Edwin Ord Blackmore, the 4th son of Edwin Gordon and Eleanora Elizabeth Blackmore (nee Farr), was born at Semaphore, Adelaide on the 19th August 1879.
From June to November 1895, Edwin, as a 6 year old, joined his grandfather Archdeacon George Farr and grandmother Julia Warren Farr and Aunty Gertrude Margaret Farr on a visit to Norfolk Island where his Aunt Julia Coleridge Farr was a missionary nurse and teacher at St Barnabas Melanesian Mission.
Edwin and his brothers, George and Jimmy were all promising St Peter’s College footballers who had brief senior careers. (Photo above is from St Peters Intercollegiate Team 1896.)
In 1897 Edwin played football for North Adelaide and was private assistant to his father at the Australasian Federal Convention.
He attended the School of Mines and Industries in NSW in 1902 and studied Assaying.
He was a keen horseman and on the 11th October 1902 Edwin trained and rode his own horse “Lightfoot” to a win in the Adelaide Hunt Club Cup with a time of 9 minutes and 5 seconds.
In 1903. Edwin emigrated to South Africa, aboard the ship “Commonwealth”, on the advice of his older brother George, to work in the mining industry. His brother’s George and James also moved to South Africa. He became a surveyor/assayer for the Van Ryn Estate Gold Mines Ltd.
At the outset of the First World War, he made several attempts to join the fighting forces, but owing to an accident to his throat when playing football, he was declared medically unfit. Finally paying his own fare to Great Britain, he left on the ship “Llanstephan” in October 1916, hoping to take up arms in the struggle there but he was again declared medically unfit. He remained in England until the end of the war employed as operating staff, possibly as a Surveyor, in a large munitions factory near Carlisle. (The H M Factory at Gretna manufactured Cordite, also known as Devil’s Porridge, a mixture of gun cotton and nitroglycerin used as a shell propellant. See another blog post on this page titled “The Devil’s Porridge”)
Returning to South Africa in 1917, aboard the ship “Inanda”, he again became a surveyor/assayer with the Van Ryn Estate Gold Mines Ltd. He was very interested in cricket and horse racing as well as other sports.
Edwin married Ada Louisa Sylvia Wooding (born 1st Sept 1897, Cape Province, South Africa and 18 years younger than Edwin) on 13th February 1920 at Transvaal, South Africa. Ada had been orphaned at a very early age and was looked after by an elderly couple at the diamond diggings.
There were two daughters, Eleanora Louise (b 26/2/1921) and Joan Gordon (b 11/1/1923)
When his father, Edwin, died in 1909, Edwin and his brother Jimmy, were both working as assayers in the Transvaal, where their brother George, who had served in the Boer War, had settled as a farmer.
Edwin continued to work with the Van Ryn Estate Gold Mines for many years and after his retirement he acted as caretaker to the mine until his death on the 5th May 1956 in Transvaal, South Africa.