The Kersleys in Australia

(last updated 19 June 2020)

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Robert Kersley

Part II: Children and Descendants

1. Letitia Catherine Kersley (1868-1939)

Born at Rylstone, Letitia married Edwin Ernest Beasley (1862-1943) at Dubbo in NSW in 1891. Edwin, who worked as a labourer, was the son of William Beasley and Sarah Amelia Smith who had been married in Victoria in 1862. The Australian electoral rolls show that he and Letitia lived most of their married lives at Orange in NSW. They had seven children we are aware of there. One of these, Aneeta Catherine Clare Beasley, died as an infant. As describer below, one of their boys was killed at Gallipoli. Another joined the colours in 1917 and returned to Australia in 1919. Local newspaper reports indicate that during this time Letitia was one of the town's 'most indefatigible patriotic workers'. She was also the primary correspondent between the family and the Army, making queries and providing information in a neat and educated hand. Letitia died at Orange in 1939, Edwin died there in 1943. One of their grandchildren is Robert Tickner, a former Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Federal Labor Governments and the current CEO of the Australian Red Cross.

1) Clifton Ernest Havelock Beasley (1891-1959). The Australian War Memorial WW1 Embarkation Rolls show 139 Cpl Clifton Ernest Havelock Beasley embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT Shropshire on 11 May 1917. He was 25 years old, worked as a fireman and gave as his NOK his mother Letitia. He served with the 4th Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company and returned to Australia on 1 July 1919. As the following account from the Orange Leader demonstrated, his safe return was much celebrated:

The tootling and 'cock-a-doodledoing' which heralded the arrival of the passenger train on Wednesday night gave forth the intimation that someone in high favour with the railway men was on the train. This proved to be Cpl C. Beasley, who has been doing strenuous work as a railway worker at the front. The returning soldier, who is the son of Mrs beasley of East orange, one of the most willing war workers, was accompanied by his parents, and was welcomed at the station by the Mayor (Ald Treweeke) and Mr Whitmee, on behalf of the citizens, also by the Returned Soldiers Association and the Model Band. The VADs and the Digger Post also attended, and a large number of Cpl Beasley's relations and friends. In a neat speech the returned soldier expressed his thanks to all who were present, and wished specially to mention the women of Australia who had done so much for the help and comfort of the boys at the front. On arriving at his home Cpl Beasley was entertained by his people and their friends, Sgt W. Agland and Mr Seaman, another returned railway man being also honoured guests. Mr Caldwell occupied the chair, and after justice had been done to the sumptuous repaste, he proposed the toast 'The King', which was duly honoured and suceeded by the toast of the evening 'The Guest'. the Chairman spoke in eulogistic terms of what the men had done for us, and the great part Australians had played in the great battles. The toast was musically honoured and responded to by the three guests. The health of Mr and Mrs Beasley was then proposed and the speaker repeated the remarks of the Mayor at the station, to the effect that Mrs Beasley was one of our most indefatigible patriotic workers. This toast was responded to by Mr E. Beasley on behalf of his parents. The health of the relations was then drunk and responded to by Ald Agland, in his usual happy style. The rest of the evening was then spent in a pleasantly social manner.

Three years after his return, Clifton married Annie Mary Killeen (1888-1955) at Orange in 1922 (the 'Killeen Family Tree' on Ancestry has Clifton's wife as Alice Maud Killeen, daughter of Patrick Killeen (1840-98) and an Annie Killeen (1867-91) who was working at Patrick's farm at Derrimut in Victoria in around 1887. Alice Maud, born the following year, was said to be their only child. Patrick had previously been married to Mary Ann Elizabeth Sheahan (1849-84) with whom he had nine children. The marriage record on the NSW bdms website has Clifton's wife as Annie M. Killeen, and her death record as Annie Mary Beasley, the daughter of Patrick and Annie. Annie's christian names are further supported by the electoral roll entries which shows she and Clifton, an engine driver, living on Byng St in Orange until their respective deaths there in 1955 and 1959.

According to Clifton's granddaughter, Julie Archer, he and Annie had 5 children: 1) Adrian Kersley Clive Beasley (1925-2007) who married Neila Margaret McKay, divorced and then married Hilda Lisa Kapanen. No children; 2) Lorraine Winifred Beasley (1926-2013) who married Jack Howard Brown and had four children: Gary Howard Brown, Julie Howard Brown (me), Malcolm Howard Brown (deceased) and Helen Howard Brown; 3) and 4) Twins, Cynthia Audrey Beasley (1928-2011), who married Malcolm John Gordon ('Jack') Rose (1917-90) and had two children, Daryl and Jennifer, and Maida Ann Beasley (1928-2012) who had a son - Robert Tickner - out of wedlock and later married Joseph Gregory Kirwan (1922-2017). No children; and 5) Brian Robert Murray Beasley (1930-2017) who married Yvonne Trudgett and had 2 children Robert and Charles.

clifton beasley annie killeen

From the 'Julie Archer Family Tree' on Ancestry, the photos are of Clifton Ernest Havelock ('Clif') Beasley (1862-1943)
in his First AIF uniform and his wife-to-be Annie Mary Killeen (1867-91).

2) william robert clive beasleyWilliam Robert Clive Beasley (1894-1915). The Australian War Memorial records show that 593 Private William Robert Clive Beasley (pictured on the left) was killed in action near Courtney's Post at Gallipoli on 2 May 1915 while serving with the 2nd Battalion 1st Infantry Brigade of the 1st AIF. He had enlisted at Orange on 23 August 1914 and embarked from Sydney on 18 October the same year on the HMAT SUFFOLK. His personal records show that he was reported missing in action on 2 May 1915 and pronounced killed in action by a Board of Inquiry the same day. William's body was never found and his name is inscribed on the Lone Pine Memorial. He is also commemorated on his parents' grave in the Orange cemetery, on a plaque in Newman Park in Orange commemorating former East Orange Public School students who were killed in action, Orange's Holy Trinity Church Honour Roll and the Orange East Public School Honour Roll. William's cousin, William Edwin Wells, a sapper in the 9th Field Company, Australian Engineers, was also killed in action in the First World War, on 4 October 1917 at Ypres.

3) Edgar Norman Roy Beasley (1896-1962). Born at Rylstone, Edgar was living with his parents there in 1930 and working as a timber worker. The Australian electoral rolls indicate he then moved to Sydney where he worked as a clerk. He doesn't seem to have married and died in Ashfield in Sydney in 1962.

4) Arthur Edwin Beasley (1899-1962). The Australian electoral rolls indicate Arthur worked for the state railways and lived all his life at Orange where he died in 1962. He married Gertrude Rosa Phyllis Glover in the Petersham RD of Sydney in 1931. According to Julie Archer, after Arthur's death, Gertrude moved away from Orange and lived first on the NSW Central Coast and then in the United States where her only daughter, Audrey, resides.

