Two years ago, I decided that in order to preserve my Nana’s WWI collections of her Uncle Norman’s letters, diaries & notebook, I should transcribe them to ensure minimal handling occurred of the original items. This project has taken that long to complete, a thoroughly immersive experience which has lead me to look at the other items within the collection a bit differently also. If you’ve read a couple of my previous posts over the last two years, you will have noticed the wallet & images from WWI were also a part of this collection. In fact, there are a total of 24 photos included within Uncle Norman’s wallet and upon checking with my grandparents it has been concluded that out of those 24 photos, we know less than half the people portrayed in them.
*This has got me wondering!*
You see, not only have I been busily transcribing, I have expanded my project to include genealogy. These days genealogy is a rather accessible hobby, thanks to the Internet! Thanks to the wonders of the Web (and Ancestry!) I connected late last year with a distant relative, who also happens to be a direct descendant of Uncle Norman’s best friend & cousin, Harold. Harold served in WWI alongside Norman. This direct descendant passed along photos of Uncle Norman that the family have never seen, along with a first hand account of how Norman was killed on the battlefields of France. How interesting it was to hear about my ancestor from another perspective! To have gained those images and information was invaluable.
I have decided I’d like to know who the unknown people are in the photos we have. These are stunning portraits (and a couple of fantastic snapshots) and being a photographer I place so much value in the possession of photos. These photos I’m sure would be important to any descendants of the subjects in question. There is a dual motive here, as I would also love to know if there is any further information to be learned of my Uncle Norman from these descendants. Who knows, perhaps we are related in some way.
This type of situation occurred only days ago, having gone to ask my grandparents about the photos, one photo of which my Nana pointed out, saying “That’s Uncle Errol!”. Lucky for us, his full name was printed on the back as well. Later that night, whilst absentmindedly scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a friend of mine had tagged a girl (we’ll call her *Anna) with the exact surname of this ‘Uncle Errol’. Not a very common surname. Upon further investigation (Facebook stalking at it’s finest, we’re all guilty of this okay!?) it seemed that Anna lived in the same place that ‘Uncle Errol’ did. So I asked my friend about it, who in turn found out that this ‘Uncle Errol’ was in fact a relative of Anna! There it was, my first opportunity to share a never before seen image of one of her relatives!
Everyone, this is where you come in. Below you will see the images found inside Uncle Norman’s wallet, of people my family do not know. There are in some cases a couple of photos of the same person. I only ask that you share this post EVERYWHERE. Someone has to know who they are! Doesn’t matter where you live, share away and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Some photos have made it slightly easier for us, providing names on the back, however some remain unlabelled. If anyone knows someone in the photos below, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , as I’d love to send you a copy of the image in question, as well as ask a few questions of my own. Your help is much appreciated!