No. 7 Burlington Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
‘BROADOKE’, as it is written on the photograph, is known as ‘Broad Oak’, 7 Burlington Road, Ipswich IP1 2EU in 2016 and it (along with modern extensions) has been converted into flats – “Broad Oke” is written on the front porch, although the addresses for the flats is “Broad Oak”.
From an Ipswich Local Plan (1997) document, it is discovered that ‘Broad Oke’ was built in 1858 for a William Dilwyn Syms. In 1975, “large unsympathetic extensions” were added to the original building – to create a residential home for the elderly. Such extensions would not be allowed today … now that the property stands within a designated conservation area. In 2016, flats occupy the building.
At the outbreak of the First World War, what exactly was the role played by ‘Broad Oke’? Does any one know? Whatever its role, if the above shown photograph had not surfaced perhaps it would not have been connected with soldiers of that era at all.
It may have been a Rest Home or Billets but, amongst the soldiers pictured at the back of the house, are two soldiers sitting on the right hand side – on the roof. These men appear to be wearing blue invalid uniforms … the “blues”, as they were known – are they convalescing?