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WARD'S HILL. April 12.

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Thursday 16 April 1896, page 6

On April 1 an accident occurred to Mr. A. Nelson, a farmer, of Bews. He was thrown from a horse and kicked by the animal. Dr. Watson, of Port Broughton, was sent for, and the sufferer was afterwards conveyed to the Wallaroo Hospital. For some time he was in a critical condition, but he is now progressing as well as can be expected. We have experienced some very rough weather during the past week. The wind was very boisterous, doing considerable damage.


The anniversary of the Ward's Hill Sunday school was celebrated on Sunday, August 22. The Rev. E Smith, of Bute, officiated, and the services were greatly appreciated by all. On Wednesday, August 25, the usual tea and public meeting was held, and was well attended notwithstanding the measles epidemic prevalent in the districts The superintendent, Mr D. Adams, presided at the evening's meeting, and stated that during the year the personnel of the school had been considerably changed. Mr Adams and Mr Carman had changed positions as superintendent and vice superintendent: Mr Goodridge, who had held office for 23 years as secretary and treasurer, had left the district, and had been succeeded by Mr A. F. Young. The report was very favorable. There were 50 scholars on the roll, with an average of 30.4; teachers and officers 7, average 5 24. The school had recruited for both God and Empire, and was in the happy position of having almost all the senior scholars as church members. The scholars were congratulated for the voluntary gift of the value of their prizes to the Red Cross Fond. The Rev. Smith was again present, and gave a delightful address. The circuit minister, Rev. Eckereley, and Mr Speckman, of Alford, also gave pleasing addresses. Mr Arnold Smith rendered two excellent patriotic songs, which brought forth muoh applause. Recitatitions were also given by the scholars. The school is to be congratulated on its excellent singing under the leadership of Mr Adams. Mrs Nelson presided ably at the organ. The proceeds amounted to £10 10s, which will be forwarded to the British Red Cross Fund.

Screenshot 2018-11-02 14.41.03


The picture represents the ontraetor (Mr. Brerton) handing the key over to Sir Goodridge (secretary of the Building Committee).


For many years the Rechabites at "Wallaroo have conducted a Temperance Campaign in the rural districts adjoining the town, and the branches at Alford, Tickera, and more recently Ward's have also done much in the temperance cause. Old members of the Order can relate many reminiscences of the events connected with the visits to these outlying parts, when the journey had td be undertaken in all kinds of weather, and when motor cars were unheard of, and the midnight hour had struck before the return journey was completed. On Saturday, November 30, a party journeyed to Ward's Hill, a snug little hamlet about 25 miles from the seaport town. The branch was testablished about nine years ago, and on that occasion the journey "occupied- several hours. Heavy sand hills are encountered on the last portion of the journey, and "shanks' pony" has to be resorted to. Even the motor fails to negotiate some of these heavy sand hills, and on the last trip all hands except the chauffeur had to alight and lend a hand in pushing the car through the sand, which in places is nearly three feet deep. The party was met aboutjtwo miles from Ward's Hill by a number of boys on horseback, and they joined in the struggle. On arrival at the little church, which is situated right on top of the hill, the boys and girls of the countrysid'e had assembled to hold their lodge meeting. Amongst the number were five sisters, (out of a family of xo, ranging from 2 to 15 years, all girls), and healthy, bright girls they were, typical of the rural life. The father later joined in the meeting in his field "tog®," after following the reaper all day.

A bright temperance meeting was held, which was characterised by the earnest and zealous manner of the country boys and girls. The visitors congratulated the Wards Hill children on the great interest they were taking in temperance work. Speaking on the war, one of the visitors referred to the cessation of hostilities, and incidentally mentioned that the.boys would soon return. With much feeling, one of the boys said, "Unfortunately, our boys will not return." It was learned that of the eight boys who enlisted from the little country place, sevsr. lia<l made the supreme sacrifice, and the other was a prisoner in Germany Such a record is surely worthy of a lasting memorial and the little farming hamlet will live in imperishable memory because of this. The National Anthem was then sung with much fervor.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the visitors were entertained at tea, the girl members of the lodge doing their hospitable part as only farm girls can do. Invitations to supper from neighboring farmers had to be declined, as the journey home was causing some concern to the chauffeur. Darkness had set in, and the sand hills were not so easily negotiated at night. However, the boys came to the rescue, and volunteered to form an advance guard, and pioneer the chauffeur oyer a bush track, which would avoid the and hills; The offer was gladly accepted. Headed by the boys mounted on their ponies, the party started on the return journey. After seeing the car safely on the main road, the boys gave a cheer and hearty, good-night, and galloped off homeward. Wallaroo was reached soon after 10 p.m., and more dust had to be encountered this time in the form of a storm which was" raging. After the comforts and discomforts of the trip, the party retired to rest; that night convinced that temperance work in the rural districts was time well spent, and worthy of greater encouragement than it some times receives.

Wards Hill School and Church

Yorke Peninsula Heritage Survey 1997

Screenshot 2018-12-02 16.14.52 copy

Recommendation: Local Heritage Place BW:052


Single roomed church building constructed from random limestone rubble with red brick quoins. Gothic
arc heads have been to door an window opening . Reef is of gable construction clad with corrugate iron with sign plaque to front gable. Foundation stones from the building have been moved to a plaque in front of the building.


The site of an early church and school in the district, representative of the many such buildings which served as a spiritual educational and social focus for the local community.


(c) it has played an important part in the lives of local residents.


The Bible Christian Church was established at Wards Hill in a timber and iron building and was believed in 1890 to be the second biggest church in the Port Broughton Circuit, with Brother Kemp as the Minister.

On 8 July 1891 a school was opened in the church building, with 12 students under the charge of Miss Elizabeth Retchford. The opening of a school at Wards Hill was described by the Kadina and Wallaroo Times as being 'a great boon to the district, the nearest public school being about ten miles distant.' Miss Retchford remained at the school until 1894. By the tum of the century, pressure from the local community led to the construction of a more suitable and permanent structure A block of land (Section 187C) to the north of the iron building was donated by Mr Albert Ward and the foundation stone of a new school and church building was laid by G Cooper on 27 March 1904. The building, constructed of stone with red brick quoins, measured 31 x 12 feet and was built by E Brereton of Kadina at a cost of £270. Local residents had raised £172 towards the cost of the building and the purchase of a new organ . The completed church and school was opened on 19 and 26June 1904, respectively.

Schooling continued in the building until May 1949 when there were 11 students on the roll. The building continued to serve as a church until the mid 1950s.


Paterson , R. M. & Price, E. L. 1984, From Stumps to Stubble: A History o f the District o f Bute, p. 261 ,316-320

Port Broughton Historical Committee Records
Yorke Peninsula J150 Schools' Heritage Project, 1985, p. 9-10

Weidenhofer Architects, Historical Research Pty Ltd, Austral Archaeology page 60


Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954), Saturday 11 September 1920, page 1

The anniversary , of the Ward's Hill Methodist Sunday school , was celebrated on Sunday and Wednesday,' .August. 29 and September 1st. On the Sunday two services were conducted by the Rev. A. Hemmmings of Paskeville to large and appreciative congregations. On the Wednesday the usual children's and public teas were provided and well patronised.

After this the children ran races for prizes given by the school. The public meeting in the evening was presided over by Mr D. Adams, a former superintendent. The general and kindergarten reports were presented by the respective secretaries (Messrs H. G. Hewett and R. Hore), and showed the school to be in a sound condition. Brief addresses were given by the chairman and the Rev. C. L. Sanders, circuit minster. The chief feature of the evening's program was a lecture on "Cornwall and the Cornish," by Mr J. Johns, of Kadina. The school at all services, trained and under the leadership of Mrs A. J. Nelson, rendered suitable hymns in a very creditable manner. Miss G. Hewett presided at the organ. A supper brought a most successful anniversary to a close. It was pleasing to note the gathering of local residents on these occasions almost all being present. A happy and kindly feeling prevailed and the glad expression on people's faces showed the gratitude which is being felt at the prospect of an abundant harvest. The country is indeed looking splendid, the large fields carrying dense crops of rich green wheat, while feed has become plentiful and stock sleek and contented.

Who Remembers Ward's Hill School?

DEAR ELEANOR BARBOUR I noticed a short time ago that 'White Shoes' was enquiring about quince jam. I am enclosing my recipe, which I find very easy to manage and also very satisfactory. Quince jam is one of the good old 'stand bys,' like plum jam, and in the cold weather is especially nice for tarts.

We are having beautiful weather iust now, have had several good frosts but these are usually followed by a lovely, sunny day. We had a wonderful opening rain, and the paddocks are all looking so beautifully green, it seems good to think that the dust is all quiet for a few months. The men folk have finished the seeding once again and we are hoping for a good season. I notice several writers are asking for news of old school friends. I wonder whether any of my school-day mates write to our pages. I used to attend a small school, in the Lower North called Ward's Hill, in the Port Broughton district, and would be pleased to hear if any of the readers know anything about the little spot. Best wishes to all from 'PETROL DRUM' (Peebinga Line).

Ward's Hill Pupil Of 1891-96

DEAR ELEANOR BARBOUR. I have often read your pages in 'The Chronicle' and find them very interesting. Last week I noticed in large letters, 'Have any readers attended Ward's Hill school?' and I said, 'Yes, I have.' I feel curious to know whether or not I went to school with 'Petrol Drum.' I may be several years older than she, and perhaps -left school before she began. I attended Ward's Hill school from 1891 to 1896. The school was held in an iron building in those days. A few years later the Methodist church people erected a nice large building just beside the iron one, and the school was held in that. My younger brother and sister went to school there. I am a married woman now, with one son, five daughters and one granddaughter (two daughters and one son are married). We have lived here for 24 years, and we all like the district. We have a large farm and keep 16 cows. Lately we have procured a milking machine, and find it a great improvement. The milking takes only half as long. I would be very pleased to hear from 'Petrol Drum.' We lived at Bews, three miles from Ward's Hill for ' 20 years, so I think it is very likely I know her. We left there about 28 years ago. With best wishes to yourself and all readers. 'AUNTIE NELL' (Eyre Pen.). [Welcome to the pages, 'Auntie Nell.' I do not suppose you were in Tumby Bay at the time of my recent visit— E.B.]

A New Writer From The West Coast

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Thursday 27 June 1940, page 44

DEAR ELEANOR BARBOUR I have not written to you before, although I have always read our pages with great interest, and also tried quite a lot of the recipes, which we have found to be very nice. I read the letter written by 'Petrol Drum,' calling for old scholars of Ward's Hill school. I would like to answer that call, as I attended that school for five years, under the tuition of Miss E. Hicks. The school was then held in the iron church, which previously was used for a church near Kadina. It was afterwards sawn in halves and carted some 20 to 30 miles, then re-erected on a hill known as Ward's Hill, between Pine Forest and Pt. Broughton, and used for many years as a church and school. About 40 children attended in my school days. Later a stone building was erected, which was a Methodist Church, and was also used for school purposes, with the old iron church added to the rear of the new building, to be used as a shelter shed and for tea meetings. As I left that district before the stone building was finished, my school days were all held in the iron building. Several times in latter years it has been my good fortune to travel past the old spot, and so bring back many happy school memories. I am wondering if 'Petrol Drum',' went to school in the days I have mentioned, or was it in after years? I would like to suggest that when letters are written to these pages that some idea as to where the writer lives should be added after the penname. It would not be necessary to say the exact spot. I think it would make the letters much more interesting. My garden is very poor this year, as the weather is keeping so very dry, and the wheat and grass are also in need of a good soaking rain. Greetings to 'Petrol Drum.' I do not know if she and I have had personal acquaintance, but probably know some of her relatives. Best wishes from 'MRS. VERBENA' (West Coast). [Welcome to the pages, 'Mrs. Verbena.' 'Petrol Drum's' letter certainly awoke memories for many old scholars. Would you send me your name and address for record purposes? — E.B.]

Schoolday Memories Entice A Murray Reader To Write

DEAR ELEANOR BARBOUR. I have latety had my attention drawn to the letters on your pages of 'The Chronicle' from old pupils of Wards' Hill School. It was my eldest sister who saw them first, and she so badly wanted to write .and say, 'There are yet another two pupils who attended ward s Hill School. My sister did not attend for long, but I was there from about 1891 or 1892 to '96 or '97. I feel I ought to know ?'Petrol Drum,' and also 'Auntie Nell.' When I saw 'Petrol Drum's' last letter, in which she gave the names of lots of folk from that district, she missed one particular family, namely, the Barrs, so I feel sure 'Petrol Drum' and 'Auntie Nell' are of that family. I had quite a thrill when I saw our name amongst that list, but I do not know who '^X-Tra' can be, as I thought I was the only Kate attending that school. It was a great treat to be invited home with the Barrs to spend a night at their place. I have very happy memories of my visits there at Bews. The old school was of iron, lined with hessian when we first went there, and later it was lined with matchboard. I, too, attended there when Miss Retchford was teacher, then later there was Miss Collier, whom I loved, and lastly Miss Hicks. I wonder where she is now. I remember her beautiful curly hair was going grey then, and that is about 45 years ago. Miss Collier came to the River Murray from Ward's Hill, and several years later we moved over to the Murray, and there I met her again. She married after that, and I spent four hap'py months with her and her husband on a steamer they had named the 'Sun-beam.' They kept a store and used to travel up and down the river from Morgan to Renmark, calling at all places in between these two ports, selling groceries, drapery, boots, and shoes and hardware. They were an extraordinarily happy couple for some years, until the husband died. Some years later, I know, she married again, but I do not now know her address. There used to be children, by the name of Flowers, also at Ward's Hill. One could write on for pages of all the memories 'Petrol Drum's' letter awakened. We were an English family, and Mr. G. Cooper helped us out to Australia. We used to speak rather broadly when we first came out and the other children had much amusement standing around us to listen to our speech. I can so well remember it, although I was only five years old. Jennie was my eldest sister's name, and the others of us were nicknamed Kit, Dord, Hen, and Jake. * Well, our family is well scattered now. Some are on the West Coast, some at Port Lincoln, more on the river here, and so on. I have two sons (both married) and one grandchild, just over five months old: That son lives in Sydney, so I have not seen our grand- -child yet, but hope to some time next year, if the petrol rationing does not prevent us. My sister lives at Barmera — she who caused me to write. Now I must close. I hope to see further news of our old school and schoolmates, for these letters gave us great pleasure. Best wishes to yourself and ? all readers. Prom 'HORTICULTURIST.' (Murray). [Your first letter to the pages is a very interesting one, 'Horticulturist.' A warm welcome. May I have your name for record purposes? — E.B.]

