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The Vernon Lamb Archive, Groups
A Unique Photographic Record of Matlock & District, 1910-1915, and World War One Soldiers

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Place: Matlock
Property / Street / Road: Crown Hotel
Date: 1910 - 1914
Description/Historical Information: Group of 5 men outside the hotel. The negative was inscribed: Mr Maloney, Bombardier Wells, Mr Ben Taylor, Mr Syd Wells, Mr Maine.
Bombardier "Beautiful Billy" Wells (1889-1967) was a British heavyweight boxer and a sporting idol whilst he was boxing. His real name was William Thomas Wells, the son of a London musician (William Thomas Wells) and his wife (Emily Rhoda Wells). He was born in St. George's East. When he died his record of being the longest British heavyweight champion (1911-1919) had only just been surpassed by Henry Cooper (The Times, 12 June 1967). In addition to his boxing career he was later known as the man striking the gong at the beginning of J Arthur Rank films.
Sydney Harry Wells (1891- ) was his younger brother. The role of three others in the photograph is currently unknown, but they could have been his trainer, the promoter, etc.
It is currently unknown exactly when he stayed at the Crown Hotel, but he would have been taking part in a boxing match.
Further information
elsewhere on this site:
A roughly contemporary photograph of The Crown Hotel can be seen on Matlock at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (scroll down).
Image Reference: VLA5059
Copyright: © The Vernon Lamb Archive and Robert White.
See About the Archive and About Vernon Lamb, Photographer.