Saturday, 5 December 2015

Kanu-Club Wannsee

My maternal grandparents, Hans Boltz (1910-1992) and Charlotte Manock (1912-1988), were members of the Kanu-Club Wannsee in Berlin before they were married.  The following pictures are photos from their photo album.

Wannsee is in the south-west of Berlin, Germany. The River Havel forms two lakes separated by a bridge: the Großer Wannsee (Greater Wannsee) and the Kleiner Wannsee (Little Wannsee).  There is still a Wannseer Kanu-Club located on the Kleiner Wannsee which takes canoe hiking trips.

Kanu-Club Wannsee 1931
1931- Hans Boltz is in the middle back (wearing glasses)

Hans Boltz is second from the front
1935

Kanu-Club Wannsee 1935
waterfight
Hans Boltz is in overcoat with glasses
Charlotte Manock at the Kanu-Club
Hans and Charlotte
camping with canoes
Charlotte camping
Charlotte camping

canoes in a lock
Charlotte




This week's Sepia Saturday blogging theme is Robinson Crusoe. There seems to be some mention of canoes in the novel giving my post a tenuous link to the theme.













Friday, 4 December 2015

Outdoor Christmas in True Australian Style 4 December 1937

Fashions for Christmas time 78 years ago.

OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS in True AUSTRALIAN STYLE. (1937, December 4). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), p. 1 Section: WOMAN'S SECTION. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55073304


WHILE our kinsfolk in England long for a 'white' Christmas, with snow covering leafless trees, we Australians hope for a Christmas golden with sunshine, with green-leaved trees providing cool and pleasant shade, for many of us this great day of the year is spent out of doors, warming ourselves not by huge log fires, but in the summer sun.

Some Australians even forgo the usual rite of eating a large Christmas dinner inside their homes, and take their turkey and pudding with them as they set off in motor cars, caravans, or trailers for a camping holiday at the beach and in the hills.

But whether we dine conventionally at a table laden with good things or sit on the ground round an informal setting of a picnic meal on hill-slope or beach-sands, many of us spend most of the day in the open.

For the sea-lover South Australia offers plenty of sport. At Outer Harbor and seaside resorts people, both young and old, will don sporting clothes and go in search of sea breezes and thrills in yachts and motor boats, if the weather behaves as it should on December 25. Men will go out fishing, young men and women will swim and sunbake, making the beaches gay with the newest attractive fashions in beach wear.

In city, suburbs, and hills tennis courts will be the centre of many happy parties, and cars filled with pleasure-seeking holiday-makers will wend their way through the beauties of Adelaide's surroundings.

From a fashion point of view Christmas this year should be more exciting than ever before. Shorts have been accepted almost every where in South Australia as a suitable and attractive sports costume. With white or colored designs girls will wear contrasting jumpers, or on the beach backless scarf tops. Bathing suits are gaily floral this season, and the colors as gay as the rainbow.

The fashion of wearing a scarf knotted in peasant style over the head will provide many pleasing pictures out of doors, while huge, shady hats will rival them for charm.

The tennis scene ... shows Mrs. Geoffrey de Crespigny and Miss Heather Craven pausing for a moment during an after noon game at Memorial Drive. Mrs. de Crespigny is wearing a white sleeve less frock and white fell hat, while her partner is in white linen divided skirt and sleeveless top.
Mrs Geoffrey de Crespigny, née Kathleen Cudmore (1908-2013), was my grandmother.

Memorial Drive Tennis Club was founded in 1914.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Trove Tuesday: Obituary for Admiral Mainwaring

Rowland Mainwaring (1783 - 1862) was my fourth great grandfather.  In 1840 his son Gordon (1817 - 1872) was sent from England to live in Australia.

Rowland Mainwaring in 1861 from The Mainwarings of Whitmore and Biddulph in the County of Stafford. An account of the family, and its connections by marriage and descent; with special reference to the Manor of Whitmore. J.G. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, about 1935.
 
