The Balfours

Andrew and Mae Pun Balfour

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Andrew was naval Attache for the Royal Navy in Siam (now Thailand) and worked with the court of the King as seen in the film “The King and I” – a real enough setting. Mae Pun was a lady in the court and Andrew married her, accounting for the sometimes marked oriental look to the Balfour line of the family. Andrew’s grave is still tended in Thailand and he was honoured at his funeral by 13 elephants being in attendance, an unheard of thing for a westerner.

I have no image of Mae Pun, but hope to find one yet as she was my Great Grandmother on my mother’s side of the family.

Andrew and Mae Pun had three daughters Mary, Alice and Jean and two sons Jack and James.

The essential parts of the tree are that Jack married Minnie Fletcher, sister of Elsie Fletcher (to become a FitzGerald by marrying William Ernest). Minnie was my Grandmother on my mother’s side. So some images to show you some of the Scottish/Siamese side of the family, who were based in Edinburgh in the 1930s, plus a few other connections.

The Fletchers

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Minnie (to become a Balfour), Hannah Fletcher (our daughter Hazel still wears Hannah’s signet ring), Elsie (to become a FitzGerald) and Joseph Fletcher. Hannah and Joseph are my Great Grandparents through my mother and her mother’s line.

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12th November 1954 sees the postman delivering a telegram from the Queen to Hannah and Joseph Fletcher on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. In the background is Alderman Leslie Lever, M.P. At this time they lived in Elesden Road, Anson Estate, Longsight, Manchester.

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19th November 1954 the celebrations continue. Jospeh and Hannah are seated and behind we have William Ernest FitzGerald, Florrie Gaulton. Minnie Balfour, Elsie FitzGerald and Alderman Leslie Lever MP. Joseph was 80 and Hannah was 81.

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The above image was taken at Wolverhampton in 1908 and shows Elsie (circled)

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Minnie and Elsie Fletcher, Norwich, 1912

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Elsie in 1928 as Little Boy Blue, Southport.

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Florrie Gaulton and Minnie Balfour in the 1950s. Florrie was Minnie’s Aunt from Jospeh Fletcher’s side of the family. She lived with us for many years and was my Great Great Aunt. The Fletcher  side of the family originated from the Potteries.

The Balfours

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This is Jack Balfour, the Grandfather I never knew. I wear his signet ring, a bloodstone set in 18ct gold, and have worn it for the last 40 years.

Jack was a dentist, moving into Irlams o’ th’ Height in Salford in the late 1930s. When I was small a dental surgery still ran in the house as the surgery was rented out to various dentists. Jack died before I was born.

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Jack Balfour and daughters Denise and Joan (my mother) on holiday, probably in Crail or Balcomie, where the Balfours spent many a summer along with their friend Alastair Alpin MacGregor, the author/adventurer.

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Kirkmay House, Crail, where the Balfours spent their summer holidays.

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Denise and Joan (my mother) Balfour

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Lesley (daughter of Denise and Gordon Graham) Piekielniak, my cousin, when she was about 14 or 15.

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Minnie Balfour with her friend May Sherratt, one of my very early box camera photos shot in Styal Woods. My Granny would every now and then take me on the 2 hour bus journey to Styal to see “Aunty May” in her little cottage on Styal Road. It had a pantry and a long thin garden down to the stream and the front door opened out straight onto Styal Road. Taken with a Kodak Junior Brownie 620 on Verichrome Pan film.

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Margie Lowe, the daughter of Alice Balfour and Tom Lowe. I mention Margie because I wrote to her throughout my childhood and she was a favourite but never met second cousin. I always think of Margie as this photograph, but in reality when I was writing to her she was an old lady riddled with arthritis. I shall still think of her as this picture, but she is long gone now.