The photographs in the collection depict the Tamlins' life in West Africa between 1917 and 1920. The main focus is on Alfred's working life, with a large number of images of the mahogany preparation and shipping process, as well as scenes of early motor transport and company social occasions. However there are also a significant number of images reflecting the lives of local people, with street scenes, landmarks, ceremonies and portraits.
This catalogue was produced with support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
Alfred Edward and Dorothy Gertrude (nee Lamble) Tamlin were both from Sparkhill in Birmingham, and knew each other from early childhood. Alfred joined the army in 1914 but was invalided out in 1915, at which point he joined the trading company Miller Bros in West Africa, according to his daughter. However in 1918 he was working in the Motor Transport Dept. of Swanzy's Ltd, which merged with Millers and the African Association in 1919 to form the African and Eastern Trade Corporation Ltd. Alfred's main duty was to oversee African labourers cutting and preparing mahogany for export, floating the huge logs down the Volta River to be loaded onto ships. All the captioned photographs were taken in the Gold Coast, now Ghana, but it is possible he also worked in other West African locations. Alfred returned home to marry Dorothy in 1919, after which she accompanied him for 2 years before going back to the UK for the birth of their first child in August 1921. In 1923 the family emigrated to Canada, however Alfred suffered with recurrent malaria for the rest of his life and died in Birmingham at the age of 61.
Add a contribution
Do you have extra information about this item? You can contribute additional detail to our catalogue using the following form:
You can cite this material using the following reference:
Alternatively, download the citation as:
You can download/export the metadata of this catalogue entry
This content is not currently available for download