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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Curly Headed Arthur Smith - A Photographer's Son

My cousin's  father was  Arthur  Stuart Ingram  Smith, seen left with his wife Elsie Oldham, and children Stuart, Gloria and Jacqueline. Arthur was the son of  Lily Beatrice Jones and  Edward Stewart Ingram Smith (1871-1923), at one time a photographer in Blackpool.   
Edward's fair looks were to pass down through generations of the family and not surprisingly young Arthur found himself the subject of many a portrait.  


Below is  Arthur not looking too happy, as he perches on the chair, clad in a dress, as was the custom  for very young boys.  The tartan reflects the family's pride  in their Scottish links  with an ancestral trail leading back to Unst,  the most northerly island in the Shetlands.

Arthur with his mop of unruly curly hair is looking here more  like a madcap boy, always into mischief. 

Back to perching on a  chair.

With his two sisters,Ella and Edith, with Arthur in a little Lord Fauntleroy outfit.


 A more thoughful-lookng Arthur, with even longer curly hair. 


The next photograph almost comes as a shock to see Arthur shorn of his curls, though still wearing the lace collar.  The  photograph I suspect was taken before his father Edward went off to war c.1916. with all. the family looking serious at the prospect of what lay ahead.   



On leaving school, Arthur  worked  for the post office, firstly as a delivery boy and then as a linesman.  He later went onto work in the family coal merchant business of his wife Elsie Oldham. 

During the war, Arthur served as a signalman,   was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940  and later served in Italy and Africa.  After the way, he returned to work at the G.P.O.

Arthur emerging from a manhole during his work as a linesman for the General Post Office. 

Arthur married  Elsie Oldham in 1932, with their  children inheriting  their father's fair looks.  


Postscript:  This profile of Arthur Smith is the fourth in a series of posts on the Smith family who hailed originally from  the island of Unst in the Shetlands  The middle name of Ingram, after the local minister there, was passed down the generations.  

The family left Unst between 1861 and 1871, moving onto the Scottish mainlandIn a number of moves and facing bankruptcy along the way, John Ingram Smith settled  in the famous  seaside resort of Blackpool in Lancashire where he became catering manager at the Winter Gardens. His grandson was Arthur Stuart Ingram  Smith. 

The Smiths of Unst,  Shetland 
John Ingram Smith - From Butler to Bankruptcy
The Sad Story of Edward Stewart Ingram Smith


  1. There are some spectacular outfits in there...no wonder he could be mischievous. He had curls that many small girls of his era would have envied.

    1. Thank you, Pauleen, for taking the time to comment. It has been an enjoyable task to write up my cousin's research into this Smith family - an ordinary name but some fascinating stories.


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