When going through our old family photos, we found some that have people or are in locations that we don't recognise, so, where individual privacy is not likely to be compromised, we include some of these below on the long off-chance that members of the public may recognise either the unnamed people from their own family histories, or the locations.
Most of them relate to the life and times of Brigadier-General Duncan Alwyn Macfarlane, CB, DSO, 1857-1941, of Dunain Park House, Inverness, now the Loch Ness Country House Hotel, his wife Edythe Lavinia, née Bingham, 1881-1961, and their daughter Lavinia Anne Danckwerts, 1923-2000. However, there are also others each of which's relevance is a complete mystery to surviving family members!
If you happen to recognise anything here and wish to help us fill in the missing information, please contact us here.
The photos here are lossily compressed JPEGs. If you wish to take a closer look at better quality renditions of any of them, you can <right-click> any that interest you, and choose Save link as to save it on your machine, from where you can launch it into your normal photo viewer program.
|Who is the pipe-smoking man on the right talking to Brig-Gen Macfarlane on the left, and when & where was this picture taken?
|This looks as though it might be a Highland Gathering. The pipe-smoker might be the same as in the next picture …
|Who on the left is inspecting the British Legion veterans with Brig-Gen Macfarlane on the right?
|Almost certainly another retired senior officer, but does anybody know who? The occasion was the visit of HRH The Prince Of Wales (later Edward VIII who abdicated) to Inverness on 27/06/1931. There are other pictures of this event in the publicly available archive here, the launching of which this page is a part, with HRH & DAM shaking hands, inspecting veterans together, and, besides veterans, also featuring some pipers from the band of DAM's former regiment, the KOSB.
|HQ, Flagstaff House, Hong Kong (from Brig-Gen Macfarlane's photos); no longer unknown!
|All that is written on the back of the photo is that HQ is the building with a flagpole. The photo seems to feature typical British colonial architecture with buildings arranged down a steeply sloping hillside in the background, and within the gloom of the foreground there is what seems to be a cricket scoreboard. This all suggests somewhere with a strong and long-lasting British presence, probably both militarily and culturally. First choice was Gibraltar, as the background skyline is similar, but it's not actually identical, and now we think that this is likely to be the former British colony of Hong Kong, based on the following photographs:
Flagstaff House, Hong Kong, 1846 seems a good match for the building with a flagpole, designated as HQ, half-way up the hill;
Former British Military Hospital, Hong Kong, now a multi-use building including Carmel School, seems a good match for the long, angled building further up the hill.
It would be nice to get a modern photo from the same or a nearby vantage point to clinch the matter, but it would probably require a drone for it to be useful, due to the explosion of high-rise buildings in the area since our photo was taken, which make Google Maps Street View, for example, well nigh useless in this particular case.
|Emily Close & Others (1 unknown in Keble Blazer) In Punt c1940 (formerly 'Unknown People In Punt')
|This photo was found in an envelope labelled 'Malcolm MacFarlane, September 1905' with three others, two of Scottish landscapes with relevance to MacFarlane history, and one of Charles Edward Macfarlane 1865-1932, all four appearing to be contact prints direct from negatives, none of which we have. However, despite being from the same envelope, the four photos seem to form three separate groups - 1 Landscapes, 2 CEM, 3 this one - so it's a reasonable guess that the label on the envelope only refers to one of these groups, most probably the landscapes, and the other photos were added to the envelope later as somewhere convenient to keep them, or else for sending between family members.
So the first question, raised by the above, is: Who was Malcolm MacFarlane? No-one in the family seems to know of anyone of that name and date! Can anyone enlighten us?
