Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sepia Saturday: Horses and Mischief

Sepia Saturday prompts bloggers to share family history with old photographs.


Their suggestion this week features an old horse-drawn carriage, with its mischievous coachmen seemingly playing for the camera, while they wait to collect their passengers. The themes of horses and mischief reminded me of the following picture-postcard of Maurice Carroll, so I thought it might be suitable for my first Sepia Saturday venture. Maurice was a first cousin of my grandfather, Kevin Wynne.

Maurice Carroll, Barry Buddon training camp, 1911

Maurice Joseph Carroll, named after his paternal grandfather, was born in Dublin city on 13 November 1887, the eldest son of James and Anne (Molyneux) Carroll. The family migrated to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in the early years of the twentieth century, when Maurice was still a young teenager.

The biggest employer in the area they lived was Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth & Co. Ltd, a large manufacturing company, based in Elswick. By 1911, Maurice was employed there, as a joiner in their ship building division, while his brother James was an apprentice electrician in their gun factory.

Maurice J. Carroll (1887-1964)

Maurice volunteered at the Elswick Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery, a territorial unit based in Newcastle, composed of men from the Armstrong Whitworth factory. The battery had been established in 1900 and the regiment fought in the Boer War. Maurice received his training at the Barry Buddon Training Camp in Angus, Scotland in 1911 and this is where the photograph of Maurice, on his very handsome army horse, was taken. It is unlikely that Maurice actively served in the First World War, as Armstrong Whitworth made weaponry and the work of its employees in the factory was probably deemed more important to the war effort.

Maurice sent the Barry Budden postcard to his friend and future brother-in-law, and given he lived in the urban district of Benwell in Newcastle, the message written on the back reveals his true sense of mischief.


‘Dear Eugene, just a line hoping you are keeping well, as I am very well myself. What do you think of this horse of mine. I am going to bring him to Benwell. Do you think I will be able to get room in the garden for a stable for him. I hope you will have one ready by the time I come home for he will be tired and will want a sleep. Best love from M. J. Carroll, 1st NRFA [Northumbrian Royal Field Artillery].’


In December 1915, Maurice married Eugene’s sister, Mary Agnes Leckey, at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Benwell. The couple went on to have four children, two boys and two girls. 


Mary Agnes (Leckey) Carroll with her youngest son 

Maurice remained in Newcastle for the rest of his life.  


Maurice J. Carroll sitting front left, with friends

He certainly appears to be having a fun time with his friends in the above picture also. Out together for the afternoon, minus the horse, they look like a bunch not opposed to a bit of devilment!

Check out how other 'Saturday Sepians' interpreted this week’s prompt here

Sources: Church records on Irishgenealogy; 1911 Census of England and Wales on Ancestry; Free BMD; Images and family lore courtesy of the Jones family of Newcastle, descendants of Maurice Carroll.

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© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy

22 comments:

  1. Dara, a wonderful collection of images, and the history to go along with them! I hope there was room in the garden for a stable, and that Eugene had it built in time.

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  2. LOL, thanks Jennifer, as long as the horse was well fed and treated kindly!

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  3. Anybody willing to climb out onto rocks in a stream in their good clothes must be a real character ready for mischief. Fun pictures and stories. And welcome to Sepia Saturday.

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    1. Thank you Wendy, I'd love to know what the occasion was.

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  4. That was a truly beautiful horse but belonging to the army, I don't suppose Maurice got to keep it which was too bad? He certainly looked the part sitting there upon his handsome steed.

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  5. He looks perfectly at ease on the horse too, the army equestrian training must have been good then, too. Thank you for your comment.

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  6. A beautiful post. I am envious of how well you write up your research and present it.

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    1. Thank you, what a nice compliment.

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  7. Fine shot on his army horse but the photo I like best is the one of him and his friends on the rocks by the stream. What's more they are all wearing the flat cap characteristic of the North East.

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    1. Thanks Bob, very interesting about the flat caps, I did not know they were typical of the North East..

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  8. Oh goodness, I hope his horsey got a good place for his sleep! Thanks, this was interesting and nice photos.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Karen

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  9. He must have been very fond of his horse.

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    1. He must have been. Thank you for your comment.

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  10. A wonderful photo of Maurice and his horse. Would you also be cousin to Maurice?

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    1. Thanks Helen, he was my first cousin, twice removed. Strictly, he was my half-first cousin, twice removed. We shared only a GG-grandfather, also named Maurice Carroll.

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  11. An interesting and very polished first Sepia Saturday post; it’s as if you’ve always been a Sepian! Welcome on board.

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  12. I particularly like the photo taken on the rocks and one of the reasons is that I particularly like that kind of flat cap. Most interesting.

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    1. I like it too, it's such a pity we do not know who the other men were or what they were doing in the middle of the stream.

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  13. Your Maurice's horse in the first photo/postcard looks like a very noble creature. It's is interesting and fun that you have a written record of Maurice's sense of humor. The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne area is home to some of my ancestors, but several decades before your family moved there.

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    1. I appreciate your comment, Nancy.

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