Welcome to By the Bremer: Memories of Ipswich

We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about the rich history of Ipswich. Please join the conversation by commenting on any posts.

September 2014
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Ipswich: Our Military Heritage

Posted By on September 16, 2014

Ipswich’s first defence forces were established in 1860. With the Crimean War  in 1854-56 and the Russian scare in 1859, the Government at the time believed that the Ipswich and Brisbane area needed to be able to defend itself if an attack ever came there way. Colonel Charles Gray the Police Magistrate of Ipswich at the time gathered volunteers to establish an Ipswich Company of riflemen. The ‘Ipswich Battery of the Queensland Volunteer Artillery’ group and an Ipswich Troop of Mounted Rifles were formed soon after in 1864. Military training, camps, parades and official functions were held, with Ipswich volunteers training in the Milford Street Drill Hall.

The Boer war broke out in 1899 and by October of that year Ipswich had rallied and a number of volunteers were headed with Australian forces to Transvaal to fight in the South African conflict. Ipswich people were very patriotic and aware of the Boer War. A day of celebrations was held when War news reported the town of Mafeking was relieved.

William Johnson, Arthur Whitehead, and Arthur Callaway, Gallipoli, 1915

As Britain entered the conflict of World War 1 in 1914, calls went out to Queenslanders ‘to help the mother country in her hour of need’.  Many Ipswich men volunteered and soon there were groups leaving Ipswich for army camp. By 1915, Ipswich recruits were sending letters home from Egypt about their exploits overseas. As many Ipswich men moved to Gallipoli to fight, reality of the war soon struck home. Major Sydney Robertson of Quarry Street and Lt John Roberts of Flint Street, North Ipswich were the first Ipswich men to die in the beginning days of the Gallipoli campaign in April, 1915. Soon the sick and wounded started to arrive back in Ipswich. The Newspapers printed lists of those killed and injured and those taking up the cause and being farewelled on their way to war. A wave of Patriotism flooded through Ipswich and its surrounds. Flags were hung in shops, Red Cross branches gathered together to make clothes and bandages for injured soldiers and socks were knitted to be sent to soldiers overseas. A ‘Train Tea Society’ was formed by women to meet soldiers with refreshments as they came through Ipswich on Troop Trains. Patriotic parades, demonstrations and concerts were held. Recruiting rallies and marches were held with the most famous march beginning in Warwick and making its way through towns to Brisbane. Met with bands and parades in each town they changed into dungarees along the way and were soon known as ‘The Dungarees’ or ‘Binnie’s Dungarees’ after the leader Lieutenant J. D. Binnie. In Ipswich they were met by a huge crowd and the Ipswich Ladies Patriotic Committee presented them with a side drum. The men stayed at the Drill Hall in Milford Street for two days and left with 36 local recruits. As the Armistice was signed on November 11, Ipswich celebrated with ringing bells and bands playing. A public holiday and celebration was held the next day in Queens Park.

Military hut at Rollestone, Great Britain, used during World War 1, by William Johnson of Ipswich, Queensland, 1916

In 1938 a year before World War II began, an aerodrome named ‘RAAF Station Amberley’ was constructed on the outskirts of Ipswich. It commenced operations as an RAAF base in June of 1940. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on 15 December, 1941, United States Air Corp began to arrive and Australians and Americans began assembling Kittyhawk and Douglas Dauntless aircraft. Around 2290 personnel were at Amberley in early 1943. World War II also saw work on the Redbank Army camp in 1939. Huts were built and a road sealed from the railway station to the camp site. The number of personnel grew from 400 to 2500 quickly with recruits beginning training straight away. With the scare from Japan’s surprise attack on Pearly Harbour those still at home took measures to protect the community. First Aid Posts and volunteer fire-fighting teams were set up. Elevated positions around the city, such as the tower at Ipswich Grammar School and the rooftop skylight at Ipswich Girls Grammar were used as fire watch stations. Air raid shelters were built in the streets and slit trenches were dug at schools, businesses and at homes. With World War II also came rationing. Ration coupons were issued for items such as petrol, tobacco, tea and butter to name a few. The Ipswich community again rallied together and sent food parcels, to Britain and knitted woolen clothing to homeless school children in England.

