Welcome to By the Bremer: Memories of Ipswich

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Made in Ipswich – Chamber of Manufacturers

Posted By on October 24, 2014

On 24 October 1929, representatives from manufacturing firms in Ipswich and the surrounding district formed an association with the principal aim of fostering a preference for locally manufactured goods. One of the ways the Chamber of Manufacturers fulfilled their aim was by exhibitions of locally made goods.  At the first exhibition in the Town Hall in 1930, the Mayor lamented that some people seemed to believe that goods made in Ipswich were not on par with those produced in other places. This situation had arisen for the manager of the Ipswich Woollen Company who noted that although their sales in places like Adelaide were good, they had difficulties selling cloth in Ipswich itself. While in the early 1900s there had been much pride in locally produced goods, this outlook had changed possibly due to the increased mobility of locals which enabled them to see the wider choices available to them.

Buy Local advertisement - Queensland Times - 11 October 1930 - Courtesy of Trove

Buy Local advertisement – Queensland Times – 11 October 1930 – Courtesy of Trove

The Chamber of Manufacturers continued to hold exhibitions in the Ipswich Town Hall, with thousands of people from around the district in attendance. They also arranged for local school children to attend these exhibitions and followed up by organising visits to factories operated by members of the Chamber.  Following their visits, the children were encouraged to write essays with prizes awarded for the best ones. These visits were very successful and as a result the Queensland Tourism Bureau arranged excursions for Brisbane school children so they could experience some of the unique factories operating in Ipswich.

During its existence, other promotional activities were held by the Chamber of Manufacturers including a “Back to Ipswich” Week in March 1935.  In addition to an industrial exhibition, this promotional week featured dances, a procession, a flower show, window displays, sporting competitions and a CWA congress.   The Wintergarden held a screening of the film “The City Beautiful – Ipswich” at the end of this week and 1500 people also attended a picnic at Colleges Crossing.

Back to Ipswich Week advertisement - Queensland Times - 16 March 1935 - Courtesy of Trove

Back to Ipswich Week advertisement – Queensland Times – 16 March 1935 – Courtesy of Trove

In a 1935 publication called “City of Ipswich” the Chamber was described as a lively and progressive association that had increased the public’s interest in purchasing locally-made products and boosted employment in the area.  At this time, the Chamber was represented by four furniture factories, three woollen factories, one buttery factory, two sash and door factories, one axe factory, four cordial manufacturers, one pottery ware factory and one soap factory.   Together, the Woollen Companies employed around 600 people, while the Axe Handle Factory had 85 employees and in 1934 produced over 205,000 handles.

Queensland Woollen Manufacturing Company postcard, North Ipswich, ca. 1920 - Image Courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Queensland Woollen Manufacturing Company postcard, North Ipswich, ca. 1920 – Image Courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Despite this success, at the seventh annual meeting of the Chamber of Manufacturers in December 1936, local manufacturers were described as indifferent and apathetic.  The number of members had declined significantly over the year and it was suggested that they amalgamate with the Chamber of Commerce.   In 1937 there was a renewed interested in membership to the Chamber although talks of amalgamation continued.  In February 1938, at the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, members passed a resolution to amalgamate with the Chamber of Manufacturers.   At a meeting of the latter on March 4, the recommendations proposed by the Chamber of Commerce were adopted. With the resolution for the absorption of the Chamber of Manufacturers confirmed at a meeting on 17 March, the president of the Chamber of Commerce stated that “I am convinced we will work whole-heartedly together, and that it will be in the best interests of this city and surrounding district.”

 Ipswich in the 20th Century by Robyn Buchanan; Chamber of Manufacturers – City of Ipswich Publication; “Apathy Deplored.” Chamber of Manufacturers.  Mr C.H. Rich New President.  Queensland Times, Tuesday 8 December 1936, p. 11; “Revived Interest.” Chamber of Manufacturers.  Mr W. Medley New President.  Thursday 2 December 1937, p. 8; “An Epoch.” Chambers Amalgamate. Commercial Men and Manufacturers. Queensland Times Friday 18 March 1938, p. 6

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Brickworks and Potteries of Ipswich

Posted By on October 22, 2014

In the early pioneer days Ipswich was a hub of industrial growth. From its early establishment as the town of Limestone, Ipswich was the producer of many primary materials for Queensland’s early houses and buildings. Some of the more prominent factories included several saw mills, cotton plantations, a woollen Clothing production factory, a number of foundries, Coal mines and many brick and pottery businesses. It was these brick, ceramic and pottery places, established in the 1850s, which grew over the years to form an integral part of Ipswich’s industrial heritage.

