Friday, 29 November 2013

Sepia Saturday - Singlets / Swimming Costumes

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a moustached man in a singlet top standing beside some trophies.

I was tempted to take photos of all of Dad’s bowls trophies on my recent visit but changed my mind when I realised just how many singlet-style swimming costumes featured in my photo collection.

Pa, John Raikes GARRETT, used to tell my mum (his daughter) about how he used to go on trips and meet up with groups of ladies. 

Sometimes he would go by car with his father, brother and sisters, and other times he would go on his motorbike.

Pa was 16 when his mother died, and didn’t become engaged to my Nanna until he was 25 – that’s a lot of weekend touring – and a lot of ladies!

Pa told mum he used to ride his motorbike out past the property where his future wife lived, not knowing her at the time.

Looks like he even got my Nanna into a singlet-style swimming costume! 

The Nanna I knew was always very demure, almost prudish and would never have been seen dead in anything so revealing! 

Interesting how old photos can show you a completely different side of someone you thought you knew.

The photo below is of her sitting down but I also have a photo of her standing in the same swimsuit. Although she has a cheeky grin on her face in that photo, I just couldn’t bring myself to post the photo knowing the Nanna I did – just a bit too revealing! – and she used to complain about my bikini!

Then moving further down the family, my dad in his basketball singlet, my mum in her knitted swimsuit, and not to be left out, me too.

Nanna on the left
Pa, on left on one of his motorcycle trips
Dad seated in the centre


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Trove Tuesday - Cruelty and Discipline

I’m visiting my parents in Port Fairy for a couple of days and this has prompted much discussion about the Stonehouse side of Mum’s family. 

They were very early settlers in this district.

We are descended from William STONEHOUSE (1826-1904), and his father Robert STONEHOUSE (c1794-1855).

A brother of William’s, John Marr STONEHOUSE (1823-1873) was brought before the Warrnambool court in June 1860 after a servant reported: 
“appallingly cruel treatment of his son George”.

The article from The Argus describes the alleged treatment:
...his father was in the habit of punishing him by putting a leather collar round his neck, fastened with a padlock, and attached to a chain, by which he was fastened up, sometimes to the bed-post, sometimes in the hall, and on one occasion in an open barn, where he was kept all night. She knew of no other punishment being inflicted on him, and he received his meals regularly, being attended by a sister, aged 12 years. The alleged cause of this treatment was the filthy habits of the boy. She also swore that when he promised to discontinue them, he was loosened and given his liberty, but repeated his former conduct, when his father would chain him up again. The child appeared healthy, and bore no appearance of violence.

Poor little George was born in 1852. It is presumed that his mother Isabella died around this time. He had an older sister Eliza and a brother John.

George’s widowed father John remarried in 1854, to widow Louisa Mollenoyux nee Bunker who also had three children from her first marriage.

By June 1860 when this case came to court, there was a house full of children as John and Louisa had started their own family and Louisa was pregnant with another.

Little George was “given over the care of some friend” as a result of the court case.

I wonder what happened to him. Looks like a job for Trove on another night.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sepia Saturday – 50th Anniversaries

My husband's parents' wedding
The Sepia Saturday prompt this week is related to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. A date when big history and small history collide. A date where you can remember what you were doing at the time.

I’m diverging from this prompt a little to celebrate 50th wedding anniversaries.

Both mine and Mr Jax’s parents achieved this milestone: 
Mine are at 54 years and still counting, and 
My in-laws were married for 58 years.

Only one set of our collective grandparents were married for over 50 years: 
My husband’s maternal grandparents were married for 55 years. 
Pelegrinus VAN WINSEN and Jitske JURNA were married in Nov 1911 in the Netherlands. Pelegrinus died in Jan 1967, aged 82.

I didn’t expect to find many others going back as life expectancy was much shorter.

My parents' wedding
I went back a few generations and found 7 more direct ancestors who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries.

Interestingly, in all 7 it was the husband who died first.

And sadly, I don’t have wedding photos for any of them.

So in this post, I celebrate all those who achieved this milestone:

Great grandparents:
Edward LONG and Sarah STONEHOUSE were married in Jan 1900 in Mortlake, Victoria. 
Edward died in Oct 1951, aged 79.

