Facial hair seems to have lost it’s way over the last century. This photograph made of my great great uncle Walter Buckoll Bonner (1868-1907) is a prime example of what we’re missing in modern moustache culture. Sure, there are some fringe dwellers out there doing a Walter Bonner style attempt at retro-cool. But it’s a rare thing indeed to see them in the street.
Walter was born in Ringarooma, Tasmania. The son of Edward William Bonner (1824-1897) who named his son after a recently departed brother, Walter Stephen Bonner (1819-1862), born in Surrey, England. This photograph was made in Launceston, Tasmania around the turn of the Twentieth Century.
Van Dieman’s Land became the colony of Tasmania in 1856 and then, in 1901, a State of the Commonwealth of Australia.
In 1850, at the age of 31, the late Walter Stephen Bonner (Walter Buckoll Bonner’s uncle after who he was named) had married a lady with the coolest 19th Century name – Euphemia Craw (1830-1907). Born in St Cuthberts, Midlothian, Scotland, she was married at 20 years of age. They both lived and died in Launceston, Tasmania. She outlived the older Walter by 45 years.
Walter Buckoll Bonner, in the photograph above, also died relatively young at 38 years of age in Jetsonville, Tasmania.
On this fine Saturday morning in Southern Tasmania we lift a cheery mead to Walter’s fine facial hair. “You, Sir, epitomised true style in the colony”.