Issue 10: May-Jun 2012

Page 1





ma y–j


historypin the next great community archive

May–Jun 2012

the salvos

cemeteries New local resources preservation successes life and death on the Klondike

A look inside its family tracing service

hmas kuttabul

50 blogs you need to follow +the latest apps reviewed

n i W r l a F

a ip-p



ne n a c s u e d at va l 2 1 9 $

remembering the attack 70 years on

A tale

worth telling

Travel bug My Grandmother and Great Gra

1928-1934, St Vincent, Minnesot a, USA Shared by Trish Short Lewis


❝ T hese women are my grandmother, Eliza

beth (Fitzgerald) Fitzpatrick, her mot her-in-law and my great grandmother, Margaret (Ber ry) Fitzpatrick. My great aunt Helen and her husb and were early adopters of personal photography and took these photos. Because of this, I saw imag es of my great grandparents I otherwise wouldn’t have seen feeding chickens, tending the gard en, interacting with family. Although I never got to meet my great grandparents, my family kept their memories alive with photos like these, and stor ies they passed down and shared. Although I don’t know the exact date, it was not long before my great grandmother died, in the late 1920’s.❞

insidehistory_ad_DPS.indd 1

1935, Munich, Germany Shared by Nell van den Bosch-Levendig

Holden’s Butchery 1920, Kiama, New South Wales, Australia Shared by Kiama Library

❝ This is Holden’s Butchery, on Manning Street,

in 1920. The family butcher shop was originally opened on Terralong Street in 1877, but it was destroyed in the fires of 1899 and re-established here. Later, Swan’s Butchery operated from this site for many years. It is now a Vietnamese restaurant called the Hanoi on Manning.❞

What photos, videos and stories can you add to Historypin, the global communal archive that’s building up a picture of the past?

16/03/2012 14:08

your history


PO Box 406 Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia Editor Cassie Mercer Online Editor Ben Mercer Designers Rohana Archer Coral Chum Maree Oaten Editorial contributors Jill Ball Steven Carruthers Cathy Dunn Hazel Edwards Miranda Farrell Barry Gittins Paula Grunseit Barbara Hall Carolyn Harris Helen Leggatt Robin McLachlan Lisa Murray Mandy Paul Annie Payne Andrew Piper Sandra Playle Matt Smith Emma Sutcliffe Kerry Waight Mark Webster Janis Wilton Subscriptions See page 71 or subscribe online at

Cover image Four generations in one photo: (from left) Clara Williams (née Bowden), Roger Rusby, Audrey Rusby (née Hains), and Clarice Ferguson (née Williams). Turn to page 74 for the story behind the image. Courtesy Ashleigh Newton and Roger Rusby.

Inside History (ISSN 1838-5044) is published six times a year by Cassie Mercer (ABN 13 353 848 961) PO Box 406 Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia. Views expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright 2012 by Cassie Mercer and Inside History. All rights reserved. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch Australia Printed by Ligare Pty Ltd 138 Bonds Road Riverwood NSW 2210

Contents Issue 10, May-June 2012

On the cover




Historypin: the next great community archive We chat to creator Nick Stanhope about how you can contribute


Entering the blogosphere Discover our top 50 blogs to join; plus the latest apps reviewed


Grave stories from the Klondike Join historian Dr Robin McLachlan on a walk through Yukon cemeteries as he reveals some of their surprising stories


Cemetery spotlight In our eight-page special, we feature the evolution of cemetery design, a beginner’s guide to Rookwood — the world’s largest cemetery from the Victorian era — and the university course that’s incorporating headstones as historical documents. Plus, meet some of the people who are helping to preserve our gravesites


I once was lost The Salvation Army has been reuniting families for generations. Hear firsthand how they go about it

54 Remembering the Kuttabul Seventy years on from the Japanese attack in Sydney Harbour, a commemoration with the descendants of those who died is underway 70

Win a Flip-Pal TM scanner! It’s the perfect gadget for every historian

60 54

Contents 65


your family 18

Ask our experts One reader wonders if a photo can shed any light on her grandfather’s occupation


32 Making room for an icon The digitisation of The Australian Women’s Weekly is providing a personal look at our social history

your history 60 Watching the detective Author Kerry Greenwood on how she recreated 1920s Melbourne for her murder mystery series

19 History now Events you won’t want to miss around Australia and New Zealand 24

Banking and bullocks The work of Victoria’s Yackandandah and District Historical Society


How to write a non-boring family history In the third of a series of six, we ask author Hazel Edwards: what if all you’ve got is a name on a shipping list?

12 Postie’s here! Your thoughts, your say


The book shelf We’re reading: Abandoned Women by Lucy Frost

13 Bob’s your uncle Network with other researchers


One picture…1000 memories The story behind our cover image

16 Platform The latest news and happenings from the history and genealogy world


travel 65

Heritage Adelaide History SA tells us what to expect from the state’s month-long festival, About Time

regulars 10

Ed’s letter


Subscribe to Inside History… from just $31.50 for six months!