The Bremer Mills - Bremer Mills was established on a 33 acre block of land in 1851 by Joseph Fleming after he arrived in Ipswich via the Darling Downs in 1850. The Mills were located on the banks of the Bremer River in Bundamba and were originally used as a boiling down works. However, after the purchasing of a further two blocks of land the services were extended to include a saw mill, flour mill and a brick works. The property also contained accommodation and a school and church for his 300 strong workforce and families. At this period of time it was common for multiple industry productions to be operated through one site and as such there was another site similar to The Bremer Mills operating out of Redbank, which was owned by James Campbell.

West Moreton Pottery Works and Richard Rogers & Co. -  Both of these large enterprises were owned by builder, Richard Hoggslpesh Rogers. Rogers arrived in Ipswich in 1874 where he commenced work for William Hancock as a building contractor. After a number of years in this field of work Rogers became aware of a shortage of good quality brick materials in the Ipswich area and decided to establish a brickyard. So, having purchased a large block of land at Brassall on Holt Street in 1885 he went into production as West Moreton Pottery Works. After producing a high quantity of bricks Rogers came to realise that the clay he was using was of perfect composition to be transformed into fine pottery objects and pipes.

His pottery business took off in 1886 and he was quickly overrun with orders, including the production of 150,000 bricks for the then new railway station on Union Street. He was also employing up to 20 workers to produce bricks using the hand press methods that involved the use of a portable press, with the boys producing up to 1300 bricks a day! Due to the sudden influx Rogers decided to undertake a partnership in 1887 with Henry E. Wyman, and changed the name of the company to reflect this to: Richard Rogers & Co. Along with this partnership a number of alterations were made to the pottery works with the company installing a delf and slip kiln which were used to produce stoneware objects.

Advertisement taken from The Queensland Times Newspaper, 2nd March 1889 - Courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Advertisement taken from The Queensland Times Newspaper, 1889 – Courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Throughout their time in the business Rogers and Wyman produced many fine examples of glazed pottery which were entered into national and international exhibits and competitions including the ‘Centennial International Exhibition’ in Melbourne. In 1889 the company entered into a partnership with a local business to sell their wears to the local residents. They also advertised water filters, butter coolers and bread pans in the Queensland Times. One of the biggest projects that Richard Rogers & Co. undertook, however was the production of a grand 1.2 metre water fountain on behalf of the Queensland Pastoral and Agricultural Society in 1896 which contained three interconnected bowls and was presented to Lord Lamington at the opening of the Ipswich Show. By 1898 the firm was no longer in business.  It it is not known what caused the sudden cease in production; however the 1893 Flood could have been a contributing factor.

Dinmore Brickworks & Pottery – Dinmore Brickworks and Pottery was established in 1884 by three parties: W.T. Clark, T.F. Fauset and H.C. Thompson. The factory was located near Dinmore Railway Station and the company also had a premises on Queen Street, Brisbane. The 80 acres of land on which the pottery was located contained ideal clay to produce various types of earthenware, stoneware, bricks and pipes and the seam was also quite deep, so would last for many years. Upon first starting, the pottery used a number of different methods for making and firing bricks, including the use of a newer plastic process and the semi-dry process which could easily produce up to 15,000 bricks a day. The land also had eight brick kilns installed and two pipe kilns, which they used to produce drain-pipes. Like Richard Rogers & Co., the Dinmore Pottery also produced a wide array of domestic pottery such as teapots, water filters, soap trays and Staffordshire ware which they too exhibited in national and international shows. By 1886 the company had employed 25 men and boys who were producing up to 20,000 bricks a day which were being used in many of the large buildings in the Brisbane area. The company grew at a rapid rate throughout its years in operation and employed a number of Ipswich’s budding pottery production company owners. However, with the depression years came hard times and Dinmore Brickworks and Pottery was forced to close in 1889.

