Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Keith's chair

I've always liked these photos of Uncle Keith in his high chair. I wish we still had the chair because it looks pretty amazing but it was probably destroyed when the family's home was burnt down about 15 years later. The chair has wheels and a wheelbarrow-type handle, adjustable height mechanisms, decorative bibs and bobs ... and would be a horror to clean!! The seat doesn't look very comfortable either but Keith isn't complaining. The photo was taken in about 1926 in Victoria, Australia.

Keith Phelan in his adjustable high chair
Keith in his high chair
This post has been in response to the Sepia Saturday theme photo of two women in Belgium in 1914 carrying a painting and dismantled furniture to a safer area. I couldn't find a 'painting' photo in my albums to match so I chose to highlight the furniture instead.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sepia Saturday: The day we saw the Queen

Queen Elizabeth. (Image held by the Genealogical Society of Victoria)
In February 1954 I was a student at a one-teacher rural school in country Victoria called Homerton. There were only about twenty students at the school, ranging in age from five to fifteen. I had turned five years old in November, received a new little bike for Christmas and started riding the five kilometres to school each day with several girls who lived on neighbouring farms.

I have a few vague memories of that time but one thing I do remember is when all of the school went to Hamilton to see the Queen. Hamilton was about 60 kilometres away but I don't remember how we got there - probably our parents took us in cars, We dressed in our best and, with 13 000 other children, sat on Melville Oval waiting for the Queen and Prince Phillip to arrive. I remember seeing the car drive past in a flash and seeing the Queen wave and then she was gone. It was all very exciting but I wonder if we even knew what it was all about. I wonder if I'm in the photo below, one of the many children waving a flag.

The Queen's visit to Hamilton, Victoria. (The Age, 27 February 1954)

This post is my response to the Sepia Saturday theme photo that shows Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret dressed for a pantomime performance. Happy birthday Queen Elizabeth. You might like to see how others responded by checking out the website.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dorothy's war

With ANZAC Day approaching I thought I'd write about my grandmother, Dorothy Wyllie.

Dorothy was a teenager, a young woman, at the start of World War 1. She lived with her parents in rural Victoria at South Ecklin near Cobden and she had a lot of relatives in Western Victoria as well, her mother's siblings and their families.

In 1916 Dorothy married Allan Wyllie and moved to the Wimmera area of Victoria where Allan was a farmer.

Dorothy Wyllie nee Taylor
So how is this relevant to ANZAC Day? Dorothy didn't go to war but a lot of her relatives did. Some came home, some came home injured, some didn't come home. She, and many other women like her, waited at home, worried, wrote letters, joined the Red Cross and organised packages to send overseas and ran a home and raised her family on the farm.

This is a long list of Dorothy's close relatives who served in World War 1 and World War 2.

World War 1

Brother: James William (Bill) Taylor. Bill served in 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion in France and returned to Australia 1919.

Brother: David Edgar Taylor. David served on Gallipoli and France and was killed in action at Pozieres, France 5 Aug 1916.

Brother-in-law: William Angus Wyllie. Angus served in the Middle East then France with the 58th Battalion. He was wounded in action and sent to England for treatment to a gunshot wound in his shoulder. He rejoined his unit in France, was wounded a second time and again sent to England. He returned to Australia 1919.

Cousin: Francis George Brown was a private in the 9th Light Horse. Served in Gallipoli, France (wounded in action) and the Middle East. Returned to Australia 1919 an invalid. Two half-brothers (Jack and Gordon) also served.

Cousin: John Henry (Jack) Brown. Jack was a private in the 60th Battalion and served at Gallipoli and in France. He was killed in action at Fleurbaix, France on 19 July 1916.

Cousin: Lindsay Gordon (Gordon) Brown, Jack's brother. Gordon enlisted under a false name using his mother's surname, Cooper. He was a private in the 29th Battalion and served in France. He died in France of influenza on 27 November 1918, just after the war ended.

Cousin: William Herbert Maskell. A private in the 14th Battalion. He enlisted in 1914, served in Gallipoli and the Middle before being transferred to France. He was sent to England suffering from shell shock and was sent home to Australia in 1917 an invalid. He was Mentioned is Despatches for bravery at Pozieres, France in August 1916.

