One such man was my cousin's paternal grandfather Edward Stewart Ingram Smith (1871-1923).
Edward Stewart Ingram Smith on the back row, far right
with his regiment Liverpool Scottish.
Edward's Early Life
Edward was a man of many parts - boy soldier, waiter, photographer, and upholsterer. In this photograph of him as a 20 year old young man, he has a sensitive and artistic air about him.
Edward was born in 1871 in Ceres, Fife, Scotland, eldest son of John Ingram Smith and Isabella (Ella) Edward. His Ingram middle name came from that of the minister in the Shetland Isles who had baptized his father - and was one adopted by future generations of Smiths, who were very proud of their island heritage.
In his early childhood, Edward experienced several moves across country as his father's hotel businesses failed.
Edward's daughter Ella (who lived to the age of 99) left notes relating how her father wore the kilt until he was 17 years old, played the bagpipes and spoke Gaelic He enjoyed art and painted in oils. He was well educated in Edinburgh and spoke with a soft lilting accent.
On leaving school, Edward joined the army as a Gordon Highlander, but did not settle and was bought out by his parents.
By the time of the 1891 census, 20 year old Edward was in Leeds where his father John was manager at the Victoria Hotel. Edward's occupation was listed as photographer.
A further move by the family followed, as by 1901 Edward was working as a waiter at the Belvedere Hotel, South Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire. In 1902 at Kirkham Registrar, near Blackpool, Edward married Lily Beatrice Jones, 13 years his junior.
Ella, Edith and ArthurIn 1915 at the age of 44, Edward, as a previously serving soldier, was called up to return to the army. Determined to maintain his Scottish links, he joined the kilted Liverpool Scottish Regiment.
In the 1911 census, Edward's occupation was still given as photographer, but illness struck and Edward had to give it up. He moved into upholstery, and eventually opened up a furniture business in Blackpool.
Called up to Serve
Called up to Serve
A serious looking family photograph, probably taken as Edward set out for war
with Arthur's hair shorn of its curls. .
The sporran that Edward is wearing in this photograph is still held by the family,
Edward served in France, but was gassed and injured at the Battle of the Somme. Wounded in action in the ferocious fighting in the Battle of Delville Wood, (nicknamed Devil's Wood), he was invalided back to England and hospitalised. His daughter Ella related how he went to meet her at the school gates and she did not recognize him, as his weight had dropped from 15 to 9.
Liverpool Scottish soldiers at Dellville Wood.
An Army Discharge Certificate (the first time I have come across one) and Military Award Records show that Edward received the War Medal, Victory Medal and the Silver War Badge to denote that he had been wounded in action.
Edward's army discharge certificate.
It is not a good image but I had never come across such a document before
and was keen to feature it here.
But following Edward's discharge, family life proved unhappy. His mother died in July 1919 and at some point, he separated from his wife and children. In searching local newspapers for an item on Edward's war service, I came across this report of 24 November 1919 in "The Lancashire Evening Post" It made sad reading:
One cannot help reflect that having to return to active service at the age of 44 and face the harsh physical and mental conditions of the World War One battlefields took its toll on Edward, as on so many soldiers. He died in 1923 aged 52. His wife Lily survived him by a further 40 years and married for a second time.
The photograph below shows an older Edward Stuart Ingram Smith with haunting eyes and a dispirited air - a far cry from the handsome young man of thirty years earlier.
Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.
Click HERE to see how other Sepia Saturday are commemorating
this month's theme War and Peace.