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The Royal Oak Photo
What other visitors have said
Chris Smith
Great article wrt the Royal Oak Photo.

Couple of factors which also support your theory are that William Hopley took over licence from Ann Jones after her death early 1913 and Edith married in Jul 1913 so she would still have been at home on 5th.

In February 1914 the licence was temporarily transferred from "the manager" which I take to be William Hopley, to the owner. I don't know why but clearly this was temporary but might also rule out early 1914 given signage which is on the pub.

Not sure about Edwin Jones though because from what I have traced I think he was married and living in Sheffield and working as an "Electric Tramcar Driver" in 1911. During WW1 he joined up and became a Quartermaster with the West Riding regiment - again pointing to his living in Yorkshire. By 1915 he was serving in France and by 1917 had been promoted to Captain Quartermaster, this being pointed-out in the Lichfield Mercury 28 Dec 1917.

I might try to do a little article about him but would want to verify a few points first. If I'm right he was in the army 3 times. First for 94 days in the Grenadier Guards, then he left and seems to have worked in Birmingham City Asylum. I assume worked rather than being an inmate because in those days one tended to not come out of an asylum and lead a normal life, if you could get out at all. That is a point to be clarified. He then served with the police in Sheffield for about 2 years (I have copy of his police record). He left them and joined the army for 1 year in 1901 (I have copy of his join-up papers) and served in the South African War (1899-1902). In 1911 he was an "Electric Tramcar Driver" and living in Sheffield. He joined the army again circa 1914/15. I think he was a publican at some stage in Sheffield. Quite a varied career, but probably one which points to him being a visitor rather than resident, I would have thought. However, perhaps the family got back together knowing war was imminent.

Interesting little story about William joining up. He hadn't been called up but a neighbour of the family in Rushall had. The neighbour was declared unfit and sent home to come back 1 month later, so very kindly he suggested William take his place. From what I gather the families did not get on (someone not getting on with the Hopleys, I can't believe it....). Anyway Great granddad, Susannah and one of the daughters obviously confronted this man. GGdad got fined £2 for his efforts.

Julian Ward-Davies
Thanks for your kind words. I agree that it is unlikely that Edwin Jones was present.

I have shown the blow-up of the person we believe was Mrs Nutting to Dot Smith and Iris Hewitt. As they are both around 90, they have very long memories. They agree that the person was indeed Mrs Nutting, who they knew very well when they were young.

Another little mystery is why it was that Mrs Nutting appeared very dark-skinned in the photo. This can be explained quite easily by the time of year: she had been working in the fields, like most women used to during the summer months in Old Stonnall.