Monday, November 24, 2014

Military Monday - More Treasures from Aunty Glad's Suitcase

Aunty Glad's Suitcase
This blog continues on with the story of Malcolm Micheal Shepherd's journey with the 30th and 34th Battalion on the ship Hororata, from Sydney to England, told through they eyes of Corporal Crossingham and illustrated with pictures and postcards from Aunty Glad's Suitcase.

Corporal Crossingham continues with his dry humour, describing visiting the different ports, the joys of being able to buy fresh fruit, along with tales of some very dubious meals on board the ship. As his story continues, you begin to feel a little of their sense of uneasiness of what lies in the future for them, their relief at not being based in the dessert and the impact of their first sight of Gilbralta.

Continuing Corporal Crossingham's Story:

"May 24 –Arrived at Colombo and here we were allowed to go ashore.  Had a route march, and were taken out to the Garrison Barracks where we could purchase any amount of fruit at reasonable prices.  Pineapples only cost 3d a piece, coconuts 3 for 6d, bananas, 1 /- per bunch of anything from 50 t up to 100.  The Y.M.C.A. had a refreshment stall there where one could get cakes 1d each, soft drinks 2d, tea, coffee or cocoa 1d per pot, cold boiled eggs 1d each, and sandwiches 2d. 

 We were allowed to have one beer there, and to make sure we go no more we were issued with tickets which cost 3d without which we were not supposed to get a drink at all, but the boys soon found out that “where there’s a will there’s a way”, with the result that we all had a merry time.  It was very interesting to watch the coolies at work.  They will do almost anything for money.  They are very good workers, and especially when there is a rope end handy.  It was very laughable to watch them having their meals, which consisted of boiled rice with liquid curry poured over it, served out to them on palm leaves, cut into small squares about 12 inches by 12 inches.  Once a day they get a banana as an extra.
Malcolm Shepherd (LHS) and fellow soldiers


May 26 – Left Colombo, when the coolies became very excited, and shouted “good-bye” till they were quite hoarse.

June 1 – Great excitement caused by the announcement that there was a plum duff for dinner  But the shock when it came, I am quite satisfied all our boys do not suffer with a weak heart.  A man dare not show his head above the edge of the table for fear he would draw the fire on himself and when the pieces began to fly they rattled on the ship’s side like bottles breaking on a brick wall.  Someone suggested praying for it, but he was ruled out of order, as we decided it was past redemption

June 3 – Sunday morning. Attended church parade.  Sighted land at noon.  Passed the Bay of Aden on the Arabian Coast on the starboard side and the African Coast on the port. Great interest was shown by the boys watching thousands of porpoises playing about Aden.

June 4 – Sighted a small town called Monkka, which, I was told, was famous for coffee making.

June 5 – passed the Twelve Apostles which is a group of 12 rocks rising up out of the sea.

June 8 – Caught our first glimpse of the much talked of Egypt at 8 a.m.

June 9 – Anchored in Port Suez. At 2 p.m. weighed anchor and entered Suez Canal.  I am told that all troops that came over before us were allowed ashore to strength their legs, but for some reason or other we were not allowed to do so.  It was very interesting going through the Canal.  It is well guarded day and night.  Here and there in isolated spots one can see a small patch of grass struggling for life, or else a few reeds growing on the edge of the canal.  With that exception all one could see was one long strength of sand, white and glistening with camps of troops dotted here and there over the desert.  No one was more pleased that I when we were told that we had to proceed to Alexandria.  The sight of that vast stretch of sand and the temperature was quite sufficient for me.  All the boys who had the bad luck to be stationed there have the sympathy of every one on board our boat.  The Canal is reckoned to be 34 miles long and takes 16 hours to do a trip through, as boats are not allowed to travel any faster than 5 miles per hour on account of the was doing damage to the banks.  Leaving the Canal we came along to Port Said, arriving there about 7.30 am. Port Said presents a very busy scene by what one can see from the boat.  It is a hurry and scurry, small pleasure boats rowing about everywhere.

