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Anderson Family, 'Mynda', 5 Molesworth Street, Kew

Skirt and Jacket - Black

Image: Skirt and Jacket - Black

Source: Museum Victoria

Museum Victoria holds a collection of almost 50 items of clothing worn by Betty Anderson and her mother Minnie Anderson in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Anderson family lived at 'Mynda', 5 Molesworth Street, Kew, Melbourne. The following narrative provides background information about the family as well as biographical information about Minnie and Betty specifically.

James Caldwell Anderson and Mary Lloyd Anderson

Betty was the daughter of James Caldwell Anderson and Mary Lloyd Anderson (nee Tayler). James had graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne in April 1879 (The Argus, 21 April 1879, p.6) and was admitted to practice as a barrister of the Supreme Court in September of that year (The Argus, 16 September 1879, p.6). He worked for at least some of his career at Selborne Chambers, Chancery Lane, Melbourne, and served as secretary of the St John's Ambulance Association of Victoria. Mary was one of five children of renowned architect Lloyd Tayler (1830-1900) and Sarah Toller, and was apparently known as Minnie. Lloyd Tayler's work included Kamesburgh, Brighton, later to become Anzac Hostel after World War I. Minnie died in 1951, having out-lived her husband and three of her four children. She was 91 years old.

The children of James Caldwell Anderson and Mary Lloyd Anderson

James and Mary had a son, Robert Stirling (born 1884), and three daughters: Mary (Maisie) Constance (born March 1886), Elizabeth (Betty) Tayler (born November 1889) and Eleanor (Elsa) Lloyd Cockburn (born November 1891) (The Argus and Digger Births, Deaths & Marriages indexes). The family lived at 'Mynda', in Kew, designed by Lloyd Tayler. Images of the family and Mynda are held at the State Library of Victoria, dated circa 1890-1910 but almost certainly taken in 1892. Two show Mary with her children (H83.94/171 and H83.94/?407). They are named as Robert, Mary, Elizabeth and 'Elanor' (in age order). Another 321 family images are held at the State Library, offering a rich visual resource.

Betty Anderson: Betty seems to have served as a nurse during World War I, although details of her service remain to be researched. A nurse's uniform was acquired with the collection, as well as a group photograph of Red Cross nurses. Betty never married, and died in 1982, aged 92.

Maise Anderson: Maisie married Lieutenant-Colonel Sylvester Ernest Howard Brodribb, also of Kew, on 22 April 1913 (The Argus, 9 July 1913, p.1). In 1914 they had a daughter who died in the same year. Brodribb has no digitized World War I record, and may not have served in that conflict, although did apply to enlist. A Lieutenant-Colonel Brodribb was President of the Australian Health Society (Leader, 11 May 1918, p.42) and later a school inspector. They apparently lived at Mynda. On 8 January 1918 a Situations Vacant advertisement was placed in The Argus for a 'Person, domesticated, all duties, small family, daily or otherwise', to work at Mynda (p.10). On 11 April 1918 a daughter, Mary Emily, was born at Mynda to 'the wife of S. Brodribb' (The Argus, 29 April 1918, p.1). Maisie died in 1950, at the age of 66 (Births, Deaths & Marriages information says 62). Sylvester lived to 79, dying in 1962.

Robert Stirling Anderson: On 18 January 1915 The Argus reported that Robert Stirling, the only son of James C. Anderson of 'Mynda', Kew, had died in Broken Hill at the age of 30. When Maisie and Sylvester had another baby that year, this time a son, they named him Robert.

The death of James Caldwell Anderson : On 25 March 1915, just five weeks after the death of his son, James Caldwell Anderson himself died at Mynda. He was described as the 'beloved husband of Mary Lloyd Anderson' (The Argus, 27.3.1915, p.11).

Eleanor (Elsa) Anderson: On 24 August 1916 The Argus reported that on 12 July Lieutenant R.U. (Rupert Uriah) Hoddinott of Kew had married Elsa, youngest daughter of James and Mary, in London. It is not known why she was in London, although some Australians did travel to England during the War to be close to loved ones or to serve in associated organisations such as the Red Cross. Rupert and Elsa appear to have had at least two children, William James and Elizabeth, born in Kew (source:

Lieutenant R.U. (Rupert Uriah) Hoddinott: Rupert Uriah Hoddinott was a 24-year-old surveyor when he enlisted on 19 August 1914. He served as a sapper with the 1 Signal Troop (1 Light Horse Brigade), embarking 20 October 1914 on the HMAT Karroo. Although his military record is brief in the National Archives, it indicates he was discharged in England on 22 May 1915 ('Comm. Imp. Army'). He then served from October 1915 to November 1918 in the RFA (Royal Field Artillery) and RAF. After the war his record indicates that he was living at 5 Molesworth Street, Kew. Hoddinott's papers are held at the Australian War Memorial (MSS0791) - including:

'family history, life before the war, pre-war enlistment in the Regular Army Topographical Section of Royal Australian Engineers, he describes the methods used, joins Signal Troops of 1st Light Horse Brigade AIF as a dispatch rider, voyage to Egypt and description of the Sydney - Emden battle, the Battle of the Wassir, transfer to the Royal Field Artillery, training as a gunner, commissioning in the Royal Flying Corps 1917 and training as an air gunner. Gives an opinion of British soldiers, the local Arabs and the variety of planes he flew. Describes his post war work in the Department of Civil Aviation and surveys for aerodromes, then his work as CO of the Works and Building Branch of the Royal Australian Air Force in Port Moreseby.'

Eleanor died in 1943, at the age of 51. Rupert lived to 78, passing away in 1969.

The Argus
Births, deaths and marriages indexes
National Archives World War I personal records
Australian War Memorial collection
State Library of Victoria collection

Items per page: 10 50 (showing 1 - 10) 30 items

  • Apron - Red Cross, White Cotton, Elizabeth Anderson, World War I, 1914-1918 Object

    Apron - Red Cross, White Cotton, Elizabeth Anderson, World War I, 1914-1918

    World War I Red Cross apron, worn by Elizabeth (Betty) Anderson of Kew. Betty (Elizabeth) was the daughter of James Caldwell Anderson and Mary Lloyd Anderson, and grand-daughter of re ...

    Images: 6
  • Blouse - White Linen Lawn, circa 1910s Object

    Blouse - White Linen Lawn, circa 1910s

    White linen lawn blouse with insert front panel of broderie lace. Belonged to Betty Anderson of Kew. Name tape inside with red lettering 'R.A.' It is not known who the 'R' is. The appea ...

    Images: 2
  • Cloak - Black Velvet,  circa 1920-1940 Object

    Cloak - Black Velvet, circa 1920-1940

    Alternative Name(s): Cape Simple black velvet cloak in three panels. Made around 1920-1940, the cloak is likely to have been worn by Minnie Anderson or her daughter Betty. Mary 'Minn ...

    Images: 3
  • Dress - Brown Silk Grosgrain, early 20th century Object

    Dress - Brown Silk Grosgrain, early 20th century

    Brown silk grosgrain dress with short sleeves, square front neckline and v-back and full, gored skirt. Probably worn by Minnie Anderson (circa 1860-1951). Mary 'Minnie' Lloyd Anderson ...

    Images: 2
  • Dress - Evening, Black, circa 1930s Object

    Dress - Evening, Black, circa 1930s

    Black floor-length floral machine lace dress with black taffeta slip. Probably includes semi-synthetic materials - the slip may be rayon ('artificial silk'), made commercially in Americ ...

    Images: 4
  • Dress - Evening, Black Chiffon, circa 1920-1930 Object

    Dress - Evening, Black Chiffon, circa 1920-1930

    Sleeveless scoop-necked evening dress made of black chiffon and machine made lace. Used circa 1920-1930. Belonged to Betty Anderson, 'Mynda', Molesworth Street, Kew. Betty (Elizabeth) ...

    Images: 3
  • Jacket - Silk with Quoit Pattern, circa 1920 Object

    Jacket - Silk with Quoit Pattern, circa 1920

    Alternative Name(s): Blouse Lightweight silk jacket, black with white quoit pattern, unlined, with single front fastening. Used circa 1920 and possibly later. Belonged to Betty Anderso ...

    Images: 5
  • Jacket - Floral Silk, circa 1930 Object

    Jacket - Floral Silk, circa 1930

    Alternative Name(s): Evening Jacket Evening jacket of floral printed silk georgette with overwoven floral design in gold metallic thread. Used circa 1930 Betty (Elizabeth) was the dau ...

    Images: 5
  • Pinafore - White Cotton, 1890s Object

    Pinafore - White Cotton, 1890s

    Infant or young child's pinafore of white cotton with broderie anglaise detail. Belonged to Betty Anderson, of 'Mynda', Molesworth Street, Kew. Betty (Elizabeth) was the daughter of Ja ...

    Images: 4
  • Skirt - Black Silk, Gored, With Train, circa 1890s Object

    Skirt - Black Silk, Gored, With Train, circa 1890s

    Full gored black skirt with slight train. Belonged to Minnie Anderson of Kew. The appearance of the skirt suggests a date of the late 19th century. The style would have been worn into t ...

    Images: 5
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