With respect to this particular photo, family correspondence strongly suggests that actually it dates from 1940 rather than 1905, when a family member, who was probably one of the two younger women whose faces are obscured, was known to be working for the War Office based in Keble College, Oxford, family legend having it that her work was controlled by the Official Secrets Act, because she never revealed what it was. The correspondence confirms the identification of Emily Mary Close as the older woman turned around facing the camera, and, even though their faces are obscured, we can guess at the other two women as having been her daughter Marjorie, and the family member known to be working at Keble. Thus the remaining puzzles with this photo are:
|Who was this unknown woman with Brig-Gen Macfarlane?
|Taken in 1910 at the Doncaster races. Unfortunately the woman, possibly a niece, is not named in DAM's album, so does anyone happen to recognise her from their family photo albums?
|Mrs Mackenzie (we think), with Lavinia and an unknown child.
|Probably taken mid to late 1920s. Lavinia's letters describe the Mackenzies as being 'our dearest friends'. Other photographs show their daughter Margaret with whom Lavinia kept in touch for many years afterwards, and who in later life had the misfortune to suffer from MS, but she was a few years older than Lavinia, so this child cannot be her. So who is the other child on the right? Does anyone recognise her from their own family albums and is willing to give us her name?
|Who is the other girl on the right at Girl Guide camp?
|Taken in 1933. Unfortunately the girl on the right was unnamed, so again does anyone recognise her from their own family albums and is willing to give us her name?
|Sophie & LAM on the way to school
|This photo was taken in 1935, and was captioned as above, but none of us now know who was Sophie, on the left - presumably a neighbour to the Macfarlanes at Dunain Park House who went to the same school as Lavinia on the right. This was St George's, Ascot, and is still a boarding school for girls. They recognise two photos of there that we sent them, but unfortunately they have no written records going back so far as could give us a surname for Sophie. So does anyone recognise her from their own family albums, and is willing to give us her full name?
|Who was Phyllis (centre), who appears in several photos at Dunain Park House?
|We think this photo of DAM, Phyllis, & ELM was probably taken around late 1920's. Unfortunately, we have no idea who Phyllis was.
|Camp At Dalry.
|Does anyone recognise whereabouts near Dalry these were taken, early to mid 1950s? The woman is a friend of the family, Alison Murdoch Young, who sadly died of lung-cancer at a comparatively young age in 1972, and who is buried in an unmarked grave in St Lawrence's churchyard, Swindon Village, nr Cheltenham.
|Henley Regatta (most probably late 1950s).
|The old woman in the near boat is Effie Brereton, a neighbour to the Macfarlanes at Dunain Park House, Inverness, but we don't know who the other boat party are, so does anybody recognise them from their own family albums and are willing to give us their names?
|Family member in unknown location.
|We are fairly certain we know who this child is, the real mystery is: where is he? We think now that this is most likely to be Seaview, Isle Of Wight, because we stayed there one summer and in GMSV have found similar architecture and landscapes there. For example, allowing for the fact that in our photo due to the steepness of the hill and the height of the front boundary hedge the ground floor would be hidden giving the appearance of a bungalow, and the growth of vegetation since, this is a close but not an exact match. Another possibility is that it's Trearddur Bay, Holy Island, Anglesey, Wales, as relatives had a bungalow there. Can anyone shed any further light on this?
|Where were these taken?
|Obviously some years elapsed between these two photos of Lavinia, but does anyone recogise where either was taken?
|Who are Tom & J?
|This photo is captioned on the back as 'Tom and J at the christening', but we know no more than that, other than they are likely to have been friends of Lavinia.
|Who is the unknown society bride?
|Again probably a friend of Lavinia. Neither Portman Press Bureau for sure, nor apparently their archives, still exist. We've tried emailing an enquiry about them to someone with a knowledgeable website, but no name has come up.
|What and where is the unknown exhibit?
|A complete mystery! Does anyone recognise this and can tell us what & where it is? One possibility is that it is in the Friar House, Benet Street, Cambridge, as there are other exhibits from there not far away in the album.
|Where is this unknown house with a lovely garden?
|Do any of the friends of Lavinia recognise this?
|Three Pictures Of Dartmoor, Devon
|We know these were most probably around Sourton Tor & Okehampton, but can anyone be more exact?
|Landrover In Wilderness
|This of a LandRover or Jeep seems to have been taken in Scotland, but none of the family can recognise where. Anyone happen to know?