5) Neville Henry Beasley (1906-77) married Ethel Scholefield at Petersham in 1931. The Australian electoral rolls show he lived at home with his parents in 1930. In 1933 and 1936/7 he and his wife Ethel were living at 81 Greenhills St in Croydon in Sydney and Neville was working as a labourer. They were at 22 George's River Rd in Croydon Park between 1943 and 1954 where Neville was working as a fruiterer. The NSW Registry of bdms index show that he died at Croydon Park in 1977. We believe Neville and Ethel had at least one son, Trenton William Beasley, who was born in Sydney in 1838 and began working as an attendant in the Correspondence and Records Branch of the NSW Registrar-General in 1955.

6) Nina Maud Beasley (1909-70) married Gordon Arthur Henry Smith at Orange in 1937 and continued to live there until her death in 1970.

2. Mary Maude Kersley (1869-1927)

Like her father and younger sister, Maude trained as a primary school teacher. She taught at Kienbri and Bundemar provisional schools before resigning from the NSW Education Department in 1891 in order to marry John Arthur Connell (1853-1943) at Dubbo the same year. Although still to be confirmed, we think John was born in Wellington in NSW, the son of William and Julia Connell. We believe he and Maude had a son, William Kersley(?) Connell at Rylstone in 1899. Sadly William died at the age of three years. We don't think John and Maude had any more children. From around this time until Maude's death in 1927, the couple lived at John's 'Rosemount' property which was located near Trangie in the Narromine Shire of New South Wales.

Maude died in hospital in Young in 1927. She is buried alongside her mother, Catherine Kersley, in the local cemetery at Wombat (a village located half between Young and Wallendbeen. Her gravestone has the inscription: 'Sacred to the Memory of Mary Maude Connell died 21st May 1927 aged 56 years RIP'. The Australian electoral rolls indicate that after Maude's death, John, who was then 74 years old, lived with Maude's sister, Emily Jane Bolger and her husband, Andrew, at their property, 'Fontenoy', near Wallendbeen, until his own death there in 1943. As described by the Wellington times:

Miss Lucy Connell of Maughan Street, received a wire yesterday, stating that an uncle, Mr John Connell, had passed away that morning in The Sacred Heart Hospital Young, after being an inmate for about a month. Deceased had reached the great age of 90 years last November and is the last of the old Connell family. Born in Wellington, the late John Connell resided there for the greater part of his life. He had also lived at Narromine. He married Miss Kearsley of Rylstone, who pre-deceased him. There is no family. The latter years of his life were spent with his sister-in-law Mrs Andy Bolger of Fontenoy (Young district). Old hands about here will remember him well. Until a few years ago he always spent Christmas in Wellington with his nieces in Maughan Street, it being his favourite place to visit. The funeral took place today, the remains being laid to rest in the Wombat cemetery beside those of his wife.

3. Edgar Prince Kersley (1871-1943)

Edgar married Emily Pooley Dobson (1873-1951) at Rylestone in 1896. Emily was born at Yakandandah in Victoria, the daughter of Jonathon Dobson and Mary Atherton who had been married in Victoria in 1858. She and Edgar had three children, all of whom were born at Narranderra while Edgar was serving as a police officer there around the turn of the century. According to the Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (7 July 1930) 'Inspector Kearsley, who retired from the police force last week, may well be called the 'Country Policeman'. During 39 years service he spent over 30 years in country towns. Born at Rylstone, he joined the force as a raw lad, and was at Wagga during the turbulent days of the shearers strike, and later in Broken Hill when the miners stirred up strife. Then for 17 years he was stationed at Albury. There he was in charge of police who captured the Albert Park bank robbers after they crossed the border with 4000'. The Australian electoral rolls show that they later moved to Sydney where Edgar rose to the rank of inspector of police. He and Emily were living at 54 Eastern Avenue in Kensington in 1930 and at 4 Broadbent Street Maroubra in 1936/7. As the following obituary in the Narrandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (18 May 1943) describes, Edgar died during a visit he and Emily made to Young:

Old residents of Narrandera who were acquainted with Mr and Mrs Edgar Prince Kersley, when the former was stationed here as a police officer, will regret to learn of the death of Mr Kersly which occurred at Young on 1 May at the age of 72 years. Mr kersley, who was a retired inspector of police, resided at 4 Broadbent Street Kingsford in Sydney. Before his retirement he was in charge of the Unceyville police for some years. Mr and Mrs Kersley had been on a visit to Albury, renewing old friendships, they having resided there for many years. On their way back to Sudney, they broke their journey to spend a short holiday with Mr Kersley's brother-in-law and sister Mr and Mrs Bolger, at 'Fonterroy' at Wallendbeen. While there Mr Kersley took ill and passed away in hopspital at Young. Besides Mrs Kersley, he is survived by one son, Mr Robert Kersley, who is clerk of petty sessions at Condobilin, and who was formerly assistant clerk of petty sessions at Narrandera. Bob Kersley, it will be remembered, was a prominent footballer when he was stationed here, having played with the Narrandera Imperialsin the South Western District Football Leaugues competition. A daughter of the late Mr Kersley (Enid) predeceased him). His remains were cremated.

Emily remained at Maroubra after Edgar's death in Young in 1943. She died in nearby Kingsford in 1951.

The death occurred at her residence, 4 Broadmeadow Street Kingsford, on May 13 of an old former resident of Narrandera, Mrs Emily Pooley Kersley, relict of the late Mr Edgar Kersley. Over 40 years ago Mrs Kersley's husband was a sergeant of police at Narrandera, and soon after leaving here was appointed a sub-inspector. Old residents of the town who remember her speak highly of her good qualities as a resident. Her husband died some years ago. Mrs Kersley is survived by one son, Mr Robert Kersley, District Coroner of Parramatta. Mr 'Bob' Kersley was assistant CPS at Narrandera for several years and married a Narrandera girl (Narrandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (24 May 1951).

And their children? Their youngest son, Edgar Prince Kersley jnr, died as an infant at Narrandera in 1904. His sister, Inez Kersley, died in Albury in 1923, aged 26 years. As a report in the Mudgee Guardian her death occurred in 'distressing circumstances. All the arrangements had been made for her wedding on Saturday to Mr Tapscott, a well-known Wagga resident and on the previous Saturday she was entertained by a large number of friends at a 'kitchen tea' to mark the event. She was 26 years of age, and was very popular in Albury. Sergeant Kersley is the eldest son of Mr Robert Kersley who was for many years school-teacher at Coomber, now Kandos'.

Edgar and Emily's remaining child, Robert Albert Kersley joined the CPS Office and worked at Cootamundra, Albury and Woolongong before he married Ivy Myrtle Parker at Narrandera in 1921. As the Narrandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser reported on 6 December 1921:

A quiet but very pretty wedding was celebrated on Saturday last, when Mr Robert Kersley, son of Mr and Mrs E. Kersley of Albury, formerly of Narrandera, was united in holy bonds with Miss Ivy Parker, only daughter of Mr and Mrs A. E. Parker of Narrandera. The marriage took place at the residence of the bride's parents, the Rev Arnold Boyd officiating. The bride who was given away by her father, looked becoming in a dress of white Georgette. She also wore the customary wreath and veil and carried a beautiful bouquet the gift of the bridegroom. Miss R. Feint attended as bridesmaid and was attired in a dress of pink georgette with hat to match ... Mr R. Parker (brother of the bride) fulfilled the duties of best man. After the ceremony the wedding breakfast was held at the reidence of the bride's parents when the usual toast list was honoured. Miss Kersley sang 'Because' in a charming manner. Mr and Mrs Kersley left by the afternoon's train for Sydney where the honeymoon is being spent.

