Friday, April 15, 2011

Sepia Saturday 70 : Mr James And The Enigmatic Smile


My picture this week is a portrait if James T Ickringill which appears to have been taken during the First World War. The picture came to me from my fathers' sister, Annie Elizabeth Burnett 1903-1978, and I can remember her talking about "Mr James" towards the end of her life. She was born in Bradford in 1903 and she would have left school and started work in about 1917. Her first job - indeed I have a feeling that it might have been her only job until she got married - was at Ickringill's Mill in Legrams Lane, Bradford. Just how come she had a signed photograph of "Mr James", I do not know, but I can half imagine. By the early twenties she would have been 18 year old beauty. Maybe "Mr James" had left his youth on the battlefields of Flanders, but still he had pasteboard portraits he would hand out to the young mill-girls with a world-weary twinkle in his eyes. I can still remember the enigmatic smile on Auntie Annie's face as she spoke of "Mr James".  Who knows? Sometimes it is better not to know - just imagine.

Smile at the other posts that are taking part in Sepia Saturday 70 by following the links on the Sepia Saturday Blog.


22 comments:

  1. Seems he became an estate agent in Saltaire, or rather his family did.

    Quite an unusual name.

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  2. Enigmatic, indeed. Even more so than the Mona Lisa.

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  3. His eyes are fairly enigmatic as well!

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  4. Sometimes our imaginations make something out of nothing. Other times, they barely scratch the surface. Some very good ground for speculation here!

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  5. Just a smoothie in uniform? I'm probably doing him an injustice.

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  6. I can't decide whether Mr James has a very high opinion of himself, or is simply bored stiff and trying to hide it.

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  7. Maybe she had a crush on him.

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  8. A handsome man with sleepy eyes. Is that what they meant by "bedroom eyes"?

    Happy SS!

    Kathy M.

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  9. I do like the clean cut look of a man in uniform... Me and your Auntie Annie sigh dreamily...

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  10. True could speculate all day and my never hit the right play.

    But he looks very sly, like a certain fox guy..haha, nice post as always, down at the news from nowhere hallways.

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  11. I tend to agree with Pat, he does look a bit sly...........I don't think though he was the typed to kiss and tell....

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  12. That photograph has received some significant "artistic" retouching, by the way.

    James Thomas Ickringill (1897-1980) served in the West Riding Regiment, arriving in France on the 26 May 1917, and with a final rank of Lieutenant.

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  13. I like the idea of sepia Saturday - I have some fabulous old photos of my village that I can post. Thanks for the idea.

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  14. To imagine is to bring life back to the photo; love the sound of the Icking.*&^ills Mills. I can see Mr James handing these out to the young mill girls....whither the camel??

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  15. Bill's right, there is an estate agent in Saltaire with that name. Mr James looks smooth enough to be one!

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  16. I would advise any young ladies to steer clear of his sort

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  17. a mild flirtation? i know for a fact my mom had a few...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  18. I like his tidy mustache and part in his hair. A handsome bloke.

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  19. Very intriguing photo. But with Brett's added dates, the storyline changes.

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  20. A photo would have been a pretty precious thing to share back then! I could completely understand somebody who'd experienced that war leaving mementos of themself with people.

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  21. I'm imagining a school-girl crush, and her absolute delight when she got this signed card from him.

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  22. I wonder how many hopeful hearts received copies of his signed photograph -- and how many broken hearts he left behind!

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