|Pipe Band At Ballater Highland Games, probably early 1960s; no longer unknown!
|This has now been confirmed as being the Ballater Highland Games (our thanks to the current organisers for their help in confirming this); the pipe band remain unidentified but may have been from the Royal Guard at Balmoral for that year: Google Maps Street View.
|Highland Games - Pipe Band (indistinct), probably 1950s
|We think most probably this is the Inverness Games/Northern Meeting at Bught Park, Inverness, probably 1950s, possibly early 1960s. This tentative identification is based on the skyline which is a pretty good match for Tomnahurich Hill, and the hills beyond it to the NW, as seen here: Google Maps Street View. Although the buildings in the middle distance between the back of the park and the hill don't match, using GMSV to view them directly shows that they're of comparatively modern construction, perhaps late 1960s, so they don't absolutely exclude the picture being of a highland games of a few years earlier. Does anyone have, or know of possible sources of, photos of Bught Park from the 1950s to early 1960s that might decide this either way?
|View From S Coast Of Holy Island E To Anglesey & Wales; no longer unknown!
|Taken from the south of Holy Island, Anglesey, looking slightly south of east, towards Anglesey and Wales. In the following two Google Maps Street Views (GMSV), the first from the headland above the beach where the picture was taken has a perfect match for the rocks in the foreground and the headlands in the middle distance, but the distant skyline is murky and barely distinguishable, while the second from the next beach along matches the distant skyline:
Google Maps Street View 1,
Google Maps Street View 2.
|Former Laggan United Free Church (previously 'Unknown Coast 2' then 'Unknown Landscape 2'); no longer unknown!
|Previously, the only copy of this picture we had was so blurred that it misled us into believing it was a coastal scene, but this clearer image shows unambiguously that it is not! Thanks to the helpful people at POWiS, the building in the centre of the middle distance has been identified as the former Laggan United Free Church, which now is roofless and part-ruined, see the photos linked at the end of this section.
This is it marked on a 1950s OS Map, also including the vantage point to the west, the bend on the A86 (by moving the slider on the left you can see that this part of the road has been straightened somewhat since then):
National Library of Scotland
This is where the photo must have been taken from, but since then trees have grown up hiding the lower part of the view, including the church, and as seen above the road has been altered; however, you can still see the bend in the road, the distinctive glacial skyline to the left, and, through the trees, some of the skyline to the right as well:
Google Maps Street View
This is a closer view from a lower elevation, which, despite being the wrong location for the original photo, shows exactly the right sort of tower in front of exactly the same glacial skyline: Google Maps Street View
There are some photos of the church as it is now from a recent American visitor at My Plaid Heart.
|Trearddur Bay - View Across From N To S (formerly 'Unknown Coastal Seascape'); no longer unknown!
|This photo of Trearddur Bay, Holy Island, Anglesey was most probably taken by a member of the Close family during a stay at a family home there. We have been able to prove its location because a number of the most prominent houses and the flagpole/mast are identical with the following photo, though ours was taken from some distance further round the bay to the right of this:
Francis Frith - Trearddur Bay 1952.
|Unknown Rural Scene
|This too was most probably taken by a member of the Close family, and seems to have been part of a roll of film containing photos of Winchester College, where Duncan Close was at school, but they cannot date from his time there, because the film contains photos of the War Cloister, which was only built after WW1 and therefore after his death. However, because of this apparent Winchester connection, we think the scene might be somewhere along the Itchen Navigation which runs alongside the College grounds, and was known to Wykehamists as 'Water Meads' (old seasonal water meadows), but does anyone recognise this scene more definitely and can tell us where it is?
|Unknown Rural Scene With Sluice Gate
|This is from the same film as the previous picture, and by the same reasoning is also most likely to be along the Itchen Navigation running alongside Winchester College grounds, but can anyone confirm and/or be more exact?