The Australian electoral rolls show they were living with Edgar's parents at Maroubra in 1930. The following year Robert was appointed as Clerk of Petty Sessions at Hay. They were back in Maroubra at the time of the 1936/7 elections, at Condobolin in 1943, Dubbo in 1949 and Kingsford in Sydney in 1958 (Robert was by then a stipendiary magistrate). Robert retired sometime after 1958 and he and Ivy were registered as living at Forster in 1968, Albury in 1972 and Gunnedah in 1977 and 1980. The last roll had a number of other Kersleys at Gunnedah (all registered as living at 60 Barber Street): Alfred Robert (mechanic), Allan Geoffrey (pmg emp), Betty Allison (clerk), Ian Robert (mechanic) and Patricia Ann Kersley (teacher). The Ryerson Index shows that an Ivy Mytle Kersley, 'late of Gunnedah', died at Tamworth on 24 June 1981. The 'Rebecca Mortensen Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us Robert and Ivy had at least two children: Betty Emily Kersley (1924-2007) and Alfred Robert Kersley (1927-2001).

4. Annie May Kersley (1873-1952)

Like her older sister Maude, Annie Kersley trained as a primary school teacher. From 1891 she taught at Tong Bong, Glen Lee, Condobolin, Wallerawang and Rylstone before resigning from the Education Department in around 1909 in order to marry Arthur John Rutherford. Ancestry's index of Australian bdms shows that an Arthur J. Rutherford, son of Robert and Emily L. Rutherford, was born in Sydney in 1879. The 'Hooton/Elder Family Tree' on the same website tells us that Arthur's parents were Robert Rutherford (1855-1926) and Emily Louise Walker (1858-92) who were married in Sydney in 1878 and had six children in addition to Arthur: Robert Nicholas (1880-81), Leslie Ernest (1882-94), Herbert B. (1884-6), Margaret Ernestine (1887-1975), Alfred T. (1889-1957) and Hilda Emily Rutherford (1892-1978). As the Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representive informed its readers, Arthur had come to Rylstone in 1906 to work as a clerk in the local branch of the Australian Bank of Commerce. The newspaper's 9 December 1909 edition reported that a 'very interesting tennis set was played on the local court last Tuesday between Dr and Mrs Hansard and Mr Rutherford and Miss Kersley. The game was very even throughout and both sides exhibited good play. The former eventually won by 6 to 4'.

Annie and Arthur were married at Rylstone the following year and had at least one child, Robert Kersley, who was born at Burwood in Sydney in 1912. As described above, the family were living at Yass at the time of the death of Annie's father there in 1915. We know, from a report in the Mudgee Guardian they were in Coonabarabran in 1924 and Arthur was the manager of the town's Australian Bank of Commerce. The Australian electoral rolls show that Annie and Arthur, bank manager, were living at 2 Runnymede St in Randwick in Sydney in 1930 before moving across the harbour to Manly where Annie died in 1952 and Arthur in 1964.

5. Emily Jane Kersley (1875-1946)

As the Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser told its readers some two weeks after the event:

Rosemont near Trangie, the residence of Mr and Mrs John Connell, was en fete on Monday 6 April [1896], the occasion being the marriage of Miss Emily Kersley of Rylstone and Mr Andrew Bolger of Lalla Rookh. A large number of guests and friends witnessed the ceremony which was performed by the Rev. Father Curran. The bridegroom is well known and highly respected throughout the Dubbo district, and his marriaage created much pleasurable excitement and brought together a large muster of his friends. After the ceremony Mr and Mrs John Connell entertained about 40 guests at breakfast which was served in a large and tastefully decorated marquee. The customary toasts were duly proposed and honoured, after which Mr and Mrs Andrew Bolger, accompanied by many friends drove to Trangie en route to Sydney. In the evening Mrs Connell gave a ball which was largely attended, and where dancing lasted until daybreak. The numerous well-wishers of the young couple testified their regard by a large collection of costly and useful presents.

An obituary of Andrew Bolger published in The Land in 1953, tells us he was born at Colac in Victoria and that he later joined his brother, Michael Bolger, in New South Wales. Ancestry's index of Australian bdms shows that an Andrew Bolger was born at Mortlake in Victoria in 1869, the son of James Bolger and Margaret Brennan. Although still to be confirmed, we think Andrew's father, James Bolger (then a 17 year-old labourer and native of the County of Kilkenny), sailed to Victoria on the General Palmer (arriving at Port Philip on 10 April 1849) with his widowed mother, Catherine Bolger, and siblings Walter, Patrick, John, Thomas and Michael. The ship's register shows they were to join another of Catherine's sons, Martin Bolger, in Geelong. The obituaries for Andrew's mother, Margaret Bolger nee Brennan, who died in 1911 aged 82 years, indicate she arrived in Victoria from County Cork in Ireland in around 1855 and married James in Victoria two years later.

James and Margaret spent their early married life in the Mortlake district where they had the following children: Michael (1860), Patrick (1862), James (1864), Mary Ellen (1867) Andrew (1869) and Johanna Bolger (1871). In 1873 James and his brother, Michael Bolger (1831-1915), were granted a licence for a 320-acre block of land near Lake Buloke in the parish of Corack East in the Victorian Wimmera. Six years later James and Margaret and their family decided to leave Victoria for New South Wales (James' brother, Michael Bolger, and his family remained at Corack and took over the lease in 1887). After spending time at Deniliquin James and Margaret settled at Bullenbong near Wagga Wagga where James died in 1889. During this time their three sons, Andrew, Michael and Simon Bolger, who had abandoned his selection at Birchip in Victoria, took up land in the Bundemar parish of Dubbo. Andrew named his property 'Lalla Rookh' presumably after the oriental romance penned by the Dublin-born poet and songwriter Thomas Moore. His brother Michael's initial holding was the 'Old Dubbo' station, which had been established by the Delhunty brothers in 1839, and the ownership of which would pass to Michael's son James on the former's retirement in 1914.

In 1900 Michael Bolger purchased the 'Wonbobbie' station at Trangie in the Narromine district of central NSW. The following year Michael and Andrew, who was then working at 'Wonbobbie', jointly purchased two further properties: the 'Fontenoy' and 'Bygloree' stations respectively at Wallendbeen and West Wyalong in central NSW. We imagine the first property, which had been part of the old Berthong Estate originally acquired in 1870 by a native of Perthshire in Scotland, James Gibb (1819-1905) and his son David Forrester Gibb (1850-1932 - whose wife, Maria Dalton, hailed from Kilkenny in Ireland - was named after the Battle of Fontenoy. This took place during the War of the Austrian Succession between France and an English-led coalition in modern-day Belgium. According to Stephen McGarry's short history of the battle contained in The Irish Story, an Irish Brigade serving with the French forces played a pivotal role in defeating the British Army of the Duke of Cumberland at Fontenoy. The victory, achieved at the height of the anti-Catholic Penal Laws in Ireland, 'was looked upon with ferocious pride back home in Ireland' particularly after Irish nationalists erected a Celtic Cross at Fontenoy in the early 1900s to celebrate the victory. Before and since Irish valour at Fontenoy has been celebrated in various stories, poems and songs as well as memorialised in local monuments and street names.

