Sunday, April 29, 2018

52 Ancestors - Anzac Day

I'm being a rebel again, in my own very tiny way. This week's theme is "cemetery" but the list is very American and is really just a prompt to get you writing about your ancestors, so instead I've gone with "Anzac Day".

First up, on my side, we have David Eric Morton who was my 1st cousin, twice removed (son of my maternal great-grandmother Emma Morton's brother).



According to the Australian War Memorial, he was a Private in the Army/Flying Corps. His WWI records show he signed up on 19 March 1917 in Sydney when he was 20 years old and he embarked on 9 May 1917 on the "Port Sydney", arriving in the Suez on the 8th September 1917 as part of the Camel Reserve Corps - 1st Camel Battalion as a Private.

The Imperial Camel Corps Brigade was formed in 1916 from British and Commonwealth troops and was attached to the Anzac Mounted Division. There were four regiments: the 1st and 3rd were Australian, the 2nd was British and the 4th was a mix of New Zealanders and Australians. Each regiment had around 770 men and at full strength, the brigade contained almost 4000 camels. Apparently, the men of the ICC had a rough reputation, largely because when te Corps was originally formed, Australian battalion commanders had seized upon it as an opportunity to offload some of their more difficult characters.



In July 1918, David was transferred to the AAVC - the Australian Army Vetenirary Corps as part of the Lighthorse Brigade, before then being transferred to the AASC - the Royal Australian Army Service Corps in September 1918, which was a supply unit. He embarked back to Australia on 20 July 1919 on the "Morvada".

That's all I can find on my side of the family for WWI - although I admit I wish we had better searching capability on Ancestry for recalling say "all relatives with WWI service" (you can only search for names in the tree).

Over on Andrew's side of the family, he has at least two WWI veterans and they were both married to his maternal grandmother, Blanche Annie Reynolds.

The first was William George Silas Bryson. He married Blanche on the 20 March 1911 and they had two daughters - Phyllis (1911) and Joyce (1914). He enlisted on the 20 April 1915 (five days before the landing at Gallipoli) and was first a Private then rose to Sergeant in the 3rd Australian Infantry Batallion. He was part of the 7th reinforcements and embarked aboard HMAT Orsova on 17 July 1915. He served at Gallipoli for about a month, before they withdrew.

Bill Bryson on the right,
wearing a badge to denote he is a qualified signaller. 

The battalion also fought at Lone Pine (Aug 1915), the Western Front, the Somme, Flanders, Poziers and the Hinderburg line, until the 11 November 1918 armistice.

Bill died on 28 January 1919 in Dartford, UK from influenza after returning from battle. If you are ever at the War Memorial in Canberra, he is found on panel 35, and his name will be projected on quite a few dates in 2018.

Blanche remarried after Bill's death to Ellwood James "Ted" Homewood (Andrew's maternal grandfather) in 1922. He had previously served as a Private also in the 3rd Australian Infantry Batallion, enlisting on 2 September 1915.


He was injured whilst serving - apparently shot and the bullet landed near his heart. He suffered from that injury after returning to Australia on 20 October 1918. 


He went on to have two children - David James in 1921 and Patricia Mary (Andrew's mum) in 1924. He died as a result of his war injuries on 6 December 1933 aged 46.

The impact of war on families should never be underestimated. Whether they died in service, came home injured or suffered PTSD as a result of the unimaginable horrors they saw and participated in. 

Lest we forget.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

52 Ancestors - Storm

Well, this week's theme on 52 Ancestors is "Storm". Last week was "taxes" and try as I might, there was nothing I could come up with, so I had a week off. I nearly did the same this week, but as I was doing a bit of research, sure enough, we have a thunderstorm going on, so I'm going to draw a very long, tenuous bow...

John Broome is my 7th great grandfather. He was born in 1710, in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. Now this place is interesting because a) Worcestershire sauce! and b) Kidderminster is considered the home of the first machine-made (as opposed to hand-made) carpets.

Kidderminster had been a textile producing town since medieval times. By the 17th century, Kidderminster cloth was the only textile industry to survive and flourish because of the town's ability to adapt to changing needs and tastes. Already famous for its broadcloths, the town rapidly became famous for producing what was known as "Kidderminster stuff" which was mainly used for bed coverings and wallhangings.

As it turns out, John Broom(e) and John Pearsall were "stuff weavers" and are credited as being the first weavers of "Kidderminster" carpet in 1735. It was a coarse, flat weave, woven with mainly woollen yarns, patterned with the design visible on both sides, so it was reversible. They were not floor carpets in the truest sense, but more like wall hangings. Known as "Ingrain", they later became known as "Kidderminster" and later as "Scotch" as the process was exported to Scotland. It was cheaper than hand-woven carpets and instrumental in bringing carpet to the wider market.


