I've copied this photograph into my Archives in the Who Are These People section because I really like the photo but don't have any idea who the people are.
Except that the other day I was looking at the photo again under a strong light and happened to turn it over and saw that someone had written in faint pencil Mrs Smith in the top right corner.
My great grandmother was Mrs Eliza Anne Smith. Was she one of the two older women?
She was born in 1856 in the village of Clayton West in Yorkshire. She had married Joseph Smith in 1877 when she was twenty one years old. Her father was George Henry Hall and her mother was Elizabeth Hall (Buckley) and she had three siblings. Was I actually really looking at a photograph of her?
This is my favourite photograph although I don't know for certain who anyone is. I've spent ages studying it and comparing it to other photos and speculating who the individuals might be.
Now I am certain that the older woman on the front row is Eliza Ann Smith. She looks so like the woman on the right in the other photo.
Yes, definitely, this is Eliza Anne Smith.
And I would say with 100% certainty therefore that the man she is sitting next to is her husband, Joseph Smith. He was born in 1849 in Wintersett, Yorkshire and his parents were John Smith and Eliza Smith (Crowley). He was one of eight children and had six children of his own including my grandmother, Elsie Smith.
I'm no nearer knowing what the occasion is. It's clearly a celebration and I've always thought it looked like a wedding celebration. Now I know it's Joseph and Eliza on the front row, I can go through all the data again and make a fresh attempt to tell the story in the photograph.
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK