Robert McCormick/McCormack (1844-1913)
and Margaret McBlain/McBlane (1841-97)

(last updated 7 February 2023)

Life and times

Born at Colmonell in South Ayrshire in Scotland, Robert - pictured on the left shortly before his death in 1913 - was the eldest son of James McCormick (1821-91), an agricultural labourer who was born at Girvan and died at Kirkoswald in Ayrshire, and Janet Brown (1819-85) who was born at Wigtown in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland and died in Lanarkshire. At the time of the 1851 census Robert, together with his parents and three siblings - james, Nathaniel and Margaret McCormick - were living at Ballockillie Cottage in Kirkoswald in South Ayreshire. He was still with his parents at Kirkoswald in 1861 along with six siblings: Nathan, Margaret, Anne, James, Agness and Jane McCormick. On 13 June 1865, Robert, said on his wedding certificate to be a 21 year-old coal miner, married 'after banns and according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland', a 24 year-old domestic servant, Margaret McBlane, at Kilgrammie - where both were then residing - near the coal-mining village of Dailly in South Ayrshire. Their wedding certificate, a copy of which can be seen on Ronice Preston's 'Preston Family Tree' on Ancestry, tells us Margaret's parents were William McBlane, who worked as a miner, and Jane Hamilton. The Scotland census data shows William McBlain was born in Ireland and Jane in Dailly in Ayrshire andcthey and their family were also living at Kilgrammie at the time of Margaret's wedding.

By the time of the 1871 census, Robert, a 27 year-old coalminer who was born at Colmonell, and his wife Margaret McCormick (29, Colmonell) were living at 43 Traffhill Row Dalmellington in East Ayreshire with their two children: Sarah (5) and James (3) both of whom were born at Dailly. The NSW Archives' records of assisted immigrants shows that Robert McCormick (aged 30), his wife Margaret (32) and children Sarah (8), James (5), William (3) and Nathaniel (infant) sailed to New South Wales on the emigrant ship TYBURNIA. The ship's records state the TYBURNIA embarked from Plymouth on 5 July 1874 and arrived at Sydney on 5 October the same year (a voyage of 92 days). Robert and Margaret were both said to be able to read and write (even though they had signed their wedding certificate with a 'mark') and neither had relatives in the colony. This was about to change as accompanying them on the voyage out was Margaret's brother Robert McBlain (a miner aged 36), his wife Margaret (22) and their children Jane (3) and Walter (infant). Margaret's parents were said to be Walter and Mary Bourke from Ayrshire. Both Margaret and Robert McBlain/McBlane would die and be buried at Minmi in Newcastle, she in 1891 and he in 1900.

The birthplaces of Robert and Margaret McCormack's last four children show they also lived at Minmi until at least 1881. The NSW 1891 census has a Robert McCormack, along with six males and three females, living on Anvil Street in the small town of Greta located midway between Maitland and Singleton. Margaret McCormck nee McBlane/McBlain died at Greta on 28 September 1897 and was buried in the local cemetery. She and Robert had nine children five of whom - Sarah McBlane Sladden (1865-1943), James (1868-1947), Agnes (1870-70), William (1872-1953) and Nathaniel McCormack (1874-1944) - were born in Scotland while the remaining four - Janet Brown Sladden (1877-1950), Hamilton (1877-1938), Margaret Mills (1879-1953) and Samuel McCormack (1882-1914) - were born in Australia.

In 1901 Robert re-married, to a widow, Maria Ellen Marsh nee Wood (1865-1951) who later the same year gave birth to their only child, Ellen McCormack (1901-36), at Greta. Ronice Preston tells us Maria and her late husband, James Marsh (1862-98), had ten children the last of whom, Walter Everett Marsh (1897-1975) was born at Greta a year before James' death there. The NSW 1901 census has Robert McCormack, along with four males and four females, still registered as living on Anvil Street in Greta. Not long after Ellen's birth, she and her parents moved to Western Australia where, as detailed below, a number of Robert's children also went to to live. The Australian electoral rolls show Robert, who worked as a miner and later a greengrocer, and Maria were living at Collie, a rural town some 60 kilometres inland from the coastal port of Bunbury, at the time of the 1903, 1906, 1910 and 1913 elections (two of Robert's sons, James and Hamilton McCormack, were also working as miners at Collie in 1903 and 1906). Robert McCormack died at Collie on 26 August 1913. His obituary, published in The Collie Miner four days later reads:

The sad death of Mr Robert McCormack, which took place last Tuesday morning, has removed another of the old pioneer miners of Coliie. The deceased was 68 years of age, and was held in high esteem amongst all sections of the community, having been an ardent Salvation Army worker. A service was conducted at the residence of the deceased in the residential area from whence the funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, and was largely attended, the Army Band and followers being amongst the mourners. The remains were interred in the Salvation Army portion of the Collie cemetery and Captain Bartlett conducted the service at the graveside.

Among the mourners were a number of Robert's children from his first marriage who placed the following notice in the Western Mail on 5 September 1913: 'McCORMACK - On August 26, 1913, at Collie, WA, Robert McCormack (late of Greta, NSW), beloved father of James McCormack, Cannington; Mrs A. Sladen, Mundijong; Mrs E. Sladden, West Leederville; and Mrs A. E. Mills, Osborne Park'; and in The West Australian on 26 August 1914: 'McCORMACK - In loving memory of our dear father, Robert McCormack, who died at Collie on August 26, 1913 - Inserted by his loving daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Ernest Sladden, West Leederville, WA' and 'McCORMACK - In loving memory of our dear father, Robert McCormack, who departed this life on August 26. 1913, at Collie - Inserted by his loving daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Arthur Sladden, Mundijong WA'.

Following Robert's death in 1913, Maria married another coalminer, James Rhys Pritchard (1865-1949) in 1914 and lived with him at Collie and later Victoria Parkin Perth until his death there in 1949. Although still to be confirmed, we think she then returned to the Hunter region of NSW where she died at Belmont in 1951. Maria and Robert's only child, Ellen McCormack, then aged 35 years and 'of the Salvation Army Aged Women's Retreat in Fremantle' had died on 26 May 1936 following a collision between a bicycle and a motor cycle on the Stirling Highway at Buckland Hill in Fremantle (The West Australian, 29 May 1936). Members of the family placeed the following notice in the same newspaper on 28 May: 'McCORMACK - On May 26, 1936, as result of an accident, Ellen McCormack, dearly beloved daughter of Mrs Pritchard (Victoria Park), beloved sister of James McCormack (Cannington), Mrs Arthur Sladden (Claremont), Mrs Ernest Sladden (West Leederville), Mr H. McCormack (Perth), Mrs Mills (North Perth), Mrs Goldie (NSW), Mrs Kaiser (NSW), Mrs Charlton (NSW), Mr Robert Marsh (NSW), Mrs W. Marsh (NSW), Mr and Mrs Sandford (Mandurah)'.

Family and descendants: Part 1

1. James McBlane McCormack (1868-1947) was living and working at Greta in the Hunter region of New South Wales when he married Catherine Hunt (1870-1965) at nearby East Maitland on 17 January 1896 (The Maitland Daily Mercury, 21 July 1896). According to the 'Fulwood Family Tree' on Ancestry, Catherine was one of 14 children of Henry Hunt (1834-80), who came from Dorset in England, and Catherine McGowan/McGone (1837-1919), who was born on Norfolk Island and married Henry at Paterson River on 29 January 1857. It adds that Catherine's father, Hugh McGone/McGowan, served as a private soldier in the British Army's 58th Regiment for 19 years and as a policeman in the Paterson-Gresford-Vacy area of NSW for 12 years. An article published in The Maitland Daily Mercury on 17 June 1933 includes the following recollections of Hugh and his wife Mary by one of their granddaughters (and daughter of our Catherine):

Hugh McGone and Mary Maxwell were born In Northern lreland and Ayrshire, Scotland, respectively, in the 1790's. When young Mary ran away from home to marry the Irish soldier, McGone, her strict Presbyterian father, Robert Maxwell, disinherited her, and henceforth her life was that of a wanderer, she accompanying her soldier husband wherever he went fighting. In those days soldiers received liberal rations of rum, but their wives were supplied with the milder beverage of tea. My grandmother used to tell me how she travelled from England to Scotland on a pound of tea that she had saved out of her weekly allowance as a soldier's wife. Her method was to give the innkeeper or coachman a pinch of the precious tea as payment for board or fare . . . Mrs McGone used to recount some rare tales about the Irish rebellion of 1798 and her adventures during the Napoleonic war. On one occaslon she was nursing an officer's wife who was about to become a mother, when a cannon ball pierced the wall of the house and passed right through the room across the patient's bed. When the war was over, Private McGone, of the 58th Regiment, travelled backwards and forwards between England and Australia several times, he being one of a party of soldiers responsible for escorting batches of convlcts out here. His wife never left him. Three sons were born and died at sea. One daughter was born near the West Maitland Courthouse in the old barracks that the 1893 flood washed away. My mother was born in 1837 at Norfolk Island durlng a short visit that my grandparents made there in connection with the transporting of convlcts. A short while before the Melville incident [where Hugh had apprehended a murderer] my grandfather got his discharge from the army, and, through the influence of his old friend, Major Johnston, gained admission to the police force, and was stationed at Paterson, where the major then lived. Later on he left the police force and took to farming at Gresford, where he grew tobacco, cotton and wheat, though, of course, the old soldier's knowledge of agriculture must have been limited. My Scotch grandmother made up for her husband's deficiencies as a farmer by going around in a little spring cart selling butter and eggs among neighbours. Sometimes she would drive into Paterson alone with butter and vegetables for, although blacks and convicts were plentiful, they all respected her. Hugh McGone died at Summer Hill Vacy, about the year 1877, and his widow followed him in 1800. Both are buried in the Gresford cemetery.

Sometime before 1901, James and Catherine McCormack nee Hunt and their first child Catherine, who was born at Minmi in Newcastle in 1897, went to live at Collie in Western Australia, where James' father, Robert McCormack, was living and working and where their only other two children, Doris (1901-06) and Norman McCormack (1903-04), were born. The electoral rolls show James, along with his father and younger brother, Hamilton McCormack, working in the Collie mines. By the time of the death of their second daughter, Doris, who was interred in the Presbyterian section of the Karrakatta Cemetery on 23 June 1906, James and Catherine had moved to the Perth suburb of Cannington where James worked as a carter. James McCormack died at his and Catherine’s home on Wimbledon Street in Cannington on 17 March 1947 and was buried with Doris at Karrakatta Cemetery (Presbyterian Area, section BA gravesite 0109). Condolences published in The West Australian on 9 March 1947 tell us James was the 'dearly beloved brother of Janet (Mrs Sladden), brother-In-law of Ernest, uncle of Keith, Hazel, Clarice, Jean and Gwen', and the 'beloved uncle of Mr and Mrs H. Bridger and family of Claremont'. The electoral rolls show that Catherine McCormack nee Hunt continued to live at Cannington until her death there on 28 April 1965. She is buried with James and Doris at Karrakatta.

Catherine and James McCormack's elder daughter, Catherine McCormack, moved with her parents from Collie to Cannington in Perth where, on 8 May 1926, readers of The West Australian were informed of her marriage: 'FULWOOD - McCORMACK - On April 17, 1926, at the home of the bride's parents, by the Rev J. A. Sanders, Ernest Henry, son of Mrs Fulwood, of Fourth-avenue, Inglewood [Perth], to Catherine, only daughter of Mr and Mrs J. McCormack of Wimbledon-street Cannington'. Born at Condowie Plains in the Clare region of South Australia in 1887, Ernest was the seventh of 13 children of Thomas Fulwood (1854-1917) and Eleanor Harvey Bates (1857-1932) who were married there on 25 October 1876. Around the turn of the Century, Thomas and Eleanor, like many others in the Eastern states, decided to try their luck in Western Australia. Their eventual destination was the wheat belt town of Brookton where they lived and worked on a farm named 'Dale View'. The 1910 electoral roll shows no less than seven members of the Fulwood family at Dale View: Thomas, Eleanor (Helen), Ernest Henry, Percival, Louisa, Robert Harvey and Thomas Fulwood jnr.

His military record in the Australian Archives shows that 3232 Private Ernest Henry Fulwood, a 28 year-old farmer who was born in the Parish of Clare in South Australia, enlisted in the Australian Army at York in Western Australia on 4 July 1916 (his NOK was said to be Thomas Fulwood, a farmer of Brookton). Allocated to the 10th Light Horse Regiment, Ernest sailed from Fremantle on 26 February 1917 and, after transferring ships at Bombay, was landed at Suez on 4 April 1917. Reallocated as a driver in the 2nd Australian Signals Squadron, Ernest served in Egypt for the rest of the War, returning to Australia on the H 7 DORSET which sailed from Port Said on 25 April 1919. Discharged from the Army on 12 July 1919 he returned to farm at Brookton where, two years later, he and two other veterans of the war were presented with gold medals by their local Member of Parliament (and East Brookton farmer) Henry Edward Hickmott, in a memorial ceremony recognising their service (The Pingelly Leader, 17 November 1921). While Ernest and three of his brothers were serving overseas, their father, Thomas Fulwood, died at Maylands in Perth on 28 November 1917 and was buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery).

After marrying Ernest at Perth in 1926, Catherine Fulwood nee McCormack went to live on his farm at Brookton. The Australian electoral rolls along with reports in the local newspapers of stock sales show they continued living there until Ernest's death on 17 April 1966. According to the WA Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website he was cremated at Karrakatta and is memorialised in the Rose gardens there (Garden 9C Position 0005) along with his wife Catherine who, following Ernest's death, had moved to nearby Narrogin where she died on 16 January 1995 aged 96. We believe Catherine and Ernest had three children including:

1.1) James Ernest Fulwood, a farmer, who was living and working on the family farm at Brookton at the time of the 1954 election. The Western Australian Reverse marriages website shows he married Joan Mary Whittington in the Beverley Registration District in 1956. Born in 1934, Joan's father was another First World War veteran who farmed land at Brookton, Ernest William Whittington (1895-1975). Her mother was Katherine Margaret (Kitty) Dillon (1905-74) who married Ernest at Brookton on 4 September 1929. A report of their wedding published in the Pingelly-Brookton Leader on 26 September 1929 tells us Kitty was the 'only daughter of Mr and Mrs J. Dillon, "Moira", East Brookton' and the ceremony 'took place in the Brookton Hall'. The Australian electoral rolls show James Ernest and Joan Mary Fulwood lived and worked on their farm at Brookton until at least the 1980s. Lorraine;s burial records for the Brookton Cemetery include a Joan Mary Fulwood who died on 31 October 1997 aged 63 years. Her headstone, shown on the Find-a-Grave website, reads in part: 'Joan Mary Fulwood. Beloved wife of James. Loved mother of Michael, Peter, Graeme, Fiona and Susan'.

