10 January 2015

Frederick Falkener Fairthorne 1887-1963


The back of this postcard photograph is signed by Fred F Fairthorne and dated 29 Sep 1909. It is addressed to W A Woodger Esq in Petone, New Zealand with a short message. I found it in a collection of postcards all sent by Will Woodger, while he was travelling around England & the Continent in 1911. This collection turned up in an antique shop in Paeroa, NZ:-

back-postcard-rotatedIt doesn’t say who the five men in the photograph are but I presume one of them is Fred. I found a photo of a Fred Fairthorne on this website when he was a member of the 2/8th Australian Field Artillery Regiment but I realised that it was in WW2 and Fred of the postcard would have been aged in his 50’s by then, so at a guess this one must be his son Frederick born in 1920 & who died in 2013.

On THIS website I found a short history of the Fairthorne Family of Launceston which was first published in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, this is a short extract:-

“Fairthorne Road, at Trevallyn, Launceston, was probably named after the younger son Frederick Falkener Fairthorne (1887-1963), athlete and pharmacist, who served in the Australian Imperial Force in World War I.”

The word ‘athlete’ caught my eye and that I think is where the connection between Fred and Will Woodger is, William Arthur Woodger was a well-known NZ athlete and they most probably met during the various athletic meetings between our two countries and elsewhere in the world (see next article on this blog).

I think the five men in the above photo all look very similar to me, at first I thought they might have all been brothers but it seems Frederick Falkener Fairthorne only had two brothers & two sisters, his parents were Frederick Kirk Fairthorne & Louisa Letitia neĆ© Hardman. I still think at least three of them look alike but maybe that’s just my imagination. Two of them are wearing hats with some sort of emblem on the front so they might be part of an Australian athletic team.

I did find this photograph of Frederick Falkener Fairthorne in a 1946 Tasmanian newspaper but it’s hard to say if he looks like any of the men in the above photo, perhaps the one standing on the right, but who knows, anyone?


References: Australian Dictionary of Biography; The 2/8th Australian Field Regiment Association; ancestry.com.au, Trove Newspapers


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the FAIRTHORNE family please do contact me, I would love to pass the postcard onto a family member, even a distant one. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

Dawn Scotting

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BridieK said...
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