The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names


This article was originally published in the August 2012 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

In her Research Co-ordinator’s report on pages 13 and 14, Maureen Storey described how she used Trove, an index of Australian newspapers, to find out more about Charles May Soule, a teacher in Romaine, Tasmania.  Some of the pieces about him and his wife are reproduced below and shed some light on the kind of life they lived.


The Mercury, Hobart, Saturday 12th January 1895

SOULE-MOOR.- On January 9, at Hobart, by the Rev W. H. Bowe, of Burnie, Charles May, fifth son of the late Rev. I. M. Soule, of St.
John's-Hill, Battersea, London, to Harriotte Mary, third daughter of the late Thomas Moor, of the Evangelisation Society, London.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 3rd February

Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Soule, who retired recently from the Romaine State school, left Burnie yesterday en route to Hobart, where they intend to make their home. They resided at Romaine for about 25 years.

The Mercury, Friday 4th July 1924

SOULE.- On July 3, 1924, at his residence, 83 Burnett Street, Hobart, Charles May Soule (late State-school Teacher), the beloved husband of H. M. Soule, aged 75 years. "Absent from the body, present with the Lord."

Advocate, Burnie, Saturday 2nd August 1924


Mrs. C. M. Soule, of 83 Burnett Street, Hobart, thanks the many friends and old scholars who sent her such kind messages of loving sympathy. Will they please accept this as an acknowledgment?

Advocate Burnie Tuesday 5th August 1924

An Appreciation.


Many expressions of regret passed among old scholars and friends of the late Mr. C. M. Soule when they learned of his death in Hobart a few weeks ago. The deceased gentleman came to Romaine about thirty five years ago to take charge of the local State school, and continued the good work until a few years ago, when he resigned to live in retirement, after giving the greater part of his life for the good and welfare of little children.

The deceased gentleman was loved and esteemed by all with whom he came in contact. The present writer had the pleasure of renewing acquaintance with the grand old man but a few months ago, when he was inquiring for all the old Romaine scholars, and requested the writer to give his kind remembrances to all.

Many will remember the gentleman with the bag on the New Country Road on his way to Burnie, each Saturday for supplies for the following week, when to-day's beautiful paddocks on cither side were but a wilderness. We all remember the great loyalty to the Empire, of our late teacher, especially during the Boer War. When thrilling wires came over of the Relief of Mafeking, Ladysmith, etc., bonfires would be lighted and the children marched out to salute the Union Jack. And no doubt his addresses to the children on these occasions were still burning in the minds of some of his brave soldier scholars who went over to the last great war to fight for love and liberty, some of whom gave life for King and country, their duty nobly done.

The late Mr. Soule came out from England when a young man.

I'm sure old scholars will always remember the good advice and kindly actions of the deceased gentleman during his thirty-odd years in our midst. Space will not allow reference to all his good work during that period, but it can be truly said that one of nature's gentlemen has passed to the Great Beyond. The sympathy of all is with his widow, who is left, to mourn the loss of her life's companion.

Hobart Mercury, Wednesday 28th June 1939

SOULE.- On June 27, 1939, at private hospital. Hobart, Harriott Mary, dearly loved wife of the late Charles May Soule, in the 84th year of her age. At rest.

SOULE.- Funeral of the late Mrs. Harriett Mary Soule will arrive at Cornelian Hay Cemetery, on Wednesday (This Day), at 2.30 p.m.

Examiner Launceston, Saturday 17th October 1908

An article describes a complaint that South Australian teachers had a higher salary than teachers from other parts of the country. Some teachers’ salaries are listed, including Charles Soule’s at £101.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Tuesday 13th September 1904:



Messrs A. C. Hall and C. J. Harris, J'p.S., presided at the Police Court yesterday morning, when William Frost, a resident of Romaine, was charged with that he did, on August 15, 1904, feloniously steal from the yard at the premises of Charles M. Soule, Romaine, four hens of the aggregate value of 10s ; on a second count he was charged with receiving the fowls knowing them to have been stolen. Sub-inspector Wills prosecuted, and Mr T. J. Crisp appeared for the defence.

The circumstances of the case were of a remarkable nature and presented extraordinary aspects. Evidence in support of the charge was given by Charles M. Soule, and an intelligent little boy named Deacon, which appeared to fully substantiate Mr Soule's claim that the four fowls in question were his property.

