Extravagant wedding outfits attract quick response from reader

The wedding of Blanche and Tom Clarke about 1910 in Portsmouth
The wedding of Blanche and Tom Clarke about 1910 in Portsmouth
The letter of commendation from the Southern Railway management. It took two months to send it.

NOSTALGIA: We had more backbone during the war

Have your say

I’m grateful to Alan Smith for swiftly researching the background to this glorious wedding picture.

He too was smitten by the women’s extravagant costumes and was interested to note that each of the eight men were wearing moustaches.

The picture came from Ada Brodie, from Stubbington. It was given to her in 1969 by a woman whose house she and her husband were sharing in Twyford Avenue, Stamshaw, Portsmouth.

The woman, who Ada thought was about 80, was Blanche Clarke and she is the bride in this picture with husband Thomas.

But Ada knew nothing about Blanche’s background and asked if readers could help.

So Alan started digging and discovered that Thomas Edward Clarke and Blanche Eva Holmes were married in Portsmouth in 1908.

Blanche’s birth was registered in the September quarter of 1885 in Woolwich, which made her 23 when she married.

Alan discovered the banns were read in the parish of Forest Hill Christ Church with St Paul in Lewisham, London, where Thomas lived. Blanche was a spinster – not a word you hear used much these days – of St Mark’s, Portsmouth. Presumably at North End.

Blanche died in Portsmouth in 1975 when her birth was given as 1887, not two years previously.

Alan said: ‘In 1911, Thomas and Blanche, providing I have the right couple, were living in two rooms at 18, Munster Road, North End.

‘They were possibly renting rooms. Thomas was a wireman in the Dockyard and his place of birth is given as Portsmouth, his age 27 and 1884 as his year of birth.

‘Blanche’s place of birth is given as London, At that time they had no children.’

It seems that Blanche had Scottish parents – Alfred and Helen Holmes were both born about 1854 and both in Aberdeen.

Are any relatives still around?