G.M. Breaden
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G.M. Breaden Series View this series About this series
About the publisher

G.M. Breaden (inset, left) and plane and crew shot down over Magdeburtg, Germany. (Photo from Mercury, 28 January, 1944, via Trove)


Geoffrey Malcolm Drysdale Breaden (1917-2002)


Geoffrey Malcolm Drysdale Breaden, usually given as G.M. Breaden, was born in Tasmania in 1917.  He was the son of J.C. Breaden, who was also a photographer and publisher of postcards.


G.M. Breaden attended the Friends School in Hobart, and the Hobart Technical College.  Subsequently he was employed by printers Cox Kay Pty Ltd, and the Government Printing Office. The electoral roll for 1943 gave his occupation as printer compositor.


G.M. Breaden joined the RAAF in 1941. He went to England in 1942 and became a navigator in the RAF, flying in Lancester bombers.  In December 1943 he was navigator in a Lancaster bombing the German city of Magdeburg when the plane was badly damaged by a fighter attack and the crew bailed out.  He was captured and held as a prisoner of war for 18 months, until the end of the war in 1945.  His wartime experience is documented in detail in Patsy Adam-Smith’s book “Prisoners of War: from Gallipoli to Korea”.


G.M. Breaden returned to Hobart after the war and worked at The Mercury newspaper, then in the insurance industry, and then for most of his life as an accountant. He married Shirley Paice in 1946 and they had six children between them.


After his return to Tasmania in 1945 Breaden seems to have settled down into low profile family life and did not appear in the newspapers.  He inherited the use of his father’s photograph collection and facilities, and from 1945 to about 1950 took photographs, published postcards and produced view folders, photo booklets and sets of snapshots..


G.M. Breaden died in Hobart in 2002.


About the postcards


G.M. Breaden cards are real photographic prints. They are printed on either Kodak postcard-back paper or on plain back photographic paper. Some have a rubber-stamped back naming G.M. Breaden as the publisher.


Most G.M. Breaden cards have a neat caption on the front, in capital letters and underlined.   


Breadens postcards were probably produced after his return from the war in 1945 up to about 1950. Evidence for this date is flimsy, being based on two dated items. I have a view folder that he published containing 16 views of Hobart, which is annotated with “Monday 5 May, 1947”, presumably the purchase date. This gives a useful latest date of photography for the 16 photographs it contains.  Although the folder is indicated as by G.M. Breaden, several of the photos it includes were published as postcards earlier under the authorship of his father, J.C. Breaden.  I have also seen a pair of cards that are annotated as purchased in 1951.