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Messages - mbcx3psw

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The attached picture was found in my late grandma's house in Bradford along with various photos of family members. In dating the photo I hope it will help me identify the people in it. The composition suggests to me a family with mother and father on the outside and grown up children in the centre.

The tall man stood up bears a resemblance to my great grandad Thomas Swendell. The older man sat down may be stood on the far right of another photo taken between 1908 and 1912 - I'm looking into the possibility that the family are Saxons. Thomas's father married Ann Saxon in 1864 in Montreal. I wonder if the resemblance between Thomas and the tall man is because they are cousins and the older man is Ann's brother.

Armed Forces / Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« on: Saturday 26 September 20 14:45 BST (UK)  »
Thank you all for your responses. It's certainly given me some things to consider.

I'm pretty sure that Henry remained in the army since he was recorded as a witness at a wedding in Quebec in 1867. His rank is recorded as Sergeant - In addition he was almost certainly in Canada in 1869 as his son Henry was born in Ottawa in this year.

No one has dismissed my speculation on his possible connection with Timothy O'Hea so I may explore that further. Hampshire archives have O'Hea's VC citation Does anyone know if a citation would name individuals other than O'Hea involved in the event?

Armed Forces / Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« on: Friday 25 September 20 20:51 BST (UK)  »
My gg grandfather Henry James Humphrey Swendell was a colour sergeant in the 1st battalion of the Rifle Brigade. As far as I can tell from his service record, attached, he resigned from his rank of colour sergeant to sergeant on the 1st of July 1866. At the time the 1st battalion was stationed in Quebec City in what was British North America which became Canada in 1867.

Can anyone help with what resigned might mean? Is it the same as demoted or if he resigned does this mean he asked to be demoted? What sort of event may have triggered this?

On a flight of a fancy could his resignation be linked to Timothy O'Hea - being awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the 9th of June 1866? Newspaper reports at the time record a sergeant undecided on what to do - Is it possible that this sergeant was Henry and because of his inaction he resigned?

I think that the Henry Swendell who was a witness is my great great grandfather and father of Thomas Swendell who appears in the photo attached to this thread -

Could you point me to where that information might be? I can't find Thomas in the 1911 census so any pointers would be helpful.



Thank you everyone. This photo really fascinates me. The little girl is a mystery and the composition of the photo doesn't give a clue (to me at least) on whether her parents are in the picture.

Thanks once again.


This is a picture of my great grandfather and great grandmother with what I believe to be family members. I'd like to try and date to help with identifying the other people in the photograph especially the girl. The girl may be my grandmother who was born in 1917, but I think the fashions in the photograph are too early for this. The research I've done, mostly based on the women's hats, suggests that this photo was probably taken in about 1908. Annoyingly I can't make out anyone's hands clearly enough to check for wedding rings. The only other girl that I'm aware of in the family at around this time was born in 1897.

I can say the following with certainty. The man on the left of the photo is Thomas Swendell (1870 to 1949) and stood next to him is his sister Caroline Swendell (1880 to 1964). The lady sat on the left is Sarah Horsfall (1880 to 1969) my great grandmother. She married Thomas Swendell in May 1913. The other woman sat down is Sarah's sister Martha Horsfall (1876 to 1962).

I'm pretty sure that the photo was taken in Bradford, Yorkshire as all the people I've identified were recorded as living there in the 1901 census.

The remaining people I can make an educated guess at. The man stood next to Caroline is probably her husband Willie Hardwick (1877 to 1940) they were married in February 1901. The two men stood on the right are clearly brothers. I think they are probably Thomas' brothers William Swendell (1872 to 1935) and Henry George Swendell (1869 - 1922) far right. If I'm right about William and Henry then the remaining lady is probably Martha Smith (1873 to 1932) who married William Swendell in October 1901.

The Horsfall's had a third sister who was married in September 1909 so the photo could have been taken then, but I'm puzzled why more family members (including the bride) aren't included and why my great grandfather would be invited to a wedding when he wouldn't marry my great grandmother for another 4 years.

My mum and dad have the original paper photograph which has nothing written on the back or any markings. The photo is approximately 7cm by 4cm with rounded corners. The photo isn't mounted. It was probably quite dear to my grandmother as this was the only photo of this type in her house when she died.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you for reading this far.


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