Annie Colley💕Eric Hesketh Ross

‘Perhaps before marriage?’ Is my third lucky dip into my Wedding collection ‘with writing’. 

Someone had written on the back of this old photo below: ‘Eric Ross. Annie Colley? Perhaps before marriage Yes!

I have to agree as the photographer was C.F.Wiggins, 63 Talbot Road, Blackpool. So they were very likely on a day trip to Blackpool before their marriage and I found they married on the 27 December 1922 in Chorlton upon Medlock, an area of Manchester just over 50 miles away.

Eric and Annie’s marriage cert. Eric is a Bookkeeper here, later an accountant.

This is a screenshot below showing Annie and Eric’s parents, I’ve not found any children recorded for the couple.

Eric’s parents were James Edwin Ross (1867-1955) who was born on 17 June 1867 in Chorlton, Lancashire and Susannah (Hesketh) (1872-1948) who he had married in 1896 in Barton Upon Irwell, Lancashire. They had four children, Edna Murray, Eric Hesketh, Donald and Norman William. Although Susanna was born in Lancashire her mother Agnes (Murray) (1848-1931) was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Agnes’s parents had moved with their family to Manchester before she was 3 years old. Agnes married William Hesketh on 14 Oct 1865 at St Mark’s Church, Hulme, Manchester. William‘s occupation was an Engine Driver.

James Edwin Ross‘s parents were George Ross (1819-1874) who was born in Hull, Yorkshire and Sarah (Davies)(1827-1898) who was born in Northwich, Cheshire. George Ross was an Organ Pipe Maker and it was nice to see in the 1891 census that after his death his son Frederick was following in his trade (See below). James Edwin was a Blacksmith here in 1891, by 1898 he was a Cycle Agent and then in the 1901 census, he was a Cycle Manufacturer.

Annie‘s parents were William Colley (1870-1926) and her mother was Nancy (Annie) Holland (1874-1913) Here’s William below in the 1891 Census before his marriage to Nancy in 1894. He is in the same trade described as a Coach Striker (Striker. A blacksmith who wielded a hammer whilst another blacksmith held the workpiece with tongs in the right position on the anvil) as his father Jeremiah Colley (1847-1909), who was a Coach Spring Forger (Blacksmith). William is a Blacksmith in the 1911 Census. William’s mother was Emma Charley b1848 she had married Jeremiah in 1867 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

1891 Census

This is the direct link to the small public family tree I have compiled for the family on Ancestry:

The image below is Annie and Eric in the 1939 Register, Eric was an Accountant and the couple lived at 14 Skelton Grove, Manchester.

1939 Register

As Eric was in the right age bracket to be in World War I, I searched for any Military records for him and these seem to be the best match although I can’t be totally sure. Screenshots from Find My Past.

From Find My Past
From Find My Past
badge, headdress, British, Manchester Regiment (INS 854) Cap badge of the Manchester Regiment. The regiment had eight City Pals battalions during the First World War. On 3 September 1914 alone, over 2,000 men enlisted in Manchester. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

Update: Huge thanks to Twitter followers, Deborah Cameron, Prof Peter Doyle and Andy Wade of Men of Worth (link below) for extra information about this super photo and especially about the badge that Eric is wearing, the Silver War Badge:

The Men of Worth website:

Eric died on 7 February 1947 at 108 St Werburghs Road, Chorlton cum Hardy Manchester aged just 49 years old, he left nearly £5,000 to his younger brother Norman William Ross and not to Annie? Had they parted? Annie died in the last quarter of 1955, again not a great age at just 57 years old. Annie died at Barton in Lancashire, not far from Blackpool where this photo was taken.

Are they your family? Can you add to their story? Do please get in touch by commenting here or send me an email at

Till next time then……………

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