new zealand postcard society inc.

Photographer Frederick George Radcliffe

New Zealand historians and postcard enthusiasts will have likely come across real photographic postcards bearing the initials F.G.R. There are well over 6,000 individual titled photographic postcards bearing these initials, and the subject matter is drawn from the length and breadth of New Zealand.

The initials are those of none other than Frederick George Radcliffe. He was born in Liverpool England in 1863. Radcliffe and family moved to New Zealand in the early 1890s and took up farming in the Kaipara Harbour area. But his future shifted from farming to photography. Radcliffe moved to Auckland and joined forces with photographer C.J. Ellerbeck. 

By 1908 Radcliffe had opened his own studio on Cameron Street in the center of Whangarei. The premises were soon passed over to prominent photographer Ernest de Tourret. Radcliffe continued his photographic work from the family home on Mill Road, their property near the banks of the Hatea River. Today, Radcliffe Street named after him, joins the northern end of Mill Road.

Radcliffe’s photographic postcards are admired for the wonderful use of light, their clarity, and selection and feature of subject matter. He had an excellent understanding of photography, and his technical skills were first-rate. 

Frederick George Radcliffe died at his daughter’s residence on 14 January 1923, age 59 years. He had been in ill-health having had influenza and pneumonia. His funeral was held at St Stephen’s Church, Onerahi which today sits beside Whangarei Airport. He is buried at Onerahi Cemetery. His wife Kate and daughter Olive are also buried there.


Jackson & McClintock – Frederick George Radcliffe – Postcard Pillar Issues 14 & 41

Bill Main – F.G.R. – Postcard Pillar Issues 80

Bill Main – F.G.R. Stereoscopic – Postcard Pillar Issue 59 (includes list)

Here is a link to an Introduction of the FGR Postcard List.

Check out the progress our members have made in compiling this comprehensive postcard list of Frederick George Radcliffe (FGR) cards.

Should you have any updates to make to this list, please contact our Secretary