June 11 – Leaving Port Said we went on to Alexandria.  As soon as we left Port we were ordered to don life belts and were never without them till we arrived at Plymouth.  They were worn all day, and even slept in them.  It was a very queer sensation to wake up the first morning and find a life belt hanging to one’s neck by a piece of tape.  It made one feel as if one had been having a night out, and did not remember what had taken place before retiring.

June 12 – Arrived in Alexandria, which looks similar to Port Said, the only difference being that the buildings do not seem to be so close together, and it is cleaner in appearances.  We were now formed up and marched off the Hororata and around to the Aragon, which had been waiting for us for some days.  There were already about 700 troops on board from Egypt.  When on board the Hororata we were praying for a change of boats.  But what a change it was when we did get it.  We simply wished we were back on board the old home once more.  For we were out of the frying pan into the fire.  We were packed like sardines in a tine and no room for all at that.  It was a good job for us that we did not have a very long time to put in before getting to our journey’s end.  It was very seldom that we got bread that was not sour, and not too much of it either.  The Aragon is a fine boat in appearance, but for tucker and accommodation it has a lot to pull up.  We left Alexandria on the 13th.

June 14 – Passed the Island of Crete at 2 a.m when we were picked up by a new escort.

June 15 – Passed along the coast of Greece following in the wake of our escort.

June 17 – Arrived at the great fortified rock, Gibraltar.  One has only to glance at with its guns bristling from every nook and crevice, and it will be realized what an impregnable barrier it really forms.  Coming in from the sea all one can see is a great bare rock rising up out of the sea with a few guns mounted here and there.  But when the boat comes around the Rock to the entrance and one gets a rear view it downs on one that there is danger behind that great rugged rock." *

Post Card from Aunty Glad's suitcase - Gibraltar

This must have been a formidable sight to the young Malcolm Michael Shepherd, the young "carrier" from the small country town of Braidwood.  You can only imagine the feeling of the unknown and foreboding these young soldiers were experiencing.  

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 *1916 'BOYS OF THE 34th.', The Maitland Weekly Mercury(NSW : 1894 - 1931), 30 December, p. 10, viewed 16 November, 2014,http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128039051

Monday, November 17, 2014

Military Monday - Treasures from Aunty Glad's Suitcase

Among the wonderful collection of pictures and postcards in Aunty Glad's suitcases, are a number of post cards from Malcolm Shepherd and Angus Shepherd, sent to family on their way to and during their service time in WWI.

Malcolm Michael Shepherd was the first of the two brothers, from the small NSW town of Braidwood to enlist and head to Europe. He enlisted on  31st January 1916 at Casula as a member of the 7th Reinforcement of the 30th Battalion  and on the 2 May 1916, left Sydney on the troop ship Honorata with other members of the 30th and 34th Battalion. In this post I would like to share two post cards sent to his family as he started his journey.

To find out a little more about his journey I thought I would search TROVE to see if there was any information on the ship Hororata and the 30th Battalion.  I was lucky enough to come across a number of letters from members of the 34th Battalion who were also travelling on the Honorata. One of the letters from Corporal Crossingham written to his mother in West Maitland, from Lark Hill Camp, Salisbury Plain in England gives a detailed and sometimes amusing account of the journey from Sydney, to Western Australia, across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal to Alexandria then passed Gilbraltar and up to England. Reading his letter home, has really added context to the post cards sent by Malcolm Shepherd and really gives you a sense of the trip these young inexperienced men made to the other side of the world and certainly brings me closer to my grandfathers experiences. 

Corporal Crossingham, writes:*

"May 2. Steamed out of Woolloomooloo Bay at 4 p.m. on board troopship Honorata.  After pulling out from the wharf we anchored in mid-stream.  From then on till we left we put in time saying our last goodbyes to all those who we are leaving behind.  Although all the boys kept the good old Australian smile on their faces, I am sure there were plenty of our chaps who had a tough job to keep a straight face.

