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Strange photograph of Cheshire Regt soldier and family


pbrydon
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I acquired a couple of post card photographs of a Cheshire Regiment soldier and his wife and daughter this morning.

The first photo is a "normal" photo of the family but in the second above and behind the wife and daughter there is a "floating" image of the soldier which looks like it is taken from the first photo.There is also a copy of the first photo on the stand next to the wife and daughter

I presume that this is a memorial picture taken because the soldier has been killed and I wonder if anyone has come across anything similar ?

P.B.

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... I presume that this is a memorial picture taken because the soldier has been killed ....

I have always assumed this to be the case, but doubtless somebody with more detailed knowledge can verify this. Just out of interest, I don't suppose you have any indication as to the soldier's identity?

Trajan

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We have a photo of a soldier seated in front of a backcloth which we think is of Constantinople, and within the print is another snapshot of his infant daughter. All crudely done and creased.

D

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... he came from Crewe and they were called Edith and Albert sadly no...

With perseverance he should be traceable...Never tried it but I would imagine a trawl through Ancestry Military records might get you a Cheshire Regiment man named Albert. I don't know how CWGC indexes work, so don't know what could be done there - perhaps another GWF member can explain how to do that or (always possible!) has the information already!

Trajan

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Albert was a pretty popular name of the period. I suspect you could find a lot of Cheshire soldiers called Albert.

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I was bored so I thought I'd see if I could ID my fellow Cestrian. And, after a couple of hours Goggling, I'd like to offer up a name. I've looked at the names on the Crewe war memorial (for men serving with the Cheshires and having the initial A) and I've trawled SDGW, CWGC, FreeBMD and CheshireBMD.

And, although I doubt whether these things can ever be guaranteed, I think there may be only one candidate. This is Private Albert Moss, 35267, 10th Battalion.

Moss was born in Sandbach and enlisted in Crewe and was killed in action on 14 July 1916. He is commemorated on the Crewe memorial.

A man call Albert Moss married Edith A Pilbury at St Barnabas, Crewe in the December quarter of 1914. Their daughter, Minnie, was also born during that quarter.

It all fits the very scant details posted above. I'll now wait to be shot down.

John

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There's an example in Richard van Emdem's book The Quick and the Dead where the dead soldier has been inserted into the family picture to make it look like he is there.

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John,

Thanks for doing that! Who knows, as is usual with these needles in haystack kind of things, but a nice set of direct connections even down to wife and a single daughter. I would say you are in the 90%+ with this ID.

Trajan

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Way to confirm would be to contact the Crewe area local history library (or whoever holds the local newspapers) and see if there was an obituary and/or photo.

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Peter - you're welcome. Please try for the obituary and let me know - I'd love to know if I was right.

The service papers of the possible ID are on Ancestry.

John

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I find it hard to believe it wasn't Albert Moss !

However, looking at the less likely, what about

SEVERN, ALBERT EDWIN

Rank:Lance Corporal

Service No:266956

Date of Death:31/07/1917

Age:30

Regiment/Service:Cheshire Regiment 1st/6th Bn.

Panel ReferencePanel 19 - 22.

Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Additional Information:

Husband of Edith Severn, of 53, Wycherley Rd., Higher Tranmere, Birkenhead.

IN 2Q 1910 Albert Edwin SEVERN married Edith Jane P BOOTH, registered in Birkenhead, Cheshire.

1911, living at 43 Allerton Road Widnes.

Married under one year.

A postman.

Children born to Severn / Booth and registered in Birkenhead:

1913 Harry E

1916 Gladys.

Just a note - The photo is small but I think the clothes worn by the toddler are those which could be worn by little boys or girls.

NB I haven't looked for any service records yet.

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One more piece of information:

Sadly,

Birth - Gladys SEVERN (mother's maiden name BOOTH) 2Q 1916 Birkenhead

Death - Gladys SEVERN ( -----------------------------) 2Q 1916 Birkenhead. Age at death 0.

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A possible/likely other child

Albert E SEVERN

Birkenhead

1910 4Q

(The mother's maiden name is not available before 1911)

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I have several postcards in my collection that have a similar arrangement but as at least one has the soldier in the main part of the picture and the wife or sweetheart in the corner. I am not sure that there is any significance to the arrangement; perhaps just a stylistic device offered by the photographer.

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Peter

This is doing me head in!

Is the info about names and Crewe on the back of the piccies? Is there any other information at all?

My latest bright idea was to trawl FreeBMD for Albert and Edith, getting married in Crewe. There werent that many and I thought I might have another winner in Albert Blakemore, who had married and Edith Cutler in 1914 Looked like he had been KIA in 1918 but that was a guy from Birkenhead.

Can't really tell from your two photos but what would you estimate the age of the kid to be in both photos.

John

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John,

Sorry I cannot add any further information,someone has written on the back of one of the cards Auntie Edith and Uncle Albert.

The post cards were with a number of other post cards some military and some not, the only common factor was that where there was a clue ( such as photographers name ,street name,caption etc ) all those photos were related to Crewe.

There were also some interesting photos of the Russell Brothers and A.E. Kinley all members of the Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve part of St Johns Ambulance who were all lost on HMS Formidable on 1st January 1915.

Peter

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Was the photo labelled Crewe? If not, is it possible that the niece or nephew who wrote on the back of it lived in Crewe but Auntie and Uncle lived elsewhere?

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  • 2 years later...

Dear Mr Brydon

I cannot tell you how emotional I am to see those photographs. I am Albert's great great great neice, and with your permission I would love to send a copy of that photograph to the memorial in Belgium for Paschendale.

Albert fell on the 1st day of fighting at Paschendale which having studied it I hope saved him from the horrors of drowning in the mud.

He left behind his wife Edith and son Harry, as well as his mother and six siblings. One being my great great grand-father WIlliam John Severn who would have been in Turkey working in a POW camp we had liberated when his brother fell on the Ypres ridge. His twin sister Ethel Matilda had not long given birth to her son ALbert Edwin Severn Llewellyn and I do not think he ever met his name sake.

I made it my mission having been to Paschendale ridge this summer, to get him in the live memorial there but I had no mementos of the family. From what I can see his son Harry died in the 1930s and sadly his daughter died in 1916 as well. I have been trying to trace families and then I saw this site. And there on the screen was the man whose story I had followed, whose footsteps I trod and whose name I honored on the Ypres Gate.

Thank you so so so much for this opportunity

Many Regards

Sara

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HOORAY! and AMAZING!!! Once more the forum has come through & solved a mystery. Well Done All! Thankyou for honoring him Sara, he'd be proud to know he has not been forgotten.

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Hello all,

I have seen that type of image a number of times, although not common, I believe that it became popular due to the increase in spiritualism that occurred at the time of and following the great war, the photographic technique is designed to create an 'ethereal image' ( belonging to or from the heavens) suggesting that the departed is still watching over them and remains a part of the family. it was a sentimental gesture of remembrance and affection.

khaki

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I don't want to pour cold water on this, but the photo in post # 1 does not look like Albert E. Severn from Birkenhead (see photo below).

Sara, post # 21 : Was your great great uncle living at No.53 Wycherley Road, Birkenhead before the war? If so then please respond and I can send you some genuine information on Albert (& Edith).

Edith was actually working locally as a VAD at the time, nursing wounded soldiers.

BillyH.

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