TROVE TUESDAY: 8 Hour Day

We South Australians have just enjoyed a “Long Weekend” to celebrate “Labour Day” and many marched in the streets in remembrance. Mum always determinedly referred to it at “8 hours day” and reminded her children how hard the Unions toiled, with the workers, for better working conditions.

“eight hours of work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for sleep” 

labour-day 2013. Brisbane

In the early 19th century, most labourers worked 10- or 12-hour days for six days each week. The 1850s brought a strong push for better conditions.  The fight was for an eight-hour day, effectively a 48-hour week to replace the 60-hour week and Australian workers stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House.

1856 Union Banner.  Source: Wikipedia

1856 Union Banner. Source: Wikipedia

The government finally agreed to an eight-hour day for workers employed on public works, with no loss of pay. This win was a world first but did not end all labour problems. Many working conditions were harsh and demanding, and women were paid a lot less than men. However, the victory for the eight-hour day was a significant breakthrough, by the Unions to improve working conditions in Australia.

As our three day weekend came to a close mum’s words came flooding back so I checked Trove to see what I could find on our National Library of Australia site and to my delight was advised of a photo held here in our State Library of South Australia.

It shows Holden’s float for the 8 Hour Day procession in 1925 with a group of men standing alongside. The lorry was an A.E.C. registration number 24-347 and was new in 1925. This is the year my mum was born and her dad, Frederick Alexander ALLAN, would have been marching in that parade with others in the Waterside Workers Federation.  

Holden's Float in South Australia's 8 hour day Parade - 1925 - Source: SLSA  B56561

Holden’s Float in South Australia’s 8 hour day Parade – 1925 – Source: SLSA B56561

THANKYOU TROVE!!!

TROVE

Many thanks also to Amy Houston, of Branches, Leaves & Pollen, for initiating the TROVE TUESDAY Theme.

Please click HERE  to visit Amy’s Blog and HERE  to read the contributions of others.

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RESOURCES & FURTHER INFORMATION:
http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/56750/B56561.htm
http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/16418226
http://publicholidays.com.au/labour-day/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_Australia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_labour_movement
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_hour_day
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/thousands-turn-out-for-labour-day-march-in-brisbane/story-e6freoof-1226348812538

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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Bb – is for Baby Crout

FAMILY HISTORY THROUGH THE ALPHABET CHALLENGE

It’s a crisp Autumn morning in Adelaide, South Australia and I wake with the memory of “Baby Crout” nudging through my sleep be-fuddled brain.  No more dithering, no more doubting, no more questioning for clearly “the little man” is the Bb for my “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge”. His story is rather sad, as are many, but always reminds me of the care and com-passion which so often resides in the hearts of strangers.

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Over 41 years ago, through the anguish and confusion of my baby boy’s unexpected death, I glimpsed a side of my father never seen before. He was grief stricken and inconsolable. Many years later, when mum told me the story of “Baby Crout”, I understood.

It was April 1934 and the “Great Depression” continued to cause great hardship but Harry Scarborough Crout and Constance Elsie Evans, married 13 Jul the previous year, were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child – a new life, a new beginning and re-newed hope for the future. Connie, sufferring from “pre-eclampsia”, was being treated by Dr Porter at the Port Adelaide Casualty, which was the only medical care available to the wife of a long term unemployed worker when, on the 21st April she went into labour and was delivered of a stillborn baby boy at the Queen’s Home, Rose Park, South Australia.

Harry Crout, riding pillion, with Sammy – NSW 1929. Copyright (c) C.Crout-Habel

Mum was ony 9 years old, Connie, her beloved half-sister, was 20 and Dad had just turned 22 when this tragedy struck. He’d only been in Australia for 6 years and most of this was spent in New South Wales, or “humping the bluey” around this wide brown land and sometimes “jumping the rattlers” and/or coastal steamers searching for work and to avoid being sent to a “work camp” in the bush. 

The Queen’s Home – 1914

So, as he was leaving the hospital and the nurse handed him a shoebox telling him to  “take it to West Terrace” he had no idea of the significance of those words. Trudging the 14kms home to 6 Denman Street, Exeter, where they were living with “Cousin Lizzie” she certainly knew the significance of the shoebox dad had placed on the kitchen table and put out the call, “Get Fred!”… Grandpa, Connie’s loved Step- father, harnessed the horse & buggy and took Dad and “Baby Crout” to the West Terrace Cemetery where our precious little boy was interred in a “pauper’s mass grave”, under the name “Baby Crout”. To add to Dad grief his beloved wife took her own life, in an excrutiating way two months later, by swallowing Lysol.

