Sunday, 3 July 2016

The picture that revealed a family story ..... the wedding photograph of Miss Lomax of Hough End Hall nu 2 ... what happened next

I like the way that stories have a habit of representing themselves and added to the original.

So back last year having come across the family album of the Lomax family I featured the wedding photograph of Miss Lomax and Mr Kitching.

And yesterday their granddaughter wrote to me with some more pictures and the story of what happened to them

“You mused in the wedding piece about what might have become of the young couple.  Well, they had three children, Ronald (b 1916), Jeanne (b 1917) and Stuart (b 1920 or 1921).  

They migrated to Canada in 1926, to a town called Sooke, on Vancouver Island.  Even today, Sooke is a bit remote (at least by English standards), about 30 miles/50 km from Victoria.  At the time they migrated, it was just a small logging and commercial fishing village, accessible only by a long and winding dirt road from Victoria.  

It must have been quite a shock for my very proper English grandmother to find herself there!  The family stayed in Sooke for a few years, where my grandfather owned the local general store, then moved into Victoria in the 30s, to another general store.  

The depression hit hard, and around 1937 or 1938 my grandfather returned to England to try to re-establish, while the family stayed behind in Canada.  He was unable to get back to Canada before the war broke out, so there was a lengthy separation in the family.  

My uncle Ronnie had enlisted in the Canadian Army medical corps before the war as an ambulance driver, but ended up as an acting Major in an infantry regiment - the South Saskatchewan Rifles (never having been to Saskatchewan in his life) and saw quite a bit of action with his regiment in the liberation of Holland.  

My mother worked before the war as a clerk in the BC public service but also joined up, serving for several years in the RCAF.  Uncle Stuart joined the navy, but sadly died when his ship was torpedoed mid Atlantic.  

At war's end, Grandma and my mother headed to England.  They spent a year there, then returned to Canada with Grandpa in 1947.  My grandparents bought a little house in Victoria, and lived the rest of their lives there.  Grandpa passed away in 1974, Grandma in 1978.

My mother married my father in 1948 in Victoria, and had two children, my sister and myself.  Uncle Ronny married in England and returned to BC, to Vancouver.  

He and his wife also had two children, my cousins Ruth and David.  I've lost touch with Ruth, who moved to the US years ago, but David still lives in BC.  

My sister has recently moved from near Vancouver to the interior of BC, and by coincidence lives not far from David.  My mother now lives in a nursing home near my sister. 

And here am I, living in a lovely town outside Melbourne, in Australia.  So, to answer your musing, that's what became of them.

Although it has no relevance to your histories, I'm attaching a photo of my grandparents taken at a dinner for their 50th anniversary, in 1965.  I think that brings your story full circle.

Pictures; the wedding of Miss Lomax and Mr Kitching, 1915 and s from the family album of Evelyn nee Lomax Milburn donated by Mrs D Miller and the bride and groom, courtesy of Marlene Massey

*The picture that revealed a family story ................. the wedding photograph of Miss Lomax of Hough End Hall,

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