Joseph Hickmott (1872-1928)

(last updated 12 December 2017)

henry and harrietHenry and Harriet's youngest son, Joseph Hickmott was born at Clunes in Victoria in 1872. His birth certificate shows his father was then 45 years old and was working as a brickmaker. Joseph's siblings were said on the certificate to be: James (17), Sophia (deceased), Samuel (15), William (13), Walter (deceased), Jane (9), Maryann (deceased), Louisa (deceased), Alfred (3) and Richard (deceased). As an infant Joseph moved with his family to Maryborough and then to Charlton in central Victoria where Henry established a brickyards in the town and bought a farm at nearby Wooroonook. In 1877 Joseph's mother, Harriet, and his older brother, Samuel Hickmott, were both struck by lightning and killed instantly during a severe thunderstorm that had engulfed the town. As detailed in the account of his time in Victoria, Henry re-married two years later. Joseph's step-mother was the London-born widow, Margaret Ann Kaye nee Sartain (c1839-93) with whom Henry would have a son, Robert Hickmott. A year after their marriage Henry and Margaret left Charlton for Junee in NSW. Three years later, Henry walked out on Margaret and Robert (who would die of typhoid fever at Junee in 1899) and travelled to Roma in Queensland where his son William was working and where he would again try his luck as a brick maker.

We think it likely that Joseph accompanied his father to both Junee and Roma. Evidence for him being in the latter location is provided in a report of an inquiry into a house fire contained in the 4 November 1884 edition of the Western Star and Roma Advertiser. In it, Paul Beck, a selector residing at Bismarck farm, informed the magistrate he had earlier bought land near the Bungil bridge on the Blythdale Road and built a house on it. 'Four months ago', Beck continued, 'he rented the house and paddock to Mr Hickmott for three years; on Saturday last, about 9am, he went to the house as he was informed Hickmott had cleared out ... [a women in the vicinity told him] she had not seen Hickmott for three days, but had seen his boy two days previously ... [Beck added that] Hickmott owed him £20 in rent ... and had left his furniture in the house'. Faced with mounting debts, Henry had decided to cut his options and return to Victoria. He lived for a time at Bairnsdale in Gippsland, where he and Harriet's eldest son, John James Hickmott was then living and working, before eventually returning to the Charlton area where he was recorded as living at Barrakee in 1899 and 1909 and at Buckrabunyule in 1902. A report in the Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo Chronicle (dated 15 October 1892), informing its readers that at 'the annual meeting of the Lucknow cricket club a Joseph and James Hickmott were elected committee members', indicates that Joseph was also at Bairnsdale during this time.

Like his father Joseph eventually returned to Charlton where he worked as a farmer. In 1907 he married a local girl, Helen Watt (1885-1966). According to the Watt Family Tree on Ancestry, Helen was the youngest child of Scottish-born Francis Watt (1828-1909) and Angelina Hill (1846-87) who originally hailed from Arundel in Sussex. They married in Learmonth in Victoria in 1863 and had eleven children in addition to Helen: Angelina (born in 1864), Francis (1866), James (1867), John (1869), William (1870), Thomas (1872), Peter (1874), Robert (1876), Elizabeth (1878), Margaret (1880) and Jessie (1883). Helen's parents settled at Barrakee near Charlton in around 1875 and both died and are buried there. One of Helen's brothers took over the family farm. Another brother, Thomas Watt, farmed land at Gilgandra in the central western reaches of NSW. His death notice, published in the Gilgandra and Castlereagh Weekly on 10 Sep 1942, states he was one one of the town's 'best known and most successful farmers and graziers'.

The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage, Joseph and Helen lived at Charlton before acquiring a block of land in the new irrigation area at Pannoo Bamawm some 20 km west of the northern Victorian town of Rochester. Initially a dry farming area, the early landholders pressed to gain access to a regular water supply. It seems that Joseph was an active participant in this process. According to the Riverine Herald (Echuca, 8 June 1914): 'New Irrigation Area. A large and enthusiastic meeting of landholders was held (under the auspices of the Pannoo Settlers Association) at Mr Hickmott's on Tuesday evening, 26th inst for the purpose of taking steps towards getting an irrigation supply of water ... [a petition was drawn up and signed by a large number of those present to be presented to the Water Supply Commission] Votes of thanks to the chairman and to Mr and Mrs Hickmott who very kindly provided refreshments terminated the meeting'. In September the same year Victoria's Royal Commission on Closer Land Settlement used Joseph's residence as its base to take evidence on the Panoo Estate. According to the Rochester Express, 'the general trend of the evidence was that [each] property was bought on the dear side [and] the areas were too small for a man to make a permanent home on it'.

