Amy Patricia Waddell at Two Mile School, Gympie, 1911

My grandmother Amy Patricia Waddell b1907 grew up in her earlier years in Two Mile, a suburb of Gympie. In her earlier school years, she went to Two Mile State School and she appears in this 1911 photo of all the children of the Two Mile School. Amy Patricia Waddell is in 2nd row from front, 2nd from right, in dark dress with wide white collar and big hair. My cousin S* and her Mum sent an smaller zoomed in section of the photo that identifies her. Sadly her face is quite blurry in the picture. I would guess that she wouldn’t sit still for the photo!! Presumably there are other Waddell children in the photo too.

Two Mile State School, 1911. Head teacher Alan Nash (brother of James Nash who found gold in Gympie). Amy Patricia Waddell is 2nd row from front, 2nd from right, in dark dress with wide white collar and big hair. See also next picture
Amy Patricia “Pat” Waddell in at Two Mile School in 1911.

There is an extra layer to this Two Mile story and photo. My cousin S* and her Mum told me that although Amy Patricia appears in this photo in 1911 , she was not on the Two Mile school roll! She enrolled officially in 1912 but she apparently wanted to go to school and wouldn’t leave… So in the end they let her stay even though she was only 4!! This probably also explains why she wouldn’t sit still for the photo…

If this insistence on attending school sounds perhaps a bit unusual for a 4 year old, then its worth looking at this fantastic photo of a young Amy Pat in fancy coat and hat on top of her curly hair. She strikes a very defiant cheeky stance! She does not look like a child that would be easily dissuaded once her mind was made up. She also apparently loved school and my Dad and Aunt say that she always had her head in a book…

Amy Patricia Waddell, about 1915, in a fancy outfit and defiant cheeky stance! Family Collection

There is another photo from Two Mile State School, which [update] is from 1918, according to the markings on the lower right of the photo. The version of this photo is much clearer. Initially I thought that Amy was the girl in the 2nd row from the back, right hand side, 2nd from the end with the white dress and white bow in her busy hair — something about the eyes looks like a Hapgood/Waddell resemblance to me, plus the cheeky look – but the year 1918 doesnt seem to line up…. Who ever she is, it seems to me that the girl next to her on the very end of the row, with a white dress and dark black hair is her sister?

Hopefully someone can identify if Amy Pat really is in this photo… But the 1918 date makes it less likely. There is one other earlier photo of the Two Mile State School, featuring Ida Waddell (identified in the photo) and I have asked for permission to share it…. and will update this post if I get the OK.

Two Mile State School photo, 1918. Family collection but unclear if any Waddell children appear in this photo dure to date. Photo also appears in Two Mile 100 years celebration booklet. [1] Note black armband on child on far left of photo.

All of the Waddells seemed to do generally well at school. It was a small school but they did win prizes in 1911 for their work (even Amy, not yet officially enrolled!)

Two Mile School prize list 1911, with several prizes going to the Waddell siblings. Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, 16 Dec 1911, p4 (via

By 1916, the Waddells had moved to Kin Kin area, and the James, Amy Pat and Jessie Waddell were all enrolled there. The Kin Kin Junction school had just opened in 1916, and went to school with some of the Hapgood kids, her future sisters in law. There is a photo of all the kids on the verandah at the opening. More about the Kin Kin school, including some of Olga Hapgoods recollections, are in an earlier post.

. Kin Kin Junction School 1916 with Hapgood and Waddell children on the steps and balcony. Source: Family collection but this fully captioned version is from [1]

There was an article about the history of the Two Mile School in 2017 in the Gympie Times with more photos, mostly from later years, and more info about the Head Teacher Alan Nash.

Hopefully one day a photo will appear of Two Mile school with all the names of the children, like the Kin Kin example above! We live in hope…

[1] Dawson, Ailsa R & Two Mile State Primary School (1983). Gympie Two mile 100, 1983. Two Mile State Primary School,

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