Making hand grenades at Scotts’ Foundry, Wharf Street, Ipswich, 1940 – 1944

To read more about Ipswich and its military past visit the Viva Cribb Local History Resource Room at the Ipswich Central Library. The Local History Room is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. You can also visit the Picture Ipswich website at http://www.library.ipswich.qld.gov.au/ .

Information taken from Ipswich Remembers: Military Heritage of Ipswich from the 1860s to the 1990s by Robyn Buchanan, Ipswich District  Roll of Honour World War I by Edwin Habbin.


Commemorating The First World War – Private George William Elliott

Posted By on September 2, 2014

This year marks 100 years since the beginning of World War One.  Many local families of the time sent their sons, brothers, fathers, husbands and uncles to war, not knowing if they would ever see them again. There were many Ipswich men who joined the war effort between 1914 and 1918, and one such gentleman was George William Elliott.

George Elliott was born in Amberley, just outside of Ipswich in December 1894 to William and Jane Elliott. Growing up in Amberley, George received his primary schooling at the local State School as did his older brother Claude Leslie Elliott, who also served during the war as a Sapper. At 21 years of age in January 1916 George, who was then operating as a carpenter, enlisted at Brisbane in the Australian Imperial Force. He was unmarried at this stage and therefore listed his next of kin as his mother Mrs Jane Elliott of Amberley. According to his Attestation Papers George had previously undergone two years compulsory military training through Senior Cadets and was of a solid 5 feet 8 inches tall with a ‘fresh’ complexion and brown hair.

After enrolling and initial medical examinations George was sent to complete military training in Brisbane which he completed from the period of January 1916 to May 1916. Finally, on the 7th of September 1916 George was sent via boat to Rollestone, England, where he joined the 7th Training Battalion in November of 1916. After a brief stop, George continued onto France arriving in Etaples on the 4th of December 1916. From here he joined the 25th Australian Field Battalion. War records show little of George Elliott’s movements during the period of late December 1916 and early October 1917, however it is believed that the Battalion was located close to Zonnebeke, France during this time.

After spending several months fighting in France George was declared Missing in Action on the 4th of October 1917. During the period of October 1917 and July 1918 numerous investigations were carried out by the Board of Enquiry and the Red Cross Society to establish the occurrences that led to these events. Many fellow Battalion members were interviewed to establish if George was missing or deceased. On the 16th of July 1918 George William Elliott was declared Killed in Action after numerous first-hand accounts of his death surfaced in the enquiry. Several reports indicate thus:

H. Fairon statement made on 27th May, 1918:

“……he was detailed to guide a party out to the support line. I was with a separate party following in rear. I noticed a number of shells fall at the head of leading column. The column halted & then moved on. No call was made on the stretcher bearers, so we concluded that no one was hurt. When passing I saw some bodies, but this was common along the track. I did not think they were our troops. It was not till the next morning that I found out Elliot was missing. You must understand that there is always a certain amount of confusion when moving in the dark, and the dropping out of one man would not be noticed…..”

F.G. Burns statement made 7th of January 1918:

“As we were coming out on the night of the 5th (October) a shell burst in front of the Cy. (Company) and Elliott was missing….. he came over with me from Brisbane Sep. 7th 1916. He came from Ipswich. I was in camp with him in Brisbane for 4 months and with him all through…”

In September 1918, after nearly a year with no word regarding their son’s disappearance, Mr and Mrs Elliott were informed of his demise. George’s only personal possessions were sent home: a bible, a belt and a note book. George William Elliot’s body was never found, and as such he has no final resting place in either France or Australia, as was the case for many troops who fought in The Great War. Although George has no grave he is commemorated on the Amberley Honour Stone and the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, as well as a memorial plaque, memorial scroll and book entitled “Where the Australian’s Rest”. Items such as these are in the first instance given to the next of kin however this was not possible as George’s mother Jane Elliott passed away in May 1919 before they could be awarded. As such William Elliott, George’s father, was permitted to accept on her behalf. George was just one of the many people, both soldiers and civilians, who lost their lives as a result of this war, and today we remember their sacrifices.