Great great grandparents:
William STONEHOUSE and Elizabeth MCVEY were married in Mar 1850 in Port Fairy, Victoria. William died in May 1904, aged 77.
William FRANCIS and Anna COLLIER were married in Sep 1860 in Tythegston, Glamorgan, Wales. William died in Jan 1915, aged 79.

3x great grandparents:
My husband's maternal grandparents
Thomas BROOKS and Jane CONDELL were married in Jan 1844 in New Norfolk, Tasmania. Thomas died in Jul 1894, aged 84.
Thomas COLLIER and Ann POWELL were married in May 1835 in Newcastle, Glamorgan, Wales. Thomas died in 1894, aged 85.
Thomas FRANCIS and Ann DAVIES were married in Aug 1825 in Newcastle, Glamorgan, Wales. Thomas died in Sep 1880 in his late 70s.

And one I really didn’t expect to find:

4x great grandparents:
Thomas SPEAR and Mary COCK married in May 1816 in Little Petherick, Cornwall, England. Thomas died in Aug 1867, aged 83.

My great grandparents, Edward Long and Sarah Stonehouse
shortly before they were married
William Francis
Anna Francis nee Collier
Elizabeth Stonehouse nee McVey

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Six generations of Grenfell men

I've been playing with an app called Turbo Collage/Collage Creator and old photos, here are some results showing six generations of Australian Grenfell men as children and then in suits.
I haven't got photos of the three oldest generations as children unfortunately.
The oldest is James Clifford GRENFELL (1863-1933) who came to Australia with his parents aged 3 years. The youngest is Jordan who is now 12 years old.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sepia Saturday - The Doors in a Long Life

This week’s Sepia Saturday(SS) prompt is of a lady standing in a doorway. The main suggested theme is to share a photo of someone framed in a doorway but other suggested themes are windows, number 11, and small fat old ladies.

I won’t be insulting about the latter as the prompt photo is of the grandmother of Alan the SS administrator but I will write about my 3x great grandmother – a small fat old lady!

Mary Elizabeth LEWIS nee BLACKMORE (c1812-1898) was a remarkable woman. I would have liked to have met her.

In a nutshell: she was born in Devon, 
married an Irishman in London, 
emigrated to Australia in 1855, 
was shipwrecked (and rescued) with eight of her ten children on the Schomberg
settled in Melbourne and 
outlived her publican husband by 27 years, 
living to the amazing age of 86 years.

I’ve written a little about the shipwreck before here (and with this same photo) so in keeping a little with the theme, I’ll try to focus a bit on the locations of doors she would have walked through and perhaps stood in:

1837-51: Lambeth, Kennington, Surrey (on 1851 census, husband was a hairdresser).

1855: Schomberg set sail for Australia.

1859-60: Joiner’s Arms, Cardigan Street, North Melbourne.

1860-61: Royal Railway Hotel, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne (husband granted the licence April 1860).

1861: Golden Age Hotel, La Trobe Street, Melbourne (husband gained transfer of licence December 1861).

1864-66: Mechanics Arms Hotel, Little Collins Street, Melbourne (husband the licensee).

1871: Curzon Street, Hotham (now known as North Melbourne) where her hotelkeeper husband, Robert LEWIS died.

1898: Leslie Estate, Were Street, Brighton Beach where she died. From what I can find, this was an estate of residences and villas developed in about 1887 on the site of Leslie House next to Brighton Beach railway station.

There are still a few gaps, but thanks to Trove and the digitised newspapers, I’m sure I’ll fill them all in eventually.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find photos of the pubs yet.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Trove Tuesday – the 29th Signallers

Continuing on with the contents of my Uncle Ricky’s ‘WWI collection’ held by the Australian War Memorial (and soon to be transcribed by me).

To tie it into Trove Tuesday, I searched for the 29th Battalion Signallers and found a number of articles and photos.

An article from July 1915 about the ‘raising’ of the 8th infantry brigade that included the 29th battalion, and 'a section of signallers'.

And, a thank you letter sent from a soldier who enlisted just a week later than my uncle and who embarked on the same ship, the HMAT Ascanius on 10 Nov 1915. He was happy to receive his cake.

Lance Corporal William McDonough was from Yarrawonga but was working in Melbourne when he enlisted. I’m pleased say that, like my uncle (also a Lance Corporal), William survived the war and returned home in 1919.

