Who is this mystery boy standing close to grave?

The Moody family gather at the grave of William John Moody. Who is the boy?
The Moody family gather at the grave of William John Moody. Who is the boy?

THIS WEEK IN 1976: Big crowds for the big band sound

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Mark and Angela Newman wonder if anyone can help identify the boy in this picture from 1909 of mourners around a grave in Portsmouth.

It was taken at Kingston Cemetery in 1909 and at first they had no idea why the photograph was in the family.

Mark said: ‘We didn’t know whose grave it was, but using the details on an adjacent grave and by visiting the cemetery office we were able to determine it was the grave of William John Moody who was buried on July 17, 1909, aged 57.

‘The photo shows flowers in glass domes which we have never seen before.’

William was Angela’s great grandfather.

The couple knew he was killed in an accident while working in the Dockyard, but did not know the circumstances until they looked at old copies of the Evening News.

Mark added: ‘I found a report of his death on July 12, 1909, the same day he was killed.

‘I found another report of the inquest on July 14, 1909 also reported on the same day.

‘The inquest was two days after he was killed and buried three days after that, much quicker than present times.’

The inquest was told that William was killed instantly in No3 Shipbuilding Shop when a huge sheet of metal measuring 16ft by 5ft, weighing a ton, fell on him when a clamp gave way crushing his chest.

The reports gives his middle name as James but it was John.

Mark said: ‘Without the use of the telephone in those days it must have been a shock for most relatives and friends to learn of has death by reading it in the Evening News.’

He said that William, who originated from Ireland, was married to Susan Ann and they had 15 children.

‘We don’t know how many survived. We only know of two, a son Alfred – my wife’s grandfather – and a daughter Florence.

‘In the photo we are sure it is his wife Susan and their daughter Florence Manning. We don’t know who the boy is.

‘We would like to know if any readers know who the boy is or other descendants of William and Susan Moody.’