Another Ex-Pupil Of Ward's Hill

DEAR ELEANOR BARBOUR, May I be permitted to pen you a few lines, too ? I have read with much interest for months past the many letters appearing in your pages about Ward's Hill school. My sisters, 'Petrol Drum' and 'Auntie Nell' wrote first, and so many interesting letters followed that I, too,' feel that I must come into the picture. I attended Ward's Hill school before I was five years old. There was danger of the school closing, and an extra pupil helped to keep up the average. Miss Retchford was teacher, then later Miss Callier and Miss Hicks. At one period of my schooldays there were 40 children attending. What nice things are being said of our family and home at Bews. It was indeed a home in every sense of the word. Our dear grandma lived with us. Her instructions were good for us, and our parents were two of God's best. Miss Hicks, our school teacher, boarded with us for 10 out of the 14 years she spent in the district. She was a good Christian woman, and her influence was of the best. She passed on to her reward two or three years ago. 'Horticulturist' was wondering where she was now. I know who 'Hor-ticulturist' is, and well remember being interested in her speech, also her nicknames were most familiar. 'Mrs. Verbena,' 'Xtra,' and 'Non-Smoker' have me guessing. The latter is wrong about 'Petrol Drum' being 'Aunt Nell's' bridesmaid. I was bridesmaid, and still have the photograph. The frock was made by a dear friend, with whom we had dinner one Sunday while visiting Kadina early in this year. I would like to thank 'Grandma W. for the very kind remarks in her letter about me. She, too, has me guessing. I also am a grandma. I have two sons married — one living on Yorke Peninsula has a son, and one living here in the west with us has daughter. My daughter is sister in a hospital about 50 miles from us, and the youngest son of 12 has correspondence lessons at home. What a marvellous system those les- . sons are! They even keep mother brushed up with her arithmetic. We are located in an ideal spot 70 miles south of Geraldton, on the banks of the Irwin Ri- er. The river runs a banker only when we have heavy rain, but the trees and- wild flowers along its banks and the majestic cliffs are a never-ending delight. The jam tree thickets have just shed their blossoms. They are a picture when In bloom, like wattle blossom, but an Inch long instead of round. I have a lovely garden, with -60 varieties of flowers blooming and 14 varieties of vegetables to use in the kitchen. ' The year has been dry, , but we have registered over 11 inches of rain, and 'are expecting a very fair return from our crops. Hay is in great demand ~ from this district to supply the State's need. Many parts of the west are suffering from drought. The war situation is most appalling, and poor old England is getting battered about. How bravely the English folk are 'meeting their trials of being homeless, and are determined to win through; I must away, as duty calls. One always finds something to do on our busy farm. I enjoy 'The Chronicle.' It was read in our home when I was a child. 'TAISA.' (Welcome to the pages, 'Taisa.' We are glad to have another Western South Australian. — E.B.) pan

New Writer's Schooldays


I am a new writer to the pages, but quite an old reader. We have been subscribers to 'The Chronicle' for almost 24 years, and previous to that we had taker it in my old home for many years. Although I have received great help from the pages from time to time, and enjoyed the letters very much; it was really seeing some letters of ex-pupils of Ward's Hill School that prompted me to write at last. I was a pupil there from 1899 until 1904. The late Miss Hicks was my teacher right through, and it was with sincere regret that I heard though the pages of her death. I am sure there was not one child in the school who did not adore her. I have many pleasant memories of my school days. I well remember 'Aunty Nell' and 'Petrol Drum,' but they both left school before my time, however. I remember 'Taisa' well, also 'Rockwood.' If they or any of the ex-pupils of the old school should chance to see this I wish them all the best for the New Year. 'Rockwood's' father was a great favorite with the children around the district, and many times she and her sister came to play with me. I have six children, so have had a busy time. However, they are growing up, and three of them are away at present. The eldest attained his majority early in the year. I am at present living on Yorke Peninsula. Very best wishes to all readers for the New Year, also to yourself, Eleanor Barbour. 'MARY DENE.' (Welcome to the pages, 'Mary Dene.' Many new writers have come forward through letters of old school days.— E.B.)