Back to School

Week 35 #52ancestor52weeks

Back to school is a lucky topic as only a week ago a member of the extended family had sent a number of photos of my grandfather and his younger brother. The boys were all lined up ready for their school photos, much like the featured image.

Reedy Creek Primary School 1911 -- Harry Cooper at far right middle row Roy Cooper far right front row (002)

The photo was taken around 1914 and shows the teacher with her charges. At that time it would have only been the one teacher with all 26 students all with varying ages and degree of literary ability. A highlight of the photo is the class teacher standing on a block of wood that certainly makes her appear taller than her charges. When you compare this photo with the Wangolina school you wander if the teacher is not doing the same thing, as she appear to be rather tall in the photo.

Like today school photos provide glimpse of what the world is like at this time. It is likely in both photos on display that the children would have been in their best clothes. You can see the differences in the length of the girls dresses. Today school photos have everyone in their uniform and nearly everyone wearing trousers. I have yet to see a teacher standing on a block in photos today, they are more likely to be sitting down in the middle of the group.

My grandfather Henry George COOPER and his brother Roy Clarence would have been around the ages of 9 and 7. Henry or harry as he was know was born in 1905 and Roy in 1907. Their parents were Henry George COOPER and Helena GIBBS. Henry was Helena’s second husband and the records suggest that at time she like to go by the name Selena as well.

Reedy Creek Primary School 1911 -- detail -- Harry Roy Cooper (002)
Close up of Harry and Roy

Henry and Helena and their family lived around the Kingston area of the South East as the boys were growing up. While Harry moved away as an adult his younger brother stayed in Kingston all his adult life.

[1] Featured Imagine State Library of South Australia (approx 1905). Woman and children outside a building at Wangolina. (likely to be the school building)

[2] Reidy Creek School Photo circa 1914, in possession of the author

[3] Close up of Harry and Roy at Reidy creek School circa 1914. In the possession of the author

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