This is not the actual mystery, though. I get to that in a moment, but first a bit about the bride and groom. The dress was worn by Ethel Florence Silvina Jarman, born 1905 in Pimlico, just north of the Thames, the only child of Robert Lewis Jarman, a decorator, and his wife Emily Frances Neale. Some time before 1911, the family moved south of the river to Battersea. In 1923, Emily died and Ethel who was just 18 took on her mother’s housekeeping duties.
Ethel’s husband-to-be, Harold Victor ‘Jack’ Hoare was born in 1900 on the Isle of Dogs. His father Jacob worked for ‘His Master’s Voice’ (HMV), one of the labels of the Gramophone Company, where he was electroplating the master discs used to produce phonograph records. By 1918, the Hoare family had moved to Wandsworth right next to Battersea. Jack followed his father, becoming a process engraver, producing printing plates using a large camera. He even appeared in an advertisement for his company!
By the early 1920s Ethel lived in Shelgate Road and Jack in Chivalry Road, practically around the corner from each other. They might have seen each other in the street, or they might have met at ‘church socials’. St Mark’s Church on Battersea Rise, where Ethel and Jack married on 27 June 1925, was only a few minutes walk from either of their homes.