At a recent postcard fair in Surrey I found and bought a lovely photographic postcard showing a group, with several of the men in uniform.
Was this a family shot showing siblings before going off to war – I decided to investigate further!
The postcard was sent to a Mr and Mrs J HANDS at 117 Greenway Street, Small Heath in Birmingham and has a postmark of either 17th June 1916 or 1918.
The message reads:
Dear Mother, Dad, … & ….,
We arrived quite safe & everything is lovely & fresh here. Hope you will like this view … I was too late to get another & I hope you get it Sunday. Just off for a stroll by the river
Sully & Will xxxxxxx
I started by looking for a Mr and Mrs J HANDS on the 1911 census and then using the address of 117 Greenway Street found a census record for a Thomas and Jane at the address, with children Rose aged 18, Thomas aged 17, Samuel aged 12 and William aged 8 – are Samuel and William our Sully and Will the senders of the postcard and is the Mr & Mrs J actually Mr & Mrs T?
Thomas’s occupation was A Cycle Finisher.
Source: Ancestry 1911 England Census Detail: Class: RG14; Piece: 18183
Thomas and Jane HANDS had been married for 20 years in 1911 and I found their marriage in the January quarter of 1892 in Aston in Warwickshire – this confirmed that Jane’s maiden name was ASTON.
I also found the family on the 1901 census as below:
Source: Ancestry 1901 census Detail: Class: RG13; Piece: 2864; Folio: 28; Page: 14
I have found the birth registration entries for the HANDS children and have discovered that their full names were Rose Helena HANDS, Thomas HANDS, Samuel Alec HANDS and William Henry HANDS – also on quick investigation I cannot see that Samuel or William were killed during World War 1.
I am therefore now intrigued to know if Samuel and William HANDS are in fact shown in the photograph on the postcard, possibly with their parents Thomas and Jane – if anyone has a connection to the HANDS family from Small Heath in Birmingham I would be pleased to hear from you, as it would be great to find out more about the people shown and to possibly reunite the postcard with a family member.
I look forward to hearing from you and I will post any updates accordingly..