My family story in 10 objects

Object 1: Louis Walford’s match case

This little match case belonged to my great-grandfather, Louis. My grandma was his middle child, with two older and two younger brothers. He died when she was only seven, and her youngest brother was only three. We have a picture of him, but as a family we only had a very sketchy idea who he was – my grandma died when I was only eight so although I remember her, I don’t remember her ever talking about him.

I’ve always had a fascination with him; he “married” my great-grandmother Lois, after whom I was named, and I was intrigued from being a child by the similarity in their names, Lois/Louis. He was born Louis Moses in Tasmania, but he and his brothers changed their names to Walford, and that is the name our family had… although, actually, Louis and Lois didn’t ever marry. How very brave of them in the 1880’s – how very brave of her. They didn’t marry because he came from a very observant Jewish family, and she was Christian. I have found out a little more about Louis through my family research… but there are still many unanswered questions.

Maybe it isn’t a match case, but it is made of snake or lizard skin and I just wonder if it is something Louis brought with him from Tasmania. The picture above was painted in Tasmania, and maybe Louis had his little case in his pocket, maybe he had a cigarette or cigar case too – maybe they matched the little item I have. I won’t ever know…


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