HerStory

Atalanta Hope BRADSHAW

Also known as: née Allchurch, Atalanta, Attie

Died: 1928

Special Achievements:

Atalanta Bradshaw’s story is well documented in her eldest daughter Doris Blackwell’s book ‘Alice on the Line’ describing the family’s daily life at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station during Thomas Bradshaw’s time as Station and Postmaster from 1899-1908.  Born on the liner Atalanta off the Cape of Good Hope during her family’s voyage from England to Australia, Atlanta Hope Bradshaw (née Allchurch) made the long trip to Central Australia at the age of thirty three.  Her four children were aged from eight years to eighteen months old.  Only the children’s governess Miss Bertha Easom, a former office worker in her twenties, accompanied them on the weeklong train journey from Adelaide to Oodnadatta where Mr Bradshaw met them.  A horse and buggy then took them the rest of the way, taking a fortnight to reach Alice Springs, sleeping beside the track at night.  During their nine years at Alice Springs, Atlanta gave birth to three more children, attended only by her close friend, the local saddler’s wife, Mrs Annie Meyers whose sister was married to her brother Ernest.  Three more governesses were also employed.  Miss Elsie Conigrave later married one of the telegraph operators, Alec McFeat.  The older widowed Mrs Louisa Cornock was the only trained teacher amongst them.  Miss Mabel Taylor shocked the locals by choosing to wear a divided skirt on horseback instead of riding sidesaddle as customary for women in c1905.  Sixteen year old Doris later taught her younger brothers and sisters.  Mrs Bradshaw was also supported by a number of Aboriginal housemaids such as Amboora, Runge and Amelia.  Amelia later married Harry (Trot) Kunoth, an ASTS linesman, their granddaughter being Rosie Kunoth-Monks, star of Australia’s first colour feature film Jedda (1955).


Resources

  • Image - Atlanta Bradshaw

    Picnic at Wigley Rockhole Back from left: Mort, and Doris Bradshaw, Harry Kunoth, Jack and Consie Bradshaw. Next row from left: Frank Wallis and his wife (wearing a white hat), L. Spicer, Atlanta Bradshaw and Edna, Aboriginal housekeeper, Sid Stanes. Next row from left: Miss Taylor, Bessie Allchurch, Ern Allchurch in front. H. Dixon, operator, standing. One child not named on photograph. Courtesy PWCNT, Bradshaw Collection.

    from NPWHF Atlanta BRADSHAW file


  • References

    Isaacs, Jennifer. (1990).  Pioneer Women of the Bush and Outback.  Sydney:  Lansdowne Publishing, p. 245.