Joseph's father, Henry, lived with his son and daughter-in-law at Bamawm until his death there in May 1914. He is buried in the Pannoo Bamawm cemetery at Pine Grove East (the cemetery records have his name as William Henry Hickmott). The electoral rolls show Joseph and Helen continued to live in the area until Joseph's unexpected death there in 1928. He is buried as Francis Joseph Hickmott in the same cemetery as his father. The 21 August 1928 edition of the Melbourne Argus states that probate from Joseph's will would be paid to his widow, Helen Hickmott of Kotta, and son Francis Joseph Hickmott once he reached 21 years of age. The 1936 electoral roll shows Helen and her son Francis Joseph Hickmott, labourer, living on Echuca Road in Rochester. By the following year they had moved to Melbourne and were registered as living at 67 St George's Road in Caulfield West. The 1943 roll shows Helen at 1 Carmyle Ave in Malvern. In 1949 and 1954 she was at 8 Mayfield Grove in Caulfield. Ancestry's index of Australian bdms show that she died in Victoria in 1966, aged 81 years (reg no 18165).

Joseph and Helen Hickmott had six children, four born at Charlton and two at Rochester. As described below all of these married and between them provided their parents with at least ten grandchildren we know of as well as a number of great grand children.

1. Francis Joseph Hickmott (1908-99).

Born at Charlton in 1908, Frank lived with his parents at Charlton and Panoo Bamawm and, following his father's death in 1928, with his widowed mother at Rochester and later in Melbourne where he worked as a radio technician. In 1938 he married a widow Isobel Edith Fell (nee Betts). Sue Saxton's 'Master Kane-Kelly-Gleeson' family tree on Ancestry tells us that Isobel's parents were William Henry Thomas Betts (1869-1928) and Edith Tippins (1879-1973) who were married in Victoria in 1902. Born at Hamilton in Victoria in 1911, Isobel married Ivo Leonard Fell (1904-35), the youngest son of Walter John Fell (1861-1937) and Martha Phillip Clarke (1862-1955), in Victoria in 1934. A stone mason by trade, Ivo was killed the following year when he was run into by a car while riding his bicycle to work. The Australian electoral rolls show Frank and Isobel lived in Melbourne all their married lives. The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust website shows that Frank died on 10 October 1999 and was buried in the Preston Cemetery 5 days later. The same source has his wife, Edith Isobel Hickmott (born on 16 February 1911 and died 14 August 1998) buried in the same grave along with their two infant sons: Kenneth Hickmott (28 June 1940 - 1 July 1940) and Kenward Francis Hickmott (30 December 1899 - 30 December 1899). Note the dates for Kenward are incorrect and should be 1946. We don't think Frank and Isobel had any other children.

2. Gladys Helen Hickmott (1910-99)

Born at Charlton in 1910, Gladys married Hubert ('Hugh') Miles Pendock (1894-1956) in Melbourne in 1926. According to the Ponting Family History website, Hugh and his five siblings were born at Hooper's farm at Mangotsfield in Somerset in England. His siblings were: Charles William (born in 1890), Frank Fitzroy (1892), Cecil Robert (1896), Dora May (1898) and Edith Mary Pendock (1899) and his parents Frank Hember Pendock and Kate Collins (who were married at St Paul's Church of England in Bristol on 27 March 1889). The 1901 census shows the family living at Hooper's farm together with Kate's mother and her sister's children. Ancestry's UK Outward Passenger Lists show that, in February 1912, Hugh sailed from London on the OSTERLEY bound for Fremantle in Western Australia. Nine months later, Hugh's parents and three of his siblings sailed from London to Brisbane on the DEMOSTEMES. As detailed in the Ponting Family History website, Hugh's older brother, Charles William Pendock, went to Canada and thence to the United States where he settled in Milwaukee Misconsin.

Australia's 1914 electoral role shows the Australia-bound members of the Pendock family settled on Hazeldean Farm at Green Hill near Kyneton in central Victoria. On 2 July 1915, Hugh enlisted in the First AIF and was allocated to C Company of the 22nd Battalion. He seems to have been returned to Australia from Egypt and discharged and then re-enlisted at Broadmeadows in Melbourne on 19 March 1916 (giving on this occasion his place of birth as Bristol in England). He returned to Egypt on the HMAT MALWA the same month and served with the AIF Canteens there until June 1917 when he was posted to England to serve as a sergeant with the 23rd Battalion. He was twice wounded in action in France first on 30 April 1918 and then again on 6 September of that year (in both cases he sustained a GSW to the face). The second wound saw him invalided to the 1 Auxilliary Hospital at Dartford in England. After his release from hospital he served at Army HQ in London before returning to Australia on the SS ORONTES on 20 December 1918. Hugh was discharged from the Army in Melbourne on 10 May 1919. While Hugh was serving in France, his father sold Hazledean Farm and relocated to Melbourne, a move that the local newspaper reported was much regretted by the other residents of Greenhill:

