Territory Stories

Valerie E. Fletcher



Valerie E. Fletcher,


Fletcher, Valerie Ellen, Fletcher, Val,


Valerie E. Fletcher,


Territory Women, HistoryNT,

Place of birth


Date of birth



Writer, Historian,


Library & Archives NT - PH0233/0042 - Back view of the cottage,

Honours and awards

1995 Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945,

Biographical notes

Val was born at the old Darwin Hospital in 1923. She is the daughter of Ormond Harold Edward George Snell, who came to Darwin in 1912 to build the Myilly Point house, and Ivy Mary Allen. They were married in England in 1919. At the tender age of 3, in 1927, Valerie was awarded 2nd prize at the fancy dress ball dressed as a "bluebell"; she entered other fancy dress balls in 1931 and 1932 with little success. In 1931 she was awarded a book at the Sunday School prize day. "After my secondary education I became a student-teacher in Darwin, taking my examinations from the Queensland Education Department, and 'teaching' at both the Public and the Parap schools as well as taking extra instruction at the Convent. That is how it was here nearly seventy years ago. By the time I left school, war had been declared and there were two busy years with plenty of social activity." As a trained VAD Val was called up one night, to spend the rest of it in a slit trench near Myilly Point. Rumour had it next day that there had been a reconnaissance activity. Then she was doing her examinations under supervision. A warden came in and said she was to be on the jetty at seven o'clock next morning with no more than a 20 inch suitcase of clothes. "We were evacuated on an American cruise ship that had been in Manilla when it was bombed." (U3A talk, November 2009). While Val's father is a well documented entity in the Northern Territory for his buildings, mining and other ventures, Val has taken this connection to the NT and has written about the history of the North in her book Value Adding to Northern Territory Copper, 1901-1910. Valerie was awarded a history doctorate from the University of Queensland on ‘Nineteenth Century Railways and the Constitutional Conventions'. Her other areas of research are the building of transcontinental/interstate railways in Australia and the history of the Northern Territory, especially the 1895-1910 period and the Commonwealth takeover of the Territory. At the age of 86, in November 2009, she gave a talk to U3A on 'Between the wars', this talk gives a small insight into Darwin in those years and a little into the life of Valerie Fletcher.,


Women, Northern Territory,

File type

application/pdf, image/tiff,

Related materials

The Commonwealth takes over the Northern Territory 1901-1910 : people, progress, postponement and promises. Valerie Fletcher. Thesis (M.A.) - University of Queensland, History Dept., 1991., The Northern Territory 1895-1900 : the Royal Commission of 1895 and its results by Valerie Fletcher. 1988., Marcham, Zoe. "You are never too old..." Darwin Life Magazine, March 2013, p.29.,

Related links

http://www.cdu.edu.au/research/office/documents/ResearchBulletin190606.pdf [Northern Territory Mining in an Uncertain Decade: 1901-1910. Journal of Northern Territory History, no. 17.], http://www.nretas.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/6101/32_RecordsTerritory.pdf [Records Territory, No. 31, January 2007.], http://hdl.handle.net/10070/17461 [PictureNT : PH0233/0042 - Harold Snell's house], http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4535586 [Sunday School Prize Day, Northern Territory Times, 11 December 1931.], http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4551108 [Juvenile Fancy Dress Ball, Northern Territory Times, 21 June 1927.], http://www.mininghistory.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/titlesabstractsweb.pdf [Value Adding to Northern Territory Copper, 1901-1910. Journal of Australasian Mining, v. 4, September 2006, pp 116-138.],

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Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/808905, https://hdl.handle.net/10070/808413,