365 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

The current site of Mukka, an Indian establishment and favourite of Fitzroy for the past 7-8 years is in a building which has a long history.

The Snadden’s (unknown – 1929)

Joseph Lauder Snadden married Jane (Jennie) Price Showers, the daughter of an ex-councillor of Fitzroy. Their wedding was held at St Luke’s Church, North Fitzroy on 23 May 1889 and by the time of WWI, they lived here at 365 Brunswick Street. Joseph was a watchmaker and jeweller, but was also a JP and a councillor of Fitzroy Council from 1901 to 1916 and Mayor in 1907.

Joseph was one of the sons of Joseph Snadden of Buck’s Head Hotel.

Joseph and Jennie had two children, Joseph Lauder Snadden (b. 1890) and Robert Showers Snadden (b. approx. Jan 1893). Thanks to an article by Gil Langfield in the Fitzroy History Society Newsletter, we have the following information on Robert.

Robert had attended Melbourne High School and joined up on 26 July 1915 for WWI. Robert embarked from Melbourne a year later on 28 July 1916. “He never reached the fighting in Europe and had been sick and in various hospitals since September 1916… Robert Showers Snadden died of ‘sickness’ on 30 May 1917 and was buried in the Australian Military Cemetery in Harefield Parish Churchyard, just west of London. About 120 Australian soldiers who died during treatment in the Australian Auxiliary Hospital No. 1 at Harefield Park during and after the First World War are buried in this cemetery” (Gil Langfield, Fitzroy History Society Newsletter, October 1914)

“Robert Showers Snadden’s funeral, held on 2 June 1917, was attended by his cousin F. W. Showers employed by the Great Western Railway who described the full military event very clearly in a letter to his ‘cousin’, Jane Price Snadden, nee Showers, which is quoted on page 2 of the Fitzroy City Press on 15 September 1917”:

I am very sorry that the cause of my writing to you should be such a sad one. Long before you receive this you will know that poor Rob passed away on Wednesday, 30th May, at Harefield Hospital and was buried on Saturday, the 2nd inst., in the churchyard at Harefield. I was proud and glad to be able to attend the funeral as next of kin in England and I only wish I could convey to you something of the impressiveness of the splendid last rights they gave him. It was a full military funeral; the coffin which was carried on a gun carriage, was wrapped in a Union Jack and covered with wreaths, one of which was from the High Commissioner and Mrs. Fisher, and another from the owner of the Harefield Hall (the hospital), Mr Billyan Leake, who is I understand an Australian. The church must be nearly a mile from the hospital and the procession was headed by an English firing party, followed by an Australian bank, which played the Dead March in Saul. Next came the Chaplain, Capt. Gregor McGregor, D.S.C, then the coffin on a gun carriage, with he bearers, Australian sergeants on either side. The head quarters’ representative walked with me, and a detachment of Australian soldiers brought up the rear. There was a short service at the church, including an address by the Chaplain, which included appropriate references to Rob, I wish you could have heard them. The organ at church was played by an Australian solider, and it was good to hear the fine singing of the hymn by your soldiers. the committal service at the grave was followed by three volley and the Last Post played by an Australian bugler. This is a very bald (sp?) description, but nothing less than the actual scene could impress one with the full force of the words we now so often here. ‘In glad and loving memory’.

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