As they had at Bundemar, the Bolger brothers concentrated on wool-growing with evident success. An article published in the Donald Times in 1912 reported that over 56,000 sheep were being shorn each year on the brothers' three properties. Another measure of the brothers' growing affluence was Michael's 'palatial home', which he also named 'Wonbobbie', that overlooked the harbour in the Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill. Although none of their children were born there, Andrew Bolger and his wife Emily also lived most of their married lives at 'Fontenoy' station. As a large property owner, Andrew also played an important leadership role in the local Wallendbeen and Young communities. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1912, was head and patron of the Wallendbeen Bush Fire Brigade, and served as President of the Wallendbeen Progress Association through the war years and beyond. In this last capacity, Andrew was influential in establishing the Soldiers' Memorial Hall at Wombat, a small village located between Wallendbeen and Young. His interest in this project was no doubt motivated by his eldest son's service in the First AIF (see below). It would have been sharpened by the death in England of 2nd Lieutenant Francis Cunningham Shapira. Frank was the son of the Rev A. W. and Theresa Shapira of Lake Margaret Power Station in Queenstown in Tasmania. A native of London, he worked for a number of years as Fontenoy's book-keeper before travelling to Sydney in 1915 to enlist in 'the big fight'. Allocated to the 18th Infantry Battalion he was wounded in action at Gallipoli (probably during the Battle of Sari Bair) but remained on the peninsular until the evacuation. He was then sent to France where he was again wounded and eventually hospitalised in England. After release from hospital he joined the Australian Flying Corps and underwent training at Stirling in Scotland. Not long after being commissioned, he was killed in an aircraft accident in 1917 while flying from South Carlton in Lincolnshire to France via Lympne in Kent. He is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery near London and commemorated on the Wallendbeen Memorial Obelisk.

As his obituary in The Land indicated Andrew also 'took a prominent part in the district shire council, was a hospital committeeman, and an active worker for the P & A Association of which he was a life member. He [and Emily were] also actively associated with the foundation of the Sacred Heart Hospital and Mount St Joseph Old Mens Home' in Young. It was not all work and no play of course. The social pages of the Freeman's Journal and other newspapers regularly informed their readers that Mr and Mrs Andrew Bolger and various members of their family were away on business or pleasure in Sydney where they tended to stay with either friends or family there or at the Pacific Hotel in Manly.

Emily Jane Bolger nee Kersley died in the Sacred Heart Hospital in Young on 11 March 1946 and was buried in the Wombat cemetery. The following obituary was published in the Cootamundra Herald the following day:

Mrs Emily Bolger, wife of Mr Andrew Bolger of 'Fontenoy', Wallendbeen, collapsed while on a visit with the family to Cowra. Young ambulance conveyed her to the Sacred Heart Hospital Young and she died there last night aged 70. Deceased, before marriage, was Miss Kersley of Kandos. Their are two sons and two daughters: Pat and Murray, Noreen and Mary (Mrs E. Dixon). The wide circle of friends of Mr Bolger will deeply regret this sad bereavement. After a service at Young this afternoon remains were to be taken to Wombat Cemetery for inerrment.

Andrew stayed on at 'Fontenoy' after Emily's death although the Ryerson Index tells us he died at 'Bramshopp' at Wallendbeen on 13 October 1953 and was 'late of Fontenoy'. He is buried with Emily in the Wombat village cemetery next to his mother-in-law and sister-in-law. He lived to the grand age of 84 years and was, in the opinion of The Land 'one of the outstanding pioneers of his district'. What of his and Emily's four children?

edward andrew bolger noreen bolger

Edward Andrew ('Pat') Bolger at the time of the First World War and his sister Noreen Bolger in around 1933.

1) Edward Andrew ('Pat') Bolger (1898-1977). Pat, pictured in uniform in the photo above. was born at the Sydney suburb of Moore Park on 15 March 1898. When he was 19 he enlisted, with his parents' written consent, in the First AIF and was allocated to the 35th Reinforcements for the Field Artillery Brigade. At the time he was working as the 'Fontenoy' station manager. He embarked for overseas service from Sydney on the RMS ORONTES on 5 June 1918. It seems he was in England until the War's end, was posted to France on 1 January 1919 and returned to England in May the same year. In June 1919 he was granted six months leave without pay or allowances in England together with permission to return to Australia at his own expense. He eventually returned via the United States on the SS SONAMA arriving in Sydney on 30 September 1919. He was discharged from the Army the following month.

On returning home Pat went back to 'Fontenoy'. In 1924 he was groomsman for the marriage of Wallendbeen identity, Daphne Forsythe, to John Frederick Fryer, son of Mr E. J. Fryer of Chelsea in London. Five years later Pat married Flora Elizabeth Burch Leeder, only daughter of Mrs Owen Cater (formerly Leeder nee Burch), of 'Lawarra' on Shirley Road in Wollstonecraft in Sydney. As the Cootamundra Herald later described:

The bride was given away by her brother, Mr Sydney Leeder. Her gown was of white crepe satin, made with long, tight-fitting sleeves, and a circular skirt lengthening at one side to form a train. She wore a wreath of orange blossom and a tulle veil lent by Mrs Richard Francis, and carried an armlet of November lilies. Mrs Richard Francis was matron of honour and Miss Mary Bolger the bridesmaid. Miss Bell Leeder was the flower girl ... Mr S. Roche was best man and Dr Richard Francis the groomsman. The reception was held at 'Lawarra' where Mrs Cater received the guests in a gown of hanna chiffon. .. The bridegroom's mother wore grey geogette ... Mr and Mrs Bolger will leave by the Marella for a trip to Java.

Flora was born at Hurstville in Sydney, the daughter of George William King Leeder (1865-1926) and Elizabeth Mary Burch (1868-1935). The 1930 and 1936/7 electoral rolls show she and Pat, described as a grazier, were living at 'Warranoy', a 4100-acre property at Wallendbeen that had been owned by the Bolger family since the 1880s. They had two daughters - Elizabeth (born in 1930) and Patricia Jane Bolger (born at Wollstonecraft in 1932) - before Flora's sudden and unexpected death. This was detailed in the Cootamundra Herald on 25 March 1937 as follows: 'with tragic suddenness after only a few days illness, Mrs E. A. 'Pat' Bolger, of 'Wirruna' [sic] Wallendbeen, passed away as she was being admitted to the Sacred Heart Hospital Young ... Mrs Bolger had complained on Saturday of a small carbuncle on the neck, which she had treated and returned to her home greatly improved. The trouble became aggravated, and she developed a general swelling of the neck, and cedema of the glottis. She was taken to Young by ambulance but died almost immediately after arrival at the hospital ... All Mr Bolger's people were absent from the district, Mr and Mrs Murray Bolger and Mr and Mrs A. E. Dixon being in Sydney and Mr and Mrs A. Bolger and Miss Bolger had left for Sydney yesterday morning. The sad and sudden death is a shock to the wide host of friends, and deepest sympathy is expressed'. The same newspaper published the following obituary for Flora a week later:

Widely known and liked throughout the entire district for her bright and likeable personality, and her work on behalf of charities, church and hospital, the late Mrs Flora Elizabeth Burch Bolger, aged 37, wife of Mr E. A. ('Pat') Bolger, was a native of Sydney, and was the daughter of Mrs E. Cater of Wollstonecroft. Married eight years ago, Mrs Bolger became a popular resident of Young and Wallendbeen districts. Of artistic temperament at 'Wirruna', she had planned her lovely garden which is admired by all visitors. She was passionately fond of flowers. She was a wonderful mother. two small children, aged 5 and 3 years, are left, with the widower to mourn her loss. The funeral took place from St John's following a service by the Rector (Canon McKeown), after which the interrment was at Wombat cemetery.