Portrait of George William Elliott, Ipswich ca. 1915 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Information retrieved from: The Amberley Honour Stone by Edwin Habben; Ipswich & District Roll of Honour World War 1 by Edwin Habben; National Archives of Australia World War 1 Records for George William Elliott; Australian War Memorial Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing file for George William Elliott.



Posted By on August 11, 2014

Lieutenant Charles Douglas Scott, Ipswich, 1914
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

There has been a fantastic response to The Picture Ipswich ‘World War I – Photo Drive’. A flood of images of local soldiers and their families have been added to the Picture Ipswich database. The men, their images and stories will not be forgotten. Here is one soldier’s story.

Charles Douglas Livingstone Scott was born in Ipswich in 1890, to parents William and Beatrice. The family home was in Waghorn Street, Ipswich. Charles had 3 brothers, Robert, twins – Alexander and William and sister Beatrice. In 1895, Charles aged 4 lost his father who passed away from an attack of English cholera.

Around the age of ten years Charles moved to Peak Crossing to live with his Aunt, Miss M. McConnechy, and attended the Peak Crossing School. He was a splendid shot and regularly went on possum shooting expeditions with other boys in the town. He was a fine swimmer as well as a good horseman.

Charles was a popular rugby league player and played for the ‘Starlights’ Team, North Ipswich as a forward. He represented Ipswich, Queensland (1911 & 1913) and Australia against England, New South Wales and New Zealand in matches played in Brisbane.

Charles began his employment as an Office-boy for Ipswich City Council in 1906 and worked his way up to the position of Junior Clerk. Charles received a fountain pen on leaving the Ipswich City Council in October of 1908. His next employment was a position at The Queensland Times, Ipswich as a reporter. In 1914 he moved on to a position as a senior reporter for The Courier, Brisbane.

Charles enlisted into the Army on 22nd August, 1914. He did his training at the Enoggera Camp grounds along with others in the mounted infantry, the infantry and the artillery units. Sometimes known as Charlie or Scotty, Trooper Charles Scott became a Corporal in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment unit. He embarked for overseas duty with A.I.F on A15, His Majesty’s Australian Troopship “Star of England” on 24th September 1914 from the port of Brisbane, Queensland. Corporal Scott served as an infantryman with other members of the Light Horse Regiment who assisted in the fighting at Gallipoli.  He transferred to the Infantry in 1916 and became a Sergeant in the 47th Battalion. He was then transferred to another unit and dispatched to the French frontier. In 1916 Sergeant Scott spent some time convalescing in Weymonth, England. By 1917 Charles had been promoted to second Lieutenant. He was awarded the D.C.M.  (Distinguished Conduct Medal) for meritorious work in France.

On Thursday the 7th of June, 1917, Lieutenant Charles Douglas Livingstone Scott age 26 years was killed in Action on the fields of Messines, Belgium. His was buried at Messines Ridge British Cemetery, West Flanders, Belgium.

During his time in the Infantry he was awarded with the Military Cross, the Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is listed on the following Honour Stones and Memorials: Memorial Hall Roll of Honour, Western Suburbs Honour Stone, Peak Crossing Honour Board, St. Stephen’s Church Ipswich Honour Board, St. Paul’s Church, Ipswich Honour Board.

An article from The Register, 26th June, 1917 reads -

‘Rewards for Bravery’: The following awards to Australian soldiers for distinguished service:-

Military Cross

Second Lieut. CHARLES DOUGLAS SCOTT, Infantry. – He carried out several daring reconnaissance’s under heavy fire, and obtained most valuable information. He has at all times set a splendid example of courage and determination.

Picture Ipswich is still looking for photographs of those who served overseas or at home, and images of the Ipswich community during the war years. If you have photos, documents or other memorabilia, please contact Ipswich Libraries’ Digital Archivist on (07) 3810 7272 or email pictureipswich@library.ipswich.qld.gov.au. All images are scanned and returned to donors.

