Whatever happened to 
the Hildreths?

COUPLEDOM ... were Mr and Mrs Hildreth newlyweds during the First World War?
COUPLEDOM ... were Mr and Mrs Hildreth newlyweds during the First World War?

the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War has brought renewed interest in photographs from that era.

But even where they appear in your own family album, the people concerned, and their story, may be only dimly known.

Sometimes, aspects suggest themselves.

There is a certain poignancy, for instance, in looking at this picture, which is another from Kevin Blair.

It was taken by South Shields photographers Emmett’s, and it makes me wonder if this young couple were newly married.

There is a certain pride behind the signature, “Sincerely yours, Mr and Mrs J Hildreth.”

Who they were, I don’t know. That he was with the Royal Artillery is about as much as is known. Did he survive the war?

I can find a J Hildreth who was killed in the spring of 1918 while serving with the 1/3 Northumbrian Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, but it would be a leap to say it was the same person.

By the way, if you have a photograph from the Great War – or any other that you’d like to explore – you’re invited to take it along to the monthly meeting of the South Tyneside branch of the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society (NDFHS), on Wednesday, January 21, at St Hilda’s Church visitor centre in Shields, at 7.30pm.