editor’s letter

One of the unexpected side effects of editing Inside History is that I’m discovering new cousins along the way. I met a third cousin at State Records NSW while running a stand for the magazine at an open day. And I found a connection with a subscriber who was related via my great great grandmother! Plus we’re hearing about lots of readers successes via “Bob’s your uncle” (see page 13), so keep sending in your adverts. You never know who will read it and get in touch. This issue we’re looking at cemeteries , death records, and the good work various people are doing around the region to help preserve them. It’s by no means a definitive guide to grave sites, but there’s lots to pique your interest. Robin McLachlan tells us about his fascinating research into Australians and New Zealanders who went to the Klondike to strike it rich. His walks through the graveyards reveal some amazing stories. Turn to page 34 to find out more. On page 40 Lisa Murray, city historian for Sydney, tells us about the evolution of cemetery design in Australia. Plus we’re highlighting new resources , a global archival database and much more. On page 54 meet a group of dedicated historians who’ve been tracing the descendants of the Australian men who died when HMAS Kuttabul was attacked in Sydney Harbour in 1942. And on page 32 we explore The Australian Women’s Weekly, now digitised for Trove. How does Kerry Greenwood , creator of the Phryne Fisher novels, research her murder mysteries? All is revealed on page 60. Plus we look at what’s happening in Adelaide during the city’s annual history festival (page 65), there’s a fantastic Flip-Pal TM scanner to be won (page 70), and lots more! Speaking of giveaways, if you have an iPad , be sure to download our new free bonus issue in collaboration with State Library of NSW . It’s only for iPad and is packed with photo galleries and videos, letting you go behind the scenes of one of the world’s great libraries.

PS Like us on Facebook for more great genealogy advice, the latest news and events, and exclusive giveaways. Join us at




cover stars

Postie’s here!

I would like to congratulate you on the various magazine covers used so far. They are excellent and appeal to the eye. I was especially taken by the 1951 Gosford Library photograph on your issue 8 cover. Most of us tend to rush for the content inside the magazine and can overlook the hidden gems found in such images. Consider these observations for this one in particular: ◆ Gender ratio to reading at school age: girls, 5; boys, 1. I wonder if this has changed? ◆ Assortment of school and normal clothes with various footwear: black shoes, both clean and dirty, buckled sandals. And for the boy: bare feet! ◆ The refillable desk calendar, a model which is still being used in offices to this day. ◆ Hair styles, particularly the boy with his “short back and sides” and distinctive part on one side. It took 40 years for me to change this “hair habit”! It was not till I received issue 9 that I noticed more detail to this photograph (on page 8). The original magazine cover had a barcode hiding the right shoe of the girl holding the book and facing the camera. We now see that the shoes are very dirty and the way she “rolls” her ankle while standing. A great photo cover, capturing nuances of a bygone era. I love the magazine. Please keep up the good work on the covers as well. — Neville Fogg, QLD

Like us on



A reunion 129 years in the making

Thank you so much for featuring Emmeline Reynolds in “Ask our experts” for issue 9, and for sending me a copy of the photo. I'm glad that my work on was able to be put to good use in reuniting the photo with Emmeline’s grandson. Thanks to your article I've been able to add another relative to my tree! — Tracey Brandrup, NT

Loving the iPad editions

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading issues 7 to 9 of your magazine on my iPad. I like the variety of the content and I intend to purchase the back issues in print form as well. Thank you for a great magazine. — Noelene Hutton, by email Congratulations to our competition winners from issue 8! ◆ Lilian Magill from NSW, and Grant Aldridge from NZ each won a GENP 4 Platinum software package ◆ Heather Stapleton from VIC, and Peter Frick from SA each won a copy of Selected Letters of Hans Heysen and Nora Heysen

Each issue our star letter will receive a great prize for writing in. This issue, Neville Fogg wins a copy of Anzac's Dirty Dozen by Craig Stockings (New South Publishing, $35)

Join us on

your family

Bob’s your uncle Are you looking to connect with other descendants or historians? Each issue we’ll feature who and what people are researching.

Image Courtesy Douglas Stewart Fine Books,

from the beatles to boxers

The search for stories and memorabilia is on as the Museum of Sydney prepares for an exhibition celebrating the iconic, but now sadly demolished, entertainment venue the Sydney Stadium, which was fondly known as “The Old Tin Shed”. Boxers, Beatles and Bobbysoxers: 1908–1970 will trace the history and significance of Sydney Stadium through promoters, stars, patrons and key events associated with the venue. The landmark bouts, unforgettable performances and folklore surrounding the stadium will be celebrated through artworks, posters, photos, objects, film footage, music and personal recollections. We are looking for objects, ephemera and other items related to the Sydney Stadium, and would love to hear from anyone with relevant material. — Matthew Holle, Historic Houses Trust NSW 02 9251 5988;

Ford, batey, langdon and lawson

On 28 October 1857, Thomas and Eliza Ford and their three children, Thomas, William and Eliza left the family farm at Wilmslow, Cheshire and departed via Liverpool, England on board the ship Herald. They arrived at Port Phillip, Victoria, on 22 February 1858. Thomas, aged 30, and his young family decided to settle in rural Victoria. Six more children — Frederick, Francis, Florence, Arthur, Lavinia and

Joseph — were born in Victoria. While living in Avenel, Thomas rented a house to Ann Ryan (Ned Kelly’s aunt) and got into an altercation with Ned’s mother Ellen Kelly when he went to collect the rent. The encounter landed them both in court. In the late 1870s, the Fords were one of the earliest families to settle at Katandra. With hard work, they created a livelihood and a home, with descendants still living in the area today. If you are descended from a Ford from Victoria, or a Batey, Langdon or Lawson, you will most likely find your ancestors on our website along with ancestor and descendant charts and a substantial photo gallery. If you would like to contribute stories or photos we would be delighted to hear from you. — Lynda, Vic and Tracey, SA

The lace family

I am tracing Hugh Doran and Isabella Lace who married in 1847 and lived on the Isle of Man, UK. I’d like to hear from anyone with Lace family connections. — Marlene Doran,

Lots of researchers have been linking up through “Bob’s your uncle”. To place an ad, email Adverts are free!

