home catalogue history references appendix 
  history : before duke 
before duke 1900 - 1914

Shooting the Breakers, Manly. Hall & Co.

Body surfing at Manly Beach  circa 1905
 Hall & Co. Postcard, Postmarked February 1908.

Shooting the Breakers, Bondi 1908.

With the increase in surf-bathing numbers and development of a basic surfriding technique, several elements were evident.
Firstly, for the surf-shooters it was clear that there was huge potential to increase performance, if only in riding larger waves.
The international benchmark had been widely reported in printed accounts, illustrations and photographs of surfboard riders in the Hawaiian Islands.

Secondly, it differentiatied beach-goers into performers and spectators.
As the number of surf-bathers grew, so did the beach-side audience and at Bondi and Manly they were provided for by deck-chair hire franchises from about 1907.
 - On Bondi Beach, Daily Telegraph, 16 January 1906.
- Widespread Indignation: Do Alderman want to Kill Surf-Bathing?, Evening News, 14 October 1907.
- Manly Council and Surf-Bathing, Daily Telegraph, 28 October 1907.
- all noted by White, Cameron: 1. Picnicking and Promenading in the late nineteenth century, page ?The performers themsleves were also differentiated into two groups; the common surf-bather and the elite surf-shooter.

Surf bathing was essentially limited to wading and occassionally immersing in the surf zone.
Generally the surf-bather retained contact with the sea bottom, and failure to do so could be fatal.
Experienced surf-shooters considered the activity as either an essential first step, juvenile, unskilled, unadventurous, or a potential courting situation.
The complex meterological dynamics evident in the surf-zone require a significant level of dedicated experience for a successful performance.
In this arena, almost without exception, surf-bathers were "tourists" and the surf-shooters, "locals".

In the first years of the century, an important and influential sub-group developed within the elite of experienced surf-shooters.
The inexperienced surf-bather was the focus of the embryonic life-saving movement,
Experienced swimmers have saved the lives of the inexperienced since before recorded history, possibly in a broader context as part of the Law of the Sea.
With the large numbers of bathers and the possibility of rapid and extreme changes in surf conditions on Sydney's beaches, it was readily recognised that when bathers were in difficulty it was expedient to have a system in place to effectively complete a rescue.
Early methods featured the use of buoys, lines and boats.

From the first, the formation of the Sydney surf lifesaving clubs was a convoluted mix of virtue and self interest.
Above all, club membership offered the potential for access to beach front property.
Since it regularly fell to the most experienced surfriders on the beach to attempt a rescue, the formation of a club saw life saving skills improved and responsibility expanded.
Social cohesion.
Social congress
Financial or political
Finally, Vigilance and Service.

After the turn of the century, Alick Wickham was credited with shaping the first surfboard in Australia.
Hand carved from a piece of driftwood found on Curl Curl beach, its performance capabilities were limited, in fact it sank.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 235.

This indicates that Wickham was probably either acquainted with hand or belly boards and/or had heard reports of full size (that is standing) boards from travellers to Hawaii.

In the 1890's residents Manly and Bondi formed the All Day Surfing Movement, resulting in some relaxation with bathing hours extended to 7.30 am at Manly.

- Thoms: Surfmovies (2000) page 14.

Before 1902, bathing on open beaches was prohibited between 7.30 am and 6 pm but strong representation from a growing group of enthusiasts at Bondi, Randwick Council passed by-laws to allow daylight bathing in November 1902.
Other beach side suburbs, e.g. Manly, passed similar bylaws.

- Curby: History of Manly (2001) pages

Note that many accounts credit the lifting of bathing restrictions to William Gocher, editor of the Manly and North Sydney News.
For example C. Bede Maxwell reports that Gocher took up the cause and in November 1903, and after an often facial campaign - he was finally arrested for illegal bathing on his fourth much publicized attempt, he was successful in removing  bathing hour restrictions by Manly Council.

- Maxwell: Surf  (1949) pages 5 and 6.

Current research by Pauline Curby  indicates that the Goucher role may be less than previously thought.
See the relevant extract see Source Documents
Pauline Curby: The Myth of William Gocher

The upsurge in popularity of surf bathing resulted in many tragedies (16 at Manly in 10 years), and authorities and regular surfers were aware that the general public would need to be either regulated or monitored.
This would be the impetus for the formation of the Surf Life Saving movement.

The increase in surf bathing numbers also saw some enthusiasts retreat from popular beaches, for example Manly locals would 'escape' to Freshwater, originally pioneered by Freddie Williams.
When the
"suburbanites found 'Freshie' too .. We used to abuse the living daylights out of those we brought in (rescued). Put them off coming back to 'Freshie' pretty often. Suited us!"
 - Fred Notting quoted in Maxwell: Surf(1949)  page 20.
 An early example of surf rage, circa 1903.

The first surf life-saving demonstration was given by the  Sly Brothers (George, Charlie, Tod, Eddie, Joe and relative Neil Norgreen) ) at Manly Beach on 26th December 1903.

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf (1984) page 13.

The demonstration featured 'rescues' using their fishing boat and Freddie Williams and other local swimmers  as the ‘victims’.
The boat was originally a clinker built doubled whaler, converted to a tuck stern for laying nets, and  based at Fairy Bower (Shelly Beach).
Onlookers 'witnessed. .. skilful exhibitions of shooting the breakers in their surfboat'.

- a contemporary press report quoted in Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 21.

Royal Life Saving Buoy and Reel, circa 1890's
Lecek & Bosker: The Beach (1999) page 122.
(Bettman Archives)
The Sly Brothers and boat, circa 1905
Harris: Manly LSC (1961) page 7

"George Sly junior was one of a prolific local family of fishermen and labourers.
His father had worked for Aurousseau’s bakery in the Corso as well as at the Quarantine Station in the 1870s.
Charles Sly lived in Osborne Road and William Sly in Addison  Road. (23)
The Slys attracted the attention of Manly Council’s Inspector of Nuisances at regular intervals.
Footnote 23: Sands’ Directory 1886."

 - Metherell, Terry: Ashburner Street, Manly: 1877 to 1932/33.
(Revised, October 2006.)

The Sly family had a long association with Manly, with family members living at various times at Little Manly, in Addison Road, at Fairy Bower and elsewhere.
The Slys provided the first life-boat service to Manly’s South Steyne beach and could lay claim to being Manly’s first, unofficial ‘life-savers’.

In 1900, Slys lived in Addison Road, near Smedley’s Point (Charles); Darley Road (Charles); Vivian Street (Charles junior and George); Stuart Street (John); and Whistler Street (William).

 - Metherell, Terry: Darley Road, Manly: 1877 to 2000, page 6.
(February 2004.)

The Sly Brothers and boat,
circa 1905-1910.

Sporting Life
(2000) page 59.

The standard rescue appliance, issued by the Life Saving Society (introduced to Australia in 1894), was a fixed pole with a cork life buoy ring and hemp rope.
Suitable for still water situations, it was inadequate for surf rescues.
At Manly, heavy coir line was fixed to large heavy reels that were attached to the bathing sheds.

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf(1984)  page 13.

At Bronte, local surfers moved the fixed pole to the most populous section of the beach, only to be condemned for vandalism by the press.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 24.

Walter V. H. Biddell an enthusiastic supporter and organizer of surf life saving founded the  Bronte Life Saving Brigade in 1903.

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf(1984)  page 12.

He also was responsible for the invention of the Torpedo Buoy in 1902, the Surf King 1906 and a surf boat, the Albatross, circa 1907.
The Torpedo Buoy was a kapok filled tube attached to a line, the rescuer swimming the appliance to the victim. For a time this method was used as well as the cork filled belt.

Walter V. H Biddell's Torpedo Buoy
circa 1902 - 6
Postcard format, the text reads...

At Bronte
Dr. Lee's Torpedo Buoy  To The Rescue
No. 6
Kerry Sydney

Longhurst: Lifesaver(2000) page 9.

Note : 
1. Studio portrait
2. Standard combination swimming costume.
3. Club Insignia ?
4. Dr. Lee is not credited in any other reference.

Reel and Torpedo buoy in use
Bronte Beach circa 1906
Postcard format, the text reads...
"A Perilous Rescue, 
The Start Out." 
666. K & Co.

Longhurst: Lifesaver(2000) 
page 54

Bronte Life Saving Brigade Captain, Ted Morrison, is credited with introducing  the shark alarm bell.
- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf(1984)  page 12.

The formation of the several Manly Swlmmlng Clubs, located at the baths on the harbourside, had a long term impact.
The first club, from 1893 to 1895, was initiated by Ralph Archibald Sennett, a highly skilled swimmer, early lifesaver and an enthusiastic performer and promoter, who manged the Manly Baths at this period.
Even when the club formally folded in 1895, Sennett still managed to stage several carnivals with a mixture of competitive events, lifesaving demonstrations, humorous stunts and "fancy" swimming.
The Manly Penguins Lifesaving Club, the Alma Marta Lifesaving Club and the Excellsior Swimming Club

The similarly shortlived, 1899-1900, second club
On the world stage, the club would be the home of Olympic Games swimmers such as Cecil Healy (1912) and Andrew Boy Charlton (1924).
On the beachfront, it was the centre from which the surf life saving clubs formed, with at times members flowing from one to the other depending on personal convictions and loyalties.

