Dear Little Bertie

Titanic Survivors

Most people know the story of the Titanic and the Iceberg.  This week Sepia Saturday gave us  a photo pf two young orphans who survived the disaster.

They are

Louis and Lola.

My family had a different kind of sad story with

Alan and Albert



These are my father’s two younger brothers, Alan and Albert Edward Fricke of Apollo Bay, being photographed in 1920.


At the time this photo was taken my father, their older brother, was 16 years old and was only home on the farm at weekends, the weekdays spent boarding in Colac while he attended High School.

Alan was just six and a half months old which would place this photo as early August in 1920.  Bertie of the golden locks was 2 years and 5 months old.

Two months later, on October 11th, 1920, Bertie  died of diphtheria

They talk about people wearing their best bib and tucker.  It looks as though Alan is actually wearing his best “bib” for the photo..

On the back of the photo is written “dear little Bertie”

The photographer was Mendelssohn so the photo was possibly taken on a trip to Melbourne.

For other interpretations of the Titanic orphans go to Sepia Saturday.

14 thoughts on “Dear Little Bertie

    1. Titania

      Little boys were wearing dresses at the time. Sad for the family to lose the two year old to Diphtheria; this contagious disease was still around when I grew up.


  1. Mike Brubaker

    You’ve chosen a perfect photo for the theme with its sad ironic mix of beautiful image and tragic history. Alan does look rather precarious on the edge of the chair and its slightly skewed arrangement could be explained by the hidden mother’s hand. I also think there is someone or something off camera that has just been revealed to the delight of the children.


  2. alanburnett1

    It is a very fine photograph indeed – the composition and the technique. As Mike says it is the combination of beautiful photograph and tragic story that is the essence of the theme this week.


  3. La Nightingail

    There always seems to be some kind of disease going around to threaten children growing up. In my case it was polio. I was in my early 20s when the polio vaccine was made available. I went to high school with a gal in a wheelchair who had suffered polio in her earlier years, and I remember seeing pictures of children in iron lungs. It was scary stuff.



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