Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sepia Saturday - 203

For this week's visionary prompt of standing in doorways, I thought I would share this image

The picture is of my Great, Great Grandparents Henry Harris (1843-1929) and Caroline Harris nee Ellis (1844 -1935). This photograph was taken on the occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 1924 and was taken at Wanborough Surrey. 

The photographer was my late Great Aunt, Rose Marshall nee Butcher (1900 - 1994). Caroline was apparently a bit of a stickler and though nothing of smacking her Grandchildren if they misbehaved, whilst Henry was a "sweet old thing" according to my Aunt. I asked if she could recall an example. This is from my journal what she told me back in 1990 -

 "Old Sam Marshall came across to tell Mum (Annie Prudence Butcher nee Harris) that the Boys (Dick, George (my Grandfather), Arthur & Harry) had been scrumping again from the apple tree."

When I asked what happened to the boys - 

"The boys came home, all sweetness and light and Mum asked where they had been? They were vague and said the fields. When Mum asked if they had been over to Sam Marshall's they said they might have been. Mum, was not deterred. I wish you boys wouldn't. Do it again and you will get what for. What did you do with the apples? Oh we ate them was the reply, then one of the boys said, why do you want us to get you some? I don't recall which of them said that, but they were all sent outside. Later they came in for tea and Harry said he was sore, when Mum asked why he said Granny. Old Grandpa was listening in, he shook his head and said but those apples are nice, aren't they?"

The background is the Sam Marshall was a local farmer, and was in fact related to Caroline through marriage. Her sister Maryanne married Jim Marshall, the added complication was that the Marshall family were already connected to the family prior to that marriage and things were further complicated when in 1931 Rose married Maryanne's Grandson Ernest.  Something that Caroline disapproved of and my Aunt always vehemently denied.

Taking part in Sepia Saturday


  1. Very nice doorway photo and interesting story about the apples.

  2. Great old photograph and 60 years is a marvellous achievement, especially back in those times. Great Great Grandma sounds like she ruled the roost - she who must be obeyed! An ancestor of my husband wrote home that he did not approve of his two sisters marrying their step brothers, with whom they had effectively grown up, but they were not deterred.

    1. Jo, it is those stories that bring our ancestors alive. I wonder if I take after Great Great Grandma or Grandpa?

  3. Anonymous6:44 am

    They look like a find couple. I bet those apples tasted good.

  4. Caroline looks like she would wear the pants and discipline everyone! Cool photo!

  5. Ah, those little "crimes" that they remember, are funny aren't they? My mother has a few of those tales to tell as well.
    My Great-great-grandfather was a Harris too (and so on, down the line).

  6. A perfect little piece of pure history captured in that photograph and in those reminiscences. It is the "inconsequential" in history that is so often the most fascinating

  7. I remember having my backside smacked by a man whose apples we had been scrumping. What he didn't know was that the local policeman could see what happened. In those days it was rough justice if you were caught.

  8. Henry and Caroline Harris look formidable, indeed! And such a long marriage -- kudos to them!

  9. A great old photo, faded but the memories and story with it are great history, she sounds like a real character...I have not before heard the word,
    "scrumping " but seems like an international past time. My husband tells stories of "stealing" apples around here from orchards when growing up too.

  10. I love the 'twisted' relationships complication you mention at the end!

  11. My grandmother was a firm disciplinarian too - as I suppose many of our female ancestors were. And my grandfather was the pushover. :)

  12. Grandpa looks like a sweetie in the photo. To be married 60 years and a hand still protectively at her shoulder and a smile on his face. Can't get too much better than that.

  13. I love cute little stories like that.

  14. I like the photo and the apple story as well!

  15. Grandpa's 'chin curtain' beard really suits him. And I agree with Joan - the hand on the shoulder is very sweet.


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