The residents of Greenhill greatly regret the departure of Mr and Mrs Pendock and family from 'Hazeldean Farm' Greenhill where they have resided for some five or six years. Mr and Mrs Pendock and their family have taken an active part in all matters connected with the development of the district. Mr Pendock is a very strong advocate for a system of State-assisted insurance against drought, by which struggling farmers would be encouraged and helped to retain each year sufficient fodder to maintain their stock in case of drought. Mr Pendock's scheme has been commented upon favourably by many interested in the land development of Australia, including several members of Parliament. It is to be hoped that Mr Pendock's scheme will be thoroughly enquired into, and if feasible, adopted by the Repatriation Committee. Mr Pendock intends to settle much nearer Melbourne. Mr Pendock's son, Mr Fitzroy Pendock, is the possessor of much ability as a comic singer and entertainer, and he has been most generous in his assistance at all patriotic and charitable functions in the district. Malmsbury residents are holding a meeting to arrange for entertaining Mr F. Pendock prior to his leaving Kyneton. Two of Mr Pendock's sons joined the forces, Pte C. R. Pendock and Cpl H. Pendock (Kyneton Guardian, 23 February 1918).

We don't know where the family went to in the first instance just that by the time of the 1921 election Hugh and his parents were on a farm at Whorouley near Myrtleford in Victoria (the farm was a 477-acre block of land that Hugh had obtained through the soldier settlement scheme). Hugh's mother died in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh in 1923. In 1930 Frank Hember Pendock sailed from Sydney to the United States presumably to visit his son Charles (Frank returned to Australia and died in Melbourne in 1936. His death notice indicates that he had re-married). The 1931 electoral roll has Hubert Miles and Gladys Helen Pendock registered at 23 Walker Street in the Melbourne suburb of Vermont where Hugh was working as a labourer. They were both registered as living on Uriarra Road in Queanbeyan in NSW at the time of the 1935, 1936 and 1937 elections (by then Hugh was working as a clerk). The 1942 roll has them at 133 Dandenong Road Oakleigh where Hugh was said to be a public servant. They were still there in 1949 together with Hugh Francis Pendock, salesman. The 1954 roll has Hugh and Gladys at 127 Dandenong Road in Clayton. Hugh died two years later and was cremated at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on 9 July 1956.

Gladys continued to live in Melbourne after Hugh's death, in the outer suburb of Noble Park where she was employed as a canteen worker. Also registered there in 1968 were a Neil Calvin and Geraldene Ann Pendock, both of whom were employed as clerks. Gladys only was there in 1972 (Neil and Geraldene were registered as living at 48 Leonard Ave Noble park where Geraldene was now home duties). Only Gladys was on the 1977 and 1980 rolls. As the following tribute posted in the Herald Sun shows, she died on 11 July 1999: 'PENDOCK. - Gladys Helen, peacefully at Meadow Glen Nursing Home, Epping, on Sunday, July 11, 1999. Wife of Hubert (dec). Much loved and cherished mother and mother-in-law of Frank and Margaret, Maurice and June (dec), Mavis and Alf, Valda and Warren (dec), Neil and Joyce. Loved grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother. Special thanks to doctor and staff at Meadow Glen Nursing Home. Peace Perfect Peace At Last'. She was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium three days later.

3. Reginald Hubert Hickmott (1911-91)

The 1936/7 electoral roll shows a Reginald Hubert and Ronald Henry Hickmott, both farm labourers, living at Yalcokrin near Gilgandra in New South Wales. The 9 January issue of the Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh announced the engagement 'of Jessie, fourth daughter, of Mr and Mrs W. F. Cooper, of 'Gundare', Gilgandra, to Reg second son of the late Mr J. Hickmott and Mrs Hickmott, of Rochester, Victoria'. The 9 September issue reported that: 'A quiet wedding was celebrated at St Ambrose's Church at 2 pm on Monday, when Bro Harry Kitley united in holy wedlock Miss Jessie Cooper and Mr Reginald Hickmott. The couple later left on their honeymoon. Upon return they will make their residence in the Gulargambone district, Mr Hickmott having accepted a position on Mr J. Christie's property'. Jessie's parents were William Francis Cooper (1871-1954) who was born at Lake George near Goulburn in NSW and Selina May Walters (1885-1972). The Australian electoral rolls show Reg, a fireman, and Jessie Hickmott lived at Glen Davis near Clandulla in New South Wales until the early 1950s when they moved to Sydney. There they lived at Burwood, Carlton and finally Kogarah where Reg worked as a traveller. Registered with them at Kogarah in 1963 was a Neville Francis Hickmott who also worked as a traveller. The Ryerson Index tells us Reg died at Kogarah in 1991 and Jessie in 2002. According to the Nagle Family Tree on Ancestry, they had two children, one of whom is married.

