Mauled English: the fate of James Brabner

With over two decades of experience in researching family history records I really should have seen it coming:  ‘Colonial Maul’  as a death cause for my  ancestor’s brother instead should have read ‘Colonel Maule’, and it was actually the  name of a ship. It had started off as a  really exciting day to finally find a reference to James Brabner, the missing … More Mauled English: the fate of James Brabner

A Grave Matter: Booley family plot at Ballarat’s Old Cemetery

A grassy single plot within the Ballarat  Old Cemetery hides the heartbreak of an immigrant family who fled political unrest in England to seek a new start in colonial Australia,  the proposed new  land of opportunity, health and wealth. No gravestone exists in this  country cemetery  in Victoria’s west to count the mounting death toll as  Suffolk-born Robert Francis Booley (1829-1875) … More A Grave Matter: Booley family plot at Ballarat’s Old Cemetery

Mystery Ballarat School unravelled as Preston Bell School #4309

There is growing accord among the historians at least that our mystery 1938 Ballarat ‘Bell School’ photo   is instead the every well known ‘Bell School’ in  Melbourne’s northern suburb of Preston. In the absence of any evidence that a Bell School ever operated at  Ballarat,   I have to agree with one experienced historian  who says I have … More Mystery Ballarat School unravelled as Preston Bell School #4309

Way To Go! Art Remembering: Warrnambool Impressions of Tom Humphrey

In 1925 a grieving widow donated art works to Victorian galleries in the hope her late husband would not be forgotten, and though that’s pretty much what  happened Warrnambool however, has a special way of remembering talented Australian Impressionist Tom Humphrey (1858-1922). Warrnambool’s Art Gallery  (WAG) is set to rehang Humphrey’s formative work The Way To School’ … More Way To Go! Art Remembering: Warrnambool Impressions of Tom Humphrey

Enterprizing replica-ship at Warrnambool

Watching the replica tall-ship Enterprize tack its way today out of Warrnambool’s Lady Bay  is a stark reminder of  the dangerous conditions  Europeans experienced voyaging aboard small-ton vessels bound for Victoria’s coast. There seemed a fair swell up though the Enterprize left Lady Bay in what is relatively calm conditions for this stretch of the coast, … More Enterprizing replica-ship at Warrnambool

‘Camperdown Cruise’ Rockabilly Weekend Delight

Over the last four days Camperdown in Victoria’s south-west has been packed with visitors streaming in for some retro-fun, proving its Camperdown Cruise Rockabilly Weekend a draw-card festival event. Think 50’s pin-up girls, burlesque and rock ‘n roll shaking off winters’ blue in an colourful October-fest! Its a perfect and somewhat rollicking introduction to summer in … More ‘Camperdown Cruise’ Rockabilly Weekend Delight

They were only boys: WW1 Private Thomas Chettle 3rd Rfts 14th Battalion

A ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ is just one of the few mementos John Thomas Chettle’s family have as a keepsake of their Australian soldier who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War 1. Like some 8,709 other Australian soldiers Private Chettle never made it home.       Melbourne realtor Mark Wood said his grandmother … More They were only boys: WW1 Private Thomas Chettle 3rd Rfts 14th Battalion