A little bit of war profiteering

Sam Dyson was was among the first to sign up for the Great War and was among the first quota of Western Australians in the AIF. He would be one of the first on the beach at ANZAC cove, and would survive for his Dad to tell that story. His father was Andrew “Drewy” Dyson and it’s important to remember that any story mentioning Drewy will always end up being about Drewy.

Grave Matters

Help save the grave of James Dyson and his two wives in East Perth Cemetery The bodies of James Dyson and his wives Fanny and Jane lie in the old East Perth Cemetery. The three were united only briefly together under the same roof in life, and when they died many years apart, they were… Continue reading Grave Matters

The Stranger In the Mirror

There is currently no known authentic likeness that exists of James Dyson. He was a prominent man of his time— merchant, land owner, Perth City Councillor—he was present at certain key events in the history of the city: He was definitely present at the opening of the Perth Town Hall, he was most likely present… Continue reading The Stranger In the Mirror

Kill the Joke (AKA: “You had to be there”)

The story of Drewy Dyson and the locomotive engine lost in the bush is undoubtedly utter fantasy. Its also the most re-published story of Drewy, retold at least five times in the pages of the Sunday Times between 1914 and 1932.

Steam Powered Luddites

James Dyson had built something of an empire in Western Australia on the back of supplying timber sourced the old fashioned way—by hand. Pity the other pit-sawyer though, who had to stand in that pit when the logs were being sliced into planks, and pity also the poor sap (pun intended) whose on-the-job-training did not… Continue reading Steam Powered Luddites

The Little Boy Lost: Enter Drewy.

He was a monster. That has to be made plain from the start. He could be very funny, he was creative and he was intelligent. He loved animals. He probably loved his family, but he also hurt them. He hurt them a lot. He also hurt many of the animals he loved as well, and he also hurt himself. He could laugh at himself. Others laughed at him too, a lot. He would have been fun to know personally but he humiliated those who had no choice but to share his name. He was the meanest drunk Western Australia has possibly ever known (and I realise that is a bold claim to make) and he was the fattest Western Australian of the nineteenth century. He was Andrew “Drewy” Dyson.

Going Postal: The great family rift.

…About half-past nine last Friday night, my attention was attracted by a number of persons standing in front of prisoner’s brothers’ residence, in Murray-street; I was in plain clothes at the time, and Dyson’s sister — a little girl — came up to me and said that her brother Andrew was killing her Father; The… Continue reading Going Postal: The great family rift.