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


Image Superb parrot (Polytelis swainsonii), c.1818,watercolour, John Lewin. Courtesy of Linnean Society, London.

what’s on

History now

The best events around Australia and New Zealand u

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


Lewin: Wild Art Until 27 May A humble English natural history collector and illustrator, John William Lewin became the first free professional artist to settle in Australia, upon his arrival in 1800. Amazingly his remarkable achievements have largely gone unrecognised… until now. Showing at the State Library, Lewin: Wild Art presents over 150 of John Lewin’s exquisite works from the Mitchell Library’s renowned collection and major national and international collections. Visit

A sketch by architect Harry Seidler, 1958. Courtesy Mitchell Library, SLNSW

Taree Family History Fair 20 May Delve into the difficult working conditions, harsh environment and high child mortality rate of Australia’s past. Gail Davis of State Records NSW will host a stall and present on locating the missing children of the 19th and early 20th century. Plus, catch talks from genealogist Terry Eakin and findmypast’s Emma Kelly. Visit On The Edge of Greta 2 to 27 May On at the Articulate Project Space in Leichhardt, Sydney, this is a photographic project about the Greta Army and Migrant camp (in operation 1939–59) in the Upper Hunter Valley region of NSW. The camp site embodies the loss of young soldiers sent to war and the arrival of post-WWII migrants. Artists Vivienne Dadour and Liz Ashburn have created artworks that document the various traces of occupation still present in the surviving landscape. More

Recognising Places of Historical Toowong 16 May Researchers of early Brisbane will enjoy hearing Bruce Burrows and Leigh Chamberlain from the Toowong & District Historical Society speak at the Queensland Family History Society’s rooms in Gaythorne. Visitors are welcome. Visit


This Modern Life 23 April to 30 September This Modern Life: The development of flat dwellings in North Sydney is a fascinating exhibition charting how and why North Sydney led the way with high-rise apartment living. On at North Sydney Heritage Centre, here’s your chance to explore Stanton Library’s extensive collection of original plans, documents, photos and models. Call 02 9936 8209

Transport and Your Ancestors 26 May Have you ever wondered how your ancestors used transport? Come along to this informative seminar run by the Genealogical Society of Queensland and learn about Queensland railways, horse-drawn buses and cabs, coastal shipping and early Brisbane trams. Bookings and prior payment are essential. Visit or call 07 3891 5085

The Force: 150 Years of NSW Police From 12 May to 7 October Formed on 1 March 1862, the NSW Police Force is the oldest and largest police force in Australia. This exhibition at the Justice and Police Museum celebrates 150 years of policing with a vast collection of photos, objects and film footage. The Force charts the formation of specialist units, the role of women in the force, changes in police duties and equipment, and more. It will also pay tribute to the thousands of officers who have served their community. Visit

Unlock the Past Queensland Expo 2012 25 to 27 June The 7th Unlock the Past expo (and the first in Brisbane) will feature more than 50 exhibitors, and 40 presentations. Audrey Collins (The National Archives, UK), Stephen Dando-Collins (internationally acclaimed author), and Inside History’s Cassie Mercer are just some of the presenters. You could also talk to an expert, visit the research help zone, and win prizes and special offers. Visit


Mabo 20 Years On: Forum 30 May It’s been 20 years since the historic Mabo High Court decision recognised that Eddie Koiki Mabo and others held native title to land on Murray Island (Mer) in the Torres Strait. Come join singers, dancers, politicians and other members of the community in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the decision. The forum is presented by the ACT Torres Strait Islanders Corporation in partnership with the National Museum of Australia. Bookings are essential. Visit

From France to Freycinet Festival 4-13 May Taking place on Tasmania’s spectacular east coast is the long-running, “From France to Freycinet Festival” — a biennial event in Swansea exploring and celebrating the French connections to the area’s past and present. Special activities include an exhibition featuring historic correspondence and memorabilia sent between France and Tasmania, puppet shows, markets, fireworks and a twilight lantern parade, to name a few. Visit

Military Records 26 May If you’re interested in Australia’s military history, then an upcoming education session hosted by HAGSOC is for you. Entitled, “I’d rather be a private in Sydney than a general in India”, the first part of the session with Barbara Moore explores the British Army in Australia during the 19th century. The second part by Rhonda Kerr examines the Australian military and women in uniform, including the Women’s Land Army and other volunteer organisations. Both speakers are HAGSOC Fellows with extensive experience in genealogy and family history. Visit

Well They Didn’t Swim! 15 May This is just one of the great topics in the Western Australian Genealogical Society’s Migration Seminar day at the State Library of WA. Australia has become home to soldiers, convicts, explorers, fortune seekers, free settlers, assisted migrants, refugees, and just about any other category you can think of. Learn about all the records that are available for you to search through for your ancestors! Visit

British soldiers on parade at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart, in c1860. Courtesy Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery.

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


William Lawrence Baillieu — Founder of Australia’s Greatest Business Empire 15 May William Lawrence Baillieu first rose to prominence as a successful auctioneer in the 1880s. He quickly built an enormous fortune, which he subsequently lost in the crash of the early 1890s. But, ever the daring entrepreneur, WL Baillieu resurrected his fortunes by investing in infrastructure that would drive Australia’s economy in the 20th century. Hosted by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, biographer Peter Yule will speak about this significant Australian financier and philanthropist. Call 03 9326 9288

Researching Your Military Ancestors 19 June The Emerald Branch of the CaseyCardinia Library Corporation will play host to a fascinating talk by Andrew Kilsby, on researching one’s military ancestors. Andrew Kilsby is a professional historian from Cooee History and Heritage and is currently completing his doctorate at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Having authored books on family history, the colonial military experience and WWI, Andrew has a keen interest in military and business topics, genealogy, and biographical history. Visit

