The Brownleader family in the novel ‘Two Trees‘ is based on my paternal grandparents and their family who lived in Wednesbury in the West Midlands, UK; like Edward Brownleader in the novel, my grandfather ran a bakery shop. The photographs below provide some idea of the family and the inspiration for the characters in the novel set in the period 1918-1919.
While family members provide the inspiration for the novel all dialogue, composition and character studies are fictional
My paternal grandfather, Richard Greenhough 1871 -1949
In ‘Two Trees’ the character of Edward Brownleader is based on my paternal grandfather
My father, Charles Edwin Greenhough 1897-1954
This photograph was probably taken c1917 when my father was 20 years of age
In ‘Two Trees‘ the character of John Brownleader is based on my father
The Greenhough Family c1917
Frank; Charles; Mary;
Mary; Phyllis; Richard;
Frank 1904-1994; Charles 1897-1954; Mary 1900-1988; Alfred 1899-1977
Mary (Grandmother) 1875-1960; Phyllis 1911-1981; Richard 1896-1963; Floss 1903-1997; Richard (Grandfather) 1871 -1949
In ‘Two Trees‘ the family are represented by the following characters: Father Richard (Edward); Mother Mary (Ellen); Richard (Tom); Charles (John); Alf (William); Mary (Sarah); Floss (Rebecca); Frank (George) and Phyllis(Hannah).
In Chapter Two of ‘Two Trees’ the Brownleader family have a photograph very similar to the Greenhough family picture above; in the novel John takes a copy of this picture to the Western Front and subsequently it finds its way into the hands of the enemy.
The Three Greenhough Sisters
Floss, Phyllis and Mary; this photograph was probably taken around 1917
In ‘Two Trees’ the respective characters of Rebecca, Hannah and Sarah play significant roles; the story is seen through the eyes of both Hannah and George at key points in the novel.
Alf in his Royal Flying Corps (RFC) uniform ; the RAF was formed out of the RFC in 1918
In ‘Two Trees‘ the character of William is based on Alf
In Military Uniform
This photograph was probably taken in c1917 – the seated character is unknown; standing centre, Charles in the uniform of the Welsh Guards; standing right, Alf in the uniform of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC)
Charles and Frida Greenhough
My father with his first wife Frida (c1898-1947); they were married in October 1921. Frida died in June 1947 – this photograph was probably taken sometime in the 1940s.
In ‘Two Trees’ Frida was the inspiration for Ada and Henry and Eva Bailey are based on Frida’s parents.
Charles and Joan Greenhough
My father with my mother on their honeymoon in 1948; my mother is not featured in ‘Two Trees’.
(All photographs GJG archive)