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Postcards from Australia: Christmas Edition (Part Three)

22 Dec

This is the third and final of the three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year (you can find the two previous Christmas editions here and here).

This postcard was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family in Australia to his sister (Dorothy) May back home in England, wishing her “Hearty Greetings”. I just hope that the image on the front is not the BATEMAN’s home!

I am not sure what was in the cut-out on this one, the verse suggests it was wattle (acacia) blossom, but sadly this has long since disappeared.

Postcards from Australia: Christmas Edition (Part Two)

21 Dec

This is the second of three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year.

This postcard was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family in Australia to his dad back home in England to wish him Season’s Greetings for Christmas 1912.

Although the picture is not really what we would call a Christmas scene, I do like the little verse:

As a token sweet
Accept this golden wheat,
Produced on Austral soil
After many months of toil.

The grains of wheat have vanished, they probably fell out years ago, but I do wonder if someone might have tried to grow them at some time!

Postcards from Australia: Christmas Edition (Part One)

14 Dec

Back by popular demand (well not really, back because I saved these cards specially) are three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year.

Like the previous postcards this was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his wife and family back to his family in England. As you can see below this one was sent to his mother “with love and best wishes” for Christmas 1912, presumably in an envelope as there is no stamp or postmark.

The artwork on the card (The Call To Breakfast) is obviously by the same artist as the previous postcards I featured, but I wouldn’t really consider it a Christmas scene. I am not sure what is in the cut-out at the top, the plastic film covering it is disintegrating, revealing the “chips from the nuggets of gold”.

Postcards from Australia: Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum

22 Sep

This is the last of my “Postcards from Australia” posts for a while, although there are a couple of other souvenirs I will be featuring in the coming weeks. This card was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (of Port Melbourne, Victoria) to his sister (Dorothy) May BATEMAN in Sussex, England.

Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum

The picture is not particularly appealing to me, but it is a good example of cramming in almost every Australian stereotype you can imagine into one image, and it has the added novelty of a metal kangaroo attached to the front (if you look at the back you can see where the fastenings are).

The gold print didn’t scan very well, so you can’t read the writing on the leaf in the top-left corner, but it says:

“Good Cheer!” It comes from the Sunny South,
And is wafted far over the sea;
And it tells you that, under the Southern Cross,
Someone is thinking of thee.

As with some of the previous “Postcards from Australia” the message on the back is probably more interesting than the picture on front.

Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum (back)

The message is dated the 7th May, but no year is given. The message is a little hard to read, and is short on punctuation, but it is basically wishing May a happy birthday and hoping everyone is well.

Just a few lines hoping you are quite well as I am pleased to say we are all pretty well over here at present and to Wish you many happy returns of the day. I am sorry we are a bit late but better late than never I hope you are still getting on nicely at your place. I suppose it will not have you much longer I hope Mum & Dad are both doing well and are in the best of health Annie myself and Children are all pretty well and are still jogging along I suppose you are having some nice weather now. I also hope the intended is in the best of health I suppose mother received Annies letter last week, so Good Bye, Love to all at home “Will”

There are a couple of dating clues in the message, if you know where to look. “Will” supposes her place “will not have you much longer” and enquires about the health of her intended. I assume this means that the message was written not long before May was due to be married, and would probably be leaving her place (where she worked) and moving in with her husband.

(Dorothy) May BATEMAN (my great-grandmother) married Henry John TROWER (my great-grandfather) on the 5th August 1911 at Christ Church, Sayers Common, Sussex, so that probably means that this card was sent earlier that year.

Postcards from Australia: At The Shaft

15 Sep

This postcard in another postcard that was sent “home” to England by the BATEMAN family of Australia, this one was sent by the wife of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN to her sister-in-law (Dorothy) May BATEMAN. The picture is another of the Australian Series by the artist J. Hutchings, and the card itself is a little worn around the edges.

At The Shaft

The card was sent on the 7th January 1908 (although it may have been the 1st) and serves as a thank you letter for Christmas cards and gifts. Postcards like this are great because they prove that there was still a connection with the family back home, I often wonder when people leave home, especially when they leave the country, whether they actually remained in touch.

At The Shaft (back)

What is particularly nice about this message is the reference to Siddie (Sidney Ambrose BULL), Annie’s son from her first marriage. I wonder what those books were that he was so proud of? It is pleasing to see that despite not being William’s son he was accepted as part of the family. Sidney would have been around eight or nine years old at the time.

Postcards from Australia: Evening Yarn

8 Sep

The annoying thing about this postcard sent “home” to England from Australia by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN is that it is undated. It is obviously from the same series as the previous ones I wrote about, by the artist J. Hutchings. Whilst I do like these images, I do wonder whether these stereotypical views of the world were ever a reality or just a figment of the artists imagination?

Evening Yarn

This card is showing it’s age, whatever that is. It is slightly battered around the edges and at the corners, there is a bit of damage to the sky and the back is rather grubby, but it is probably over a hundred years old, so it is allowed to be a little worse for wear.

Evening Yarn (back)

Sadly there is also no address from which it was sent, but the message does give a few clues as to the date the card was sent. The “babys’ photos” is probably referring to their first child William Thomas Henry BATEMAN, born in 1906 and there is no mention of their daughter Dorothy Marguerite, who was born in 1909. So it is probably some time between the two, and probably around the same times as the other ones I have written about, which were sent in 1907.

Postcards from Australia: Luck At Last

2 Sep

Here is another of the postcards sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family from Australia back to his parents in England. This one was written to William’s mother Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN on the 26th September 1907 by his wife Annie.

Luck at Last

Once again I know nothing about the publisher or the artist, but like the other ones I have written about, I do like the image. I also love the way that so much information was crammed onto the back of the card, not even space for a stamp on this one.

Luck at Last (reverse)

These messages give a wonderful insight into their life in Australia, and an insight into Annie’s personality, she has a wonderful style of writing and a subtle sense of humour (and a dislike of punctuation).

The main message reads “Just a line to let you know we are all in the best of health and that we have moved again you will think it must be cheaper to shift than pay rent but we have a much better house and 1/6 a week cheaper and there was only a fence between us and the land-lady and she was a fair old tander but only one street away from where we were our address now is :- Esplanade Place Port Melb’e no number but but [sic] there are only five houses in the street. hope all are well Will has gone back to work”

The two shorter messages are just as interesting, “I am going over to Geelong tomorrow for three days I have to go down to draw the interest on Siddies’ money. I am taking the two children with me”. This is referring to Annie’s son from her first marriage, Sidney Ambrose BULL, presumably there was some sort of legacy left by his late father that interest was being paid on.

The second even shorter message, “baby is not walking yet I think he feels safer on the the floor.” is referring to William Thomas Henry BATEMAN, Annie and William’s first child who would have been a few days away from his first birthday when this card was sent.

There is one word that puzzles me, tander, I presume this is an Australian slang word, but have been unable to find a definition for it. From the context of the message I have taken it to mean someone who is an interfering busy-body, but perhaps someone more knowledgeable would like to provide me with a more accurate definition.

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