About Time 1-31 May Well, once again it’s time for About Time, South Australia’s history festival! The rich heritage of the state will be on show through a range of activities including walks, talks, tours, exhibitions and special events throughout May. This festival is set to be a fantastic feast, with over 500 events on offer. New to the festival is Open House Adelaide, which will have a range of buildings in the Adelaide metropolitan area open their doors to the public. Visit Turn to page 65 for more on Adelaide’s historic buildings

Brick Walls, Lost Ancestors 26 May For all those passionate genealogists who have encountered a road block in their research, this seminar (run by the Genealogical Society of Victoria) is about helping you find your way again. Speakers Jenny Carter, Linley Hooper, Lorraine Phelan and Susie Zada have a combined genealogical experience of 160 years. The seminar will be followed by a discussion panel, and you can submit your query with your registration if received before 16 May. Bookings are essential. Visit



A Different Time: The Expedition Photographs of Herbert Basedow 1903–1928 11 May to 24 June Coming to the South Australian Museum this May is a travelling exhibition presenting the National Museum of Australia’s extensive collection of Herbert Basedow’s photographic work from his 1903–1928 expeditions into central and northern Australia. An anthropologist, scientist, explorer (to name just a few of his occupations), Basedow was a remarkable Australian. His photographs capture his diverse interests and offer poignant reflections of expeditionary and frontier life in early 20th century Australia. Visit

Nigel Brown: Travel to Travel 12 May to 5 August Coming to the Rotorua Trust Galleries is an exhibition showcasing the work of inveterate traveller and observer, Nigel Brown. Brown is considered a leading narrative artist, capable of voicing deep social concern via his distinctive paintings. He employs history, literature and politics to draw attention to individual and environmental issues. The exhibition is based on Brown’s travels to Europe, Russia, Japan, the Pacific and Antarctica spanning 30 years. Visit

NZSG AGM and Conference 1 to 3 June Hosted by the Lake Taupo Branch, the 2012 NZSG AGM and Conference boasts a program filled with internationally renowned speakers and informative presentations. The keynote speaker, Dr Nick Barratt, is a broadcaster, historian and professional genealogist popularly known for his work on the UK version of television series Who Do You Think You Are?. Featuring a variety of interesting presentations, the conference is being held in Taupo. Visit

Death and Diversity Until 26 June This exhibition at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea examines the rituals surrounding death and dying in New Zealand’s diverse communities. Developed in collaboration with the Office of Ethnic Affairs, it explores the traditions and experiences of Wellington’s Assyrian, Chinese, Columbian, Hindu, Jewish, Mexican and Muslim communities. The exhibition highlights some of the more traditional practices of funeral and mourning and takes a look at how communities have modified their practices in their new country. Visit

Planning a genealogy, history or heritage event that you would like to share with Inside History readers? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at the details on page 6.

Photography Pat Sheperd

Learn about mourning traditions at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea.

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


your history

Remembering the Kuttabul

The night of 31 May 1942 was the closest the east coast of Australia came to war, when Japanese midget submarines entered Sydney Harbour. HMAS Kuttabul bore the brunt of the attack. Now, 70 years on, a major commemoration and wreath-laying event is being organised with the descendants of those who died on board. Steven Carruthers reports.


he attack on Sydney Harbour in mid-1942 by three midget submarines was the opening salvo in a Japanese submarine campaign off the east coast of Australia that sunk 21 ships, attacked a further 19 vessels, and claimed the lives of 670 men and women. In Australian naval history it is a little known event, yet more lives were lost along this stretch of coastline than on the Kokoda Track (624 including those missing in action) and the sinking of HMAS Sydney (645). The first casualty in the sea war was HMAS Kuttabul, a converted harbour ferry being used to accommodate sailors, many waiting for their next posting. On the night of 31 May 1942, three midget submarines avoided the incomplete antisubmarine boom net at the entrance to Sydney Harbour and attempted to sink Allied warships. After being detected and attacked, the crews of two of the midget submarines scuttled their boats



and committed suicide without successfully firing their torpedoes. The third attempted to torpedo the heavy cruiser USS Chicago but instead sank HMAS Kuttabul. Twenty-one sailors were killed and 10 were seriously injured. Escaping from the harbour, the fate of this submarine remained a mystery for 64 years, until a group of deep water divers discovered the wreck off Sydney’s northern beaches on 12 November 2006. Built at the Walsh Island shipyard in Newcastle in 1922, Kuttabul was the pride of Sydney Ferries Ltd. Many ferries in the fleet were given Aboriginal names beginning with “K” and Kuttabul meant “wonderful”. Designed to the highest specifications of the day, the steel-hulled vessel had longitudinal and athwartships water-tight bulkheads and was regarded as practically unsinkable. Certified to carry 2089 passengers, it and her identical sister ferry Koompartoo were the largest passenger carrying vessels on Sydney Harbour,

transporting passengers to and from Circular Quay and Milsons Point. Kuttabul ceased running as a passenger ferry in 1932 when the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened. Along with 17 other ferries she was laid up and then put up for sale. The vessel languished until 1935 when her hull was painted white and she became the first concert boat for Sydney Ferries. She was renowned for her moonlight harbour cruise on Sunday evenings, which included community singing and music played through 101 AWA speakers. With war looming in the Pacific, the old ferry was leased by the Royal Australian Navy on 7 November 1940 for use as a depot ship and commissioned on 26 February 1941. With her bulwark and hull painted grey to reflect her new status, the converted concert boat had messing arrangements for up to 250 sailors and slept 150 men. On the night of the surprise Japanese raid she was berthed on the south-eastern side of Garden Island and most men were ashore on weekend leave. It’s estimated that 35 to 40 men were on board when the torpedo struck the sea wall alongside the old ferry and exploded. When the huge column of water and airborne debris settled the Kuttabul sank fast, her back broken. Pointing down harbour, the stern sank almost immediately with the forward section settling about half an hour later. Only the roof decking, a wheel house and funnel remained above the water. Splintered wood and other debris floated on the oily water. This moment in history is captured in an illustration by Howard Baron, one of Australia’s foremost wartime illustrators. It would be more than 12 hours before it was known how many men had been aboard the vessel when it sank, and more than 40 hours before the death toll was known. The confusion was

Opposite A photograph of the Kuttabul at Circular Quay, which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald c1932. Courtesy Bill Allen. Above The original maker’s plate from the Kuttabul survived the blast and is now part of a private collection. Courtesy Bill Allen.

