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Charles Louis Gabriel was born 25 June 1857 in Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia to Charles Louis Gabriel (1819-1902) and Rhoda Emma Rudder (1831-1891) and died 10 February 1927 Tumut, New South Wales, Australia of complications of surgery for appendicitis. He married Jessie Violette Young (c1855-1925) 30 March 1891 in St. Patrick's, Church-hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Charles Louis Gabriel (25 June 1857 – 10 February 1927) was an Australian photographer and medical practitioner. He was born in Kempsey, a remote New South Wales settlement, to Dr. Charles Gabriel and Emma Rudder. Despite his upbringing in this remote colonial and coastal fringe, like his father and grandfather before him, Louis became a physician. At Scotland's prestigious Edinburgh University he won additional medical qualification in surgery and maternity, with distinction. On his return voyage, he probably practiced his new skills as a ship's doctor. After practicing briefly in Sydney, he left for Gundagai, an inland pastoral town half way between Sydney and Melbourne, in 1887.

The new doctor dedicated himself to medical work, only taking up the hobby of photography twelve years later, around 1899. Over the following decade or so he produced over eight hundred glass plate negatives, many of the images astonishing and accomplished. Now in the National Library of Australia (NLA), they are a valued record of Australia—and Gundagai, its most iconic town. Contemporary documentaries and articles present his photographs as acutely observed documentary images. However, he has been quaintly portrayed as a typical, country medico, a gentleman and talented amateur. But his imagery and his story belie it.










Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
₪ Wedding
  • separated under a deed of separation, February, 1901
  • GABRIEL—WALTON.—March 30, at St. Patrick's, Church-hill by the Rev. Father Piquet, Charles Louis Gabriel, L.R.C.P.E., L.R.C.S.E., of Gundagai, to Jessie Violette Walton (nee Young), of Gundagai.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 April 1891, page 1
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