, then please contact me. I will of course give you credit for any material I use.