A family affair – the Spreadborough Brothers

Irwin Robert and Octavius Lomas Spreadborough. The Killarney based Spreadbrough brothers were remarkable for their unusual names. But they were also notable for being some of the earliest men to enlist and as a result, like a number of St Helena Warders, saw action at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli in 1914 and 1915.  Irwin and Octavius were farmers who had both served in the 14th Australian … Continue reading A family affair – the Spreadborough Brothers

Remembrance of the St Helena Island Boer War Warder Soldiers

Benjamin Rudhall wasn’t a World War 1 soldier, because he died in action over a decade earlier. As we approach Remembrance Day on November 11th 2018, it seems an opportune time to remember all the Soldier Warders on St Helena Island, including those who fought in the Boer War. Benjamin Rudhall fought and died at Amersfoort, Sth Africa in 1902 and the ripple effect of … Continue reading Remembrance of the St Helena Island Boer War Warder Soldiers

John Burns – almost a World War I soldier/warder

In the search for warders involved in the Great War, I discovered a man highly skilled in all aspects of the military, willing and able to fight for his adopted country, but who never left Australian soil. Warder John Burns was the shortest A.I.F enlistment of any of the St Helena Island prison warders. Originally hailing from Ireland, he had spent 18 years as a … Continue reading John Burns – almost a World War I soldier/warder

St Helena Island free eBook

Our first eBook is finally available! This year has seen a lot of “firsts” – setting up the ‘St Helena Community’ blog, finding new stories, including original sketches of nature on the island and finally discovering new historical research focussed on the St Helena Island prison. I’m excited to constantly explore new means of recording and sharing information, and this week it’s no exception. On … Continue reading St Helena Island free eBook

RED ALERT: Scarlet Fever cases DOUBLE

Scarlet fever cases DOUBLE reaching more than 15,000 – here are the signs every parent needs to know. Common signs of scarlet fever include a widespread, fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch and is itchy.  There are now calls for parents to check their kids for a telltale rash. In the 13 weeks leading up to April 1st there were 15,549 suspected cases of the … Continue reading RED ALERT: Scarlet Fever cases DOUBLE

What do a Carceral Archipelago, Bella Sombre tree, Moreton Bay convict and St Helena Island have in common?

There are times in our life when the stars align and everything happens just the way it should. This happened last week on St Helena Island, when historians, writers, artists, rangers, educators, authors and researchers got together to capture some of St Helena’s magic.  The loveliest aspect was that as a community we were so diverse, yet so driven by the same passion for the … Continue reading What do a Carceral Archipelago, Bella Sombre tree, Moreton Bay convict and St Helena Island have in common?

# St Helena Island Women campaign

In light of the recent women’s movements, I’ve decided to jump on board. I’m on the hunt for the people who don’t feature in the history books – so I’m looking for the 10 women who lived in the 8 houses on St Helena Island in 1871. ¹ Why? Because our historical facts are written largely by men about men as they are the ones … Continue reading # St Helena Island Women campaign

Superintendent, Inspector, pioneer and rescuer of shipwrecked survivors

I’ve been to Caloundra with my kids, losing ourselves for hours on the endless sandy beaches, being swallowed up by the waves as we glide and crash ourselves to shore in our best version of boogey-boarding or quietly observing the still rock pools. But I didn’t head to the pandanus tree monument in Queen of Colonies Parade at Moffatt Beach. I should have because I … Continue reading Superintendent, Inspector, pioneer and rescuer of shipwrecked survivors

Wanted: Water Police Warders

Employment opportunities 1864: Brisbane Water Police – Variety of positions Two boats’ crews, each numbering five men, including the coxswains. Report to Mr John McDonald, Inspector of the Water Police, Port of Moreton Bay Requisite personal skills:  Flexibility to work at any hour of the day or night. Be prepared to reside aboard the Prison Hulk ‘Proserpine’ at the mouth of the Brisbane River. Ability … Continue reading Wanted: Water Police Warders

A diary account of the slave trade

The role of a pioneer Water Police officer in Brisbane in the 1860’s was never highly defined I suspect. Rather, whatever situation arose on a body of water, the Water Police were asked to attend. James Aird, newly appointed Water Policeman in 1863, (and later Warder on St Helena) first showed me this in his diary. As a member of the water police he also … Continue reading A diary account of the slave trade