1.2) Kathleen Joyce Fulwood (1927-2006). The 14 August 1950 edition of The West Australian informed its readers of the engagement of 'Joyce elder daughter of Mr and Mrs E. H. Fulwood, of Brookton, and David eldest son of Mr and Mrs D. C. Mercer, of Albany highway, Kenwick'. They were married in the Beverley registration district of WA the following year and lived at Kenwick and later Kelmscott in Perth where David Fisher Mercer worked as a draftsman and representative. We think they separated in the mid-1970s (the 1977 and 1980 electoral rolls show David living at Albany while Kathleen, along with a Digby Robert Mercer, student, were still at Kelmscott). The Western Australian Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows a Kathleen Joyce Mercer, 79 of Kelmscott died on 31 December 2006, was cremated, and is memorialised at Karrakatta (Crematorium Rose Gardens Garden 9C Position 0039). Her former husband, David then of Collie, died on 19 August 2003 aged 75 years, was cremated and his ashes taken by the Funeral Director at Fremantle.

2. Margaret McCormack (1879-1953). Born at Minmi in Newcastle, Margaret went with her father to Western Australia where she married Albert Edward Mills (1879-1953) at Collie near Bunbury on 4 April 1902. Born at St John's Wood in London, Albert was the second son of Henry Emanuel Mills (1845-1906) and Ann Fish (1845-1926) who were married after banns at St Mark's parish Church in Islington on 29 September 1867. Their wedding certificate, which can be viewed on Ancestry's 'London Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1938', tells us Henry was then working as a bricklayer and he and Ann were both living on Andover Road in Tollington Park. Their respective fathers were David Mills, also a bricklayer, and Joseph Fish, a malster. The 1881 England census shows Henry and Ann (who was born at Bishop Startford in Hertfordshire) were living at 47 Gilpin Grove in Edmonton in North London. With them were their four children: Alice (10), Alfred (5), Albert (2) and Frederick Mills (infant). Four years later the family sailed to Sydney on the emigrant ship the GULF Of MEXICO. Henry and Ann's fifth and last child, Rose Ellen Mills, was born at St Leonards in Sydney soon after they arrived. Rose was around six years old when Henry and Ann decided to move to Western Australia. Their eldest daughter, Alice Susannah Mills, returned to England where she married Joseph Chapman and later emigrated with him to the United States.

The Australian electoral rolls show Henry Emanuel, a railway worker, and Ann Mills were living in West Leederville in Perth at the time of Henry's death there on 6 July 1906. The following 'In Memorium' notices were published in The West Australian on 6 July the following year: 'MILLS - In loving memory of my dearly-beloved father, Henry Emanuel Mills, who was taken from us on July 6, 1906. The gentle touch of a loving hand is now denied to me, Death claimed thee for the better land, to set thy sufferings free - Inserted by his loving son, Alfred Henry Mills. MILLS - In loving memory of my dear husband and father, Henry Emanuel Mills, who passed peacefully away on July 6, 1906, in the Perth Hospital. We saw him suffering day by day, It caused us bitter grief To see him slowly pine away, And could not give relief, Not dead to us, we loved him dear, Not lost, but gone before, He lives with us in memory still, And will for evermore - Inserted by his loving wife and daughters, A. Mills, R. Hollier and A. Chapman'. The widowed Ann was living at Maylands in Perth when she married Thomas Frank there in 1912. At the time of her death in 1926, Ann and Thomas were at West Subiaco. Her death notice in the Western Mail reads: 'FRANK - On January 18, 1926, at Perth, Ann, the beloved mother of Alfred Henry Mills, of Garrett-road, Bayswater; Albert Edward Mills, of Violet-street, West Perth; Mrs J. Chapman, of Canada; and Mrs Rose Hollier of Nedlands' (11 February 1926).

The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage in 1902, Albert Edward and Margaret Mills resided for a time at Collie before moving to Perth where they lived with Albert's parents at West Leederville, then with Albert's widowed mother at Maylands until she re-married, and then in Balcatta. During this time Albert worked as a labourer, produce merchant, storeman and fisherman, and he and Margaret had seven children we are aware of: Eirlie Aileen (born at Collie in 1902), Margaret Ivy (1904, Leederville), Dorothy (1906, Leederville), Kathleen Alice (1909, Maylands), Albert Harold (1909, Maylands), Eric Edward (1918, Perth) and Colin Ernest Mills (1920, Perth). By the early 1940s, Albert had retired and he and Margaret seemed to be living apart. The 1949 electoral roll has Albert, described as a pensioner, living in the Western Australian wheat-belt town of Wagin while Margaret was registered as living at 187 Seventh Ave Maylands (the home of her and Albert's eldest daughter Eirlie).

Albert and Margaret both died in 1953. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows Albert Edward Mills, aged 75 and from Wagin, died on 28 July 1953 and was buried with his father at Perth's Karrakatta Cemetery (Congregational Area, Section BA, Grave 040). The same source informs us that Margaret Mills, aged 73 and from the Perth suburb of Greenmount, died on 7 September 1953, was cremated at Karrakatta and her ashes scattered over the rose garden there. The following death notices for Albert and Margaret were published in The West Australian: 'MILLS (Albert): Loving father of Ivy (Mrs Harwood), father in-law of Fred, granddad of Ernie (deceased), Joan and Aileen, great=granddad of Marie. MILLS: On July 28, Albert Edward, dearly loved uncle of Daphne, Arthur and Brian Goddard and Harry Mills, loved brother of Alfred (deceased)' (31 July 1953) and 'MILLS (Margaret): At Perth. Sept. 7 loved mother of Aileen (Mrs H. Steel). 187 Seventh avenue. Maylands. Ivy (Mrs P. Harwood). 10 Gilbert-street. Bayswater. Dorothy (Mrs L. Backshall) and Albert (Adelaide). Kathleen and Colin (Perth). Eric (Kalgoorlie), mother-in-law of Bert. Fred. Lionel. Elaine and Doreen. Nanna of Bob, Owen. Kath. Joan Aileen, Kevan. Dorothy. Marilyn. Graham. Murray. Eileen and Carol, great-grandma of Aileen and Marie' (9 September 1953). As noted above, Albert Edward and Margaret Mills had seven children between 1902 and 1920. Their youngest daughter, Kathleen Alice Mills (1909-56) worked as a tailoress and lived with her parents for most of her 47 years. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows she died on 9 November 1956, was cremated and is memorialised in the Karrakatta Rose Gardens (Garden 25, Position 0002). As detailed below, their other six children all married and had children of their own:

2.1) Albert and Margaret's eldest daughter, Eirlie Aileen Mills (1902-78) married Hubert Frederick McKinnon Steel (1900-59), in Perth on 17 July 1928. According to Evelyn Mitchell, Hubert, who worked as a fitter and an engineer, was born at Yarraville in Melbourne, the son of a Scotsman, Frederick William Steel (1872-1951), and a New Zealander, Charlotte Alicia Molloy (1868-1944), who were married at St Kilda in 1899. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us that Hubert, aged 58 and of Inglewood, died on 27 July 1959. He was cremated at Karrakatta and is memorialised in the Rose Garden there (Garden 22, Position 0114). Aileen died at Subiaco on 25 May 1978 and is also memorialised at Karrakatta. She and Hubert had four children: 1) Colin Frederick Steel (1928-49) who, while serving in the RAAF, was killed in a motor cycle accident in Perth on 1 July 1949. He is buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery (Anglican Section WE Grave 0549); 2) Robert Wesley Steel (1930-79) who married Marion Rose McKnoe in Perth in 1961 and died there on 24 May 1979. Cremated at Karrakatta he is memorialised with his parents in the Garden of Remembrance there; 3) Gwendolyne Alicia Steel (1931-68) who married John Francis Wiseman in Perth in 1951 and died at Mount Pleasant on 14 April 1968. We believe she and John had a daughter although that has still to be confirmed; and 4) Kathleen Margaret Steel (1932-2016) who married Roy Ferguson Dinsmore (1930-2008) at Mount Lawley in Perth on 4 April 1953. Roy died in Perth and Kathleen in Busselton. The 'Dinsmore/Wilson' family tree on Ancestry tells us they had three children.

