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Brandt Family

Brandt Family


Augustus Brandt – Micheldever War Memorial

Micheldever House.

L W Brandt lived at Micheldever House from after WW11 until he died in 1965 aged 89; and is buried in Micheldever churchyard.


Walther Brandt

Bill Brandt – photographer; m. Eva.

Rolf Brandt – m. Ester

Augustus Brandt – Micheldever War Memorial

Extracts from Wikipedia and ‘Bill Brandt’ by Paul Delaney

L W and Lilli Brandt had been reluctant to leave Germany, in spite of their opposition to Hitler's regime; but in 1939 their eldest son, Walther, telephoned them in Hamburg and said, “You must come over".  L. W. was sixty-four, and in no state to face internment again. They arrived in England and settled down in a country house, Winswood, near Crawley Down, Sussex. After the War they moved to the beautiful Queen Anne Micheldever House.

Augustus Brandt

The only one of the four brothers who was free to join a fighting service was the youngest, Augustus. He had been working on an Australian sheep ranch when the war broke out and had joined the Air Force there. Early in 1942 he completed his training and was posted as a navigator to 15 Squadron, 3 Group, Bomber Command. Here, as in most bomber units, airmen from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada were mixed together in each crew. 15 Squadron was based at Wyton, just outside Huntingdon, and flew Short Stirling 1's: four-engined heavy bombers with a maximum speed of 255 m.p.h. When the Stirling was designed, its wingspan was set at 99 feet so that it would fit into existing hangars; this limited its ceiling to 16,500 feet, which made it horribly vulnerable to enemy fighters and flak.

The commander of Augustus's plane was a young Canadian from Toronto, Thomas William Hare. When he wrecked his Stirling on landing on 25 March, Augustus was not on board, so he may not yet have arrived at the squadron. On the night of 28-29 March 1942, 3 Group took part in the war's first really successful attack on a German city, devastating the centre of Lubeck with high explosive and incendiary bombs. Lubeck was one of the historic Hanseatic towns (along with Hamburg and Bremen).

On the night of 6-7 April his Stirling took off to bomb Essen, in the Ruhr; a German night­fighter attacked the lumbering bomber and it crashed in the North Sea, killing everyone on board.  Alone of the crew, Augustus's body was recovered by the Germans and buried in a special section of the Kiel War Cemetery for Allied aircrew. At thirty years old, Augustus had come to rest just fifty miles north of where he had been born.

In December 1942, Bill completed a Picture Post story on 'The Stirling Bombers', visiting a squadron like the one Augustus had flown with. The story never appeared, probably because of censorship by the Ministry of Information, and there are only a handful of pictures in the Picture Post file.

Bill Brandt

Wikipedia/Google – ‘Bill Brandt was born in Hamburg, Germany on 3 May 1904, into a wealthy family of bankers and merchants. He spent his early years in Germany, and then, as he suffered from tuberculosis, at sanatoria in Switzerland and Austria. He moved to London in 1933 and transformed himself into a quintessential Englishman the result of a lifetime trying to bury his roots. He had also become world-famous for his highly idiosyncratic photographs.

Brandt's early work was a mixture of photojournalism for magazines such as 'Picture Post', and personal photographic projects that he undertook, some being published as books such as 'The English At Home ' (1936), and 'London At Night ' (1938). Both as a photojournalist and an Anglophile, Brandt was drawn to the British class system, and much of his work highlights its inequalities during the inter-war years. He also became particularly well known during the Second World War, for his images of Londoners sheltering from the Blitz in Underground stations.

From the mid 1940s, Brandt's work began to change completely, as he concentrated almost exclusively on the female nude for the remainder of his career. With an eye that was drawn in equal measure to Surrealism, Photojournalism and even Conceptual art, Brandt has been recognised as one of the most influential and important British photographers of the twentieth century. Bill Brandt died in London on 20 December 1983’.

A renowned photograph by Bill Brandt, Micheldever Nude (1948), was taken inside Micheldever House, the home of his father, L. W. Brandt’.

Brandt had made a brief trip to south Wales in 1935, which yielded three images of miners for 'The English at Home', but that was his only foray into industrial England until the Jarrow marchers against unemployment arrived in London on 8 November 1936.  They inspired Brandt to go, soon afterwards, and see the conditions that had driven them to walk 300 miles to the capital. His pictures of the North contain much more shock and indignation than his East End pictures, and are closer to the tradition of protest documentary than anything else in his work. Yet at the same time he discovered the grandeur of industrial cityscapes. Brandt's pictures of Halifax and Newcastle are really tributes to the North rather than social criticism, and they belong with his greatest formal achievements.

Rolf and Ester Brandt

Ester was on holiday in Spain at the time of the Spanish Civil War, and took pictures of the young men in her village burning down its church; when she returned, she and Rolf decided to join the Communist Party, in which they remained for the next twenty years.

Rolf Brandt saw no reason to acquire protective English coloration. By the late 1930s he had given up his acting ambitions altogether; one of his frustrations was that he was regularly asked to play Nazi parts! Rolf turned to the graphic arts.... He illustrated books, painted and did some teaching at the London School of Printing. But his real passion was for politics. ... Rolf went to Germany and was questioned by the Gestapo.  He was a good enough actor to persuade them that he only wanted to visit relatives. Once in Prague, he provided money and false papers to get people out; he later went back and did it again. About six or seven actors were brought to London in this way, and were then lodged with Rolf and Ester in Belsize Park Gardens to put them on their feet. Even with his British passport for protection, Rolf's actions in 1939 were heroic. Once Russia entered the war, he became a conscientious objector and joined the ambulance service.

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