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Probably the only person who could have informed me definitively as to who is in the photograph, is no longer with us; my father. He is the youngest child in this picture probably taken late 1921 and is sitting on the lap of his mother Lilian, my grandmother of course! Obviously taken in happier times as my grandfather and some of his siblings drifted apart a few years later over a monetary issue which was none of my grandfather’s doing, but which caused a nervous breakdown which affected him on and off for the rest of his life.

The Stokes family circa 1922

So let’s set about making an educated and informed supposition as to who is here and indeed where. Let’s deal with the children first and clearly there are six shown; my father John, born 1921, and his two brothers, Robert (Bob) born in 1915 and Alan born in 1917. The other three are their Canadian cousins and the children of my grandfather’s sister Edith (Edie) and her husband Horace Williams; Edie is centre at the back of the picture, the children are Wilfrid born in 1912, Marian born in 1913 and  Evelyn (Ebbie) born in 1916. Sitting centrally and seated are my great grandparents Henry John Stokes and Mary Lavinia (Ostler). At the extreme left at the rear is what looks like John Sampson Dymond, he married my grandfather’s sister Ellen Alice (Nellie) and she died at a very young age in 1907 having born three children in 1902, 1904 and 1906 and it is probable that two of these are in the back row of this photo, third and fifth from left. Second left could be one of my grandfather’s other sisters but also might be the second wife of John Dymond. That leaves two others one of whom is also one of my grandfather’s sisters, on the right of the middle row, Florence Mary Stokes. The lady on the extreme right of the back row may be Connie who married my grandfather’s brother Walter, but we’ll return to her later.

The Stokes family circa 1922

In the second photograph we have lost two characters and gained two others. Gone is John Dymond from the extreme left back row and he has been replaced by my grandfather, Wilfrid Arthur Stokes, and on the right Florence has been replaced by the lady who is presumed to be Connie and this is quite likely as the person now standing behind her looks very much like my grandfather’s brother Walter Henry Stokes, they emigrated to South Africa a year or two after this photograph was taken.

Where are we? I haven’t a clue really, all I can say is it could be anywhere but likely to be either at my great grandparent’s garden in Bridgend or perhaps John Dymond’s garden in Bideford; I believe Bridgend is most likely the location though.

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