In 1940 Pat married Frances Alice Morris (possibly nee Norman). The Australian electoral rolls have Pat and Francis registered as living at Warranoy at Wallendbeen for all elections from 1943 to 1972. According to the Ryerson Index Frances, formerly of Wallendbeen and Lane Cove' in Sydney died on 12 November 1974, aged 75 years. The same source tells us Pat, 'late of Wallendbeen', died in Sydney on 9 August 1977.

murray bolger barbara bolger 1927 margaret bolger 1950

Taken from local newspaper reports, these photos are of (from L/R): Murray Bolger at the opening of the Cootamundra Show in 1953,
Murray's wife Barbara Mary Bolger nee Roche in 1927 and their daughter Margaret Mary Bolger at the Young Show in 1950.

2) Murray James Bolger (1900-62). Born at Rylstone, Murray grew up on his parents' property at Wallendbeen where he played rugby for the local team. During the war years he attended St Ignatius College at Riverview in Sydney where, the school's July 2017 newsletter informs us, 'he was a champion sportsman who set a high jumping record . . . that stood at Riverview for a long time. He was an expert line out jumper in the great 1916 1st XV side . . . rowed in the 1st IV and was captain of the 2nd XI cricket team. murray james bolgerLittle would he have known', the report continued, 'that 101 years later, one of his great grandsons, Doug, would follow in his footsteps to also play in the 2nd XI, and another, Rory, would go one further and open the bowling for the 1st XI'. In 1927 Murray married Barbara Mary Roche (1906-85) at Bookham near Yass. According to The Catholic Press the wedding:

. . . which marked the union of two of the oldest families in the Young and Berremangra districts, took place at St Columba's Church, Bookham, on the 16th inst. The bride was Barbara Mary, only daughter of Mr and Mrs P. J. Roche, Cannalong Station, Berremangra, and the bridegroom, Murray James Bolger, of Curramburrams Station, Young, second son of Mr Andrew Bolger, of Fontenoy Station, Young. The best man was Mr Fred Hayes, with Mr Falvey Roche (brother of the bride), groomsman, and Mr Adrian Roche assisting at the altar ... bridesmaids were Misses V. McMahon and Mary Bolger ... About 150 guests sat down to the wedding breakfast at Cannalong Station ... the couple later honeymooned in New Zealand.

Barbara's parents were Patrick Joseph Roche (1877-1954) and Frances Mary Carberry (1880-1948) who were married at Gundagi in 1901. As noted in the description of Barbara's wedding, they had two sons in addition to Barbara: Lawrence Falvey (1902-73) and Adrian Gerrard Roche (1909-89). Patrick Roche's obituary, published in the Yass Tribune Courier on 5 August 1954, tells us he died in the Sacred Heart Hospital at Young and was buried in the Jugiong cemetery. A retired grazier, he was also a 'keen racing man, and an all-round sportsman [who] . . . played cricket, tennis and golf with more than average prowess, and took a keen interest in football. He was a well-known personality on southern racecourses and won a grassfed event at the Yass Picnic races with a horse named after his property "Canalong"'. Patrick's father, an Irishman Laurence Roche (1847-1930), and his wife, Anne Mary Magennis (1852-1950), who he married at Boorowa in 1874, were said to be pioneers of the Murrumbidgee country and owned the famous "Chidowla" and "Nanagroe" properties where their six children grew up.

The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage in 1927, Murray and Barbara lived near Young on the grazing properties 'Carrabarama' and later 'Clover Hill' (which was expanded by 1000 acres in 1937 when Murray purchased part of the adjoining 'Koringa' estate). Like his father, Murray performed a number of civic duties including president of the Burraganda District Tennis Club, president of the P & A Society of Young and president of the Young agricultural show. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WW2 nominal roll shows Murray also served as a part time soldier in the 18th Battalion VDC. He and Barbara were also keen sports people, she a pennant tennis player and he a member of the local lawn bowls and golf clubs. In 1939 they had built at 'Clover Hill' a nine-hole golf course to which some thirty friends and acquaintances were invited to celebrate its opening. As reported in the Cootamundra Herald, the fourteen guests who took part in a golf tournament voted the course 'a good one'. Others, with 'Mrs Bolger as hostess, enjoyed a game of tennis on a very excellent court. The guests', the report added, 'were then entertained at dinner, after which the festivities were continued, the chief entertainment being cards' (20 July 1939). The social pages of both Sydney and NSW regional newspapers show Murray and Barbara regularly travelled to the metropolis for the Easter Show and other agricultural events, to surf at Manly beach, and to see their boys at St Ignatius' College.

Murray James Bolger died at Chatswood in Sydney in 1962 and is buried in the local cemetery at Young. The electoral rolls show that Barbara moved into town where she lived at 10 Florence Street. Her son Anthony Andrew (Tony) and his wife Patricia Ellen Bolger took over the running of Clover Hill (see below). Barbara died at Young on 26 November 1985. Her death notice published in the Sydney Morning Herald described her as the 'loved wife of the late Murray Bolger, dearest mother of Tony (Clover Hill, Young) John (Fontenoy Wallendbeen) Margaret and Michael (both deceased) loved grandmother of their children aged 79 years interred at Young [with Murray] October 28 1985'. As noted, Murray and Barbara had four children: Anthony Andrew (Tony), John Patrick, Margaret Mary and Michael Edward Andrew Bolger.

tony bolger1) Anthony Andrew (Tony) Bolger (1928-2019). Also educated at Sydney's St Ignatius College at Riverview, Tony was working as a farmer and grazier on his parents' property at Young when he married Patricia Ellen (Pat) Roche (1930-2007) at St Joseph's Church in Edgecliff in Sydney in 1958. A brief report of their wedding in The Australian Womens' Weekly informed their readers the married couple, like their parents, were to spend their honeymoon in New Zealand (10 December 1958). Pat was the daughter of a Grafton identity, William Michael Roche (1893-1937), who married Thelma Grace Bennett (1905-86) there in 1929. His obituary, published in the Grafton Daily Examiner, tells us William 'was born at Waterview, where his father owned a dairy farm, and for years he and his brother James carried on farming pursuits. About three and a half years ago he took over the license of the Post Office Hotel. The late Mr Roche was widely known throughout the Clarence River, and on the Richmond River around Coraki. He was a keen follower and generous supporter of various sports [including horse racing] . . . and was a member of the South Grafton Jockey Club for many years. He was also a keen churchman, and an active member of the Holy Name Society of the Roman Catholic Church' (29 October 1937).

