Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sepia Saturday : Sometimes You Don't Know


Sometimes you don't know who the subject of the picture is. We all have them. Photos on the margin of our knowledge, faces we don't recognise. A man in uniform stares challengingly into the camera. There is no clue as to who it might be. On the back of the photo the following words are written. "This is from one taken over twelve months ago, he does not look so ill and weary on this. I have had to wait for this one taking off another." It was obviously taken during the Great War. Did he try and stare down death in the same way. Who knows. Sometimes you just don't know. Sometimes you don't want to.

Go to the Sepia Saturday Blog for links to other Sepia Saturday posts.

16 comments:

  1. The set expression, the pain in the eyes. A poignant post, Alan.

    Sometimes you don't want to know, yet I find myself drawn to the 'medal-like' object suspended on a chain. Any ideas about that?

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  2. It does make one wonder who he is and if he survived very long after the picture was taken.

    I have so many pictures of people and have no idea of what their names are and those are just the one that I took. I should have written down who these people were but since I no longer know, then I guess that means that my children have no need to know who they are. Other then in vague terms as to they were just friends of ours at that time in our life. Or they were just in the pic, and I have no idea who they are.

    But with this picture it seems like he should be someone of importance to your family. I someday hope you do find out who he is. So sad if you do not, and he was someone in your family.

    God bless.

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  3. I am not sure I want to know. I figure that his story does not have a happy ending. Very poignant post.

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  4. Martin, Mrsupole, Kabb : Yes, I am torn between the desire to know who it was and to know his story, and the near certainty - from the words on the back, that it will be yet another sad story. Yet, at the end of the day, his story needs telling I suppose - but what was it?

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  5. I'd be compelled to try to find out what this man's story was, too. The ending is what it is, sad or happy or a mix of both, but that looks to be a story that needs telling.

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  6. That actually sent a shiver up my spine. I see exactly what you mean. The word verification is 'costs'. How appropriate.

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  7. Moving little comment on the back isn't it? I think every family has a shot like this somewhere.

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  8. Yes my thoughts of the future and who his family was that received the picture. I have some unknowns that I am going to share some of these days, but nothing like the Great War members.

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  9. He has such a handsome, compelling face. His eyes seem to be questioning somehow. There's something especially poignant and lovely about the fact that so many years later, here you are showing his image with its untold story to the universe, so to speak. Would he ever have believed that almost 100 years after his death, people would be wondering about him? It's so fascinating ...

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  10. And only just a man, by the looks of him.

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  11. oh those last few lines are a bit haunting...nicely done.

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  12. I have quite a few unidentified photos that I've solved in the last decade with the help of people I've met through the internet. Don't give up, Alan!

    He's a handsome guy. His features look a bit like those of the Royal family.

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  13. He Has Haunting Eyes & A Posture About To Run.......But A Gentle Face .

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  14. I agree with Tony & Martin & others about the pained/haunted quality of the eyes. The inscription is suggestive & poignant--thanks for such an interesting post on an anonymous photo!

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  15. Excellent observation, Alan; that is absolutely true.

    I have my unknown up this week, of course.

    Kat

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  16. I wonder if he did survive the Great War and what happened to him afterwards.

    I have found several photos in the family archives that nobody seems to know, perhaps I'll post them one day. It must be awful to know that nobody will remember you after about 3 or 4 generations have past.

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