There is a photo of L/Cpl McDonough in my Uncle Ricky’s collection and I found the same photo on Trove - he's front row, left. 

The photo in my uncle’s file was labelled (see below) – the War Memorial staff must have loved that as it would have enabled them to identify all in the photo – well done Uncle Ricky.

If you want to read more about the collection, scroll back through the last few days of posts, and then come back to read more as I continue to transcribe his diaries and post bits and pieces.

Uncle Ricky labelled the back of his photo
The description accompanying the photo on the AWM website

Monday, 11 November 2013

Military Monday - WWI diaries

Excitement on an appropriate day!

When I was in Canberra in September I went to the Australian War Memorial research rooms to look at my great uncle Ricky's diaries.
(My last two blog posts have been excerpts from a few photos I took on the day - scroll down and take a look if you are interested).

As I had just attended the NSW ACT Association of Family History Societies conference and learned of the project to digitise WWI diaries, I offered to transcribe my great uncle's.

I suggested as I knew him and the family I would be able to interpret those references more easily - it was a family that used shortened and 'pet' names.

Frederic E T Fitts (Eric / Uncle Ricky) had kept a diary (well, three diaries and some loose sheets) from when he left Australia to when he disembarked back in Melbourne four years later - with an entry almost every day.

Also in his file were a number of loose sheets related to his signals training, and photos with notes.

In today's mail was a big fat post pack containing photocopies of everything in the file, and a CD too.

Now I can't wait to get transcribing!

But I will sleep first!

Can't wait to tell Mum its all arrived!

Military Monday - Remembrance Day

No 28 Signaller Frederick Ernest Terry Fitts
"Uncle Ricky"
Today in Australia is Remembrance Day marking the anniversary of the Armistice that ended WWI with one-minute silence at 11 am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

Today I continue with another extract from my Uncle Ricky’s diaries.

I posted an extract in my Saturday blog and continue that here from July 8 to just after the Battle of Fromelles, when he got to rest on July 21.

I am very thankful that Uncle Ricky survived the devastating Battle of Fromelles – so many didn’t.
In the middle of his entry on July 20, he comments "It is hell on earth here". 
What an awful memory to have to live with for the rest of his long life.

I will continue posting (exact) extracts from Uncle Ricky’s diary this week, in case you want to read more.

Saturday July 8th – Bde left Morbecque about 8.30 and marched to Estaires via Merville, arrived in billets at 4.30pm – Full marching order with blankets – very solid march about 14 miles – I dropped out at one point for a short spell and caught up again later – On ?list duty at Bn hqrs for a couple of hours at night –

Sunday July 9th – Left Estaires at 10.45 and marched to Erquinham (about 7 miles) The nearest trenches are about 2½ miles away – Blankets carried on transport – Pay again 15 franks –

Monday July 10th – Advance party (including 8 sigs) left Erquinham for trenches. Arrived at trenches near Bois – Grenier about 10.30pm and dossed with 13th Bn sigs – We live in the “white city”

Tuesday July 11th – 13th Bn Sig Sgt showed us around the trenches to five an idea of the lines – (Tom Morgan, Sid Smith and Vivian) all school mates at Zeitoun) are with the thirteenth) – Balance of 29th Sigs came in about midnight – Took over communications about 8

Wednesday July 12th – Out inspecting lines – Laid new copper line from D50 to C9 –

Thursday July 13th – Laid a D1 line from TM to C35 – We are getting ? in the art of ducking when shells come over – plenty ‘strarfe’ during night –

Friday July 14th Communal line between C( and C27 – Got orders to pack up at 630 – Relieved by New Zealanders about 1130pm – Three of us sent ahead from trenches as guides for the bn to billets – Billeted at Fleurbeaux – Got to bed about 5.30am

Saturday July 15th – Two gas alarms during the night –

Sunday July 16th Packed up ready for another move – mail to hand from home – Moved off from billet about 10pm to another place at a farm about ¾ mile off about ½ mile from Bau-St-Maur – Slept outside under hedge as barn was full –

Monday July 17th – Gas alert during morning – Gas alarm during night –

Tuesday July 18th – Went for walk to Bau-St- Maur where there is a Y.M.C.A. – Gas alarm during night –

Wednesday July 19th – Moved out from billet at 500pm and proceeded to another one near the line where we stayed a couple of hours before proceeding to trenches – Artillery have been bombarding every trenches all day – German prisoners passed along with Aust escort – Left for trenches about 9pm – In trenches at “Cellar farm” – The
Thursday July 20
noise is awful – Carried ? to firing line – All available men called to fire trenches to stand by with fixed bayonets to repel an enemy attack (which ? ? support trench) We lost the two enemy trenches taken earlier in the evening – It is hell on earth here – When fire slackened went detonating grenades then reported at Sig office – The other three battalions have left the trenches for their billets – on phone shift 5 to 7 pm.

