Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Boreham writes About Memorabilia

Refreshing the Memory
F W Boreham penned many thoughts about memorabilia as a means of helping people to remember the past. Judging by the number of references in his books, photographs were an important way by which Boreham’s memory was refreshed as they helped him to recall significant people,[1] historic places[2] and interesting occasions.[3]

Tuft of Clover
Boreham kept many natural mementoes in his books, on his mantelpiece and on his desk, including a tuft of clover from Bishop Selwyn’s graveyard in Lichfield, England.[4]

References reveal Boreham’s desire to practice the wearing of a sprig of green in his buttonhole on St Patrick’s Day to perpetuate the memory of one of his heroes,[5] his enjoyment of the patriotic symbolism of the wattle[6] and the celebration of mothers through the wearing of white flowers.[7]

Magic of the Past
In writing on ‘The magic of the past’, Boreham recorded the incident when the silver candlestick from the cabin of the Victory was presented by the British Admiralty to the HMAS Sydney in commemoration of her service in the Mediterranean Sea. Writing of this memento, Boreham said: “That candlestick represents a vital link with a glorious past. As long as it remains in the Sydney it will make every Australian sailor feel that the deathless spirit of Nelson still dominates the fleet and that every modern action is but a continuation of Trafalgar. It is an illustration of the way in which our grey Todays may be glorified by contact with our golden Yesterdays”.[8]

Weaving the Web
Following this example of an object perpetuating “the magic of the past”, Boreham concluded, “The high art of managing the years lies in gathering up all that was best in Yesterday and weaving it, with Today’s additions, into the web of Tomorrow”.[9]

Geoff Pound

Image: 'symbolism of the wattle.'

[1] F W Boreham, The silver shadow (London: The Epworth Press, 1918), 214. This is a reference to a nurse who had figured in Boreham’s life story.
[2] F W Boreham, Mushrooms on the moor (London: The Epworth Press, 1915), 18. Boreham wrote of a photograph of Dundee, Scotland, which he visited while on pilgrimage to the birthplace of Robert Murray McCheyne.
[3] F W Boreham, A faggot of torches (London: The Epworth Press, 1926), 23. Boreham referred to a photograph of the village of Broadhembury , England, that reminded him of Augustus Toplady.
[4] F W Boreham, Cliffs of opal (London: The Epworth Press, 1948), 45.
[5] F W Boreham, The temple of topaz (London: The Epworth Press, 1928), 188.
[6] Boreham, Mercury, 5 October 1929.
[7] Boreham, Mercury, 7 May 1955.
[8] Boreham, Mercury, 28 December 1940.
[9] Boreham, Mercury, 28 December 1940.