"The Manly Swimming Club was formed as the outcome of a public meeting of residents, held in Manly, 21st September, 1905, with the main object of producing a body of athletes proficient in the art of natation and life-saving, whose knowledge and ability would be of use on the Ocean Beach, where surf-bathing was about that time leaping into popular favour, and attracting to Manly people from near and far, many of whom had little or no knowledge of swimming. and not much opportunity of gaining that knowledge in the surf."

- Marvellous Manly
Australian Country Life (1911) page 23.

Circa 1905, Frank and Charlie Bell attempt to ride "a narrow outhouse door" at Freshwater.

- Maxwell: Surf  (1949) page 235.

The desire to replicate the surfing feats as shown in a number of widely published photographs of Waikiki surf riders was world -wide.
As one example,

Jordan, James and Frederick:
Virginia Beach Pictorial History
Published by Hale Publishing (1975)
Page 9 notes "this pictorial history is not intended to be used as a reference book"

This is a 1918 photograph of James M. Jordan, Jr. (grandfather of the authors), who has the distinction of being recognized as the first man to ride a surfboard on the east coast.
The surfboard, which was a gift from his uncle Walter F. Irvin in 1912, was made in Hawaii, of redwood, stood about nine feet tall, and weighed 110 pounds.
It could only be used on larger waves produced by hurricanes or northeasters, and the townspeople as well as the guests of the hotels considered Big Jim's surfing ability an exciting feat of skill.

Photo Courtesy of J.M. Jordan, Jr.
-page 109

as mentioned ealrier in the book (page 109), surfboard riding was introduced to the east coast at Virginia Beach around 1918. -page 189.

This is a 1918 photograph of James M. Jordan, Jr. (grandfather of the authors), who has the distinction of being recognized as the first man to ride a surfboard on the east coast.
The surfboard, which was a gift from his uncle Walter F. Irvin in 1912, was made in Hawaii, of redwood, stood about nine feet tall, and weighed 110 pounds.
It could only be used on larger waves produced by hurricanes or northeasters, and the townspeople as well as the guests of the hotels considered Big Jim's surfing ability an exciting feat of ski

Photo Courtesy of J.M.Jordan, Jr.

By this time bodysurfing has become an established feature of beach life and is promoted on postcards  -
See example , above : Shooting the Breakers

The Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club was formed in February 1906, the first club house a tent in the dunes. It was followed by Bronte Surf Life Saving Brigade in May, and Manly Surf Club in September 1907.

The Bondi Club formed a Lines and Tackle Committee under club captain, Lyster Ormsby and Major John Bond (a Royal Australian Medical Corps officer and instructor) and S. Fullwood (Honorary Secretary).
The committee immediately recommended replacing the life buoy ring with a cork filled life-jacket (sometimes known as the Ross Safety belt) and sought to improve the handling of the lines.
Lyster Ormsby, with Percy Flynn and Sig Fullwood, are credited as the inventors of the 'first' life saving reel in 1906, initially a home made model from a cotton reel and hair pins.
However it appears some type of reel had already been in operation at Manly; W. H. Biddell at Bronte used a crude reel attached to his Torpedo Buoy (see image above) around this time, and a Mr. Stewart and a Mr. Phillip have claimed they designed a reel for Tammarra pre 1906.
Mr. Olding, the builder, has also claimed the credit for the design of the Bondi reel.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) pages 26-27.

John Bloomfield notes the existence of primitive early reels consisting "of drums ... protruderances on either side, designed to be held in the hands .. of the rescue team''.

- Bloomfield: Know-How in the Surf(1959) page 6.

A reel was constructed by coach builders, Olding and Parker of Newcombe Street, Paddington; and had its first trial at Bondi Beach on December 23, 1906.
The drill was formulated by John Bond.
After some modification, it was first used in the rescue of two boys on the 4th January 1907.
One of those rescued was Charles Kingsford Smith, later to gain fame as an pioneer aviator.

The Bondi reel was adopted by other clubs, but not all used the cork filled life-jacket.
Some clubs persisted with the life buoy, while Biddell's Bronte Brigade first used the Torpedo Buoy, and later a cork less life-jacket to assist swimming.
After the various clubs associated in 1907, cork filled belts became standard for competition, much to the chagrin of W. H... Biddell,  and others who argued that the buoyancy retarded the swimmer.
For the Australian Surf Life Saving movement the reel was to become a centrepiece  - as an appliance, insignia and icon.

Discontinued from modern rescue methods since the 1990's, the reel remains as the logo for many Surf Life Saving Clubs and occupies centre stage in the March Past (a competitive March by teams of life-savers carrying the reel).
The belt and reel was responsible for many successful rescues, however its performance could be unreliable. The length of extended rope was susceptible to weed or snagging, and efficient operation required a well trained team, not always available in emergency situations.
A number of lifesavers lost their lives using the belt and reel, on one occassion durng competition.
The continued used of this appliance for nearly 70 years is typical of a conservative approach of the SLSA that persisted with the cork filled belt; ignored the Torpedo Buoy (reintroduced from the USA in the 1950's and, successfully, in the 1990's), swim fins/flippers and the fibreglass Malibu board; and was slow to replace surfboats with mechanical surfcraft.

Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, December 1906
Illustrates the newly modified reel and cork filled vest.
Compare this with the much cruder model in use with the Torpedo Buoy at Bronte, illustrated above.

Margan &Finney: Pictorial History(1970) page 50.

Galton: Gladiators of the Surf(1984) page 12.

In 1906 Walter V. H. Biddell tested the Surf King at Bronte, perhaps the first craft designed specifically for Australian surf conditions.
It comprised a brace of wood, painted canvas and tin tubes, stuffed with kapok, and paddled by three men.
The craft was eventually buried in the sand at Cronulla.
A more substantial craft was the Albatross,  Biddell's four man surfboat launched in 1907, that introduced fore and aft buoyancy tanks.
Originally purchased for the Bronte Brigade for 76 pounds, the boat was repossessed by Biddell and shipped to Hawaii for a surf demonstration in 1909.
It arrived too late and may then have gone to Queensland with Biddell , circa 1910.
- Maxwell: Surf (1949) pages 89-90.

Town and Country Journal July 15 1908: 'For Life Saving : Combined Method of Resuscitation',
 Images and text related to the Bronte Junior Life Saving Brigade, using new developed methods of resuscitation and the new torpedo buoys
Includes one image of Biddell's surfboat, Albatross .


On Boxing day, at Bronte Beach, experiments with the new unswampable twin torpedo surf boar, were successfully carried out.
As the novel craft leapt though and over the big white breakers, it resembled two huge fish, withseveral men riding on them, presenting a most diverting spectacle  to the onlookers, and suggesting how successfully  such a craft could be manouvred by experienced men, even in a heavy surf.
The vessel is to have a third compartment built between the cylinders at the stern end, also proper seats, giving the crew greater propelling power.
 -The Daily Telegraph, 29 December 1908, page 3.
Noted in Young: Cronulla SLSC (2000) page 24.

Walter V. H. Biddell's Albatross, circa 1907.
A four man surfboat with fore and aft buoyancy tanks.
Left: Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 81.

Below, a different shot with a line running out
from the beach , and a dog in the shore break.
Longhurst: Lifesaver(2000) page 54

Surf boat on duty, Manly, circa 1910.

State Library of NSW

Manly Council appointed Edward 'Appy' Eyre, from New Zealand, as the first professional lifesaver in October, 1907.

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf (1984)  page 13.

"Edward 'Appy' Eyre (in belt), 
a professional lifesaver employed by 
Manly Life Saving Society, 
gave lifesaving displays at Manly beach 
(State Library of NSW)"

Cardigan: Icon (2008) page 29.

Lifesaving demonstration with reel at Manly, circa 1910.

Sporting Life
(2000) page 63.

The appointment of a paid professional failed to set a precedent in Australia (unlike America) and beach safety was essentially given over to the volunteer lifesaving movement for the next 60 years.

The various Sydney clubs meet on 18th October 1907 to form The Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales.
Representatives from nine surf clubs/brigades were present  (Manly, Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Bondi Surf and Social Club, Tamarama, Maroubra, Woollahra, United Wanderers), and  representatives from the Royal Life Saving Society and the N.S.W.. Amateur Swimming Association.

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf (1984)  page 13.

The first Surf Carnival was held on January 25th 1908 at Manly Beach.
Six clubs competed and the first surfboat race, with various craft, was won by Little Coogee (now Clovelly) in their whale boat.
These Carnivals quickly become a popular method of revenue for the Live Saving Clubs, the moneys from gate receipts used to purchase gear and improve facilities.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) pages 90 and 202-204.

Tamarama Carnival attracted fifteen thousand spectators in February 1908.

First surf carnival at Manly, 25th January 1908
Margan & Finney: Pictorial History (1970) pages 54 -55.
Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Life Saving Club:

"... on the 11th February, 1908, a public meeting was held in the Centennial Hall Helensburgh, with Mr. P. Spiller occupying the chair.
The object of the meeting was to form a surf bathers and life saving club.
Correspondence at the meeting was received from the Secretary of the Bondi Surf Club on this matter, and on the motion of Mr. Thomas Horan, seconded by Mr. David Jones, and supported by Mr. A. G. Gilchrist, that a surf bathers and life saving club be formed, the meeting approved and thus was the commencement of this club, to operate at the Stanwell Park beach."
 - Thorn: Stanwell Park SLSC(1983) page 8.
 "Within ten days of the inaugural meeting, two delegates, the club captain, Mr. J. Stewart, and the Secretary, Mr. H. Ogden, were elected to represent the newly formed club at the N.S. W. Surf Bathers Association, at which rules were framed for the regulation of the Association.
On the 20th February, 1908, ladies were admitted as members of the club at a subscription of two shillings and sixpence per annum.
This membership did not, however, permit the ladies to take active part in surf life saving.
In April of 1908, the club gave a display at the Stanwell Park beach before a large crowd. This was followed on the 2nd May of that year by a display at the loc21 beach by twelve members of the Bondi Surf Bathers and Life Saving Club, witnessed by some three hundred spectators.
The train and coach fares of the Bondi members were paid by the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Club. Refreshments were provided at the beach, and later that evening, the Bondi personnel were entertained at a dinner and concert at Helensburgh.
Royal Life Saving Certificates were obtained by members at examinations held at Bondi Beach on the 17rh May, 1908, and these certificates were presented at a public meeting held at Helesnburgh
At this stage the newly formed club had no accommodation at Stanwell Park and on 7th October, 1908, the club Patron Mr. H. F. Halloran, who had built a kiosk on the beach, allowed the club use of one room at no cost.
This building was of wooden construction and was situated on the western edge of the beach about one hundred yards north of the present club building. ft had a flat roof, which provided a type of shark and watch tower."
 - Thorn: Stanwell Park SLSC (1983) page 9.

 Alexander Hume Ford visited Manly in 907-1908 and reported:
"I wanted to try riding the waves on a surf-board, but it is forbidden"
- 'Australia Through American eyes', The Red Funnel, Dunedin, June 1 1908, page 468.
Quoted in - Thoms: Surfmovies (2000) page 22.

For selections from Ford's article, see Source Documents:
1908 Alexander Hume Ford : Beach Culture in Sydney, Australia.

Alexander Hume Ford was an enthusiastic promoter of Hawaii and surfriding and is best known as the instigator of the Outrigger Canoe Club at Waikiki in 1908.
He wrote more than half a dozen articles on surfriding between 1908 and 1926, mostly published in Hawaiian, but some mainland US, magazines.
Ford was a principal character, along with George Freeth, in Jack London's celebrated account of surfriding at Waikiki in 1907.
His onshore activites are further detailed in Chairmain London's Our Hawaii (1917).
For extracts, see Charmian London: Surfriding at Waikiki 1907-1917.

Ford's significant contribution was initiating the acquisition of coastal property, giving the Outrigger club a tangible identity.
The premises provided a centre for administrative and social activities in addition to beach front storage for surfboards and/or accesss to an extensive range of surf craft, probably the most important function for active members.

Ford was possibly influenced by Sydney's fledging surf lifesaving clubs on his visit there in 1907-1908.
To consolidate their public status, the clubs were actively petitioning their local councils for the provision of beach front property, ostensibly in recognition of their voluntary community service.
During 1907, the precedent (one of many) was set by the Bondi Surf Bathers' Lifesaving Club when it was granted permission to construct premises in the beachfront park by Waverley Council.
The council also contributed substantial funds, and the first Bondi clubhouse was operational by October.
At Waikiki, Ford would substitute voluntary community service with the conservation of a traditional art, integrated with its promotion as a tourist attraction, as the Outriggers' raison d'etre.

Circa 1908  'Fred Notting painted a brace of slabs and named them Honolulu Queen and Fiji Flyer; gay they were to look at but they were not surfboards.'
- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 235.

Newcastle surf lifesaving historian, Chris Conrick writes:

Reports of surfers using planks of wood on which to ride waves were not unknown at this time, as evidenced in the following newspaper report in 1908.:-
"Board Riding Noted on Town Beach -
Riders were observed using 10 feet lumps of wood to ride the waves and in this there appeared an element of danger."
[3] Coffs Harbour Advocate 22-1-1908.

- Conrick: Northern Lifesaver (1989) page 95.
Initially noted by Dave Kelly contributing to forum, January 2008.

Without further information, the Coffs Harbour report is unusual in not identifying the riders, as may be expected if they were local residents.
If they were short-term visitors to the area and were accompanied by their surfboards, then they almost certainly arrived and departed in a coastal steamer.
They may be have been Australian boardriders (possibly with a life saving club connection) whose steamer had briefly berthed at Coffs on the way up or down the coast.
Far less likely, but possible, they were international seamen travelling with their surfboards, the obvious candidates, no doubt, of Hawaiian descent.
Unfotunately a search of newspapers held by the State Library of NSW indicates the Coffs Harbour Advocate was only published once a week and there is no actual edition for 22 January 1908.
In one of a series of articles in The Referee preceding the 1939 Pacific Games in Honolulu, Harry Hay wrote:
"What great strides this sport has made in Australia!
A few years ago it was hardly known in this country.
The Hawaiians introduced us to this exhilarating, thrilling pastime, and to these romantic tropical islanders is due our warmest thanks." 
- The Referee, 9 February 1939, page 15.

In response, Manly surfer, Tommy Walker wrote a letter to Hay that was published under the heading
Tommy Walker Says- "I Brought First Surfboard To Australia"

In a letter to Harry M. Hay, Australia's foremost swimmimg and surf coach.- Tommy Walker, one-time surfboard champion at Manly (N.S.W.), writes:

"I saw an article by you in 'The Referee' re surfboards,  so enclose a photo of myself and surfboard taken in 1909 at Manly (Image right)
This board I bought at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, for two dollars, when I called there aboard the 'Poltolock.'
I won my first surfboard shooting competition at Freshwater carnival back in 1911, and that wasn't yesterday. 
- The Referee Thursday, 23 February 1939, page 16.

Note that the claim to be the first surfboard in Australia can only be attributed to the paper's sub-editor, and not Tommy Walker.
This may, or may not, be the Hawaiian surfboard often claimed to be imported by Manly identity, C. D. Paterson, sometime between 1908 to 1912, see below.

Walker's clain to winning a surfboard shooting contest no doubt refers to the boardriding performance of a Mr. Walker at the second Freshwater Life Saving Carnival as reported by The Daily Telegraph, 27 January 1912, page 21. 
See below.

Image right: 
Tommy Walker and his Hawaiian Surfboard, Manly Beach, circa 1910.
Artwork by Lesley Speed and Linda Champion.
Concept and design by Geoff Cater, 2009.

Tommy Walker was also know to surf at other beaches, notably at Yamba on the north coast of NSW.
Real photograph postcard
Tommy Walker, 
Yamba Beach circa 1911.
Photograph by O.B. Notley.
Image courtesy of Ray Moran, Manly Life Saving Club Australian Surfing Museum. 

Real photograph postcard (rear)
Annotation in handwriting reads:
Tommy Walker Yamba Surf Life Saving Brigade
Yamba 1911-1912
Photo O.B. Notley. Maclean.
Notely was a life member and 
the club Treasurer in 1916.
(Annual report, 12th October 1916)

Image courtesy of Ray Moran,
Manly Life Saving Club 
Australian Surfing Museum.


Tommy Walker Headstand, 
Yamba Beach circa 1912.
Image courtesy of Ray Moran, Manly Life Saving Club Australian Surfing Museum. 

SURFING at Yamba Beach, 1912-13 season.

Following an article in The Daily Telegrah on death of Palm Beach surboard rider, Mr. John Ralston (year unknown), and apparrently, some notes the history of surfboard riding in Australia, a member of the Notley family (possibly O.B. himself) sent the accompanying photograph above, titled Our First Surfboard Rider! and with the caption Surfing at Yamba Beach, 1912-13 season.
He noted:
In your recording the sad death of Mr. John Ralston (December 10) you referred to the first surfboard
brought to Australia in the 20's.
This is not quite accurate.
I enclose a photo of Tomy Walker in his favorite attitude on a 14ft. surf board at Yamba in the 1912-1913, season.
D. B. NOTLEY, Copacabana.

Newspaper clipping courtesy of Ray Moran, Manly Life Saving Club Australian Surfing Museum.

Note: The photograph was printed Harvey: History Queensland Surfing (1983) page 8, captioned:
"Clarrie Englet headstand , Queensland 1920's"

Walker incorrectly transcribed the spelling of the sailing vessel on which he visited Hawaii.
It was the Poltalloch, a four masted sailing
Poltalloch official number 102822
Type:4-mast Barque
Construction : Steel
Built: 1893 Workman Clark & Co., Belfast
Tonnage: 2254 gross tons
Dimensions: Length: 284.4 ft; Breadth: 42 ft; Depth: 24.4 ft
Ownership: Poltalloch Ship Company (Potter Bros.)
Port of Registry: London and  Victoria , B.C. (1910)
After searching the resources of the Museum's library I have located two arrivals in Sydney only for this vessel, they were:
13 June 1910      from Portland, Oregon (28 March 1910) with a cargo of timber
16 April 1912      from Victoria, British Colombia (1 February 1912) with a cargo of timber
Lillian Simpson
Public Enquiries Librarian

Australian National Maritime Museum
GPO Box 5131
Sydney  NSW 2001 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9298 3731
Facsimile:  +61 2 9298 3730

The Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 14 June 1910, page 8.

