Mystery of ‘forgotten’ soldier’s photo frame found in Limerick

Mystery solider: Why was his photo hidden behind a framed cutting?

Mystery solider: Why was his photo hidden behind a framed cutting?

  • by Anne Sheridan

A LIMERICK woman is continuing her appeal for help to identify a second World War soldier whose black and white photo was found carefully concealed behind a picture bought in an antiques shop in Limerick city more than 20 years ago.

Claire Barrie’s mother Ailish recently uncovered the image, which was “lovingly” wrapped in tissue paper and hidden behind a picture she bought in a shop in the Williams Court Mall in Limerick city in the 1990s.

The frame was opened and it was discovered that the picture was actually a cutting from a Cornish magazine of Cadgwith Cove. The date on this article was September 3, 1949.

Their efforts to identify the mystery soldier, whom they have now nicknamed ‘Sam’ did not yield any leads in the 1990s, but Claire and her daughter Elliemae, aged nine, have captured the public’s imagination through this story by their use of social media websites.

“We have hit a bit of a dead end at the moment, as we don’t have a name. Whether there was a romance there or not, I don’t know. It is anyone’s guess why his photo remained hidden for years, and who put it there. If we found that person it would be a dream come true,” said the Kilmallock lady.

Claire is also seeking information about the name and owner of the antiques shop in the Williamscourt Mall, where Guiney’s shop in William Street now stands.

She is also investigating the theory that perhaps someone from Cornwall moved to Limerick with a beloved item, but has since passed away and that their belongings were given to the shop. Clues from his uniform suggest “Sam” was probably a member of the Royal Artillery. According to a stamp on the picture, it was the work of Jean Weinberg, a Romanian-Jewish photographer based in Cairo between about 1938 and 1948, where he photographed members of the Egyptian royal family. The number on the back of the soldier’s picture is 22496.

The light green wooden frame is from Kensington framers Charles & Co, Practical Framers and Guilders, Pembridge Frameries, in London.




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