Category Archives: Trove Tuesday

Trove Tuesday – Hamilton’s Hero Herbalist

Well it’s Tuesday and that could only mean one thing…Trove Tuesday. It’s been too long.  I’ve read a lot of  the Table Talk newspaper lately, a recent addition to the wonderful collection of Trove Digitised Newspapers.  Because Table Talk (1885-1939) was  a social newspaper, I have enjoyed the comings and goings of Western District folk from those times, spending their holidays with friends or living it up in the “big smoke” as guests of Melbourne’s best hotels.  Alas, my Western District families were not in the same class of people who graced the social pages, but I still enjoy the photos of those from a higher station in life enjoying tennis and golf tournaments and fox hunts all in the finest fashions.

One feature of Table Talk is wedding photos.  I have found several  Hamilton brides, and have admired their beautiful gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses while following the changing trends in wedding attire.  One particular photo caught my eye, mainly because I didn’t recognise the Hamilton  family names as those that regularly graced the Table Talk pages. It was from the marriage of  Caleb Shang and Annie Kassene , celebrated at the home of Mr J. Quing Yen of Brown Street, Hamilton.  The bridal party consisted of members of the Shang, Kassene and Quing Yen families.

shang

TOILET ECONOMY. (1923, May 24). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939), p. 12. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146570075

 

I searched Trove for Caleb Shang and was immediately met with headlines of “War Hero”.  I then Googled his name and there were entries from the Australian Dictionary of  Biography , Wikipedia, the Australian War Memorial and various newspaper articles.  I checked with those sites and the same Caleb Shang married Annie Kassene, but considering Caleb was from Cairns, I was left wondering why he was in Hamilton?

As it turns out,  Caleb served with the 47th Battalion during WW1 and after a battle at Messines Ridge in 1916, he received a Distinguished Conduct Medal(DCM).  In 1918, while still with the 47th, his brave actions at the Somme saw him awarded a Military Medal and a bar was added to his DCM , thus becoming the highest decorated Australian soldier of Chinese descent. In August 1918, he was shot in the leg and returned to Australia where he was given a hero’s welcome by the people of Cairns.

Sometime after his return, Caleb worked as a herbalist and moved to Victoria to practice.  To be precise, he moved to Hamilton, joining another herbalist John Quing Yen who married Maud Elizabeth Wah Shang in Queensland in 1910.  Presumably Maud was Caleb’s sister.  As a herbalist,  Caleb not only serviced the people of Hamilton but also travelled to Mt Gambier offering consultations at a local boarding house, as seen in this advertisement from the Border Watch of September 22, 1922, eight months before his marriage.

Advertising. (1922, September 22). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77677775

Advertising. (1922, September 22). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77677775

After the wedding,  Caleb and Annie did not remain in Hamilton long, returning to Cairns. After a long illness,  Caleb passed away in 1953.

I thought it necessary to find out a little about the bride Anna (Annie) Louise Kassene,  born at Hamilton in 1900.  She was the daughter of bootmaker Gustav Kassene and Hulda Grambau of Hochkirch (Tarrington).  Hulda died in 1901 after the birth of her third child at barely 20 years of age and Gustav died in 1915.  The two Kassene men in the wedding photo are possibly Annie’s two siblings.  Annie died in Cairns in 1955.

 

Sources

Australian Dictionary of Biography

Australian War Memorial

Herald Sun

 

 


Oh No…I Missed Trove Tuesday

After 82 consecutive Trove Tuesday posts, I’ve missed one.  Yes, I just couldn’t get a post prepared this week and I’m a bit sad that it has come to an end.  I really was hoping to get to 100 without a break.  Now that I have broken the succession, it is a good time to say that I will have a short break from Trove Tuesday.

With a lot going on in my life including a rapidly approaching due date for my thesis , I need to take a break.  I will still have a March Passing of the Pioneers post (hopefully in time) and will of course post for the Anzac Day Blog Challenge, which I just can’t miss.  In the meantime, if I get a chance to post I will, but I’m not making any promises.

For Trove Tuesday this week, I intended to share some feedback from my post a few Tuesdays back called “Dear Cinderella”.  It is always a bit nerve-racking when I write about someone, not related to me who people may remember.  I did it when I wrote about Lottie Condon, Sultan Aziz, Elsie Day and again when I wrote about the owners of  Skipton, the 1941 Melbourne Cup winner.  I heard from family members of each of those people, which is great and, thankfully, the responses were positive.

