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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Remembrance Day Challenge: The Danson Band of Brothers

REMEMBRANCE DAY CHALLENGE is the prompt from Julie at Anglers Rest who invites us to first present a photo collage  and write about  our ancestors and family  who served in war. 

My great uncle Tom Danson (1888-1954) was the seventh  child born to James and Maria, with four surviving older brothers - Harry, John, Robert, and William. 

Little else has been traced on Tom apart from the fact in the 1911 census he was described as a railway clerk – as was his younger brother Albert.  The photographs here were in the collection of Tom's only sister Jennie - my great aunt.

   Below – with youngest brother George. .

A search online at www.ancestry.co.uk for First World War Service Records proved unsuccessful in finding any further information on Tom, with many of the records destroyed in bombing in the Second World War.

Brothers in Uniform
Tom on the left with  George who was killed in 1916.
Taken by W. J. Gregson & Co, Photographers, 92 Talbot Road, Blackpool

Tom's brother Frank (1892-1977)  was the second youngest of the seven Danson brothers who survived infancy.  
Photographs found in the collection of his sister Jennie identified that Frank was in Malta during the First World War.
Jennie worked  in Poulton Post Office  and she recalled when a war telegram came through for her widowed mother., Maria Danson.   Fearing the worst, she was allowed to run home with it.  Fortunately it was good news - that Frank had been wounded but was in hospital in Malta.


The left hand photograph seems to be some kind of celebration.  Frank is dressed formally in his cap, but what about those two colleagues on the back row in what looks like pyjamas and beanie hats

This photograph was unfortunately unidentified, but I think Frank could be on the right on the front row.  In hospital, wounded soldiers, fit enough to go out, wore a distinctive uniform of blue flannel suits with white revers and a red tie.
Jennie inherited her mother's jewelled which included this brooch and bracelet that Frank brought back from Malta.

What must life have been like for Maria Danson, living with the day to day fear that her five sons faced injury or death in the conflict of the First World War.

For besides Tom and Frank shown here, the band of brothers included - John William and George.   

Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. I do like it when the census can lead us to other points to search about someone!

  2. Another lovely tribute. Have you looked at railway records to see what he was doing on the railway?


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