Australian Women's Register

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Gladish, Sarah Jane (1858 - 1940)

Alternative Names
  • Blumfield, Sarah Jane (Birth name)


Sarah Jane Gladish nee Blumfield would have been familiar to generations of University of Melbourne staff and students. She was the wife of Frank Gladish (1847-1929) who joined the staff in 1876 as a Medical School Porter. After being promoted to Head Porter, a position he occupied from 1894 to 1902, he became the Medical School Library Clerk. He retired with his wife to Surrey Hills in 1925, at the age of seventy-eight.

Sarah and Frank Gladish married in 1877, but did not move into the University of Melbourne Lodge for another seventeen years. A son, Charles Emery, was born the year after their marriage and died in 1879. Their daughter Amy Victoria was born in 1880. She attended Presbyterian Ladies' College, matriculating in 1899, took her BMus in 1902 and died, aged only 25, in 1906. They had no other children.

The Gladish family were not accommodated immediately in the University grounds, and are listed from 1880 to 1882 as living at 2 Malvina Place, off Grattan Street, subsequently moving into a cottage in the grounds near the old Medical School on Swanston Street. They moved into the Lodge at the Grattan Street gate in 1894 and remained there until 1925. By this time, it had acquired the east and west gabled wings added to its original central room, although a laundry and bathroom were not added until 1962.[1] Mrs Gladish gave the University Lodge as her business address when she advertised her services in University publications such as Speculum, Alma Mater and the University Gazette as 'University Robe Maker'. She hired and sold academic dress to students 'at the University Lodge, Grattan Street', with gowns available from £1.10 and trenchers from 10/6 - 'Barristers' and Clergymen's Gowns a Speciality'.[2]

Sarah Gladish remained in Surrey Hills after her husband's death. She was buried with her husband and both of their children in the Baptist section of the Melbourne General Cemetery.

[1] Philip Goad & George Tibbits. Architecture in Campus: a guide to the University of Melbourne and its colleges. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2003.

[2] See, for example, Speculum. May 1913:59.

Sources used to compile this entry: Flesch, Juliet, 40 Years 40 Women: Biographies of University of Melbourne Women, Published to Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the International Year of Women, The University of Melbourne Library, 2015;

This entry is reproduced in its entirety from 40 Years 40 Women: Biographies of University of Melbourne Women with permission of Juliet Flesch and The University of Melbourne Library. Copyright remains with the author and the University of Melbourne, 2015.

Juliet Flesch

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