“Australian history is full of tragic stories, but the death of Stoker Kenneth Killeen, 20, is enough to break your heart.” compounded by sailors swapping watches, some visitors being onboard, some sleeping elsewhere ashore or nearby, and at least one AWOL. Among those killed were two sailors from the Royal Navy. Ordinary-Seaman David Trist had survived the sinking of the British battleship HMS Repulse, which had gone down off the Malayan coast, only to die six months later in Kuttabul. Able-Seaman Frank Kirby had escaped injury from the bombing of the heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall, sunk in the Indian Ocean, but met his death in Sydney Harbour. Both were returning to the UK for survivors’ leave. It was these two men who were to cause some confusion in the number of sailors killed for many years as they were not listed along with the RAN dead. The misunderstanding was cleared in 1988 when a memorial was unveiled on Garden Island with the full list of 21 sailors. Most of those killed were “stokers”, engine room ratings who were billeted nearest to the point of explosion. Only two sailors from the stokers mess survived the blast. One of them was Ray Major, 21, from Brisbane. Ray found himself on the deck with water lapping his face before deciding to “get the hell out of there.” On his way over the side of the ship to safety he rescued a trapped and bloodied sailor. Petty Officer Leonard Howroyd of Penrith, Sydney had swapped duty so he could meet his wife the next day, but lost his life that night. Stoker Norman Robson, 19, had joined the Navy seven months earlier and had only recently joined Kuttabul to await a warship posting. He was due to go home on leave the following morning. He died instantly as the explosion ripped through the ship. Stoker Howard Whittaker was rostered to be onboard that evening but asked another Melbourne boy, Stoker Jack Gardner, who had just come onboard from seeing his new baby daughter, to stand in for him at the 0900 hour roll call, allowing him to go ashore. On his return next morning Howard found Kuttabul submerged and, tragically, his mate’s body was the last to be brought to the surface. Australian history is full of tragic stories, but the death of Stoker Kenneth Killeen, 20, is enough to break your heart. His mother Vera was heavily pregnant when she received news of her son’s death, which sent her into a deep state of shock, and early labour. The complications of a premature birth 

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


brought about the death of both mother and infant. Able-Seaman Colin Whitfield of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) was going on watch when he was thrown to the deck by the blast. Unable to move his legs he was helped ashore by another rating. Six other sailors from the RNZN had elected to sleep ashore, thereby saving their lives. Petty Officer Littleby, who should have been sleeping aboard, was asleep on a nearby launch. He manoeuvred the launch alongside the wreck and rescued several of his shipmates. There were other lucky escapes. Relieved from sentry duty, Ordinary-Seaman Neil Roberts took up an offer to sleep in a mate’s hammock on the upper deck rather than his own hammock below decks. When the explosion came he found himself in water and caught in a stairwell. Swimming underwater he eventually found an exit and made his way to the surface and climbed the sea wall. He said later that the decision to sleep on the upper deck saved his life. Ordinary-Seaman Charlie Brown remembers a colossal orange flash before being thrown, head first, between a row of wash basins and through the ship’s side. Suffering extensive head injuries, he was heavily bruised from his head to below the waist. Ordinary-Seaman Bill Williams had watched the commotion on the harbour earlier in the night and then went to sleep only to wake in the water. He swam to a small boat nearby and managed to pull in another survivor. Able-Seaman Frank Rudd, 25, said that the torpedo hit the sea wall astern of the depot ship, “exploding and ripping the bottom out of the ship.” With the blast he was thrown overboard and scrambled ashore as best he could. Able-Seaman Horace Beazley and OrdinarySeaman Harold Reader escaped death twice that night. Both had left the Kuttabul before midnight to



commence their sentry watch at Gun Wharf and the adjacent pier on Garden Island. Half an hour into their watch the first torpedo struck, killing many of their shipmates. The second escape came when another torpedo ran aground between the wharf and pier, only a few metres from both men, but failed to explode. Mr Reader, now 91, is the last known surviving seaman attached to the Kuttabul. Nearby a group of men stripped off their clothes and dived into the shattered vessel looking for survivors. Two of these men were Captain A.B. Doyle and Commander C.C. Clark. Bandsman M.N. Cummings, who was on board Kuttabul at the time of the explosion, dived into the water repeatedly to save his shipmates. Captain Doyle said later that they

Far left Wartime illustrator Howard Baron’s depiction of the moment Kuttabul was struck. Courtesy Steven Carruthers. Middle The bow of the Kuttabul remained relatively intact. Courtesy Steven Carruthers. Left But this image of the ship’s stern tells a different story. Courtesy Australian War Memorial. Below Leading Seaman divers (from left) Lance Bullard and Roy Coote were tasked to recover the lost souls. Courtesy Roy Coote family.

