Josiah Cocking Photographic Archive


Wallsend Salvation Army “Calvary” Group. Photographer Josiah Cocking


Mrs Griffiths, in garden at Wallsend, NSW


Salvation Army Group. Photographer Josiah Cocking

The Josiah Cocking Photographic Archive consisting of over 220 glass negatives was donated to Cultural Collections on the 9 December 2016 by the great grand daughter of Josiah Cocking, Lauren Prokes. They finally joined the rest of the archival material including the diaries and notebooks from Josiah Cocking donated in 1999 by Keith Cocking and family.

These glass negatives were cleaned and conserved, then scanned from the original glass negatives.

Over 200 glass negatives from the Josiah Cocking Photographic Archive were recently digitised by volunteers and students in the GLAMx Digitisation Lab.

VIEW Glass Negatives on UONCC Flickr or Livinghistories@UON

Josiah Cocking’s Diaries are available to view online – HERE

Josiah Cocking (1867-1960) was born at Kadina in South Australia and died on the 27th July 1960 aged 93 at Mayfield, New South Wales. Mr Cocking was a miner and part of the early socialist and free-thought movement of Newcastle. He lived for a time in Wallsend and Mayfield, and wrote much verse for the local papers of the time under such pseudonyms as “Dandelion” and “Capsicum”. For a greater insight on the life and character of Josiah Cocking please view his biography in typescript written by his son, Mr Arthur James Cocking (1916 – 1989). The diaries and notebook papers of Mr Josiah Cocking were deposited in the Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections Unit of the University of Newcastle in November 1999 by Mr Keith Cocking.

Born in South Australia of Cornish descent, poverty frequently surrounded the Cocking household. Three brothers settled in Wallsend in 1886, Josiah gained work in the mines outside the local area. By 1911 he built a house on Billygoat Hill and had five children. In 1914 the family moved near the steelworks.

The photographic collection contains images of Mayfield, Waratah, Wallsend, Plattsburg and Pit town, looking east from Billygoat Hill, steam engines and coal trucks. There are also photographs of steam and electric trams. There are also a number of photographs taken of friends and family members.

Part of this archive contains diaries and copies of his writings. Papers include his description of the Australian Socialist League in Wallsend (1893-1896), and his diary ceases and resumes in various years, however is a valuable source of historical information about Newcastle and the Hunter Region.

Unemployed camp, Mayfield West. Photograph taken 22 March 1938.


Maitland Road at Mayfield, NSW


Glass Negative Box


Glass Negative Box

Please contact us if you know the subject of the image, and have cultural or other reservations about the image being displayed on this website and would like to discuss this with us, contact Cultural Collections at

Many thanks to the family of the late Josiah Cocking for sharing this special archive with the wider community.

3 thoughts on “Josiah Cocking Photographic Archive

  1. What a great treasure these photographs and the beautiful poetry and stories involved in Josiah Cocking’s story.
    So pleased that they have been shared with the wider community, and so extremely proud of our daughter Jodi Vial for the time and effort she spent in curating the wonderful exhibition.

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