No doubt the unexpected death of his baby Grandson, Jarren Vaughan Habel, 36 years later brought many of those horrific memories flooding back.

Sunday Mail, 10 April 1934

Mum and I often lamented that “Baby Crout” had no grave or memorial then, one day in 1995, there was the newspaper article – Mr David McGowan, the West Terrace Cemetery Manager, announced the creation of a “Baby Memorial”,

“…to acknowledge the 30,000 children who died at birth, or soon after, and their parents who grieved in silence for so long.”    

Following the instructions, I soon located “Baby Crout’s” burial site at “Cemetery Extension, Path 4, Plot 6”. The “Cemetery Extension” a field at the rear of the cemetery which had been used as a site for mass graves from the 1920’s up to the 1980’s. This link will take you to the West Terrace Cemetery website where you can access the map, view the position of the “Baby Memorial” and the Photo Gallery. The mass burial site (Cemetery Extension) is marked “Road 5”, adjacent to the “Light Oval A.I.F.” 

On Thursday 7 Mar 1996, at 7.30pm and assisted by Mr McGowan, I quietly laid a bronze leaf engraved;

BABY CROUT
21 April 1934
SON OF CONNIE (NEE EVANS) AND HARRY CROUT
CEM EXT. PATH 4. PLOT 6

Although invited to the Formal Dedication Ceremony, the following Sunday, I had no need to attend. My heart, and mum’s, were at peace knowing our little boy had been claimed and acknowledged. This “heart’s ease” was only possible because of the work of David McGowan, and his supporters who were distressed by over 30,000 little bodies who lay in the forgotten fields at West Terrace Cemetery. Below is his description of the Baby Memorial they created.

David McGowan assisting in the laying of a memorial leaf – 7 Mar 1966

Thankyou Mr David McGowan
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Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family  

Aa – is for ALLAN, Frederick Alexander

FAMILY HISTORY THROUGH THE ALPHABET CHALLENGE

Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Musical Meme” was so enjoyable that I’ve decided to take up Gould Genealogy’s “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge”, and what a challenge it’s been simply choosing the first topic and getting started. Whenever I think of the letter Aa, and my Family History, it’s precious memories of my maternal Grandpa, Frederick Alexander Allan, which leap to my mind leaving no room for any other thoughts. This is his story.

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As the “Crout-Habel” Family Tree” spreads its roots, is nourished, loved and tended there remains a huge gap right there at the base.  How embarrassing to confess that I know so little about my maternal Grandpa’s origins, despite him living with us throughout my childhood and me with a host of memories to continue writing.

The only documentary evidence located, so far, is Grandpa’s Death Certificate.  However, as with many Death Certificates, some information is incorrect.

   DISTRICT OF NORWOOD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

NAME: Robert Alexander ALLEN, also known as Frederick Alexander Allen
AGE:  78 years
DIED:  12 Jan 1966 at Wodonga Hospital, Kent Town, South Australia
CAUSE OF DEATH:  Coronary Thrombosis – sudden, and mycarditis – 2 years
BURIED:  13 Jan 1966, Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia
CONJUGAL STATUS:  Widower
OCCUPATION:  Retired Waterside Worker
USUAL RESIDENCE:  34 New Street, Queenstown, South Australia
BIRTHPLACE:  London, England.  Resident in Commonwealth for 50 years
AGE AT MARRIAGE:  Not known
INFORMANT:  W.S.Taylor, Funeral Director, Port Road, Queenstown, South Australia
REGISTERED:  17 Jan 1966 by A.Evans
ENTERED INTO DISTRICT REGISTRY OFFICE:  20 Jan 1966 by A.Evans, District Register

Clearly the Funeral Director did not get this information from my mother for she never would have given her father’s name as “Robert Alexander Allen”. I remember how this new name came into my Grandpa’s life. For

Frederick Alexander Allan

years mum had been trying to persuade him to apply for the Aged Pension and finally he agreed. The Waterside Workers Union Secretary wrote to “Catherine House”, in the UK, for his birth certificate but they sent the certificate for his brother “Robert Arthur Allan”. Grandpa objected and said Robert was 4 years older and had emigrated to the USA. Wanting no further delays mum lodged the application, using this birth certificate, and every time the cheque arrived the arguments would start up again – Grandpa quietly refusing to sign “R.A.Allan”, saying “That is not my name, Kathleen!”

