The theme for this week is “I can identify…”
Or rather, I can’t. So frustrating! Trying to identify all the family members in several photos of my father in law’s funeral in August 1953.
Squadron Leader Wiliam Frederick Hoffmann AFC (“Bill”) remained in the British Air Force after WW2, and was on holiday at Penzance in Cornwall with his wife and small son aged 6 when on the 26 August 1953 he saw a woman who seemed to be in difficulties in the water and swam out to rescue her. He lost his life but the woman was rescued.
He was given a full Royal Air Force funeral. Curiously while the funeral was reported in the newspapers, only his widow’s and his father’s names were included among the long list of Air Force dignitaries who attended. (His full story is elsewhere on this website).
So here is one of the photos and an enlargement of the family group.
I can identify some of those in the front row:
In the top photo, In the front row is Bill’s mother Dorothy “Daisy” (Darragh) Hoffmann (1891-1972) and Bill’s widow Joyce “Joy” (Attrill) Hoffmann (1921-1983) with Joy’s father Syd Attrill immediately behind them. Syd is easily identified from other family photos, as are Daisy and Joy. The man to Joy’s left is most likely Bill’s father William Hoffmann (1899-1955), a Belfast hairdresser, and almost obscured behind him, Bill’s sister Yvonne (1918 – 1977) who never married – all are in the front row again in the second photo.
So that’s Bill’s immediate family sorted.
But – who is next? Who is the tall baldish man in the second photo, in a prominent position almost next to Daisy, with a woman (his wife?) beside him. They could be Pearl and Charles Hoffmann (1892-after 1958), Bll’s Uncle, who was a dentist in Leeds. They had no children. But they are wide apart in the second photo, and the woman seems to be more with the tall man with abundant hair – perhaps he is Charles? Less likely one of these men could be Bill’s eldest brother Frederick Hoffman (1886-1975) (he dropped the second n), who went to the USA in 1916. His wife died in 1949. His son Frederick Jay Hoffman (1922-1973) and daughter Marcia were Bill’s only close cousins. I think it unlikely these cousins would travel from USA for the funeral but perhaps their father would?
Or it could be Daisy’s brother William Kendall Darragh (1883-1979) and his wife Charlotte; Bill would have spent his childhood with them. Their granddaughter thinks it is not them, nor their son Brian Kendall Darragh.
Going further back in the first photo, there is an older man with silver hair. He seems to be part of the immediate family group. The older man could not be either of Bill’s grandfathers as both died earlier, in 1933 and 1939 respectively. Could HE be one of the brothers Frederick or Charles??
I think I will leave it there. Below is a composite family tree.