Who Sent The Postcard from Egypt?

Cairo Citadel

This card, dated 1 Nov 1913 (7 and a half months before WW1),  was addressed to my grandparents Edward Thomas Bailey and Ines Maude nee: Smith, but is not signed – so I have no idea who sent it.  The writing is quite masculine and he is aware that Edward and Ines have 2 children, addressing to them as Clarence & Baby even though my mother Madeleine Ines Bailey would only have been 6 weeks old.  He tells them that he was taken to hospital straight from the boat and stayed there for 6 weeks so for him to know about the birth of my mother I assume that this man is family and that whilst in hospital he received a letter from someone at home.  He goes on to assure my grandparents that he is now in good health.

Work on the original Citadel building began between 1176-1183 and was added to over hundreds of years however it remained the seat of Egyptian government until the 1800’s.  It is hard to fathom a building so ancient.  This photo of the Cairo Citadel, also know as the Citadel Salah-ad-Din, was taken when the Citadel was under British occupation (1882-1914).  The Citadel was used as a military garrison by the Egyptian government from just after WW2.  These days, parts of it are open to the public, although part is still retained for use by the military.

Astrea Gertrude Wakley

Astrea Gertrude Wakley – 1914

I love the way  folks used to turn a photograph into a Real Photo Postcard.  This dear little girl, Astrea Gertrude Wakley, is my mum’s maternal 1st cousin and I remember mum speaking of her quite fondly.  Astrea is 8 months old in this picture which means it was taken in May of 1914.  The card was sent to my grandmother Ines Maud Bailey nee: Smith by her sister Gertrude Grace Wakley nee: Smith. 

As far as I know Astrea married twice  and had one daughter.  She passed away in 2004 in Tweed Heads, New South Wales at the age of 91 years.

Old Sydney Railway Station


This picture postcard was sent from my grandmother Ines Maud Bailey nee Smith to her hubby Edward Thomas Bailey.  There is no date on the back of the card however but there is also no mention of their children, so this correspondence would had to have taken place between when they were married in October 1908 and before the birth of their first child Clarence Edward in early 1911.

Ines travelled to Sydney a number of times and would have seen substantial changes to Sydney Station.  She would have stepped off the train at Redfern to start with, up until the foundations stones for the current day Central Station  were laid in April of 1903.

I posted the above picture on the Old Sydney Album Facebook page in September last year and was able to find out a few things about the photo, thanks to some extremely helpful members.

1. The photo is of Sydney Terminal No. 2 which was opened in 1874 and was a totally different station to the Redfern station.

2. The green lights on the trains buffer beams would have actually been white, but have been hand painted green for effect.  Green lights on the front of the train would have been confusing and could have been perceived as an “all clear” signal.  Thanks so very much to the members of this Facebook page who taught me so much. 3.  The picture is actually mirror reversed. Originally I didn’t even notice!

  I found researching Central Railway Station, a station I have arrived at or departed from hundreds of times, absolutely fascinating.  The land acquisition for the new structure was of particular interest, especially the Devonshire Street Burial Ground – such a sad story.




Annus Horribilus – Reflection 5

17 Mar 2020

In the 2 months since I left off writing so much has happened! The very best news came between 9/2 and 23/2 when we received a couple of hundred mils of rain, and it was state-wide! The rains fell and put out the bushfires and hearts everywhere, mine included, rejoiced.

From memory we got a day or two to just enjoy not having to water the garden with grey water saved from the shower and the laundry and then reports of a deadly virus was heard to be killing hundreds of people in Wuhan in China. Looking back on those initial reports I’m sure that my reaction was like most others of the world…..how dreadful for them.

Over the next week we saw people collapsing in the streets of China and the area affected spread from Wuhan to other parts of China. And then something happened that I will never in my lifetime forget. For me it was as pivotal as the vision of the Kangaroo with the broken leg from my January post, which still haunts me. I saw a body lying in the streets of Wuhan, the facemask still in place on the mans face, but he was lying in a pool of blood. The camera filming the scene panned upwards and showed a balcony. This poor soul had been so ill that he simply fell to his death.

News came that China was building 2 new 1000 bed hospitals to cope with the number of infected people. Silly me, I thought to myself “what good will that do”. I had watched for a couple of years as the new hospital here in Tamworth was built and it was only a couple of hundred beds. Within 2 weeks of around the clock work by thousands of workers those Chinese hospitals were up and running!

It was about this stage where we began to hear reports that China had held off informing the World Health Organisation of the outbreak of what was now called Coronavirus Covid 19, for a full month. Reports of cases started to pop up around the world, but we were lucky here in Australia. It was thought at the time that because Australia was in summer, the virus could not survive. I can honestly say that I never thought that it would even make our shores.

I felt confident that our government had responded well. There were 2 cruise ships that held hundreds of Aussie passengers which Qantas helped fly back home, and these people were put into 14 days of isolation in the Northern Territory. There was the odd case popping up in some states, but they were quarantined quickly, and we didn’t have hundreds of new cases every day like Italy and France. I felt safe. But it was about this time that all the rules by which we had lived our everyday lives began to change. The government remained steady and firm in tightening our boarders, but some Aussie’s just began to act in pitiful ways. Not everyone, but way too many.