Dinmore Pottery near Ipswich, 1897 - Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Dinmore Pottery near Ipswich, 1897 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Sandhurst Pottery & Gilson & Rumble, Dinmore Pottery – James Rumble originally started out as a potter for the Dinmore Brick & Tile Company with fellow potter David Agnew in 1886. After some initial experience in the Queensland industry James decided to open his own pottery company with David Agnew in 1887 and leased a block of land on Bognuda Street Bundamba. The factory became known as Sandhurst Pottery. Due the pairs previous experience in the field they were well on their way to producing fine works such as majolica, Rockingham, earthenware, and specific domestic items such as bakers dishes and milk dishes. Many of the finer works of pottery were entered into national and international competitions and exhibits with great success. However, the partnership was short-lived and in 1889 was no longer. James Rumble then went on to work at Lithgow Pottery in New South Wales, but still continued to manage the Sandhurst Pottery until 1897. During his time at the Lithgow Pottery he met fellow potter James Gilson and soon they had formed a partnership of their own. In 1895 Rumble joined Gilsons pottery on Potters Road, Dinmore. Once again the partnership turned out to be highly successful with many of their pieces such as teapots, mixing bowls, jugs, spittoons, jelly cans and flower pots winning numerous international awards for quality. They were producers as partners for many years; however in 1907 James Gilson sold his share of the business to Rumble. James Rumble operated the pottery, which became known as Dinmore Pottery J.A. Rumble Proprietor, until 1916 when it was taken over by Reliance Pottery Company. Rumble stayed on as an employee, doing what he loved, until his retirement in 1940.

Information taken from: “Ipswich Potteries: 1873-1926″ by Geoff Ford ; “Timeline of Ceramics Industry in Ipswich” ; “the history of the ceramics industry in Ipswich” ; “Place Product: Investigations into the ceramic production in the Ipswich area” by Susan Ostling

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Hancocks Timber Mill, North Ipswich

Posted By on October 20, 2014

Part of 'Pictorial Supplement' in Queensland Times newspaper, 24 January 1895 (image courtesy of Picture Ipswich)

Part of ‘Pictorial Supplement’ in Queensland Times newspaper, 24 January 1895
(image courtesy of Picture Ipswich)

Thomas Hancock senior came to Australia from Cornwall with his family in 1856 and moved to the West Moreton District in 1864. He and his sons worked as Sawyers in the Pine Mountain area and established a sawmill in the Rosewood scrub area around 1867. Cut logs were floated downstream to the mill at ‘Kircheim’, now known as Haigslea.

The family moved to Ipswich and set up a timber yard in Upper Brisbane Street, Ipswich, adding to their timber business. In 1878 they took over the lease of the North Ipswich timber mill from a James Reilly. The mill was able to turn out 50,000 feet of sawn timber per week. They subsequently purchased this mill and set up a smaller mill in Canning Street, North Ipswich. In 1880 Thomas purchased land at Lamington Parade in North Ipswich along the Bremer River and set up a large mill with three storeys which would become their main office; the business now known as Thomas Hancock & Sons. This would become their head office. In 1885 the railway branch line which carried railway rolling stock from the Bremer River wharf to the Railway Workshops was extended at cost to the firm to link up with their sawmill in Lamington Parade. This coincided with a major fire destroying almost all of the original buildings at the North Ipswich, Lamington Parade mill. With easy access now to the railway line the business soon rebuilt and expanded. Timber in the log could be brought right to the mill by rail from Harrisville and Lowood and timber cuts from the mill could be delivered by rail instead of steamers and punts. The business once again held a mill, joinery and moulding plant. A Lathe department produced doors, window sashes and panelling. By this time Hancock & Sons were well known as having one of the most valuable properties of its kind in Queensland. Thomas senior retired from the business in 1884 and passed away in 1891 leaving his two sons, Thomas junior and Josias to run the business. Josias Hancock supervised the iron founding, smithing and machinery branches while Thomas Hancock junior looked after the timber mill. In the same year Hancock Brothers began making furniture by machinery and fancy palisading for verandahs. Employee numbers grew to around 274 by 1886.

In 1898 the business became Hancock and Gore and converted to a limited liability company in 1904 with Thomas senior’s grandson, Josias Henry Hancock overseeing. Under Josias’s management the company expanded rapidly. Mills were built at five locations in Brisbane and 13 rural locations in Queensland. By 1945 the company became Australia’s largest producer of plywood. By 1990, the fourth generation of the Hancock family was still running the Hancock mill at North Ipswich and new products such as plywood decking were being made. In 1995 Boral bought the company. In 2011 Boral Hancock Plywood closed its doors.