The four masted barque Poltalloch, 2139 tons, which arrived at Sydney yesterday from Portland (Oregon), experienced a rough time from June 1, when about 100 miles off Sydney Heads,  a strong soultherly gale, with very high seas was encountered, and for 14 days the vessel was under lower topsails
The Poltalloch has a cargo of over 2,000,000 ft of timber, and the gale caused some of this to be damaged though none was lost overboard.
Slight damage to the deck fittings was also caused bv the gale.
The barque anchored in Watson's Bay at 6 o'clock last night.

    The 'Poltalloch' anchored in an unidentified harbour
    The four masted steel barque 'Potalloch',2254 tons, anchored in an unidentified harbour.
    One of the ships owned by the Potter Brothers, London.
    This image is from the A.D. Edwardes Collection of about 8,000 photographs, mostly of sailing ships from around the world, taken between about 1865 and 1920. Mounted in 91 albums, the photographs are arranged by country of ownership, with some special volumes such as 'Shipping at Port Adelaide' and 'South Australian outports'. Additional information, giving the history of the ships where known, has been provided by maritime historian, Ron Parsons.
    Poltalloch (Ship)
    Ships, Iron and steel
Image number
    PRG 1373/5/88
    Photograph;, 15.9 cm x 20.8 cm
Managed by
    Item held by the State Library of South Australia
Collection or series
    Is part of the A.D. Edwardes Collection
Date or place
    Reproduction rights: State Library of South Australia

New Zealand Maritime Index Vessel ID: 588881923

A four-masted steel barque built in 1893 by Workman, Clark & Co., Belfast. Dimensions: 86,66×12,80×7,41 meters [284'4"×42'0"×24'4"] and 2254 GRT and 2139 NRT. Rigged with royal sails above double top and topgallant sails.

1893 February
    Launched at the shipyard of Workman, Clark & Co., Belfast, for Potter Bros., London. Captain J. Connel.
    Stranded at the entrance to Willada, Shoalwater Harbor, WA.
    Sold to Eschen & Minor, Victoria, BC.
1916 January 2
    Wrecked at St Patrick's Causeway, near Harlech, Wales, during towage from Queenstown to Leith.

Image right: 
The Poltalloch off the Columbia River, circa 1913.


"After stranding at the entrance to Willapa (Shoalwater Harbor), Washington, in 1901, the salvaged
British bark POLTALLOCH eventually came under San Francisco owners.
She is seen here in Pacific Northwest waters in a picture taken by O. Beaton probably off the Columbia River in the year 1913."

- Gibbs, Jim   Pacific Square-Riggers, Pictorial History of the Great Windships of Yesteryear
Superior Publishing Co., Seattle, WA, 1969.
Bonanza Books,  New York,1977.
Schiffer Publishing, 1987, page 36.

Tommy Walker was a member of the Walker family who had an indelible impact on Australian surfriding.
Following Duke Kahanamoku's Australian tour in the summer of 1914-1915, his Freshwater board was handed over to George and Monty Walker of Manly who, “because of the fine work Claude West had done in popularising surfboard riding, eventually gave it to Claude West, and he still has it, a prized possession.”
Curlewis, Adrian: Notes on surfboard riding prepared by S.L.S.A., circa 1948, page 3.
Papers pertaining to C. Bede Maxwell’s Surf: Australians Against the Sea, 1949.
Mitchell Library, Sydney, ML MSS 196.

During the 1920's Russell Henry 'Busty' Walker used a canoe to act as a judge at the buoys at Manly Surf Carnivals, one of the precedents to the adoption of the Harry Mclaren's surfski by Sydney surfers in the early 1930s.

-Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 237.

At the end of the1930s the surf ski made its first excursion outside Australian waters.
Reciprocating the gift of the board left with them by Duke Kahanamoku in 1915:
 “The Walker Brothers sent a surf ski to Duke Kahanamoku at Honolulu and members of the Australian Pacific Games Team which visited Honolulu in 1939 say Duke was often seen paddling around on his ‘ski from Australia’.”
Curlewis, Adrian: Notes on surfboard riding prepared by S.L.S.A., circa 1948 pages 3-4.

In 1908, a purpose built surf boat was provided by Manly Council for Manly Surf Club.
Based on the previously used whaler design, double ended clinker built with oars Nos. 2 and 3 rowing side-by-side on the centre thwart.
The designer is unknown.

- Harris: Manly LSC (1961)  page 44.

Manly's first surfboat,  Designer unknown. 
Crew :  Stan Jones (sweep), Bill Kellman, Alf Bye,
Alan Wright and Alec W. Watson.

This photograph Newcastle exhibition, March 5, 1910.
Harris: Manly LSC (1961) page 44

Amoungst  the many experimental life saving techniques and craft explored by the Bronte Surf Life Saving Club, circa 1908 an elaborate system of signal flags was trialed.
Beach scene below, signal man in detail, left.
Longhurst: Lifesaver(2000) page 54

Bronte Surf Life Saving Club, 1909
Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 17.
Centre is the current 1909 reel, 
At the front a pre -1906 hand held model.

Membership of The Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales rapidly extended, and by 1909 comprised nine Sydney clubs -
Bondi, Coogee, Manly, Bronte, Bondi Baths, Bondi Social, North Steyne, Little Coogee and Freshwater
two from the South Coast - Helensburgh and Thirroul
and one from the Hunter region - Redhead.

West's Pictures (a production and exhibition company) release the first newsreel of a surf demonstration, Surf Sports at Manly in 1909.
Pathe Animated Gazette  featured a demonstration in Parramatta River, Sydney, by Coogee Surf Life Saving Club members, circa 1910.

- Thoms: Surfmovies(2000)  page 14.

It is impossible to over estimate the impact of such media exposure in this era; the footage would have been shown extensively around the country and possibly screened several times at each venue.

In Western Australia a club was formed at Cottesloe Beach,  circa 1909.
On the East coast, established clubs travelled for demonstrations to metropolitan beaches and as far as Tweed Heads (East Coast Bondi Club).

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf(1984)  page 13.

Alby Thoms reports that C.D. Paterson of Manly brought the first known solid wood Hawaiian Alaia to Australia in 1909 on returning from a world tour.
First unsuccessfully tested at North Steyne, the board was eventually  retired to the family home at the Spit to be used as a ironing board.

- Thoms: Surfmovies (2000) page 20.

Chris Conrick implies the board was obtained by Paterson as a gift:

According to Surf Life Saving Assoc. records, the first Hawaiian surfboard to find its way to Australia was by way of a gift to Mr C.D. Paterson, the president of the association in 1909.

-Conrick: Northern Lifesaver (1989) page 95.
Initially noted by Dave Kelly contributing to forum, January 2008.

Despite considerable efforts by Ray Moran and Ray Peterson at the Australian Surf Museum and Manly L.S.C., the reported Life Saving Association records detailing the arrival of Paterson's board are yet to be located.

Note that several other commentators date this board as 1912, see below.
This board is said to be currently held by the  Australian Surf Museum, Manly.

According to family tradation, John S.R. Heath (b 1893) surfed at Torquay, using a board made from a 14' pine plank, in 1911.
The family were all keen swimmers and surfers, spending holidays at Torquay around the turn of the 1900's.
- Clifford Heath, (grand-son), email 6th January 2014. 
Clifford notes "I do not have photographic proof."

"At a Special General Meeting on the 17th November, 1911 it was decided to purchase a surf life boat, the cost of which was to be limited to fifty pounds.
Also a shelter shed for the boat to be constructed, and a set of parallel bars. A lookout was to be acquired, to cost no more than two pounds."
 - Thorn: Stanwell Park SLSC (1983) page 13.

 "The secretary of the Freshwater Surf Club wrote to Warringah Shire Council, pointing out that the police officer stationed at Freshwater, acting under the authority of the council, had prohibited the use of surf boards.
The committee of the Club thought if the use of boards were stopped, it would deprive many of young members and visitors of the full enjoyment of the exhilarating surf.
The writer admitted that the practicee of using boards by "shooters" in the surf was doubtless attended with danger if used among ordinary surfers, but if restricted to one part or corner of the beach there would be practically no danger.
The writer concluded by asking for authority to regulate the use of surf boards on Freshwater Beach.
President Quirk and a number of the councillors said the use of boards by surf bathers was a danger to other bathers, and should be discontinued.
It was unanimously agreed not to permit the use of the boards at Freshwater.
92. Warringah Shire Council  Minutes 19 September 1910, Evening News September 1910."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 131.

"Shortly afterwards Warringah Shire Council received a complaint concerning the use of surfboards at Freshwater.
The matter was referred to the police, with a request that action be taken, as the use of boards in the breakers was considered dangerous, and should be prohibited.
93. Daily Telegraph 3 November 1910."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 131.

"Preparations had been made for the 1910-11 surfing season on Sydney's northern beaches.
A warning was given to bathers against the use of surfboards at Freshwater.
108. Daily Telegraph 3 November 1910."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 133.

"The fourth carnival of the Manly Surf Club was held on Saturday afternoon, 1 April 1911.
Mr. Fred Notting gave a clever exhibition of surf-shooting in 'The Big Risk' canoe.
154. Daily Telegraph 3 April 1911, Manly Surf Carnival programme 1911."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 144.

"The North Steyne Club forwared for confirmation to the Surf Bathing Association a programme for the club's annual carnival.
Fifteen life saving clubs would be represented, and an exhibition of surf-shooting given by Mr. L. Bouffett, of Norfolk Island.
48. Sydney Morning Herald 1 December 1911."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 159.

