Armistice Day 1918: How teachers would have experienced the end of the War

By the time WW1 officially ended, Doris was 25 years old, living at home with her family and working as a teacher at Victoria Park Primary. She had passed an Inspection a month prior, and was employed as a level B1 teacher on an annual salary of £180. During the war years, enrolments at VicContinue reading “Armistice Day 1918: How teachers would have experienced the end of the War”

A Grave Discovery

On November 14, 2017 I attended a book talk at Nedlands by Leigh Straw. Leigh is an author and historian and her book ‘After the War’ looks at returned servicemen from WW1 and the mental and physical trauma they brought home with them to Australia. As she so poignantly says, for some of them, theContinue reading “A Grave Discovery”

The ANZAC Boys

Perhaps the most tantalising story Gwenyth told me about her aunt, Doris, was in response to my question about why she had never married. Gwenyth explained that many years after Doris had died, she found out from her father (Doris’ younger brother, Walter) that when Doris was very young, she’d had a sweetheart – aContinue reading “The ANZAC Boys”

How I came to start my novel, Part III: Doris Turpin, the teacher

This is the story of the second owner of the ‘House of Women’, and the woman whose story my novel is loosely based upon. Doris was born Doris Isabel Turpin in 1893 to Isabelle ‘Bella’ Stokes and Walter Turpin.  She first appeared in the 1916 electoral roll, when she was living with her parents atContinue reading “How I came to start my novel, Part III: Doris Turpin, the teacher”

How I Came to Start My Novel, Part 2: The 1920s Landowner

This is the story of the first owner of my house, the first of the ‘House of Women’. The first owner of our house was a woman by the name of Ethel Lottie Rogerson, a married woman who lived in Mount Lawley, an old suburb approximately 8 kilometres north east of Daglish. Technically, she justContinue reading “How I Came to Start My Novel, Part 2: The 1920s Landowner”

How I came to start my novel

July 2005 As she walked down the stairs to her waiting car, Judith looked up at the house one more time. ‘You know,’ she said, ‘this house has only ever been owned by women.’ She smiled at me, her eyes crinkling against the winter sun, and then she got into her car and drove toContinue reading “How I came to start my novel”

A Whoop In The Dark

The year was 1994. The Wollemi fossil pine had been discovered, Australia experienced its first political assassination and the country had just moved to the eight digit telephone number. It was the year I attended my first – and last – music concert. For a girl who had a fear of large crowds and insufficientContinue reading “A Whoop In The Dark”

Your History for Sale: $15

Today I took my daughters to a swap meet in Nedlands.  There were the usual assortment of stalls selling the usual assortment of thing. But one lady’s stall in particular attracted all our eyes. My three year old went straight to the Dora doll, dressed in a tutu with articulated joints and wild hair. New,Continue reading “Your History for Sale: $15”