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."

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Something to Hold on To


This is my mother-in-law, Mary, aged about two years. She was born in 1910 so it’s possible that this studio portrait was taken around the time of the Titanic disaster in April 1912. Our prompt picture for this week’s Sepia Saturday shows two brothers who survived that catastrophe. They were thought to be orphans and their photos were published in the hope that they would be recognised. Luckily their mother, who was estranged from their father, was later reunited with them. Their father was abducting them and hoping to start a new life with his children; sadly he drowned in the icy waters and the children were too young to give a lucid account.

Their story can be read here and there are other photos* taken on the same day of the two boys holding a variety of different toys, including a model ship! In the second photo here, and the prompt image, the older boy has a ball which has clearly taken his fancy. Mary too has been given a ball to hold; she was not an orphan and came from a comfortable middle class family, so there the similarity ends.


A flip through most people’s family albums will no doubt reveal numerous similar shots of toddlers posed with a ball, so why not join us this week at Sepia Saturday and see what other contributors have come up with to match the prompt.


* Library of Congress via Flickr

19 comments:

  1. Poor little kids. At least the story had a happy ending when they were reunited with their mother. I read the oldest one lived to 92 and attended a number of survivor reunions. The photo of Mary is a great match for this post.

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    1. It’s quite a story Helen. sadly Mary didn’t live to that great age, dying in her late seventies.

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  2. What strange clothes those little boys are wearing. And why photograph them with all that chicken wire? Very strange.

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    1. The clothes are the fashion of the time Georgina and as for the chicken wire, I guess it was someone’s garden. We have to remember the main object was to get the children identified, so I suppose they weren’t too bothered about the background. Perhaps they thought the children would be more comfortable playing in a garden. There are other images on the web, showing them seated in an easy chair (see my link above).

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  3. Such a charming picture of Mary.

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  4. What a sweet photo of your mother-in-law. I enjoyed the story of our prompt as well.

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  5. I really appreciated the information you added. I was wondering why the father had an assumed name.

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  6. I love Mary -- what a sweetie! And there's something poignant about her...can't put my finger on it, but it's haunting...

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  7. Mary was a very pretty child, such a sweet photo. Those little boys were very lucky.

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  8. Mary is such a cuties. I hadn't read the text about the boys and thought it was a boy and a girl in the prompt photo until now!

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  9. I was wondering about the little boys. Thanks for continuing their story. mary looks to be a sweet child.

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  10. Sweet photo of your mother-in-law and interesting story about Titanic survivors!

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  11. Interesting story and a model ship. I wonder how much he remembered.

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  12. Mary's photo is indeed very charming and I can see how the photographer's technique of producing a toy to hold would add that special spark of delight to a child's eyes. Thank you too for giving the full story and photos of Louis and Lola. Did any of their history make it into the movie?

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  13. Thank you Marilyn for fully researching this story, I must confess I never got round to doing so. And what a fascinating story it is.The photograph of your mother-in-law reminds me so much of photos of my own mother who was born in 1911.

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  14. A cute picture of your young mother-in-law & a fine match to the prompt picture. And living to her late 70s is actually beyond the projected age of longevity for the times.

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  15. Thanks for giving us more information on the photo. Makes sense of the photo. but strange that a girl's name, Lola, was used on this photo for the younger child, not their real names or the names used on the ship's lists. .

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  16. Your mother-in-law is a great match. I'm happy you researched and that their mother was able to claim them and they were reunited. They look none the worst for wear.

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  17. What a curious story. At first I thought how lucky for the mother, but of course it is not lucky at all. I wonder what the outcome of the poor little boys' story was.

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