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Will it snow this winter?

During the year I have received several messages through this blog, all have been interesting. Thank you. Several messages were interested in Dorset Police and these contacts I have passed on to Ian who hopes to be bringing you a history of the Dorset Police force and the Policemen who walked our streets, in 2018. Other messages were members of the Beck or House family, I have loved meeting you on line and hopefully in person in 2018. Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Sylvia Photo of May taken at Blandford Police Station most likely during WW1

Who are these people? Can you help?

I have been busy scanning in photos and thought you would like to help me with a photograph. I know some of my cousins read this blog and they may be able to help. This photo is out of sequence as the seated lady on the right is Rebecca Beck (Grandad Beck's first wife) who died in March 1928. As Grandad Beck is not in the photo I would assume that he was the photographer. Unless he is the gentleman behind the lady in the flowery hat.

Group of people in front of a hedge
Can you help identify these people?


The couple standing on the right are, with his hat in his hand, is Fred House (Frederick Osborn House 1888–1961) and Grandad Beck's daughter May (Laura May Beck 1901–1939). Fred and May married in 1925 at Beaminster. Their first child Osborne (Frederick Arthur Osborne House 1926–2009) was born in June 1926. As Osborne doesn't appear in this photograph it is likely to have been taken before his birth.

The gentleman with the fine facial hair and hat is Eli Beck (Eli Beck 1851–1934), Grandad Beck's father. It is possible that the young lady behind Rebecca is Aunty Jo, (Annie Wayman 1900–1983) who went on to become Grandad Beck's second wife. Eli, Jo, May, Fred and Rebecca are also identified on the back of the photograph, but this was obviously written many years later and has a question mark by Aunty Jo's name. No other names were identified or any clue as to how wrote these names.

The picture could include some House family, for example Fred's mother, Martha (Martha Chalker 1852–1925), died in December 1925 aged 73 years.

Looking at the cloths worn by the ladies to help to give us a date for the photograph. A date of between 1923-1925 is suggested by the garments worn by the two girls on the left. Stylistic shifts are worn from 1923 onwards. Hem lines remain relatively long until at least 1925 rising from 1926 (Tracing your Ancestors Through Family Photographs by Jayne Shrimpton). May's coat is straight with a dropped waist and fur-trimmed, worn with a cloche hat. This is typical of the coats wore in the early 1920's.

As to where this photo was taken, this is most likely to be Beaminster where Grandad Beck lived from 1919-1925. Other possibly locations are Wytherston Farm, Powerstock near Beaminster were Fred House lived, Glebe Farm, Powerstock where Fred’s mother lived or Poole where Eli Beck lived.

Over to you, do you have any thoughts on this photograph?

All original content by Sylvia Collins is copyright protected.

Shrimpton, J. (2014) Tracing your ancestors through family photographs: A complete guide for family and local historians. United Kingdom: Pen & Sword Books.
Victoria, Museum, A. and webmaster, D.M. (2015) History of fashion 1900 - 1970 - Victoria and Albert Museum. Available at:


  1. Hope you manage to get some answers, Sylvia. Good luck.

  2. Thank you Shelley. I have now found some more photos that look as though they were taken at the same time and may help to identify these people.

  3. […] while ago I asked Who are these people? about a photograph including some of my Grandmother’s family.  Sorting through the photograph […]


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