Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ballarat & Clunes Identities, 1880s & Early 1890s

Philip Boulton
Does one of our old family photo albums contain some hidden gems for those researching the historic Victorian gold-mining town of Clunes in the 1880s and 1890s?

My great grandfather Philip Boulton was the Manager of the Clunes branch of the Union Bank of Australia between July 1882 and October 1883 and again between May 1889 and July 1891. The article Booktown's Boulton Ghosts describes his association with Clunes.

The following unidentified photos appear in his wife's photograph album.  The images are for the front and back of each photo, showing the details of each photographic studio concerned. Information elsewhere on the web suggests that the Willetts photos must have been taken after 1889.

Someone must recognise at least some of these people. I expect that the men were customers of the bank, local business identities, perhaps involved with mining activity. The two women were presumably wives but also personal friends of my great grandmother. Please contact me if you have any suggestions.

Photo 1. Studio of Ernest Wild, Clunes

Photo 2. Studio of Ernest Wild, Clunes

Photo 3. Studio of Ernest Wild, Clunes

Photo 4. J Meek Photographer, Clunes

Photo 5. J Meek Photographer, Clunes

Photo 6. Richards & Co, Ballarat

Photo 7. Willetts, Ballarat, Neg 15814

Photo 8. Willetts, Ballarat, Neg 18669

Photo 9. Willetts, Ballarat, Neg 20761

Photo 10. Willetts, Ballarat, Neg 24123

Photo 11. Willetts, Ballarat, Neg 83868

A quarter of a century after these photos were taken, Philip Boulton's two sons, serving in different armies, wrote an amazing series of very moving letters during World War 1. They were typed in the 1920s and presented to the Australian War Memorial, which promptly requested the originals. There they rested for nearly 90 years, until family members recalled their silent existence. You can now read these powerful letters in the book Brothers in Arms: The Great War Letters of Captain Nigel Boulton, RAMC & Lieut Stephen Boulton, AIF, available in Australia here and internationally via the usual online outlets. I'd love to receive your feedback on these letters.

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