Information taken Ipswich District Roll of Honour World War 1 by Edwin Habbin, Examination for Office Boy (The Qld Times, Ipswich Herald & General Advertiser 20-09-1906), Personal – leaving ICC employ (The Qld Times, Ipswich Herald & General Advertiser 3-11-1908), Football and other Notes (The Queensland Times 30-08-1913), The Concentration Camp at Enoggera (The Queensland Times 31-08-1914), Personal – Send off from QT (The Queensland Times 20-07-1914), Letters from the Front – Corpl. Charles Scott (The Queensland Times 11-08-1915), Ipswich and District – Military News (The Queensland Times 30-04-1917), Soldiers Letters (The Queensland Times 14-08-1916), Lieut. C D Scott – Killed in Action (The Queensland Times 20-06-1917), The Late Lieut. C Scott – An Appreciation (The Queensland Times 21-06-1917), Personal Notes (The Queensland Times 23-06-1917), Rewards for Bravery (The Register – Adelaide 26-06-1917), In Memorian Lieut. Charles Douglas Scott, M.C. (The Queensland Times 29-06-1917), Public Notices – Special Policy (The Queensland Times 09-03-1918), Roll of Honour ‘In memory’ (The Queensland Times 7-6-1918)


World War I Photo Drive

Posted By on August 6, 2014

Thank you to everybody who responded to the World War I Photo Drive which was launched in February. Some great photos, documents and memorabilia were received. Go to the World War I icon on the Picture Trails in Picture Ipswich to view the images collected so far – there are even a few personal photograph albums included. To access Picture Ipswich go to Ipswich Libraries’ web site www.library.ipswich.qld.gov.au and click on the Picture Ipswich icon.

Picture Ipswich is still looking for photographs of those who served overseas or at home, and images of the the Ipswich community during the war years. If you have photos, documents or other memorabilia, please contact Ipswich Libraries’ Digital Archivist on (07) 3810 7272 or email pictureipswich@library.ipswich.qld.gov.au. All images are scanned and returned to donors.

Some of the soldiers who are on Picture Ipswich are unidentified. If you are able to identify the soldier in the photo below or any of the other soldiers from World War I on Picture Ipswich, please contact Ipswich Libraries’ Digital Archivist on (07) 3810 7272 or email pictureipswich@library.ipswich.qld.gov.au.

Portrait of unidentified soldier from Ipswich, taken in France, 1914 – 1918 Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich


Joseph Rose’s Universal Emporium

Posted By on August 4, 2014

On November 29, 1884 Joseph Rose opened the doors of his Universal Emporium. For weeks prior to opening day the Queensland Times carried notices alerting people to this new business venture. The advertisements promoted an excitingly wide range of products, including glassware, china, lamps, medicines, perfumes, toiletries, general goods and toys.

The Universal Emporium at 80 Brisbane Street – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

It was Joseph’s first foray into business ownership, having just left the employ of Cribb and Foote. He had previously worked as a bootmaker, apprenticed to Mr T.M. Lang, and then for Cribb and Foote in their boot department. Later he was a junior clerk and collector in the Cribb and Foote office. He spent about 15 months working in the boot and drapery departments of J. and G. Harris, before returning to Cribb and Foote where for ten years he was in charge of the crockery department.

Rose’s Universal Emporium was located in James McGill’s new building, a two-storey brick building located between the Palais Royal Hotel and the Queensland Woollen Company. The building still stands today at number 80 Brisbane Street, having housed a number of businesses over the years including the well-known John Black’s Oyster Saloon, later named the City Cafe.

Joseph Rose’s Universal Emporium, 1895. Part of ‘Pictorial Supplement’ in Queensland Times newspaper, 24 January 1895 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich.

During the floods of February 1893 the Emporium was flooded, with the water reaching a level of 10ft 9 inches inside the building. Two weeks later the shop was again flooded. Luckily Joseph had been able to remove most of his stock from the premises before the floodwater rose. His neighbouring merchant in the building was not so lucky and lost a great deal of floor stock to water damage.

Around this time Mrs Richard Watson was constructing a series of three shops further up the street, directly across from Bell Street. As soon as these buildings were complete Joseph moved his business into the lower of the three. Rose’s Universal Emporium opened at its new location in early 1896.

In March 1902, after some eighteen years in business, the Emporium closed its doors for the final time.

Information taken from Old Identities: Mr Joseph Rose, The Queensland Times, Saturday 20 June 1914, page 10.