2.2) Margaret Ivy Mills (1904-88), who also worked as a tailoress, married Frederick Edward (Fred) Harwood (1911-2000) in Perth in 1930. At the time of their marriage, Fred was working as a clerk and living in North Perth with his parents Edward and Eliza Chalk Harwood nee Datson who were married at Lawlers in the East Murchison RD of Western Australia in 1910. The electoral rolls show that after their marriage, Fred and Ivy continued living in Perth initially in Balcatta and then Highgate Hill where, on 1 May 1938, they lost their beloved seven year-old son, Ernest Frederick Harwood. His death notice in The West Australian tells us Ernest was the 'fond brother of Joan and Aileen . . . grandson of Mr and Mrs A. Mills, of Doris-st., North Perth, [and] nephew of Mr and Mrs H. Steel, Mr and Mrs L. Backshall, Mr and Mrs A. Mills (jnr), Kathleen, Eric and Colin' (3 May 1938). Ernest was buried in the Church of Christ area of the Karrakatta Cemetery (Section CA, Grave 0220). Around this time Fred enlisted in the Australian Army. The 'Virgilian Honour Roll' published in the Western Mail shows him serving as a Sergeant in the Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) Training Department at Northam in 1940 and with the 5th Australian Light Field Ambulance in 1942. Fred remained in the Army after the War initially serving with the AAMC and later with the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. On 17 September 1947 the Northam News informed its readers that 'Sgt. F. E. Harwood has taken over as Area Officer . . . from Capt. E. V. Quirk . . . Sgt. Harwood served with 105 Light Field Ambulance in New Guinea and is on the executive committee of Perth sub-branch R.S.L. A keen sportsman, Sgt. Harwood is [also] secretary of the Northam and Combined Country District Schools' Sports Association'. The 18 September 1958 edition of the Commonwealth Gazette included in its recipients of the the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal a Warrant Officer Class II Frederick Edward Harwood, Royal Australian Infantry Corps.

After retiring from the Army Fred and Ivy spent a number of years backpacking around Western Australia - the 1963 and 1968 electoral rolls have them registered as living 'c/- Yathroo Station Dandaragan' - before returning to the Perth suburb of Bayswater where Fred worked as an accountant. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows Margaret Ivy Harwood, aged 84 and of Bayswater, died on 8 December 1988 and Frederick Edward Harwood, 89 of Bayswater, died on 22 October 2000. Both are buried with their son Ernest at Karrakatta Cemetery (Church of Christ, Section CA, Grave 0220). As noted above they had two daughters in addition to Ernest: Joan and Aileen Harwood. We know nothing of Joan. We believe her sister, Aileen Elsie Harwood married a butcher, Moyle Albert Campbell, in Perth in 1952 and lived with him at 25 Hotham Street in the inner- Perth suburb of Meltham until at least the 1980s (a Graham Moyle, clerk, Marie Aileen, bank teller, and Mark Bradley Campbell, student, were all registered as living with them in 1977). The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us Moyle Albert Campbell, aged 86 and from Wanneroo, died on 23 July 2017. He was cremated at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park and is memorialised there in the Nuytsia Trail Area (Garden 3, Position 0001). His tribute, published in The West Australian on 27 July 2017, reads: 'CAMPBELL (Moyle Albert): Our much loved Macca passed away peacefully Sunday 23.7.17, aged 86. Dearly loved husband of Aileen, loving father of Marie and John, Graham and Diane, Mark and Rocio'.

2.3) Dorothy (Dot) Mills (1906-86) married Lionel Backshall (1905-81) in Perth in 1928. Born in West Perth, Lionel's parents were George Augustus Backshall (1867-1940) and Annie Elizabeth Montgomery (1870-1926) who were married there in 1895 and had nine children between then and 1914. Lionel's grandfather, Frederick William Backshall (1823-81), was born in East Sussex in England and emigrated to Western Australia on the sailing ship SIMON TAYLOR in 1842. He married Janet/Jeanette Dent (1831-1916) in Perth in 1853 and worked in Northam and York as well as a gardener in Perth. According to The Enquirer and Commercial News, 'for many years Mr Backshall represented the West Ward in the City Council, in which capacity he always proved a practical common sense man, whose opinion was at all times well worth having'. He died of 'a disease of the heart' at his residence at Sutherland's Lakes in East Perth and was buried in the local cemetery where his 'cortege was a very numerous one, there being upwards of 150 mourners and followers' (26 January 1881). Annie Elizabeth Backshall nee Montgomery died in Perth on 23 August 1926 and was buried at Karrakatta Cemetery (Wesleyn Section EA, Grave 0070). George Augustus Backshall, who married Alice Mabel Hitch at North Leederville in 1927, died on 18 March 1940 and was buried with Annie at Karrakatta. His death notices in The West Australian tell us he was the 'dearly loved husband of Mabel, loving father of Harold, Raymond, Stanley, Pearl (Mrs Birchall), Ruby (Mrs Wilkes), Lionel, Leslie, Colin and Claude . . . father-in-law of Eslie, Dot, Alice, Tom and Albert' and 'fond grandfather of Kevan'.

After their marriage in 1928, Dot and Lionel Backshall, who worked as a storeman, lived in the Perth suburb of Leederville where, on 28 August 1930, their only child, Kevan Eric, was born. On 15 January 1942, Lionel, who was then living in the adjoining suburb of Mount Hawthorne, enlisted in the Australian Army at Claremont. He was discharged on 19 November 1945 at which time he was serving as a private soldier in the 2/28 Australian Infantry Battalion. In 1948 Lionel acquired a dry cleaning business at Wagin in the Katanning region of the Western Australian wheat-belt (and where Lionel's brother Eric Backshall was living and working). The following year Lionel sold up at Wagin and moved to Konjonup where he and Kevan ran another dry cleaning business. In December 1955 Kevan married Elspeth Jean (Beth) Turner, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs C. W. Turner of Wagin. The 1977 electoral roll shows Lionel, Kevin and Beth all living at Konjonup along with a Garry Kevan Backshall, shearer (a Dorothy Backshall, no occupation, was registered as living on Casserly Avenue in Pearce). The Find a Grave website shows Lionel Backshall, born in Perth 5 October 1905, died at Kojonup on 29 July 1981 and is buried in the local cemetery (Plot C184). His grave inscription reads: 'Lionel Backshall Loving Husband of Dorothy Dad of Kevan'. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website informs us that Dorothy Backshall, 80 of South Perth, died on 13 July 1986, was cremated at Karrakatta and is memorialised in a niche wall there (Wall 4 Position 0054). The same source tells us that Kevan and Beth Backshall both died while living at Halls Head in the Perth coastal suburb of Mandurah, Beth in 2016 and Kevan two years later. We believe they had at least two children: Gary Kevan and Trevor Charles Backshall.