There is no Marriage Certificate to provide information as Nana and Grandpa never married. My Nana, “Mary Elizabeth Murray”, remained legally married to Alfred Evans and it seems that Mum’s Birth Certificate names her as “Kathleen Mary Evans” with Alfred Evans as her father. Apparently this was done to ensure that she was not labelled “a

Grandpa and his stepson Eric Evans

 bastard”. Mum told of the shock, when first sighting her Birth Certificate, whilst preparing for her marriage to “Harry Scarborough Crout”. She knew of her mother’s previous marriage and was very fond of her three older half siblings; “Eric, Norman and Connie Evans”, knew she was Frederick Allan’s daughter and had always been known as “Kathleen Mary Allan”.

Incidentally mum’s name for her father was “Olpell”. That always intrigued me and was told she thought it came about because her mother had always called her husband “the old fella” and mum’s baby language had interpreted it as “Olpell“. What a disappointment that was – I’d fancied a far more exotic explanation.

The other questionable information on Grandpa’s Death Certificate is his age. Was that based on the Birth Certificate of his brother, “Robert Arthur Allan” who was, according to Grandpa, 4 years older? Also, had he really been “a resident in Commonwealth for 50 years”? If this is correct, and not just an estimation, he would have arrived in Australian about 1917. Well, at least we know that he was here before 31 Mar 1925 because that is the day his daughter, my mother, was born 🙂

“SS Edwardes” at Port Pirie

Grandpa told us he was a sailor and first went to sea as a “cabin boy”. For some reason I have the age of 7, in my head, but I don’t know that he actually said that… possibly I dreamt it. Some of my siblings think this was just a “tall story” but, for a variety of reasons, I tend to believe it’s true. Firstly he constantly used expressions such as, “Aye, Aye”, “Shiver m’ Timbers” and “Batten Down the Hatches”… not that you have to be a seafarer to utter these words… Furthermore, a meal that Grandpa would cook and was his specialty was “Scouse”. It was delicious. I knew no-one else who ate “Scouse” and it was many years later that I discovered it was first taken to Liverpool, England, by Northern European sailors, was originally called Labskause” and later adopted by other seamen.

Another factor with suggests my Grandfather was indeed a sailor is that Nana was living in Port Pirie, the second largest seaport in South

Fred Allan middle back behind his “beloved” Lizzie (Murray) Allan

Australia,when they met, fell in love and ran away to Port Adelaide. I’ve often wondered if he was a “deserter” and “jumped ship” in Port Pirie. A good reason to not hang around the port, I reckon. Mum said that her dad had promised to take his beloved on a ship to explore wild and wonderful places and is why, when she left her husband and three children, they headed to Port Adelaide. However, he took sick , she nursed him back to health, mum was born, the “Great Depression” hit and nobody was going anywhere. True or not? … I don’t know. That’s for others to decide. My job is to pass the family story on to my children, and grandchildren, for them to pass onto their descendants.

Was Frederick Alexander Allan born in London, England, as stated on his Death Certificate? I think he most probably was. According to Grandpa he was a true Cockney born within the sound of the Bow Bells”. I now know what that expression means but, as a child, I had no idea what he was talking about. Also, meeting with some of my mum’s elderly cousins just last week (for the first time in about 50 years) they talked fondly of Grandpa and mentioned his “strong cockney accent”. Me, the child, heard no accent.

Grandpa had a strong dislike of the British Royal Family and spoke about being a child and seeing Queen Victoria riding along in her carriage with her fingers, “like big fat sausages”, covered in jewels whilst people were starving and dying in the streets. He said his mother was a “Midwife” and saved to pay for “reading and writing” lessons for her children. He did say how much she paid per lesson which I think was a farthing, but I’m not sure.