|Unknown Landscape - 1
|This has now been re-scanned at a much higher resolution which has ruled out there being any structure on the ridge - it's just a tree - and the suggestion of a parked car or caravan below it - it might be an outcrop, a cairn, a ruin, or a tent, but whichever appears either to be behind a tree or else to have vegetation growing out of it. The only other distinguishing characteristic is what at first glance appears to be a gully in the ridge line but which actually is not a gully but the partially overlapping ends of two ridges, the one on the left being behind the one on the right. Does anyone happen to recognise this?
|Unknown Loch - 1
|This is a good photo of apparently a freshwater loch on a moody misty day, and just about has sufficient characteristics to be identifiable. Our best guess is that it's looking north from the west bank of Loch Lomond somewhere between Firkin Point to the south and Tarbet to the north. Between the two there is a stretch of old road along the loch shore whence most probably our photo was taken, but frustratingly, at the time of writing, GMSV hadn't covered it. However, some further confirmation comes from this Francis Frith archive photo, which was taken from that old road, and has exactly the same first headland on the opposite shore, though was from too far south to show the headlands further north beyond the first:
Francis Frith - Loch Lomond 1962.
|Unknown Loch - 2
|This appears to be an upland lochan, and the most characteristic features are the shape of the hillock near the far shore - which rather resembles a ruined broch in the Shinness area but the photo is not from there - and the promontory or island in the foreground. Additionally, the number of telephone wires going across the top suggests that probably this was taken from a fairly significant road.
|Unknown woman reading a letter
|An apparently formally posed picture of an unknown woman reading a letter, printed by A Debenham, Southsea. Southsea is a suburb of Portsmouth, and, although there are other places called Southsea, "A Debenham, Southsea" is listed in Kelly's Trade Directory for the Isle Of Wight area in 1899 & 1915, so the Portsmouth Southsea must be the one here. There are photos from this studio listed online dating from 1890 - 1918, which gives us a range of likely dates.
It is important to remember that, as the back of the photo has no studio documentation such as a serial number of the photograph, the picture that we have is quite likely to be a reprint from a negative, supplied by the sitter herself or one of her family, of an earlier photograph taken by another studio.
|Eton school photo, 1893; no longer unknown!
|We have discovered that this formerly mysterious school photo was, as we had suspected, despite being taken by a Tonbridge firm, actually taken at Eton, and moreover it contains a family member!
|Unknown women golfers
|Nothing is known about these two female golfers, though we note that the style of hats is somewhat reminiscent of those in a photo of the Barrow family in Brig-Gen Macfarlane's photo album, but that may be simply because it was the fashion of the time.
|Conkwell Grange, Limpley Stoke, nr Bath; no longer unknown!
|We've at last managed to trace this substantial country-house's connection, albeit a rather remote one, with our family. The house is Conkwell Grange, and at one time, from around 1933-1945, it was owned by Ethel Winifred Catherine Hallewell 1864-1945, who, being the daughter of Charles James Maynard Hallewell and Amelia Catherine Barber, was a niece of siblings John Hallewell, Ellen Macfarlane and Adelaide Close (both née Hallewell), and thereby cousin to other members of the family who were alive while she was living there. Presumably therefore, one of them visited her there, and that is how we came to have a photograph of it.
|The Gate House, Worksop Priory (probably pre 1880); no longer unknown!
|This is from Emily Mary Close's album, and originally we thought it might be Oxfordshire because there are other photos from there nearby in the album, but in fact it's The Gate House, Worksop Priory, 11 miles away from Staveley where her father the Rev J D Macfarlane was rector until 1886.
|The Ruins Of The Lady Chapel, Worksop Priory (probably pre 1880); no longer unknown!
|Another from Emily Mary Close's album, and again we thought it might be Oxfordshire because there are other photos from there nearby in the album, but it's another part of Worksop Priory, the ruins of the Lady Chapel.
|Steetley Chapel (pre 1880 restoration); no longer unknown!
|Another from Emily Mary Close's album, and again we thought it might be Oxfordshire because there are other photos from there nearby in the album, but it's Steetley Chapel before its restoration in 1880, about 8 miles away from Staveley where her father the Rev J D Macfarlane was rector until 1886.