William Starmer Audas
This is William Audas, known in the family as Uncle Billy. Born in 1882 he trained as an engineer. This photographic portrait was taken when he joined up at the start of WW1 along with his three brothers. I don’t know where it was taken, or the regiment he joined, although I think he was an engineer during the war. He survived the conflict. I knew him and his second wife Hilda (Jieve), but recently discovered that he had been married before. I think it is the sort of thing the family (particularly my Grandmother!) would probably have tried to cover up, certainly we knew nothing about the divorce and I doubt my Mother did either, but it was reported in the Hull Daily packet in 1926.
The photo is taken against a typical photo studio painted backdrop, showing library shelves and a window.
Billy had the typical Audas family collector’s streak, and lived in a very old farm house in the middle of Hornsea on the East Coast of Yorkshire, where we visited him as kids. It was nice to know that he helped preserve a building which after his death became what is now Hornsea Museum (although they have more or less erased all mention of him from their history). This is somewhat tempered by the story that the house would have passed to me in his will had he died after his wife.