3 schoolgirls Henderson Leslie 703607273

Three young women, dressed in school uniform. From left to right they are Marion Boyd Wanliss, Leslie Moira Henderson, and Joan a’Beckett Weigall. Marion, Leslie, and Joan attended the Clyde Girl’s Grammar School founded by Leslie’s aunt. Photograph taken in 1914 by Gainsborough Studio Photographers. The photograph belonged to Leslie Henderson and was donated to the State Library of Victoria: Accession no: H89.267.

Leslie Henderson (1896-1982), niece (and biographer) of the Australian feminist Vida Goldstein (1869-1949) , was my grandfather’s second cousin. Her paternal grandfather was the Presbytrian Reverend William Henderson (1826-1884) of Ballarat, and Leslie also  compiled and published biographical notes about her grandfather and his family.

Isabel Henderson (1862-1940), one of Leslie’s paternal aunts,  was the founder of the St Kilda  Clyde Girls’ Grammar School. The school later moved to Woodend, near Hanging Rock, Victoria.

The photograph above was captioned by Leslie as “Marion Wanliss, Leslie Henderson, Joan Weigall (Lady Lindsay)”.

Marion Boyd Wanliss (1896-1984) studied at the University of Melbourne (M.B., B.S., 1920; M.D., 1929) and conducted research into cancer as a postgraduate in Vienna. She practised as a physician at Camberwell, Melbourne, and later in Collins Street. She became an honorary physician at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. A member (1928) of the Royal College of Physicians, London, and a fellow (1954) of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, she was also a prominent conservationist. She never married.

The 1913 dux of Clyde Girls’ Grammar School was Joan à Beckett Lindsay née Weigall (1896-1984) , who became a noted author and artist.  From 1916-1920 she studied art at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. In 1922 she married the artist Darryl Lindsay (1889-1976), who was later Director of the National Gallery of Victoria. Joan Lindsay’s most well-known book was a novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock,  published in 1967. The story concerns the disappearance of three girls and a teacher from a school near Hanging Rock. This was adapted as a film in 1975, and a television series is being released in 2018.


Henderson Leslie Lorne 1913 703014995

Seven young women at a waterfall near Lorne. Written on verso: Photo taken at Lorne, 1913. Standing :- Keila Dillon, (girl in white not known), Leslie Henderson. Seated :- [Mira?] Scott, Joan Weigall, Marion Wanliss, Doris Chambers. Photo from the Estate of Leslie Moira Henderson in the collection of the State Library of Victoria: Accession: H2013.229/14

Marion, Leslie, and Joan, with four other girls, pictured in 1913 near Lorne, a seaside town south-west of Melbourne.   Marion’s brother, Harold Boyd Wanliss (1891-1917), took up 295 acres (119 ha) near Lorne, Victoria, to plant an orchard. The Wanliss Falls, which he discovered close by on the Erskine River, were named in his honour.

Henderson Leslie 1913 703014987

Leslie Henderson at Mandeville Hall, Toorak in 1913. In 1913 the previously grand mansion was a boarding house. It 1924 the mansion became a school. Picture from the estate of Leslie Henderson and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria Accession no: H2013.229/9

When my great grandparents Beatrix Hughes and Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny married in 1906, Leslie Henderson was the youngest bridesmaid.

Ch de Crespigny Trent and Hughes Trixie 1906 weddingfromslvh2013-229-20

1906 wedding of Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny to Beatrix Hughes at Beaufort, Victoria.

Leslie Henderson chart

Family tree showing Leslie Henderson