Two photographs of mother, born Sarah Spencer Gale on 4 June 1888.

The top photograph must have been taken about 1892-3, in a Manchester studio when she was three or four years of age - and probably cost quite a lot of money. Studio photography was in its infancy, the flash for illumination being provided by lighting some kind of powder in a T-shaped piece of equipment at the same time as the cover of the lens was removed.

It shows a very pretty little girl who is somewhat bewildered by what is going on in the studio.

The lower photograph may have been taken about the time of her marriage to Dad, Joseph Thomas Edwards, on 30 September 1918, a few weeks before the end of the First World War, when she was 29 or 30 years of age. She died at Withington hospital in 1960.

The locket might have been in memory of her half-brother, John William Price - known as John Willy - who was killed while serving in the Army.

Dad, son of Thomas Edwards, a brass finisher, was born on 2 May 1891. He was friendly with John Willy during the war. He called on his friend's sister, Sarah, possibly to offer his condolences, and that's how they met.

Photo of Sarah Edwards Photo of Sarah Edwards around her marriage

The last photograph of Dad, taken at a dance at Red Island Holiday resort, near Dublin, in September 1968.

It was his second visit to Red Island. He had made friends there on his first visit and was looking forward to his return trip.

I picked him up and took him to his Aer Lingus flight from Manchester to Dublin but few days later was telephoned and told he had collapsed and been taken to a Dublin hospital at St Stephen's Green. I flew over but was too late. At the hospital they said he had suffered a ruptured aneurism.

The doctor and all the other staff I saw were very concerned and were obviously quite willing to talk with me for as long as I wished. Although they did not know him, I came to the conclusion that he had died, at the age of 77, amongst friends.

The Aer Lingus people - and particularly Tom Cranitch - were very kind to me at that sad time.

I flew back to Manchester with Dad.

His life had not been easy. During the first World War he served in the Manchester Regiment as a signaller and took part in the Gallipoli landing, where he was wounded. After - apparently - recovering he continued in the Army until the end of the war. When we were very young he was employed at Langfields, sheet metal workers, near Trafford Bar - and always returned home with sweets for us on Fridays, which was pay day.

However, he did suffer from stomach pains, putting this down to being shot in the turn at Gallipoli. He was right, of course, but what he didn't know - until he collapsed at work in early 1930s - that a Turkish bullet had remained inside him for around 14 years. It was very visible on a Royal Infirmary X-ray.

The bullet was removed, he had a brief convalescence at Grange-over-Sands, took us all on holiday to New Brighton and, having been declared fit for light work, returned to Langfields. 'Welcome back, Joe' they said. 'Nice to be back,' he said, 'but I'm only fit for light work.' 'Light work?' they said. 'We haven't got any. You're sacked'

Life was vastly different in those days.

Work was hard to find. He took on temporary postman at Christmas, pedalling away on a cycle, but didn't really get a job until the Second World War, when he helped to build Lancaster bombers at Metropolitan Vickers in Trafford Park.

The earliest photograph I know of Dad, when he was a lance-corporal signaller - denoted by the crossed flags on his sleeve - in the 8th Ardwick Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, one of those known as the 'Pals.'

'Pals' regiments were formed because it was thought that it would be helpful to have people from the same locality in the same Regiment. That idea was scrapped when it, painfully, became clear that this meant that when casualties were suffered this meant that families who probably knew each other very well would all be involved in sorrow at around the same time. In fact, families living the same street would sometimes all receive dreaded telegrams practically simultaneously.

Dad was sporting a moustache.

This picture was probably taken in Egypt, by which time Dad was sporting a moustache. He spent some time there, prior to the Gallipoli landings. I can remember his describing learning how to ride a camel, being thrown first one way as the camel started to get to its feet, and then the other as it completed the manoeuvre, only to go through the same procedure in reverse as the camel got back down on its belly.

He also gained expertise in sending Morse heliograph signals, using a mirror to catch the rays of the sun.

Dad second from the left.

Probably taken in 1923, the photograph shows curly red-headed Thomas William Edwards (named after Dad's father), born 15 May 1921, aged here something just over two, and me, born 16 October 1922, maybe four or five months old, well and truly fastened into a cane chair but clearly struggling to get out. Walter had yet to arrive on the scene, not being born until 26 October 1924.

Thomas William and me

Guessing again about the date - perhaps 1926 - the photograph of the three brothers was taken in a studio. I suppose Walter could be two-ish, me four-ish and Tom about five or six.

Mum and Dad had clearly dressed us in our best for the occasion, Tom and I also sporting watch chains - don't know whether we actually had watches! The suits were probably new. Our faces, hands and knees had been scrubbed, our hair combed and brushed - although Tom's red curly hair still refused to lie down.

I have vague memories of being intrigued by the big polished wood camera, mounted on a tripod, and the way the photographer kept disappearing behind it under a black hood. He produced a T-square gadget, put some powder on the top, there was a blinding flash from it and the photo session was over.

About half a century later we re-created this scene in another studio, the one I was running together with a public relations business in Old Trafford.

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