Ben Taylor and I.X.L Photographic Studio

Posted By on July 29, 2014

Nicholas Street in flood, Ipswich, 1893; Benjamin Taylor’s studio, IXL
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Mr Benjamin Hurst Taylor married Laura Jane Harris in 1880 and settled in Warwick where he worked as a Storekeeper for Messrs. Beale & Co. In 1881 their daughter Laura Lydia Taylor was born and soon after the family moved to Ipswich.

Ben set up a photographic studio with Arthur Mouland in 1883 and honed his photography talent. Arthur left the business in 1888, while Ben became an official Government Photographer based in Ipswich, travelling all over the state to photograph scenes. In 1893 Ben established his own business; the I. X. L. Photographic Studio located in Greenham’s Chambers, Nicholas Street. His wife an accomplished photographer herself, assisted him with colouring and photography projects. From here Ben Taylor and his studio I.X.L became one of Ipswich’s most well-known and genial photographers. He and his business were mentioned regularly in local newspapers for photographing weddings, family gatherings and community events. He was disposed to landscapes and streetscapes, some becoming postcards and some of which were published in various pictorial view books, such as the government prescribed illustrated book, ‘The people, products and industries of West Moreton’. Five thousand copies were prepared by order of the Queensland Government and were sent to England for distribution by the Immigration Lecturer at the Greater Britain Exhibition. Another five thousand were printed for sale here in Ipswich and surrounds. The Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser supplied the Letter press for these copies and also printed the ten thousand copies.

Bremer River, in flood, Ipswich, 1893; Ben Taylor Studio IXL
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Mr Taylor was invited to photograph the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the business of Messrs. Cribb and Foote held at ‘Hillside’ on the 3rd May 1899. His subsequent sale and display of 10 photograph mementos taken at the picnic included portraits of the interior of the dining marquee, the mammoth cake and several different groups, all of which were tastefully finished.

Formal portrait of unidentified bride and groom, Ipswich, ca. 1900; Taylor I.X.L. Studios
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

The Picture Ipswich database is fortunate enough to have a number of I.X.L studios photographs, postcards and glass plates. If you are interested in early pictures of Ipswich and its population, please visit the Picture Ipswich site located on the home page of the Ipswich Library.

Information taken from Rockton and its families by Angela Geertsma, The People, Products, and Industries of West Moreton (Ipswich Herald & General Advertiser 01-07-1899)


Picture Puzzle

Posted By on July 21, 2014

Many of the images in Picture Ipswich have been kindly provided by the community. Gems have come to light along the way that are unable to be identified or important information is missing and because of this we seek the community’s help.

The photograph below is believed to have been taken in Ipswich ca. 1895. The man standing on the left is Arthur George Foote who is believed to have been a “pupil teacher” for the Queensland Education Department in the 1890s. The adult male on the right is unidentified but possibly a teacher. The school is unknown but it is thought likely to be Boys’ Central State School.

If you are able to identify the school or any of the people in the image, or provide further information, please contact the Digital Archivist at Ipswich Central Library on 3810 7272 or email:-


Can you identify this group? Arthur Foote with boys school group, ca. 1895 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich





Ipswich photographers through the decades

Posted By on July 18, 2014

The images above were taken approximately 100 years apart in similar positions on Brisbane Street looking down what was previously known as Nicholas Street (now Ipswich City Mall). The first image was taken by Whitehead Studios in 1898 whilst the second image was taken by photographer Lyle Radford in 2005 – Images courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Photography was an important part of Ipswich’s early years as a city, with many families visiting photography studios around the area to have group, family and sporting shots taken. Many of these early photographs still exist today as do some of the early and fragile glass plates first used in this industry. For families in the early days photography was a way to remember important or special events in a family member’s life and to also send such mementos to friends or relatives who may have lived in far reaching towns or other states. Today, photos are still taken with similar purposes in mind, and in some ways we take for granted the technology we possess to capture a moment preserved for perpetuity.

During this period of time many different photographic techniques were adopted to keep up with the continued demand and constantly evolving technology. The Queensland Times Newspaper often contained advertisements for local studios advertising new and improved techniques with the purpose of attracting customers to a quicker process, clearer shot and unblemished finish, all of which were considered to be an innovation at the time.

