The wedding of John Welby Cooke and Edith ‘Edie’ Amelia King at Charters Towers, Queensland, on 17 August 1901, united two great circus families. Cooke, a superlative equestrian, was descended from the Cookes, one of England’s oldest circus families. Edie was a niece of the Wirth brothers, Australia’s pre-eminent circus family.

Others identified in this lovely (and historically important) photograph are: George Wirth (on Cooke’s right); Philip Wirth (on Edie’s left); Marizles Wirth Martin (behind and between Edie and Philip); John Martin, bandsman, at rear, fifth from left; Joe Aldean, gymnast, at rear, 3rd from left; Ernest Vantell, gymnast, arm resting on Philip Wirth’s shoulder; Mrs George [Margaret] Wirth, arm resting on husband George’s shoulder.

Join Our Forum