Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Photo Number 386

Today's photos are a group of very interesting photographs.  A fellow by the name of John who also has a blog called Things ‘aint what they used to be  contacted me by email.
He had two photos he wanted me to look at.
Harold 18 to 21 - cc 1906 to 1908                Harold & Friend - Bombay
Harold is in the second photograph…but which young man is he? The one on the left or the one on the right? Please venture a guess.  Harold is Johns Great Uncle. The first photo was taken in 1906 –1908 sometime..the second photos date is unknown..I will guess that it is from around 1910 to 1915. 
Grandma Nellie This is Johns Grandmother Nellie..she is Harold's sister.
This is the information that John shared with me:
Harold was born in Surat, India in 1888 - his sister was my Grandmother Nellie Grace Franklin (wife of my father's father) who was also born in Surat, in 1884. Harold's sister came to England when she was 11 and Harold followed later - he was in the Hussars (a boy soldier) and went to military schools in India (Surat is near to Bombay?).
He appears in the 1901 and 1911 UK Census - in the latter he lived with an Ernest Hobbs in London and Harold was shown as an actor employed by the Garrick Theatre!
I have a poignant and tragic letter, written in pencil to his sister, from a trench somewhere in France during the 1st World War (1916) - he writes that a lot of his colleagues have been killed around him as well as his senior officer, leaving him in charge.
He survived the war, although injured, and then (as far as I can see) followed a life as a traveling actor, mainly in South Africa - I used to have his wooden portmanteau (case) with loads of Theatre and Railway labels stuck on the inside lid - unfortunately it was infested with woodworm and, before I had since realized the importance of relics from the past, it was destroyed!
I have attached two photos of postcards sent by Harold from Durban ....Harold disappeared after that - I am unable to find any record of his death and, therefore, am intrigued.
Harold - Durban 1
Harold - Durban 2  Harold looks as if he was having a grand time in South Africa!
John also writes: The last date I knew him to be alive would be about (1929?)  - He certainly was an adventurous sort! 
Today’s entry is a little backwards..we usually search for relatives to place the photo with..this time we search for a person..if anyone knows what happened to Harold can contact me through the email on my profile or leave John a message at his blog. All the photos will enlarge if you click on them!
Thanks John for sharing your very interesting old photos!
Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)


  1. Thank you for sharing such an fascinating story. The photos are wonderful. I hope you are able to find what happened to him after his time in South Africa.

  2. Again a very fascinating story! I will take a guess that Harold Franklin in the second photo is the one sitting. Because if you compare face features with franklin's and the other boy's you'll see that the gap between eyes is different. Also Franklin's face is not so round as the boy's is :)

  3. A very fascinating life! Thanks to you and John for sharing. I think Harold is the one seated also.

  4. I can't tell which is Harold in the first picture. I wouldn't have thought either of them at first.

    So Harold "disappears" from Durban, South Africa around 1929 and was born in India in 1888. Is he a citizen of India or England? I see why this was a tough research case!

  5. "The South African sugar journal, Volume 55" page 629

    "His memory (Mr. Neville D. Sharvell), however is kept alive at Natal Estates (Durban, SA) because is was Harold Franklin who was the "father" of the Mount Edgecombe Club."

    I'm not sure this is your man - but it might be a lead.

  6. My guess would be Harold is the one sitting down in the second photo.

  7. I feel like the standing gentleman appears to be more similar in features; perhaps it's the hairline. As far as tracking him down,my ancestry subscription is only U.S., so I can't unlock hits from other countries. Good luck!

  8. If Harold was a Hussar, there might be a veterans organisation that kept tabs on him - the British regiments were very loyal to their own. might give you ideas - or help you figure out which unit.

    Also, if he was an actor - he might of been a guild member - and if so, they guild may have some records of what became of him.

    I wish you the best of luck tracing Harold - it is a most formidable task given its global nature and Harold's wanderlust (plain ol' jest for living, I call it!)

  9. Wow....

    At first glance, I thought Harold was not in the second photograph at all. But after a few more looks, I think he's the gentleman standing. It's really hard to pinpoint though.

    It's hard to find someone who traveled and possibly disappeared... good luck, and especially with all the potential locations!

  10. His eye's look like the one sitting to me.

  11. To me, the man in Photo 1 looks like an older version of the man in Photo 2, standing. But you say you believe Photo 2 was taken a few years after Photo 1. The features of the two seem more similar than the features of the man sitting. Although I did contemplate it for a bit! Tough one. Great pictures!

  12. The long neck of the man in the 1st photo is shared by the man standing in the 2nd photo, i think the man standing in the second photo is more likely to be Harold.

  13. They still have the rickshaw pullers on Durban beach front in South Africa!!

    I've personally been in one and its so much fun!

  14. Hi Connnie!Great collection and idea for having these availible for many people. Do you have any native american or look like Native photos that might be from the Minn. , Nd, and Sd areas?

  15. Hi Jerry, No I do not have any Native American photos that are from MN, SD or ND..but I am keeping one eye out for them:)


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie