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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Alexander Burns GLOSTER

Born 1875 in Seymour, Victoria, Australia [15]
Son of James GLOSTER and Margaret Jane DOBINSON [2] [15]
By 1897 he had left Victoria and was living in the goldmining town of Yalgoo in Western Australia [6]
Aerated Water Manufacturer in Yalgoo in partnership with Thomas R. JAMES as "James & Co." 1897-1901 [6]
In 1900 and 1901 he was also the Secretary of the Miner's Institute in Yalgoo [6]
Storekeeper in the goldmining town of Field's Find in partnership with Thomas R. JAMES as "James & Gloster" 1901-1903 [6]
Storekeeper in Field's Find 1904-1908 and from 1905 to 1908 was also the Hotelkeeper of the Field's Find Hotel [6]
Storekeeper in Harvey in partnership with his brother James D. GLOSTER 1909-1911[6]
Hotelkeeper of the Freemasons Hotel in Busselton 1913-1916 [6] [30]
Visited Moora by car on 20 April 1915, however didn't arrive until late after receiving numerous punctures on the way [10: 23-Apr-1915]
Married widow Mrs Grace Edgar JAMES in Perth in 1916 [15] [66]
     Grace had been married to his former business partner Thomas R. JAMES, who had died aged 50 years on 18 March 1915 [2] [15]
Passed as fit for service in the Australian Imperial Force in Perth on 22 January 1916 [30: item 4770004]
     Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 1 March 1916 [30]
     On enlistment he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 176 lbs., and had grey eyes, dark to grey hair and a dark complexion [30]
     After training at Blackboy Hill he was appointed on 12 September 1916 to the 21st Reinforcements of the 16th Battalion [30]
     Embarked Fremantle, Western Australia for active service abroad on the H.M.A.T. A39 Port Macquarie on 13 October 1916 [30]
     Disembarked in Plymouth, England and after further training proceeded to France on the Princess Victoria on 16 January 1917 [30]
     Private 6458 in the Australian Imperial Force's 16th Battalion in France during the First World War [30]
     He was one of five of the 16th Battalion who were taken Prisoners of War by German forces at Riencourt, France 11/04/1917 [30]
     They had run out of bombs, were surrounded, and after another officer raised a white flag had been obliged to surrender [30]
     The five of them were searched and questioned at German headquarters and then made to work as part of working parties [30]
     One of the other four men was Willie E. YEO, who'd previously been in Three Springs as Railway Night Officer [10: 19-Jun-1914] [30]
     They worked under harsh conditions and for the first six months their captors didn't give them their Red Cross parcels or letters [30]
     Worked in camps in France and Germany, during which time he wrote to a cousin in England asking for help [30: items 3454811, 4770004]
     Requested that his cousin Mrs A. WESTLAKE inform his wife he was a Prisoner of War, and to send food parcels [30]
     Following the signing of the Armistice they were sent to Copenhagen, Denmark and were then repatriated to England by ship [30]
     Embarked from England on the H.T. Ascanius and disembarked in Fremantle, Western Australia on 17 March 1919 [30]
     Discharged from the Australian Imperial Force on 2 May 1919; received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal [30]
Hotelkeeper of the Freemason's Hotel in Busselton 1919-1921 [6]
Hotelkeeper of the Commercial Hotel in Moora 1923-1929 [6] [10: 22-Jun-1923]
     Took over the Commercial Hotel in Moora in April 1923 from its previous lessee Charles J. L. BREWER [9: 20-Apr-1923]
     It was reported that he and his wife were 'former' residents of Moora on their return in April 1923 [9: 20-Apr-1923]
     During their time at the Commercial Hotel it was telephone number Moora-16 [60]
     Attended the Racing Club Conference held at his Commercial Hotel in Moora on Thursday 20 September 1923 [9: 28-Sep-1923]
     Visited Carnamah on 12 April 1925 to attend a meeting about the road over the sandplain from Watheroo to Carnamah [9: 17-Apr-1925]
     After the meeting he wrote to Federal Members pointing out the importance of the road in regards to national defence [9: 24-Apr-1925]
