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Jack Farnham (1890 to 1930)

John Adrian George Farnham, known as Jack, was born in Quorn on 5th March 1890. He was the only son and second child of William and Catherine (Pussy) Farnham; the Farnhams being Quorn’s principal family and local squires. His parents were first cousins and although Jack was 6 foot 4 inches tall and very good looking, he suffered from a congenital heart defect, possibly due to the close family relationship of William and Catherine. When he was only a toddler, Jack’s father was declared bankrupt and was committed to an asylum, having lost the considerable family fortune. As a result the Farnhams had to move out of Quorn House on Meeting Street, and Jack spent most of his childhood at Witley Heights in Surrey.

Due to his heart condition, Jack could not fight on the front line during WW1, but he joined the Army Service Corps, which is the uniform he is wearing in the photograph. With the family fortune having disappeared, he would have been encouraged to marry a lady of means. On 1st February 1913, 22 year old Jack married 20 year old Elizabeth Doris Swinfen-Broun, (known as Elsie) at St Peter’s Church, Pimlico, London. She was heiress to the Enos fruit salts empire. The marriage wasn’t successful and after five years Elizabeth left Jack. He gave her grounds for divorce, although at the hearing, the judge left them in no doubt that he knew Jack's 'evidence' was contrived. The couple had no children.

In 1926 Jack married again. This time his bride was Lily Edith Powell. Her family were well-to-do and comfortable, but were not exceptionally wealthy. In 1927 Jack and Lily had their first child, Edward George Adrian Farnham (known as George), followed three years later by twins, Ronald and Judith.

Jack died of a heart attack on 24th September 1930, aged only forty. He left a young widow, a young son and the twins, who were only a few months old.

It took a 500 mile (cold and wet!) round trip to bring this brilliant photograph of Jack back to Quorn. The photograph was taken by renowned society photographer, Alice Hughes in 1918. Her work is exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, and she is particularly well known for photographing women. It is unusual to find her photographing men.

A huge ‘thank you’ to Debbie, who contacted Quorn Village On-line Museum and enabled this excellent photograph to be returned to Quorn!

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 Submitted on: 2016-11-22
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 1960
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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