Page 69c2 Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Locket Photos, 1902 - Memorial photos in lockets became popular items in Victorian times, to wear in remembrance of departed loved ones.

Frederick Pocock was a member of the much feared Canadian Scouts, founded by Gat Howard during the Boer War in South Africa in December 1900.

Frederick was killed a year after Gat Howard had met his own end in February 1901.

Go to Gat's Death

Now Fred's wife, who probably wore this for the rest of her life, has passed on. As have all the other people who once knew him and cared for him and his memory.

Now the locket has been rescued from the trash heap of history by the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum.


Locket Photos, Frederick William Pocock, Canadian Scout (KIA) - 1902
Orig. memorial locket - Size - open 4.5 x 6 cm
Found - Bridgnorth, UK

The Clarke Kids - Hector & Frances 1914-1918

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Painted Photo Oval, Hector Charles Clarke - 1914
Orig. photo - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Kitchener, ON

Painted Photo, 1914 - Original painted photos in 16 x 20" oval frames are a hallmark of World War I soldier portraits. Hundreds of thousands were made, encasing photos taken before the boys left for the wars from which millions never returned...

A rare and fabulously unusual named portrait of a First World War soldier, Hector Charles Clarke, only 18, but all suited up, the complete warrior with rifle and kit, ready to give the Hun his due. No doubt Hector, who was born about 1900, had been named after "Fighting Mac," General Hector Macdonald.

Go to Hector the Hero
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Painted Photo Oval, Frances May (Clarke) Hoather - 1914
Orig. photo - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Kitchener, ON

Painted Photo, 1914 - Original painted photo in oval frame.

A stunningly beautiful painted photo portrait of Frances, who was probably Hector's grieving sister.

These portraits hung together in family parlours for the best part of a century, before they ended up in a rural antique store.

A brother and sister, torn apart, by the mad dogs of war set loose by a generation of stupid politicians with no talent for peace or governing.

After the war the pictures came to Canada, perhaps with Frances, to the Kitchener, Ontario, area. Hector and Frances' descendants are Canadians; they are part of the history of a Canadian family.

Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

All That is Left of Him

Most vet portraits are just bust shots of boys staring at the camera.

This one has Hector in a most unusual pose with rifle and kit.

Distressingly many of these vet portraits are not named.

This one is fabulous because on the back a family member wrote Hector's name and his fate: "Missing at 18 in the 1914-18 War."

Only one, of scores of thousands of young boys who were never found, just churned up into the mud of France and Belgium.



 

These 16 x 20 oval portraits were extremely popular among families commemorating the departing boys with a large photo. Some 66,000 Canadian civilian volunteer soldiers never returned. The oval photos are all that remain. And most are not named. After all, the whole family knew who they were. So why bother?

This was one of a set that was with the same family for almost a hundred years, till they were consigned to a rural antique store in southern Ontario.

Probably Frances was Hector's sister.

But where did they live? Were they Canadians?

Hector is not listed among Canada's World War I veterans. So he must have joined a British unit.

Then a better clue. The photography company had scrawled the client's name and address on the back. "Clarke, 125 Sutton St Tuebrook."

So the pictures were cased in Liverpool, England.

Someone, possibly Frances, brought them to Canada, after the war. Very likely it is she who hung the portraits side by side as long as she lived. (Was that a memorial locket she wears in her photograph, with a tiny photo of Hector inside?)

Generations later, with the emotional link to Hector and Frances broken, the portraits went to an antique dealer. Luckily with all the relevant data thoughtfully listed on the backs.

We will not forget them, and the public service, and heartbreak of their generation...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roots of a Canadian Family

Right are the very houses near 125 Sutton Street, in Tuebrook, and the sidewalks that Hector ran up and down as a boy, and Frances skipped along, as a young girl, in happier days.

And the walls and windows that once heard families crying and wailing as the letter in black arrived during those terrible years of war...