This wedding photograph was taken on 21st October 1921 at Longparish, near Andover, Hampshire. The bride is Florence May and the groom Frederick Earnest, my maternal grandparents. The leaves on the ground confirm this is an autumnal event whilst the general lack of smiles reflects the solemnness of the occasion; it was not a happy union.
The original picture is badly faded but increasing the contrast has resurrected the disappearing faces from a distant past although they remain, for the most part, resolutely glum. I confess I am having some difficulty in identifying the participants at the wake, even May doesn’t look herself but there is no mistaking Fred who retrospectively, would undoubtedly wish he had been elsewhere.
I am certain that the man standing second to the left from Fred is his father, Benjamin Buscall Deaves (all forenames) and the lady seated to the right of May is Emily, her mother whose headgear is completely out of step with the times and the other guests. She was still resolutely wearing such hats in the late thirties as other photographs prove.
This photograph brought to mind another such event I witnessed in northern Tuscany a few years back. A modern occasion, the bride is not an exhibitionist; she was forced to lift her dress to see her high heels lest they skewered themselves between the boardwalk cracks. I once entered this in a photo competition sponsored by a car company – it was entitled Alfa Male.