Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kapunda: Then and Now - 8 Beck Street

Kapunda: Then and Now - 8 Beck Street

The photo above was found in my Grandmother, Audrey Tiller's photos albums, it appears to be 8 Beck street Kapunda.
 The photo's only marking is "Bills House", with no indication of year, or who "Bill" might have been.

The photo below is from Google Maps in 2014.
probably the most notable differences between the top and bottom photo's is the addition of the car port, the lack of electricity meter box and wiring, TV Antennae, missing front fence, the plants on the furthest side of the building, and what appears to be screening on the balcony!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Tragic Death of James Bernard Meggins

The Tragic Death of James Bernard Meggins

In 1868, Daniel Meggins (sometimes spelled Megins), a farm hand at St Johns, near Kapunda, married Margaret Haughey at St Johns Roman Catholic Church. The couple had ten children together, 4 girls and 6 boys:

Catherine Meggins (1870–1942)
James Bernard Meggins – (1871–1886)
John Daniel Meggins (1873–1948)
William Meggins (1876–1876)
William Thomas Meggins (1877–1939)
Mary Ann Bernard Megins1879–1973
Rosey Maud Meggins (1882–1885)
Walter Edward Meggins (1884–1885)
James Edward Meggins (1886–1974)
Gertrude Johanna Meggins (1890–1922)

When he was old enough, James, the eldest son of the couple, took a job carting hay in the local area. On December 2nd, 1886, he was between Tarlee and Kapunda loading hay onto his cart when tragedy struck.

 A storm had brewed, and with it came lightening. One bolt of Lightning directly hit the cart at about 2pm, incinerating the cart, killing both of James’ horses, and James.
 Young James, just 15 years old, was later buried in St Johns Cemetery, near Kapunda.

 It is not known what became of the Meggins family, but 70 years later, Margaret Meggins name appears in the newspapers of the time. A large gathering of 500 people were at St Johns Cemetery to witness the blessing of the ceremony, and the dedication of a new grave stone for Father John Fallon, the first Parish Priest of the area.
 Mrs Meggins was 93 years old on her visit, and stated in the papers, that she remember Father Fallon very well.

One has to wonder, if while there, she wept over the grave of her oldest son, James.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018
Photographs by Allen Tiller © 2011


1886 'THUNDERSTORMS IN THE COUNTRY.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 3 December, p. 5. , viewed 26 Jan 2018,

1936 'Pilgrimage to Hallowed and Historic Ground', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 9 October, p. 15. , viewed 26 Jan 2018, Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sir Wallace Bruce

Sir Wallace Bruce

Sir Wallace Bruce by Vandyck Studios

Born in Kapunda on the 3rd of August 1878, to parents, John and Harriet (nee Cowie), Wallace Bruce was destined for a life in business and politics.
Bruce was educated at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, and went on to work at the Alliance Assurance Company Ltd for a decade before going on to open his own insurance business, Wallace Bruce and Co.
Sir Wallace Bruce as viewed
by The News caricaturist
Nov 1928
On the 11th of October 1905, Wallace married Winifred Drummond Reid at the Congregational Church, North Adelaide. Together they had four daughters and one son.
 Bruce built a solid reputation and soon had clients right around Australia, as well as internationally. His business acumen and achievements saw him earn positions as Director on a number of companies, including the Adelaide Cement Co. Ltd, Clarkson Ltd, the British Automobile Finance Co. of South Australia, the South Australian Gas Co. and Holden's Motor Body Builders Ltd.
 His position at Holden’s led him to travel to Los Angeles, California and to New York USA with his wife in 1935 as part of a business trip. This was followed by a voyage to the UK.
From 1925 until 1927, Wallace Bruce served as The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, this was following nine years of service as a City Councillor.
In 1927, Wallace Bruce was knighted on May 8th, given the title of Knights Bachelor, which is considered the lowest form of knighthood, as although it bestows a title, it signifies that the awarded is not in an order of chivalry. However it is viewed, it is still a significant achievement!

Sir Wallace Bruce died on the 16th of November 1944. He is curried at the North Road Cemetery

Researched and written by Allen Tiller
© 2018


1935 'SIR WALLACE BRUCE GOING ABROAD', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 21 November, p. 18. , viewed 26 Jan 2018,

1944 'Death of Sir Wallace Bruce', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 16 November, p. 1. , viewed 26 Jan 2018,

1944 'Death of Sir Wallace Bruce', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 16 November, p. 1. , viewed 26 Jan 2018,

Eric Richards, 'Bruce, Sir Wallace (1878–1944)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 26 January 2018.

