Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1850-1942) & Princess Louise of Prussia (1860-1917)
Question about a 1922 photograph in which the Duke of Connaught appears.
Hello all! We recently discovered in the family archive a group photo which includes ten or so "top brass" soldiers: and to quote Alastair Massie of the National Army Museum, "The dignitary seated left of centre is Arthur, Duke of Connaught" (Queen Victoria's son): next to him is General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien - you get my drift? At the back, in the boater, is William Taft, one-time President of the US, and at this time Chief Justice, on a three week visit to the old country to see our justice system: he left for the US, never to return (and hadn't been here since 1888) on July 8th 1922.
The Duke is wearing a black armband: on June 22nd 1922, Field Marshal Sir Henry Hughes Wilson was gunned down by IRA activists outside his home at 6 Eaton Place. The Duke accompanied the coffin at the funeral in St Paul's Cathedral.
Oh, and by the way, the little front row group to the right is Rudyard Kipling en famille.
OK, so now we have dates for the photo: sometime betwixt June 22 and July 8 1922.
The next question is, where? Several of those present are wearing little disks on their right breast pocket (enclosure passes perhaps?): there is a waitress clearing glasses in the background. Taken together this, to my untrained eye, looks to be an equine event of some kind.
Can anyone suggest such an event/date where these people might be gathered together? No writing or trademark anywhere.
We are proud to have a relative in the photo.
It seems a bit sad to Reply to my own post, but thought I would inform readers of progress to date. It's possible that the lady front row far left is Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, due to marry Bertie the following year, and eventually become the Queen Mum - what do you think?
Anyway, progress to date, see the thumbnail for number key:
Group photo taken at Fritwell Manor, Oxford, home of Sir John Simon (6)
on July 1st or 2nd 1922. Note round passes worn by some people suggesting an army equine event of some kind, perhaps organised for the Tafts (14 & 15)
2 ? Uniformed
4 ? Uniformed
5 Donald Sterling Palmer Howard, 3rd Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal.
6 John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, host of this gathering. He was later to become Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had “an unfortunately chilly manner”: in 1922 he was MP for Spen Valley and deputy leader of the Liberal Party. Husband of 25.
14 US Chief Justice William Howard Taft, formerly US President. On three week fact-finding visit to Britain, 16th June-8th July 1922
15 Helen (“Nellie”) Taft, wife of 14
16 ? Uniformed
18 ? Uniformed
19 Bonar Law?
21 ? Uniformed
22 Captain William Masters, R.A.S.C.
23 ? Possibly Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
24 Sir Eric Henry Bonham, equerry to the Duke of Connaught (26)
25 Kathleen, Viscountess Simon, hostess of this gathering. Wife of 6
26 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, favourite son of Queen Victoria. Note black armband: he is in mourning for the death of his close friend Field Marshal Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, shot by IRA gunmen in London, June 22nd 1922.
27 General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, great friend of Lord Kitchener
28 Carrie Kipling, wife of 30
29 Elsie Kipling, daughter of 30 and 28
30 Rudyard Kipling
31 Captain George Louis St Clair Bambridge, Diplomat, of Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge: will marry 29 in 1924
My dear Paddym,
Thank you for posting this wonderful photograph. It is unfortunate that I cannot help you with solving its mystery; however, I do not think the woman to the far left is Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She would have been 22 in 1922 and the woman pictured here looks much older and more matronly than a single woman in her twenties would have looked. The remainder of the people look to be older as well, which would indicate they might be of a similar generation all around. I did check my biography of the Queen Mother and it mentions that in June and July of 1922, the QM spent her time at dinners, dances, theatres, nightclubs and weekends in the country but makes no mention of her attending such an august gathering.
Thanks for your response, I do tend to agree: though also the lady looks too young for the Duchess of Connaught, who would be over 60 in 1922. She may forever remain a mystery!
I'm also asking for help in the Kipling Society forums, where a member has pointed out, in a letter from RK to his daughter dated 19 July 1922, "...Then I to my graves commission, after having writ our names in the D. of C.'s book, a detail I had omitted since the lunch". Another clue perhaps?
Postcard, princess Louise of Prussia
I still have no idea of the purpose of the gathering however!
Funeral of HRH Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia,Duchess of Connaught in 1917.
Funeral Of The Late Duchess Of Connaught 1917 (1917) - YouTube
The Duke of Connaught visited Eton.
Ironic to think that only five years after the Duke unveiled that memorial plaque more old Etonians were army officers in another world war, one the Duke himself lived to see.
Is there any good biographies about prince Arthur?
The only book which concentrates on Arthur that I'm aware of is Noble Frankland's 'Witness of a Century', which was published years ago. It's still obtainable on Amazon, but Frankland appears to have been like several other Royal authors and skimmed over his subject, in this case Prince Arthur's, private life a lot. The story of his life awaits a good author I think. His relationship with his daughter Margaret who became Princess Margreit of Sweden would be interesting to read about, and his strange grandson Alistair as well.
CONNAUGHT - A Royal Family Album by Robert Golden has some information about Prince Arthur.
Prince Arthur's daughter-in-law, Princess Arthur of Connaught opened a hospital fair in 1926.
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