Posted in The Post Card Collection

Postcard of General Kuroki

General Kuroki 1844 – 1923

I have decided to showcase this postcard of General Kuroki from my grandfather’s postcard collection.  This of course led me to “Google” him to find out a little more about the person behind the postcard.

I learned that General Kuroki was the Commander-in-Chief of the 1st Japanese Corps at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905.  Then I looked up the Russo-Japanese War, of which I knew nothing.  Sometimes I think that a person could do nothing but study history for a lifetime, and still not know it all!

Kuroki Tamemoto was born in May 1844  and was the son of a samurai.  It would seem that he was in the Japanese army for most of his life, gaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1869, Captain in 1871 and Major in 1872, and then at the age of 31 he was made a Lieutenant-Colonel.  Skipping through the ranks he finally made General in 1903.  His forces had a series of battle successes during the Russo-Japanese War including the battle of Yalu River, the battle of Liaoyang, the battle of Shaho and the battle of Mukden.  General Kuroki retired from military service in 1909, dying of pneumonia in 1923 at the age of 79.

At the time of the Russo-Japanese war my grandfather was only 16 years old and living in the Tamworth area and in July of 1904 snow was clearly seen on the hills around the town.   The Australian Prime Minister was Alfred Deakin;  1904 saw the women’s suffrage granted in Tasmania and Ipswich in Queensland was proclaimed a city.










Posted in The Post Card Collection

Beautiful Birthday Greetings

To Ines from Ruby - Front
To Ines from Ruby – Front

The only thing I know about this absolutely stunning birthday greeting, which was sent to Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith by her sister Ruby May Jeffrey nee: Smith, is that it would have been sent in late October between the years of 1900 and about 1910, so that the card reached my Grandmother Ines by her birthday on 2 November.  It is in the collection of postcards kept by Ines, and her husband Edward Thomas Bailey.

The front of the birthday greeting postcard is decorated with multi-coloured glitter which seems almost as bright as it would have been over 100 years ago.  My grandmother must have thought it beautiful to have kept it in their collection.

Handwriting of Ruby May Jeffrey nee: Smith
Handwriting of Ruby May Jeffrey nee: Smith

In 1900 Grandma’s sister Ruby would only have been 11 years old and I believe her handwriting suggest someone just a little older – perhaps Ruby sent it closer to 1905 – 1910.

I thought that the wording on the front of the card also suggested that Ruby may have been older when she sent it to Grandma Ines.

Ruby was 6 years younger than Ines, but they seemed to share a close sisterly relationship.


Posted in The Post Card Collection

The Crow Eagle Vintage Postcard

Crow Eagle, a Piegan Chief, Canadian Northwest
Crow Eagle, a Piegan Chief, Canadian Northwest

Now this is a really unusual card from my Grandfather’s collection simply because it is the only card amongst the entire collection with any connection to Canada or America.  The card is from 1906 and has no postage stamp on the reverse, so I assume that it was sent in an envelope.  The card was sent to my Grandmother Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith, but the name of the sender is illegible. 

I tried to research Crow Eagle and was able to find very little about the man on Google.  However, one site had a small amount of information on him.  It would appear that he was born in the early 1830’s and was the son of a Brule warrior named Big Warrior who was a Creek Indian Chief.  The Brule Sioux Tribe lived along the Missouri River in South Dakota from what I can research.  This literally sums up my lack of knowledge of Native American history, but as a rank outsider I have gone through life thinking that a Sioux tribe and a Creek tribe were two different people, but apparently not.  It would be fascinating to delve more into the history and connection between the Native American people.

During the 1850’s Crow Eagle married a Two Kettle Sioux woman  who appears to be a daughter of the headman named Fat.  Crow Eagle and his wife settled at the Cheyenne River Agency and they had at least two children: Paul Crow Eagle b. 1855 and George Crow Eagle b. 1858. 

Crow Eagle and his wife could not be identified in the 1886 Census and it is assumed that they had died by that time.  When asked if their father had ever been a headman, Crow Eagles sons had said no.

