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Pope Brothers Archive

Brothers, George Edward, Henry (Harry) James and Walter (Wally) John Pope, were all experienced coach and motor body builders and general wheelwrights. Using the slogan “We worked for others for you now let us work for you without the others,” they began their own operation as Pope Brothers in Townsville in June 1923. At that time, transport was making the transition from horses to motorised transport and the brothers believed Townsville offered a good business opportunity to which they could put their combined skills.

George was born in Charters Towers in 1891. He began work there with coachbuilders, Gelling Brothers, and ten years later, still with Gelling brothers (who also operated in Cairns), George moved to Townsville. On 20 October 1915 he married Miss Emma Rose (Rose) Furmedge, an employee of Burns Philp & Co. in Cairns. George and Rose had five children – Edith, Roy, Jack, Kevin and Dell. By 14 December 1925, however, George had to sell his share of the business to Harry and Walter and retire due to ill health. After a long period of illness, in September 1930 George and his family moved to Ravenswood in the hope his health would improve. The family had only been there a week when George died on 26 September 1930 aged thirty-nine. George was survived by Rose and their children, his mother, Mrs John Pope, three brothers, Frank, Harry and Walter Pope, and sister, Mrs M Turley.

Rose later remarried to Mr A W Campbell. Edith married RAAF serviceman, Clifford Douglas Robinson, at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, on 15 November 1941. Dell married John Kevin O’Donnell at St Francis Church, Railway Estate, in November 1948. In the 1940s, Roy and Jack took over the business from their uncles, Harry and Wally.

Harry Pope’s first job was in Charters Towers at Parnell’s cyanide works. He left Parnell’s to take up a position with Guthrie and Collins, wheelwrights, where he progressed quickly through his informal apprenticeship to complete it in three and a half years, rather than the usual five. When the family later moved to Townsville, Harry immediately secured a position with wheelwright, Dave Edwards, where he was made foreman after only four months and remained there for seven years until beginning Pope Brothers. Harry was the last surviving Pope brother and, at the time of Wally’s death in 1954, he was retired and living at South Townsville.

Wally Pope, born in Charters Towers in 1899, moved to Townsville in 1919 at the age of twenty. By 1931 Wally was married and had two children. At the time of his death in May 1954, aged fifty-five, he lived at Lytton Road, Morningside, in Brisbane. He was survived by his widow.

Archive Location: 46C


Detailed Listing


PB/WB1 Jan 1925–Mar 1926

PB/WB2 April 1926–Aug 1927

PB/WB3 Sep 1927–Aug 1928

PB/WB4 Aug 1928–April 1929

PB/WB5 May 1929–Dec 1929

PB/WB6 Dec 1929–June 1930

PB/WB7 July 1930–Mar 1931

PB/WB8 April 1931–Nov 1931

PB/WB9 Nov 1931–Aug 1932

PB/WB10 Aug 1932–May 1933

PB/WB11 April 1933–Nov 1933

PB/WB12 Nov 1933–June 1934

PB/WB13 June 1934–Nov 1934

PB/WB14 Nov 1934–April 1935

PB/WB15 April 1935–Aug 1935

PB/WB16 April 1936–July 1936

PB/WB17 Aug 1936–Nov 1936

PB/WB18 Nov 1936–Feb 1937

PB/WB19 Oct 1937–Feb 1938


PB/L1 June 1927–Oct 1929

PB/L2 1929/1930

PB/L3 Nov 1928–June 1930

PB/L4 1931/1932

PB/L5 1932/1933

PB/L6 July 1930–May 1932

PB/L7 1934/1935

PB/L8 1937/1938


PB/J1 1924-1929 (Workbook)

PB/J2  1924-1929

PB/J3  1926-1928

PB/J4  1928-1932 (Goods)

PB/J5  1929-1931

PB/J6  1929-1933

PB/J7  1931-1932

PB/J8  1932-1934/35

PB/J9  1933/1934-1934/35

PB/J10  1934/35-1935/36 (Goods)


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