Between the 1850s and 1930s many photographic studios and photographers existed in the Ipswich area, including Whitehead Studios, who still operate in Ipswich today. Whiteheads was established in 1883 by Mr Francis Arnold Whitehead after he purchased the Frisco Photo Company’s Studio on Ellenborough Street. To read more on F.A. Whiteheads story and the establishment of Whitehead Studios view this earlier post on our By the Bremer blog.

Another early photographer of the time was a gentleman by the name of Biggingee Sorabjee Poochee. Mr Poochee was originally from Bombay, India and came to Australia in the 1860s before arriving in Ipswich to establish a photography business in 1863 in a studio on the corner of Bell and Union Streets. During his time in Ipswich B.S. Poochee produced many award-winning and now famous photographs of the Ipswich area and its founding families. To read more about Biggingee’s story view this earlier post on our By the Bremer blog.

The Frisco Photo Co. which was owned and operated by George Anthony Tissington was another early studio around in Ipswich’s early days. Mr Tissington set up his first studio in Brisbane in 1877 before opening another in Ipswich in Mr Poochee’s old premises on Brisbane Street in 1878. He then moved to an Ellenborough Street address where he employed the local budding photographer F.A. Whitehead. George boasted many services including enlargements to life size or reductions to fit small lockets.

Trademark of Frisco Photo Co. between 1878 and 1882 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

William Deazeley was another prominent Ipswich photographer who first established his studio on Brisbane Street, Ipswich in 1882. William also operated a studio in South Brisbane during this time and specialised in portrait and landscape photography. In the 1860s his father John Deazeley joined him at his studio until 1886 when he relocated to Queen Street, Brisbane. In 1888 William Deazeley’s studio was taken over by the then well- established F.A. Whitehead Studios.

Portrait of Maggie O’Sullivan taken by William Deazeley in the Brisbane Street Studios in 1880s – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Lomer & Co. studios although not principally an Ipswich establishment, having been established for many years in Brisbane, set up a studio in the area in 1898. The Brisbane studio was owned and operated by Gustav Collin on the behalf of Albert Lomer, with assistance from a Mr Francis Keogh. Little is known about Lomer & Co’s time in Ipswich, however a number of photographs still exist as evidence of their presence.

Today, Ipswich is still home to several photography studios and photographers, however with innovative new technology the business of photography has become simpler and quicker for both the photographer and the subject. One of these photographers is Lyle Radford, several of whose images can be found on the Picture Ipswich website. Mr Radford was born in Victoria and completed his apprenticeship as a photographer in the 1970s. During his time as a photographer he has produced over 450,000 images of varying subjects, formats and using a wide range of procedures. After working for a number of years in Victoria, Lyle moved to Queensland where he became a photographer for the Courier Mail and Sunday Mail newspapers as well as chief photographer for The Queensland Times newspaper. He has had the opportunity to photograph many amazing events in Australia as well as a number of celebrities, among which included the Dalai Lama.

Paul Geddes is another modern photographer in the Ipswich area. He was born in Ipswich and started his photography career in 1971 by taking photographs of local Ipswich events such as school formals and later moved on to establish himself as a wedding photographer. Soon after, he transferred his skills to photography for media and advertising purposes, where he stayed for 19 years. Although not working in this field any more Paul is still an avid professional photographer and has a passion for landscape photography which he transforms into printed art pieces.

The preservation of Ipswich’s heritage is important to many residents. The Picture Ipswich website was established with the purpose to preserve our history through contributed photographs. All of these amazing experiences and memories captured in photographs are excellent examples of Ipswich’s past and should be preserved for the benefit of future generations.


Click and You Shall Find – Investigating Your Anzac Ancestors

Posted By on July 16, 2014

As we commemorate 100 years since World War 1 began, there has been renewed interest in the Anzac soldiers who fought for our country on foreign soil all those years ago. Do you have any relatives who were Anzac soldiers? If so, do you want to know more about their experiences of war?

Why not come along to one of our hands-on sessions and learn how to use online tools and library resources to uncover more about your family’s military history?  Sessions will include searching for service records and other military information on the National Archives of Australia and Australian War Memorial websites.