I was lucky enough to receive an email and a blog comment from the granddaughters of Nicholas Dix, Paula and Dallas.  Nicholas was one of the many children that wrote to the Leader Newspaper’s “Dear Cinderella” column.  His description of his farm life in the Western District gives those researching the area a great record of daily life during that time, but for Paula and Dallas it provides a wonderful piece of family history.  His granddaughters on finding my post were “thrilled” to have this reminder of their much loved grandfather who passed away over 30 years ago.

 

CORRESPONDENCE. (1914, June 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 58. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89313857

CORRESPONDENCE. (1914, June 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 58. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89313857

I may have found the article, but it is the work of  those at Trove Australia, bringing us the great resource of digitised newspapers, that led to Nicholas’ letter coming to light.  Without the digitisation program, the letter may have remained buried in an archive, possibly to be never read again.  My aim with many of my Trove Tuesday posts, is to find such lost treasures and bring them out for all to read.  If you would like to read my previous 82 Trove Tuesday posts until I resume them again, follow the link – Trove Tuesday.  In the meantime, I hope that other bloggers continue the Trove Tuesday tradition of sharing Trove’s treasures.


Trove Tuesday – Money Shortage

Still on the subject of Charles James Harman, this is an interesting snippet from the Townsville Daily Bulletin of September 3, 1930.

In the 1920s,  Charles, his wife Lavinia Fisher and daughter Mary travelled to London for Charles to take up a post with the R.A.A.F. at the R.A.F. headquarters.  His position was terminated in 1930 and the family returned to Melbourne.  The world was in Depression and while this was not the apparent reason for Charles’ role ending, it was probably a good time to return home.

According to Lavinia, even if Australians in London had money in the bank they could only access their funds after a 60 day waiting period.  The jewellery had to go with women selling off their valuables, probably at a deflated price, just to get some cash to survive.

AUSTRALIANS IN LONDON. (1930, September 3). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60774888

AUSTRALIANS IN LONDON. (1930, September 3). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60774888


Trove Tuesday – Charlie and Arthur

Newspapers are a great for filling in the gaps in our family histories, uncovering information that would never be known using vital records alone.  That has been the case with my research on my gg uncle Charles James Harman.  The co-subject of last week’s Trove Tuesday post, Charles just keeps popping up in the papers offering me more and more about him.  I had found a lot of information on his post-war life in The Argus, but the arrival of the Hamilton Spectator and the Port Fairy Chronicle at Trove has helped me fill in his pre-war days, spent around Macarthur and Byaduk.

Firstly, I discovered why Charles’ engineering skill was quickly noticed by the A.F.C., with his mechanical crew keeping the No.1 Squadron in the air over Egypt during WW1.  Also, I found Charles had a friend.  Yes, even our ancestors had friends and I’m always keen to find those relationships.  The following article from the Port Fairy Chronicle drew my attention to the working relationship between Charles and Arthur Parfrey, but the letter Charles wrote to Arthur, featured in last week’s Trove Tuesday, proved they were mates too.

Twelve months before this article, Charles was left a widower when his wife Catherine Kinghorn passed away.  Catherine was 10 years older than Charles and 37 at the time of their marriage in 1905. They never had children.

cj3cj4Macarthur Matters. (1914, December 31). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91982808

Macarthur Matters. (1914, December 31). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91982808

By January 1915, Charles and Arthur had their water boring plant up and running and available for hire.  Business was brisk with dry conditions prevailing.

Macarthur Matters. (1915, January 18). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94724361

Macarthur Matters. (1915, January 18). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94724361

 

Advertising. (1915, January 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 6. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119833885

Advertising. (1915, January 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 6. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119833885

But things can change so quickly and with the war escalating, and no family ties, Charles sold up everything in April 1915. On July 12, 1915 at the age of 36, Charles enlisted, never to return to the Western District as a resident again.

