1893 Brisbane flood photo by John Jackson Hogg

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

William Joseph Bundock Laurie

I have come across the story of the Laurie family in a pdf file "Family Stories - Five Ladies" by David Laurie which mentions his grandfather, William J. Laurie, photographer at Townsville. After speaking to David on the phone and conducting a little further research some interesting facts about his life have emerged.

William Joseph Bundock Laurie
Born 6 Feb 1890, Brisbane, Queensland; Died 14 Oct 1970, Townsville, Queensland
Parents James Laurie, mechanical engineer and Margaret Ellen Eccles.

The family travelled to England in around 1899 for work reasons. William appears in the 1901 census living at 1 Arthur St, Chorley, Lancashire with his sister Marguerite and mother Margaret listed as a cotton weaver. His father was absent from the home. William went to work for a local photographer James A. Derbyshire who started as a picture framer but moved into photography in 1905 at 10 Market St, Chorley.

In 1909 William returned to Queensland and showing considerable enterprise for a man of just 19 he purchased the former studio of Augustus Bebe Clinton in Flinders St, Townsville that had been trading for a few years under the name Federal Studio although the interim owner has not yet been identified. Clinton had been a long established photographer in Townsville (since 1890) who had started in photography around 1872 with Henry Beaufoy Merlin and Charles Bayliss in the Hill End goldfields in NSW and he had worked in Clermont, Bowen and Mackay prior to setting up in Townsville.

William Laurie married Frances Louisa Witham on 21 June 1916 and they resided in Queen St, Stanton Hill. William plied a trade in portraiture and he employed his sister Marguerite as a retouching artist and later as an assistant. He eventually began to diversify into landscape views and he produced many real photograph postcards of Townsville, Magnetic Island and the surrouding district which carry his superimposed initials WJL. William remained active as a photographer until the 1950s.

A large number of William's negative are held at the James Cook University in Townsville.

Thank you to William's grandson David Laurie david@laurie.id.au who has published some of his Laurie family history on line: http://david.laurie.id.au/family%20history/Family%20Story%20-%20Five%20ladies%201.pdf

1 comment:

  1. The Local History collection of Laurie images are available online through the CityLibraries Townsville catalogue.