The extraordinary part of the case was in connection with the evidence advanced on behalf of the defence. The accused himself swore the fowls were his ; that he bought them from a man at Rosebery ; and that he could bring a witness to prove to the court that he brought the fowls to Emu Bay. Accused also said he cut one wing of each of the four fowls, with others, about the end of August last at which time he had had the fowls in his possession for about a month. He said a man named Forward helped him cut the fowls' wings, accused holding the birds whilst Forward did the cutting ; he also held a candle to see by. A man named Osborne, he stated, was also present. The evidence of Osborne was to the effect that he went with accused when living near Rosebery about two years ago and helped him carry the fowls from the man he bought them from to his own place near Roseberry. The same witness also swore that the wings of accused's fowls were cut in the daytime and that a candle was not used. Another witness, named Thomas Williams, called for the defence, swore that the fowls' wings were cut in the evening after he had his tea, but he could not say who held the candle.

A third witness who was called to prove the fowls in dispute belonged to accused and that accused was not away from his home on the night of August 15, the date when the fowls disappeared, stated that he (witness) met with an accident on Aug. 14, and went to his brother-in-law's (accused's) place on the 15th. When he stated in reply to the bench that he was certain the date of his accident was Aug. 14 and that he did not work on Sundays, he was informed that Aug. 14 was on a Sunday, and he was at a loss to know how to clear himself of the statement.

It may be here stated that accused had informed the court early in the case that two of his own fowls, which he brought into court, and which were similar in appearance to those which Mr Soule claimed, had each had a wing cut subsequent to the visit of the police to accused's place where the stolen fowls were discovered. He said the object of having their wings cut was to try, if possible, to confuse the evidence of witnesses for the prosecution in identifying the four fowls in dispute. In connection with this statement the last witness for the defence – accused's wife – swore that the wings of her fowls, including the four in dispute (which she claimed as her property) and the two produced by accused had all been cut some time prior to the visit of the police and had not been done subsequently. This was a direct contradiction to previous evidence for accused, which, as before stated, was altogether of a most extraordinary character, as besides the discrepancies above referred to there were many other contradictions of a minor nature.

The bench, after retiring, found that there was no evidence to show that accused had stolen the fowls, but at the same time they said that there was the strongest evidence that the four fowls in dispute, found on accused's property, belonged to Mr Soule. They found accused guilty on the second charge of receiving, and ordered him to forfeit £2 ; in default, a fortnight's imprisonment. The fowls were ordered to be returned to Mr Soule. The penalty was paid.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 17th February 1922


On Saturday evening as Mr and Mrs C. M. Soule were returning home to Romaine from Burnie in their vehicle, the pony was startled by a passing cyclist, and suddenly running off the road capsized the vehicle, throwing the occupants out. Mr Soule escaped with nothing more than a shaking, but his wife was not so fortunate. She was thrown with some violence on a log and rendered unconscious. The cyclist learning what had happened rode to Burnie for Dr Booke, who was quickly in attendance, and found Mrs Soule had sustained severe bruises on the back of the head, shoulders, spine and left hip. She soon revived, however, and the doctor pronounced her not to be seriously hurt. The accident happened near Fisher's farm, and it appears when the animal turned off the road one wheel of the trap was carried into a depression, while the other struck a log hidden by blackberries. Thus, the occupants were turned out almost before they had realised they were in any danger. The horse and trap suffered no material damage. Yesterday Mrs Soule's condition was somewhat improved, and it is hoped she will soon be about again.



The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thurs 25th June 1908

Scholars of the Romaine State school have been visited by an epidemic of measles. Last week there were only a couple in attendance, but the number has now increased to five, and the head teacher, Mr. C. M. Soule, hopes to have a full muster before long.

Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette, Thursday 5th March 1896


Some excitement was caused at the Romaine State School on Tuesday afternoon by the appearance of a snake. It was first seen in the garden and subsequently on the veranda. Mr May Soule the head teacher, fortunately succeeding in killing it after a short encounter with a long stick. The reptile was of the 'carpet' species and measured 40 Inches.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times Tuesday 26th May

The celebration of Empire Day, as laid down in the official programme, was duly carried out at the State school yesterday. After saluting the flag, God Save the King and God Bless Prince of Wales were effectively rendered by the scholars, and three cheers were given for the King and Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Grand Old Flag, and the British Empire. The children were afterwards regaled with apples and lollies, tea, and cakes, kindly provided by Mrs. Alec. Turnbull, Mrs. Radford and Mrs. C. M. Soule. A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to these ladies, and, with cheers for their teacher, the children departed to their homes, having spent a very enjoyable time.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 20th Dec 1909