Advertising. (1915, April 20). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119839929

Advertising. (1915, April 20). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119839929

The rise of Charles through the ranks with the A.F.C., finishing the war as a 2nd Lieutenant with military honours, led to a posting in London during the 1920s with the R.A.A.F. followed by a life in Melbourne until his death in 1943.  The last half of Charles’ life was a total contrast to the first half.  He went from pigs and dairy cows on the farm at Macarthur to rubbing shoulders with the highest ranked officials in the R.A.F. and R.A.A.F, flying in airships and attending the funeral of the victims of the R101 airship crash at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Other attendees included some of the highest ranked officials in England including the Prince of Wales.  All found out thanks to online newspapers at Trove.


Trove Tuesday – Those Magnificent Men

This is my 80th consecutive Trove Tuesday post but I thought my run would end at 79.  Yesterday I took a tumble and now have soft tissue damage in my knee and after a late night in the emergency department, things weren’t looking good for a 80th Trove Tuesday post.  Thankfully, I had started the post over the weekend, so I thought I would give you what I have so far and finish next Tuesday with the relationship between the subjects in my article, found once again at Trove.

Over the past weekend, the R.A.A.F.  celebrated 100 years of military aviation with an air show at the Point Cook R.A.A.F. base.  So, I thought it was a good time to share an article I found about my gg uncle Charles James Harman, that I found in the Hamilton Spectator when the paper came online in 2013.  Charles was the son of Reuben James Harman and Lizzie Bishop and grandson of James Harman and Susan Reed of Byaduk.  He has had a post here before, about the time he took a flight in the R101 airship.

Charles Harman joined the Australian Flying Corp in 1915 as a flight sergeant and over the course of the war rose to an officer ranking with the No. 1 Squadron of the A.F.C.  He spent most of the war in Egypt and mid-way through 1916, wrote home to his mate and business associate, Arthur Parfrey of Macarthur.  Arthur passed the interesting letter across to the Hamilton Spectator and the paper published  it on September 14, 1916.

The flight he writes of was with pilot  Oswald Watt  as they reached heights of 7000 feet.   Considering the planes the then Major Watt was flying, they were daring.  Oswald Watt’s biography is available to read at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

 

A LETTER FROM THE AIR. (1916, September 14). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133707498

A LETTER FROM THE AIR. (1916, September 14). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133707498


Trove Tuesday – The Oldest Man in Victoria

The intention for this week’s Trove Tuesday post was brevity.  But as often the way, as I investigated my chosen article further, I discovered a few twists and turns.

Mentioned last week, The Australasian has arrived at Trove and I’ve been searching for photos relevant to the Western District.  That is how I discovered Aaron Weller, the subject of a photo in The Australasian in 1897.

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

On July 24, 1897, The Australasian published an article and photograph of Aaron Weller, headlined “The Oldest Man in Victoria”.  A Mr George Baird had come across Aaron, living in the Balmoral area, listened to his story and took a photograph.  Aaron told George he was born in Wimbledon, England on August 11, 1790.  By the 1830s, he was in Tasmania where he worked for the Circular Head Company.  Later in the ’30s, aboard the “Henry” he sailed to Port Phillip, obtaining work as a shepherd with Phillip Rose at his pastoral run “Rosebrook”, near Horsham.  Mr Rose must have felt something for Aaron as, on a trip back to England, Phillip picked up Aaron’s birth certificate.  It was later destroyed in a fire at the “Rosebrook” homestead during Black Thursday, 1851.

After 1851, Aaron was working for Mr Robertson at his property “Mount Mitchell” near Lexton.  With the discovery of gold just south at Ballarat,  all the property’s labourers took off to try their luck, all except Aaron. He was content to stay on as a shepherd and besides, he was into his 60s.  He then headed across the Murray, continuing as a shepherd until he gained employment with Alex McIntosh at his property “Glendenning” near Balmoral where Aaron remained for 22 years.  After the death of Alex McIntosh,  Aaron moved to nearby “Rocklands “and even after he passed the age of 100, he was still chopping wood.

The digitised copy of the article is very faint but you can read it in full on the following link, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803  , but it concluded in this way:

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

So, that’s the story of Aaron Weller.  Well at least I thought it was, but I wanted to know how far past 107 Aaron had lived.  Now, the story becomes sad as Aaron only lived a short time after July 24, 1897, the date of his article’s publication.   The Balmoral correspondent for the Hamilton Spectator reported that almost to the hour the July 24 edition of The Australasian landed in Balmoral, the townspeople were bidding farewell to Aaron at the local cemetery.  According to his wishes, he was buried close to Alex McIntosh, the man who employed him for over 20 years and whom he held in such high regard.