Gordon was the third son, not expected to inherit the estate. Gordon Mainwaring had a problem with alcohol. He drank too much, and after a time in the army in India arrived in South Australia in January 1840, banished there by his family, who paid for him to stay away. He is known in the family as the remittance man. This term meant an emigrant, often sent to a British colony, supported or assisted by payments of money from his family.

The South Australian Register of 17 June 1862 reproduced a lengthy obituary of Gordon's father, Admiral Rowland Mainwaring,  first published in the Illustrated London News on 26 April 1862.  Gordon's older brothers had died and Gordon, to everyone's surprise, perhaps including his own, was now the heir to the Whitmore estate.

THE LATE ADMIRAL MAINWARING. (1862, June 17). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50172924
The original article from the Illustrated London News is slightly easier to read:

"Obituary of Eminent Persons." Illustrated London News [London, England] 26 Apr. 1862: 425. The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003. Retrieved through Gale News Vault via the National Library of Australia




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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembering my grandfather at Tobruk

Yesterday my daughter gave me a coin commemorating Australia's role in withstanding the siege of Tobruk. I have previously written about Richard Geoffrey Champion de Crespigny known as Geoff de Crespigny (1907 - 1966), my grandfather, who served in the Australian Army as a doctor and was at Tobruk, during the North African campaign, from January to October 1941.

His diaries from the time he was in Tobruk have been transcribed by my father. Entries from May 1941 are from a period when my grandfather was supervising evacuation of the wounded by sea.

Australian troops about to embark in Vampire. Retrieved from http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-vampire-i

16 May
Went to the hospital for supplies and to HQ to see Cookie.1 Also had a hair-cut – long overdue. Later wrote to Kathleen, and went in again to arrange for embarkation tonight on a destroyer.
At 7, Jerry dropped bombs from an unprecedented height close to the San Marco water point. It seems to be our water he is trying for these days.2 We drove down just before dark, and quite by accident were made aware of a huge crater in the road made by one of the latest bombs and which would have been a death trap to our first ambulance. The Vampire was delayed3 – but berthed at 1 in the morning and we started. Cramming them in we got 109 stretchers and 98 walkers away. I found to my joy that Pat Reilly was the [p.91] MO. I was delighted to meet him again, and we were able to have a short yarn. She left at 3 – and after the usual signal parley we got to bed. But not undisturbed – for there were a series of lone but noisy raiders who were taken up by a long and loud artillery bombardment.
17 May (really continuing)
I seemed to get mighty little sleep. Stayed put after B in B [breakfast in bed] and got up and had a bathe about 11. After lunch went to the hospital and fixed the evening's arrangements, and I went to HQ later. While there about 30 planes came over and dive-bombed the other side of the harbour – without doing much, and so many people said afterwards that they had shot down a plane that it became [p.92] monotonous. Some were downed, however.
News from Egypt is rather heartening now. We have retaken Salum, and there are all sorts of rumours about Capuzzo.4
Went to the docks with the failing light. The ship turned up at 10, and we had her away by 11.30. Then fixed the signal, had a liqueur[?] with a charitable soul, and returned to bed. A pretty tricky drive in very complete darkness.
18 May
Almost a blank. Didn't go out, and neither side did any fighting.
19 May
A number of bombs dropped early this morning just "over the wall" from us.5 Went over to the beach hospital and had a long yarn with Eric Cooper which ended in my staying to lunch. A jolly good lunch too! Rest of the day quiet.
[p.93]
20 May
Once again bombs "over the wall." We hope they realise the importance of that wall as a boundary and don't encroach on our side!
Went to embark invalids onto Vampire, which came in at 2330. Found poor Pat [Reilly] in a state, as the intelligentsia at Alex had taken off all extra RAMC [Royal Army Medical Corps: British] personnel and all equipment. We had 61 stretchers and 98 walking wounded, and it was a great squeeze and a great shame. Also we lost all the stretchers and 200 blankets and have damn few left in Tobruk now. Pat was very well, but a bit harassed. Home about 0330.
Some of the 180 wounded that were evacuated from Tobruk by HMAS Vampire in May 1941. Retrieved from http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-vampire-i


1Colonel T P Cook had been in charge of RGCdeC's unit in Egypt, and now commanded Lines of Communication [general civilian-style administration] in Tobruk.