     Member of the Moora Trotting Club - was Vice President, Timekeeper and a Committee Member in 1925 [9: 24-Jul-1925]
     Member of the Moora and District Progress Association in 1925 and 1926 - was Vice Chairman in 1926 [9: 17-Apr-1925, 22-Jan-1926]
     Member of the Moora Health Board and the Moora Cemetery Board [81: 12-Jan-1930]
     Member of the Moora Football Association Board of Control and the Moora Cricket Association [81: 12-Jan-1930]
     Member of the Moora Centenary Committee in 1929 [81: 12-Jan-1930]
     President of the Moora Band, and Committee Member of the Moora Soldiers' Memorial [81: 12-Jan-1930]
     During the 1929-30 financial year he purchased two acres of blocks in the Moora townsite (Lots 34 to 37, and Lots 52 to 55) [34]
     Over 200 people gathered to bid him farewell prior to his and his wife's departure from Moora [81: 12-Jan-1930]
He and his wife resided briefly in the Perth suburb of Mount Lawley in early 1930 before moving to Coorow [81: 12-Jan-1930]
As early as 1927 he'd had his eyes on Coorow as a favourable town for a new hotel [4: 7-May-1927]
     98 people from Coorow and Waddy Forest signed a petition for a hotel license to be granted for Coorow in 1929 [39: 6-Feb-1929]
He secured the licence for a new hotel in Coorow with a tender of £1,750 at the Licensing Court on 17 September 1929 [4: 21-Sep-1929]
     He also had to pay a £1,000 guarantee that the terms of the building plans and licence were to be adhered to [4]
     In partnership with P. A. CONNOLLY he had the Coorow Hotel built at a cost of £14,000 plus the cost of furnishings [4]
     Besides a select few items unobtainable locally the hotel's furnishings down to the cutlery were all West Australian made [4]
     The two stories of the hotel were built predominantly out of concrete bricks and jarrah wood by Arthur G. WOODS of Guildford [4]
     The hotel consisted of a dining room, bars, smoking room, commercial room, kitchen, pantry, 24 bedrooms and balconies [4]
     An engine room contained an electric lighting plant, while a furnace room created hot water for the hotel's bathrooms [4]
     The hotel was supplied with water from six 4,000 gallon rainwater tanks and a well fitted with a windmill and engine [4: 23-Aug-1930]
Licensee and Manager of the Coorow Hotel in Coorow 1930-1933 [4: 4-Oct-1930] [5: 11-Nov-1932] [19]
     Ahead of the hotel's opening, he and his wife shifted to Coorow during August 1930 [12: 21-Aug-1930]
     It was reported the residents of Coorow were "congratulating themselves" on "two such excellent people to conduct the hotel" [32]
     Advertised the Coorow Hotel in The Irwin Index newspaper "The Most Modern Country Hotel in the West" [4: 13-Sep-1930, 4-Oct-1930]
     The hotel boasted superior accommodation, hot and cold water, service in all bedrooms, electric light and lock-up garages [4]
     During his time as licensee the Coorow Hotel was telephone number Coorow-15 [4: 4-Oct-1930]
     Attended the funeral of "Father of Carnamah" Donald MACPHERSON at the Winchester Cemetery on 14 August 1931 [4: 22-Aug-1931]
     Patron of the Coorow Tennis Club in 1931-32 [4: 19-Sep-1931]
     Member of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Progress Association - was Secretary 1931-1933 [4: 13-Dec-1930] [5: 9-Jun-1933] [215]
     On behalf of the Progress Association in 1932 he wrote letters to get small repairs made to the Coorow State School building [215]
     Made a donation of £1/1/- to the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1932 [13]
     Pallbearer at the funeral of Carnamah Hotel licensee Charles J. L. BREWER on 9 July 1932 at the Winchester Cemetery [4]
     In October 1932 the Coorow Hotel was broken into via a window and a quantity of beer, wine and spirits stolen [5: 28-Oct-1932]
     Attended a large meeting in Three Springs to form a North Midlands Chamber of Commerce on 18 November 1932 [4: 26-Nov-1932]
     Committee Member of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society in 1932 and 1933 [5: 23-Dec-1932]
     Member of Coorow's Maley Park Management Committee in 1933[5: 23-Dec-1932]
About 35 friends gathered at the Coorow Hotel on Monday 3 July 1933 to attend a complimentary dinner in his honour [5: 7-Jul-1933]
     The dinner was held to tender him a farewell as he was leaving Coorow; among those present were: [5]