After his death the Horsham Times remembered Aaron Weller through the reminisces of  “Rocklands” owner ,Mr Turnball.  Aaron had told him tales of the Duke of Wellington and Waterloo,  George III and William IV.  Maybe delirious in his last days, he claimed he was off to Melbourne to retrieve a sum of £40,000, the dividend of a £100 investment, money given to him by Angela Burdett-Coutts, a 19th English philanthropist  and her husband the Marquise of Westminster.

The Horsham Times. (1897, August 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73121416

The Horsham Times. (1897, August 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73121416

The Australasian article, probably published without Aaron’s knowledge, was thought to have brought unwanted attention to him.  He had spent 60 years keeping to himself in Victoria, living a simple life with dogs as companions. But he’d been in the papers before,  when he turned 100 and again when he turned 106.  On that occasion, Mr Turnbull  held a celebration in Aaron’s honour    How much Aaron knew about The Australian article, which in no way mentioned his liking for a drink or his pipe, and the resultant public reaction, is unknown but reports after his death suggest he may have had some knowledge.   The Australian responded to his passing,

aw3

TALK ON 'CHANGS. (1897, August 7). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 32. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139745269

TALK ON ‘CHANGS. (1897, August 7). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 32. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139745269

While they said they were not blaming the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) as such, they weren’t exactly shying away from the possibility.  Not so subtle was the Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), a Catholic newspaper that in 1942 merged with the Catholic Press to become the Catholic Weekly.  The Freeman’s Journal was not an official publication of the Catholic Church, but it offered news of a Catholic and Irish nature.

    ACTA POPULI. (1897, September 18). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 8. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115469610

ACTA POPULI. (1897, September 18). Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932), p. 8. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115469610

If the article about Aaron had not been published, would he have lived for another year or two?  Or was his time up anyway?  Looking back at the concluding paragraph of the original article, Aaron was tiring.  Maybe, if the W.C.T.U. did write a letter to Aaron’s guardians, presumably the Turnballs. maybe they too could sense his weariness through his photo and words.

Aaron’s story was interesting.  Interesting enough to see what else could be found.  A search of Australian records at Ancestry.com.au revealed within the New South Wales and Tasmania Australia Convict Muster records (1806-1849),…Aaron Weller, assigned to Mr John Sinclair, 1833.  On to the English records and there was Aaron Weller in the Australian Convict Transport Register 1791-1868, convicted at Kent and sentenced to transportation for seven years.  His crime, listed in the England & Wales Criminal Registers, 1791-1892, was fraud.  Next, across to the Tasmania’s Heritage website and the convict index and there again was Aaron Weller,  transported aboard the Gilmour from London on November 27, 1831, arriving at Tasmania on March 22, 1832.

After all of that, I couldn’t find the age of the said convict, Aaron Weller.  If it was Aaron of Balmoral, he would have been 41 at the time of his departure from England.  I did find one other Aaron Weller, and of Kent, in the UK Land Tax Redemption Records from 1798, eight years after Aaron’s birth.

Back to Trove, and I searched for Aaron Weller through the 1830s and, looking to confirm some of Aaron’s story, I searched for the Henry, the ship Aaron said he sailed aboard to Victoria.  Despite not having any ages to match up Aaron, the results of my two searches found something that may get me a little closer to confirming Aaron Weller, of Balmoral came to the Australia as a convict.  In May 1836, convict Aaron Weller, only three years into his seven-year term, was granted a ticket of leave.  Coincidentally, on July 15, 1836, the Henry, Balmoral Aaron’s ship, sailed from Launceston to Port Phillip.

Classified Advertising. (1836, May 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4176331

Classified Advertising. (1836, May 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4176331

SHIP NEWS. (1836, July 16). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65950241

SHIP NEWS. (1836, July 16). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65950241


Trove Tuesday – The Australasian

Editions of The Australasian Melbourne (1864-1946) began arriving at Trove in early January and since there has been five further updates.  On my first search of the paper, and there are still many issues “coming soon”, I was pleased to find many articles, with photos, that are of interest to me.