After the anchor was weighed and we began to move we had more to occupy our minds.  The first feed that we had on board will long be remembered by the boys of the 34th.  It consisted of frozen zeps (sausages) and dry bread, and the zeps were promptly counted out, and tea was served in the shape of half cooked stew and the proverbial pieces of dry bread.  Between dinner time and tea we were given our hammocks and blankets.  The hammocks had to be folded up with the blankets inside and placed in tins build for that purpose.  All hammocks to be in tins by 7 a.m. every morning.  The sleeping decks had also to be washed out every morning.  The majority of the boys slept on the under-deck hammock hanging over the dinner tables.  Frequently during the first couple of nights one could hear some chaps rising colonial lingo after falling out of bunk, but they quickly became used to them.  As regards to myself, I generally slept up on the deck, rolled in a blanket and waterproof sheet.

Picture of Malcolm Shepherd 

May 4 – We experienced a bi of rough weather, just enough to make some of the boys feel queer in their “little Mary”. 

May 6 – Today we were introduced to boat parade.  A crew of our boys were told off to man the boats in case of emergency, to fall in the respective places allotted to them.  The remainder to fall in below decks and put on life belts.  This parade general lasted about half an hour.

May 7 – There was a medical inspection of all troops on board.  From the sixth to the ninth everyone was very busy writing letters so as to get them posted when we arrived at Albany.

May 9  - Arrived at Albany, were our first mail was posted since leaving he bay.  The mail boat Katoomba came into harbour while were there and left before we did.

May 11 – Weighed anchor and left Albany, passing the troopship Marathon when leaving we were not allowed to land at Albany.  Some of the officers went ashore however.  All port holes were left open, with the result that when a bigger sea than usual came long all kit bags, clothes, etc that were anywhere, within range were treated to a salt water both  The tucker now is a trifle better than at first, although it has plenty of room for improvement.  We get a little butter and jam.  We do not get tea for dinner but are given beef tea instead.  Every third day they issue pea soup that is passable – any rate we get rid of it.  From now on we are to have sports at different intervals for the rest of the trip.

The first to be carried out was a boxing tournament between a number of the boys, on the 13th, which was finally won by Sox McKinnon.  Capt. Spot Spowart throwing the towel in.  Capt. Wheeler was referee, Lieut. Col Lamb and Capt Winn acted as judges.  From the first Sunday out for the reminder of the voyage we had church parade."

(This piece I found particularly interesting because of the post card below, which was sent by Malcolm to his brother Angus.  The post card shows him on the left hand side of the picture in a boxing competition on the ship.)  


Card from Malcolm Shepherd to his brother Angus 

The letter continues with some very vivid descriptions of the food on board the ship!


"May 12 – Crossed into the Indian Ocean.  The food now became very bad owing to the tropical weather.  Sausages were again condemned by the doctor, and beef treated in the same manner, and the steak was absolutely rotten, and refused by the men who at once formed a procession and marched it to the doctor who pronounced life extinct, and a the last post was sounded it was committed to the deep, amid much pomp and ceremony, but it was not finished with even then, for the sharks and albatrosses went on strike, and absolutely refused to follow the boat.  I suppose it was on account of the poor quality of the tucker that was thrown overboard.

May 18 – We passed Cocos Island, but not close enough to see anything of it.

May 22 – We crossed the “Line” and as Farther Neptune did not depart from his usual custom we had him on board, and the fun began.  A canvas tub was fixed up about 10 ft by 10 ft by 3 ft deep, and slung at the four corners from awning spars.  A party of chaps too charge and every man that passed that way received a dip, regardless of what clothes he had on.  Only a few of the boys escaped it.  The only two officers who fell into the trap were Lieut. Bennett and Major Foxall, but they took it all in good part.  At any rate, it was “Hobson’s choice.”