Like her sister Margaret (Peg) Roche, Pat was schooled at Grafton's St Mary's College (we believe Peg went on to study dentistry at Sydney University where she boarded at Sancta Sophia College). In 1953 Pat travelled to Europe where, as part of the United Kingdom Coronation celebrations, 'she was presented to Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace [and then] . . . joined thousands of guests at a garden party'. She later went to Ireland where she attended the Dublin horse show (Daily Examiner, 22 July 1953). The 1954 and 1958 electoral rolls show Pat living on Monkittee Street in Braidwood with her mother and step-father Horace Malcolm Sherlock (1904-54), a chemist, who the widowed Thelma had married in Sydney in 1945 (Pat was said to be working as a shop assistant). Tony and Trish or Tricia as Pat was now known as, lived and worked at 'Clover Hill' for most of their married lives. The Ryerson Index tells us Patricia Ellen (Tricia) Roche. 'late of Young and formerly of Clover Hill Young' died at Young on 7 August 2007 aged 77 years, and Tony died at the St Lawrence Residential Aged Care facility at Harden on 11 September 2019 aged 91 years. The tribute to him posted by Penrose Funerals states Tony was the 'dearly loved husband of Trish (dec), loved and cherished father and father-in-law of Andrew, Daniel and Christina, Mary-Louise, Emma and Bruce, and Matthew and Genevieve. Adored grandpa and big pa to Digby, Eliza, Kathleen, Bernard, Douglas, Anna, Grace, Lucy, Millicent and Alexandra'.

2) The NSW Index of BDMs show that John Patrick Bolger married Ann Maree Chatfield in Sydney in 1960. The Australian electoral rolls tell us John was then working as a farmer and grazier at the Bolger's Fontenoy property near Wallendbeen and Ann was a receptionist and living with her mother, Rosalind(a) Mary Chatfield, at 370 Edgecliffe Road in Edgecliff in Sydney. According to the 'My Family Tree' on Ancestry, Rosalinda was born at Waverley in Sydney's eastern suburbs on 15 June 1904. Her parents were John Bede Magney (1844-1911) and his second wife, Ballarat-born Catherine Ellen Bourke (1868-1954), who he married at St Mary's in West Melbourne on 13 April 1902. They had at least two children in addition to Rosalinda: Catherine Rosalinda (1903-3) and John Bede Alphonsus Magney (1906-96). Rosalinda's paternal grandparents were German-born Morris Magney (1811-63) and an Irish woman, Honorah Mullane (1820-1900), who were married at Maitland in the NSW Hunter Vally in 1842. It adds that Rosalinda married a Sydney publican, Leo Thomas Chatfield (1908-80), at the Holy Cross Church in the inner Sydney suburb of Woollahra on 10 October 1934. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WW2 nominal roll shows that Leo served in the Australian Army from January 1942 until January 1944. We think he and Rosalinda had at least one other child, a son Anthony John Chatfield, who was working as a pharmacy apprentice at the time of the 1963 election. As Rosalinda was serving as the President of the Riverview Parents and Friends Association in 1953, it is likely Anthony, like many of his Bolger cousins, attended St Ignatius' College. It also seems that Rosalinda and Leo separated around that time. The 'My Family Tree' tells us Leo died at Maroochydore in Queensland in 1980 although that has not been confirmed. The Ryerson Index and Ancestry's Sydney Cemetery Headstone Transcriptions show that Rosalinda Mary Chatfield (nee Magney), aged 74, died at 50 Wallaroo Road Woollahra in Sydney on 16 July 1978 and was buried in the Catholic section of the Waverley Cemetery.

The Australian electoral rolls have John Patrick, a farmer, and Ann Maree Ursula Bolger living and working at Fontenoy Wallandbeen in 1963, 1968, 1972, 1977 and 1980 (along with a Julia Ann Bolger, teacher). Information provided by Chris Roche suggests they had at least two sons, David and Mark Bolger, who are now running Fontenoy and, as the photo below shows, are both alumni of St Ignatious College.

3) Margaret Mary Bolger (1932-71) married John Maxwell (Max) Sykes (1926-2014) at Young in NSW in 1958. Geoff Sykes''History of the Sykes Family in Australia' website tells us Max was the eldest son of George Albert Sykes and Kathleen ('Birdy') McInerney, who were married at Goulburn in 1925 and lived at 'Codra Vale' before purchasing 'Pine Park' at Humula in 1947. 'This 6000-acre property was overrun with rabbits, and George's three surviving sons [his youngest son, Baden, aged 2 years, had drowned in the Goodradigbee River in 1934] John Maxwell (Max), Roger George and Sylvester (Ves), aged between 17 and 21, were kept busy digging out rabbits for the first year'.

Geoff continues that after their marriage, Max and Margaret made their home at 'Pine Park' and had six children there: Paddy, now Naval Chaplain Sykes, Mary Ellen, Murray, Stephen Lawrence and Bernadette (fondly known as 'Bernie'). 'Margaret died from cancer on 2 November 1971 at the age of 39 years. Her mother, Barbara Bolger was a tower of strength to the young family during the years following Margaret's death'. Max continued to live and work at 'Pine Park' after Margaret's death and died there on 28 May 2014. The following tribute to him was posted on the Sydney Morning Herald website: Died peacefully at home at 'Pine Park' Wednesday 28 May 2014. Eldest son of Gearge and Kathleen Sykes (deceased). Older brother to Roger (deceased). Husband to Margaret (deceased). Father and father-in-law to Fr Paddy Sykes, Mary-Ellen and Adrian Taylor, Murray and Anne Sykes, Stephen and Michelle Sykes, Lawrence and Nichole Sykes and Bernadette and Peter Eastham. Loved by his 14 grandchildren. Aged 88 years and 3 days'.

sykes family

Taken in 1961 this photo shows Margaret and Max Sykes (on the right) with other members,
of Max's family, from L/R: Helen and Roger Sykes, Kathleen Sykes nee McInerney,
Sylvester (Ves) and Diane Sykes and George Albert Sykes.

4) His son, Chris Roche, tells us that Michael Edward Andrew Bolger (1937-69), who died in a car accident at Young on 1 July 1969, married Mary Alice O'Brien from Gulargambone (mid-way between Coonamble and Gilgandra in western NSW) in 1964 and had two children: 'myself Christopher Walker, born in 66 and my sister Lucy Jane born 67. Mum remarried in 72 to Jim Roche and we took his name'. We believe Jim is James Barry Roche, who graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1956. According to the University's Golden Year Book, Jim has had a successful career in obstetrics and gynaecology, served with the Royal Australian Medical Corps and was deputy superintendent of Sydney's Womens' Hospital. 'He is a keen reader, especially on the history of medicine and is currently researching the genealogy of his family. His fondest memories of the University: St John's College and attending dinners at the union with students and academic staff, bushwalking with university groups and being on the Commen Day floats'.