The Australasian grew out of the  Weekly Argus (1855), Examiner and Melbourne Weekly News (1857), Yeoman and Australian Acclimatiser (1861), with the first issue published on October 1, 1864.  Later,  Bells Life in Victoria and the Australasian Sketcher (1873) merged with The Australasian.  Sold as a “town and country” paper,  it includes plenty of news from Western District towns.  The Australasian became the Australasian Post in 1946.

There was one photo I was keen to get access to from The Australasian, that of “Bewsall”, the home of Robert Stapylton Bree of Hamilton.  I have searched everywhere for a photo of the house which no longer exists,  but I had seen one in Don Garden’s book, “Hamilton, A Western District History” (1984), sourced, including others in the book, from The Australasian.  Well, the photo of “Bewsall” is now available and you can see it below.

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

The following photo is of Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street, published in 1903.  The Christ Church steeple is in view as well as the black face of the Hamilton Post Office clock, later changed to white.

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

Influence from Bells Life in Victoria,  a  sports newspaper, is present in The Australasian, which has some great sporting photos, including the following from the 1902 Hamilton Golf Tournament.

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

As I page through the many illustrated articles from The Australasian, I can see that there are still many more articles with photos to come from the Hamilton district.  Thank you Trove, for once again providing us with such a wonderful newspaper.


Trove Tuesday – Hong Sip of Cavendish

One of the great things about the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, is that you just never know what is going to turn up.

Over the weekend, Emma posted photos of some old Hamilton Spectators dated Saturday March 11, 1876,  They were a found in the roof of Emma’s house that is undergoing renovations.  One of the photos was of the Dundas Shire Rate valuations for the South Riding.  On the list were my Haddens.  Emma posted a photo of the entire list for and there was another name that caught my interest,  Hong Sip.  I mentioned to the group I would find out more about him and headed to Trove, the first place I go when there are history queries in the group.  As usual I got a result.

In 1869, Hong Sip, a cook, married local girl Margaret Moran.  The Cavendish correspondent was unsure of the name of Hong Sip’s bride, but unlike him, I have access to Marriage records courtesy of Ancestry.  He did however write a lovely account of the occasion and displayed a very optimistic outlook about the acceptance of Interracial marriages.

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

Just to follow-up, I also found this reference to Hong Sip, know as John, after his death in 1885.

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

 


Trove Tuesday – Beasts of Burden

While researching my great great uncle Reuben Edward Harman for the Harman family history I’m writing, I’ve been scouring Trove for everything I can find on the 13th Light Horse Regiment, with whom Reuben served during WW1.  Letters to home from the boys in the trenches are a great way to get a feel for their war experience.  Daily routines, the sights and smells and mentions of other soldiers, either from the same battalion or from the same hometown, can all help our understanding of how our family members spent their time in the armed forces during wartime.

The following extract from a letter by Sergent A.Louis. Dardel of Batesford Victoria, caught my eye because it mentions the donkeys that worked so hard for the Australian troops, and those of other countries, carting supplies and injured soldiers over the rough terrain of ANZAC Cove.  The 13th LHR were at Gallipoli, minus their horses.  They were kept back in  Egypt because the Turkish terrain was not considered suitable for them.  The nimble donkeys were their substitutes.

SERGT. A. L. DARDEL. (1915, December 4). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1857 - 1918), p. 8. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130708312

SERGT. A. L. DARDEL. (1915, December 4). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1857 – 1918), p. 8. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130708312

There had to be photos of the WW1 donkeys, so I searched Trove and found many photos from various sources including the Australian War Memorial and the State Library of Victoria.  The following are selection of those.

This photo was taken before the Gallipoli landing.  The donkeys were purchased on Lemnos en route to Gallipoli travelling aboard the HMT Ascot.

DONKEYS ABOARD THE HMT ASCOT EN ROUTE TO GALLIPOLI, APRIL 1915 P05927.011.002http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P05927.011.002

DONKEYS ABOARD THE HMT ASCOT EN ROUTE TO GALLIPOLI, APRIL 1915 P05927.011.002http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P05927.011.002

This little donkey is the closest I could find to the donkey laden with water bottles mentioned in Sargent Dardel’s letter.

