Focus Questions

How is this photograph different to your family photos today?

Which part of the photograph do you notice most?   What does that part tell you about the people in the photograph?

Why do you think this photograph was taken?

Have you noticed...That the three men in the photograph are dressed differently? Why do you think they each have a different uniform? Click to reveal answer

All of the brothers served in the First World War but they served in different ways. One served in the Army, one in the Air Service and one in the Home Guard. Each of these services has a different uniform.

Explore themes

Three brothers in military uniform

Levy Brothers

Levy Brothers

This photograph shows three brothers in their military uniforms.

Three brothers in military uniform
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The Object

Object name: Sepia Toned Photograph
Date: 1915
Catalogue Number: 1993.4.3.10
Materials: Photograph mounted on buff coloured loose album page
Size: 19cm in Height 14cm in Width
On display in the Jewish Museum? Yes

  • This photograph was taken in 1915 when all three brothers were serving in the First World War.
  • Look closely at the background of the photograph. Service men and women often had their photograph taken before they went off to serve in the war. Most photographs were taken in a photographic studio with painted backdrops and props. It is, however, quite unusual to see three brothers in a photograph wearing different uniforms.
  • Look closely at Cecil who is standing on the left. Cecil served in the Royal Navy Air Service, which later became known as the RAF.  On Cecil’s right arm you can see his winged badge.
  • Look closely at Percy who is seated on the bench. Percy served in the Army as an Intelligence Officer.  He is wearing the Army uniform and a badge on his cap to tell us which regiment he belonged to.
  • Look closely at Lawrie who is standing on the right. Lawrie was the eldest brother and served in the Home Guard which was where men who were either unable or too old to fight on the Front line served.

The Story

The First World War

The Royal Naval Air Service merged with the Royal Flying Corps in April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). The history of how the RAF developed is interesting and shows the emergence of using aircraft in warfare which was relatively new technology.

The Scrapbook

Percy Levy compiled a scrap book which he called his ‘Book of Life’. Percy was one of the thousands of Jews who fought in the British army during the First World War. He was a Lieutenant in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Regiment and served on the Western Front between January 1917 and January 1919. With his knowledge of French and German, he served as an intelligence officer.
Percy’s scrapbook contains invitations, menus, photographs, letters, postcards, cuttings, maps, reports, newspapers and small objects relating to his life and military service during the First World War.
One of Percy’s many achievements was being awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre.  The medal was awarded to soldiers who performed an act of heroism in Belgium.

Digital Takeaway

Download this PDF to help you stage your own military photograph.

Stage Your Own Military Photograph PDF