Friday July 21st Resting most of day –

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Sepia Saturday – Remembering the photographer

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt is of a photographer on a beach (with a lady and a weird toy).
I’m taking the lead of the photographer and tying it in with the start of my Remembrance Day blogs.
This coming Monday is Remembrance Day (11 November) and marks the anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. Each year Australians observe one-minute silence at 11 am on 11 November, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

I’ve written about Uncle Ricky before, here and here.

Uncle Ricky was a keen photographer and there aren’t many photos of him – you know the type – always the one at family gatherings behind the camera.
Some of my other Sepia Saturday photos were taken by Uncle Ricky.

This is one of the few photos we have of the Uncle Ricky I knew – as a much older man (not sepia but over 40 years old). 
It was taken on 22 June 1972 at the celebration for his 50th wedding anniversary, when Uncle Ricky was 78 years old – and still BEHIND the camera!

Recently I visited the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and saw some of Uncle Ricky’s war diaries. I was allowed to take some photos (after checking copyright restrictions) and have started transcribing them.

I’ll continue posting transcribed pages as much as I can this week, so if you are interested, come back and read more during the week.

Apologies for the lengthy blog but you can read as much or as little of the diary entries as you like.

These pages are from 56 years before this photo was taken – in June 1916 when Uncle Ricky was 22 years old:

Inside front cover:
No 28 – Signaller F. E. T. Fitts
Hqrs Signallers
29th Battn
8th Bde

Tuesday June 20th – Choppy seas – Disembarkation orders read – Concert on board – Destroyer (escort) drew in close and sent signals; Troops gave cheers and band played for them -

Wednesday June 21st – Boxing contests on board

Thursday June 22nd – Mess orderly for the day – more disembarkation and entry (?) orders read – Expect to go off ship tomorrow – SA (?) inspection -

Friday June 25th – Land in sight from early morning – Arrived Marseilles – Pulled in to wharf about 9am – Time has jumped ahead 1 hour on account of “daylight saving” – The approach to the wharf is very pretty, the place is surrounded by very high hills – Foggy in distance in morning – Disembarked at 4.45pm and rested on wharf – Left wharf at 830 and marched to railway yard – Entrained at 12.45 – Train started at 1.15am

Saturday June 24th – Train pulled up at a place called ORANGE for breakfast, hot tea served – Reached LYON about 5pm – Pulled up at LYON-VAISE for tea about 6pm – Girls are employed in the railway depots as carriage cleaners etc. – The scenery so far has been beautiful; the train runs through the hills by tunnels and over valleys – There is a very long tunnel outside LYON – Pulled up again at 11pm to 12 m’dn’t, hot tea served –

Sunday June 25th – Pulled up at 11am at MONTARGIS for breakfast – At a big junction station JOVISY we shunted off the Paris line onto a line going in the direction of LILLE – Pulled up at VERSAILLES [arrow pointing to the top of the page where it is written:] Saw the Eiffel tower and Paris in the far distance [new line] for a few minutes and the Red cross nurses served us with a drink which tasted like liquorice – The country is much flatter here and there are not so many orchards and vineyards as in the south, but all cultivated – At EPLUCHES we pulled up for tea; All the civilians were round the train here, after souvenirs

Monday June 26th – Detrained at 10am at STEENBEQUE, a little village about two miles beyond town of HAZEBROUCK – At MORBECQUE we were allotted to billets, sigs being in a barn with batn hqrs – We are about 16 miles from ARMENTIERRES and the firing line and can hear the big guns at night time.