were hampered in their efforts to save men, being told by jittery personnel on the wharf to turn off their torches every time they tried to examine a survivor — they were fearful the enemy would see the lights. When daylight arrived the dive boat, which had been moored near the Kuttabul against the sea wall, was nowhere to be seen. Leading Seaman Diver Lance Bullard wrote in his report that a motor launch was requisitioned and naval stores supplied replacements for the heavy gear left in the diving boat. Joined by divers from the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide, they were in the water by 0915 hours. Many of those killed were still in their hammocks, pressed up against the shattered deck-head. The divers cut the hammock lashings and the bodies emerged from their cocoons, floating to the surface in boiler suits and pyjamas. Once pushed ashore they were laid out on the wharf by their shipmates for identification. Those who died on Kuttabul were victims of a war that had suddenly overtaken them before they had a chance to meet it. To remember their loss, the Kuttabul Commemoration Project is conducting a harbour re-enactment and wreath-laying ceremony on 31 May 2012. The Royal Australian Navy has granted special permission for the cruise vessel to enter restricted waters; so that wreaths may be laid on the water near where Kuttabul was sunk. The “Last Post” will then be sounded by a naval bugler. Founded in 2010, the Kuttabul Commemoration Project is an undertaking by volunteers with an interest in Australian military history. Its aim is to locate a direct descendant of every sailor who lost his life on that fateful night; so each man could be represented in future commemorations by his family. In accordance with Charles Bean’s original concept

for the Commemorative Wall at the Australian War Memorial, it was hoped that a “human face” could be attributed to the name of each victim — cast in bronze on the Roll Of Honour. Out of the 19 Australians who died on the Kuttabul, descendants have been found for 11. Thus the event on 31 May will host more than 60 direct descendants and other special guests. The lunchtime re-enactment cruise is an endorsed fundraising event in support of Legacy. Organisers wish to bring into the public eye the great work performed by Legacy year round, for the widows and orphans of our deceased servicemen and women. The Kuttabul Commemoration Project’s Sydney Harbour Cruise is a major event on the 70th anniversary calendar in remembering the events of 1942.  ✻ Steven Carruthers is the author of two books on the Japanese midget submarine raid — Australia Under Siege (1982) and Japanese Submarine Raiders 1942: A Maritime Mystery (2006).

be part of the Kuttabul Commemoration Tickets for this solemn and memorable event are available through the project manager, Gary Traynor, on 0449 692401 or via Tickets are $80 and numbers are limited. Gary is the founder of a not-for-profit website called Medals Gone Missing. This site helps to reunite families with war service medals that have become lost. For more on the project, visit and click on “Events”, or like it on Facebook by searching under Kuttabul Commemoration Project.

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


your family

A new resource The latest work from public historian Cathy Dunn highlights the death records from Norfolk Island’s First Settlement.


MORE The Norfolk Island 1st Settlement Deaths 1788–1814 ($37) is available to purchase at



 The Norfolk

Island cemetery.

Bringing our

war dead together

Matt Smith has developed a unique Australian war grave resource that unites images and information from around the world into a single website.


aunched in late 2011, the Australian War Graves Photographic Archive project has been 12 years in the making. A “labour of respect for our war dead”, the Archive commenced in 2000, and now holds images of approximately 90 per cent of the 102,000 official commemorations worldwide of Australia’s war dead. Matt Smith, a military historian and war graves researcher, is responsible for the development of the project, which was given a more public face on Remembrance Day 2011. On this day a searchable database — — was launched. The site displays images of the commemorations, and offers a range of free resources to families and researchers of our war dead. Individual casualty pages can be viewed, with relevant photos, links to other research sites, and Google Maps locations that show the exact location of the cemetery or memorial, in many cases with street view functionality. As director of the Archive, Matt hopes that when the project is complete every Australian who has died in conflict throughout our nation’s history will be commemorated. The genesis of the project lies in a chance meeting between Matt, and Steve Douglas, a Canadian war

Photography Cathy Dunn, Matt Smith

athy Dunn’s research on Norfolk Island’s First Settlement started many years ago with her husband’s family members, Andrew Hamilton Hume, William Broughton and others. Over the years she has continued her vast research about Norfolk Island, and noted the lack of a complete burial inventory for this period of the island’s history. Norfolk Island was first occupied and settled by the British in 1788. It played an important role in supplying Sydney until it became self-supporting. Norfolk’s First Settlement lasted until 1814. The first death on Norfolk Island was the drowning on 15 June 1788 of First Fleeter John Batchelor. His body was washed up a week later. From the known causes of death, drowning is the most common. As the convict John Grant wrote in his journal in 1805 “Many poor men have lost their lives on boats between ships and the Isle of Norfolk”. Other causes include teething, dysentery, suicide, execution, accidents, convulsions, and epilepsy. Today the Norfolk Island Cemetery contains many of the surviving headstones from this period. Cathy Dunn has recently published Norfolk Island Deaths: 1st Settlement 1788–1814, on CD, which also features photos of the headstones and miscellaneous shipping records. The list of deaths has been checked for many duplicates in records, such as Marg Buchannon, whose death on 29 May 1805 was recorded in the Rev Fulton Burial List. Her death was also listed in the 1805 Muster under the name of Marg Clarke. There are also some deaths about which little is known, such as an unnamed female convict who drowned in attempting to land at Norfolk Island in December 1798 (mostly likely from the Francis). There are more than 260 deaths during the First Settlement. Cathy has painstaking checked all primary records for Norfolk Island references to deaths, including journals, diaries, letters, musters, church records, victualling books, and population returns. The burial list includes full details on each person and their family, along with status, arrival to NSW and Norfolk Island. The references and the bibliography provide further information. 

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Germany.

