Family Albums

Photo and Postcard Albums

I feel privileged to have been loaned two family albums by my cousin Mike. They belonged to his late mother, my aunt Rene. The first album contains many photos of family and friends but we are not sure of exactly who some of them are. However, CSI Fleckney, and a few friends, have been on the case and we now know a lot more than we did to start with.








The photos above are of our grandfather, Thomas (Tom) Ellis, on the right, grandmother Leah (Dolly) Ellis (nee Barker) on the right, and possibly one side of our great-grandparents in the centre.

The second album mainly contains postcards sent to, or by, family and friends but only a few have anything written on them. However, the postcards themselves are quite interesting. I would hazard a guess that it was cheaper to send postcards than the folded, enveloped, card that we are familiar with today.

Unto thy form most lovely, And thy sweet face divine,
I supplicate most humbly, And ask- Wilt thou be mine.

“Dear Charlie, Just a P.C. hoping to hear from you soon being Leap Year. From One who knows Nothing.”


This could be a message to Charles Brotherton from Rosina Ellis. They married in 1928, a leap year.

There are far too many items to list here but another that intrigued me is this one:

Lismore Castle (from the River) Lismore, Ireland.

26 Jun 1914

Mrs. G. Barker,
11 Gower Street,

“Dear Mother, I am going on to D. ward on Friday and pops also. I have heard that Ethel his coming home on Friday. With love from Son and pops.”

26 Jun 1914 was a Friday. Was there some kind of illness or accident that put Son, Pops, and Ethel in hospital? Mrs. G. was Eliza Barker (nee Farley), and presumably Pops was George Edwin Barker. Ethel would be their daughter, who would have been 8 years old, but which of the lads was Son? Charles Stewart would have been 24, John Joseph would have been 20, Philip Henry would have been 17, Victor George Henry would have been 13, Albert Arthur would have only been 2, which pretty much leaves him out. A mystery that we will probably never solve.

Then there is this series of postcards with nothing written on the back of them. Who were they sent by and to whom?

1. A Loving Greeting: There’s never a time of absence That’s so long, But can be shortened by Love’s old sweet song.

2. My All in All: There’s only one thing I shall miss, You’ll miss it too – and that’s a kiss.

3. For Ever and Ever: Though seas may divide us, Our thoughts will unite us.

4. True Blue: The stormy ocean roaring wide, Between my love and me. Can never, never yet divide My heart and soul from thee.

5. Love’s Token: Never sigh, You and I Will meet again By and by.

And finally, another mystery.

Seale Church, near Farnham. St. Laurence, Elstead Road, Seale, GU10 1HX.

Postcard sent from Birmingham and then forwarded from Tidworth Barracks, Andover, 11.15AM, 14 Oct 1912 to No.11 Gower Street, Lozells, Birmingham.

Pte J. Barker, G. Coy, Worcester Regiment, Lucknow, Tidworth

Dear Jim, Just a P.C. hoping you arrived safe and that you are quite well as it leaves me at present. Jim. Sorry I did not have more time to talk to you but you could see I was busy. Hoping to hear from you by return of post. Jim when you write do not mention this P.C. as they don’t know I have wrote it. Yours Sincerely Elsie. Write soon Jim xxx. My address Miss E. Sydenham, 36 New Summer Street, Birmingham.

I don’t know who Jim Barker was, yet, but Elsie Sydenham was the daughter of William and Sarah Sydenham. The family were living at 36 New Summer Street for the 1911 census. It would appear that Elsie died a spinster in 1970. Perhaps Jim never came home? Or was he known by another name? At the time, 11 Gower Street was the home of George Edwin and Eliza Barker. Could Jim have been John Joseph Barker (1893-1965)? As yet, I have not been able to find any mention of J. J. in the 1911 Census or the 1939 Register. Nor are there any obvious military records for him. The search continues …

Many thanks to Mike and Ann who lent me the albums. I will endeavour to continue my research as and when I can but if anyone reading this has any information to add please let me know. The full albums can be viewed by following this link:

Other News

I have more updates from cousin John Oliver Thomas who continues to work tirelessly on branches of The Williams Family Tree. Thank you John, I think I am pretty much up-to-date with you now and I have made a few additions to your data. I still have a lot of checking and editing to do but I will get there eventually.

Thanks to Janette Dienhoff members of the Trenfield family have had a lot of information added or updated. There is, of course, always more to be done as work like this is never-ending. Just as well I enjoy doing it so much!

Many other people have also been in touch which has led to more updates and additions. I would like to say thank you to all who have contributed in one way or another.

We have had a few new members to our little ‘club’ bringing our membership up to 384. Registered users enjoy a few more privileges than passers by. If you would like to join us you can apply via the link below. There is no charge and if you, or a family member, features in the Tree we can add a link to ‘Your Page’.

All that remains is for us to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy the festive season, eat as much as you like (not my mince pies!), and please drink responsibly.

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1 Response to Family Albums

  1. Phil says:


    I have now found John Barker in the 1911 Census. He was a Private, Transport Driver, in the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, Shaft Barracks, Western Heights, Dover, Kent.

    During the First World War there were 8 soldiers of the Worcestershire Regiment that were shot by firing squad. On the 26th July 1915 five men of the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment were executed on the ramparts of Ypres in what became the largest single execution by the British during the war. They were originally buried in the Ramparts Cemetery, they were later transferred to other cemeteries in the area. John Barker was NOT one of them.

    Whether John made it home or not I don’t know. I do have a date of death for him as being 1965 but this could be wrong. Looking at the diary of events for the 3rd Battalion the likelihood of any of the men making it through the war was pretty slim!

    3rd Battalion
    04.08.1914 Stationed at Tidworth at the outbreak of war as part of the 7th Brigade of the 3rd Division.
    16.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Rouen and were engaged in actions on the Western Front including;
    During 1914
    The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights, The Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914, First Battle of Ypres.
    During 1915
    Winter Operations 1914-15, The First Attack on Bellewaarde, The Actions of Hooge, The Second Attack on Bellewaarde.
    18.10.1915 The 7th Brigade transferred to the 25th Division and continued to be engaged in actions on the Western Front including;
    During 1916
    Defence of Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of the Ancre Heights.
    During 1917
    The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem.
    10.11.1917 Transferred to the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division.
    22.06.1918 Absorbed the 10th Battalion and transferred to the 57th Brigade of the 19th Division.
    During 1918
    The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre and the passage of the Grand Honelle.
    11.11.1918 Ended the war in France west of Bavai.

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