Cousin: Stanley Gordon Maskell, William's brother. Stan was a private in the 58th Battalion. He served in France and was wounded in action (gassed), wounded a second time (gunshot wound to a knee). After being transferred to a hospital in England he was invalided home to Australia in 1918.

Cousin: John James (Jack) Brown. Jack was a private in the 38th Battalion and served in France. He suffered from trench feet and was eventually sent back to England to recuperate and take furlough before returning to France. He was shot in the arm and was sent back to hospital in England. He was sent back to Australia as an invalid.

World War 2

Brother: Leonard Allen (Allen) Taylor. Allen was a sapper in the 2/16 Army Field Company and served in the Middle East and Asia.

Son: James William Wyllie. Jim served in the Middle East and South-east Asia with the 2/1st Battalion in northern Africa and the south-west Pacific.

Son: Angus John Wyllie. Angus served as a Corporal in the 101st Motor Regiment before volunteering to transfer to the 'Z' Special Force for covert operations in New Guinea and the Indonesian islands. He specialised in communication. Invalided to Australia with tropical dermatitis.

Brother-in-law: Charles William Fraser. He was a Corporal in the RAAF, a motor cycle driver. He served in Darwin.

Cousin: David Edgar Brown

Cousin: Geoffrey William Brown. Geoffrey was a Private in the 2/21st Infantry Battalion, captured and held as a Prisoner of War on Ambon. He was executed (beheaded) there in 1942.

Cousin's husband: William Harry Tasman (Bill) WHITBREAD. Bill was a Corporal  in the 2/29th Aust. Inf. Batt. POW on Burma-Siam Railway.

Cousin's husband: Albert William Hampson

Cousin's husband: David Llewellyn Roberts. In the 2/3rd Infantry Battalion. Served in Greece. Captured in Crete. Prisoner of war at Stalag Hammelburg 13C (XIIIC), working on railways. Flown to UK 10 Apr 1945 and returned to Australia in May 1945.

And, as well, several family members including her brother-in-law Angus Wyllie, served in the Citizen Military Force for the duration of the second World War.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Hotel holidays

Just before the second world war, in 1938, the Phelan family (grandparents Roy and Annie, and Roy's siblings Gib and Ina) went on holiday to the island state of Tasmania across Bass Strait from Victoria. This involved hauling their car on board a ship, a much more tricky process than the drive-on ferries today. But it must have been worth it because they then had a vehicle to drive around the state.

Loading the car on to the 'Taroona' at Beauty Point after the holiday.

Several of the photos taken on the holiday are of the hotels they stayed in.

The Rainbow Chalet is in a most beautiful part of Tasmania, high up on a plateau, right beside a very big lake called Great Lake. It is an area that wasn't settled by European farmers because of the harsh climate and inaccessibility but it's been a popular fishing spot, especially since trout were introduced to the lake. It is still a sparsely populated area but there are a few fishing shacks along the edge of the lake and tourists find their way there as well. I was there about ten years ago and remember it as being very beautiful and the plants were fascinating as well. Unfortunately the Rainbow Chalet, apart from a few outbuildings, no longer exists because it was destroyed by fire at some stage. The yellow star on the map below marks the position of the chalet at Breona.

Gib Phelan beside the car, Rainbow Chalet, Breona, Tasmania
Great Lake, Tasmania
Advertisement in Advocate (Burnie) 17 March 1934
Postcard exaggerating the appeal of the Rainbow Chalet.
Source: Tasmanian Philatelic Society forum.
Advertisement in The Mercury (Hobart) 15 Jan 1938.
Another hotel the family stayed in was at St Helens on the east coast of Tasmania. It was called the Bay View Hotel and, as the name suggests, is right beside the bay. The hotel was refurbished in about 1977 and renamed the Bayside Inn and it still exists.

Loading the car, Bay View Hotel, St Helens.
Advertisement in the Examiner (Launceston) 18 Oct 1938
Bayside Inn as it is today.
Source: booking.com
This post has been in response to the theme suggested by Sepia Saturday. It's of a small inn in Cornwall, England. I suggest you follow this link to see what others may blogging about in response.