Slowly & steadily, I am working through the box of old photographs that belonged to my great grandmother (Hilda Mary Scott, mother of my Grandma). There are perhaps two hundred or more photos, few are labelled and even those that are can be hard to figure out. Amongst them are several young men in uniform, friends, perhaps, of my great grandmother including these two photos of Harry Clough & Frank White.
I was curious, it was a rainy Sunday afternoon, so I started to do some research. I took a guess that the men would have been born in Yorkshire c. 1896 or so and hit lucky. I found an index of graves in St Amand on ancestry which gave me the names of Frank’s parents.
Then I found a findagrave listing for an Able Seaman Harry Clough who died in 1918. The photo I had was definitely one from the navy. Finally, I spotted an entry which suggested Frank’s mother’s maiden name was Clough and the hunt was on for a connection.
A bit more work and I was able to establish that Harry’s father, William Clough, and Frank’s mother, Sarah Ann Clough, were siblings, children of Edward Clough & Hannah Wilks. Harry & Frank were first cousins.
Wilks sounded familiar so I decided to research a further generation and discovered that James Wilk[e]s was born in Felliscliffe, which is where many of my family are from, encouraging me to carry on. Back again – James was the son of a Francis Wilkes & Hannah Darnbrough. Darnbrough and Darnbrook are essentially different spellings of the same name which was the final link. Hannah turned out to be the daughter of William Darnbrook & Elizabeth Swale (my 5x great grandparents) and sister to Ellen Darnbrook, Hilda Mary Scott’s great grandmother. The family connection was established. These two anonymous young men, who gave their lives for their country in WW1 are anonymous no longer. Frank Harry White was born on the Isle of White in 1895. Harry Clough was born on 3 December 1897 in Baildon, Yorkshire. The parents of these two young men were third cousins to my great grandmother, Hilda Mary, and, it seems, the families were still in touch even to that generation, suggesting a real closeness in the family. Distant cousins, and my great grandmother’s friends. Their memory lives on.