Alice Warde

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Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Post 1854 Experiences

In the News

Proudly claiming to have been the first white child born at Eureka, and to be the oldest surviving native of Ballarat. Mrs. Alice Eureka Warde has just celebrated her 80th birthday (says the Melbourne Herald). "The first gold rush," she told in interviewer, "began the year before I was born, and I was 16 months old at the time of the famous riots. Shots penetrated the tent where my mother sat on the floor nursing me, while the rest of the family tried to protect us. Bullets tore the canvas, but none of us was hit." With a smile she produced a tattered blue ribbon. "My Eureka Stockade badge," she announced. A gold brooch of quaint design was made from a nugget found by her father. "Many a dish, of gold I have panned myself," she said." "My mother often used to pull up roots of grass with gold nuggets clinging to the earth. Gold was easily found and easily spent. "There were no banks. We had to wait for the escort, and in the mean time buried our gold in bottles under the floor of the tent. We were at tacked several times by armed white men, but my father was used to dealing with blacks, and was not to be robbed by whites. He always proved a match for them." In 1857 Mrs. Warde's father moved to Windermere, and then to Gippsland, still gold-mining. In Gippsland for years,' said Mrs. Warde, with a reminiscent, shudder, "my sisters and I lived in dread of Ned Kelly all the time he was out. He had a number of relatives hear us in Gippsland, and we never knew when the Kellys would walk into the kitchen. We were always told never to incense them, but, fortunately we did not meet Ned after all. "It is no wonder the modern girl is a little irresponsible," Mrs. Warde added. "She does not have the train ing we had. We had to be the men of the house when the men were away. I remember how the gun was held over my shoulder for me to practise shooting until I was old enough to shoot for myself. "The orders were, when the men were away, to shoot any strange man who came within a certain distance of the camp. But I never had to shoot."[1]

Eureka's First White Child 88th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATED Mrs. Alice Eureka Warde, who claims to be the first white child born at Eureka, Ballarat, attained her 88th birthday on Sunday last. Her birth-place was very near the famous Eureka Stockade where the riots occurred when she was 17 months' old. Mrs. Ward is an aunt of Mr. "Tiny" Mays, of Bairnsdale.[2]

MRS. ALICE EUREKA WARDE The death occurred at the Bairnsdale Benevolent Home on Sunday last of Mrs. Alice Eureka Warde, aged" 90 years. She was believed to be the first white child born at Ballarat in 1852. In 1858 her parents moved to Stratford, where she subsequently married Mr. Reuben Warde, and lived at Stratford, Maffra and Bairnsdale.[3]

Mrs Alice Warde celebrated her 85th birthday at the home of her nephew Mr Wolfendon Mays Bairnsdale. She was the first white child born at Eureka. Among her possessions is a Eureka Stockade badge which she received as a memento of the stockade riot in 1854.[4]

See also

Further Reading


  1. Kyogle Examiner, 04 October 1932.
  2. Gippsland Times, 8 August 1940.
  3. Gippsland Times, 1 October 1942.
  4. The Argus, 31 July 1937.

External links

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Caption, Reference.