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Smuj1921

Help with Photo - possibly of 'flyer' Frank Hughes

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Smuj1921

Hello All!

 

I have a couple of photos that I'd like your comments on please.

 

The first is believed to be a man called Francis (Frank) Hughes. He was born in Holytown, Lanarkshire, Scotland on the 21st of June 1894, and the story goes that he was a flyer in WW1. I cannot find any records that could confirm his service, but that photo perhaps goes some way to proving the story true. If anyone has any details on his service, or comments on the uniform or anything else, they would be appreciated. The owner of the photo would also like to know how a young lad from a working class background might have been able to become a flyer in the war?

 

The second photo is of Frank's brother, Dan. He was born in Holytown in 1902. It is not thought the he joined the services, and this may just be him dressing up in his brother's uniform for the photo. I note that his tie appears to be non-uniform to support that thought, but comments are welcome.

 

Dan left the UK for the US in September 1923, so that should help to date the photos, along with the fashion of the ladies, who were Frank's sisters.

 

The building in the background is also fairly distinctive, and may help indicate the location of the shots.

 

Again, any and all comments welcome!

 

Thanks, Smuj!

Frank Hughes.JPG

Dan Hughes.JPG

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)

I'm no expert on the uniform, but the women's attire suggests the 1920s, and the street I would suggest is in the USA or Canada.

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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pierssc
Posted (edited)

I'm no expert on the uniform either, but I'm with Dai on this.  And surely it is the same man, standing by the same telegraph pole (look at the knots at the top) the two photos probably being taken within seconds of each other.

 

EDIT: Can't explain the tie though.  Light reflecting off it?

 

 

Edited by pierssc

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Waddell

It looks to be an RAF uniform. I tend to agree with the other respondents in that it looks post-war and of the same man.

 

Uniform image from here-

 

https://greatwarlondon.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/the-birth-of-the-royal-air-force/

 

Scott

raf-uniform-flight-28-3-1918.jpg

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Smuj1921
34 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

I'm no expert on the uniform, but the women's attire suggests the 1920s, and the street I would suggest is in the USA or Canada.

 

Yes, I'd certainly agree on the dates Dai. That's an interesting observation on the street perhaps being in the USA. Perhaps Frank visited his brother and sisters in the States. I wonder would he have been allowed to walk around in his uniform? I suppose I can't see any reason why not!

 

21 minutes ago, pierssc said:

I'm no expert on the uniform either, but I'm with Dai on this.  And surely it is the same man, standing by the same telegraph pole (look at the knots at the top) the two photos probably being taken within seconds of each other.

 

Thanks. Yes, there's no doubt that the photos were taken at the same time. It's certainly not the same person though. 'Dan', in the second photo, is the father of the photo's owner. It is not totally clear that the first photo is of Dan's brother Frank, but it would make sense given family folklore.

 

4 minutes ago, Waddell said:

It looks to be an RAF uniform. I tend to agree with the other respondents in that it looks post-war and of the same man.

 

Uniform image from here-

 

https://greatwarlondon.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/the-birth-of-the-royal-air-force/

 

Scott

 

Thanks for the link Scott. Very interesting. I'd agree that it certainly seems to be a post-war RAF uniform.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

The two brothers were born 8 years apart, so for example in 1924, one would be 30, and the younger would only be 22.

I don't think that the two men are 30 and 22, so I think they are the same man.

I agree, the tie is different.

I don't think there is any doubt that the shot was taken in the same place, but I'm not sure about them being taken within minutes of one another. Perhaps we can take a guess at the angle of the sun from the shadows we see?

In the first shot, his cap peak shadow is pretty crisp and reaches his RAF wings on his left breats.

In the second shot, the shadow seems less crisp (I admit that the image isn't well focussed on the man in this one and he is turned more to his left), but seems to stretch over the left sideof his chest and arm?

Perhaps it was taken on a different day?

The style of architecture, with a wide open street, a wide pavement, and the nature of the bright sunshine just looks American.

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hmsk212
9 hours ago, Smuj1921 said:

Hello All!

 

I have a couple of photos that I'd like your comments on please.

 

The first is believed to be a man called Francis (Frank) Hughes. He was born in Holytown, Lanarkshire, Scotland on the 21st of June 1894, and the story goes that he was a flyer in WW1. I cannot find any records that could confirm his service,

 

Thanks, Smuj!

Frank Hughes.JPG

Dan Hughes.JPG

 

Hi,

 

His Air76 Officer's Record is available from the National Archives for £3:50  :- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8275086

 

Steve

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Smuj1921
1 hour ago, hmsk212 said:

 

Hi,

 

His Air76 Officer's Record is available from the National Archives for £3:50  :- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8275086

 

Steve

 

Ah, that's great - thanks Steve! At least that proves conclusively that he actually was in service.

 

That Record itself is fairly light; do you (or anyone else) know if there are any more possible records out there, bearing in mind I hadn't even managed to find that one! :)

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hmsk212

Hi

 

As far as I am aware that is his only record, it does however, show that he was a Cadet with 5 Cadet Wing which may explain his wings on the uniform.

 

Steve

 

 

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Heid the Ba
Posted (edited)

I'm in the "same man, photo in the US" camp here.  The houses look like the kind of houses you see on the East Coast of the US, I think they are called "rowhouses".  A google image search turns up similar in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

 

Edit to add: On looking at the uniform there are horizontal creases and some odd creases on the right leg, as if the uniform had been packed and taken out of a suitcase shortly before the photos were taken.  As if he was showing it off to the family, perhaps?  It might explain why he was wearing it in the US.

Edited by Heid the Ba

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
14 minutes ago, Heid the Ba said:

On looking at the uniform there are horizontal creases and some odd creases on the right leg, as if the uniform had been packed and taken out of a suitcase shortly before the photos were taken.  As if he was showing it off to the family, perhaps? 

Yes , I agree.

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pierssc
Posted (edited)

Yes, it's rather more creased than one would expect to see an officer wearing.  In the first photo he also hasn't really bothered to do the belt up properly and push the free end through the loop.  The shadows are quite puzzling but I think that the sun may have been high in the sky over his left shoulder (as we view him) making them quite foreshortened.  In the second photo the subject has turned slightly towards the road and the photographer is nearer and so has had to angle the camera upwards.  I would imagine that they might be using something like a vest-pocket Kodak or something of that kind, held at chest height with the photographer looking down into a prism viewfinder, hence the low angle.  This means that they were shooting more into the light in the second photo.  They probably forgot to adjust the exposure with the result that the second photo is very slightly over-exposed, making the uniform, and the tie, appear lighter - but not so over-exposed that it washed out the buildings.  I think it's Dan, with his brother's uniform, in both photos.

Edited by pierssc

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Smuj1921

Thank you all very much for your responses. The owner of the photographs also asked me to express his thanks for all your help. He'd like to confirm that while the chap in the second photo is indeed his father, Dan, the chap in the first photo is not, and is almost certainly Dan's brother Frank.

 

The observation of the creases in the uniform is well made. It would certainly tally with the notion of its just been taken out of a suit case on a visit to family across the pond. In that scenario, the buildings are most likely in Philadelphia.

 

Special thanks to Steve for pointing out where Frank's service record could be obtained. That was the most important thing here, i.e. confirming that he had indeed served and proving correct family folklore.

 

I hope you all have a great weekend,

Smuj

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