Mr L. Bouffett was probably a decendant of John Buffett who arrived on Pitcairn Island in December, 1823 on  the British whaler, Cyrus.
The Pitcairn islanders, largely decenced from Bounty mutineers and Tahitian women, were renowned surfriders.
See Ramsay: Pitcairn Island (1821).

 In 1911, Percy Hunter, Director N.S.W. Govenment Tourist Bureau (Challis House, Sydney),
Although the article is essentially a tourist promotion for Australian ski resorts, in comparing the sport with surfboard riding, Hunter provides significant information on Australian surfing.
Notably "we now have a board or two at Manly beach" (page 12).
It is highly probable that these boards were those ridden by Tommy Walker and his relatives at Manly, circa 1909.

The current Director N.S.W. Govenment Tourist Bureau and an enthusiastic skier, he indicates a knowledge surfboard riding acquired when visiting Hawaiia as a tourist sometime before 1911.
Clearly he was not the only Australian visitor to be exposed to the thrills of Hawaiian surfboard riding.

Riding is in the standing position for both sports:

"as the surfrider balances on a single board or runner, while coming down the side of Kosciusko we balance on a pair of runners or skis"(page 11).

In a comparision with snow skis, the article implies the surfboard dimensions are substantial:

" 7 feet 6 inches to 9 feet in length" and "five times ... 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches wide" (approximately 20 inches, page 11)

The report is one of the few independent sources not directly from the surf life saving movement.

- Hunter, Percy: July Skiing in Australia
Mid Pacific Magazine, January 1911, pages 11-15.
This article kindly provided by Craig Baird (Surfworld, Torquay) in August 2009,  who noted it "came to me via Dr. Garry Osmond (University of Queensland) after I had forwarded a Surfers Journal Article about Alexander Hume Ford (that) mentioned Percy Hunter's articles."

"The Dewar Shield was won by Sydneys for securing the greatest number of points in the State championships for two successive years, and although several members contributed a few points each, the performances of Hardwick really won the club the right to hold the shield. The distance events always provide a means of pushing an individual forward, whilst the club remains in the back ground, and so on, until the clubs, except for providing handicaps for members, might as well not exist."

- The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 29 November 1911, page 8.

On the last weekend of 1911, the North Steyne carnival was severely disrupted by extreme weather conditions:

"With a black north-easter blowing, rain falling and the sea becoming rougher and rougher, the North Steyne Surf and Life-saving Club was unfortunate in connection with its fifth annual gala.
Despite the conditions, however, about 1000 people paid for admission to the carnival on the beach, and there were many more outside the enclosure."

As a result:

"The surf boat display by Mr. Fred Notting in the 'Big Risk' canoe, and the display by Mr. T. Walker on the Hawaiian surf board had to be abandoned, owing to the unsuitable weather.
Mr. Notting rowed his boat from South Steyne, but, in attempting to come in on a wave, was upset, and he seemed at one time to be in difficulties.
The North Steyne team prepared to go to his assistance, but Mr. Notting reached the shore unaided by clever use of the current.
A display, however, was out of the question."


"The alarm reel race and the surf and beach race had to be abandoned, but several prominent surf swimmers gave an exhibition of shooting the waves."

- Unaccredited: North Steyne Carnival.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 1 January 1912, page 12.

"Shooting the breakers was a favourite pastime with many surf bathers, but it had its dangerous side.
On the various beaches youths might be seen swimming out with surfboards about a foot in length, and plunging headlong among the swimmers, to the danger of children and women.
The Manly Council's officers were strict in regard to the use of surfboards, and generally offenders were cautioned and requested to move to a safe distance from the bathers.
Many people thought that surfboards should be forbidden on the main beaches.
Without boards, a careless surf shooter could inflict a severe bump upon a bather, while the risk was increased if the shooter ripped through the water with a piece of wood in front of him.
54. Daily Telegraph 19 January  1912."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 160.

Clifford Heath noted in December, 2015:
John S.R. Heath (b 1893), whose family were all keen swimmers and surfers, spent their holidays at Torquay around the turn of the 1900's. According to members of the family, "it is known that he surfed at Torquay using a 14' pine plank for a board as early as 1911."

The Telegraph report of the Freshwater club’s second annual carnival on the 26th January 1912 stated:

"A clever exhibition of surf board shooting was given by Mr. Walker, of the Manly Seagulls Surf Club.
With his Hawaiian surf board he drew much applause for his clever feats, coming in on the breaker standing balanced on his feet or his head."

- The Telegraph, 27th January 1912, page 21.

"A momentous day in the life of the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Life Saving Club and most rertainly in the Illawarra Branch and the S.L.S.A. itself, occurred on Saturday, 17th February, 1912.
This was the occasion of the official launching of the club's first surf boat, the first in the Illawarra Branch and one of the few then in existence in the whole of the Surf Life Saving movement.
Local Council Officers, two representatives from the Illawarra Branch, two each from the Coogee and Manly surf clubs attended the launching.
The boat was christened the "Grace Darling", (described later in this history). The crew of the boat was Messrs. C. Hillier (Captain), W. Johnstone, D. Duncombe, J. C. Smith and J. Stewart.
In 1912, a team of Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club members competed in a display at Manly, each member being obliged to pay his own expenses of rail and ferry fares, plus carnival entry fees."

- Thorn: Stanwell Park SLSC  (1983) page 13.

Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Club members and the "Grace Darling", the first surfboat in the Illawarra, circa 1912.

Stanwell Park SLSC  (1983) page 47.

"It was called the "Grace Darling", named after the heroine of that name who was responsible for the rescue of a number of persons ship wrecked off 'the treacherous Farne Islands, a rocky outcrop a mile or two from the shore of Northumberland on the north coast of England, on 7th Sep- tember, 1838. The craft was not a sleek speedy design like the present day boats, however it did serve the club well for many years."
 - Thorn: Stanwell Park SLSC  (1983) page 52.

"Ordinance No. 52 under the Local Government Act, on public baths and bathing, was gazetted on 27 March 1912.
Regulations which had been in operation in respect of public baths, were extended to cover beaches and river bathing, and dressing facilities.
In addition, a new regulation provided for an inspector to order  bathers to refrain from surf shooting, whether with or without a surfboard, where the practice was likely to endanger or inconvenience other bathers.
86. NSW Government Gazette 27 March 1912, Sydney Morning Herald 29 March 1912."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 167.

"A successful surf carnival was held at North Steyne, Manly on Saturday afternoon, 28 December 1912.
The display was witnessed by 15,000 spectators.
One of the prinipal attractions was the presence of a team of native swimmers from the Ellice Islands.
They entertained the crowd with their quaint songs and war dances, combined with clever exhibitions of surf and boat displays in the breakers.
139. Sydney Morning Herald 30 December 1913, Daily Telegraph 30 December 1913."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 177.

"Manly Council's bathing inspector wrote to the aldermen, asking them to consider having a portion of the beach set apart for shooting the breakers with boards.
Many boards were being used by bathers on the fringe of the crowd.
Some who were unaware of the restrictions used a board in the thickest part of the bathing crowd.
If the suggestion were carried out, it would relieve the congestion in the southern corner of the beach.

Dr Neale was opposed to the use of boards in the surf.
They were, in his opinion, very dangerous.
He had been struck in the back while bathing, and it was the reverse of pleasant.
He had seen no fewer than ten surfboards among the thick of the bathers.
He moved that the bathing inspector be instructed to enforce the regulation dealing with using boards while shooting the breakers.

Alderman Paterson seconded the motion, which was carried, Alderman Heaton having expressed his opinion that a portion of the beach should be set apart for the sport of shooting the breakers with boards.
Alderman Quirk said that he had witnessed a clever exhibition by a young man who "shot" the breakers with a board.
For fully 100 yards he came in standing on the board, and was loudly applauded by a thousand people for his feat.
147. Evening News 22 January 1913, Sydney Morning Herald 24 January 1913."

The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 January 1913, page 7 noted :
"... no fewer than ten surfboards in the thick of bathers."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 179.

Harald (or Harold) Baker contributed a series on surfing to the Evening News...
26. Evening News 28 November 1913.
- The first (?) article was an overview of several northern clubs, page 189.
45. Evening News 16 January 1914.
- Manly, page 193
48. Evening News 22 January 1914.
- surfing costumes, pages 193-194.
50. Evening News 29 January 1914.
- rescue techiques, pages 194-195.
51. Evening News 5 February 1914.
- Manly's mobile surf tower, page 195-196.

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) pages 189, 193, 193-194, 194-195, 195-196.

"The Dee Why Life Saving and Surf Club held its first annual carnival on Saturday, 14 February 1914 at Dee Why Beach.
The programme was a first class one, and reflected great credit on those responsible for its compilation.
There was an attendance of about 3000.
Nine clubs were represented in the grand parade and march past, which was a very creditable display.
The ladies' surf race was an item which aroused much interest.
Two competitors, however, were all that came forward when entries closed, and the race resolved itself into a "swim over" for one lady.
Miss Letham (Freshwater) and Miss Abrahams (BrookvaIe) were the contestants, who had to swim from a boat, which was anchored about 30 yards from shore, and finish at a line on the beach.
Miss Letham got the best of the start, and came right away from her opponent, putting up a very good swim and winning easily.
Miss Abrahams, it was reported, had to be assisted to shore by a life saver.
She afterwards denied that she had required the services of a life saver, stating that, having obtained a bad start, she was leisurely swimming ashore, and was rather annoyed at the attentions paid her by the life savers.
58. Sydney Morning Herald 16 February 1914, Manly Daily cuttings February 1914 in the Dee Why LS&S Club minute book."

