History

EMPIRE DAY – LOLLIES AND CRACKERS!

EMPIRE DAY - LOLLIES AND CRACKERS!

I am an  Aussie who voted for a republic, but despite this  I have a nostalgic  affection for  Empire Day. It was  celebrated during my  1950’s  Tasmanian  childhood on May 24th, Queen Victoria’s birthday. A bag of boiled lollies  was distributed to each of us after we […]

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SCANDAL AT BLACKHEATH

SCANDAL AT BLACKHEATH

Wentworth Street in the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath  is filled  with tourists  during April and May, when  the deciduous trees put on a spectacular display of  autumn colour. I live just around the corner and it’s always a pleasure to walk along the street on my way […]

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ELIZABETH MACQUARIE AND DR JOHNSON

ELIZABETH MACQUARIE AND DR JOHNSON

                                           A WEDDING GIFT   On November 3 1807, 29 year old Elizabeth Henrietta Campbell married 46 year old Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie at Holsworthy, in the English county of Devon. Their wedding marked the end of a long separation. Macquarie had just returned from military service in […]

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Dr Ratten – Made in Chicago

Dr Ratten - Made in Chicago

TO CHICAGO – A MEDICAL MISSION On September 3 1906, a wealthy young dentist from Brisbane boarded  the passenger  ship Aorangi. He disembarked in Vancouver,  then entered the United States and  made his way to Chicago by train. His name was Victor Richard Ratten. Soon after he arrived […]

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WHAT BECAME OF PRIVATE QUAMBY AT ANZAC COVE?

WHAT BECAME OF PRIVATE QUAMBY AT ANZAC COVE?

LOST MATES  HAUNT AN ANZAC When Anzac veteran Arthur Singleton was admitted to a Tasmanian mental asylum in 1926 he spoke of being tormented by the voices of his dead mates on Gallipolli.  He went on to fight in France,  but it was memories of the carnage   […]

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The Mystery of the Lone Pine Medal

The Mystery of the Lone Pine Medal

Private Arthur Singleton (Service No. 301) was one  of the first young Australians to volunteer in WWI.  He was a farmer’s son, from South Road, Ulverstone.  Aged 20, he joined the Tasmanian 12th Battalion, sailing off  to Egypt aboard the troopship Geelong on October 20 1914. Arthur […]

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THE RIDDLE OF MR RIDLEY’S MURDER

THE RIDDLE OF MR RIDLEY'S MURDER

A CONTINUATION OF THE STORY, THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY – PART ONE. In May 1933, police were called to  a crime scene at a damp hovel  below what had once been  Ridley and Sons  Department Store complex, on the Lower East Side of New York.  The Ridley family had disposed […]

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THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY – PART ONE

THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY - PART ONE

Edward Ridley Snr emigrated to New York  City from Nottinghamshire in the early 1840’s.   From humble beginnings as a hawker of ribbons and other small items he eventually built a vast emporium at Grand and Allen Streets, on the Lower East Side. It was one of the city’s […]

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TIGER OF THE TASMANIAN KIND

TIGER OF THE TASMANIAN KIND

For many months in 1908 the Tasmanian coastal towns  of Penguin and Ulverstone were in a state of   alarm over repeated sightings of the carnivorous  marsupial, the  Tasmanian tiger.  This was an unusual situation. Tigers had already been hunted to near extinction, with a bounty on their heads.  It […]

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ALLY SLOPER AND THE RACING SCANDAL

ALLY SLOPER AND THE RACING SCANDAL

A CONTINUATION OF MY STORY;  THE SLOPER  AND THE STEEPLECHASE NEW OWNER FOR  THE SLOPER                               By 1911, three years on from his near win at Flemington’s  Grand National Steeplechase,  the Tasmanian jumper […]

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