Friday, 20 December 2013

A Christmas farewell

DISTRICT NEWS. (1915, December 31). Maryborough & Dunolly Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 19, 2013, from

George Wilkins (1857 - 1944) was the school teacher at Homebush and married to Charlotte Young (1861 - 1925), my husband's great grand aunt. After Charlotte's death, George married Laura Squires (1878 - 1970).

George Templeton was 22 1/2 years old when he enlisted in August 1915. ) He died in Belgium of wounds received in action at Polygon Wood in September 1917.

Roll of Honour circular from

Wes Rowlands died in July 1916 at Pozieres in France. He was 23 when he enlisted in August 1915. )

Roll of Honour circular from .

There are 19 men called Frederick James who enlisted in World War 1 and I have not identified which of these was the visitor at Homebush.

George Templeton and Wes Rowlands are remembered in the Avenue of Honour in the grounds of the former Lower Homebush State School.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Christmas Gift

Last month I was lucky enough to go to the Melbourne Ring Cycle. In preparing for the event my father uncovered in his library a book of the first two operas.

The book was presented to my great great grandmother Ellen Cavenagh-Mainwaring (nee Mainwaring 1845 - 1920) by her future son-in-law William Edward Blackwood Magee (1886 - 1981). William Magee married Alice Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1879 - 1952) on 14 August 1913 at St Simons, Southsea.

Family Notices. (1913, September 25). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 5. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from

William Edward Blackwood Magee born in Simla in 1886, joined the Royal Navy age 15.

A few months after Christmas 1910, in the 1911 census (2 April 1911) he was aged 25, a Lieutenant (military) on board His Majesty's vessel T.B. 025 - he was first on the list of 8 men - there were also on board a gunner (military), petty officer 1st class, leading seaman, able seaman and three stokers 1st class.  This was a Torpedo Boat 1st class and a tender to HMS Vernon.

Wikipedia tells me that HMS Vernon was a shore establishment or 'stone frigate' of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, two and a half miles from Southsea where the Cavenagh-Mainwaring family lived. Vernon was established in 1876 as the Royal Navy's Torpedo Branch and operated until 1 April 1996. I like the term "stone frigate".

I don't know if TB 25 was this boat "The ship featured a fixed torpedo tube in a "bull-nose" bow equipped with a ram. This shape was glaringly unsuccessful and she had to be altered to a straight bow which caused her to lose her tube".  Perhaps having lost her tube that is why she was a tender.

The book had only just been published but there seems to have been no production of The Ring that December in London based on reviews in The TimesMere speculation of course but perhaps Mrs Cavenagh-Mainwaring went to this concert:

"Music." Times [London, England] 12 Dec. 1910: 12. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.

William and Alice Magee had two children, Richard and Jean - Jean appears to have never married and died in 1996. I do not know anything about Richard.

William Magee died in 1981 in Hampshire. Alice died in 1952.

Monday, 16 December 2013

No 3 AGH (Australian General Hospital) Lemnos Christmas Day

The group includes Colonel de Crespigny, Colonel Green (Sydney), Colonel Stawell, Major Kenneth Smith, Major Sherwin (Melbourne), Major Trethowar (Western Australia), Matron Wilson (Queensland), Major Lockhart Gibson (Sydney), Major Morton (Sydney), and Captain Graham (Sydney).
Photos by A.W. Savage. From The Sydney Mail, 29 March 1916. 

Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny was my great grandfather.  He enlisted in 1915 at the same time as another of my great grandfathers, Arthur Murray Cudmore, and my great uncle Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring. My post about Arthur Murray Cudmore at covered their enlistment and voyage from Australia.

Daily experiences of the 3rd AGH were reported in the Nepean Times through correspondence from Corporal Gates.

