Who Is Sylvia? [1961]


Fred Pitter brought up two girls, Vi and Meg, as his daughters. On his death bed he admits he kidnapped one of the girls as a baby from Lady and Lord Davenford – but he dies before establishing which one. Lady Davenford adopts both girls in the hopes of finding out which one is her daughter, Sylvia.  Lady Davenford’s niece turns up under the pretence to help with the unruly girls, but actually wants to ensure her inheritance isn’t threatened.

who is sylvia (61)


  • Not to be confused with the story of the same name that appeared in 1968 “Who is Sylvia


  • Who Is Sylvia?–  Judy: #56 (04 February 1961) – #71 (20 May 1961)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #1050 (23 February 1980) – #1065 (07 June 1980)


14 thoughts on “Who Is Sylvia? [1961]

  1. I absolutely loved this story and it was certainly my favourite Judy one and one I remembered. It kept the reader guessing till the very last page. Who out of those two little terrors was the Lady’s daughter. I got it wrong!

  2. Lady Davenford had adopted two little girls, Vi and Meg Pitter, both of whom believed they were sisters. Lady Davenford thought that one of them was her real daughter, Sylvia, who had been kidnapped as a baby. The girls’ rascally uncle Clem turned up with a girl he claimed was the real Sylvia, but Vi and Meg found ‘Sylvia’s’ mother and rescued her from drowning. Clem drove the two girls and Lady Davenford to the Pitters’ house, but when he tried to do a bunk, a policeman stopped him, and Vi took a letter written by Clem’s brother out of Clem’s pocket in which it said “Vi is my real daughter, but the girl called Meg is actually Sylvia, who was kidnapped by me from Lady Davenford as a baby.” Although Vi walks away from Meg, claiming that she wouldn’t want her now, Meg said “Don’t be daft! We’ve always been sisters! Lady Davenford hugged the two girls and said “I love you both like my own daughters! We’ll all go on living together just as before, Vi and Sylvia!” Frankly a rather complicated denouement for this early hour of the morning. I hope this summary makes sense, Laura.

  3. Well of course it would, but under those circumstances the serial would have been over and done with in a complete. On reflection, no bad thing. I’ve already ruled it out of contention for a place in my forthcoming book BUNTY AND HER SISTERS : The Great Stories.

    1. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the full range of stories you have selected for your book. Is the projected release date 2019-2020?

      1. Yes, and there will be a companion volume to follow for serials for boys with the title ADVENTURE AND HIS BROTHERS : The Great Stories. Given that I am retired, it should be possible to write one in 2019 and the other in 2020. I have mentioned these plans already on the ComicsUK website, but they will bear repeating here. To avoid repeating the story titles at the end of the books, and of course to save paper costs, they will be presented in alphabetical order. In THIS WAS THE WIZARD I restricted the length of each synopsis to three lines, which allowed exactly thirteen to a page. For these next two books I am not currently planning a similar restriction, but the length of the books does rather depend on exactly how many stories I feel able to class as great. The fact that I will be paying for the printing and binding will absolutely not be a reason for limiting the number selected. If in my view a serial is good enough for inclusion, it will not be excluded. Another issue I need to consider is the disparity between the number of girls’ story papers and those for boys. In both cases only the fiction from D. C. Thomsons will be investigated, and there are twelve titles for girls, THE BLUE BIRD, BUNTY, JUDY, MANDY, DEBBIE, DIANA, EMMA, NIKKI, TRACY, SPELLBOUND, M&J, AND SUZY, but eighteen for boys, ADVENTURE, THE ROVER, THE WIZARD, THE HOTSPUR, THE SKIPPER, THE NEW HOTSPUR, THE VICTOR, BUDDY, SPIKE, THE CRUNCH, BULLET, CHAMP, THE VANGUARD, WARLORD, THE WIZARD (PICTURE VERSION), THE HORNET, THE RED ARROW, and SCOOP. Quite how I am going to get the right balance I don’t yet know, but I will figure it out.

          1. THE BLUE BIRD was a short-run text story paper for girls that ran for 100 issues from October 1922, at which point it was consumed by MY WEEKLY. Its name would resurface in DIANA 31 (September 21 1963) when her editor first introduced THE DIANA BLUEBIRD CLUB. I imagine that it could be fairly rare to find copies of issue 31 that haven’t had the membership request form cut out. It had the same narrow shape that Thomsons had used for ADVENTURE in September 1921 and THE ROVER in March 1922, and would also use for THE VANGUARD in 1923. THE WIZARD had the wider shape from its first issue in 1922, as would THE SKIPPER in 1930 and THE HOTSPUR in 1933.

          2. Not one I was familiar with either, though haven’t looked at much text story papers, I know more of the ones that became picture story papers after like Girls’ Crystal

  4. I’d forgotten a lot of these details. But I remember that Vi turned out to be good with horses so Lady Davenport thought it might be Vi. Then another week Meg would display some family traits. I certainly thought at the time it would be Vi or even neither of them in the end. I remember thinking it was a bit of an unlikely ending with everyone living happily ever after. I took these stories very seriously!

  5. That is exactly what the writers expect of their readers, Laura. Can I please introduce you to a pinch of salt to take, in order to remind you not to take everything at face value? In any case, the story wasn’t very good, in my opinion. Maybe it was a filler because the writer or artist of the serial they did want to use hadn’t completed his/her work on it.

  6. It is all personal taste, I admit I do like these type of stories, this along with Who is her Ladyship? (Bunty) and Double Trouble (Mandy) had me guessing who would be the real daughter. Interesting they all resolved in different ways. This story where everyone finds the truth, is contrast to Double Trouble where the father gets evidence of which girl is his daughter but decides to burn it without looking as he considers both his daughters. In someways it must have been frustrating for the reader to never get a definite answer!

  7. I even thought the father could have lied in the letter so convinced was I that it was Vi and not Meg. I liked this type of story too. But it would have been awful not to get an answer!

  8. It is probably worth pointing out here for comparison purposes that the 1968 serial ‘Who Is Sylvia?’ that lorrsadmin says should not be confused with the serial with the same title that appeared in 1961 and 1980, ran in JUDY 418 (January 13 1968) – 426 (March 9 1968).

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