Reminiscence room: Looking back on Jewish life in the UK

Nathaniel Friedlander and his WWI army unit.

Nathaniel Friedlander

Taken around 1915, the sepia postcard above shows eight uniformed soldiers including Private Nathaniel Friedlander at the left. They are sitting on—and standing around—an open top army truck and gathered around a poster with the words,“To Berlin", prominently displayed. (Photo credit: © Museum of London.)

World War I was fought from 1914-1918 on every ocean and on almost every continent. Most of the fighting, however, took place in Europe. More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in the war. Nearly 10 million died.

Quote from the book, World War I: 1914-1918 (Wars Day by Day), written by Jason Turner and published in 2008 by Brown Bear Books of Mankato, MN.

Nathaniel Friedlander was a Jewish recruit in the Army Service Corps. Born in London in 1890, he left school at 14 to become an apprentice barber. In 1915, Friedlander joined the army and fought until 1918. After demobilisation from the Army, he returned to London to continue his barbering career whilst studying part-time at the School for Chiropody in Grays Inn Road. In 1933, Friedlander opened his own hairdressing shop and chiropody surgery in Selkirk Road, Tooting. Here he continued to work as both a barber and chiropodist until his retirement in 1960.


* What did you want to do when you left school?

* How would you have felt leaving home to travel to foreign lands?

* Did you do the same job for your entire career?