Cake dishes, jam jars, salt ‘cellars’ and… C.E.W. Bean?

Cake dishes, jam jars and salt ‘cellars’ aren’t objects usually associated with the Australian First World War official correspondent and historian, C.E.W. Bean – or, for that matter, with the sport of cricket. But thanks to the wonders of Trove, we know that they’re precisely the prizes Bean donated to the Tuggeranong Cricket Club in September 1926 for, respectively, the best batting average, best bowling average and most catches taken during the 1925-1926 season.[1] Bean and the official history team had been residents of Tuggeranong Homestead in the Federal Capital Territory between 1919 and 1925, usually working ‘war hours’ with breaks only to eat, sleep and play tennis or cricket – the cricket with “neighbouring farmers”. Bean’s donation of the trophies continued his association with the club even after the official history team relocated to Sydney, mostly for Bean’s health.[2] More particularly, given their very domestic nature, the trophies probably also continued the association of Bean’s wife, Effie, with the cricketers’ wives she had socialised with in the still frontier-like national capital. View images of the Federal Capital Territory in 1926 here.

"Tuggeranong Cricket Club", Queanbeyan-Canberra Advocate, Thursday 2 September 1926, p. 4.

[1] “Tuggeranong Cricket Club”, Queanbeyan-Canberra Advocate, Thursday 2 September 1926, p. 4. View online at Trove.

[2] C.E.W. Bean, “The Technique of a Contemporary War Historian”, Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand, Volume 2, Number 6, November 1942, pp. 78-79. See also C.E.W. Bean, “The Writing of the Australian Official History of the Great War – Sources, Methods and Some Conclusions”, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal and Proceedings, Volume 24, Part 2, 1938, pp. 87-88.

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2 thoughts on “Cake dishes, jam jars, salt ‘cellars’ and… C.E.W. Bean?

  1. sounds like Charlie was clearing out his house and donating stuff he didn’t want to the cricket club! what bloke would be happy to be presented with some jam jars? Trove turns up the best little bits of information.

  2. Ha! You may well be right, Carolyn, though I think there is quite a ‘family’ tradition within country cricket clubs (and county cricket clubs in the UK). Trove really is wonderful for all kinds of gems, including this random one. Thanks for commenting!

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