Tuesday June 27th – We are living on Bully Bag (?) – biscuits and jam – We have established visual communications with the companies and bn hqrs – Full marching order inspection in morning by the Col. – on the 12-3 shift on visual –

Wednesday June 28th – On the 9-12 shift – Walked about Morbecque during afternoon – The traffic on the road is very heavy – motors and DRs passing day and night – Battalion out on route march; Sigs exempt – General Birdwood visited us in our billets in evening –

Thursday June 29th – 6 to 9 shift in morning and 6-8 in evening – Watched British aeroplanes manouvering (?), also one being fired at in distance

Friday June 30th – Mail to hand (English) – Ray Temly (?) turned up again – On 3 to 6 shift – More aeroplanes being fired at –

Saturday July 1st – Mess orderly – Gas helmet drill in morning – Nice sunny day – Heavy gunfire heard at night from direction of Armentierres –

Sunday July 2nd – On 9-12 shift – Batn on church pde in morning – Gas and Steel helmets and smoke glasses issued – Parcel arrived from home with …(?)..., sox, soaps and eatables –
Monday July 3rd – On 7-9 shift – Battn went through tests with Gas and Tear gas – Rumours of another shift, around –

Tuesday July 4th – On 4.30 – 7.30 shift – New electric lamps issued to Bn, had practices with them –

Wednesday July 5th – On 1.15 to 4.30 shift – Pay day – Some of the boys returned merry from the town –

Thursday July 6th – 10-11.50 (?) shift – Box respirators issued to sigs –

Friday July 7th As Usual

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Trove Tuesday – Melbourne Cup Day – My brush with fame

I’ve talked about my family links to racing and the Melbourne Cup a couple of times before, and here about the trucks.

Probably one of the last times I went in the truck to the races with either my Pa or my Dad was to the 1969 Melbourne Cup 
– with Rain Lover who went on to win his second consecutive Cup.  It was soon after this that we moved five hours away to live in the country.

If you're thinking about backing Green Moon today because he won last year, think about this:
Only four horses have won successive Melbourne Cups:
- Archer in 1861 and 1862
- Rain Lover in 1968 and 1969
- Think Big in 1974 and 1975
- Makybe Diva in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Peter Pan won two but over three years, in 1932 and 1934.

Rain Lover was special, not just because I got to pat him but because he won his second Melbourne Cup with an unheard of weight increase of 9 kilograms! 
This was almost double the increases of the other horses in their second wins. 
He was carrying 60.5 kilograms.
(Top weight in today's Cup is 58.5kg)

For the genealogists, horses have family trees too, and Rain Lover, Think Big and Makybe Diva were all descendants of Carbine. 
Carbine holds the ‘weight-carrying record’ of 66 kilograms, for the 1890 Melbourne Cup where he defeated 39 starters and set a record for the race.
(Today's Cup has just 24 starters)

More than half of the Melbourne Cup winners, including Phar Lap, have been descendants of Carbine – quite a sire! 
Carbine’s skeleton is displayed at the Australian Racing Museum at Melbourne’s MCG.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sepia Saturday - Where they lived

Watch Hill

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a photo of the beautiful Robert Goelet house in Newport, USA. 

The prompt reminds us that,
 “houses are such an important part of our lives, be they big or small, stone or wood, brick or turf.”

Here is a selection of some of the homes/houses of some members of my family.

Watch Hill

I’ve written about the beautiful Watch Hill before here.

This was the home of my maternal great grandparents Sarah (nee Stonehouse) and Edward LONG. 

This was where my Nanna lived from her teens, and was married from (in 1935).


When my Nanna’s brother, Uncle Bill married in 1938, he lived at Watch Hill and their parents moved to Wilgul, a property at the front of the Watch Hill property.

Glenhuntly Road

When my Nanna and Pa married they lived at first in Carnegie and soon moved to Glenhuntly Road, Glenhuntly. 

Pa ran his horse transport business from downstairs and the family lived upstairs. 

My Mum lived most of her life here until she got married to my Dad.

Front of Tumbywood
Mum and Dad’s first home was Tumbywood in Red Hill on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. 

It was here that I was born and lived the first few years of my life.

Hotham Street, Oakleigh

Dad’s mother, my Gren, grew up and was married (in 1936) from the Francis family home in Hotham Street, Oakleigh. 

Both her parents died in this house (in 1946 and 1947).

Francis home in Yinnar

Gren was born in Yinnar (in 1910) in the marital home of her parents, my paternal great grandparents (Florence) May (nee Pearson) and William Collier FRANCIS.
Back view of Tumbywood