From Corporal Gates. (1916, January 8). Nepean Times(Penrith, NSW : 1882 - 1962), p. 7. Retrieved December 16, 2013, from

On 4 November, Colonel Fiaschi, who was seriously ill, was evacuated to London and Lieutenant Colonel Constantine De Crespigny took over as Commanding Officer until the 3rd AGH left Lemnos for Egypt in January 1916. When the 1040 bed hospital closed in Egypt in January 1916, it had treated 7400 patients of whom only 143 had died. (From

Among those staff hospitalised on 6 November was Arthur Murray Cudmore.

The following  photographs of the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Lemnos in 1915 are captioned with original comments by Lieutenent Colonel Sir Trent Champion De Crespigny and  published by the SA Health Services Historical Research Group. From the South Australian RAAMC History Committee

3 A.G.H. was landed on Turk’s Head, West Mudros on 5 August 1915 …
… on a bare and roadless hillside—without tents or equipment, without water-supply other than the tank ships and with only one water-cart each, with no sanitary provision whatever and with little transport other than hand carriage—to prepare for the vast operations timed for the 6th.
Butler’s official medical history, Vol I, p286 quoted by

This photograph has a special interest for South Australia, inasmuch as it shows the late War Lord in conversation with Colonel de Crespigny, of Adelaide, on Lemnos Island, not long before the evacuation of Gallipoli.
A SOUVENIR OF KITCHENER. (1916, July 22). Chronicle(Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 30. Retrieved December 16, 2013, from

WATTLE DAY LEAGUE WAR EXTENSION WORK. (1915, November 18). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 6. Retrieved December 16, 2013, from

FOR THE EMPIRE. (1916, February 5). Riponshire Advocate(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2013, from

Monday, 9 December 2013

Trove Tuesday: Kathleen Cavenagh dressed for a children's ball in 1887

This is Kathleen Cavenagh, my great grandmother (1874-1951), in her costume for a children's ball in 1887. She was dressed as "My Little Sweetheart". 

Seven hundred children attended the mayoral ball at the Adelaide Town Hall on Friday 23 September 1887.  (JUVENILE FANCY DRESS BALL. (1887, September 24). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 6. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from

The South Australian Register described the hall, decorations and many of the costumes in great detail. The article mentions a collection of photographs and the photograph above is one of these.


"My Little Sweetheart" was a song that had been recently published, written by Walter Layton.  The out of print sheet music can be bought (

Kathleen was the sixth of ten children of Wentworth Cavenagh (later surnamed Cavenagh-Mainwaring 1822 - 1895) and his wife Ellen Jane Mainwaring (1845 - 1920). 

Several of her sisters attended as did her future husband Arthur Murray Cudmore and two of his sisters. Children who attended and furnished their cards were listed in the newspaper. For those with surnames beginning with C:

The photographers Wivell &Co. took pictures of children attending the ball and an album of these pictures is in the collection of the State Library of South Australia. The photograph above is at "Kate Cavenagh : age 13 dressed as "My Little Sweetheart"

My grandmother, herself called Kathleen, said her mother was never called Kate. So perhaps she was known by that variation as a child or it was the photographer giving her that diminutive which is in the caption of the photograph.

Eva Cavenagh (1867 - 1941) (title of costume not documented) photograph B7723-68

Gertrude Cavenagh (1882 - 1968) "age 5 dressed as a page" photograph B7723-69

Helen Cavenagh (1877 - 1918) "Nellie Cavenagh : age 10 dressed as 'Patchwork'" photograph B7723-71

Alice Cavenagh (1879 - 1952) "Queenie Cavenagh : age 8 dressed as 'Wee Wifie'" photograph B7723-72

Arthur Cudmore (1870 - 1951) photograph B7723-92. His costume is not described and he is not listed in the newspaper. He is in front of the same background as his future wife.

Arthur's sister Dorothea Cudmore (1876 - 1925) "Dora Cudmore : age 11 dressed as 'Nancy Lee'" photograph B7723-93

Violet Cudmore (1872 - 1947) "Violet Cudmore : age 15 dressed as 'Esmeranda'" photograph B7723-94