These stand-alone sessions will be held at the following branches of Ipswich Libraries.  The content of each session will be the same.  Participants should have some computer experience.

Ipswich Central Library, 40 South Street, Wednesday 31 July 2014 , 10.00am – 11.00am

Redbank Library, Moreton Avenue, Thursday 14 August 2014, 10.00am – 11.00am

Redbank Plaza Library, Redbank Plaza Shopping Centre, 1 Collingwood Drive, Tuesday 2 September 2014, 10.00am – 11.00am

Book online using our Calendar of Events or phone (07) 3810-6815.

Group of Ipswich, Queensland, soldiers, Rollestone Camp, Salisbury Plains, England, 1916 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich


Ipswich’s Sweet Tooth

Posted By on June 25, 2014

Ipswich was home to Confectionery Manufacturers from as early as 1877. Some businesses stood the test of time and were industries in Ipswich for a number of years, others weren’t so timely.

Mr J Bouchards Confectionery Factory was established at the Terrace, North Ipswich in 1877. Mr Bouchards advertised himself as a maker of all kinds of English and French Confectionary from hoky pokies to Tom Thumbs. Mr Bouchard was known to use only the best and purest white sugar which he obtained from the Colonial Sugar Company in Brisbane.

The Treagle family and staff
(Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich – Ipswich in the 20th Century by Robyn Buchanan)

Treagles & Sons Manufacturing Confectioner was a family owned business run by the Treagle family. Established around 1900 in Bell Street, Ipswich, the factory employed about 20 people for jobs such as ‘Sugar boilers’, delivery men and travelers who took orders from shops. A machine powered by a steam engine would grind the sugar into icing sugar before it was mixed with other ingredients. Often lolly mixtures were put through rolling machines to flatten and then they were cut into shapes. To make boiled lollies all the ingredients like sugar and glucose had to be melted first. “Sugar boilers” as they were called, would boil the ingredients in copper vats or tubs. How long the mixture was boiled for indicated the final texture of the lolly. Hot temperatures made a hard lolly and medium heat made a soft lolly. The mixture was then tipped out onto steel benches to stiffen and cool. When ready, the mixture was cut into straps and pulled over hooks on the wall. Hand cutters were used to cut the lengths into small pieces ready for sale. Treagles made everything in the way of confectionery from boiled lollies to chocolates and became very popular due to the high quality of their sweets. The Treagle brand of icing sugar was one of their best sellers.

A.M. Johnson, confectioner’s truck, from F.W. Johnson City Motor Works, Ipswich, 1920s
(Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich)

A. M. Johnson bought the confectionery business in Bell Street from George Treagle in 1921. The business then moved to the corner of Bell and Union Streets to a larger factory known as The Johnson Lolly Factory or A. M. Johnson & Sons Confectionery Works. Mr Johnson bought his truck from his brother, F.W. Johnson’s dealership in Ipswich. The signage on the side of the truck read: “Morrows Biscuits & Confectionery” and “A.M. Johnson Manufacturing Confectioner”. In 1949 the Johnson Lolly Factory set a personal record of making 80,000 sugar Easter eggs in a variety of colours due to a huge demand at the time. Manufacturing sugar eggs took a total of three days starting with shaping the sugar mixture on a plastic mould and waiting for it to set. Then sweets and English novelties were put inside the egg which was then sealed with a rippled sugar mixture and baked at a temperature of 110 degrees. Chocolate Easter eggs started to be produced a year later with the installation of extra machinery. By 1950 The Johnson Lolly Factory was manufacturing coloured candy sticks (Fairy floss), boiled sweets, licorice all sorts, caramels, jubes and fondants.

Johnson lolly factory, corner Union and Bell Street, Ipswich, 1970
(Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich)

Information courtesy of Picture Ipswich, “Treagle -The Leading ConfectionerIpswich in the 20th Century – Robyn Buchanan, “Messrs. GeorgeTreagle and Son” (The Queensland Times 15-12-1917), “G. Treagle and Sons” (The Queensland Times 14-12-1916), “Easter Eggs a Big Time Business” (The Queensland Times 19-01-1950), Mr J Bouchard’s Confectionery factory” (The Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser 02-06-1894).