Crow Eagle Photo - 1900 - Taken by Edward S Curtis
Crow Eagle Photo – 1900 – Taken by Edward S. Curtis

The above picture of Crow Eagle was taken by E. S. Curtis and it is noted that he is a Blackfoot Indian and again, I don’t know if the Blackfoot people are separate from the Sioux people or the Brule, or even the Creek People.  Isn’t it fascinating that the face of a little known Native American/Canadian Indian found it’s way into the postcard collection of my grand parents living halfway around the world in Australia.  I would dearly love to learn more of the history behind these names.


Posted in The Post Card Collection

The Wreck Of The Adolphe

Postcard of the Wreck Of The Adolphe
Postcard of the Wreck Of The Adolphe

One of the postcards in my grandfather collection (Edward Thomas Bailey) was of the barque “Adolphe” and it caught my eye the other day.  I decided to Google the “Adolphe” and see what I could find out.  What I found was and incredible story!  I am continually amazed at what I learn each and every time I look at Grandad’s Postcard Collection.

On Friday, 30 Sept 1904, a mere 111 years ago, the barque “Adolphe” was being towed into the Newcastle Harbour by two tug boats.  The ship had just completed an 85 day journey from Antwerp.  The tug boats were unable to pull her safely into port though, and heavy seas landed her on top of other submerged wrecks in the harbour in Newcastle, New South Wales, on what was then called “the oyster bank”.

It took 2 hours for rescuers to safely transport all 32 crew to shore, with no loss of life.

The breakwater at Newcastle Harbour was extended after the loss of the “Adolphe” and in 1906, when the break wall reached the Adolphe, her remaining 2 masts were removed for safety reasons.  The “Adolphe” rests on top of the wrecked SS Wendourie (1898), and the SS Lindus (1899).

Wreck of the Adolph on Stockton Break Wall
Wreck of the Adolph on Stockton Break Wall

The following article appeared in the Newcastle Herald and Miner’s Advocate on Monday 3 Oct, 1904, page 5

THE ADOLPHE WRECK. There were no developments in connec- tion with the wrecked barque Adolphe on the Oyster Bank yesterday. The vessel re- mains in the same position as when she went aground. Mr. J. C. Reid, Consular Agent for France, and Captain Layec, master of the vessel, went on board yes- terday, and all of the ship’s papers, and the captain’s and crew’s effects were saved. Coxswain M’Kinnon, of the lifeboat, acted as pilot for the party. They boarded the vessel, and found the decks were all dry, and had very little trouble in getting what they wanted. The crew of the Adol- phe will probably leave Newcastle on Sat- urday, and proceed home to France in the F.M.S Caledonien, on Monday. Messrs. J. and A. Brown are advertising to-day for offers from persons willing to undertake salvage work in connection with the wreck. Captain M’Killiam, of the Aberdeen liner Damascus, speaking to a “Newcastle Herald” representative last night, referred to the work done by the lifeboat crew. He said it was magnificent work, and he thought it had never been excelled by any lifeboat crew. Nothing better could have been done by any lifeboat service. The coxswain and men ought to be rewarded for their heroice deeds. He was prepared to put his name on a subscription list to recognise such gallant services. The men risked a lot in doing what they did, and he hoped that they would not be forgotten. It was marvellous how they got the boat over the old wrecks, and saved all hands.


Picture of the Wreck of the Adolphe on Stockton Wall: 

“Adolphe wreck1” by Mark McIntosh – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

Information of Wreck of the Adolphe:

Trove Digistised Newspapers


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Postcard From Noumea

Postcard from Audrey Breckler to Julie Preston 110 years After Our Ancestors Corresponded
Postcard from Audrey Breckler to Julie Preston 110 years After Our Ancestors Corresponded

Around the early 1870’s Harriet Whiteman moved to Noumea, New Caledonia and from that time my ancestors in Tamworth, New South Wales received postcards and letters from her.  Harriet was my great, great Aunt.  The correspondence between Harriet and her Australian family continued over many years, and then as her daughter Madeleine grew the tradition continue when Madeleine began to correspond with my grand mother Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith. I have featured a few of the post cards on my blog that were sent from Noumea around 1904 and 1905 before.

