Hertfordshire Postcard Artists, Photographers, Publishers, etc.

L. L. Christmas

Military Photographs

of Watford & St Albans

Lea Latimer Christmas  (1871-1941) was related to the Christmas family of coachbuilders. His grandfather Eleazar Chrismas (1818-1896) married Hannah Smith (born Watford 1821) in 1839 and by 1856 had moved to the High Street, Watford, where he was described as a master coach builder employing 2 men and 2 boys.  The business, now described as motor engineers, was still trading in the Watford High Street under the Christmas name in 1960. Around the turn of the century his uncle, Thomas Christmas, had a similar business at Hemel Hempstead.

His father Eleazar Christmas (1841-1909) was born in London, and started off his working life as a coachbuilder. In 1866 he married Maria Beeson who was born in Bushey, and whose father was a master blacksmith. The first children were born in Watford but in about 1868 he moved from Watford to Brackley, Northamptonshire, and Lea Latimer Christmas was born there in 1871. By 1881 Eleazar had become an eating house keeper, at the Albion, 99 Chrisp Street, Bromley.

Lea Latimer Christmas (1871-1941) is listed as a photographer in the 1891 census, and was living with his parents in Bromley. There are no clues as to why he had taken up this profession. In August 1895, in Limehouse, he married Edith George, daughter of Jeremiah George, a draper. From about 1897  he was at Ansey House Studio, 104 Stoke Newington Road, Hackney, and in 1901  he was listed as a photographer, with two young children, his wife visiting friends.

Sometime before the 1911 census he moved to 90 Queens Road, Watford where he is described as a photographer (own account) and his wife is listed as a draper. In 1912 and 1914 the trade directories record his wife as a draper at the Queens Road address, followed by a move where she is recorded as a milliner at 23 St Catherine's Street, St Albans, in 1917 and 1922, but not 1926. [This is the address occupied by the Crown Publishing Co. in 1908/9.] He is not listed in the Hertfordshire directories - but he was clearly operating from the same addresses.

His brother Walter Henry Christmas, of 8 Queens Road, Bowes Park, Wood Green, Middlesex, also was a photographer during the First World War, taking photographs of the London Scottish in a musketry training camp at North Mimms in August 1915.


This one was taken by L. L. Christmas, 90 The Broadway, Queens Road, Watford, and shows a number of soldiers in a garden, and the cap badges show most were from the Royal Field Artillery. It was posted in Hemel Hempstead in August 1914 - which may be where the soldiers were billeted.


Royal Field Artillery (Howitzer) in early 1915.

Published from 23 St Catherine's Street, St Albans


A Post Card taken at Britons Camp,  near St Albans in 1915 with the St Albans address for L L Christmas.  Other cards are known which were taken at the camp.



published by

L. L. Christmas

23 Catherine Street

St Albans


Date and location not known but almost certainly the St Albans and Watford areas from 1915 onwards.


From their as yet unidentified cap badges the troop appear to come from several different regiments. Could they be different units from the London Regiment?



There are several different cap badges.


Click on strip to see all the faces - If you can identify anyone please tell me.



Soldier on horse, back of 10 Chequer Street, St Albans, First World War.

Photograph of an unknown soldier

in the yard behind 10 Chequer Street, St Albans

by L L Christmas, 23 Catherine's Street, St Albans


Photograph of an unknown soldier

by L L Christmas, 23 Catherine's Street, St Albans


A Mixed Group of Civilians and officers - possibly a liaison committee?

More Details


Unknown Soldier in the Queens


He took pictures of troops in the Training Reserve Battalions (From September 1916 onwards).

The picture on the right shows a number of Orderlies with cooking equipment.  Were they attending the Military School of Cookery?


Other First World War military related pictures can be found on Google and often on ebay.

Herts Advertiser, 21st July, 1917


Of course he didn't only take military pictures as the following examples show:

Picture of Police Constable Harry Cordell Norgett, taken in about 1907 by L. L. Christmas, Asney House Studio, 104 Stoke Newington Road, Hackney.

School Group Photograph, with Miss Cooper, probably Harpenden  

A picture of pupils in an as yet unidentified school, photographed when he was in St Albans so 1915 or later.

A note on the back records it as Miss Cooper's Class and records the number of prints (15 mounted and 25 post cards).

See An unknown Harpenden School

Portrait of an unidentified family group with a mother, father and daughter, photographed outside an unidentified building, L L Christmas, St Albans [Must be 1915 or later]

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

Direct Link   www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/links/CHRISTMAS.htm
April 2011  

 Page created

October 2013   Significant Revision plus new material
January 2014   Link to pictures by his brother, Walter Henry Christmas, and uncle, Thomas Christmas
March 2014   School of Cookery & Orderly links
July 2012   Picture (link) of soldier in The Queens
July 2015   1917 advert