Apparently, John Broome was quite the entrepreneur and in 1749 he travelled to either Brussels, Tournai or Wilton, where he "borrowed" the plans for a new type of loom and brought with him immigrant workers. 

Up until then, they were always keeping an eye on their hand-loom competitors in Scotland, Axminster and Wilton. Kidderminster is located on the River Stour, and then the opening of the Kidderminster canal gave them access to the rest of the world and Kidderminster became the "Carpet Capital of the World".

Kidderminster Church on the River Stour

As carpets became larger and more ornate, it became necessary for larger looms to be used and they could not be housed in individual weaver's homes. Some carpet factories were converted from other textile factories. In 1832, the carpet firm of John Broome (John Broome's son and my 7th great uncle) went bankrupt.

John Broome Jnr - my 7th Great Uncle

What's all this got to do with storms, I hear you ask? Well, I was researching the Hardwick tree (my mum's dad) during this storm this morning, and they were all from around Kidderminster too. In fact, Effie Clara Broome (my Great Great Grandmother) who married Arthur John Hardwick Snr is the direct descendant of John Broome Snr and they both lived in the area, but immigrated to Australia separately, where they married in Sydney in 1887.

So, a pretty long bow to "storms" but a fascinating story and a really interesting part of my family tree!

Monday, April 09, 2018

52 Ancestors - The Maiden Aunt

This week's theme for #52ancestors is The Maiden Aunt. And our star this week is Miss Delia Sedgwick, who was my Great Aunt. Delia Gertrude Sedgwick was born on 13 June, 1887, the fifth of eight children of Gasper Sedgwick and Catherine (Kate) Morley. After Kate died when Delia was 6 years old, Gasper married her sister, Cecilia and had a further five children, including my Grandfather, Joseph.

My Great Aunt Delia; her sister-in-law, my paternal Grandmother Cora; her half-sister, my Great Aunt Jacomina; and Jacomina's daughter, Celine Delia Simon.
Delia never married - she worked as a maid for Miss Nan Garvan, herself an "old maid", who we believe is one of the six daughters of James Patrick Garvan (who also had six sons).

Delia and Nan Garvan

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research began as a small research department of St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The Sisters of Charity used funds raised from their Centenary Appeal to establish the Institute and one of the primary donors was Mrs Helen Mills, who contributed 100,000 pounds and requested that it be named after her late father, James Patrick Garvan, NSW parliamentarian and business leader.

We can tell that Delia lived in Woollahra (presumably with Miss Garvan) and travelled the world, both to Europe and America and we inherited her old trunk that she used to travel with (which sadly got damaged when our shed flooded). Family tales say Miss Garvan was a bit of an old drunk, however, she (or one of her sisters) left Delia enough money to purchase the house at Brighton-Le-Sands that she left to her half-brother Joseph (my Grandfather) and eventually my father purchased and I lived in from 1985 to when I left home in 1992.

Delia died on 30 March, 1969 (a few months before I was born) at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney, aged 81 years. Something tells me she lived a pretty amazing life, "even" without a husband!

Sunday, April 01, 2018

52 Ancestors - The Old Homestead

This weeks theme on #52ancestors in 52 weeks is "The Old Homestead". Now that's a really American term and I don't really have much information on an old farm that has stayed in the family for generations. But we do a bit of family history linked to a house.

"Fifeshire" - 9 Eurobin Ave, Manly (Sydney's northern beaches).



It was owned by my great-grandmother (my mother's father's mother) Emma Ivanhoe Morton. She was born in Manly in 1878, and married Arthur John Hardwick in 1909 and they lived in Brookvale, NSW. However, after he ran off with another woman, she lived with her son George Arthur Hardwick in Redfern and Punchbowl, before moving purchasing the house in Manly.

Emma Ivanhoe Hardwick (Morton) in December 1924

She would have named it "Fifeshire" because her father, David Morton, was born in Pittenwheem, Fife in Scotland, before coming to Australia in 1859.

Pittenwheem Harbour, Fife, Scotland

George Arthur lived with her until he married my maternal Grandmother in 1938. However, after they divorced in 1943, he went back to live with his mummy!

Emma Hardwick died in 1957 and in 1958, George is recorded as having moved to North Manly. Not sure what happened to the house after that, but it is estimated to be worth around $3 million dollars now, according to realestate.com.au! Maybe we should have held onto it...




52 Ancestors - Unusual Name

In this week's post, we have been asked to look behind an "unusual name" and I've chosen my great-aunt's husband, Fred...