Robert George Murduck

Photograph No. 0008


Squabmoor Reservoir, Exmouth, 1909

 Murduck Photo No. 0008 - Squabmoor Reservoir, Exmouth, 1909Murduck Photo No. 0008 - Squabmoor Reservoir, Exmouth, 1909

The photograph ....

This photograph shows seven men, all identified by name, standing at the Overflow Outlet at the Squabmoor Reservoir above Exmouth in 1909. This Reservoir provided all of the water for the town of Exmouth, and, as reservoirs do, the level of water contained varies.

The reservoir was said to be 'only three-eighths of an inch down' from the top or high water mark at the Reservoir on the 29th of April 1909 [Western Times, 29 April 1909, Page 3]. By the end of May, the level was reported to be '1 foot 10 inches below the top level mark' [Exeter & Plymouth Gazette, 26 May 1909, Page 5]. These facts suggest that the above photo was taken around the end of April, 1909.

The photograph was mounted to card stock, and labelled as "Overflow at Squabmoor Reservoir, 1909". The very unique form of attribution which confirms that this was one of Robert George Murduck's photographs was applied to the lower right corner of the mounting card - it appears to have been 'burned-in', or a 'branding', rather than an embossing. The photograph has not been well treated - many scrapes and scratches can be seen, and there are several age and toning stains on both the photograph and the mounting card.

The names of the seven men shown were written on the bottom of the photograph, in the same hand and with the same pen & ink as was used to label the photograph. A later notation, however, seems to replicate the label. And it also appears that the first name of one of the individuals was altered at the same time as the second 'Overflow at Squabmoor Reservoir' was written (different colour of ink (lighter blue), and different style of handwriting).

The men were identified as:

  • Fred Perriam
  • [ S ? ]Matthew
  • Reg Godfrey, first name changed to Wilfred
  • Geo F Perriam
  • R. B. Ponsford
  • S Hutton, and
  • T. Abell

The original photograph as mounted is one of fourteen of Robert George Murduck's images which are held in various collections at the Exmouth Library.

The men ....

Details recorded at the time of the 1911 Census of England and Wales enumeration, on Sunday, the 2nd of April, along with other records, suggest that ....

Fred PERRIAM may have been Frederick William Perriam, (in 1909) the 22 year old son of George Frederick Perriam and his wife Ellen [nee Comins]. In 1911 he was working as a 'grocers' assistant' in his father's establishment. He was enumerated within his parents' household on Cranford Avenue, Exmouth..

[ S ? ] MATTHEW - was he Stanley Matthew, a 26 year old native of Exmouth, who in 1911 was working for the Dewsbury Council as an 'assistant surveyor'? If so, he was married to Edith Payn in London in May, 1904, and was probably the son of George Willis & Eliza Jane Matthews of Mamhead View, Exmouth.

Reg or Wilfred GODFREY could have been Wilfred, the 24 year old son of William John & Elizabeth Emma Godfrey. William John was a 'nurseryman and florist' who lived on Rolle Street in Exmouth. Wilfred Godfrey had a younger brother named Reginald, who would have been about 21 years old when the above photograph was taken.

Geo F PERRIAM was unquestionably George Frederick Perriam, a 52 year old grocer, a native of Exmouth, who lived with his wife Ellen [nee Comins] and son Frederick William Perriam on Cranford Avenue, Exmouth. George F was, like Robert George Murduck, a Mason, having joined the Sun Lodge in Exmouth in 1888.

R. B. PONSFORD was most likely 47 year old Robert Beavis Ponsford, a builder of houses, a native of Exmouth, who lived at 39 Exeter Road in Exmouth, with his wife Charlotte Augusta [nee Budd] and son George.

S. HUTTON could have been Samuel Hutton, 34 years old, a native of Pudsey, Yorkshire, who lived on Phillips Avenue, Exmouth, with his wife Sarah Ann and children William Glover, 7; Edmund, 5; & Annie, 3. Samuel was employed in 1911 as a 'surveyor and water engine chief' in Exmouth.

T. ABELL was perhaps Thomas Abell, in 1909 a 60 year old native of Heatherleigh, Devonshire. He was (in 1911) a 'builder and decorator' who lived at 9, Raleigh Villas in Exmouth, with much younger wife Elizabeth and their one year old daughter Marjorie.


Facts about Robert George Murduck's life, 1875-1947, can be found here.

A list & details of all photographs which are presently known to have been attributed to Robert George Murduck can be found here.

The various means by which R G Murduck's photographs are attributed to himself can be found here.

Details about ways you can submit a copy of your photo can be found through this link.

If you have additional information about Robert George Murduck,

or if you have a photograph (or photographs) which show him or either of his studios, or which can be attributed to him, please ....

Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.