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Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

My Great Grandparents, William Bowie McIntosh and Jane Spence Soutar, on their what may be their 50th wedding anniversary. He was an engineer who worked at Vickers Armstrong where he invented and patented a valve for Vickers, at Barrow. He was also a Lay Preacher and a "Keir Hardie" man (trade unionist). He also taught apprentices English in his spare time. He died in 1935.

Mom remembers him having a rather brassy red (Mom corrects me... It was dark black, despite his little remaining hair being grey) toupée. She accidentally pulled it off when she was very small and recalls him being very angry with her. He was normally a very nice man. Her grandmother on the other hand was very grim and always complained. During the war, she came from Newcastle to stay with my grandparents. She and my grandfather had a falling out after she endlessly complained about my grandmother's cooking. One night he heard noises in the kitchen and found his mother tucking into the food that she had complained she couldn't eat at dinner time. They argued, she packed her bags, went back to Newcastle and never spoke to him again. This also caused a rift in the family and all but one of his sisters sided with his mother. View full size.

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Great-Grandmother’s death

I recently found the following article. I had forgotten that someone in the family had been run down by an army truck during the war. Apparently it was my great-grandmother Jane McIntosh (nee Soutar).

In June 22, 1940, during an air raid readiness practice, she stepped off a tram along with two other passengers. They had their umbrellas up and did not see the Army lorry and it struck them. What the article doesn’t mention was that she died several hours later in hospital.

The other two passengers survived.

Knocked my head off!

Mom clearly recalls her grandfather calling to his wife "Mother! She knocked my head off!"


It's the story along with the names and faces that holds my attention. Thank you for sharing!

A number of years later

When my grandmother was ill with terminal cancer, one of my grandfather's sisters had sent her daughter to live with them. Because of her increasingly ill health, my grandmother was unable to continue cooking and housekeeping for an extra person (my grandfather had died by then and my mother was studying in Edinburgh) and wrote to her telling her that she regretted but the girl would have to find someplace else to live.

The girl's mother called her "selfish."


The picture is very good and evocative but it is the story that truly makes this stand out. Thank you for the words!

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