montevideo-camp-autograph-bookOne of my work colleagues, Mrs Tina Morley, is in possession of a book; I can only best describe it as a sort of old fashioned autograph book that it used to be customary for people to keep.

Madelaine (Maggie) Watson was Tina's paternal grandmother and was given this book at Christmas 1915 and she proceeded to get people of the time to write in it.

Her parents kept the Crown Hotel in Weymouth. Whether they owned it or were just the tenants running it I have no idea.

There is much mention of Montevideo Camp in the pages of this volume. I found out from a cursory search on the internet that this was at Montevideo House near Weymouth. The house was used as a camp for wounded, recuperating ANZACs from the Gallipoli campaign. They must have used the Crown Hotel as one of their 'watering holes' in Weymouth.

Tina's information is that one of the contributors to this book is probably her grandfather, Norman Pearshouse. It would appear that he worked in the camp postal office. The last page of the volume contains a photograph that I believe is the staff of the post office, who are named elsewhere in this volume (Picture 116).

I have photographed every page of this unique memoir and have permission from Tina to make this available to any interested parties who maybe able to extend their research into the ANZACs. This volume is filled with bon mots, verse, drawings and photographs.

Barbara Taylor
Chairman, WFA Thames Valley


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