To read more about Hancocks timber mill or the history of Ipswich, please visit the Viva Cribb Local History Room located at the Ipswich Central Library or go to our Picture Ipswich database at www.library.ipswich.qld.gov.au

Information taken from Boiler House – Hancock’s Sawmill, Ipswich; Ipswich in the 20th Century by Robyn Buchanan; ‘Ipswich City Council ‘Heritage Study, 1992′; Jimna Single Men’s Barracks (former) http://eheritage.metadata.net/record/QLD-602685 ; Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails: Separation to Federation (1900) http://www.brisbanevalleyheritage.org.au/separation-to-federation-1900/

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Percy Manders – Boating on the Bremer

Posted By on September 30, 2014

In 1932, as an addition to his trucking business, Percy Manders purchased a 40 foot cargo vessel from Foggitt Jones Pty Ltd and began operating a regular transport service between Brisbane and Ipswich.  This vessel, Eclipse, carried 18-20 tons of mixed cargo and made three return trips each week.   Four years later, Percy acquired another vessel which he named Bremer (formerly known as Cowslip).  The Bremer was powered by a three cylinder Palmer engine and had a load capacity of 25 tons.

Eclipse (boat), Bremer River, Ipswich 1936 - Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Eclipse (boat), Bremer River, Ipswich 1936 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

As recalled by a former crew member, each vessel carried a crew of two and departed Ipswich early in the morning on alternate days.  The trip to the Short Street wharf in Brisbane took around four hours with the cargo unloaded upon arrival.  While the crew were normally ready to depart back to Ipswich by 4pm they regularly had to wait hours for the proper tide conditions to ensure they could navigate past Seventeen Mile Rocks.

Traversing the Bremer and Brisbane Rivers was challenging and skippers were dependent on landmarks.  Percy compiled a set of navigation instructions with directions like, “keep on starboard bank for about a mile, look out for a board nailed on a large gum tree right at the water’s edge, this gum has a large boulder at its base; cross the river here at an angle of about 45 degrees…”   Adding to the problems of navigation were the regular floods and shifting river shoals.

Unfortunately, in 1938 the fully-loaded Eclipse ran aground on a sandbank at the Brisbane end of the swing-basin.  Once the Eclipse was re-floated, it was towed by the Bremer to a sandbank on the north bank across from the Roseberry Parade wharf, where temporary repairs were undertaken at low tide.  The Eclipse’s engine required significant maintenance which ultimately proved fruitless – during the engine’s trial run it backfired, caught fire and totally destroyed the vessel.  Consequently, additional cargo boats – including Regina, Gold Crest and Kauri - were hired as needed.

Remains of Percy Manders’ Eclipse (boat) - Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Remains of Percy Manders’ Eclipse (boat) – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

With the arrival of World War II, the Navy requisitioned the Bremer and used it to transport equipment to a port located at Cowan Cowan.  The vessel was also employed to bring soldiers back to Brisbane on leave.   With Bremer out of service, the Kauri continued the cargo service.   Once the war ended though, cargo-bearing trucks were allowed and this quicker type of transport spelled the end of the river service.

In 1946, Percy purchased a vessel that was originally intended for war service. This 46 foot vessel, which he named Srednam (Manders backwards), was one of many that were left unfinished by the Government following the end of the war.  Percy had initially offered £1000 for the vessel but due to problems with the tender process, it was ultimately auctioned.   As a result, he managed to acquire the Srednam for £400.  Percy converted the Srednam into a private launch and it was licensed to carry passengers along the Brisbane and Bremer rivers, primarily on outings to places like the Junction and Lone Pine.  In 1955, due to the obligations of the trucking business, the passenger service ceased.  The Srednam was then used for private purposes by Percy and the family before being sold in the mid 1970s.

Srednam(boat), at The Junction, Bremer River, Ipswich, 1948 - Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Srednam(boat), at The Junction, Bremer River, Ipswich, 1948 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Information taken from: The Romance of the Bremer by Margery Brier-Mills;  The Bremer River by Robyn Buchanan; Ipswich in the 20th Century by Robyn Buchanan.