I don't know about you, but I think this letter really brings to life the journey that my grandfather and his fellow troops had embarked on and I look forward to sharing more of this story with pictures from Aunty Glad's suitcase in my next post.  
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*1916 'BOYS OF THE 34th.', The Maitland Weekly Mercury(NSW : 1894 - 1931), 30 December, p. 10, viewed 16 November, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128039051

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - Treasures from Aunty Glad's Suitcase

Treasures from Anty Glad's Suitcase

Earlier this year I was delighted to meet some of my cousins at the "Back to Braidwood 175 Year" Celebration, and to swap and share family photos and stories.  I am sure all family researchers will be familiar with that "thrill" you get when you come across a previously unknown collection of pictures, artifacts, letters or a diary that are related to your family history.  This meeting in Braidwood was certainly "up there" in my family tree discoveries experiences.

My cousin, Stephen, bought with him a collection of family pictures, photos, post cards and artifacts from "Aunty Glad's suitcase" which had been sitting under the spare bed for quite some time.  It put it lightly, I was "gobsmacked" at the bundle of documents that my cousin had to show me. They included a collection of postcards from his grandfather and my grandfather, Angus and Malcolm Shepherd while they in Europe fighting in WW1, family photos from the Braidwood and Nelligen district, maps and artifacts from WWI.

My cousin kindly sent me some photos of Aunty Glad's suitcase, and small black handbag, overflowing with family memorabilia. Another Wow!!!  It is obvious that my great Aunty Gladys treasured family memories, and her collection includes photos, postcards, letters, telegrams, tram tickets, photos and magazines that are cover a time span of more than 100 years.  

Great Aunty Glad, was married to Angus Shepherd, my grandfather Malcolm Michael Shephered's older brother. After consulting with my cousin I thought if it was ok with his family, I would share some of the wonderful documents from Aunty Glad's suitcase with a little of their related history. So watch this space for "Treasures from Aunty Glad's Suitcase".


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - Grandparents Day

Today's post is inspired by an article that I saw on this morning's news which advised that today was Grandparents Day. "Everyone has fond memories of being at their Nan and Pop's place its where you go to get the kind of love that only a grandparent can give.  This year Grandparents Day celebrates our memories of being at home with out grandparents.

My grandparents lived in very different environments.  My maternal Grandparents, Edna and Roy Herbert lived in the outback mining town of Broken Hill, and my Nanna, Christina Carriage and Pop , Lionel Carriage (step grandfather) lived in the small coastal town of Milton.

Edna Palin and Roy Herbert - on their Wedding Day in Broken Hill, NSW


Herbert Home, 58 McGowan Street, Broken Hill

Edna and Roy passed away when I was quite a young child so my memories of their home is quite dim.  However, I do have some memories of being there as a young child, when my mother stayed to help look after my grandfather, when my grandmother was in hospital.  I remember a very bare and dusty back yard with a corrugated tin fence  that backed onto a lane way.


Nanna and Pop Carriage

My paternal Grandparents were Christina Lee and Malcolm Michael Shepherd.  However, my Grandfather passed away after a logging accident in 1932 and my Christina remarried Lionel Carriage, so we grew up visiting Nanna and Pop Carriage in the small diary town of Milton on the South Coast of NSW. 

We regularly spent Christmas at their home, with all our cousins, Aunts and Uncles, playing in the big magnolia tree out the front of the house, putting on concerts on the front veranda, exploring the neighbouring fields and lane ways and spending lots of time on the nearby beaches.

Nanna and Pop's home in Milton

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thank you for your "One Lovely Blog " Nominations


Last week I was delighted to receive two"One Lovely Blog" Nominations.  It is very nice to receive a little acknowledgement, especially, when I consider myself to be one of those amateur, part-time and a little inconsistent blogger!   It is now my turn to pay it forward! 

The rules for the "Lovely Blog Award" are
  •  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to that blog
  •  Share seven things abut yourself.
  •  Nominate 15 bloggers you admire, or as many as you can think of.
  •  Contact your bloggers to let them know you have tagged them for The One Lovely Blog Award.
Firstly, I would like to thank Sharn White whose blog, "Family History 4U",  I have enjoyed for some time. Secondly, thank you to Niki Davis who writes about heritage food and her family tree, in "Rooted in Foods", this theme is very close to my heart, as I enjoy sharing old family recipes and the stories that go with them. Thank you to both of you for your nominations and sharing some of the blogs you follow, your lists introduced me to some new and interesting blogs that I hadn't read before.