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 197.

The Warringah Shire Council Chambers on Monday night, 9 March 1914, were crowded with surfing enthusiasts, who gathered in response to President Quirk's invitation to each surf club in the shire to appoint representatives to meet council and discuss various matters, particularly regarding taking proper precautions to ensure the safety of bathers, furnishing each beach with a surfboat, a surf reel, lifebuoys, and the appointment of beach inspectors.
The Freshwater representative said his beach was one of the most popular around Sydney, and it was necessary that someone clothed with authority should have charge.
Among the nuisances his club had to cope with was the intoxication of some bathers, the use of surfboards, and larrikinism.
The Collaroy representative also said boards should be done away with.
67. Warringah Shire Council minutes 23 February 1914, 9 March 1914;
Evening News 10 March 1914; Sydney Morning Herald 17 March 1914.

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) pages 199-200.

The North Steyne Club journeyed to Newcastle, circa 1911, for a demonstration of surfing and lifesaving techniques.
The squad included Edward 'Appy' Eyre, Freddie Williams, beltman Rohan McKelvey and the Sly Brothers with their boat.
The locals were impressed with:
"the double banking of Charlie Bell and Ralph Durer on a small board measuring 1 1/2 foot by 1 1/2 foot "

- W. H.. Commins, first treasurer of North Steyne Club and the Surf Bathers' Association.
Quoted in Maxwell: Surf(1949) page 37.

Another report from Newcastle is quoted from Joe Palmers'  Fifty Years of Vigilance and Service, probably an official history of the Newcastle Surf Life Saving Club, circa 1958, partially funded by the SLSA.
The book does not appear available in any of the relevant library collections.

Joe Palmer claims that the first club member to use a surfboard on Newcastle Beach was Cecil Lamb, one of the staff of the Gentlemen's Club in Newcomen Street, in the 1911-1912 season:-

"His board resembled a laundry ironing board, but Cecil perservered in his attempts to ride it on the waves - with moderate success.
Mervyn Chippindall and Jack Riordan followed; the latter was more persistent and successful."
[4] 'Fifty Years of Vigilance and Service' - Joe Palmer.

-Conrick: Northern Lifesaver (1989) page 95.
Initially noted by Dave Kelly contributing to forum, January 2008.

C.B. Maxwell: Surf (1949), page 235, and Reg Harris: Manly LSC (1961), page 53, report that .C.D. Paterson of Manly brought the first known solid wood Hawaiian Alaia to Australia in 1912 on returning from a world tour.
First unsuccessfully tested at North Steyne, the board was eventually  retired to the family home at the Spit to be used as a ironing board.
Note that Chris Cornick (1989) dates the arrival of this board as 1908 and Alby Thoms (2000) indicates 1909 (page 20), see above.
The earlier the board did arrive in Australia then references to other surfers who made copies of the board are more plausible.

New York Times
December 6, 1912, Friday, Page 13, 968 words
ORIGIN OF CRAWL STROKE.; Australian Swimmers Gave First Idea and Americans Improved on It.
This month marks the ninth anniversary of the origin of the "American crawl," the swimming stroke that has placed American athletes at the top of the world in sprint swimming.

In 1912, the Daily Telegraph reported  on the second Freshwater Life Saving Carnival held on the 26 January.
A detailed account of the days events included the following comments:

"A clever exhibition of surf board shooting was given by Mr. Walker, of the Manly Seagulls Surf Club. With his Hawaiian surf board he drew much applause for his clever feats, coming in on the breaker standing balanced on his feet or his head."
- The Daily Telegraph 27 January 1912, page 21.

Note that a Mr. "Walker " is included in the lists of early boardriders by both Maxwell and Harris, below.

The oldest was Manly Surf Club, formed on 16 July 1907, closely followed by North Steyne Life Saving Club in September that year.
Manly Life Saving Club and
The Manly Seagull Surf and Life Saving Clubc hanged their name to the South Steyne Life Saving Club in 1913 and briefly affiliated with the Surf Bathing Association of NSW before amalgamating with the Manly Life Saving Club in 1914.

- Harris: Manly LSC (1961) pages 10 to 11.

Following the arrival of C.D. Paterson’s board a small group attempt surfriding on replica boards. ...
A. the Walker Brothers, Steve McKelvey, Jack Reynolds, Fred Notting and Basil Kirke
- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 235.
B. Jack Reynolds, Norman Roberts, Geoff. Wyld, Tom Walker, Claude West (aged 13) and Miss Esma Amor
- Harris: Manly LSC (1961) pages 53-54
Made from Californian redwood by Les Hinds, a local builder from North Steyne, they were 8 ft long, 20" wide, 11/2" thick and weighed 35 pounds.
Riding the boards was limited to launching onto broken waves from a standing position and riding white water straight in, either prone or kneeling.
Standing rides on the board for up to 50 yards/metres were considered outstanding.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 235.
- Harris: Manly LSC (1961) pages 53-54

Female sufriders and prone board, circa 1912, Coolangatta, Queensland.

Harvey: History Queensland Surfing (1983) page 8.

Cronulla, Newcastle, and Stockton Life Saving Clubs joined the Surf Bathing Association by 1913.

- Galton: Gladiators of the Surf(1984) page 13.
In the same year Freshwater Club held a canoe race, won by a junior, Dick Matheson.

-Henderson  in Myers: Freshwater SLSC (1983) page 85.

In the Illawarra, circa 1913, Thirroul Surf life Saving Club appealed to the Bulli council to regulate “boards shooting waves in the surf”.

- Middleton & Figtree: Illawarra SLSC (1963) page Ten.

Fred Notting designed the first boat strictly for surf rescue, commissioned by Manly Surf Life Saving Club in 1913.
After studying rough water craft from around the world, Notting based his design on the Norwegian work boat - a 24 foot double -ender of white huon pine with exaggerated rocker.
Built by Holmes of Lavender Bay for 36 pounds (sans gear and oars) it was christened M.L.S.C., but was more commonly known as the 'Banana' boat due to the accentuated rocker.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949)  pages 91 -92
- Harris: Manly LSC (1961) pages 44-45.

The M.L.S.C. - 'The Banana Boat'
Manly Surf Life Saving Club's Second boat.
Designed by Fred Notting.

Photographed at the Deewhy's first carnival, 1913 - 1914.

Crew : (from left to right) : Bill Piggott, Sid. McAulciffe, Fred Notting (pipe), Geoff Wyld and R. Quinn

Harris: Manly LSC (1961) page 44

The Sydney Morning Herald 23 January 1914 included  a public notice for

Manly Surf Carnival
The Greatest Surf Event of the Year
All Champions Competing
Saturday January 24
Procession from Pier, 2.30 pm
Admission 6d. Chairs 6d. extra to Balconies 1/-"

On Sunday 22nd February 1914, the day after Deewhy's first carnival, seven swimmers were washed out to sea in a strong northerly rip.
All  were rescued using the newly introduced belt and reel but two boys, O. Overton and H. Starkey, were swept towards Long Reef.
Manly club member, Jack Talyor took a fishing skiff from the beach and accompanied by H. Duckworth from Maroubra (to bale), managed to rescue the boys.
The success of the rescues resulted  in bravery awards for the lifesavers from Warringah Shire, and an unheard of donation of  1250 pounds, distributed amongst the Shire's five Surf Life Saving Clubs.
These funds were used to improve buildings and equipment, most significantly a sufboat for each club.
Based on Fred Notting's design, although a few feet shorter, the boats were built by Holmes of Lavender Bay at a total cost of 135 pounds.
The new boats were delivered to Freshwater, Deewhy, Collaroy, Narrabeen and Newport clubs in the first months of 1915.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) pages 94 -99.

"As Freshwater Surf Club already had a club house, built at the end of 1910, they asked for additions to be made to it.
Warringah Council resolved to appoint William Owen and Abe Mallinson as beach inspectors at Freshwater.
At the same time it was resolved that the beach inspectors be written to and asked to prohibit the use of surfboards on Freshwater Beach.
79. Warringah Shire Council  Minutes 20 April 1914.

- S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 204.

Jack Talyor , O. Overton,  H. Starkey and  H. Duckworth and boat.
Participants in an extreme rescue at Deewhy, 22 February 1914.
Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 81

In Queensland, at this time prone boards '' four to five feet long, one inch thick and about a foot wide slabs of cedar or pine " were in use on Coolangatta Beaches.

- Harvey: History Queensland Surfing (1983) page 8.

Charlie Faukner read of Duke Kahanamoku's surfriding and used his experience (and board?) as an aqua planner on the Tweed River to ride at Greenmount in 1914.

- Harvey: History Queensland Surfing (1983) page 8.

This claim appears tenuous, but possible.
Aquaplaning had originated by being towed behind yachts circa 1900 and high speed motor boats were in use on Sydney Harbour as early as 1908.

- Inglis: Sport in Australia (1912) page 285.

Also note that Isobel Letham also may have had aquaplanning experience previous to her introduction to surfboards.