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Ipswich Houses: Fairy Knoll

Posted By on September 24, 2014

The historic home known as “Fairy Knoll” is located on the corner of Whitehill and Robertson Road and is a masterpiece to behold. Built in 1901 for Thomas Hancock Junior and his wife Louisa (nee: Hayne), the house sits atop a large hill that overlooks the city of Ipswich and the surrounding areas of Pine Mountain, Rosewood, Flinders Peak, Bundamba and at one point when the house was still in existence, Lewis Thomas’s famous mansion, “Brynhyfryd”. The history of “Fairy Knoll” and the land on which it is now perched are steeped in heritage, with its history beginning when Thomas Hancock Senior first made his way to Ipswich in 1863 with his young family, which included son Thomas Hancock Junior. With a young family to support ,Thomas Hancock Senior quickly established a timber sawmill at Pine Mountain, and later also established a mill in Rosewood. After several years Thomas Senior realised the importance of timber in a booming new settlement and acquired a lease on a Timber Mill in North Ipswich in 1880 and established the business as Hancock & Sons. After a short period of time the business was booming and at one point they were employing approximately 270 people and also had offices in Brisbane. At this point Thomas Hancock Senior had entered into business with his two sons Josias and Thomas Hancock Junior. However in 1891 after Thomas Senior’s death the business was passed into their hands.

There is much conflicting evidence surrounding the four acres of land on which “Fairy Knoll” now stands, as various reports state the a small timber house was built by Thomas Senior on the land for his family. However, research also states that Thomas Junior purchased this land and built the first timber structure on it in 1885 for his second wife Louisa and their growing family.  In both situations however, it is made clear that the original timber house was named “Fairy Knoll” owing to the fact that there was a large housing estate east of Queens Park which was given the similar name “Faerieknowe” by its eccentric owner. The small timber house was said to sit atop the hill until 1897 when Thomas and Louisa with a family of ten children, decided to rebuild a more spacious home for their large family.

Design for the new two storey “Fairy Knoll” house began in 1897 and was completed by famous architect George Brockwell Gill. Builders Worley & Whitehead were contracted to build this great mansion which upon completion had a façade of banded brick work which was common in Brockwell Gill’s architecture of the time. Thomas Hancock Junior had a grand plan for the house however he passed away before it’s completion in 1901, but his wife still clung to the prospect of completing his dream home a top the hill. When it was finally finished the house included several key features including decorative timber verandas and associated timberwork which ran the perimeter of the house, solid timber doors throughout the home, as well as a grand timber internal staircase, numerous fireplaces and fancy lead light windows in a ten-foot wide entrance hall. The home itself encompassed seven bedrooms, two bathrooms, sewing room, kitchen, dining room, scullery, drawing room and office as well as one of Fairy Knoll’s most outstanding features which was the observatory and lantern feature in the roof. This unusual feature was later used in World War 2 as a spotters tower due to the view it commanded over the city. The “Fairy Knoll” grounds incorporated a grand set of gardens including tennis courts, a fernery, stables, a laundry, coach house and rock garden; however many of these external buildings cease to exist today.

Fairy Knoll, No. 2 Robertson Road Eastern Heights, 1972 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Lousia and her ten children moved into the house on its completion and Mrs. Hancock herself remained in the house until her death in 1947. In 1950 the land was sub-divided and in 1952 the house was sold to Queensland Health, who converted it into the Jefferis Turner Centre which was a maternal and child welfare home. In order for the home to operate in a orderly fashion a fair amount of internal changes were undertaken to accommodate its new requirements. The maternal home ceased operation in 1986 and the house was transformed into a respite centre for intellectually handicapped children, and more alterations were made to the external and internal space of the building. In 1988 the façade of “Fairy Knoll” was a given a revamp and various alternations were made to return it to ist original historical appearance. Since this time the house has been transferred through numerous families until 2011 when it was purchased by Doctor Michael Fish, who has carried out numerous renovations to return it to its former glory.

Fairy Knoll, 2 Robertson Road Eastern Heights, 1991 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Information taken from: “A peek into how the other half lives” (QT article); “Romantic house name” (QT article); “A Fairie tale” (QT article); “Fairy Knoll – a pioneer home with an enchanted garden” (QT article); Ipswich Heritage Study 1992 Volume 3.

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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 their 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.

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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.

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Second Lieut. CHARLES DOUGLAS SCOTT

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)

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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

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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.

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