Great photo, shame about the documentation

Continuing the exploration of the large batch of old family snaps digitised last week, here’s one of the more intriguing. It’s a wonderful action shot, taken by  that prolific photographer ‘person unknown’.

Fred and Dora’s wedding 25 Sept 1926

Labelled ‘Fred and Dora’s wedding September 25 1926’, the event is obvious and the most prominent figure pictured is also easy to identify as grandfather Sydney Howes. The occasion: Frederick Hinton Cullum, son of William John Cullum and Sarah Neve, marrying Dora Lillian Briselden – I had found the basic info already and the caption pleasingly confirms this and adds the precise date.  But after that, questions arise:

  • Who is the boy next to Sydney? There’s probably quite a few candidates of the right age in the family tree.
  • Is that gran (Emily) just off centre frame?
  • It is tempting to take the baby in the archway behind to be Dad, but he would only be a few months old at the time. Even with my limited knowledge, this one is surely somewhat older, perhaps 18 months? It could conceivably be Ann Harriet Howes (Cutlock), half aunt to the groom, holding him/her.

Here are the happy couple in a separate shot. The wedding is somewhere in the Lewisham area, both having been born in Catford.

Fred Cullum, Dora Briselden, wedding Sep 1926

Sadly Fred died only seven years later age about 33. This does mean that the basic probate record is available on Ancestry, providing some useful information, but I don’t know how he died or why/when he had moved to Ealing.*

Dora appears to have died in Salisbury, Wilts in 1964, presumably having moved in with her daughter’s family by the name of Shephard (or was staying there at the time). I have further details on this family but as they are likely to still be alive I won’t include them in a public post. If they are reading this – do please get in touch! *

More on the Cullum/Cutlock family.


You will note from the comments below that my plea has been answered. Some consequent additions/corrections:

  • Fred worked in the City for the National Bank of Scotland, and died from kidney cancer.
  • Dora moved into her own maisonette in Salisbury, “up a hill near Old Sarum”.

2 thoughts on “Great photo, shame about the documentation

  1. Wow! a picture of my parents’ wedding (Fred and Dora Cullum). Yes, my father died a month after I was born just short of his 33rd birthday. The cause of death is kidney cancer… he had a kidney removed and ‘died in agony 2 weeks later’. Fred worked for the National Bank of Scotland in the City. My parents had lived in Ealing and he is buried in a cemetery there. His father (William John, my grandfather Cullum) held the mortgage and foreclosed! Mother moved back to Catford and lived with her brother, Ambrose Briselden for a while on Thornsbeach Road, then rented rooms on two other streets in Catford before moving to Dowanhill Road in 1944. She stayed there until she followed my husband, Roy Shephard and me (Muriel Neve Cullum) to Salisbury, Wiltshire 3 years before she died in May 1964. I have two daughters, Sarah Elizabeth and Rachel Judith. We all moved to Toronto, Canada in November 1964 living first on Tollerton Avenue, Willowdale and later Poplar Plains Road in Toronto. We moved to Squamish, BC in 1998. Rachel moved here before us and still lives here. Sarah went to Zurich on graduating from the University of Toronto and stayed!

    My father had two brothers, Arthur and Stanley. Both lived in Newick, Stanley was in the Merchant Navy during the war, bringing Argentine beef to Britain (and a gold watch for my 21st birthday). The address you have for him in Newick is the nursing home he was in at his death. Arthur and ‘Aunt Susie’ lived with his parents in Burnt House, running the soft fruit small holding. They had two daughters, Doreen and Irene. Both are now dead. Doreen married Dick Clout, a barber, after the war, no children. Irene married Arthur King and had three children (all living). Trevor, Graham and Sharon (now Bass). Sharon lives in Seaford. Graham was still in Newick last time I heard. Sharon can give you more information. She works at Glyndebourne.

    I am interested to see the name ‘Howes” as I used to visit Uncle Sid and Aunt Emily Howes in New Cross. I gathered they were somehow related. They had one son, Arthur. Sid died in the ‘great London smog’ cycling to or home from the school where he taught.

  2. Wow! It is absolutely wonderful to hear from you. Dad (the Arthur you mention) will be delighted. I will follow up with a note to the email address you gave.

    By the way I was a little hesitant to approve your comment as it includes personal info on some people who are alive – do let me know if you’d rather it was private rather than public.

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