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Title Gladys Leichti On Board SS Bendigo
Date 1924
Document Type Photograph
Reference MM 92056
Library / Archive Museums Victoria
Collection Name Photographs
Description Black and white photograph of Gladys Leichti seated on a deckchair on board the SS Bendigo in 1924. The image was taken during her voyage as an assisted immigrant from England to Australia.
Series Description Gladys Leichti's story represents the push to attract young British girls for domestic service in the 1920s and the role of philanthropic organisations such as the Salvation Army in meeting this demand. The story is also interesting for its cross-cultural marriage and the bringing together of two very different migrant stories from different periods in time.
Biographical Note / History Gladys Muriel Leichti was born in London on 13 January 1896. One of six children, her father was a tinsmith so money was tight, and Gladys worked mainly in domestic service as well as in a munitions factory during the First World War. On 24 January 1924, at the age of 28, Gladys was one of 180 passengers (including 42 girls identified for domestic work) brought out to Australia by the Salvation Army on the TSS Bendigo. On arrival in Melbourne, Gladys went straight into service in Warrnambool on the southern Victorian coast, but returned to Melbourne after a few months. She found a live-in position as a cook in a family with two children in Melbourne and stayed there for four or five years, from about 1925 to 1930. In 1935 Gladys married German immigrant Johannes Stegelman. The couple lived in St Kilda and Prahran and had three children; Margaret, Helen and Bruce. Johannes Stegelman's story is a great example of more unorthodox migration. Jumping ship was a common way to start a new life in Australia, especially for sailors on merchant ships, and dates back to the 1850s gold rush with sailors jumping ship to head for the goldfields.
Theme(s) Journey Conditions
Country (from) Great Britain
Country (to) Australia
Places Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality English
Ships SS Bendigo
People Leichti, Gladys
Keywords assisted emigration, shipping, Salvation Army, First World War, domestic service, societies
Additional Information Please note: Some of the metadata for this document has been taken from the Museum Victoria catalogue.
Catalogue Link Museums Victoria Catalogue
Copyright Museums Victoria