My 3rd cousin Audrey Breckler, who lives in Paris, recently travelled to New Zealand and then on to New Caledonia for a holiday, catching up with another cousin who showed her some of the sites that Noumea has to offer.  We emailed each other a couple of times throughout her trip, and it was in one of these emails that Audrey asked for my home address, commenting that it would be an extraordinary thing to have a postcard sent between family from Noumea to Tamworth all these many years later!

On January 14, 2016  110 years after correspondence between our family ancestors began, I received the postcard from Audrey.  The front showcases some of  best scenery this lovely pacific island offers and on the back Audrey has written:

Dear Julie,

110 years after our ancestors Madeleine and Ines, a postcard is sent from Noumea to Tamworth.  New Caledonia is a very beautiful country with amazing beaches.  Noumea has changed since 1905, but the streets still exist with old colonial houses, the cathedral where the family were baptised is still here watching the sea.

What a absolute thrill it was to receive the postcard.  Audrey was right – there was something very special indeed about following the tradition set down by our ancestors.  I think this postcard has earned a place in the back of my grand fathers postcard collection!

Posted in The Post Card Collection

New Caledonia 1904 – 1905

Here are some more of the beautiful black and white postcards of New Caledonia that are amongst my Grandad’s Collection (Edward Thomas Bailey).  There is a family connection to New Caledonia between Edwards wife Ines Maude nee: Smith, and Ines’s cousins Madeleine, Raymond  and Henri Thevenet.  I believe that my grandmother Ines Maude Smith made at least one trip to New Caledonia, perhaps even more, although I have no proof.  There are a number of postcards in the collection from “friends” which is why I thought Granma had spent some time there. 

New Caledonia0001

In New Caledonia – General view of the Penitentiary I’lle Nou or the lodges are condemned to work force


Kanaks (Indigenous Melanesian Inhabitants of New Caledonia) on a canoe


New Caledonia – Landscape on the Road to Yate


New Caledonie – Forest Landscape


French Translation via email by Audrey Breckler – France

Posted in The Post Card Collection

New Caledonia 1904 & 1905

There are a series of post cards that were sent to my grandmother Ines Maude Smith from New Caledonia from a friend by the name of Emile Leroux.  I assume that Granma visited her cousin Madeleine Thevenet in Noumea and that on that visit she met Emile, who consequently added to Grandad and Granma’s postcard collection considerably. Madeleine Thevenet was the daughter of Harriette Thevenet , my Granma’s Aunt.  These cards all seem to date between early 1904 to late 1905, so perhaps my Granma’s visit was around late 1903.  The postcards, which are 110 years old show jungle, Indigenous Women, housing, fashion and countryside – all of which would not be recognisable in today’s world.  During the month of October I will be sharing some of the postcard collection from the Noumea of Yesteryear.

Point Artillery0001

In New Caledonia – Noumea – Point Artillery (Point Artillery is vastly different today although the Cathedral on the far left centre is still standing)

Village Life0001

In New Caledonia – Tribe Kanak in the Gorges du Mont Mu – In our approach, some natives out of their box , seeming to wonder what we have to do at home (tribal life at the turn of last century)

Indigenous Women0001

In New Caledonia – Types Indigenous Women – For Clothes, a manou fibre  coconut or banana leaves , and that’s all …. (traditional fashion for Indigenous Women)

Virgin Forest0001

In New Caledonia – In virgin forest . What a tangle of lianas and other weird trees (Thick growth of the forest)

Banyan Tree0001

In New Caledonia – Under a Banyan.  Banyan is extracted from rubber (could that mean rubber is extracted from the Banyan Tree?) (just look at the men’s fashion of the early 1900’s!)