gilgandra soldiers during the second world war

From the Gilgandra Shire Library's collection, this photo is of local soldiers during the Second World War and includes,
fifth from the left in the second row, Reg Hickmott.

4. Ronald Henry Hickmott (1913-95)

Like his older brother, Ron lived and worked at Gilgandra where, in 1938, he married a local girl, Kathleen Dulcie Jean Boxhall (1916-2004). We think Kathleen's parents were John Boxhall (1866-1918) and Amanda ('Minnie') Nicholson (1870-1965) although that has not been confirmed. The Australian War Memorial data base shows that NX86228 Ronald Henry Hickmott from Gilgandra in NSW enlisted in the Second AIF at Paddington in NSW on 28 January 1942. He served as a LCpl in the 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion and was discharged on 4 January 1946. His next of kin was Kathleen Hickmott. The Australian electoral rolls show that Ron and Kathleen continued to live in Gilgandra after the war. Ron died and was buried there in 1995. His gravestone reads: 'HICKMOTT NX 86228 Corporal Ronald Henry, died 6-9-95 aged 82 years, beloved husband of Jean, dear father of John, loving Pop Enid, Leanne, Peter and Karen'. The Ryerson Index tells us Kathleen Dulcie Jean Hickmott, 'late of Springwood and formerly of Gilgandra' died on 17 May 2004 (notice published in the Dubbo Daily Liberal on 21 May 2004).

5. Leslie James Hickmott (1913-95)

Born at Rochester in Victoria in 1915, Les was working as a farm hand in the area at the time of the 1937 election. The 6 January 1941 issue of the Melbourne Argus announced that he had become engaged to 'Mary Ethel (Pearl) Carter, elder daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Albert Carter, Alexandra' (they were married the following year). The Australian War Memorial database for WWII shows VX131883 Leslie James Hickmott of South Melbourne enlisted in the Second AIF at Brisbane on 14 January 1943 and served as a Lance Sergeant in the 19 Australian Line Section (Signals). He was discharged from the Army on 14 November 1945. His next of kin was his wife Mary. The Australian electoral rolls show that Les and Pearl lived in Alexandra until at least the 1980s. Other Hickmotts registered as living at Alexandra during this time were: Howard James and Christine Anne Hickmott and Kenneth John and Hillary Hickmott. Les died at Alexandra in 1989. His headstone states he was the 'loved husband of Pearl' and 'loving father of Norm, Ken, Howard and Meryl'. He is buried in the Alexandra cemetery with his wife Mary Ethey (Pearl) Hickmott who died there in 2002.

6. Angelina Harriet Hickmott (1917-2001)

Angelina, who was named after her maternal grandmother, was born at Rochester in 1917. The 1942 electoral roll has her living at Rennison St in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham. 'James Cousins' family tree on Ancestry suggests that Angelina married Cyril John Thomas Stevens (no details given) and we have still to confirm that this is our Angelina. The Australian electoral rolls show that an Angelina Harriet, home duties, and Cyril Eugene Stevens, blacksmith, were living at Moyhu (near Wangaratta in Victoria) at the time of the 1949 election (along with a James Stevens, blacksmith - probably Cyril's father). The 1963, 1967 and 1968 rolls have Angelina and Cyril, a brick setter, at 21 Cambridge Street in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale. They were still registered there in 1972 - along with a John Robert Stevens, carpet layer - and 1977. The Ryerson Index shows Angelina died on 11 april 2001. Her death notice in the Herald Sun dated 12 April 2001 read: 'STEVENS. - Angelina Harriet. Passed away peacefully Apr. 11 2001. Wife of Cyril (George, dec), mother to John, mother-in-law to Dianne, Nanny to Rachel, Catherine and John, and Granny Anny to Molly and Jack. Will be sadly missed'. She was cremated at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on 12 April 2001. Cyril Eugene Stevens had been cremated there on 10 September 1987.

Hickmott family Rootsweb site Henry's father Samuel Hickmott
Henry in Victoria Rebecca Smith (nee Hickmott)

Image sources:
Henry and Harriet Hickmott and their two sons, courtesy of Graeme Hickmott.