Seven things about me

1. Family - the promotion a sense of family and belonging is very important to me.  I think this is in part, responsible for my love of family stories and genealogy.  I also think it is important to promote and nurture the "sense" of family.  My husband and I have just had a wonderful week looking after our grandsons (aged 9 and 5), such a special time, OH! I forgot to add also exhausting!

2. Childhood - I had an interesting and little different childhood, spending my early childhood growing up in the outback of NSW, doing my schooling by Blackfriars Correspondence School and the Broken Hill, School of the Air until I was ten years old.  Our family then moved around country NSW, my father working as an overseer on properties. My sisters and I attended a variety of schools, from small two classroom school, of Quombone with about 70 students, to much larger high school at Griffith where there were around 1600 students.

3. Reading - I have always loved reading, when I was a young girl living in the bush, reading was a way to discover the rest of the world.

Tequila, Mexico

4. Writing - I have only really starting writing in the past few years, blogging opened this door for me.  When I was studying at Uni about six years ago, one of the subjects I studied was on social media and how it could be used in training.  One section was on blogging and I was hooked.  My first attempts at blogging was when I lived in Mexico for six months while I completed my Masters in International Studies.  My blog "Six Months in Mexico" was a way I could share and reflect on my experiences.  It was really just a diary of my time in Guadalajara, Mexico, however, I loved medium and was encouraged to explore it further.

Nepal

5.   Photography - I love to mess around with my camera and have the reputation of being the annoying lady taking all the photos at family events.  My attempts at travel blogs have been one way I have been able to share my pics and experiences.  My philosophy on for photography is just take lots of pictures and among the thousands there will be a couple that look ok.  You can find some of my pics on my "incomplete" blog on one of my adventures, Nepal - Climbing High.

6. Travel - I have always like to travel.  I think this started when I was in my early twenties, when my girlfriend and I set off on a three month backpacking trip around Europe in the late 1970's.  Two very green travelers, we somehow managed to survive on little money, and not get into too much trouble. Then family commitments restricted our travel, to a few small trips.  Finally, when our sons left school, and we were going to move to Sydney to live, my husband and I decided to sell our home, pack everything into storage and headed off on a four month back packing trip to Europe and South America.  It was an amazing adventure, and really sparked our travel bug.

7.  Finally- Family History and family stories. This has been a passion for a long time, there is nothing better, than spending a Sunday afternoon, on the lounge snuggled up with my laptop, and searching the online new papers and records, trying to piece together the stories of my ancestors.

Blogs I Admire

This is a difficult one, as there are so many blogs that I enjoy reading, apologies if these blogs have already been nominated:

1. Queensland Genealogy - Judy Webster. This Blog is full of information and wonderful tips for researching your family roots in Queensland.
2. Genea-Musings - Randy Seaver - Love checking out his weekly list of blogs for the week as I always discover new tips or a new blogger.
3. Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog - Jana Last - another wonderful blog!  Her Follow Friday Fab Finds is another example of paying if forward, and I always make a point of looking at the posts she suggests each week.
4. A Rebel Hand - Frances Owen - Australian blog which among other genealogy things, tells the story of Nicholas Delaney, an Irish convict who was transported to Australia.
5. Anne's Family History - Anne Young.  Anne writes of her family history in Australia, with some great research and colourful family stories backed up with interesting snippets from TROVE.
6. Dictionary of Sydney -  Wonderful resource on the history of Sydney.
7. The Armchair Genealogist - Lynn Palermo - I have found this blog very motivational and with lots of helpful hints for writing up family history.
8. Family Tree Frog - Alex Daw. Another Australian blogger - such a warm, colourful and interesting blog.
9. Rings of My Family Tree - I have only recently started following this blog, and found it to be a good read.
10. Seeking Susan - Meet Marie - Find Family -  Kirrily Burton, This blog was originally written by Catherine Crout-Habel, and when Catherine passed away recently, her daughter has taken on the task of keeping this most enjoyable blog going.
11. Stumbling Through the Past - Yvonne Perkins - great read and really well researched.
12. Our Own History - Pam.  Shares stories and wonderful pics of family, old books and some great family recipes.
13. The History Girls - blog written by a number of authors, have followed this and enjoyed their posts for a couple of years.
14. Tracking Down Family - Jennifer Jones - interesting and well researched blog.
15.  The last blog I would like to mention is Worldwide Genealogy - A 
genealogical Collaboration.  This blog was started early this year and features genealogical bloggers from all over the world, each writing a post each month.  I have been lucky enough to be among these writers and I have to say, it has been a wonderful collaborative experience.  Each writer has shared tips and family stories that continue to widen my research skills and knowledge.

