ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0135 Andrea Beckley Photographs

Scope and content notes

Call Number

HMSS 0135

Collection

Andrea Beckley Photographs

Date Range

1939-1990

Quantity

0.03 m (2 wallets)

Access Conditions open
Copying Conditions unstated
Related Collections -

Andrea Margaret Johns was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 26 March 1912, the daughter of Charles and Caroline Johns. Charles was an engineer and, at the time of his death in 1943, a lieutenant colonel in the Durham Light Infantry. In the late 1930s Andrea and her mother went to live in northern Italy, where Andrea attended school in Rome and the Anglo-American College in Florence. When Italy entered World War 2 in May 1940 they moved to Liverpool where Andrea worked as an architect’s assistant in Liverpool.

They soon moved to London where Andrea’s fluency in Italian, French and Spanish was useful in her job as Censorship Examiner, until she enlisted in October 1941 in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as an Aircraftwoman. She was selected for officer training and was commissioned in January 1943 for Intelligence duties, and was posted to Bletchley Park code-breaking organisation near London.

Andrea left the WAAF in September 1945 but was reappointed at her previous rank of section officer in November 1948, and continued her intelligence duties. She was posted to HQ Middle East Air Force in Ismalia in July 1949, and promoted to Flight Officer in August. She returned to London to work at the Air Ministry in December 1950, transferring a year later to the Reserve in which she remained until November 1955.

Andrea had married Edwin Frank Beresford, a lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps, in March 1943; they divorced in December 1949.

In 1951 she was sent to the Australian Defence Signals Directorate in Melbourne to be responsible for intercepting foreign military wireless traffic. On board ship she met Denis John Beckley, a Royal Navy commander on his way to be assistant RN Liaison Officer in the UK Liaison Staff with the Department of Defence in Melbourne.

John was born on 29 April 1914 at Islip, Oxfordshire, and enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Seaman Boy in 1929. Commissioned in September 1936, much of his operational service was as a captain in submarines in the North Atlantic, and he was awarded the DSO and DSC. In May 1944 he changed to destroyers, and was on his way to join the British Pacific Fleet when the war ended. He remained in Australia until February 1954, when he returned to the UK as Commander of a mine-sweeping squadron based in Scotland. He returned to Australia in mid 1955, on exchange with the Royal Australian Navy, working in naval intelligence in Melbourne.

He had married Eileen Blanche Presland in 1937 and they had three children; they were divorced in February 1956. He and Andrea married in Melbourne, and at the end of his posting they returned to the UK where he was Naval Liaison Officer in the port of Liverpool. In January 1961 he was again posted to Australia as Assistant RN Liaison Officer, a position he held until his retirement from the Royal Navy in April 1964.

John retired in Australia in order to take up civilian employment here, but after 18 months was offered the rank of Commander in the Royal Australian Navy and posted as Executive officer to HMAS Watson in October 1966. This was the RAN shore establishment on South Head. They moved back to Canberra in January 1969 where John was Deputy Director, later Director, of Naval Reserves. He retired from the RAN in 1974 and joined the Commonwealth Public Service. John died of a heart attack in August 1978. Andrea remained in their home at Northbourne Flats until her death in 2001.

John Beckley was a very enthusiastic trout fisherman and, although Andrea was not a trout fisher, they both enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of the trout streams in the mountains near Canberra. While her husband fished, Andrea painted and took photographs.
The photographs in this collection fall into three main groups:

  1. The ACT and region, including the trout streams of the Snowy Mountains
  2. Watson Naval Base and Sydney Harbour
  3. Personal photographs.

The photographs were originally in two albums, but for preservation purposes were removed and placed in archival sleeves. Most are undated, and several are unidentified but have been placed in the most likely group. The ACT photographs are individually numbered and described; the others are unnumbered and given a general description only.

Box List

Box No. Description
1

1. View from Scrivener Dam of Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

6. Paddy’s River

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

7. Murrumbidgee River

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

8. Unidentified stream with tree ferns

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

8. Unidentified stream with tree ferns

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

9. View of Lake Burley Griffin from Black Mountain

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

10. Yachts being prepared at Canberra Yacht Club

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

11. Blundell’s Farmhouse

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

12. Lake Burley Griffin, looking towards National Library

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

13. Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

14. Fishing from the shore of Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

15. Lake George

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

16. Eucalypts on Black Mountain, with Lake Burley Griffin in background

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

17. Driving on the dirt road to Brindabella

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

18. Road to Brindabella

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

19. Rock pool, National Botanic Gardens

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

20. Eucalypt, National Botanic Gardens

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

21. Eucalypt, Black Mountain

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

22. Canberra Yacht Club yachts on Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

23. Canberra Yacht Club yachts on Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

24. Canberra Yacht Club yachts on shore at the launch ramp

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

25. Cotter Valley showing a stand of Lombardy poplars in autumn leaf

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

26. Eucalypt and Lombardy poplars, Cotter Valley

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

27. Farm and paddocks, Cotter Valley

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

28. Autumn poplars, Cotter Valley

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

29. Top of Cotter Dam wall from across the Cotter Valley

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

30. Cotter Dam, spillway and lower weir

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

31. Cotter River below the dam, viewed from the top of the dam wall

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

32. Cotter River near the picnic area

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

33. Corin Dam

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

34. Gibraltar Falls

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

35. Eucalypt beside the Cotter Road

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

36. Cotter country

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

37. Uriarra Crossing

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

38. Drowned trees in the dam, Wee Jasper

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

39. Derelict suspension bridge, probably near Wee Jasper

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

40. Unidentified rural New South Wales

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

41. Possibly Cotter River

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

42. Thredbo River

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

43. Fishing from the shore of Lake Jindabyne

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

44. Lake Jindabyne

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

45. Lake Jindabyne

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

46. Rural dirt road, ACT region

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

47. River, ACT region

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

48. Unidentified mountain stream

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

49. Unidentified scene, ACT region

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

50. River, ACT region

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

51. Thredbo River

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

1

52. Flowering wattle and eucalypt, ACT region

Canberra and Region Photographs (January 1961 - 1978) 1 file. All colour photographs

2

Watson Naval Base, official Royal Australian Navy photographs, black and white, 1967 – 4 photographs

Watson’s Bay, Sydney Harbour, Blue Mountains – 18 colour photographs, one black and white
Family photographs taken mainly against Sydney backdrops: four of Commander Beckley, one of Adele, one unidentified but possibly Mrs Beckley in the Snowy Mountains

Sydney and Region (1966-1968) 1 File. 22 Photographs in colour, 5 black and white.