The breaking-up of the State school for the Christmas holidays, together with the annual distribution of prizes took place, on Thursday, afternoon, when a large number of parents and friends assembled to witness the proceedings. In the unavoidable absence of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Hall, the chair was taken by the teacher, Mr. C. M. Soule, while Mrs. Soule and Miss Bennett undertook to give away the prizes. Prior to this a short programme, consisting of songs, recitations and readings was given by the scholars. Mrs. C. M. Soule then handed the following prizes to the fortunate winners: – Good conduct, Mollie Richardson; drawing, May Stone and Ada Townsend; needle work, May Stone; writing, Nellie Fisher; best-kept school paper, May Stone. Miss Bennett next distributed the remaining prizes; – Attendance, Daisy Barker, Millie Nolan, Watty Fisher, and Jimmy Fisher; reading, Ada Townsend. Great amusement was caused by the last item on the programme –  a 'Santa Claus bag' – which contained something for every one. The following ladies provided refreshments for the young people: – Mrs and Miss Bennett, Mesdames Barker, Barker, Nolan, Richardson, Smedley, and C M Soule.  These were abundant and tempting, as evidenced by the amazing appetites of the children, who did full justice to all the good things, Hearty votes of thanks, emphasised by three cheers, were given for Mr. Bennett, Mr. A. C. Hail, and Mr. E. A. Joyce, the generous donors of prizes and to the ladies who had provided the refreshments.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Fri 26th June 1905

Empire Day was duly celebrated by the scholars attending the State school here. Lessons on the Empire and patriotism were given the children, in which they we urged to uphold the honor of the Empire by leading pure and noble lives. Patriotic pieces were also recited and the flag raised. After Thank God, the old flag's flying and the National Anthem had been rendered, three cheers were right loyally given for the King, the Queen and the Prince of Wales. The occasion was also kept as Arbor Day by the planting of an oak tree by the bead teacher, Mr C. M. Soule, to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the opening of the school. After the official part of the programme was over several prizes were competed for in races, skipping and a tug of war between boys and girls, in which the girls came off victorious. Before leaving for home each child received some apples, oranges, nuts and lollies. Three cheers for the teachers, Mr and Mrs Soule, brought the proceedings to a conclusion.

Hobart Mercury, 21st May 1905


On Friday, 17th inst, as the Emu Bay Co.'s train, conveying the
vice-regal party from Zeehan to Burnie was passing the Five Mile, a hearty greeting and welcome were accorded to the Governor-General by the children attending the Romaine State school. The scholars, in charge of their teachers, Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Soule, were drawn up in open order by the side of the line. On the approach of the train flags and handkerchiefs were waved, and ringing cheers given in honour of his Excellency. In response, Lord Northcote appeared at the carriage window, and courteously acknowledged the greeting. The children were then dismissed for the day, a half holiday having been kindly granted by the department in honour of the Governor-General's visit.



Some social life that the Soules may have enjoyed:

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 15th November 1900

Saturday proved to be a big day for 'The Mikado bookings at A. Joyce and Co.'s, and owing to the continued demand for seats the committee have decided to extend the plan and thereby make provision for seating another 40. The total of seats booked is 120, and as this ensures a good house every effort is being made to comfortably seat the patrons of the society. As it is intended to raise the curtain punctually at 8 o'clock holders of reserved seat tickets are requested to be in their seats at 7.45.’

The town was enlivened on Saturday night by the presence of the two town bands in the streets, discoursing lively tunes at alternate intervals.

The passengers to Melbourne by the Flora on Saturday night included  H. E. Bannister, late accountant at the Mount Lyell reduction works, who goes to Victoria permanently. A public farewell, in the form of a promenade concert and smoke social, was tendered Mr Bannister at the Masonic Hall, Queenstown, on Thursday night. There were about 160 present. The toast to the guest was proposed by Mr Robert Smith, and seconded by Mr W. Candy. A presentation was also made.   n

Hobart Mercury, Monday 26 June 1911


The Coronation celebrations were held here in the State-school and grounds, and

passed off very successfully. At 2.30 the children were marched into school, where the teacher (Mr. C. M. Soule) gave a short address appropriate to the occasion. The Hallelujah Chorus and "Crown, Him Lord of All" were rendered on the phonogaph, and the children marched out to the playground to the stirring strains of Dan Godfrev's Coronation Prize March, and received their Coronation medals. A Royal salute was then given. At the word of command flags were brought smartly to the "present," the National Anthem played, and three cheers given for the King and Queen. The next item on the programme was the planting of a British oak tree by Councillor Bennett, and one by the three senior boys in the school. At dusk a bonfire was lighted, and fireworks sent up, all spending a right merry time, round the fire. Sandwiches, cake. lollies, and apples were handed round, and then, as rain began to fall, the proceedings terminated with the singing of the NationalAnthem.