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California; NAI Number: 4486355; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Rec

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Reflection on: “Significant Locations in the Life of Florence May Tremaine”.

Reflection on: “Significant Locations in the Life of Florence May Tremaine”.

Florence May Tremaine (nee Hazel)
aged 21 in 1907
 I chose to present locations significant to my Great Grandmother, Florence May Tremaine (nee Hazel) in her home town of Kapunda, South Australia.
 Florence as born in Kapunda, lived and died in the town, and is buried at the Clare Road Cemetery in Kapunda.

 Florence was born in the family home at Hazel Park House, Kapunda in 1886, she spent a lot of her life at her cousin’s house on Coghill street.

 In her later years she lived on the outskirts of Kapunda at Taylors Gap with her husband and children.

 She died in Adelaide in 1965 and was buried in the Kapunda Cemetery the same year. Her daughter Audrey passed away in 1989 and is buried beside her.

Florence Tremaine (nee Hazel) with her first born daughter,
Audrey (Tiller)  circa 1914

Researched and Written by Allen Tiller, as an assignment for the unit "Place, Image, Object" as part of the University of Tasmania's Diploma of Family History

© 2017 Allen Tiller

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Harold James Buckingham Tremaine

Harold James Buckingham Tremaine

Australian soldiers in Egypt. Harold Tremaine, 2nd row, 5 across, with small x above his head.
Photo © Tiller Family collection, held by Allen Tiller

Harold James Buckingham Tremaine was a married father of two young children living in the small coastal village of Haslam, located on the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia, when war broke out in Europe in July 1914.

 Harold was a shipping agent for the company John Darling and Sons[1], and was an outspoken, but much loved member of his local community.
Harold enlisted on the 4th of September 1915 with the 9th Light Horse Regiment, 12th Reinforcement Australian Imperial Force with the rank of Private, Number 1613. Harold enlisted as he thought it was his duty to defend his country and King for the sake of his wife and children.
On the 29th of August 1915, before leaving Haslam for his military service, the townsfolk of Haslam met at Harold’s family home and threw him a going away party, where a Mr A. Palmer complimented Harold on his patriotism and sentiments[2].

Harold was positioned first with D Company in Mitcham, Adelaide in September 1915 for basic training before being moved to the 9th Light Horse, 12th Reinforcements. Training continued for Harold until he departed Adelaide onboard the HMAT A2 Geelong on November 18th,1915, heading for Egypt[3].

Harold was stationed at Heliopolis, near Cairo, Egypt, on the 28th of December 1915. On the 27th of February 1916, the 9th Light Horse Regiment marched out to Serapeum, a small town on the Suez Canal, to join its parent brigade, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.

Five months later, while still posted in Serapeum Harold became ill with Gastro Enteritis and was transferred to Hassamya, then to the Light Field Hospital at Romani, then he was transferred again on the 25th of August 1916 to the 31st General Hospital at Port Said with appendicitis.
A letter was dutifully sent to the Haslam Post Office in South Australia on the 7th of September 1916, to inform Harold’s wife, Florence, that her husband was admitted to hospital with appendicitis[4]
H.J.B. Tremaine at Ceduna on the Eyre Peninsula
(year unknown)

 On the 22nd of September 1916, Harold was discharged from the hospital and sent to the British Red Cross Convalescent Camp at Montazah in Alexandria, Egypt.
 While Harold convalesced in hospital in Egypt, his wife and two children moved to Kapunda to live with Harold’s extended family and allow the children better opportunities to be educated than they would receive in the small town of Haslam.
 Harold was discharged from the Red Cross Hospital in October 1916. He was transferred to the 1st Light Horse Training Regiment at Moasoar. Harold trained new incoming reinforcements for a month before being transferred to the 3rd Light Horse Training Regiment, where again his appendicitis caused him to return to hospital. 

He would remain in the 3rd Light Training Regiment, convalescing until January 29th, 1917, when he was transferred to the ANZAC Provost Corps in Cairo and attached to the Brigade Headquarters.
 Harold took great pride in his new position in the Provost Corp, and wore his navy-blue hat band with great pride. He wrote a letter to his wife telling her of his transfer and how to contact him in his new division.
Florence, Harold’s wife, still living in Kapunda with her two children, wrote a letter to an Officer at Base Records, to verify the new postal address of her husband and to discover what had happened to a package of socks she had sent to him.[5].
 A return letter from the officer at Base Records, dated 16th of February 1917 states

“Dear Madam, 
                      In reply to your letter of the 5th instant, forwarded to this office by the Officer in Charge, Expeditionary Force Pay Office, Adelaide. I beg to state the parcel referred to would not be returned through this office. Letters to your husband should now be address as under:-

No.1613 Private H.J.B. Tremaine,

    Headquarters Staff,
              3rd Light Horse Brigade,
                  Australian Imperial Force
                       A b r o a d.

