The Whitsitt family consisted of father Finlay who was born in 1865, his wife Nana born 1867 (nee Anna Elizabeth Reilly), and their 3 sons Jack born c.1891 (John Reginald referred to as J R Whitsitt), Finlay born 1898 (Andrew Finlay referred to as A F Whitsitt), and Leslie born 1901 (Leslie Montgomery). The boys grew up in their family home in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland.
J R Whitsitt was educated at the Methodist College in Belfast. He reached prominence as a rugby footballer, playing for Collegians F.C, which became the modern-day Belfast Harlequins. He then joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, becoming a Lieutenant by 1914. He tragically died in 1915, aged 24, from wounds sustained during the Dardanelles campaign, and is buried at the Helles Memoria Cemetery in Gallipoli.
A F Whitsitt also joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant, attached to the Machine Gun Corps. He became a Lieutenant by 1918. Some units from the Machine Gun Corps were then absorbed into the Tank Corps. A F Whitsitt became a member of the 9th Armoured Car Company, part of the Tank Corps. The company was active in Northern India (now Pakistan) from 1921–1939, and he was there for a significant part of this, from 1926–1935. He was involved with tank trials both in the UK and in India. These consisted of off-road obstacle trials and water faring trials. He married his wife Noreen (Grace Noreen Whitsitt) in 1933, and she travelled with him between India and Ireland. He was also a keen hunter and fisherman, and took part in hunting and fishing expeditions in India and Ireland. A F Whitsitt died on 16 April 1961 at Westminster Hospital.
The third son, Leslie Montgomery Whitsitt, does not appear much in the collection. He lived most of his life in London and died 11 July 1961 at St Pancras Hospital.