WW1 photo postcard sent to the HANDS family – are you connected?

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..

Simon LAST

http://www.charnwood-genealogy.com         charnwoodresearch@virginmedia.com


This entry was posted in 117 Greenway Street, ASTON, HANDS, Old Photographs, Postcard, Small Heath Birmingham, World War 1, WW1 Photograph, WW1 postcard. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to WW1 photo postcard sent to the HANDS family – are you connected?

  1. Janice Brown says:

    What a gorgeous photograph. I hope someone from the HANDS family comes forward to claim and explain it. So many uniformed men! Extended family perhaps?

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