The 1963 electoral roll shows a Mary Alice O'Brien, a karatani nurse, living at 'The Maze' at Armatree (located to the south of Gulargambone) in NSW in 1963. Also registered there were Mary's parents, grazier Andrew Joseph and Alice Hurst O'Brien, plus Mary's older brother Peter John O'Brien, a station hand. According to the 'Terry Family Tree' on Ancestry, Warren-born Andrew Joseph O'Brien (1906-94) married Alice Hurst O'Neill (1912-90) in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood in 1936. Alice's parents were Bemboka-born John O'Neill (1869-1937) and Florence Emily Ethel O'Neill (1872-1922) who was born at Nottingham in England and, like John, died at Manly on Sydney's north shore. Andrew's parents were John Henry O'Brien (1862-1935), a native of County Carlow in Ireland, and Hannah J. M. Bolger (1871-1970) who was born at Warrnambool in Victoria. Married at Wagga Wagga in 1893, John and Hannah had nine children in addition to Andrew: James Simon (1894-1980), Edward Daniel (1895-1987), John (1897-1993), Margaret Mary (1902-94) Winifred (1904-2000), Kevin Francis (born in 1910), Brennan Daniel (1912-92) and Kathleen Bolger O'Brien (1917-2009).

The electoral rolls show that after their marriage in 1936, Andrew and Alice O'Brien lived and worked at 'Blamford Downs' at Gulargambone and then 'The Maze', a 500-acre property at Armatree. By the time of the 1980 election, Andrew had retired and he and Alice were living at 9 Macquarie Drive in Warren. 'The Maze' was run and eventually owned by their youngest son, Greg O'Brien, who had attended Yanco Agricultural College and had, with two of his brothers in 1968, purchased the 'Willaroo' farm outside Armatree. Greg's children are now running 'The Maze' and associated properties. The Ryerson Index shows that Alice Hurst O'Brien, 'late of Warren and formerly of Gulargambone' died on 7 August 1990 and Andrew O'Brien died at Warren on 13 April 1994, aged 87 years. Andrew's death notice, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 15 April 1994, reads: 'O'BRIEN, Andrew - April 13 1994, at Warren, dearly loved husband of Alice (deceased), loving father and father-in-law of Peter and Sandra, Mary and Jim, Paul and Jan and Greg and Angela and loving pa of their families, aged 87 years'.

bolgers at ignatius

From the July 2017 edition of Ignatian, this photo shows some of the family and descendants of Murray and Barbara Bolger
who had been or were presently students of St Ignatius College Riverview. Rear row (L/R): Steve Sykes, Daniel Bolger,
Andrew Bolger, David Bolger, Michael Roche, Mark Bolger, Chris Roche. Centre row: Lawrence Sykes,
Bernard Bolger, Daniel Sykes, Dougie Bolger, Rory Bolger, Max Taylor.
Seated: Murray and Barbara's sons: Tony and John Bolger.

bolger brothers

Also from the July 2017 edition of Ignatian,
this photo is of Murray and Barbara's three sons:
Michael, Tony and John Bolger.

3) Noreen Bolger (1907-2000). Born at Woollahra in Sydney, Noreen grew up at 'Fontenoy' although, if the social pages are any guide, she seems to have spent as much time away from Wallendbeen as being there. In 1927 she spent some five months in India. In 1930, after returning from another overseas trip, she was a guest of Mrs Owen Cater (who owned the polo pony David O'Kane) at the RSPCA Ball held in Sydney during Polo Week. In 1932 she enjoyed herself at Palm Beach before being coaxed back to Wallendbeen by the busying social scene at Cootamundra. In between numerous visits to 'town', where she would often stay at Double Bay with Judge and Mrs Coyle, she and her sister found time to voyage to China and Japan in 1934. Was this or another overseas jaunt, we wonder, the occasion which led to the Sydney Morning Herald reporting, on 10 November 1936, that she 'declined to comment on a cabled report published yesterday that solicitors were trying to trace a Miss Noreen Bolger, an Australian, who had been bequeathed 2000 and a hunter by a dairy farmer of Oxfordshire'. As a report in The Burrowa News on 25 February 1938 indicates, this brush with notoriety seemed only to encourage further travel:

What a time Noreen Bolger will have abroad. Young, pretty, clever, sporting and full of charm ... the ideal traveller. Has already travelled extensively, and has hosts of friends in many cities anxious to entertain her. Noreen's parents, Mr and Mrs P. Bolger, come from Fontenoy, Wallendbeen, to wave her farewell as the Stratheden sails down the harbour.

The onset of the Second World War put a halt to Noreen's travels abroad although she continued to spend time in Sydney, always, it seems staying at the Pacific Hotel in Manly when she went there with her parents. In 1947 she married Philip Bevan, an engineer from Edgecliffe, at the St Canice Catholic Church at Rushcutter's Bay. According to the 'Bevan/Gibbs Family Tree' on Ancestry, Philip was the oldest son of Edward Philip Bevan (1864-1933) and Amy Constance Gibbs (1867-1962) who were married in Victoria in 1892. It adds that Philip had been married to Laurie Adelaide Pearson who died in 1944. Curiously Noreen's marriage to Philip attracted no reportage I could find beyond a very short wedding notice published in the Cootamundra Herald. The Ryerson Index tells us that Philip Bevan, 'late of Woollahra', died in Sydney on 17 December 1948 (his death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald indicated he had died 'at his residence at 1 Rosemont Avenue Woollahra, was the beloved husband of Noreen and loved father of Mayberry, Ann and Ted'). The electoral rolls show Noreen living at 1 Rosemont Ave in 1954 before moving back to Fontenoy where she described herself as a grazier. The Australian Cemeteries Index tells us that Noreen Bevan, daughter of Andrew and Emily Jane Bolger died on 1 August 2000 and was buried at the Wombat cemetery. She was 93 years old.

4) Mary Margaret Bolger (1911-97). Andrew and Emily's youngest daughter was born at Sydney in 1911. As described in the Sydney Morning Herald and a number of other newspapers Mary married Alfred Edward Dixon, a Wallendbeen farmer, at 'Fontenoy' on 19 January 1935.