3. Sarah McBlane McCormack (1865-1943) and 4. Janet Brown McCormack (1877-1950).

Sarah, who was born at Dailly in Ayrshire in Scotland, and Janet, born in the Newcastle suburb of Minmi, married two brothers, Arthur Otto (1873-1945) and Ernest Sladden (1878-1958) in Perth in 1895 and 1900 respectively. Arthur and Ernest were both born at Scone in the Upper Hunter region of NSW. Their parents were William Sladden (1819-81), who was a native of Herne Bay near Canterbury in Kent, and Amelia Dionesia Burriss/Burrowes (1835-89) who came from the county of Wiltshire. They were married at Scone on 20 February 1851 and had 14 children there between then and 1878. William, who first worked as a police officer and later farmed land at nearby Parkville, died at Scone on 28 January 1881 and is buried in the local Anglican cemetery. Amelia died on 23 January 1889 while visiting her daughter in the Sydney suburb of Croydon Park. The loss of both parents would have been unsettling for the younger members of the family in particular and may have been responsible for the then 17 year-old Arthur being 'charged by the Inspector of Nuisances . . . with driving on the footpaths' in Scone in 1890 (The Scone Advocate, 18 January 1890). It would have also been instrumental in a number of them deciding to try their luck elsewhere. Arthur and Ernest chose Western Australia where, as noted above, Arthur was married in 1895. Two years later he and Ernest appeared before the Perth City Police Court 'charged with ill-treating a horse by working it with a sore shoulder . . . [and] a fine of £2 and costs was inflicted on Arthur' (The West Australian, 26 October 1897).

After their marriage in 1895, Arthur and Sarah Sladden lived in the inner-Perth suburb of Leederville where their three children - Ernest Roy, Clarence Otto and Ailsa Amelia Dionysia Sladden - were born. They then farmed land at Mundijong (formerly Jarrahdale Junction) on the city's outer western reaches before, in the mid-1930s, returning to the metropolis. The 1943 electoral roll has Arthur, a storeman, and Sarah registered as living at 17 Barnfield Road in Claremont along with their son Ernest Roy and his wife Elsie Florence Sladden. Sarah died at Geraldton in the mid-West Region of Western Australia on 29 September of that year and was buried in the Utakarra cemetery there (Presbyterian Section, Row 4 Plot 8). Arthur died at Claremont two years later, his death notice in Perth's Daily News reading: 'SLADDEN - On April 2 1945, at Claremont. Arthur Otto, of 17 Barnfield Road, dearly beloved husband of the late Sarah Sladden, loved father of Roy, Clarence, Ailsa (Mrs E. Vinicombe), father-in-law of Elsie, Emmie, Ted, grandfather of Ernie, Arthur Ray, Joy, Norman, Jean, Joy. Mae, Clarence, Hazel'. Ernest and Janet Sladden lived for a time at Collie before moving to West Leederville in Perth where Ernest worked as a firewood merchant. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us Janet Sladden, aged 72 of West Leederville, died on 23 October 1950 and is buried with her two daughters, Amy and Amelia, at Karrakatta (Presbyterian Section BA Gravesite 0139). Her death notices, published in The West Australian the following day tell us she was 'the dearly loved wife of Ernest . . . loving mother of Keith and mother-in-law of Rene . . . dear mother and nan of . . . Hazel, Fred and Margaret Hutchinson . . . loving mother and mother-in-law of Gwen and Don [Grimm] and grandmother of Wayne, Peter and Patricia . . . loved mother of Jean, mother-in-law of Ron, nan of Lorraine, Kay. Pamela and Dianne Vinicombe . . . [and] loving mother of Clarice (Mrs Hooker)'. Ernest Sladden, 79 of Mount Hawthorn, died on 29 March 1958 and was buried with his wife Janet and their two daughters at Karrakatta.

janet sladden

From Ronice Preston's 'Preston Family Tree' on Ancestry, Janet Sladden nee McCormack with her daughter Clarice
and son-in-law Lawrence Hooker and their two children Beryl (being nursed by Clarice) and Hazel.

As noted above, Arthur and Sarah Sladden had three children and Ernest and Janet Sladden seven children we know of. As also noted, two of Ernest and Janet's children - Amelia Beryl (1904-4) and Amy May Sladden (1905-5) - died as infants and are buried with their parents at Karrakatta. As detailed below, their other five children as well as their three Sladden cousins all grew to adulthood, married and provided their beloved parents with at least . . . grandchildren:

Children and descendants of
Arthur Otto and Sarah McBlane Sladden nee McCormack

3.1 Ernest Roy Sladden (1896-1957). His record in the National Archives shows that Roy, then a 19 year-old locomotive fireman of Leederville, enlisted in the First AIF at Jarrahdale on 13 February 1916 (NOK: Sarah Sladden of Mundijong). He proceeded overseas from Fremantle on the SUFFOLK and arrived at Plymouth on 12 December 1916. Not long after joining the 51st Battalion in France on 10 February 1917, Roy returned to England suffering from acute bronchitis. Eventually declared unfit for active duty, he was repatriated back to Australia in January 1918. Roy was living at Subiaco in Perth and working as a guard when he married Elsie Florence Maggie Eggeling (1899-1969) at Fremantle in 1924. According to the 'Riches_Sladden' family tree on Ancestry, Elsie was born at Kalgoorlie, daughter of Heinrich Christoph Theodor (Henry) Eggeling (1854-1930), who came from Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and Annie Margaret Linnett (1867-1937) who was born in the Loddon region of Victoria. Henry and Annie were married at Balranald in NSW in 1895 and, with their young son, Ernest, moved to Western Australia three years later. They both died in Western Australia, Henry at Esperance and Annie at Boulder. Annie's father, Henry Linnett, was a Dane, who with his two brothers, emigrated to Australia in 1860.

Roy and Elsie Sladden lived all of their married lives in Perth. During the Second World War Roy again served in the Australian Army from October 1941 until May 1946 at which time he was a Sapper in the 3rd Australian Hospital Maintenance Platoon. After the War Roy worked as a fireman until his death at Claremont on 12 April 1957. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows he is buried at Karrakatta (Presbyterian Section KA, Position 0091. The same source tells us that Elsie Florence Maggie Sladden, 69 of Shenton Park, died on 21 September 1969 and is buried with Roy at Karrakatta. The 'Riches_Sladden' family tree tells us that Roy and Elsie had six children: Ernest Henry Anderson Sladden (1925-88) who married Betty Joan Chandler (1929-2008) in 1947 and had two children; Arthur Clarence Sladden (1927-2007) who was twice married and had four children in all; Raymond Keith Sladden (1932-90) who married Norma Betty Savage (1923-2015) in 1955 and had one child; and three others (two females and one male). The male was probably Norman Roy Sladden, a radio technician, who was registered as living with his widowed mother at Shenton Park at the time of the 1963 election and married Susan Mary Flannery (1944-82) in Perth the same year).

3.2 Clarence Otto Sladden (1898-1989) who married Emily Frances Hook (1901-93) at Leederville in 1925. Emily was the daughter of two Victorians, George Hook (1866-1937) and Eleanor Burton (1872-1956), who were married at Ballarat in 1896. Like his older brother, Clarence served in the Australian Army during the First World War. His record in the National Archives, shows he enlisted at Perth on 29 October 1916 and sailed from Fremantle on the S S MILTIADES on 29 January 1917. In July the same year he proceeded to France where he served with the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion. He returned to Australia early in 1919 and was discharged from the Army at Fremantle on 10 September of that year. The Australian electoral rolls show Clarence then lived and worked on the family farm at Mundijong until his marriage at Leederville in 1925 when he and Emily moved into Perth and Clarence began working as a fireman. They resided in Balkatta, Victoria Park and, after Clarence retired in the early 1970s, the city of Canning. Clarence and Emily both died at Ferndale in Canning, he on 25 November 1989 and she on 30 December 1992 and were cremated at Karrakatta. According to the 'Haverhoek Family Tree' on Ancestry, they had two children: 1) Clarence Edward Sladden (1926-2003) who worked for the Post Master General's Department, married Ethel Aimee Jones (1926-2015) in Perth in 1951 and had at least one child; and 2) Hazel June Sladden (1931-2021) who married a plumber, John Harry Rowell (1929-2010), in Perth in 1951 and had at least two children. Hazel and John are pictured on the right on their wedding day.