There are many more blogs that I enjoy, so to all you bloggers thank you for sharing your thoughts, advice and stories.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Family Recipe Friday" - Nan's Lemon Butter


Since I have been blogging I continue to be surprised by the blogs that attract the most readers.  Two years ago, not long after "Nan" passed away, I posted her recipe for stale bread cake (Family Recipe Friday - Nan's Stale Bread Cake) to celebrate her birthday.

This recipe was an old family favorite that she always had on hand when someone dropped in for a cup of tea. Of all the posts I have written the number of hits "Nan's Stale Bread Cake" far out numbers any other blog I have written!

So today, to celebrate her birthday and memory, I will share another of her favorites.  Lemon Butter!

When ever she visited us, she never failed to bring along a jar of lemon butter for my husband. I can remember when visiting her in her lovely cottage in the North Queensland home of Atherton, we would have to go on a special excursion to a small farm about 20 kms outside of town to buy six dozen eggs (because they were much cheaper) for the lemon butter.  


Nan's Lemon Butter

1 cup of butter
1 cup of  castor sugar
6 eggs
6 lemons (from her lemon tree)
grated zest of three lemons

Beat eggs in bowl, add sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter, slowly add the egg, sugar and lemon mix into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.   Spoon the mixture into sterile jars.  When cooled, seal and store in the fridge.

Nan loved to make large quantities for family, so if you feel that this will be more lemon butter than you need you can easily halve the recipe to make a smaller quantity.

Lemon butter is wonderful in sponge cakes and tarts, but my favorite is on hot buttered toast.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Woman's Death from Drowning

My great grand father, John Herbert's  remarried after the tragic death of his wife Louisa Seaford in 1902.  His married second wife Caroline Hornhardt in 1903  and their family continued to live in Burra until John's death in 1926. After his death, Caroline she spent time living with her step daughters Essel Quinn (nee Herbert) who lived in Broken Hill and Annie Whitehorn (nee Herbert) who lived in Prospect, South Australia.

Carrie (as she was known)  whose story can be found on my other blog "The other half of my tree - stories of my female ancestors" died tragically eight years after her husband, John.

The Advertiser, Saturday 15 December 1934.

Prospect Woman's Death from Drowning

At an inquest yesterday into the death of Mrs Caroline Herbert, 59, widow, of Percy Street, Prospect, whose body was found in the River Torrens near The Frome road bridge on December 7 the City Coroner (Mr A S. Blackburn) found that there was no evidence to show how she came to be in the river.

Jack Herbert, a son of Draytown Street, Bowden said that his mother had not complained of ill health, and had given no signs of having been depressed.

Mrs Annie Whitehorn, of Percy Street, Prospect, stated that the deceased was her stepmother, and had been living with her at her home since she had come from Broken Hill about nine moths ago.  She was to have returned to Broken Hill on December 7.  She had gone off her food during he last few months, but was not depressed.  She was very short sighted.

Mr M.R. Kelton a corporation employee, of Curtis street, North Adelaide, who found he body, said hat the bank around the spot was very steep and a danger for anyone walking there at night.

You can read more of Caroline's story on "Matrilineal Monday - Tragic Drowning - Caroline Herbert nee Hornhardt".
__________________

1934 'Prospect Woman's Death From Drowning.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 15 December, p. 9, viewed 8 September, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74122939