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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

From the sublime to the ridiculous?

The photo prompt for Sepia Saturday # 321 comes from the State Library of New South Wales and was taken by Mr Sam Hood in 1934, on the occasion of the Grenadier Guards' visit to Sydney and their march to the Cenotaph in Martin Place to lay a wreath, on 8 November 1934.  Here is a report and photographs of the event, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 9 November 1934.


A less detailed report of the event appeared in the Canberra Times of the same date. Note how the unfortunate gentleman who collapsed and died  in the crowd is given a different name and age in the two papers. His correct name and age appears to have been Charles Vinnicombe, 67, according to the NSW Registry of  Births Deaths and Marriages web site.  Both the above articles and photographs were snipped from Trove.

Fairfax Corporation. (1930). Cenotaph to our glorious dead in Martin Place, Sydney, ca. 1930s Retrieved March 10, 2016, from

Here is a photograph of the Cenotaph from Trove, around the time of the Grenadier Guards' visit.  I have walked past the Cenotaph many times when I lived in Sydney but if I ever took a photograph of it I can't find it. It hasn't changed much however.

According to a comment on the Flickr State Library web site relating to the prompt photograph, Mr Sam Hood was fond of taking photographs of kissing couples in the 1930s and 1940s, and there are links to other images given there.  I on the other hand have very few photographs of anyone kissing . and the following two are all I can offer, both from my mother's albums. 

This is a snap of yours truly making new friends in the gardens of Cambridge,  in April 1954. I look to be a little unsure of the attention I'm receiving from these two friendly but unknown little English girls, who look to have been slightly older than me, but the natural innocence of childhood shines through.

  The standard photograph below showing my father and me beside the Sentries at Buckingham Palace in their bearskins also appears in the album documenting our year in the UK, but I'm sure neither of us tried to kiss them.

And finally, here's one of my late mother's favourite photographs of herself in more recent times, being kissed by a seal called Ellie at the Porpoise Pool in Coff Harbours NSW, when she was visiting there with a busload of friends in 2007. In fact there are no porpoises there, just dolphins, seals and penguins. I remember Mum saying that she particularly liked the fact that both she and Ellie were originally from New Zealand, and consequently she felt a kind of affinity with her. No doubt Ellie was trained to kiss all the visitors, but I didn't argue!

Blog done,and now I'm heading off for a long weekend at the beach, but for more photographs of kissing couples, big hats, crowds and whatever else fellow Sepians may choose to feature this week, you can si simply put your hat on and head off to Sepia Saturday #321

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