     Angus MCGILP, Phil MORCOMBE, Rupert LAFFAN, William MORCOMBE, Charles METTAM, Malcolm LAURIE, [5]
     Richard GELL, Charles BOTHE, Frank BRYANT, Robert WELLS, Baxter BOTHE, Arnold BIERMANN, George RAFFAN, [5]
     Don WALKER, William COX, Gordon RAFFAN, Ivor ROBERTS, Joe REDHALL, Augustus CROFT and Chitter BROWN [5]
Left Coorow in July 1933 and shifted back to Moora; on his departure the hotel in Coorow was managed by a Mr SMITH [5: 7-Jul-1933]
On his return to Moora he resumed management of the Commercial Hotel [5: 18-Aug-1933]
     Hotelkeeper of the Commercial Hotel in Moora 1933-1940 [5: 18-Aug-1933] [6]
     Returned to Coorow on Thursday 7 September 1933 to attend the Second Annual Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show [5: 15-Sep-1933]
     Along with his wife left Moora on an extended holiday in February 1934, after recovering from a bed confining illness [5: 16-Feb-1934]
     He and his wife returned to Moora in May 1934, after a holiday to the Eastern States of Australia [5: 18-May-1934]
     Speaker at the farewell to Rev. Frederick W. GUNNING at the Moora Hall on Friday 28 June 1935 [5: 19-Jul-1935]
     Member of the Moora Trotting Club - was Chairman in 1935[120: 25-Apr-1935]
     Member of the Moora Sub-Branch of the Returned Soldiers League - was Secretary in 1935 and 1936 [120: 25-Apr-1935, 26-Mar-1936]
     Attended the Fourth Annual North Midlands R.S.L. Reunion Dinner in Three Springs on Saturday 19 October 1935 [5: 25-Oct-1935]
     Financial Member of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society in 1936 [150]
     Pallbearer at the funeral of Carnamah retiree John James ANGEL at the Moora Cemetery on 27 July 1936 [5: 31-Jul-1936] [12: 31-Jul-1936]
     His stepson Hector T. A. JAMES managed his Coorow Hotel from February 1936 to January 1937 [5: 28-Feb-1936, 29-Jan-1937]
     In January 1937 his Coorow Hotel was taken over by Thomas C. BOGUE formerly of the Savoy Hotel in Perth [5: 29-Jan-1937]
     By September 1937 the proprietors of the Coorow Hotel were "Connolly and Gloster" [150]
     "Connolly and Gloster" donated £5 to the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society for their Annual Show in 1937 [150]
Travelled to London, England with his wife to see the coronation of King George VI on 12 May 1937 [39: 14-Jul-1937]
     They departed Fremantle, Western Australia on the steamship Ascanius and arrived in Liverpool, England on 2 May 1937 [204]
     They saw the coronation, and then just days before they were to return to Australia his wife fell down a flight of stairs and died [39]
     Departed London, England with his late wife's ashes on the steamship Cathay on 11 June 1937 bound for Fremantle [203]
Resided in Moora until his death in 1948 [2]
Died 27 February 1948; ashes buried Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth WA (Presbyterian, AA, 76A) [2]

From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Friday 22 June 1923:
"Sympathy has been expressed with the Mr and Mrs Alex. B. Gloster, of the Commercial Hotel, Moora, at the news from Perth of the death of Mr Gloster's mother at the ripe age of 80. The old lady had been ailing for some time, and Mr Gloster had only just returned from a visit to his mother when the sad news came through that she had quietly passed away, necessitating his return to Perth by motor."

From the Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 6 March 1948:
"Mr Alex. B. Gloster, who for many years conducted the Commercial Hotel at Moora, passed away at Claremont last week after a somewhat protracted illness. The late Mr Gloster, who was also a part-owner of the Coorow Hotel, served with the 16th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Forces in World War I, and for many years after his return to civilian life he was the victim of abnormal health conditions as the result of privations endured as a prisoner after having been captured at Bullecourt. The late Mr Gloster's wife predeceased him through a fatal accident which occurred whilst on a holiday visit to London."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Alexander Burns Gloster' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 16 April 2024 from [reference list]

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