Laurel Bank Football Club - 1912 - Comber, Northern Ireland
This is such a great photo and it was a nearly miraculous way that it came to our attention and the subjects were identified. Kim was surfing the net last weekend - he was on the Comber Historical Society website and was wishing that he could go back to Ireland again. (That place really tugs on his heartstrings and calls him back. Once you visit Ireland, I believe that you'll always want to return.) Kim noticed that there were some new photos that had been posted. He was showing some of them to me and we chatted about them. When he saw this photo, he remarked that he thought he saw his grandfather in the photo. He said that his grandfather was on the top row.
(The following incident can only be understood if you, too, have been married a long time and are getting older.) I misunderstood and thought that he was referring to the person that was the second from the right. I said that the person looked like a Todd, but it was most likely a brother of Kim's grandfather and not actually HIS grandfather. We had a little discussion and I told him that maybe he was just wishing too hard and wanted it to be his grandfather - that sounds pretty mean of me - but I did say it. Then I noticed that the man in the cap on the far right looked like a Barry. Kim said that he would e-mail our cousin Sam in Ireland and get his opinion on the photo. It wasn't until the next day when I actually read Kim's e-mail to Sam that I realized that the man who Kim thought was his grandfather was the THIRD person from the right! When I finally focused on that person - YES - I could see that it HAD to be Kim's grandfather. Sam e-mailed back that he thought the man at the far right was William Barry (Sam's grandfather) and that he would e-mail a contact at the Comber Historical Society to see if they had a way to identify the subjects. We were very excited to have Sam's next e-mail saying there were 2 Todds in the photo and 1 Barry. The 3 people on the back row at the right were J Todd (Kim's grandfather-John Todd), H Todd (John's brother Hugh Todd) and W Barry (Sam's grandfather William Barry). Amazing!
This world is getting smaller all the time! To think that a photo from a little Northern Ireland town would make its way to us, that Kim would look close enough to recognize his grandfather and that we could get confirmation of the identities of the subjects (thanks to Sam) is just amazing.
In this photo, John Todd is approximately 18 years old. Hugh Todd is approximately 16 years old and William Barry is approximately 25 years old. John Todd and William Barry certainly didn't know in 1912 when this photo was taken that in 11 years they would become brothers-in-law. John Todd would marry Christina Barry (William's youngest sister) in 1923.