Royal Commonwealth Society : Lillian Newton photograph collection on Singapore

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p>This collection includes panoramas by Frederick Hill-Cottingham, as well as amateur photographs of everyday Singapore scenes during the first quarter of the twentieth century. It documents the stop-over of Ross M.Smith en route to Australia - Smith made the first successful flight from England to Australia in 1919. There are also Chinese temples, domestic architecture, street scenes, fishing, rubber and coconut estates, and tin-mining, as well as images of Lillian Newton's family and friends.</p> <p>Lillian Allan Newton (1894-1977) was the youngest of the four children of Howard Vincent Newton (1852-1897) and Elizabeth Newton, née Robertson (1862-1954). Howard Newton went to Singapore in 1877 and became Assistant Municipal Engineer. He resigned in 1896 to take up an appointment in Bombay, where he died of cholera the following year. Newton Road, Singapore, is named after him. </p> <p>Lillian Newton was born at Bridge of Allan, Scotland, on 26 April 1894, during a period when her parents were on leave in the United Kingdom. Some months later the family returned to Singapore. Newton attended the Raffles Girls' School, where she later became a teacher. She and her sisters took part in numerous amateur dramatic performances, and her talent as a dancer won praise in the Singapore press. In 1921-1922 she studied dance in London under Flora Fairbairn of the Legat School, and in 1922 opened her own School of Dancing in Singapore. One of her young pupils, Sally Gilmour, became a leading danseuse with the Ballet Rambert in London. Lillian Newton and her mother left Singapore in 1925.</p> <p>Only the first half of Lillian Newton's photograph collection has been digitised. Other photographs depict scenes from her dancing school and these may be viewed in Cambridge University Library's Manuscripts Reading Room.</p>

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