Hampshire Street

Geographically speaking, Hampshire Street in the Perth suburb of East Victoria Park runs NE/SW from Albany Highway through to Devenish Street, with Berwick Street intersecting it at roughly half its length.
Previous name:
The street was first known as Bouverie Street from 1902 until 1918. The name 'Bouverie' comes from the name of the woman, Alice Bouverie Rae who owned the parcel of land in which the street was located. The parcel Mrs Rae owned was in Canning Location 2, comprised a bit over 35 acres and was bordered by Bedford, Balmoral, and Devenish Streets and Albany Road.
Origin of the current name:
In September 1918, following the amalgamation of the Municipality of Victoria Park into the Perth City Council in 1917, a large number of streets across Perth were renamed in order mainly, to reduce confusion between duplicately named streets. There was already a Bouverie Street in Leederville, which got to keep its name, with Victoria Park’s Bouverie Street being changed to Hampshire Street.
It is not known why the choice of “Hampshire”, but with several other streets in close proximity being named after English counties, it is likely that it was named for this theme. Hampshire is a county in South East England that is 3,769 square kilometres in size and has an estimated population of 1,844,245. Its history can be traced back to around 495 A.D. and it appears in the Domesday Book of the 11th century, the famous survey of England and Wales, ordered by William the Conqueror.
The name ‘Hampshire’ is derived from the name of one of its two largest cities, that of Southampton. “Southampton was known in Old English Hamtun, roughly meaning 'village-town'” (1).
Early development of the street:
Bouverie street, Victoria Park, first appeared in the Wise’s Post Office Directory of Western Australia (2) in 1903 but no one was registered as living there until 1914, as three people are listed as living in the street in the 1915 edition of Wise’s Post Office Directory (3).

One lot of land in the street, exact street number unknown, was offered for sale in The West Australian for £80. A two-room jarrah house, plus kitchen, was offered to let in Bouverie Street in 1916 for 10 shillings.

By 1949, there were 77 properties registered to receive mail in the street.

By 1929 the Perth City Council had resolved to carry out a works project to provide work for the unemployed whilst “expediating work in the district”, it was at this time that Hampshire Street became a plank road.
Plank roads were typical of the time and were usually made of jarrah planks or old railway sleepers, often laid in two sets of three sleepers wide, thus creating two tracks for the wheels of vehicles to pass over. Sometimes they were laid like floor boards in a long line to make a solid wooden road.

A concerned resident, Mr T. L. Pike, of 40 Hampshire Street, wrote in 1929 to the Editor of The West Australian. Mr Pike wrote asking why his street wasn’t being considered in the City’s road work projects, which would see other streets surrounding Hampshire Street become gravel streets, yet they had less houses and residents than Hampshire Street. It is not known if there was any answer.

A Street of Remembrance:
Research has so far uncovered that six Hampshire Street residents served in World War II, one in Singapore and two in the Middle East, the others in various areas:
  • Private Reginald Charles CARTER (WX8445)
  • Private Horace JARVIS (WX7005)
  • Private Stanley Rudolph JARVIS (WX16713)
  • Able Seaman James CRAVEN (F3599)
  • Private Alfred William CRAVEN (WX6107)
  • Private George Hazelgrove CRAVEN (WX42049)
The Craven brothers lived with their parents Enoch and Margaret Craven at 16 Hampshire Street, before enlisting. There were a total of six Craven siblings living at the address.
Private Reginald Charles Carter was married to Joyce and living in Hampshire Street when he enlisted. Below is an informal picture of the couple taken circa 1940-41, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.
Privates Horace and Stanley Jarvis, brothers who also lived in Hampshire Street upon their enlistment in World War II, were both of the 2/28th Battalion, and both were captured at Ruin Ridge in Egypt on the night of 26-27 July 1942 (4). They were POW’s in Germany until the end of the war.
Alec Bell Park:
Alec Bell Park at the corner of Hampshire and Berwick Streets was named in honour of Alec Ernest Bell. Alec Bell grew up in Victoria Park attended school at Xavier College and lived at 953 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park, he was a well known and loved local postman. Alec served in the Vietnam War and died of wounds, Long Binh South Vietnam, 29 January 1968, aged 21 years.
The park was originally known simply as Hampshire Reserve and seems to have been established when locals in the area were advocating for a children’s play area, as there wasn’t one in Fraser Park, at the Devenish end of Hampshire Street. An article from The Workers Star, gives a reference point for the establishment of what is today Alec Bell Park:

Other happenings and stories of residents of Hampshire Street:
Two brothers win £2500 in the lotto in 1936. They were Arthur and Ernest Philpot, both had an interest in art and music, see the newspaper articles included to find out more.
There were many reports of accidents occurring to people who lived in Hampshire Street, or where the accidents happened in Hampshire Street, but these are not included in the summary of the history of Hampshire Street. They can be found on Trove through our list here however: https://trove.nla.gov.au/list/159348
Can you help tell more of the story?
This is the story of Hampshire Street, East Victoria Park as we know it, can you add anything to the story? If you have pictures, stories or anecdotes to share please get in touch with us via: library@victoriapark.wa.gov.au, or by phone: 08 9373 5500.
[1] Wikipedia contributors. (2021, December 3). Hampshire. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:52, December 22, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hampshire&oldid=1058409033
[2] Wise’s Post Office Directory are the postal directories for Perth and Western Australia. They have been digitised and are available via the State Library's web page. Names listed, it should be noted, are the names of the person who was registered at the GPO to receive mail at that address. The person listed is not necessarily the owner of the property, they may have been renting. People registered their address one year and would appear in the following year’s edition The directory works by area first then alphabetically by street. Access the complete set at: https://slwa.wa.gov.au/collections/collections/post-office-directories
[3] Wise’s Post Office Directory, 1915, p. 425, online: https://slwa.wa.gov.au/pdf/battye/pods/1915/0236.pdf
[4] Stanley, Peter Dr 2011, ‘Remembering 1942: Ruin Ridge’, Australian War Memorial (online), https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/1942-ruin-ridge, accessed 3/01/2022.