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Henry Passmore

passmoreHenry Passmore, 1840-1920, was a veteran of the Crimean War, a prison supervisor, a dredger, and public servant. After retirement he served on the North Fremantle Council. Born in Barnstaple, he came to the Swan River Colony aboard the Racehorse in 1865, died at Raleigh Ave, North Fremantle, and was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery. Passmore Avenue in North Fremantle is named after him. Before that it had the name he gave it: Raleigh Place/Avenue. He built seven cottages there or thereabouts.

References and links

Dowson, John 2011, 'Passmore's Fremantle', Fremantle Port, Chart and Map Shop Fremantle: 21.
Over the page can be seen the detailed and accurate embroidery Henry Passmore produced c. 1890 of the river with which he was so closely involved. A one-legged Crimean War Royal Navy veteran, he arrived in Western Australia in 1865.
By 1872 he was in charge of convicts on public works, including 20 convicts working Western Australia's first dredge nicknamed Governor Hampton's Yacht. The Colonial Secretary Malcolm Fraser quipped: "You will be able to say you commanded the first ship the Western Australian Government owned." Reconstructed by 1888 she became known as Black Swan and worked at the mouth of the river until C.Y. O'Connor arrived in 1891 and refused to allow convict labour in the building of the new port.
Passmore lived in John Street, North Fremantle.
The embroidery looks from North Fremantle across the river. Passmore's dredge Black Swan is in the lower left with the Priestman grab dredge to the right in front of the pilings intended to keep the dredged channels open. Over the river, the buildings shown are accurately placed. The 1880 railway station with its sheds that obliterated the Fremantle Green is in the centre, to the left of the North or River Jetty. Arthur Head has its 1878 lighthouse and signal mast, with ships at the Long Jetty behind. The limestone bar at the mouth of the river is clearly shown, with a narrow passage either side. Why Passmore chose embroidery is interesting, but his elder brother did work in a lace factory in England. This well preserved artefact is a superb reminder of the Swan River at its mouth just before harbour works commenced in 1892. [The tapestry is in the WA Museum, at WAM PH-8604-046.]

Presnell, Colleena 2019, Lash Me Fair: Henry Passmore, Renaissance Man, (novel).

Diane Oldman's bio on her excellent Crimean War Veterans site.


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