It dawned on me that this was serious; the elderly who got this damned virus were dying in huge numbers across the globe. People began a shopping frenzy, hoarding and stockpiling huge quantities of toilet paper of all things. It was ridiculous. Then pasta, rice, flour and hand sanitiser began to disappear off shelves. Paper hand towel and tissues disappeared, and cleaning supply shelves were completely empty. People became nasty; arguing with each other in aisles, ramming each other with trollies to attempt to get the last of some item, and there has even been outbreaks of physical violence. What is wrong with people.

Last week, Terry and I started to add an extra 14 days’ worth of food stuffs to the pantry. Most of the time we have a well-stocked pantry anyway, just because we love to cook. Now it looks like I’m one of those doomsday preppers! I have not stocked up on toilet paper!!!!!!!!!  but now I am beginning to regret that a little. Toilet paper is so very hard to find.

So….where does that leave us as of today? I have organized extra meds and shopping for mum and dad because at the ages of 88 and 95 years they need someone to give them a hand. Let’s face it, if they were told to self-isolate for 14 days, they wouldn’t cope very well with only 3-4 days’ worth of food in the cupboard. Coles has a “seniors” shopping hour tomorrow morning and I will take mum in to do the shop so we can be sure they are safe if they pick up some toilet paper, or that no one will knock them over to get the last of something. I have cooked and frozen Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, Cottage Pie, Mac & Cheese with Bacon Topping, Rissoles, Pumpkin Soup and Beef Steak Pies. They are ready to go if mum and dad get sick.

I will admit that the constant media coverage is difficult to cope with. I am finding that I become quite anxious at times and physically must take stock and slow my thoughts down. I am doing all I can to keep myself and Terry healthy. We are eating well, taking a vitamin C every day, using our preventer puffers for asthma and following good hand hygiene. What more can you do really? Terry is quite sure that the media is beefing up the problem and making it worse. Maybe he is right.

I don’t think I’m panicking. I just get a bit anxious now and again. What happens if they close the schools – how will Lucas and Alisha, Brett & Court cope. What will happen if I lose half my super. What if we are told to self-isolate and I cannot work? What will happen to our planned trip to Vanuatu in July – think of the money we will lose there. The what-if’s go on and on.

Already, the country has a ban on international flights and cruise ships. We are being told to prepare, as things are going to get worse. The government has announced a stimulus package to try and help the elderly and small business and are working on a second round of stimulus packages and reduced interest rates to boost the failing economy.

If my descendants are reading this in 100 years’ time, know this, it’s scary.

TROVE Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1910 – Captain Thunderbolt

All About Thunderbolt

I have included this article which appeared in the local paper in June 1910 simply because of the reference to Thunderbolt. 

Everyone living during the time of Thunderbolt’s “reign”  either knew him, knew of him, or had had a run in with him, and family stories abound from many Tamworthians.  Frederick Wordsworth Ward was born in 1835 and was the son of a convict.  Ward gave himself the bush ranging name of Captain Thunderbolt during December 1863 and he operated in the New England area of New South Wales until his death in May 1870.

My family also had a link to Thunderbolt.  It wasn’t my grand parents Edward and Ines Bailey, that I normally post about, but one of my great grandmothers, who was held up by Thunderbolt and had to hand over a 1 pound note! ( but that’s another story!)  The incident about my great grandmother has been documented by a number of local historians and family historians.   The McCrossin’s Mill in Uralla, (near Tamworth) New South Wales, has an excellent display relating to Thunderbolt, and the massive Thunderbolts Rock (his hide out) still sits beside the highway between Tamworth and Uralla.  I have visited it many times over the years.






James John Caulfield 1800 – 1859

James John Caulfield was the husband of my husbands 1st cousin 4 x removed, so you could say a distant relation.  He was convicted of theft in Limerick, Ireland and there is a lengthy report relating to the theft in the Tipperary Free Press dated 12 Mar 1834. He arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as a convict aboard the ship “Hero” on 31 Aug 1835.  Sadly, at this point, I don’t know anything about him until he married Mary Ann Good in Parramatta, New South Wales on 7 Jan 1846.  There is much more work to be done on his story.

Marriage Notice

He made a decent life for himself, apparently becoming a publican in Bathurst, New South Wales.  James and Mary Ann had 3 daughters and 1 son:

  1. Patience Ann Caulfield b. 10 Oct 1846
  2. James John Good Caulfield b. 28 May 1848
  3. Mary Ann Elizabeth Caulfield b. 24 Feb 1850
  4. Martina Clara Theresa Caulfield b. 1854

At some point in late January or perhaps early February of 1859 James met with an accident, breaking his thigh bone and injuring his hip.  His death certificate does not state whether it was a left or right hip injury but it did lead to a painful and protracted illness, and ultimately to his death.

James John Caulfield died in Bathurst New South Wales on 20 Apr 1859 and was buried 2 days later. 

Convict tales are often sad ones.

