University of Oxford
20 files

Family archives of the Smiths and Holts of Little Lever, Ainsworth and Haulgh, Bolton

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 18:14 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor, b. 1939, has an extensive archive of photographs and letters, some of which are included here. Like many in her position, future care of these may be in question. She brought in a selection to be copied for the project, limited to what she can carry.


Item list and details

1. Judith's own Victory Certificate issued to her at the age of 6 years. 2. Letter of appointment, photograph and complaint letter belonging to Judith Smith's mother-in-law, Sarah Ann Smith, who was an ARP warden in Horwich near Bolton. The photo shows her in the centre with two unknown women at an unknown outdoor event. It seems to be very early in the war judging by the clothing of the women. (1-3 Sara Ann Smith) 3. Series of letters written by Judith's father-in-law Jack Smith, who was a local policeman. The letters are typewritten which Jack Smith did on works paper and the office typewriter! Hence the family had carbon copies of each. These copies have been photocopied and numbered by Judith, and total around 80. They show the Smith's home address in Little Lever near Bolton. 3a 18th October 1939 to Betty and Ted, friends near Lancaster mentioning tooth extraction for son, comments about evacuees and a very rude joke about Hitler: Do you know why Hitler's dad is the best joiner in Germany? - because he made a s***house with one screw...... 3b. 19th November 1940 to Betty in Lancaster (2 photos) - Ted has been unexpectedly called up, viewing bomb damage in Liverpool, passing on used shoes, reference to 33% tax (Purchase tax intoroduced 1940) limiting shopping. 3c 10th January 1941 to Ted, Meat shortages, Manchester/ Liverpool Blitz, 'trip to Birmingham to see the damage', whether as part of job or not unclear. 3d. 24th December 1939 to relatives in USA, Polly and Eddie. Issues with driving in black-out, petrol rationing, family news. 3e. 21st August 1940 to Polly and Eddie in USA, thanking for offer to take care of the children Melvyn and Ronald in the USA for the duration, and declining politely. Measles outbreak, family news. 3f. 11th January 1941 to family friend Peter Seed. Ref to drawings done by Melvyn for Peter, family and friends' news. 4. Photographs of James (Jim) Holt, brother of Ann Smith. He was youngest of eight. All his brothers served in WW1. 4a 9 photos of Jim Holt taken in Holland. Regiment not known. All 7 small photos are mounted on one A4 page but enlarged views of each smaller photos shown, plus one portrait photo (1-9 Jim Holt). 4b. Albert Holt, cousin of Jim Holt, 3 photos taken in Middle East. Regiment not known. (1-3 Albert Holt). 5. Photograph of Peter Seed, family friend of Jack and Ann Smith, enclosed in envelope. The photo has been trimmed out of a group photo. 6. Two Italian postcards sent at Christmas from Peter Seed to Jack and Ann Smith and family (1-4 Peter Seed). 7. Approx A3 size wall poster of British propaganda giving reasons why war was necessary. Full colour, printed maybe 1939. 8. ID cards of Judith Smith's parents, Edith Mary and Edward Percival Buckthorpe of Halgh, Bolton (3 photos, inside, obverse and reverse). 9. Fire Watch register book for Halstead Street, Haulgh, Bolton, from 1941 onwards. because of length of document only 3 sample pages photographed as well as the book cover (plain cloth bound, very oil-stained).

Person the story/items relate to

Jack and Sarah Ann Smith; Peter Seed; Jim Holt; Albert Holt; Edith and Edward Buckthorp

Person who shared the story/items


Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

These people were the contributor's parents, in-laws, family and friends

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID