Walter Patrick Nicol

Pat Nicol was born on 15 Aug 1901, the oldest son of Arthur Patrick Nicol, MC and his wife Daisy. Daisy Nicol, nee Showell, was the youngest child of Walter Showell, born in 1876. The Nicol family originally came from Aberdeenshire in Scotland. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 November 2021 by JJ Morgan

Dolly Crombie

Florence Showell, known as Dolly, was born in 1874 in Oldbury, Worcestershire. She was the ninth daughter of Walter Showell. She had one younger sister and three older brothers making her one of thirteen children all who survived and all but one got married. Continue reading →
Last updated on 26 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Fishing Party, Parkhill, Dyce, c 1898

A group of early photos in Mary Downing‘s collection depict a Fishing Party in Aberdeenshire. Mary spent time throughout the decade around 1900, with her Aunt Dolly Crombie (nee Florence Showell) at her Scottish Estate at Parkhill House, Dyce. These photos are the only few where she identifies her grandfather, Walter Showell, the Oldbury brewer who was to die in 1901. As such they are the only surviving likenesses of him. Continue reading →
Last updated on 26 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Bartolo Leopold D’Aubigné

Listed in the Downing Bible as a Godfather to William Noel Downing, is the name ‘B L D’Aubigné’. There are a few named photos of ‘D’Aubigné’, taken on shooting or fishing parties accompanying the Downings. He is also self-evidently present at the wedding of May Downing in 1906. Continue reading →
Last updated on 22 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Ratlinghope 1899

A small packet of loose photos, labelled ‘Ratlinghope 1899’ exists among the box of Downing archives. Continue reading →
Last updated on 23 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Eleanor Gill Welch

Eleanor Welch was born in Handsworth on 15 Dec 1884. She appears in three photos taken by Mary Downing in the late 1890’s. Up until about 1895 the Downings lived in Church Lane Handsworth around half a mile from the Welch household. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 August 2021 by JJ Morgan

William Lyon Browne

William Lyon Browne was born in about 1845 and was a corn merchant from Shrewsbury. He had extensive business dealings with William Edmund Downing and the Downing’s malting business. This included social gatherings and shoots in Church Stretton and Ratlinghope from about 1880 to 1900. Continue reading →
Last updated on 9 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

16 Woodbourne Road, Edgbaston

The first family home of the Noel and Molly Downing was 16 Woodbourne Road, a large house in Edgbaston. The house is situated within two miles of both the centre of Birmingham and the Downings’ Maltings in Smethwick. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 March 2021 by JJ Morgan

Joyce Mabel Foulds

Joyce Foulds was born in 1913, the daughter of a surgeon in the Royal Army Medical Corps. She married Archibald Agard Evans on 20 Aug 1938. Continue reading →
Last updated on 10 February 2021 by JJ Morgan

Hélène Fruytier (née Cordier)

Hélène Cordier was born in 1917 and spent time in England in 1936 and 1937, some at the home of the Downing family. She became a lifelong friend of the eldest daughter Pamela Downing. Below are some photos that have survived. Continue reading →
Last updated on 22 May 2021 by JJ Morgan

Aileen Mary Moriarty

Aileen Moriarty was a nurse, who served alongside Molly Evans and Clarice Molloy at the Queen Alexandra Hospital at Dunkirk, 1917-1918. Her father Arthur Stephen Moriarty, an Indian Civil servant, had died in 1900 when she was five. The Moriartys were Oxford educated, half Irish, born in France and Catholic. Aileen’s uncle, Louis Martin Moriarty (1855-1930) was French master at Harrow School and seemingly the only teacher who Winston Churchill got on with! Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 March 2021 by JJ Morgan