Friday, July 1, 2011

Back to the Box

   In this box that came from James and Edna Stephens there are some old, old pictures. I have looked at these a few times in the last ten years, but this time I decided I would try to figure out who the people were.

    I had tossed this picture of these two dapper gentlemen aside time after time, not being able to recognize either of them, and there is absolutely nothing written on the back.

  Then I discovered this picture below and the guy on the left looks like the dapper guy on the right in the first photo, but this apparent military photo below has writing on the back, so guess what it says: "Bill Hagan and I. ......(??word??) 44-46" That didn't help much. And I have absolutely no idea who Bill Hagan is, probably someone who works with the writer. Most of these pictures either have nothing on the back, or the writer says "This is me." Or "Here is my wife," sometimes naming her, but he doesn't identify himself. Above is the actual writing, but what is that word between the "I" and the "44-46?" ...I have no Idea right now. Maybe it's the place?

  I kept studying the pictures and went on to discover some of somebody's brothers who were identified . This military picture below, actually had the subjects named. On the back it says "World War I. Reginald & Ronald Stephens. Dad's twin brothers." Then in someone else's handwriting it says "Stephens." "So Dad Stephens is their brother??? Now just who is Dad Stephens?" I thought.

   I stopped worrying about who's brother they were for  a few minutes and tried to look up the military records of Reginald and Ronald Stephens. Right off I made a hit on "Reginald Stephens." I found him on the "UK, Soldiers, Died in the Great War 1914-1919."    He died still in England. I haven't figured out how yet, but the 1918 flu had taken a great toll on British soldiers, and Reginald died August 26, 1918.

  Then I discovered  Albert Ronald Stephens also on the same list of United Kingdom soldiers who died in World War I.  Ronald was killed in action in Flanders, France October 1, 1915, so this picture had to have been taken before that. Both the brothers were dead by 1918, before America even got into the war!

   Then I tried to figure out which soldier was Reginald and which was Ronald. Without telling her anything, I asked Dorothy which one looked the older. She said, "The guy sitting." I thought so too, so I named the guy sitting Reginald, because I found him on a census with his parents and his  brother,  Ronald, but the census says that Ronald was two years younger, and the writer had said they were twins, so that didn't make sense. Later I found another census that had two sisters in the same family as twins. I guess the writer confused the twin sisters with the twin brothers.

   More of this detective story later..............  Maybe I'll tell you then who the dapper guy on the right in the top   photo is.

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