Your change of address has been noted.
Yours faithfully.

Officer i/c Base Records.”
. At the end of 1917, from October to December, Harold saw service in Esani, Gamli and Jaffa in Palestine, before joining the 1st Light Horse Regiment for detachment in December that year, again finding himself ill in hospital, this time diagnosed with Myalgia, a description used to describe many different ailments, but in Harold’s case, probably described his rheumatoid arthritis that he suffered greatly from in his later life.

Harold Tremaine
(year unknown)
Harold had a tough time in Egypt in 1918, his health was in decline and spent a great deal of time in the 31sy General Hospital in Port Said being treated for debility and pyrexia.
When he wasn’t in hospital Harold served in the ANZAC Provost Corp in either Moasoar or Suez, until retuning to Headquarters on the 9th of March 1919 in Cairo.
 The following day, the 9th of March 1919, Harold was promoted to the rank of ER/ 2nd Corporal ANZAC Provost Corps. and received his chevron.
On the 28th of March 1919, a letter was sent from the army to Florence in Kapunda to inform her that Harold would be returning to Australia. Harold boarded the ship Ulimaroa on the 13 of March 1919 in Cairo and steamed back to Australia arriving on the 22nd of April 1919. He then travelled by rail back to Adelaide.
While Harold was travelling by sea, Florence and the children awaited his return in Kapunda. Harold returned, but the family did not stay long, instead choosing to return to Haslam.
 Upon his return to the small coastal town of Haslam, Harold was honoured in the town hall with a guard of honour by his fellow townsfolk, and the singing of the National Anthem, and “for he’s a jolly good fellow”. He was awarded a purse of sovereigns and thanked the crowd for their generosity[6].
After his return from the war, Harold would go on to father another three children. Eventually the family left Haslam and settled on the outskirts of Kapunda where Harold became a farmer.
 Harold suffered from “shellshock” and as a result spent some time inside the Parkside Mental Hospital in Adelaide[7], of which he escaped in 1925, and returned to his home in Kapunda.

 My father, Rodney, lived with Harold and Florence in Kapunda for a time in his youth. He remembers Harold, his Grandfather, being a very disciplined man and an authoritarian. He has memories of Harold having an office no-one else was allowed to enter.
On the one occasion Rodney remembers entering the office (with his Grandfathers approval) Harold explained to him all the photographs that adorned his office. The photographs were of Harold’s commanding officers in World War One.

Harold went on to serve in the Volunteer Defence Corps. in World War 2. He was discharged from the Australian Army with the rank of Private on the 17th of June 1943.

Harold James Buckingham Tremaine passed away on the 19th of October 1967, he is buried at St Jude’s Cemetery, Brighton North, South Australia, alongside his wife Florence.

Daryl Tremaine, Harold J.B. Tremaine, Florence Tremaine and Audrey Tiller (nee Tremaine) - Kapunda 1963

[1] 1913 'HASLAM.', West Coast Sentinel 28 November, p. 2
[2] 1915 'HASLAM.', West Coast Sentinel 28 August, p. 2.
[3] Mounted Troops — Australian Light Horse Association. 2017.
[4] Pg. 6. Australian Government: National Library of Australia. 2017. Record Search
[5] Pg. 19. Australian Government: National Library of Australia. 2017. Record Search
[6] 1919 'HASLAM.', West Coast Sentinel 14 June, p. 2.
[7] The South Australian Police Gazette, Aug 20, 1925, page 208

 Researched and Written by Allen Tiller, as a research assignment for the "Families at War" unit of the Diploma of Family History issued by the University of Tasmania.

©2017 Allen Tiller


1911 'Family Notices', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 24 June, p. 34. , viewed 29 Apr 2017,

1913 'HASLAM.', West Coast Sentinel (Streaky Bay, SA : 1912 - 1954), 28 November, p. 2. , viewed 29 Apr 2017,

1915 'HASLAM.', West Coast Sentinel 28 August, p. 2. , viewed 29 Apr 2017,

1916 '145th CASUALTY LIST', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 26 February, p. 36. , viewed 29 Apr 2017,

1919 'HASLAM.', West Coast Sentinel (Streaky Bay, SA : 1912 - 1954), 14 June, p. 2. , viewed 29 Apr 2017,

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. 2017. Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 April 2017].