3.3 Ailsa Amelia Dionysia Sladden (1901-80) married Edward William (Ted) Vinicombe (1897-1956) in the Beverley Registration district of Western Australia in 1925. Born at Fremantle, Ted was the oldest son of William Edward Vinicombe (1870-1926) and Ellen Sarah Window (1873-1960) who were married at Prospect in South Australia in 1896 and had seven children between then and 1912. Born at Olverston in Gloucestershire, William farmed land at East Pingelly in the Western Australian wheat-belt region and died and was buried there in December 1926. His obituary in the Pingelly-Brookton Leader on 23 December tells us William served for a time as secretary of the local branch of the Primary Producers' Association - where he would have worked with the then local MLA, Henry Edward Hickmott (1852-1931) - and as a member of the Pingelly Road Board and the Brookton-Armadale Railway League. In all positions, the newspaper report adds, he 'was always fearlessly outspoken in his endeavours to carry out the duties thereof . . . was a capable representative of the ratepayers in his ward . . . [and] a familiar figure in the Government offices in Perth, whither he often repaired in order to get matters of district importance attended to'. William's widow, Ellen Sarah, who was born at Gawler River in South Australia, continued to live at Pingelly until the late 1930s when she moved to Perth. She died at Morley Park in the city of Bayswater on 27 August 1960, was cremated at Karrakatta and is memorialised in the Rose Gardens there (Garden P, Position 0064).

Like his brothers-in-law, Ted Vinicombe was a First World War veteran. After enlisting at Black Boy Hill on 24 August 1915 the then 19 year-old embarked from Australia on the HMAT AJANA on 17 December to join the 18th Australian Infantry Battalion at Tel-al-Kebir in Egypt. He went on to France where he was wounded in action on 7 August 1916. Not long after re-joining his battalion in September 1917 he was admitted to hospital suffering from an abscess of the groin and then transferred back to England from where he was eventually repatriated to Australia in December 1918. After his discharge, Ted returned to Mundijong to work on the family farm. He also acquired a grazing lease on a 300-acre block of land near Woyerling. After selling the lease in 1921, Ted took up primary school teaching and was working at Narrikup, inland from Bunbury, at the time of his marriage in 1925. After their marriage, Ted and Ailsa, who was also a primary school teacher, lived first at Claremont in Perth, then in the Brookton/Narrogin area where Ted taught at the Boyagorra, Minigin and Nebrikinning State Schools. During the war years, he and Ailsa and their growing family lived at Geraldton where Ted taught at the local primary school until he re-joined the Army - at Claremont on 31 January 1942 - and served as the commander of the Geraldton Home Guard unit until 15 January 1945. During this time Ailsa worked as the secretary of the Geraldton Branch of the Women's RSL Auxiliary and, towards the end of the war, as a local school teacher. Following his discharge from the Army, Ted also returned to teaching and was appointed head teacher at Geraldton's Bluff Point Primary School which, in September 1945, held 'a highly successful and enjoyable children's fancy dress ball . . . in the BIuff Point Hall . . . The dance floor was under the supervision of the head teacher . . . Mr E. W. Vinicombe and his assistant (Miss Coles) and Mrs Vinicombe, who are to be complimented on the conduct of the children during the evening' (Geraldton Guardian and Express, 22 September 1945).

The following year, Ted resigned from the Education Department in order to farm land at Geeralying near Minigin in the Narrogin Shire. By the time of the 1947 election, Ted had returned to teaching and he and Ailsa, who was still working as a teacher, were registered as living at 17 Surrey Road in the Perth suburb of Riverdale. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us Ted, aged 58 and of Rivervale, died on 17 March 1956, was cremated at Karrakatta and his ashes dispersed there. The electoral rolls show Ailsa, who continued teaching, remained at Rivervale until her retirement in around 1970 when she moved to Floreat Park and then the beach-side suburb of Scarborough where she died, aged 79, on 21 February 1980. Like Ted, she was cremated and her ashes were 'scattered to the winds at Karrakatta Cemetery'. Ailsa and Ted Vinicombe had two children we know of:

1) Ailsa Joy Vinicombe (1926-2017) who was born at West Leederville and, like her parents, worked as a school teacher - at Brookton and Lake Grace in the Western Australian wheat-belt region - before her marriage to Gilbert Claude Gericke (1922-2008) at the Presbyterian Church at Narrogin, on 17 December 1949 (Pingelly Brookton Leader, 22 December 1949). Born at Wagin in 1922, Claude was the youngest son of two South Australians, August Herbert Gericke (1894-1980) and Myrtle Starling (1890-1048), who were married at Katanning in Western Australia in 1917 and farmed land at Aldersyde near Brookton. They are both buried in the Pingelly cemetery. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WW2 nominal roll shows Claude served as a private soldier in the 2/22 Infantry Battalion from July 1942 until February 1946. The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage in 1949, Joy and Claude lived at Aldersyde and then Greenbushes, a timber and mining town located between Balingup and Bridgetown, where Claude worked as a shire clerk. The 1968 and subsequent rolls have them registered at Wyalatchem, to the northwest of Perth, along with an Ian Claude, Susan Jill and Wendy Mae Gericke. By 1980 both Claude and Joy were working as teachers. Gilbert Claude Gericke died at Pingelly on 16 December 2008 and is buried in the local cemetery. His grave inscription tells us he was 'the beloved husband of Joy and dear father of Ian, Ailsa, Robyn, Marian and Wendy'. Ailsa Joy Gericke, 91 of Dudley Park in Perth, died on 19 September 2017 and was cremated at Rockingham Regional Memorial Park. Her tribute, published in The West Australian on 21 September 2017, reads: 'GERICKE Ailsa (Joy) nee Vinicombe: Wife of Claude (dec). Loved mother of Ian and Sue, Ailsa and Graham, Robyn and Ian, Marian and Richie, Wendy and Gary. Nan of 16 (2 dec). Great Nan of 12'.

2) Winifred Mae Vinicombe (1928-94) was born at the Beverley Hospital on 4 January 1928 while her parents were living at the Boyagorra School House (The West Australian, 24 January 1928). She attended Geraldton High School where one of her fellow students was Leedham Walker (1928-2016) who Mae would marry at Mount Hawthorn in Perth on 25 June 1949. By then Mae was working as a nurse at the Fremantle Hospital while Leedham was a police constable. According to the 'Lance Family Tree' on Ancestry, Leedham was born at Thirlmere Farm at Bowgada near Geraldton. His parents were Francis Leedham Coombe Walker (1903-94) and Gladys Eileen Sims (1902-94) who were married at Northampton in Western Australia in 1926 and farmed land at Bowgada until the mid-1950s. The Australian electoral rolls show Mae and Leedham living at 55 Norwood Road in the Perth suburb of Rivervale in 1954, 1958, and 1963 (Leedham was then a Detective Sergeant). They were living in the adjacent suburb of Lathlain in 1968, at Floreat Park in 1972, and Duncraig in 1977 and 1980. Winifred Mae Walker nee Vinicombe, 66 of Duncraig, died on 23 December 1994, was cremated at Karrakatta and is memorialised at Pinneroo Valley Memorial Park (Cassia Court, Wall 21, Position 005). Leedham (Lee) Walker, 88 of Duncraig, died on 9 April 2016, was cremated at Karrakatta and is memorialised with Mae at Pinneroo Memorial Park. His tribute in the 11 April 2016 edition of The West Australian reads: 'WALKER (Leedham): 3.2.1928 - 9.4.2016 Beloved Husband of Mae (dec), Father and Father-in-law of Ron and Merle, Colin and Geraldine, Michael and Debra, Alan and Families'.

leddham and mae walker 1949

Leedham and Mae Walker on their wedding day in 1949 (taken from the 'Lance Family Tree' on Ancestry.