2On water supply, see Walker, Middle East, p.199.

3HMAS Vampire, an Australian ship, was one of flotilla of destroyers operating in the Mediterranean: Jane's Fighting Ships, p.107. There were five, the Stuart, Vampire, Vendetta, Voyager and Waterhen. Built during the First World War, and transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in 1932, they were derided by German propaganda as the "Scrap Iron Flotilla," a title later borne as proudly as that of the Rats of Tobruk. One of their main tasks at this time was to maintain the "Tobruk ferry," which brought new troops and supplies in from Alexandria and took the sick and wounded out.
Vampire was later among the escort of the Repulse and the Prince of Wales when they were sunk by Japanese aircraft off the coast of Malaya in December 1941. In April 1942 she was escort to the light carrier HMS Hermes when they were caught by Japanese planes in the Indian Ocean near Ceylon; both ships were sunk.

4This was a British attempt to relive Tobruk. Fort Capuzzo was close to Salum; both places were taken, but could not be held.


5Since being bombed out on 19 April, RGCdeC and his colleague Saxby had camped in Snake Gully. The "wall" was presumably a ridge along the top of the gully on one side. Lieutenant-Colonel NHW Saxby, from Sydney, was DADMS in charge of local medical administration in Tobruk town. RGCdeC was initially Deputy Assistant Director of Hygiene [DADH].

A night photograph showing an air raid over the harbour. Bomb bursts and searchlights can be seen.Retrieved from the Australian War Memorial image 020592


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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Trove Tuesday: Melbourne Cup 1901


One of the elegant ladies on the lawn at Flemington watching the Melbourne Cup in 1901 was Mrs Crespigny née Sophia Beggs (1870-1936), second wife of my great great grandfather, Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850-1927).

In its description of the dresses of several hundred women at Flemington, the Age reported that Mrs Crespigny wore a pink foulard costume trimmed with white lace and black velvet.

Foulard is a lightweight silk, sometimes woven with cotton. It usually has a small multi-coloured printed pattern.

The Adelaide Observer of 24 August 1901 included a column from a "London Correspondent" about Illustrated Fashions.
ILLUSTRATED FASHIONS. (1901, August 24). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 41. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161778360
The columnist wrote:
Foulard is a material very much en evidence at present, and has much to be said in favour of its popularity. Its glossy surface is satin-like in appearance, while the fact that it is not satin renders it suitable for wear on occasions when satin would be out of place, and by young people to whom the richer fabric would be quite unsuitable. Among the most distinguished foulards are those with a creamy background with a gleaming satiny surface, patterned all over with a light lacelike or scroll design. I saw an exceedingly smart,gown of this description worn at a fashionable race meeting by one of the best dressed leaders of fashionable society. The minute details cannot be shown very well in the accompanying sketch, but the general outlines are the same. The hem of the skirt consisted in the approved style of a flowing flounce made of accordion-pleated chiffon ruched at the edge over silk and veiled by lace encrusted with a scroll-like applique of black velvet.


The Deseret Evening News of 15 June 1901 has a photograph of a foulard costume.

retrieved from Google News
The Sydney Freeman's Journal of 21 September 1901 also has an illustration of a costume in foulard.

FASHIONS UP TO DATE. (1901, September 21). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 25. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111085037

In 1901, the Cup was won by Revenue, a 5 year-old gelding, the favourite at 6 to 4 against.