TROVE Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1910 – Trunk Line

Request For a Trunk Line

This article shows just how far the use of telephones has come in the years since 1910.  If my grandparents, Edward & Ines Bailey, had a telephone at all they would certainly have been using a trunk line.

When I was a young girl I used to visit my older sister who was married and living on a property in north-west New South Wales.  This  was back in the 1960’s.  I remember the old phone mounted on the wall in the hallway of the farm house.  I can see her still  as she lifted the receiver and heard other people talking, so she simply put the receiver back in the cradle.  She explained that it was a trunk line which was used by all the folks in the area and that if someone was already on the line, you just tried to make your call a bit later.

Wouldn’t it be a rude wake up call for youngsters today if they had to actually wait their turn to place a call to a friend!!  Eventually, of course, the trunk line to my sister’s house was replaced with a more modern form of communication, and these days she is quite proficient with technology of all kinds. 



All The Proof I Need

As a family historian I pride myself on being able to prove any fact that I add to my blog or my tree, but there has always been questions that hang over the story that my grandfather had joined the Australian Light Horse Regiment.  My mum Madeleine Ines Di Salvia nee: Bailey would proudly tell anyone who would listen that her father, Edward Thomas Bailey, was a Light Horseman but I have never been able to prove with official documentation that the story was true.  After going through grandad’s postcards again though, I found a couple of cards that suggest that the story is definitely true. 

Greeting From Tenterfield

The “Greetings” card was sent by grandad to my grandmother Ines Maud Smith from Tenterfield telling her that he and his horse had won a number of ribbons in the days contests.  There were 2 blue, six red and one yellow ribbon which he hung around his horse’s neck.  Previously I have posted about his exceptional horsemanship as Trooper Bailey, and it appears that he was certainly accomplished.

In 1906 a contest for the Prince Of Wales Cup was held in Tenterfield and in that year the cup was won by the 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment. The cup was again run in 1910 and was won by the 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment (our local branch), the branch my grandfather is said to have belonged to.  The 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment was won on two further occasions – 1912 and 1934.  I believe the “greetings” postcard is from the 1906 competition.  Grandad Edward Thomas Bailey has written to Ines addressing her in quite an impersonal manner, whereas just before their marriage in 1908 he was addressing her in very loving terms.

The Pears Postcard

The “pears” postcard is much more descriptive about his service with the Light Horse and tells Ines about his Sunday night guard duty which was immediately followed by a second shift of guard duty.  He is complaining about the double shift which he had to start without a break for food.  It doesn’t mention where he was stationed though. Grandad shows his love for Granma on this card by signing off with kisses, so I am assuming that by this stage they knew each other well, keeping in mind the courting principles of the time.  It would still have been before their marriage I think, maybe early 1908, as there is no mention in the address or salutation of “husband” or “wife”.





Annus Horribilus – Reflection 4

20 Jan 2020

Terry and I decided to take a drive up to Inverell, then back to Tamworth through Gilgai, Tingha, Guyra and Armidale. It took us all day, but it was really a very pleasant way to spend our time.

As Terry drove up the Moonbi mountains I couldn’t help wondering if we would ever see our unique bushland regenerate to its former beauty in our lifetime. There were large patches all along our travels that had been badly burned by the bushfires, cloaking the landscape in shades of dreary brown and black. Most trees and all the scrubland beneath them were either dead or dying.

There were also pockets of damage where dry lightning had started smaller fires that left clumps of trees, and some wooden fences, scorched.

It was heart-warming as we travelled from Gilgai to Guyra to see how beautiful and green the landscape was, and it was at that point that I realized how soothing to a drought weary soul the colour green can be. That whole area had obviously had far better rainfall than we had received on the plains as dams were full, creeks flowed, and puddles of water sat along much of the roadside. I felt a physical lifting of my spirits just to see nature at its best again.

We stopped in Guyra and had a Lamb Sausage Roll for lunch. The Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival was in full swing, so we strolled the street looking at all the displays of local crafts and goodies which was very interesting and, in some cases, quite clever.

The further south we drove the drier it became but I noticed something extraordinary on the way home. In some of the badly charred trees clumps of bright green leaves had started to sprout and their colour was extremely vivid against the blackened trunks. In a way it was beautiful, because it made me feel there is hope that we will see our Aussie bushland again, in all its messy beauty.

As we drove down the Moonbi’s on our return we hit a massive storm and the rain pelted down, so much so that we had to put the windscreen wiper on double time. We thought how lovely it would be for our town to receive such a great amount of rain and chatted about how we hoped the rain was falling in our catchment are. Alas, by the time we reached the bottom of the Moonbi Range the rain was gone. Tamworth had not received a drop!

TROVE Tuesday – It Happened in Tamworth in 1910 – Open Gate

Open Gate

One of the rules of country life here in Australia  is that you never leave a gate open on a property, and I’m sure it’s the same across the world.  My grand father, Edward Thomas Bailey, worked on Bective Station which is not far from where the Winton-Bective Road is located, and would have certainly heard of this breach of “gate etiquette”.   The leaving open of a gate could have resulted in loss of stock, and the harsh penalty of 1 pound probably does reflect the seriousness of the crime.