Well, those are some of the memories of my dearly loved Grandpa and serve as “clues” when seeking documented facts. So far I’ve had no luck discovering his origins but recently a newspaper article, in “Trove”, caught my eye and has given another avenue to explore. Mum had told me about Grandpa’s terrible accident, on the wharf, and why the Union was SO important in improving working conditions. 

Now I know the date and place he was treated, a trip to the South Australian State Records” to access the “Adelaide Hospital” patient records for Tuesday 25 Aug 1936 might just give me a little more valuable information and bring me closer to discovering my “Allan” ancestry.  

May you always Rest in Peace, Frederick Alexander Allan and know you are loved and remembered.

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Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family 

“Chrissie Pud” …

Every year mum would make the Christmas Pudding. All four of us would have a stir, make a wish, chuck in the coins and lick the bowl. Come Christmas Day we’d stuff ourselves full to get more “dosh”, then line the coins up for mum to count.  They’d be exchanged for “clean” money and the “Christmas Coins” would soak in a bowl ready for next year.

That came to an end and the fun went out of it when, on 14 Feb 1966, Australia changed to Decimal Currency.  No longer able to use the coins and finding the replacement charms not charming, at all, we began to lose interest in the rituals of the “Chrissie Pud”.

Yesterday, to my delight, I came across mum’s stash of the Christmas Pudding threepenny pieces.  They were disguised in an old Redheads Matchstick Box upon which mum had written “Thumb Tacks“.  Mmmm … did it once contain “Thumb Tacks” or was it my lovely mum’s way of keeping little children’s fingers at bay? …

Then the memories began to flow:
–  Grandpa’s pronunciation of “thruppence” …
–  The year mum made the “pud” in a cloth, instead of the basin, and “the boys” (my brothers) teasing her about it getting fly blown …
–  The year Grandpa must have swallowed his coins because mum and I put heaps in his serve …
–  My brother’s ideas for recovering Grandpa’s coins …
–  Mum actually starting to wonder if the “pud” might get flyblown hanging there in the lobby …

Some of our “Chrissie” threepenny pieces

Happy times… Happy memories… all conjured up by the sight of that old battered box, labelled “Thumb Tacks”.

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(c) Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Grandpa & the Teapot

Frederick Alexander ALLAN - 1949

Ahhh, Grandpa …

Growing up with Frederick Alexander Allan provides an endless flow of memories to share… Here’s just one little snippet.

After the death of his beloved Elizabeth Mary (nee Murray) Evans, 7 Jan 1953, Grandpa came to live with us and spent the last 13 years of his life surrounded by four active, noisy, growing children and a multitude of their friends. I realise now that it couldn’t have been easy for him but remember mum saying that his grandchildren kept him alive.

Ahhh, Grandpa … 

Every morning, as I tip my spoon into the condensed milk for that early morning “cuppa”, memories of Grandpa’s tea making and drinking rituals flood my mind.  I can see those arthritic, careworn, knobbly old hands clasped around the pot of freshly made tea, his feigned expression of surprise, the flapping hands, the sucking in of breath and the almost inaudible, “Well I’ll be blowed…”

Sometimes the unkind thought … “well of course it’s hot, you silly old fool” would flash across my young brain. Watching the blood pulsating in dad’s forehead, as he battled to control his anger, and Grandpa’s self satisfied smile was confusing to a small child.  Mum’s refusal to acknowledge her father’s behaviour and husband’s growing anger was even more confusing.  Why didn’t she do something about it?  The adult me understands.

The next step in Grandpa’s ritual was to lift the pot, by it’s black bakelite handle, and see-saw it backwards and forwards until satisfied the brew was to his liking.  Finally he’d pour the steaming hot liquid, from a great height, into his huge white cup embossed with “Father” in gold copperplate lettering.  

In my mind’s eye I can see mum’s aluminium teapot sparkling with loving attention and the use of Steelo, steel wool pads.  How many cups of tea were poured from it’s spout?  How many tears were assuaged with a cup of the rich brown beverage? How many times did Grandpa perform his pantomime? Whatever happened to mum’s beloved old teapot?   

As a youngster Grandpa’s behaviour often annoyed and irritated me, the aggravation increased with the teenage years… now the remembering brings a “smile to m’ dial”.

Ahhh, Grandpa …

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(c) Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~ Finding Family