1901 Melbourne Cup: the first three horses placed in winning order - Revenue, San Fran and Khaki - retrieved from http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/1721435

Revenue, the winner of the Melbourne Cup in 1901, painted by Frederick Woodhouse junior (1847-1927) retrieved from http://www.artrecord.com


Reference

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

A shipboard romance aboard the SS Ballaarat

After my great great grandmother Ellen Jane Cavenagh-Mainwaring, formerly Mainwaring, née Cavenagh inherited the family property of  Whitmore in Staffordshire  in 1891, the Cavenagh-Mainwaring family sailed for England in 1892 on the SS Ballaarat to take possession of the inheritance. The family surname had been changed in 1891 to assume the name and arms of Mainwaring in addition to Cavenagh in acknowledgement of the inheritance. Of the nine surviving children, the six daughters and the youngest son, Hugh, travelled with their parents. The oldest daughter, Eva, was 24. The youngest, Gertrude, known as Kiddie, was 10.

SS Ballaarat
The Ballaarat arrived in London on 8 June 1892.  Mr and Mrs Cavenagh-Mainwaring and their children were on the passenger list. The ages on the list are mostly wrong.

from Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA). Series BT26. Class: BT26; Piece: 32; Item: 17 Month: 06. Retrieved through ancestry.com.au.
Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring was born in 1822. On arrival he was 69 not 43 as stated. His wife, born in 1845, was 46 not 39. Eva was 24 not 19. May (Mabel) was 23 not 15. Kathleen, my great grandmother, was 18 not 14.

On 4 October 1892 the eldest Cavenagh-Mainwaring daughter, Eva, married Herbert James Gedge, a naval officer.

Eva Gedge née Cavenagh (1867 - 1941) in about 1907
The wedding was reported in Australian newspapers, including the Adelaide Advertiser of 7 November 1892, the South Australian Chronicle of 12 November 1892, and 26 November 1892,  the Melbourne Punch of 17 November 1892, the Adelaide Express and Telegraph of 19 November 1892, Melbourne's Table Talk of 25 November 1892, and  the Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser of 10 December 1892.

Family Notices. (1892, November 25). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145710099
Herbert James Gedge (1859-1913), the son of a clergyman, entered the navy at the age of 12. He graduated from the Royal Naval College in 1879.  On 15 February 1882 Gedge was promoted to Lieutenant. In the mid 1880s Gedge was posted to the Australia Station, the British naval command responsible for waters around the Australian colonies. The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser in their report of the 1892 wedding mentioned that Lieutenant Gedge had been on the Australian Station for five or six years, serving as Lieutenant of HMS Nelson and Dart.

I think for most of his posting Lieutenant Gedge was stationed in Sydney.  I checked the passenger list of the Ballaarat for his name. He was a passenger from Sydney together with five other Lieutenants in the Royal Navy, two naval doctors, and two other naval officers.

from Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA). Series BT26. Class: BT26; Piece: 32; Item: 17 Month: 06. Retrieved through ancestry.com.au.
I assume Herbert Gedge and Eva Cavenagh-Mainwaring met aboard the Ballaarat on the trip to England in 1892. I have found no evidence their paths crossed earlier.

Related posts

Saturday, 10 October 2015

1892 journey on the Ballaarat


Portrait of Wentworth Cavenagh, Commissioner of Public Works of South Australia from 4 March 1872 to 22 July 1873 from the State Library of South Australia

Browsing the National Library of Australia's 'Trove' digitised newspaper collection recently, I came across a shipping departure notice which gives a succinct family history of my Cavenagh and Mainwaring great great and great great great grandparents. The Cavenagh-Mainwaring family were about to sail for England on the Ballaarat.

The Ballaarat was a P & O ship of 4752 tons built in 1882, designed for service between the United Kingdom and Australia. The P&O history site remarks that "Her dining saloon was considered particularly fine, and patent iron beds replaced bunks for her first class passengers."

Ballaarat – 1882 Greenock retrieved from http://www.findboatpics.com.au/sppo2.html

Latest News. (1892, April 27). Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912), p. 2 Edition: SECOND EDITION. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204477375
Lots of information to follow up and facts to check.

