Earlier there was mention of Mr John Flewell-Smith and his comments about "immature" pineapples,
But John Flewell-Smith was certainly a man that should be recognised for his contribution to Brackenridge, as not only one of the early pineapple farmers, but for his amazing contribution to his Country.
To coin a phrase - This is "History - the Interesting Bits" a story behind the story.
This compilation of stories relating to John Francis Flewell-Smith has been made possible due to a collection of letters which he wrote, and which had been released by his descendants.
"An extraordinary collection of letters written by Colonel John Francis Flewell – Smith has been released by his descendants recently. The letters give graphic ‘eye witness’ accounts of the Boer / Anglo war during the period of Frank’s service in 1901 – 1902.
Frank, a farmer from Queensland volunteered to join the war in South Africa and on the 27 January 1901, Frank was made Commanding Officer of the 5th Australian Contingent which sailed on 6 March on the Templesmore for South Africa.
After service with the Australian Bushmen as they were called, Frank was transferred to Colesburg as Area Commandant. Amongst a rebel farming population he had 4 District Commandants under him and his area covered 8,000 square miles. He had the power to raise mounted troops and town guards. He had to watch the rebel farmers and supervise all supplies. Frank completed his service and returned home in 1902. On 19 June that year he resigned his commission in the Queensland Defence Force and returned to Lowood on the 13 August.
Frank’s letters discuss tactics used by the Boers against the British and Colonial soldiers, African natives and scouts and Dutch civilians who sided with the British. Some letters also discuss orders to shoot Boer prisoners. Some of his assertions corroborate claims made by Breaker Morant and George Witton on the tactics used by both the Boers and the British to prosecute the war.
I will include some of the extracts of the letters on this Blog topic. Suffice to say, the contents of the letters challenge much of what has been claimed by historians and provides new insights into the conduct of the war by senior commanders on both sides.
I am grateful to the Flewell – Smith family for their approval for me to study and publish some details of the letters.
|WWI enlistment note the address.|
Fernvale School opened as Harrisborough School in 1874, in an eighty by twenty feet cotton store purchased along with a four roomed separate building and two forty acre blocks of land, for £400 from cotton merchants J & G Harris. At the time, Fernvale comprised two separate areas: Harrisborough, named after the Harris Brothers stores, and Stinking Gully named after the water course which separated the two areas. Although the town changed its name to Fernvale when the new Telegraph Office opened in 1879, the school retained the old name until 1889, the last establishment in the town to change.
When the first headmaster, Thomas Barrett Guppy, opened the school on 11 May 1874, he found that all of the children were picking cotton and none attended the new school until after the cotton harvest was in. The school opened with fifty-four pupils, most of them from German speaking families.
In 1910, ten acres of the original eighty were fenced in, and in 1915, the old Harris Brothers store no longer being safe, a new school was built and the old building sold and removed. Various attempts have been made to move the school closer to the centre of Fernvale but it remains where it started.
The Royal Humane Society Medal for Bravery presented by the Governor Sir Henry Norman
For their bravery the four Lowood heroes were presented with Royal Humane Society Bronze Medals by Sir Henry Norman, Governor of Queensland, at a special ceremony in Lowood.
|Emu feathers and slouch hat|