Children and descendants of
Ernest and Janet Brown Sladden nee McCormack

clarice sladden wedding

Clarice Sladden and Lawrence Hooker's wedding (from Ronice Preston's 'Preston Family Tree' on Ancestry and originally shared by PMT666).
L/R: Jean Sladden, Keith Sladden, Laurie Hooker, Clarice Sladden, George Hooker and Hazel Sladden.

4.1 Keith Sladden (1901-73). Born at Collie, Keith lived his early adult life with his parents and siblings in the Perth suburb of Balkatta where he worked for his father as a horse and later truck driver. The Department of Veterans Affairs' World War 2 nominal roll shows he enlisted in the Australian Army at Claremont on 29 January 1942 and served as a private soldier until 10 March 1946. We don't think he went overseas. Keith is shown in uniform in the picture on the right along with his brother-in-law, Laurie Hooker (seated on the grass). During this time he met and married, in Perth in 1943, a divorcee, Hilda Irene (Rene) Byrom nee Stenning (1903-70). Born at Hailsham in Sussex, Irene was the elder daughter of Charles Stenning (1879-1966) and Alice Emily Knight (1880-1971) who were married there on 8 December 1900 and, together with Irene and her younger sister Mabel, sailed from London on 28 October 1910. They were living at Busselton on the southwestern tip of Western Australia when Charles, then a 35 year-old fettler, enlisted in the Australian Army at Black Boy Hill on 16 June 1915. Allocated to the 9th Battalion, he sailed from Australia on 1 October 1915 to Egypt where he was transferred to the 51st Battalion and served in France from March 1916. Wounded in action (a GSW to the back) at Rouen on 21 October 1917 he spent time in the Beaufort War Hospital in Bristol before re-joining his unit. He returned to Australia in February 1919 and was discharged in 5MD in June the same year. After the War, Charles and Alice and their two girls lived in Perth where Irene married a Lancashire lad, William Douglas Byrom, on 8 October 1921 and Mabel married a Victorian, Thomas Alexander Jack, on 28 February 1925. Charles, who was still working for the Western Australian railways, and Alice Emily Stenning were then living at 87 Beattie Avenue in the Perth suburb of Carlisle. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us they both died at Shenton Park, Charles on 12 May 1966 and Alice Emily on 9 November 1971, and are memorialised together in the Crematoriom Rose Gardens at Karrakatta (Garden 9B, Position 0021).

After successfully divorcing William Byrom, who, as reported in the Perth Daily News on 23 April 1937, had become 'discontented' with their marriage, Irene lived with her parents at 87 Beattie Avenue in Carlisle. The Australian electoral rolls show Keith was also living there in 1949 before he and Irene moved to 12 Croydon Street in Shenton Park where they spent the remainder of their lives (during this time Irene's parents were living at 2 Croydon Street Shenton Park). The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us Irene died on 28 October 1970 and Keith on 15 January 1973 and are memoriaiised together in the Crematoriom Rose Gardens at Karrakatta (Garden 17, Position 0258). Irene had two sons with William Byrom: Kevin (1922-22) and John Edward Byrom (1923-2015) who lived with his father after his and Irene's divorce. We don't think she and Keith had any children.

4.2 Hazel Sladden (1908-83). Born at Leederville in 1908, Hazel married Frederick Middleton (Fred) Hutchinson (1907-2002) there in 1937. Fred was then working as a shop assistant and living with his parents and siblings in Subiaco. Born in the Western Australian goldfields town of Southern Cross, Fred was the eldest of five children of George Henry Hutchinson (1873-1959) and Lucy Hazell Knight (1883-1968). George was born in the Litchurch area of Derby in Derbyshire in England, the youngest son of Middleton Hutchinson (1839-1927), a labourer and engine tenderer, and Ann Frith who were married after banns at Derby in 1862. Some time between 1891 and 1907, George emigrated to Australia and married Lucy Hazell Knight (we have yet to determine exactly when and where they were wed). The birth places of their children show they lived at Southern Cross and nearby Marvel Loch in Western Australia's Yilgarn Shire until the onset of the First World War when they moved to Subiaco in Perth. There they lived for a time on Jersey Street before taking up residence at 83 Rowland Street. The 1936 election roll shows George, who was said to be a carter, and Lucy living at 83 Rowland Street along with Frederick, shop assistant, Jack, civil servant, Reginald George, shop assistant, Wilfred Henry, fitter and turner, and Winnifred Hazel Hutchinson, clerk. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us George and Lucy both died while living at Subiaco, he on 22 August 1959 and she on 7 November 1968. They are buried together in the Anglican area of the Karrakatta Cemetery (Section WD, Position 0008).

Fred and Hazel Hutchinson lived most of their married lives in the Leederville/Mount Hawthorn area of Perth. Over this time Fred continued working as a shop assistant although, on 19 January 1942, he enlisted in the Australian Army at Claremont and served until 31 October 1945 by which time he was a Cpl in the 105 Australian Light Field Ambulance. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us they were living at Mount Lawley at the time of their deaths, Hazel on 23 March 1983 and Fred on 23 February 2002. They were both cremated at Karrakatta and are memorialised in the Garden Of Remembrance there (Garden 5, Position 0061). We believe they had only one child, a daughter Margaret Ann Hutchinson (1938-2019), who trained as a school teacher and, in 1962, married a fellow teacher, John Cardell Clark, who had been working at Bridgetown near Margaret River in the southwest of Western Australia. The electoral rolls show they lived at Mount Lawley in Perth until at least 1980 by which time John was a school principal and Margaret was back teaching. We believe Margaret died at Bridgetown in 2019. Her tribute in the The West Australian reads: 'CLARK Margaret Ann (nee Hutchinson): 20.6.1938 - 7.1.2019.Taken by a sudden illness. Greatly missed by husband John (Jack), daughter Heather and Damian (son-in-law). Gone to join daughter Karen and Charlie' (11 January 2019). The Perth Metro Cemeteries Board website tells us a Karen Patricia Clark, 42 of Bridgetown, died on 11 March 2010 and was cremated at Karrakatta.

4.3 Clarice Eva Sladden (1909-96). Born on 24 December 1909, Clarice - pictured on the left at 23 years of age - spent most of her childhood at !4 Kimberly Street in West Leederville where, in January 1923 she wrote the first of a number of letters to "Auntie Nell" of The Daily News stating, in this case, she 'would like to enter for the Christmas Pudding competition, and am sending in my solution of it'. On the 13th August 1928, a report in the same newspaper informed its readers that a 'Miss Clarice Sladden (Tawny Owl)', had been enrolled as a 'Girl Guide in the 1st West Leedervllle Company'. Tawny Owl was working as a shop assistant when she married Lawrence James Stephen Hooker (1908-73) at West Leederville on 15 April 1933. Born at Norseman near Esperance in Western Australia, Lawrence was the youngest son of Frederick George Hooker (1871-1928) and Mary Ann Harland (1867-1944) who were married in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood in 1896 and had six children between then and 1908. After the birth of their fourth child, Fred and Mary Ann moved to Western Australia where Fred worked in the mines at Kalgoorlie and Norseman. In around 1926, the family moved to Perth where Fred died at Mount Lawley in 1928 and Mary Ann at Inglewood in 1944. They are buried together in the Wesleyan Area of the Karrakatta Cemetery (Section EA, Gravesite 0506).