Until I came across this information I did not know that James Gordon Cavenagh, my great great great grandfather, an army surgeon with the Royal Staff Corps, was at Waterloo. He is listed on page 20 in the list of officers as a surgeon in the Royal Staff Corps in John Booth's 1816 book of The Battle of Waterloo. He is also listed in The Bloody Fields of Waterloo: Medical Support at Wellington's Greatest Battle by Michael Crumplin published in 2013.

I also didn't know very much about his son, my great great grandfather, Wentworth Cavenagh. It appears that he was educated at Ferns Diocesan School in Wexford, Ireland. When he was 18 years old he went to Canada, Ceylon, and Calcutta and from there to the Bendigo diggings.

Friday, 14 August 2015

A run on the bank in Beaufort

This week's Sepia Saturday picture is a prompt for the topic of banking.


There are several bankers in my family tree. One of them is my great great grandfather Edward Walter Hughes (1854-1922).


E. W. Hughes from Hudson, Helen Lesley Cherry stones : adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland, Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales ... who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850. H.L. Hudson, [Berwick] Vic, 1985.page 81.


Edward Hughes was manager of the Bank of Victoria at Beaufort, Victoria, 50 km from Ballarat. In 1883 when he married at the age of 29, Hughes was working with the Bank of Victoria, though possibly not, so far as I know, at its Beaufort branch. In 1906 he was manager of the Beaufort branch when his daughter Beatrix, my great grandmother, married. His son Vyvyan was born in Beaufort in 1888 but his son Reginald was born in Essendon, Melbourne, in 1886, so I assume Edward Hughes moved to Beaufort about 1887. He retired from his job of bank manager in Beaufort in 1919 due to ill health.

Bank of Victoria, Beaufort, 1890s - from Museum Victoria Reg. No: MM 001094


In mid-April 1893, while Hughes was manager at Beaufort, there was a run on the bank. The branch at Beaufort ran out of bullion and Mr Hughes travelled to Ballarat by the 2 p.m. train for more gold.

A DEMAND FOR GOLD. (1893, April 14). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193438039

THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER. (1893, April 15). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88966637
When I think of a bank run I think of the scene from the film  of Mary Poppins when Michael wants to keep his tuppence to feed the birds.

There was a report that the bank declined to take deposits from some of their customers who had withdrawn their funds at the time of the run.

The Portland Guardian (1893, April 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65442835

The Beaufort depositors in the Bank of Victoria were right to be wary .  On 28 January 1893 the Federal Bank of Australia in Melbourne had run out of cash and closed. On 4 April the Commercial Bank of Australia, then one of Australia's largest, suspended operations. Twelve other banks  followed in quick succession and depositors struggled to retrieve their savings.

On Sunday 30 April the Victorian Cabinet met and in an attempt to manage the financial crisis, decided to close all banks for the following week.

The Oxford Companion to Australian History summarises the crisis:
The drying up of British capital inflow after the Baring crisis of 1890 spelt the end of the over-extended financial system. As asset prices fell and borrowers defaulted, the lending institutions came under pressure.The fringe financiers fell first. Eventually, the banks too began to experience financial losses, falling share prices, and panicking depositors. Thirteen of Australia's 22 banks closed their doors in 1893. All but two reopened within the year. However, all of the survivors had been forced to reconstruct.(page 58)

On 1 May 1893 the Bank of Victoria and other Victorian banks closed their doors for a week.



THE FINANCIAL CRISIS. (1893, May 2). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193419212

The Bank of Victoria re-opened at 2.30 on Wednesday 3 May. (SITUATION IN MELBOURNE. (1893, May 4). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193417046)

On 12 May the shareholders and depositors of the Bank of Victoria approved a scheme of reconstruction. (THE BANK OF VICTORIA. (1893, May 13). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193419451 LARGE MEETING OF DEPOSITORS. (1893, May 13). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193419452)


E. W. Hughes retired in 1919 aged 65. He died in 1922 in Melbourne.

What People are Saying and Doing. (1919, November 13). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146472785
I had trouble identifying the building of the former Beaufort Bank of Victoria. In the twentieth century the building, in Havelock Street, was converted to a Masonic Hall. A parapet was added incorporating the Masonic device of a square and set of compasses.  The building has since been subdivided into three flats and sold.

