The good oil – St Helena olives

I remember being on St Helena Island in the late 1990’s, when an olive expert gave advice to severely prune the trees in the olive grove. These had been growing without any expert tree care for around 80 years and were huge, rambling, messy things that still bore fruit and thrived no matter what. Ranger Paul brought out the chainsaw and did as was advised… … Continue reading The good oil – St Helena olives

Endings and beginnings – Part 2 ‘Exciting 2019’

You know it’s the beginning of a new year when there’s school age children everywhere you go, and the Australian Open tennis is playing and it’s Australia Day. For The St Helena Community, the new 2019 year hasn’t seen us reclining on a banana lounge. In fact, we’re hard at work building and creating projects that were only a thought bubble a year ago, and … Continue reading Endings and beginnings – Part 2 ‘Exciting 2019’

Endings and beginnings – Part 1 ‘Amazing 2018.’

    There’s been a bit of a break since my last post. 2018 has ended and 2019 has begun in between that time, so I’ll devote this post to ‘endings and beginnings.’ Let’s celebrate the great things we have done last year and give you a little taste of the amazing things ahead for the St Helena Community in 2019. Last year marked the … Continue reading Endings and beginnings – Part 1 ‘Amazing 2018.’

The desert dwelling Heathcocks

ST. HELENA PENAL ESTABLISHMENT. PRISONERS FED ON SOUR GROG, CONFINEE’S COMPLAINTS. The instructors are supposed to be tradesmen when they are appointed, yet there is the warder/baker instructor who came to St. Helena in April, 1913… Then the sour bread started, and since last year there has been more sour and raw bread than ever has been known in the history of St. Helena… It … Continue reading The desert dwelling Heathcocks

All for one, one for all!

I can’t remember the names of the 3 Musketeers, but I’ve got D’Artagnan in my head with the catch cry “all for one, one for all!” This is not a blog post connecting Alexandre Dumas’ novels to St Helena Island, though the Count of Monte Christo could apply! It’s more the recognition of the amazing team of three that have been powering the ‘St Helena … Continue reading All for one, one for all!

World War 1 Soldier, St Helena Warder and St Helena Prisoner

Ludwig Leichardt Rowe was not the relative of Australia’s inland explorer Ludwig Leichardt, just his namesake. He was a St Helena and Boggo Road Prison Warder, a World War I soldier, a Policeman, a farmer, labourer and a driver, but he was dismissed from all his positions. He was a drifter. His wife called him a ‘rotter’ and a ‘cove who was always being sacked.’ … Continue reading World War 1 Soldier, St Helena Warder and St Helena Prisoner

St Helena Soldier, Warder and Husband

There weren’t many families living permanently on St Helena Island during the World War I years, so the Aebli family with their 3 daughters were an exception. For returning soldier Edmund Burr Durling Knight, St Helena Penal Establishment was the first place to provide an occupation as Warder once he returned back from 3 1/2 long years of war in 1919. It was possibly the … Continue reading St Helena Soldier, Warder and Husband

Warders of Queensland’s 9th Battalion

I’d be forgiven for thinking I have the whole 9th Battalion stationed on St Helena Island. Many of St Helena Penal Establishment’s Soldier / Warders  enlisted into the 9th Battalion, which was the first battalion recruited in Queensland for the A.I.F within weeks of the declaration of the First World War. St Helena’s warders – men like Octavius and Irwin Spreadborough and Frank ‘Trooper’ Hills, … Continue reading Warders of Queensland’s 9th Battalion

‘Trooper’ Hills – one of the last men standing on St Helena Island

If people know you as ‘Trooper’ and not Frank, then your life’s work is already preceding you. There’s a fair few life-long soldiers in the ranks of the Soldier/Warders at St Helena Penal Establishment, with Frank ‘Trooper’ Hills being the prime example. Here’s a man who fought in both the Boer War and World War I and then came back to become one of the … Continue reading ‘Trooper’ Hills – one of the last men standing on St Helena Island

A family affair – the Spreadborough Brothers

Irwin Robert and Octavius Lomas Spreadborough. The Killarney based Spreadbrough brothers were remarkable for their unusual names. But they were also notable for being some of the earliest men to enlist and as a result, like a number of St Helena Warders, saw action at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli in 1914 and 1915.  Irwin and Octavius were farmers who had both served in the 14th Australian … Continue reading A family affair – the Spreadborough Brothers