Fontenoy, Young, the beautiful station home of Mr and Mrs Andrew Bolger, was the scene recently of the marriage of their youngest daughter, Miss Mary Margaret Bolger, to Mr Alfred Edward Dixon, son of Mr and the late Mrs W. Dixon of Wallendbeen. The bridal frock was of cream lace, worn with a tulle veil folded softly over the head and held in place with natural orange blossom, and the bridal boquet was of frangipanni and stephanotis. The only bridesmaid, Miss Noreen Bolger, sister of the bride, wore a frock of cyclamen satin with a yoke of studded silver and carried a bouquet of frangipanni and green hydrangeas. Mr Don Dixon, cousin of the bridegroom, was best man, and the ceremony was performed by the Right Rev. Monsignor Hennesey. Mrs Andrew Bolger, mother of the bride, afterwards received the guests, many of whom had come from Sydney for the occasion, wearing a frock of deep burgundy georgette and a silver tiara.

susan dixonAfter spending their honeymoon in Tasmania, the married couple returned to live and work at 'Bramshott' farm at Wallendbeen. Probably named after the East Hampshire village, 'Bramshott' may have been acquired by Ted's father, William Percy Dixon (1868-1941) after he retired from the Colonial Sugar Refining Company in the late 1920s. William had married Emily Hooke (1865-1927) in Sydney in 1904. Their only child, Alfred Edward ('Ted') Dixon was born the following year (possibly at 'Thelkeld', the Dixon's residence at Hunter's Hill in Sydney). Ted helped his father work the property until the latter's death in 1941. During the 1930s the Dixons and 'Bramshott' attracted much interest in the regional and rural press for their pasture improvement techniques using a newly-developed form of clover. On 27 April 1941 Ted enlisted in the second AIF at Cootamundra and later served with the 7th Division anti-tank corps in Palestine. After he was demobilised in September 1945 he returned to 'Bramshott' to rejoin Mary and the couple's only daughter, Susan Mary Dixon, who had been born the year before. Ted continued to run the farm and, in 1953, was invited to join a regional primary producers' advisory body that had been set up by the NSW Minister for Agriculture. The Ryerson index shows that Mary Margaret Dixon, 'late of Cootamundra and formerly of Wallendbeen', died at Cootamundra on 3 July 1997 aged 85 years. Her husband Ted died there two years later. 'Bramshott' was passed on to their daughter Susan (pictured on the right on her wedding day) who, as the Canberra Times reported in November 1967, had married Mark Heggarton in Canberra:

A veil designed by Pierre Cardin and long wedding gown will be worn by Susan Dixon of Wallendbeen NSW when she is married to Mark Heggaton of Cootamundra NSW at St Christopher's Cathedral Manuka on Friday. Susan, the daughter of Mr and Mrs A. E. Dixon of Bramshott Wallendbeen will be attended by Erolly Collins, Judith Jones and Anne O'Brien. The bridegroom is the son of Mrs C. Heggaton and the late Mr V. D. Heggaton of 'Narina' Cootamundra.

Mark's father was NX68823 Corporal Vaudan Dufty Heggaton who enlisted in the Second AIF at Paddington in Sydney on 1 July 1939 and served with the 3 Reserve Motor Transport Company of the 8th Division in Malaya where he became a prisoner of the Japanese following the fall of Singapore. A compatriot of Rohan Rivett, the then war correspondent for the Melbourne Argus, Vaudan died from the effects of dysentery in a prisoner of war camp in Burma on 27 October 1942. In his book Behind Bamboo, Rivett remembers the occasion as follows:

On the third day at the jail we lost Vaudan Heggaton of the 2/3 M T who had contracted dysentery on the hell-ships. His passing cast a shadow over everybody, for he was not only a splendid Australian who would unquestionably have made his mark in the political life of the country, but he was tremendously popular. Many men felt that his passing so soon after our arrival at Burma was a foretaste of the days to come. In the months that followed hundreds of those who saluted Heggaton's remains ... were themselves to be buried in Burma soil.

Vaudan is buried in the Thanbyuzawat War Cemetery in Myanmar. His younger brother, Flight Sergeant Knox William Heggaton (1911-42), who had enlisted in the RAAF in November 1940, died in an air battle over the North Sea on 11 May 1942 while serving with 59 Squadron in England. He is memorialised on the Runnymede memorial in Sussex.

Vaudan and Knox were both born at Murrumburrah in central NSW, the sons of the town's local GP, Rupert Dufty Heggaton (1873-1958) and his wife, Elizabeth Louisa Burgess (1874-1957), who were married at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney on 11 March 1902. Their wedding certificate tells us Rupert, then a 27 year-old medical practitioner, was born at Middleton in South Australia, the son of William Heggaton, a farmer, and Mary Dufty. Elizabeth was a 25 year-old nurse who was living at Rockdale in Sydney. Born at Hill End in the Bathurst region of NSW, she was the daughter of William Henry Burgess, farmer, and Caroline Bull. In February 1916, Rupert enlisted in the Australian Army at Casula in Sydney. He was appointed as a Captain in the Australian Medical Corps and sailed from Australia on the ULYSSES later in the same month. After serving with the 3rd Australian Tunnelling Company in France and the 2nd Australian General Hospital in England he returned to Australia on the hospital ship A14 (on which he was the Resident Medical Officer) in July 1917 and was discharged from the Army later that year. He returned to his family and medical practice at Murrumburrah where he and Elizabeth spent the remainder of their lives.

Vaudan Dufty Heggaton married Cora Patfield (1901-84) at St Agatha's Church in the Brisbane suburb of Clayfield in 1930. Born at Goulburn in NSW, Cora's parents were George Patfield (1867-1919) and Mary O'Brien (1864-1938) who were married there in 1891 and had six children in addition to Cora. George's obituary, published in the Goulburn Evening Penny Post on 4 September 1919, tells us he 'was a telegraph operator at the local railway station, where he had been employed for 25 years, and he was noted for his courtesy and readiness to give assistance to travellers . . . For years he acted as one of the stewards at the annual shows of the Goulburn A P and H Society, he was for some time an official of the Goulburn Racing Club, and a prominent worker of the Musical and Operatic Society'.

The Australian electoral rolls show the widowed Cora Heggaton contined to live at Cootamundra after the war. A report in the Cootamundra Herald tells us that in July 1951, 'Mrs Vaudan Heggaton visited for the dedication of an avenue of poplar trees in Murrumburrah, donated by Dr. R, D. Heggaton, in memory of his two sons, killed in the last war. One of them was the late Vaudan Heggaton'. Cora died at Cootamundra in 1984 and is buried in the local cemetery. Her gravestone and probate notice published in the NSW Government Gazette indicates she and Vaudan had three children: 1) Terry Vaudan, who we think moved to Longford in Tasmania where, in 2004, he received an OAM for 'service to the sheep and cattle industries in Tasmania, and to the community of Launceston'; 2) Mary Vaudan Kinsella; and 3) Mark Vaudan Heggaton who, with Susan and their family, run the Narina grazing property at Cootamundra.

6. Albert William Kersley (1878-1956)

Albert was born at Rylstone and married Marguerite Rosamund (Daisy) Herdegan (1876-1956) in Sydney in 1911. According to the 'Herdegen' and 'My Whanau 2008' family trees on (last modified 22 April 2007 and 16 February 2009 respectively) Daisy was the youngest daughter of Johan Andreas Herdegen (1826-1884) and Sarah Needham Lane Brett (1840-1917). The Commonwealth electoral rolls from 1930 to 1936/7 show Albert, a clerk, and his wife Marguerite Rosamond living at 'Ursulaville' on Kensington Road. between 1943 and 1954 they were at 31 Kensington Road Kensington. They both died in Sydney in 1956.

Image sources
'Edward Andrew Bolger' from NSW State Library, 'Manuscripts, oral history & pictures' website.
Noreen Bolger, Murray Bolger, Barbara Bolger nee Roche and Margaret Mary Bolger from various newspaper sources.
'Sykes family 1961' from Geoff Sykes' 'History of the Sykes Family in Australia' website.
'Susan Dixon' from Canberra Times, 21 November 1967.

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