The Sepia Saturday challenge this week is a theme of ‘Hair’ so that’s gives us plenty of scope. Facial hair was one sub-theme suggested, so here is a fine example of a well cared for moustache.
It’s my Great grandfather William (1867-1952), sporting an elegant number, which makes him look rather distinguished. In the few photographs we have of him he always has a moustache, although it doesn’t look as well presented as in this formal studio shot. He probably spent a long time waxing and twirling it into shape that morning. I love this picture because there’s a definite twinkle in William’s eye. In my post, To Say Nothing of The Dog, he looks of similar age to this one, but the pose is more casual and, being out for a walk with the dog he hasn’t bothered with the twirl.
We have another studio portrait of him as a very young man where the moustache is in its infancy. He probably grew it to make himself look older and more mature, but there’s barely enough to create a shadow on his upper lip, let alone to add any wax. By late middle age he’d settled again for a smaller, neater model, which would have been much easier to care for.
My mother always knew her (paternal) grandfather William as ‘Little Granddad’, her maternal grandfather being of a larger build. In later life William attributed his small frame to having only one good meal a day in the orphanage. He lost his parents in 1875 and 1876 and he and his two siblings were separated. He was to have further sadness in his life when his own wife, my great-grandmother Mary, died young, leaving him with three small children to bring up. Despite all these tragedies, my mother remembers him with great affection as a quiet but friendly grandfather. He was a great reader of library books and loved to do crosswords.
His second marriage was a long and happy one, when in 1912, at the age of 45, he married Gertie, who had lost her husband and daughter in the influenza epidemic of 1910. This picture of William and Gertie, shows him as a still handsome gentleman, neatly dressed and with a moustache probably turning a little grey. I found this photograph by chance when I removed a favourite portrait of my grandfather, which has always hung in my grandparents home, to re-frame it, and out fell William and Gertie from behind Grandad’s picture! If I hadn’t done that we probably wouldn’t have a record of ‘Little Grandad’s’ later happiness with Gertie.
I’m glad to report that William's own three children survived into old age, despite the efforts of the First World War to finish them off. Here he is with the two boys; Albert, and my own grandfather Sidney, looking as dapper as ever in his best suit, bowler hat and wearing a neatly trimmed and waxed moustache.
For more hairy old stories why not step back in time to this week’s Sepia Saturday to see what other participants have made of the photo prompt.
Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."