Monday, April 27, 2015

Wrinkled Fabric Stuffs.

Remember Blog Stalwart Linda in Chile? She found the blog through my boarding school friend M when they were both living in Chile in 2009. Well, she's now Linda in Ethiopia, living the dream in Africa. 
I caught up with her and her gorgeous girls the other day. Linda wore velvet, I wore a heavy embellished top, A bought her sequined semi formal dress to show me and I loyally wore the blue necklace I gave her 2 years ago.
They got to meet my sister too which was good, because Linda used to live in the Midlevels too.
Welsh Lady cakes were in order. Well it was a Red Letter Day, This one's carrot with cream cheese icing (The Queen of Icing)
They bought me these beautiful flowers, which I luffed.
Said yes to a scarf. With leopard print. And pearls. Seemed the Right Thing to do.
This lemon curd cake was 11/10. Wish I had some here right now.
Went to the new Hatch and Co at Post Office Square. The food's pretty good. It's where the old Zen Bar used to be. Try it. You won't be sorry.
Mr FF returned from Sydney bearing way can only be described as High End Gifts.
Which included lots of gourmet deli treats.
And an antique silver teapot circa 1900 from Greene and Greene. There's a matching milk jug and sugar bowl too. So clean and shiny. 
Puts the rest of the filthy silver round here to shame.
I took my little boy to the Ithaca Memorial on Anzac Day
It had been spruced up with marigolds and sugar cane mulch and all the plumbago hedges had been pruned.
I wish the Brisbane City Council could keep it looking this good all year round.
When I was growing up, WW1 was all about Gallipoli and there was practically no mention of the Western Front or the conflict in Palestine etc. This annoys me. Someone told me the other day that they didn't even realise that a lot of Anzacs fought and died in Belgium. Apparently in the next few years there's going to be more of a focus on honouring those who fought Elsewhere. Good. 
And about time.
Meanwhile yesterday I met W to see When we were young which was excellent and funny and I give it 4 stars. W looked great, look, here is a Visual:
I am loving my new Red Phoenix necklace Sick! Sick I tell you!! Thanks Girls.
Doesn't that beaded tassel make you happy just looking at it?
Thank you to the reader who put me onto the Trove website. I found Uncle Len's wedding announcement
and I now know that his brother Thomas McDonald, fellow Anzac and Gallipoli veteran was best man. 
I bet my great grandparents were there as well. Wish I had a photo.
Found Len in this too, but no photo sadly.
If war history's your thing, I'm really loving this book and cannot recommend it enough:
And this is brilliant too, Pammie sent it to me and I cannot put it down.
Do you love Antique Roadshow and that one where they authenticate old masters as much as me? 
Righto. I'm off to iron my body weight in wrinkled fabric stuffs in front of Mad Men.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tom, George and Cedric.

 This is a post heavy on the family history so if that's not your thing you can just skip to the bottom, because it's detailed. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Great Great Uncle Tom
I don't have a photo of Tom Donaldson of Bundamba, but he's my great great uncle. He's Len's older half brother (but we don't say half in out family)from their Mum's 1st marriage.
Tom was a 5 foot 6 brown eyed wagon builder aged 27 when he joined the 5th Light Horse (2nd Reinforcements) of the AIF on the 14th of December in 1914. He arrived in Egypt in late March 1915. He was earning 6 shillings a day which I've learnt was 12 yes 12 times more than what an English soldier earned.
Tom landed in Gallipoli on the 7th of July 1915. 
He had 2 brief stints in hospitals on Lemnos and Heliopolis for influenza and pleurisy and left Gallipoli for good on the 15 October 1915. He was a little bit naughty and had his pay docked a few times for things like insolence and abusive language. By the time he was sent back to Australia he'd served in Egypt, Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine. On the 23rd of February 1918 at Wadi Hanein he attempted to use a document purporting to be a genuine order to obtain 2 cases of black and white whiskey. 
I know. Naughty.
Tom was court martialed for this on 5 March 1918. He plead not guilty, but was found guilty. He got 90 days in prison. At this stage he'd been in active service witnessing God knows what for 4 years.
Who the hell wouldn't need 2 cases whiskey?
I tried to access his court martial transcript on line but it's not digitised dammit.
Tom was invalided out of the AIF and sent home in March 1919.
His condition was described as "Debility" which I think is probably post traumatic stress disorder.
Here's his mum Caroline and her 2nd husband (and Len's dad) Michael. Michael's the one who telegrammed the AIF after Len was wounded demanding to know if it was serious or otherwise. 
I don't know who the little boy is. But I'm guessing it's the baby of the family, my Uncle Maurie.
If it is, I knew him.
Great Great Uncle George 
Remember my great great Uncle George who served on the Western front for the 4th Pioneers? I found a photo of him in uniform on line. So young.
A reader sent me a link to Horn and Peterson jewellers where he and his brother Herbert worked when war broke out as a jeweller and watchmaker (thank you so much!) . This is the workroom in 1913:
There's a famous Horn and Peterson watch at the War Museum in Canberra which shows the moment a soldier from Townsville jumped out of his boat during the Gallipoli landing 
George was in the 4th Pioneers in France from February 1918 to March 1919 when he got really sick with influenza and was sent to England. He returned to Australia and married my Aunt. He was her 2nd husband and I have some of their wedding china. He never worked as a jeweller again. 
Everyone who knew him said he was kind and lovely.
I wouldn't have been able to piece all of this history together without an album my grandma made for my dad in 1987
And his baby book which she wrote in until he was 6 years old
Great Uncle Cedric
My Grandma had a younger brother named Cedric. I knew he died in 1943 in a plane crash aged 19. He was a leading air craft man on a training exercise when his plane crashed at Elliots Head near Bundaberg.
I found these photos of Cedric in his RAAF records. So young. So beautiful.
On his application form he included all his school marks (A+ for maths) and said he represented his school at athletics and rugby. 
My dad was born the following year and Grandma gave him Cedric's middle name
When my Dad turned 1, his grandfather gave him Cedric's watch.
It had his name engraved on the back.
Television's awash with Anzac docos, news stories and movies, at the moment which suits my mood. There was a really good one tonight with Sam Neil called Why Anzac.
I think about these men, who I never met all the time now. 
Sometimes, I even dream about them.
Take care.

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