Bob Murphy WW2

In my previous post, I published a gift from Brian from Equinoxio, today’s photo was a gift from Shayne of Captured and Exposed blog. As I’ve said before, the generosity of the blogging community never ceases to amaze me. Thank you to Shayne, Brian, Ted and others for their kindness in finding and sending me wee treasures.

I’m probably just getting old but Bobby here, looks way too young to be in uniform, especially during wartime. His name is written in ink on the back of the photo and lightly in pencil, someone has added WW2. He is a sweet looking young man with those heavy lidded eyes and slightly crooked front teeth.

His expression is somewhat bemused, as though he barely knows how he ended up in uniform. He could easily be as young as 18. How do we, as a community, still allow children to make the life and death decision to go to war? Is it truly an informed decision if it is made before the consequences of which, could possibly be fully conceived? We now know that brains are not fully developed until the age of 25, yet we still send our young men and women into conflict zones at much younger ages. And then, at least as far as the UK, Australia and the US go, we don’t properly look after their needs on their return home.

Bobby has unleashed some powerful emotions for me. I do hope he returned home after his tour in one piece, both physically and emotionally.

25 comments
  1. This is a fine photo to have for your collection, Katie, Shane has done well! I think your description and thoughts regarding service is spot on. Seaman Murphy could also be 16 or 17 too, and may well have served in the Pacific, let’s hope he did return home.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Goodness, I had no idea a seaman could be so young! It must’ve been heartbreaking for his parents to see him off! Yup, Shayne is cool. Do you already know her blog?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love his expression too, Kate! I found a photo for you during my recent trip to Reno, Nevada. I’m mailing it tomorrow. So glad you are blogging again!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Mike said:

    He looks 18 or 19 to me. Another hero serving in WW2, and I too hope he survived that war. I wore the same uniform when I was 19, but I have not a single photograph of me from that time. I have tried for years to find one, including contacting various federal agencies, but alas, to no avail.

    It is good to see you active again, dear friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Mike!

      I’m surprised that no agencies had an identity photo of you from your service years. I guess storage of hard copies took up more space than they had/have available and they were binned. 😞

      Like

      • Mike said:

        Yes, my enlistment was from 68-72 which is a long time ago. There was a photo of me from boot camp that was once in my father’s possession but he died in 2002. My son has my dog tags…..good enough.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Xraypics said:

    This young man has an asymmetrical face and it’s a fascinating exercise to cover down the facial midline, first the right then the left half to see what you see. He projects powerful emotions, I agree. I think that’s because the right (his right) side looks full of hope and joy, and his left sadness, almost despair. A sensitive observer reacts to both these emotions and the tension gives the image power. In many ways it is a masterpiece, particularly given the provenance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I tried it, Tony, and you are so right. Fantastic observation and comment, thank you! 😃

      Like

  5. The youth of men such as Bobby going off to war really hit home when my daughter turned 18. She was still a child, yet boys her age had been sent off to fight and die in wars. Inconceivable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree. The trouble is an 18 year old thinks they are grown up (whatever that means 🙄) and making a rational decision. Outside of voluntary enlistment, conscription must’ve been it’s own nightmare. 🥺😢

      Liked by 2 people

      • I know what you mean about the 18-year-old mind. I was married with a child at that age–and I wouldn’t listen to anyone.

        Like

  6. Val said:

    Lovely face, I hope he survived the war.
    Glad to see you back, I’ve been away from my blog for over a month so hadn’t realised you’d posted at all til I saw this one. Will be back later to look at the others.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Your reading of the photograph moved me…always enjoy your writing and interpretations of these self-mediated machine images that are so different from ‘selfies’ as we now know them. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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