First World War Embarkation Rolls: Harold James Buckingham Tremaine | Australian War Memorial. 2017. First World War Embarkation Rolls: Harold James Buckingham Tremaine | Australian War Memorial. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 April 2017].

National Library of Australia, 2015, TREMAINE Harold James Buckingham : Service Number - 1613 : Place of Birth - Kapunda SA : Place of Enlistment - Adelaide SA : Next of Kin - (Wife) TREMAINE Florence May, Australian Government,, viewed 30 April 2017

The AI.F. Project, 2016, Harold James Buckingham TREMAINE, UNSW Australia, 28 April 2017

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Kapunda People: Charles Albert Hazel

Charles Albert Hazel

Charles Albert Tremaine as a teenager - year unknown.

Charles Albert Hazel born on the 9th of November 1887 at Hawkers Creek, Kapunda.

He married his second cousin. Violet Jane Hazel on the 3rd of February 1917 at the Pirie Street Methodist Church, Adelaide. Together had five children;

Mabel Dulcie  in 1917
Madge Lorraine in 1918
Elysa Edith Harriet in 1921
Florence Edna May in 1922
Ross Charles in 1923

L to R (Florence) Edna,  Elysa,  Albert,  Madge, and Ross Hazel (Mabel not in photo) at Port Parham
photo by Audrey Tiller circa 1931
Unfortunately, Violet passed away in 1924 leaving Albert to look after the children. At first they lived in Port Parham, but at some point moved further south to St Kilda, where Albert took over the local shop near the beach. 

 Audrey Tiller (nee Tremaine), Alberts niece, went to stay with the small family for a number of months to help out with chores. In her letters (held by her Grandson, Allen Tiller), Audrey tells of sewing clothing for the children as well as cooking for them.
 Audrey was an avid photographer, and because of her photographic inclinations, we have the photos on this page to share with you.

Albert Hazels St Kilda Beach shop (year unknown)
Photo by Audrey Tiller

Allen Tiller is a great-grandson of a sister (Florence May Tremaine - nee Hazel) of Charles Albert Hazel

Albert died at Prospect on the 4th of Oct 1939. Albert is buried in the Kapunda General Cemetery.
The grave of Jane and Albert Hazel - Kapunda General Cemetery
Photo by Allen Tiller

Researched and written by Allen Tiller
© 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

David James - Mayor of Kapunda: 1888-89 & 1900-05

David James

Mayor of Kapunda: 1888-1889 & 1900-1905

David James was born at Nantyglo, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales in 1854. He spent his formative years working in local mines in Wales, alongside his father.
 His Father passed away, and David became the head of the household. He decided to move the family to Australia. Along with his Mother and brothers and sisters, they emigrated, sailing on the ship Lochee to Port Adelaide, and settled in Kapunda where David now worked at fencing and well sinking.
 Along with six other men, David became a found member of the The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited, or as we know it today B.H.P.

 It would seem David was on a winning streak. His horse stud soon began to breed champions. In 1895, his horse Auraria, at odds of 50/1, won the Melbourne Cup!

Auraria - winnings -

David married Emily Davis, a servant girl, also from Abergavenny. The pair married at Semaphore in 1883.

 David found himself working at Mount Gipps sheep-station in western New South Wales and became convinced by a work colleague to take up a mineral claim on the land there. David was the first to drive a peg into the ground, of what would be the richest lead-silver-zinc find in the world and would later become known as Broken Hill.

Now a wealthy business man, he returned to Kapunda, and was soon elected local Mayor. As he was so well off, the small wage entitled to him as Mayor, he donated to local charities.
 David soon bought a large estate and established a horse stud. His property he named after the small mining village he lived at back in Wales, Coalbrook Vale.

David political aspirations amplified, and in 1902, he was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly, representing the district of Wooroora. He spent 16 years as a Member of Parliament and was instrumental in affecting pastoral and agricultural reforms in Australia.

David continued trading with BHP, but eventually sold off his entire interest in the company. His wife Emily passed away in 1925, and David went on to marry local Kapunda lady, Ada Mullen.

David James passed away in Ru Rua Hospital, Adelaide on the 21st of July 1926 after a long battle with diabetes.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018


1926 'DEATH OF MR. DAVID JAMES.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 24 July, p. 48. , viewed 26 Jan 2018,

Broken Hill 1883-1893 Discovery and Development. R.H.B. Kearns, Reprinted August, 1977, Broken Hill Historical Society.

Daytrippa, 2017, David James, Made By Them Advertising, viewed 26 Jan 2018,

R. H. B. Kearns, 'James, David (1854–1926)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1983