At Deewhy, before 1914, 'Long Harry' Taylor "made a board resembling an old-fashioned church door, but his efforts in the surf were so futile they became ridiculous."

- Thomas: Deewhy SLSC (1962) page 30.

In an unaccredited account of Duke Kakhanamoku's visit to Cronulla in 1915, the commentator notes...
"While there were already surfboard exponents on our own and other metropolitan beaches, Duke Kahanamoku first focused public attention on surfboard riding in NSW."

See Duke visits Cronulla, 1915

 A photograph taken at Freshwater in 1914 shows several handboards carried by juvenile surfers.
The use of small boards was common in Hawaii and the USA in 1900's, particularly as beginner or juvenile craft in preparation for larger boards, but is less documented in the literature than full size boards.
It is possible that some Hawaiian knowledge and/or boards did reach Australia in this period, as in the case of Grace Wooton-Smith in 1915.

The 14 years since the turn of the century saw a rapid growth in surf bathing and surfriding.
The Surf Life Saving movement had been firmly established and there were the beginnings of an Australian beach culture.
Various craft  (surfboats, the Sea King, prone and standing boards) had been used in Australian waves and there was a knowledge of Hawaiian surfriding.
The arrival in Australia of Olympic swimmer and famed Hawaiian surfer, Duke Kahanamoku, was eagerly anticipated.

A unique picture of surf body shooting taken in 1912.
(The centre figure is that of Dr. Victor Coppleson, the present Hon. Medical Officier to the S.L.S.A) 
Forbes (1958) in Myers: Freshwater SLSC (1983) Frontispiece.

A cropped versrion appeared in
History of Bondi Surf  Bathers Life Saving Club 1906 - 1956
(195) page 9, captioned :
A remarkably fine picture of body shooting taken in the very early days of the club by a club member, C. Stevenson

The under-mentioned also carried out the test imposed in a satisfactory manner at Bondi.
The examiners for the Bondi Life saving Club's men were Messrs. L. C. I. Ormsby, J. B. Pym, and G. Cohen; and for the North Bondi Surf and Life-saving Club's team Messrs. J. B. Pym, G. Cohen, and W. Thomas.
Results : —
Bondi Life-saving Club : Ernest Baker. Sydney Carlyle, Francis Craven, Victor Coppleson, James Crichton, Henry Fletcher, Charles Jay,
Charles Kubler, Frederick Mailler, Neville Wallack, Rupert Wallack, Harold Wainwright, Carl Bastian.
1913 'SURF GOSSIP.', Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), 20 April, p. 5. , viewed 27 Jan 2017,

RESCUE COMPETITION.— Bondi A team (E. Clark beltman, W. Douglass, G. Brown, R. Stewart, H. Fletcher, V. Coppleson), 1;
1920 'N.S.W. REPRESENTATIVES.', Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), 28 January, p. 14. , viewed 27 Jan 2017,

Dr. Victor Coppleson and Rupe Michelis have been elected, hon medical officer and vice-president' respectively to the Surf Life Saying. Association.
Trove1928 'MELBOURNE MATTERS.', The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1953), 26 October, p. 11. , viewed 27 Jan 2017,

No Royal Road to Safety.
1940 'SHARK ATTACKS ANALYSED.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 February, p. 8. , viewed 27 Jan 2017,

New Iifesaving method
Life Saving Association officials to-day conferred with Drs. J. Hunter and V.Coppleson, of the:BMA, and Professor E  Frank Cotton at Bondi
Beach on a new method of reruscitation. :
The BMA has approved the method, which Dr. Coppleson studied in America recently.
1952 'New lifesaving method', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 22 March, p. 3. (LAST RACE LATE CRICKET), viewed 27 Jan 2017,

Australian Dictionary of Biography: Coppleson, Sir Victor Marcus (1893–1965)

Life-saving Brigades.—
... the secretary of the Bondi Life-saving Club writes, stating it is the intention of that body to also make a tour of the Northern Rivors during the Christmas
vacation, and give demonstrations of lifesaving, rescuo and resuscitation, as taught by the Royal Life-saving Society ; also rescue from tho breakers at coastal resorts with and without life lines.
Tlie club numbers amongst its members some of tho speediest and strongest swimmers in Australia, and the team to make the tour will be comprised of the following : — Messrs. H. Hardwick (100 and 200 yard champion of N.S.W.) ; J. Lord, jun., C.Lewis, I. Cantor, J. S. Nobbs (captain), R. Mathewson, C. Riva, L. Abel (secretary), H. Donald (vice-captain), Eric Healy, J. Paul, C. Keane, A. Coulson, and probably Mr. J. Lord, sen: (mangaer).
1908 'LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS.', The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser (NSW : 1886 - 1942), 20 November, p. 4. , viewed 27 Jan 2017,

At the carnival of the Bondi Club, held at Jack Helling's Baths on Saturday last, F. Coulson maintained his position as 100 yards champion of the club, covering- the distance in 66 2-5 sec.
1908 'GARLAND HALF-MILE CHAMPION.', Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 - 1954), 16 December, p. 3. , viewed 27 Jan 2017,

Which brings me back to the image. As Victor's name is associated with the image from your source, and he was a member of  the same Bondi club as Frank and Albert (even possibly Jimmy Burke who was a good friend of the Coulsons) it is very possible that he is one of the swimmers in the picture. With the fact that the photographer was close to all the Coulsons, it doesn't seem likely that the photo is just a random shot. A probable scenario is that Crit got them all together and said "You guys go out and all catch a wave and I will get a photo"  Victor could well have been in the group.
 Both my mother and her sister, two of Frank's daughters, are adamant that the two young men with their heads down (C & D) are Frank and Albert. With F being James Burke then either
A, B or E might well be Victor.
  A little more information on the photo has come from  my aunty who lives in New Zealand, She says that the camera was mounted on the end of a stick. Crit then waded out as far as he could with the set-up held high above his head. To get such a good image he must have brought the camera down, taken the shot and then raised it up again. I can't imagine any other way of doing it. She also says that after taking the shot he moved closer to the rocks and passed it to a woman. This may have been in the area near the Icebergs pool.
This precedes a  GoPro on the end of a pole by a good hundred years!!!
 My aunty also believes that the paper it appeared in was the Sydney Morning Herald but she is not 100% sure on that. I have looked through the Fairfax image archives on the net but found nothing. Their front pages on the net only go back to 1955. It is possible that it is held in some major library in Sydney but I am up here at Brunswick Heads. I am sure that the original article would answer a lot of questions.

Good morning Denis,
(Takes a deep breath) I will start with the most difficult issue: Oral History.

 A little more information on the photo has come from  my aunty who lives in New Zealand, She says that the camera was mounted on the end of a stick. Crit then waded out as far as he could with the set-up held high above his head. To get such a good image he must have brought the camera down, taken the shot and then raised it up again. I can't imagine any other way of doing it. She also says that after taking the shot he moved closer to the rocks and passed it to a woman. This may have been in the area near the Icebergs pool.

Basically, as I do not trust my own memory I am very sceptical of the memories of others; and this sounds improbable.
I am not even sure if the perspective is "elevated."

I have gained access to my book collection and note:
1. Coppleston in noted as serving as the SLSA medical officer for 33 years in Jaggard, Ed (editor): Between the Flags (2006) page 117.

2. In Sean Brawley's The Bondi Lifesaver (2007) Coppleston is noted as a member of the Bondi R&R A Team in 1914 (page 88) and his military service in WW2 (page 149)
His brother, young Coppleston in mentioned on page 90, quoting from The Surf, Number 6, 5 January 1918, page 1.

3. Forbes (1958) appears to be certainly highlighting Coppleson, the actual caption reading:

A unique picture of surf body shooting taken in 1912.
(The centre figure is that of Dr. Victor Coppleson, the present Hon. Medical Officier to the S.L.S.A)

4. I did find another printed copy of the photograph; a cropped version in  History of Bondi Surf  Bathers Life Saving Club 1906 - 1956 (1958) page 9, captioned :

A remarkably fine picture of body shooting taken in the very early days of the club by a club member, C. Stevenson.

A Mr. Stevenson is accredited with a rescue at Bondi in 1911.
Possible family members (brothers?) include Bondi Surf-members Walter and Leonard K. Stevenson, awarded Royal Life Saving Society's medallions in early 1912; at the end of the year L. Stevenson was appointed  as a beach inspector at Bondi;  W. Stevenson, a member of the Bondi Life-Saving Brigade, completed a belt rescue in early 1913.

1911 'AMONG The BREAKERS', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 20 December, p. 5. (CRICKET EDITION), viewed 07 Feb 2017,

1912 'AMONG The -- BREAKERS', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 24 January, p. 4. (FINAL EXTRA), viewed 07 Feb 2017,

1912 'MEN and WOMEN', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 23 October, p. 6. (FINAL EXTRA), viewed 07 Feb 2017,

1913 'SAVED FROM THE SURF', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 6 January, p. 8. , viewed 07 Feb 2017,

I suggest that finding the reputed newpaper photograph might be helpful, at least implying the date.
I have a number of attempts to search for this, but with no luck.

Further suggestions include the Bondi Club archivist-historian and the Local Studies section of the Randwick and Waverly libraries.


home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2000-2016) : Before Duke, 1900. 

