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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Tales of Three Boys - Sepia Saturday

This week’s prompt photograph show a large group of boys sitting in row.

My contribution ranges from a small group of schoolboys, c. 1904; my father’s football team, c.1926; and my husband, as a Cub Scout  c.1948 - each with its own background story.

George Danson (1893-1916) - A Poignant Story

My great uncle George from Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire stands on the left with a small group of boys and their teacher Mr Lord.  I reckon George looks about 12-13 years old.
Ten years on in 1916 he was serving in the First World War One as a stretcher bearer in the field .  Just one week after his 22nd birthday he was killed on the Somme.  Did the boys and their teacher in this photograph suffer the  same fate? 

John P. Weston (1912-2003) - A Proud Footballer 

My father who grew up in Broseley,  near Ironbridge, Shropshire, was a football enthusiast all his life, but often expressed his disappointment that a school team photograph had been lost (thrown out) by his family.  With only a vague indication of date, I contacted Shropshire Archives and received an entry in the school log book about the team’s success - partial progress.   But then I discovered Broseley  Historical Society online, sent a query and they traced the photograph in a local paper - Success!  

My father is on the right of the middle row, identified as "Perce Weston'.  I always thought he hated his middle name Percy, and never used it, but he seemed to be known by that as a child.

I persuaded Dad to write down his Broseley boyhood memories and he wrote: 
"When my school team entered a cup competition. I was vice-captain and we got to the final - and won the cup, the first ever for Broseley.

One of the supporters took a carrier pigeon along with us and set it loose at the end to let Broseley know the result and to prepare a welcome, as we were bringing home the cup! "
The pigeon was obviously  an ancestor of Twitter!

This is the earliest photograph I have of my father and I am so grateful to the Society for filing this gap in my family history.  

A Courageous Lad  - Neil Donaldson 
A photograph of my husband as a Cub Scout  in South Shields,  County Durham, in 1948 when he was presented with the prestigious  Cornwell Badge, awarded to members of the movement who had shown courage in exceptional circumstances. 

The Cornwell Badge was in memory of Jack Cornwall V.C. who died when serving as  a young 15 year old sailor on HMS Chester at the  Battle of Jutland in 1916. The Victoria Cross (VC), is the highest award available to the armed forces for gallantry in action. 

John was a keen scout in his home town and in his honour the Boy Scout Association instituted  the Cornwell Scout Badge, awarded for outstanding acts of  courage and endurance in the face of adversity.  


Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers  
to share their family history and memories through photographs. 

Click HERE to find more boyish tales from Sepia Saturday bloggers.


  1. Goodness you got a lot of boys and men in great groups, and the Boy Scouts being my favorite of them all. Very interesting.

  2. A fine gathering of family menfolk in their groups. Snap - you have a picture of Neil with the Cub Scouts, and I have one with Cub Scout, Kit! :)

  3. Good choices for our theme, made better with your descriptions. I like the story of the pigeon best. That would be some photo treasure to find!

  4. Great photos Sue - so sad that first one. And yes I'm with Mike - I laughed at the thought of the pigeon - what foresight to bring a pigeon with them. But I want to know how your husband demonstrated courage and endurance.

  5. Three comments in 1...the link didn't work, but I was able to go through your home page to find this post. Second, that's a great comment about the pigeon! And third, I'm confused whether your father was the boy receiving the award, or the man. And what had been his act that he received it for, anyway? Thanks for posting!

  6. Thank you all for your comments.
    Barbara _ I have put a correct link onto the Sepia Saturday page - I don't know what happened there, as it did work initially.
    It was the young Cub Scout (my future husband) receiving the certificate. He spent three years in hospital undergoing gruelling treatment and was one of the first patients to be successfully treated with the new drug streptomycin in the 1940's.

    1. Oh thank you for catching me up with your husband's courage as a young boy. I'm glad he received an honor for it. And I'm glad to hear he went on to become an athlete!

  7. Good job tracking down a photo of the team.

  8. I really enjoyed this. So sad the many lost in the war and lives cut short. Wonderful to have a precious photo found. And what a brave boy your husband was!

  9. A Great bit of detective work with the Historical Society ! Its a great thing to rediscover a lost photograph.
    Perhaps I,ve already told you? My wife Cathy's family came from Poulton-le-Fylde.
    Who knows,one of George's Pals in the photo could be a relative!


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