16 Havelock Street Beaufort from Google street view as at February 2010


The Bank of Victoria merged with the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney in 1927. The CBC merged with the National Australia Bank in 1982.


Sources
  • Hudson, Helen Lesley Cherry stones : adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland, Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales ... who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850. H.L. Hudson, [Berwick] Vic, 1985.
  • Foster, S. G. (Stephen Glynn), 1948-, Aplin, G. J. (Graeme John) and McKernan, Michael, 1945- Australians, events and places. Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates, Broadway, N.S.W, 1987.  
  • Davison, Graeme, 1940-, Macintyre, Stuart, 1947- and Hirst, J. B. (John Bradley), 1942- The Oxford companion to Australian history. Oxford University Press, Melbourne ; Oxford, 1999. 
  • Wikipedia contributors, "Australian banking crisis of 1893," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_banking_crisis_of_1893 (accessed August 14, 2015). 
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Friday, 31 July 2015

Tropical Hotel - Kissimmee, Florida

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt is an elegant view of a hotel.

In his 1910 book Forty Years of a Sportsman's Life, Sir Claude de Crespigny (1847 - 1935), my fourth cousin three times removed, mentions his 1887 visit to the Tropical Hotel Kissimmee, Florida.

View of the Tropical Hotel - Kissimmee, Florida, 1890s, retrieved from State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, https://floridamemory.com/items/show/26138
Sir Claude also mentions the Ponce de León Hotel, St Augustine, Florida. The hotel was  completed in 1887. Sir Claude would have been one of its first guests.

Ponce de Leon Hotel - St. Augustine, Florida, 1893, retrieved from State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, https://floridamemory.com/items/show/147777

"Hotel Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Florida", postcard about 1909, retrieved from Wikipedia

From Chapter 7 of his book:

In these days of universal travel it is a difficult matter to strike what may be termed new ground. Indeed, it is almost impossible, and the nearest approach one can make to novelty is to pick out the spots least frequented by those two ubiquitous specimens of humanity, the sportsman and the British tourist. Bearing this in mind, and having received an invitation from an ex-sailor, I determined on a short tour through Florida, with Cuba to follow. So having written to S--- to meet me at Douglass's Tropical Hotel at Kissimmee, set about collecting my impedimenta, and engaged a berth by the Cunard boat from Liverpool to New York. Of course there are many ways of getting to the Stars and Stripes, and the traveller can have his choice of which line he will elect to travel by. Mine fell on the Cunarder, and there was no cause to repent it ; everything on board was most comfortable, and with fine weather we made a rapid passage, arriving at Sandy Hook almost before we had well cleared the Mersey — at least so it seemed.

From New York there is again a choice of routes. You can take the luxurious vestibule train or the steamer to Jacksonville, where it will not be amiss to spend a couple of days at St. Augustine, in the palatial hotel, Ponce de Leon, built after the style of old Moorish architecture. From Jacksonville you will take the train to Kissimmee ; or, better still perhaps, the steamer down St. John's River to Sandford, and then on by rail.

Arrived at Kissimmee, Mr. Douglass will, assuming that he is still in the land of the living, make you thoroughly comfortable in the Tropical Hotel at an exceedingly moderate outlay, and will put you in the way of obtaining either a steamer or boat to the best sporting ground, which is in the neighbourhood of Fort Bassenger and Lake Arbuckle.