Posted in The Post Card Collection

The Boarding House Series of Postcards

This series of postcards from Grandad’s collection  reflect the humour of the creator of the cards I think.  The “funny” side to the cards can be seen quite plainly in “The Moonlight Flit (running off without paying your rent), “The Breakfast Bell” (multiple ways to wake someone up) and “The Knockout Blow”.   I’m not sure if the black ink comments that have been written on the front of the postcards has been written by Grandad, or by the person that may have sent the cards to him.  None of the cards have writing on the back of them, although the publisher of the cards is Prebble & Moad, 11 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

The cards do show the sense of humour from yesteryear, which is vastly different from what would be found as entertaining today.

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Cronulla Beach Hotel – 1908

Cronulla Beach Hotel - 1908
Cronulla Beach Hotel – 1908


This beautiful post card picture of the Cronulla Beach Hotel dates from 1908 and is amongst the postcard collection put together by my grandfather Edward Thomas Bailey.  It was sent from Gertrude Smith to her mother Mary Ann Smith nee: Whiteman, my great grandmother.  I decided on a whim to showcase the postcard this month just because it caught my eye.  I love the old fashioned architecture, what could only be beautiful  wrought iron fence work around the veranda of the top story, the bull-nosed roofing and the chimney’s that hint of warm and welcoming open fires on coastal winters nights.  Just imagine when the proper attire for men when visiting a hotel was a full suite and hat!

I decided to “Google” the Cronulla Beach Hotel and was very disappointed not to be able to find a single photo or postcard from around the same period, but I did find some very interesting facts relating to the hotel from 1903 – 1908 on the TROVE website. 

In August of 1903 the original Cronulla Beach Hotel which had been constructed from weatherboard was completely destroyed by fire.  How the fire broke out was a mystery but luckily there was no loss of human life, although some canaries and parrots from an aviary did perish. The hotel was re-built as in the postcard above.

In July of 1904 the “Nemesis” Steamship floundered near Bombora Reef off the waters of Cronulla and the body of a man considered to be 35 – 40 years old was washed up on Cronulla Beach. The body was then taken to a room at the Cronulla Beach Hotel until an inquest was held on 20 July.  Wreckage from the “Nemesis” also washed up on Cronulla Beach.  On 30 July 1904 it is reported that another body from the “Nemesis” washed up on Cronulla Beach and was again taken to the Cronulla Beach Hotel for a Magisterial Inquiry

The Hotel is mentioned in an advertisement under the heading “Cronulla – A Charming Summer Resort”  in The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser on Wednesday 23 November 1904.   It is noted at this point as having 30 rooms available for accommodation.

The Hotel hosted many events, catering for these with utmost class, and was also very active in supporting local sporting groups including rowing and fishing.

Once again in January of 1908 another ship, the Thode Fagelund, floundered off the coast near Cronulla.  Apparently this incident was a great curiosity to the public at the time and many went down to the beach to see the rescue of the ships crew take place

As you can see from the above the Cronulla Beach Hotel had quite an interesting history and it is intriguing to me to think that my family had perhaps visited this landmark from yesteryear.  Perhaps they spent time sitting by one of those lovely open fires, rented a room overnight or stood on the top veranda of the hotel looking over Cronulla Beach.  What a magnificent old building!

Posted in The Post Card Collection

Happy Birthday Grandad

I know that May is usually set aside for all things “Mothers Day” but I just wanted to wish Grandad a happy 132nd birthday!!

Birthday Card

Edward Thomas Bailey was born on 1 May 1882 in Armidale, New South Wales.

This beautiful silver card shows pansies outlined in silver glitter.  “Kind Thoughts” is also written in silver glitter, and it is amazing to me that the glitter is still attached to the card after all these years. The card was sent to Ted from his fiancé Ines just nine days before they were married on 10 May 1908 for his 26th birthday.

Reverse Side Birthday Card

On the reverse of the card is written

Dear Ted

Wishing you a Happy Birthday

and may (you) spend many of them

is the wish from Yours Only

Ines xxx