Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features a man stood outside a tent. My contribution is six men inside a tent – and to add to the numerical complexity of the situation, the tent is tent number four. The one man in the theme image was, it appears, Lewis Payne Powell, an American Confederate soldier who was part of the plot to assassinate not just President Lincoln, but also the Vice President and the Secretary of State as well. The six in my photograph have, I hope, a far less notorious pedigree.
My photograph comes from a box of unsorted family photographs and must date from the late 1920s or early 1930s. It certainly appears that the third head down in this collection of tented heads, has a strong resemblance to my father, Albert, and, as he would have been in his late teens at the time, the dates seem to fit. The confusing element is the naval cap he appears to be wearing: his only military service was in the Home Guard much later during World War II. My best guess that it was some kind of Boys’ Brigade or Sea Cadet camp, and the tent was pitched on some spare ground far from the sea, somewhere around Bradford.
But who knows! Family histories are delightfully full of gaps and holes. Maybe my father was part of a conspiracy to kidnap Stanley Baldwin, the British Prime Minister at the time. Who knows!