Teaching death

In his course at the University of New England, Andrew Piper teaches students the value of cemeteries as historical documents.


graves project volunteer, in Italy. Steve is the developer of the Canadian Maple Leaf Legacy Project. This gave Matt the impetus to commence his enormous undertaking for the commemoration of Australia’s war dead. No complete resource of Australian war grave and memorial images existed at that time. Each year thousands of Australians make their pilgrimages overseas to visit the sites of past conflicts, and Commonwealth war and civil cemeteries. But for many families, it’s simply too distant or too difficult to visit the graves. The mission of the Archive is to provide an opportunity for the “imagined” graves in distant locations to be given a tangible context. As word spread, hundreds of volunteers joined the cause and contributed to the project. And Matt says he’s personally photographed over 40,000 of the commemorations across some 30 countries. While the project has a global focus, for Matt it also has a personal dimension. As a “Rat of Tobruk”, Matt’s grandfather was a casualty of WWII. He returned wounded to Australia, having been subjected to the business end of mine disposal in the desert. His death in 1947, as a direct result of injuries sustained in war, left two small children fatherless, and a young widow who had seen her husband for less that one year of their five-year marriage. Matt explains that his grandmother was one of the “lucky” ones, for at least she had a tangible grave over which to mourn. Many families were left with the legacy of the missing: the soldiers of whom no trace was found. The commemorations on the vast stone panels of Memorials to the Missing across the world are an important inclusion on the site. The Archive is not, and was never intended to be, a replacement for sites such as the Australian War Memorial or Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register. It does, however, serve as a important complementary resource to these collections.  Support the project at

n the 1998 movie Meet Joe Black, the traitorous Drew reminds a cute and lovable Grim Reaper, Mr Black, played by Brad Pitt, that ‘In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.’ Death will be faced by us all, and whether we choose to think about it or not, it is an inescapable facet of our lives. “History 333: Waking the Dead” is a unit of study available through the University of New England, which explores the history of death as well as the value of cemeteries and monuments as historical evidence. Cemeteries and monuments commemorate and perpetuate memory, and fix meaning on the landscape — meaning that changes over time. This treatment of death and public memory are explored, using Australian and international examples, in Waking the Dead. Fieldwork is an important component and students are given the opportunity, and the tools, to research and present a study into a general cemetery and/or a public monument/memorial. The course explores how cemeteries, as well as monuments, can be used as sources for local and family history, particularly on methods for extracting information from graveyards and the interpretation of this data. Attention is paid to the practice and fabric of funerals and burial, in particular the manner in which individuals from specific times, ethnic and religious backgrounds and socio-economic groups are memorialised in the epitaph and the construction of the grave. Over the past few decades there has been considerable interest in cemetery studies with a resultant burgeoning literature, particularly in what might be termed “death studies”. The course incorporates much of this new thinking. The intention is to encourage a wider appreciation of the historical importance of cemeteries and monuments, their value to the local historian and the wider community, and to encourage their preservation and protection. Students are exposed to a range of subjects, such as a history of death and dying, changing causes of death, the historical preparation of the body prior to burial, as well as the changing funeral service and procession.  MORE Email Dr Andrew Piper at

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Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |



heritage Adelaide

May is the perfect time to explore the hidden stories of South Australia’s capital. Inside History, with the help of History SA, discovers why.


hat do the early South Australian land grant recipients, beef rioters and the Beatles have in common? They’ve all stood in — or in the Beatles case, run through — the elegant courtyard of the Old Adelaide Treasury building in Adelaide’s CBD. Formed in 1840, the courtyard is now a respite from the city surrounds, a place to relax with a glass of South Australian red. But in the 1840s it was where settlers queued for their land grants. In the Depression, it was the scene of mass demonstration when residents protested against the exclusion of beef from rations. And in 1964 it became an escape route for John, Paul and George (Ringo was ill with tonsillitis and missed the show), after they appeared on the balcony of Town Hall next door to greet fans. People were so overwhelmed that the band had to dash through the courtyard to escape the crowd. The present façades of the Old Treasury date from 1858 to 1876, although there are still 

Top Part of the historic tunnel system beneath the Old Treasury, now the Medina Grand Hotel. The tunnels will be open to the public throughout May. Above Martindale Hall, a Georgian-style mansion in Mintaro, approximately 120km north of Adelaide. Illustration by Denis Noble, courtesy Annie Payne.

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


tunnel system underneath the hotel is fascinating. More a series of basements, they include the Treasury Vaults, into which the gold brought from Victoria was safely stowed away. Word has it that the tunnels linked with the Torrens Building across the street and were frequented by scuttling clerks transferring dockets and plans between the offices, and was intended as an emergency escape route for officials should they ever need to make a discreet exit. However, no plans or photos have emerged yet in support of this. For the entire month of May many heritage buildings in South Australia — including the Medina Grand — will open to the public as part of About Time: South Australia’s History Festival, and its feature weekend, Open House Adelaide. While heritage places have long been an important part of the festival, the inaugural Open House Adelaide program will feature almost 50 buildings — from heritage treasures to the latest in award-winning sustainable design — open free on the weekend of 19 and 20 May. The aim is to contribute to the current community conversation in Adelaide on urban planning, architecture and design, and city activation. History SA is also hoping it will strengthen a shared sense of place, linking the city’s buildings and streets with people and their stories. Others taking part in the Open House event include:

Urrbrae House

remnants of the original 1839 structure within the building. It’s now the Medina Grand Hotel, after a careful conversion and restoration was carried out between 2000 and 2002. The hotel lobby features a permanent display of artefacts discovered during the work, including glassware, bone handles from cutlery, coins and more. Originally the offices for the State Treasury, from 1876 to 1968 members of the Premier’s Cabinet met in the Cabinet Room on the first level for official meetings. Many historic decisions were made and documents signed here, including the one in 1894 that gave SA women the right to vote. The original table on which the legislation was signed is still in situ. It’s a building that’s well-connected with the city’s past, perhaps literally. Taking a tour of the



Situated on the Waite campus of the University of Adelaide, Urrbrae House is a two-storey bluestone mansion, completed in 1891 as the home of pastoralist and philanthropist Peter Waite and his family. The first private home in the state to be lit by electricity, it was the Waite family home until the

Top Urrbrae House, the first private home to get electricity in the city. Courtesy Urrbrae House. Middle The original Cabinet Room at the Medina Grand Hotel. It was here that legislation was signed to give women in South Australia the right to vote. Opposite An illustration of the Magpie and Stump Hotel, built in 1850. If the stories are to be believed, it was a wild place when the bullockies were passing through! Illustration by Denis Noble, courtesy Annie Payne.

