Lemon Tree Passage’s Sherlock Holmes connection

Signed pictures found in the old home: Arthur Conan Doyle as a young man.

 

LONG time residents of Lemon Tree Passage will well remember the old family home of the Doyles.

It was situated at the end of Cook Pde and sat up on wooden piers.

Some thirty years ago a humble home handyman was cross bracing the piers as the derelict house was getting a distinct lean to it and was threatened with collapse.

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It was here that he discovered an open tin chest with documents and photos littering the ground.

These found their way to local historian Jean Truebridge who put them all together and a fascinating paper trail involving a distinguished doctor, the Governor of Queensland and the author of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ began to emerge.

Our story begins with the Boer War where two cousins, Doctors AA and AC Doyle, see service as medical officers in South Africa.

After the conflict they go their separate ways, with AC Doyle becoming a famous author.

He is best remembered for his series of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ books where a super sleuth and his bumbling assistant solve many crimes which baffle the hapless police.

Holmes infamously explains his brilliant deductions to his helper with the catchphrase ‘elementary dear Watson’.

The other doctor, AA Doyle FRCS, distinguished himself in Roma, Queensland and later in Brisbane as a specialist.

Another doctor enters the paper trail in the form of Sir William McGregor GCMC, CB, AM, FRSGC, the Governor of Queensland who became firm friends with Dr AA Doyle.

The author, now Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, met up with Dr Doyle on his Australian tour in 1920.

Dr Doyle spent his twilight years with his son Ellis (Barney) in Lemon Tree Passage and cared for the handful of residents who occupied the tiny fishing village at that time.

Signed pictures of both Conan Doyle and William Mc Gregor were found amongst the contents of the derelict house.

The late Jimmy Rooke told the story of how his mother took her sickly baby to see Dr Doyle.

He advised her to get a cow and nourish Jimmy with the fresh milk.

This she did.

Jimmy survived, but the cow died.

 

By Geoff WALKER

 

Signed pictures found in the old home: Sir William and Lady McGregor.

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