On arrival at Kissimmee, I found all arrangements had been made by S--- , who had also got punt and everything in readiness so that there was nothing for me to do but overhaul the shooting-irons and kit, and prepare for a start. While on the subject of shooting-kits, it may be mentioned there is no necessity to bring out cartridges, as a gun- maker in Kissimmee, called Farringdon, can supply every requisite ; and, what is more, is particularly careful in loading. When ordering cartridges I found American wood powder by far the best, and can recommend it strongly. Flannel is the best material for clothing, and a stock of quinine should not be forgotten. These, however, are details.

On Tuesday, December 13, we left St. Elmo at 7.15 a.m., arrived at the south end of Lake Tohopekaliga at 1 p.m., and passing quickly through the canal into Lake Cypress, and on through a second canal, came into Lake Hatchineha, just as daylight was vanishing. Here we were lucky enough to hit off a sandbank studded with oak copse, and dry wood being plentiful, soon had our camp fire under way, and supper. The whiff of tobacco, and glass of Bourbon whisky which followed the evening meal, were both mighty acceptable, for we had had nine hours' hard rowing under a blazing sun, and were both fairly tired out. At least I can answer for it that it was with a feeling of deep satisfaction I curled myself up in my blankets for the night, and was quickly lulled to sleep by a chorus of frogs, with the occasional " ouf, ouf! " of a somewhat consumptive alligator.


Map showing Kissimmee and St Augustine, Florida

I was thinking of Sir Claude this week, following the sad news of a lion being shot for sport in Africa.  Sir Claude was an active hunter who killed many animals for his own amusement.

Rhino shot by Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny from opposite page 291 of Forty Years of a Sportsman's Life
Trophies at Champion Lodge from opposite page 295 of Forty Years
I deplore game shooting. I can't understand why people want to kill animals for sport, now or a hundred years ago.

An article by J A Mangan and Callum McKenzie in the International Journal of the History of Sport about the Shikar Club, offers some clues as to why Sir Claude was so keen on hunting:

Patriotism obsessed de Crespigny. He was of the view that every able-bodied Briton had an obligation to defend his country and could not be considered a ‘man’ till he had done so. He practised what he preached. He served in both the Royal Navy (1860–5) and the Army, (1866–70) and later, despite his advancing years, was keen to play an active part in the Boer War. Sporting pleasures and military duties, in his rigid opinion, went hand in hand. Hunting was an ideal training for warfare. He was dismissively contemptuous of all ‘gentlemen of England now abed’ types. He likened such ‘feather-bed aristocrats’, particularly those who declined military duty, to effeminate French aristocracy, and, considered they had no place in the English social hierarchy. His son’s military success was, in his certain view, the result of the family’s predilection for hunting: ‘Men who have been good sportsmen at home are the men who will do best and show the greatest amount of resource when on active service.’ (page 258 of Forty Years) De Crespigny was a pragmatist as well as patriot. Hunting was more than training for war, as noted elsewhere; it assisted military promotion and to this end, de Crespigny used it as a means of consolidating friendships with high-ranking military officials and useful politicians.
In Florida Sir Claude shot and wounded a moccasin snake, bagged half a dozen snipe (for eating), fruitlessly tramped after deer and turkey, but later seems to have shot some venison for eating. (pages 188-193 of Forty Years)

Reference:
  • (2008) Imperial Masculinity Institutionalized: The Shikar Club, The International
    Journal of the History of Sport
    , 25:9, 1218-1242, DOI:
    10.1080/09523360802166162 retrieved through the State Library of Victoria eJournals service - link :http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523360802166162
Similar text appears in Mangan, J. A. Reformers, Sport, Modernizers: Middle-class Revolutionaries. : Routledge, 2013. viewable in Google books https://books.google.com.au/books?id=xedSAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA186. Also in Mangan, J. A. and Callum McKenzie Militarism, Hunting, Imperialism: 'Blooding' The Martial Male. : Routledge, 2013. viewable in Google books https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9TmPAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA168

Note the article, and the books, incorrectly refers to Sir Claude as a Brigadier-General. The fourth baronet did not achieve that rank. His son, Sir Claude Raul Champion de Crespigny, the fifth baronet, was a brigadier-general.