The perfect day trip — or longer deaths of Peter and Matilda in 1922. It was gifted to the University of Adelaide in 1923. Today, Urrbrae House is a museum and remains part of the university.

Quaker Meeting House The Adelaide Meeting House of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) was designed and constructed by Henry Manning, the English builder whose work began the prefabrication industry. The first meeting of Quakers in South Australia was held at the home of John Barton and Bridget Hack in 1837. By 1839 the Quakers in South Australia required a suitable meeting place, so the Quakers in London purchased a wooden framed building with a verandah and shipped it to South Australia aboard the Rajasthan. It arrived at Port Adelaide on 6 February 1840. The building and furniture are the only known examples of Manning’s work to survive in essentially original condition and are still used today for their intended purpose.

Migration Museum The buildings that now house the Migration Museum were once part of Adelaide’s Destitute Asylum. The complex operated from the early 1850s until 1918. An exhibition in one of the surrounding buildings titled Behind the Wall tells the stories of the women and children who lived and sometimes died here. Prior to the Destitute Asylum the same site was used as a “Native School” where Aborigine children were boarded and educated by the colonial government. Today, the museum is a place to discover the many identities of the people of South Australia through the stories of individuals and communities.  MORE About Time, Open House Adelaide,


little over a 1½ hour’s drive north of Adelaide lies one of Australia’s best historic destinations — the Clare Valley. Lying between the steep folds of the Skilly Hills to the west, with Mt Horrocks marking the beginning of the Camel’s Hump range to the east, the area was settled in the earliest days of South Australia. Many towns and hamlets sprang up around waterholes and stopping places for the bullock drays hauling copper ore from the mines at Burra to the waiting ketches at Port Wakefield. Mintaro, reached by driving through the pleats and folds of the Camel’s Hump range, is just one town worth visiting. Proclaimed as South Australia’s first Heritage Town, it was settled in the 1840s by residents who provided the basic services to the bullock drays stopping overnight on the long trip to the coast. Their legacy can be seen in the mellow stone cottages, grazier’s homesteads and ruins that line the narrow streets in this tiny hamlet. The Magpie and Stump Hotel, built in 1850 beside Jackett’s steam flour mill, often had up to 100 heavily laden bullock drays passing through the village daily. The hotel incorporated a butcher shop and a bakery to feed the bullockies, plus cold local ales and beers to slake their thirst. The bakery’s original handcrafted 1850s brick oven is still used today to cook pizza for hungry travellers! A huge deposit of slate was discovered in 1850 by Peter Brady and by 1860, Mintaro slate was world famous, used for billiard tables, lintels, foundation stones, wine vats and troughs. It can be seen used in chimneys, rain water tanks, fence posts and tombstones in the local cemetery during a stroll around the town. Martindale Hall, built in 1879 by Edmund Bowman II on land purchased in 1845, was erected as the home of a country squire. Designed by English architect Ebenezer Gregg, the gracious mansion was built by British craftsmen brought out for this purpose. With an elegant coach-house and stable, Martindale Hall is a huge drawcard for visitors to Mintaro as it was featured in the 1975 movie Picnic at Hanging Rock as Mrs Appleyard’s school. These days, Martindale Hall can be booked for overnight accommodation, with formal meals in the original dining room available to guests. — Annie Payne

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


“Mum missed the boat

and the rest is history”.

“Everybody loved Frank the Yank… Born in Minnesota, my Dad, Frank Osborn, joined the US Army in 1941, hoping to be discharged after a year. Instead he found himself – and his future – on the other side of the world. Dad met my mother, Rhona, at an officer’s graduation party in Brisbane. With the offer of chewing gum in exchange for her number, their love was sealed on a PK wrapper. While war duty kept Mum and Dad apart, they were hastily married in 1945 when Dad’s supply ship was briefly docked in Sydney. It was 18 months before they would see each other again. On his discharge, Dad set about creating their new life in Minnesota, arranging for Mum to join him on the Brides’ Boat. But destiny had different plans. Mum fell gravely ill with appendicitis and couldn’t travel. On hearing the news, Dad set sail for a new life in Australia. Last year when we went to Minnesota I could only imagine ‘what if?’. Dad only ever went back once but walking in his footsteps, we’ve uncovered extraordinary things. With’s easy online tools we’ve traced the Osborns right back to the 15th Century. We now have 3000 names in our family tree and I’ve even unearthed convict forebears that were never spoken of in my family. Members Bruce & Chris Moore


I’m sure every family has a fascinating story, and when people ask me how I got started, I tell them my journey began at” – Chris Moore

Research and build your family tree online

Join today and get your FIRST 30 DAYS FREE! To take advantage of this great offer visit or call 1800 250 809 (toll free from Australia) *Terms and Conditions apply. Offer is valid until midnight AEDT on 30th June 2012. For more information and full terms and conditions please visit or call 1800 250 809 (toll free from Australia) Mon to Fri 9am–8pm, Sat and Sun 9am–4pm AEDT. TASK2 KAN60

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