Aboriginals and Surfriding Before 1788.
While there is evidence that indigenous inhabitants were known to swim and paddle their canoes in the surf, the evidence for surfriding activity, much less an identifiable surfriding culture, is oblique.
S. and G. Champion note Lieutenant Bradley's  report from the Manly Pensisular of 29th -30th January 1788 (or 16th April1788) may imply surfriding in canoes:

"(16th April 1788) we walked across the neck, where some canoes were landing which they did with ease altho' a very great surf was running"

- S. and G. Champion: Bathing , Drowning and Life Saving (2000) page 1..
No doubt that such a landing was achieved with great skill, however, Bradley's report, when quoted at length, indicates the craft were highly unsuited for the stresses of wave riding.
 [ie present Quarantine Station Beach, note by authors]
- S. and G. Champion: Manly, Warringah and Pittwater: First Fleet Records of Events, 1788-1790,

"As we were going in to the first cove on the east side called Spring Cove, we were joined by three canoes with one man in each.
They hauled their canoes up and met us on the beach leaving their spears in the canoes.
We were soon joined by a dozen of these and found three amongst them with trinkets &c. hanging about them that had been given to them a week before by the governor on his first visit to this place.
Our people and these mixed together and were quite sociable, dancing and otherwise amusing them. One of our people combed their hair with which they were much pleased; several women appeared at a distance, but we could not prevail on the men to bring them near us.

We had here an opportunity of examining their canoes and weapons: the canoe is made of the bark taken off a large tree of the length they want to make the canoe, which is gathered up at each end and secured by a lashing of strong vine which runs amongst the underbrush.
One was secured by a small line.

They fix spreaders in the inside; the paddles are about two feet long, in shape like a pudding stirrer; these they use one in each hand and go along very fast sitting with their legs under them and their bodies erect and although they do not use outriggers I have seen them paddle through a large surf without over-setting or taking in more water than if rowing in smooth water.
From their construction they are apt to leak when any weight is in them; the man nearest that point of the canoe, where the water lies, heaves it out behind him with a piece of wood in the hollow of his hand, still keeping his body erect as when rowing.

They are by far the worst canoes I ever saw or heard of.
I have seen some so small as eight feet long and others twice that length.
In these canoes they will stand up to strike fish, at which they seem expert."

- Bradley in Flannery: Birth of Sydney (1999) pages 54 and 55.
In August 1788, Governor Phillip commented that it was the season in which Aboriginal people make their new canoes, suggesting that bark for new canoes was commonly cut in winter.Australian Museum, 2002

While there is evidence that indigenous inhabitants on the northern coast of Australia were known to swim in the surf,

the following account is unfortunately confusing and particularly unclear in what "their eccentric and amusing evolutions" actually were.

"More than this, when they have learned (how to swim), necessity appears to be the only thing that induces them to enter the water alone, though with white men a blackfellow becomes as willing as a water-spaniel, and nothing seems to give him more pleasure than a "bogie" , i.e. swim (pronounced bo'ge ???) on the sea-coast.
Encouraged by white men, and accompanied by them, hand in hand, leaping and shouting, a party of
aborigines will run to meet the breakers.
Extended in a line, they will stand to meet the incoming of  the small seas, and will perform the most
amusing feats, as the force of the breakers drives them back to the shore.
On the approach of a large wave the white man will usually dive and work their hands into the sand,
so to obtain a firm hold as the sea bursts over them; while the blacks on the contrary, will rise on the
crest, and continue to go through their eccentric and amusing evolutions as usual."
- Steedman, Charles: Manual of Swimming (1867) page 265.

Whatever the relationship with the surf the coastal aborigines, these skills and knowledge were not transfered to the new  inhabitants from Europe.
Certainly by the turn of the century, aborigines now living in the Sydney region were signicantly  disconnected with much of their original culture.

source documents
1867 Charles Steedman: Native Swimming, Wave Mechanics and Surfboards
Extracted from Manual of Swimming:
Henry Tolman Dwight, Bourke Street, Melbourne. Lockwood and Co, London. 1867
Pages 44, 193, 194, 264 to 269.
circa 1890 Waverly Borough : Daylight Swimming Ban.

Waverly Shire By-Laws, circa 1890, with hand written annotations, includes By-law 25 that
prohibits bathing between 8 am and 6 pm in Bondi Bay, Nelson Bay and Little Nelson Bay.
Reproduced in Maxwell,  page 16
1907 Phil Harris : Surf-Bathing in NSW.

Extract from The Red Funnel, Dunedin, New Zealand.Volume V, Number 1, August 1907, pages 1 to 7.
1908 C.D.P. : Sun-Baking, Surf-Bathing, and Camp Life in NSW.

Extract from The Red Funnel, Dunedin, New Zealand.Volume VI, Number 3, April 1908, pages 268 to 271.
1908 Alexander Hume Ford : Beach Culture in Sydney, Australia.

Extract from The Red Funnel, Dunedin, New Zealand.Volume VI, Number 5, June 1908, pages 466 to 470.
1908-1910 Jack London : Aloha Oe.

Extracts from The Lone Hand, Volume ?, Number ?, Sydney, N.S.W., August15 1910, pages 35 to 37.
1910 Egbert T. Russell : Australia's Amphibians.

Extracts from The Lone Hand, January 1, 1910.
1910 Arthur H. Adams : Galahad Jones Goes Surfing.

Extracts from The Lone Hand, February 1, 1910.

1910 "Snowy" Baker : Surf Bathing.
Extracted from General Physical Culture.
Melbourne. G.Robertson & Co., 1910. Pages 54 to 61.
1910 Australian Country Life : Newcastle Beach.

Extracts from Volume ?, Number ?, November 15, 1910.
1910 New South Wales Surf Bathing Association.: Combined Surf Carnival Souvenir Programme

 North Steyne, Manly, 22nd October 1910. (Extracts) 
1910-1911 New South Wales Surf Bathing Association.: NSW Surf Bather's Guide.

Published by L. W. Abel, Hon. Secretary, Surf Bathing Association of N.S.W.
Sports Club, Ltd., Hunter Street Sydney, Season 1910-1911. (Extracts)
1911 Norman Lindsay : The Recipe for Rubber - A Romance of the South Pacific.

Extracts from The Lone Hand, June 1, 1911 (serialised fiction with illustrations by Norman Lindsay).
1911 Australian Country Life : Marvellous Manly.

Extracts from Volume VII, Number 6, December 15, 1911.

1912 Gordon Inglis: The Joys of the Surf  and Life Saving Clubs.
Extracts from Sport & Pastimes in Australia
Methuen and Co Ltd., 36 Essex Street W.C. London 1912, pages 248 - 252.
1912 New South Wales Surf Bathing Association.: Handbook 1913-1914.

Published by L. W. Abel, Hon. Secretary, Surf Bathing Association of N.S.W.
Sports Club, Ltd., Hunter Street Sydney, Season 1913-1914. (Extracts)

home catalogue history references appendix

SINCLAIR, Archibald, & William Henry:    Swimming.
: London, Longmans, Green, and Co, 1916. Eighth Impression:, 1916. pp474, 4 adv; illus by S. T. Dadd and from photographs; 8vo, dec. cloth. Neat library stamp. Very good. The Badminton Library. Includes Australian reference.
"Includes a now humerous entry on 'Scientific Swimming' which includes detailed intructions for, among other things, as 'Smoking Under Water', 'Eating Under Water', the dangerous 'Monte Cristo Sack Feat' and perhaps most strange - 'Drinking Under Water'.

ENGLAND, LEO with F. CLARKE and E. H. STANCOMBE:   McDougall's Organised Games. School games for field and playground, for boys and girls
McDougall's Educational Co., London, 1912.
94 pp. with many photographic illustrations, music scores and diagrams, [2] pp. advertisements. Orig. cloth with black title on the spine on the upper board. Lower board with some minor silverfishing, edges of textblock minimally brown-stained, a very good copy. On running, ball, jumping, and climbing games, as well as miscellaneous games such as hop-scotch, tug-of-war, I spy and "How to carry an unconscious person". Further chapters on swimming, life-saving and Morris Dancing.

Wilson, William: Swimming, Diving and How to Save a Life
Kerr & Richardson, 1876.
Hardcover (Half Leather). Book Condition: Good Condition. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. Alex Davidson (illustrator). Edition Unstated.

 Warner, PF (Edited by)   The Boy's Own Book of Outdoor Games and Pastimes
London: The Boy's Own Paper Office: n.d.) Suggest 191-? Pictorial cloth pp. xvi, 384 (227 x 165 mm) Illust. Index. Includes 'Surfing (ie swimming) in Australia' and 'Australian Games'.

G. P. Putnam's Sons, London, 1931., 1931.
190 pp, b&w photographic plates, boards faded particularly at spine, else very good copy in blue, cloth boards. First edition, published 1931 - prior to Weissmuller's acting career

HUTCHISON, G.Andrew [editor]: Outdoor Games and Recreations. A Popular Encyclopaedia for Boys.
London, The Religious Tract Society, 1892., 1892.
Some hundreds of wood-engraved illustrations, xvi,576pp., prelims and final pages foxed, all edges gilt, large thick 8vo., publisher's pictorial colour and gilt cloth with some minor marking. Chapters on cricket by W.G.Grace, swimming by Captain Webb, &c. Covers a very wide range of sports - sailing, skating, athletics, football and many others

Methuen, London, 1923.
Cloth. Book Condition: Good. Second Edition. 225 x 145mm. viii, 21 illusts & 8 diagrams