Returned soldiers at Hawkesbury Agricultural College

By Anzac Day 1918, Hawkesbury Agricultural College had provided agricultural training for sixty returned soldiers in the fields of horticulture, pig raising, poultry farming and dairying. Many of the men had permanent injuries and were selected under an arrangement between the State War Council and Department of Agriculture. It was reported in the HAC Annual Report in 1916 that ‘Fifteen soldiers have taken advantage of this…many of them are maimed and injured to such a degree that it is impossible for them to pursue occupations incurring strenuous labour.’ By 1919 it was reported that ‘there has been a continuous stream … Continue reading Returned soldiers at Hawkesbury Agricultural College

‘Miramar’ – Stuart Frank Doyle’s pride and joy

Photograph of Bert Hornery working on Miramar II from Iris Cammack collection, courtesy Carol Roberts. A popular outing for members of the Royal Motor Yacht Club through the 1930s was a trip up the Hawkesbury River to Sackville, and one member who visited more often than most was the Commodore of the RMYC, film and radio entrepreneur Stuart Frank Doyle, in the Miramar. Stuart Doyle and his wife, Louise, were regular visitors to the Hawkesbury and the Miramar had a permanent mooring at Sackville. Each time the couple visited, Louise Doyle planted shrubs and trees on the river bank such … Continue reading ‘Miramar’ – Stuart Frank Doyle’s pride and joy

William Norris, farmer and publican

Photograph of William Norris from the Jean Welch collection courtesy Carol Roberts. Venturing into research on members of the Norris family in the Hawkesbury can prove confusing, especially if researching William Norris. The reason being that, as with many old families, there are many generations with the same name. The William Norris who features in this article was born at Cornwallis in 1840, the son of William Norris and Lucy Upton (Brown) and grandson of Richard Norris and Mary (Williams). William, who married Susannah Martin, was the brother of Emma Amelia (married William Wood), Alfred (married Mary Ann Hand), Jane … Continue reading William Norris, farmer and publican

Westland Wapitis over Richmond

Photograph from Iris Cammack collection, courtesy of Carol Roberts, Windsor, NSW. The Westland Wapiti aircraft was designed in 1926 to United Kingdom Air Ministry specifications for the Royal Air Force. It was a two-seat, general-purpose light bomber built as a replacement for the DH9A. While the Wapiti Mk 1 was fitted with a 420hp Bristol Jupiter engine, the Mk IIA was fitted with a more powerful 550hp Jupiter. It carried one fixed Vickers gun forward and one Lewis gun mounted in the rear cockpit, with a bomb load of 500lbs (227kg). Loaded, the Westland Wapiti aircraft weighed 2,450kg, about as … Continue reading Westland Wapitis over Richmond

Picture postcards and family communication

Photograph of Myra McCabe courtesy of Carol Roberts from the Iris Cammack Collection. As well as letters, one of the most popular forms of communication between families during the early 1900s was the privately-printed postcard. Postcards were introduced into Australia from about 1875 and twenty years later, the Victorian Government gave permission for privately-printed postcards to be used under the conditions that they be made of ordinary cardboard, measure no more than 13.3 x 8.3 cms and nothing except the address, stamps and a brief message could be included. From 1898, the NSW Government Printing Office released a series of … Continue reading Picture postcards and family communication

Upper Hawkesbury Motor Boat Club, Cecil Hall and ‘Glenelg’

Photograph of Cec Hall and Glenelg on Hawkesbury River c1933 by Bert Hornery from Iris Cammack Collection in possession of Carol Roberts, Windsor. The Upper Hawkesbury Motor Boat Club (UHMBC) formed on 24 October 1932 with the aims of improving access to the river, encouraging aquatic sports and competitions, assisting Council in times of flood and generally making the sport of motor boating more popular on the Upper Hawkesbury. The UHMBC quickly became one of the most highly regarded in NSW, not only because of its popular social functions and well-run competitions but also because it promoted the annual boat … Continue reading Upper Hawkesbury Motor Boat Club, Cecil Hall and ‘Glenelg’

William Thomas Charley and the Wallaby Sniping Cage

Few people in the Hawkesbury would know that William Thomas Charley invented the concept of the Wallaby Sniping Cage at Gallipoli in 1915. The cage was used mainly for night firing and held a rifle in a fixed position after aiming, enabling it to be fired again without re-aiming. William Charley was born in 1868 in Ballarat, Victoria. His mother, Catherine, died when he was two years of age and his father neglected the children to the extent that from 1871, he and some of his siblings were made Wards of the State and placed in various institutions. His brother … Continue reading William Thomas Charley and the Wallaby Sniping Cage

Patrick and Honorah Butler of Windsor and family

Gravesite of Ryan-Butler family, St Matthew’s Catholic Cemetery, Windsor. Photograph 2017, Carol Roberts. Patrick Butler arrived in New South Wales from Ireland in 1840, aged about 20. After seeking his fortune on the goldfields he eventually arrived in the Hawkesbury and married Honorah Ryan at St Matthew’s Catholic Church in Windsor in 1853. Honorah had arrived from Tipperary, Ireland, with her family in the late 1830s and they settled in Kurrajong for a few years before making their home in Windsor. Later generations of the Ryan family farmed at Pitt Town and Freemans Reach. Showing a great deal of initiative, … Continue reading Patrick and Honorah Butler of Windsor and family