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.  Image No.  P01116.009 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.009

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image No. P01116.009 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.009

No, this is not John Simpson.  In fact it is Pte. Richard Alexander Henderson, a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, leading the donkey.  Later in the war he received a Military Medal.

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no.  P03136.001 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03136.001

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P03136.001 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03136.001

Just as the letter suggests, there was some time out for the donkeys.

DONKEYS AT GALLIPOLI.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H83.103/218 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/43371

DONKEYS AT GALLIPOLI. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H83.103/218 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/43371

Donkeys were also used to pull carts.

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.  Image no. P01116.043 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.043

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P01116.043 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.043

As we draw closer to the centenary of WW1, when we take time to remember those that fought for our country, we should also remember the animals that made the task easier, donkeys, horses and dogs.  They had no choice in being there and not only did many lose their lives, they also worked under extreme conditions.

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no, P02282.012 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02282.012

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no, P02282.012 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02282.012


Trove Tuesday – Dear Cinderella

Back in the 1910s, the Leader newspaper, a weekly town and country paper published by The Age, ran a column for children called “Dear Cinderella”.  The letters, mostly written by country children, tell much about life during those times as seen through the eyes of a child.  I have selected a few of the letters to share this Trove Tuesday, with a couple from the Western District,

While many children wrote letters to Cinderella, only a handful were published each week.  Therefore the children often mentioned the number of times they had previously written, hoping Cinderella would finally pick them.  Most times she gave a short reply as she did with Lawrence McCartin of Leongatha.  Lawrence had told of the burnt bush around his home and about school life.  Cinderella then ticked him off for not giving his age.

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Val Ringberg of Omeo also wrote of fires and some new phonograph records.

CINDERELLA'S MENAGERIE. (1914, May 16). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 59. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89309559

CINDERELLA’S MENAGERIE. (1914, May 16). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 59. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89309559

 

In the following group of letters, Edith O’Neil gave a great description of the shops in Koondrook in 1914, including five fruit and lollie shops with another lollie shop under construction.  You can never have enough lollie shops.

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The following letter from Nickolas (sic) Dix, takes us right into the countryside that Major Thomas Mitchell called Australia Felix.  Nicholas lived at Davos Farm at Wurt Wurt Koort near Merino.

CORRESPONDENCE. (1914, June 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 58. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89313857

CORRESPONDENCE. (1914, June 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 58. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89313857

 

Nicholas wrote about the Wurt Wurt Koort School he attended and his father’s other farm at Strathkellar, near Hamilton.

Because Nicholas’ family lived in the area largely focused on by Daryl Povey”s site Glenelg & Wannon Settlers and Settlement, I thought it worth a search for the Dix family and I found them.  Nicholas was the son of James Nicholas Dix and Margaret Theresa Doyle and was born in Casterton in 1903, one of 14 children. Something interesting I found was that Nicholas’ younger brother was Anthony Strathkellar Dix, named after the location of the other Dix farm.

Even more interesting was that when young Nicholas grew up, he joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1918 and by WW2 he was a Chief Petty Officer and recipient of a Distinguished Service Medal (D.S.M.).  Thank you Daryl for the extra information about Nicholas.  Back to Trove, and I found a photo of Nicholas Dix.  It’s not a clear photo of him, but we can see the little boy from the Western District who wrote to Cinderella in 1914, 30 years later as a 41-year-old Naval Officer.

FLINDERS NAVAL DEPOT—school for sailors. (1944, September 16). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 17. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47502246

FLINDERS NAVAL DEPOT—school for sailors. (1944, September 16). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 17. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47502246

 

Back to the “Dear Cinderella” letters and I love this one from Ellen Bourcher.  She writes about her favourite names for dogs, cats, calves and ponies.

CORRESPONDENCE. (1915, June 19). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 55 Edition: WEEKLY. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91366815

CORRESPONDENCE. (1915, June 19). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 55 Edition: WEEKLY. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91366815

 

Cinderella wrote a longer reply than most, for Annie Hackett of Poowong.  She wondered how the children managed the three mile walk to school after rain, such as that experienced by Cinderella’s daughter during a visit to Poowong.  (first I knew Cinderella had a daughter).

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These charming letters are well worth reading with most found with a search at Trove of “Dear Cinderella”.  If you include a town name, you can narrow the search down.


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