Four years after their marriage in 1933, Lawrence and Clarice Hooker and their two girls - Beryl and Hazel - were living at Reedy, midway between Mount Magnet and Meekatharra in the Murchison region of Western Australia, where Lawrence was working as a shop assistant and where his older brother, Frederick William Lancelt Hooker (1900-77) and his wife Dorothy were also living (Frederick was working as an assayer at the Triton Goldmine there). The DVA's WW2 nominal roll shows WX16118 Lawrence James Stephen Hooker enlisted in the Australian Army at Claremont in Perth on 17 March 1942. He was still living at Reedy at the time and gave as his NOK Clarice Hooker. His military record in the Australian Archives tells us he was allocated to the 116th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and served in Western Australia and then New South Wales where, following the disbandment of the regiment in early 1945, Lawrence joined the Special Investigation Branch (Maritime Group) of the Australian Army Provost Corps. There he employed mainly on troop and other ships sailing between Australia and New Guinea and, after the War had ended, to Australian forces stationed in Japan. Shortly after Lawrene's discharge from the Army on 8 December 1947, he and Clarice separated. The 1949 electoral roll shows him living and working in Sydney while Clarice and the girls were still at Reedy. The couple were divorced on 10 June 1953 and each re-married soon after, Clarice to a native of Aberdeen in Scotland, Charles Stewart Scott (1911-91), at Cue near Reedy on 28 November 1953, and Lawrence to Ruth Mona Bell at Redfern in Sydney on 22 May 1954.

Lawrence James Stephen Hooker continued to live in Sydney until his death at the Concord Repatriation Hospital on 4 October 1973. The Australian electoral rolls show Clarice and Charles Stuart Scott were living at Geraldton in 1963 and at the Caravan Park at Exmouth in 1968 (as was her daughter, Beryl May and her husband Ronald Ephraim Preston who had been married in Perth in 1957).By the time of the 1980 election, Clarice and Charles were back at Geraldton while Beryl and Ronald were farming land at Wagerup south of Mandrah. Ronice Preston tells us Charles Stuart Scott died at Yarloop near Wagerup on 6 July 1991 and was cremated at the Fremantle Crematorium. Clarice Eva Scott formerly Hooker nee Sladden died at the Glen-Craig Nursing Home in Albany (where she was then residing) on 2 February 1996 and was cremated at Albany four days later. She and Charles did not have any children. As already mentioned, Clarice and Lawrence Hooker had two daughters: Beryl May and Hazel Alma Hooker. Ronice Preston tells us Beryl and her husband Ronald Ephraim Preston (1929-2014), who died at Denmark in Western Australia, had three children. Their second daughter and her husband, John Evans, have two children.

4.4 Jean Sladden (1913-83). Like her older sisters, Jean became an avid follower and regular contributor to The Daily News' Saturday 'Children's Page'. In her first letter written on 24 August 1924, the just turned eleven year-old informed "Aunty Nell" she had been 'reading the children's page . . . and thought I would like to become one of your many nieces. May I, Auntie Nell? I've not been well. I've had three days in bed, with a very bad cold, but I got up to-day. We are going to have a ball for our school on the 19th of September. I'm going in a set called 'Old Mother Hubbard.' I am quite looking forward to it, as it is the first ball I have taken part in'. Jean married Ronald Garfield Vinicombe (1910-70) at West Leederville in 1937. Born at South Fremantle, Ron was the younger brother of Edward William (Ted) Vinicombe (1897-1956) who had married Jean's cousin, Ailsa Amelia Dionysia Sladden (1901-80) in the Beverley Registration district of Western Australia in 1925 (see above). At the time of their marriage Ron, who had earlier been working on his parents' farm at East Pingelly, was back at Fremantle and working as a police constable. Jean was living with her parents at West Leederville and working as a milliner. The Australian electoral rolls show Jean and Ron moved around after their marriage. They were at Northam in 1943, Dowerin in 1949, and Geraldton in 1956 before returning to Subiaco in Perth in the late 1950s (by which time Ron was a police sergeant). Over this time Ron was a respected and popular member of the local communities he served not just as a policeman but also, in the case of Dowerin for example, as president of the local football club. He and Jean were registered as living at 80 Ellesmere Street Mount Hawthown in 1968 and 10 Myimbar Way Nollamara in the 1972 and subsequent rolls (by then Ron had left the police force and was working as an usher). The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows they both died while at Nollamara, Ron on 13 July 1979 and Jean on 26 April 1983. Both were cremated at Karrakatta and are memorialised in the Garden of Remembrance there (EC Section, Garden 23, Poition 0172).

Ronice Preston tells us Jean and Ron had four girls: 1) Lorraine Vinicombe who was born at Fremantle in 1938, married Geoff Dixon and was living in Tasmania at the time of her sister Gwenyth's death in 2017; 2) Gwenyth Kaye Vinicombe who was born at Subiaco in 1940 and was working as a teacher when she married a fellow teacher, Peter James Ogden, in Perth in 1963. Peter was then teaching at Carnarvon. By the time of the 1968 election they were back in Perth and living with Gwenyth's parents at 10 Myimbah Way in Nollamara (they were still there in 1980). The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows Gwenyth Kaye Ogden, 77 of Aubin Crove, died on 1 April 2017. Her tribute in The West Australian tells us she was the 'Beloved wife of Peter; loving mother of Andrew, Susan, Naomi and Michael (dec); inspirational mother-in-law of Nicola, Stanley and Andre; devoted grandmother of seven' plus the 'dearly loved second daughter of Ron and Jean Vinicombe (dec). Loved sister and aunt of Lorraine and Geoff Dixon (Tas), Pam and Alan Haslett, Dianne and B… (4 April 2017); 3) Pamela Jean Vinicombe who married Alan Haslett and was living at Laverton near Leonora in the WA Goldfields Region in 1968, Lake Grace in the State's eastern wheatbelt region in 1972, Mullewa northeast of Geraldton in 1977, and Cranbrook in the Great Southern Region in 1980; and 4) Dianne Vinicombe.

4.5 Gwen Sladden (1916-85) married Donald Ernest Grimm (1917-2004) at West Leederville on 15 December 1942. Don was then serving in the 2nd AIF, having enlisted at Perth on 26 September 1941. At the time of their engagement on 16 October 1941, Don was a Lieutenant in the 10th Armoured Regiment. He served until 17 April 1946 at which time he was a Captain in the 2/118 Australian Mobile Bath Unit. Born at Subiaco on 22 May 1917, Don's parents were Ernest Charles Grimm (1878-1949) and Hedwig Amanda Stabernack (1879-1947) who were married there in 1907 and had a daughter - Erna Esma Grimm later Sprules (1909-2002) - as well as Don. Charles and Hedwig are buried together in the Karrakatta Cemetery (Section DA, Position 0043). The Australian electoral rolls show Gwen and Don, who worked as a salesman, lived for a time in Kalgoorlie before returning to Perth in the late 1960s. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board tells us that Gwen Grimm, then 69 of Bullcreek, died on 5 June 1985, was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery Crematorium and is memorialised in the Crematorium Gardens there (Garden 11, Position 0011). Donald Ernest Grimm, 86 of Bullcreek, died on 16 March 2004, was also cremated at Fremantle Cemetery Crematorium and is memorialised there with Gwen. They had three children we know of: 1) Peter John Grimm (1947-87), who worked as a bank officer, and, with his wife Judith, was living in Fremantle in 1972, Albany in 1977 and Kellerberrin in the WA wheatbelt region in 1980. The Western Australian index of bdms shows Peter died at Tims Thicket in the Murray registration district of WA in 1987. He and judith were then living in the Perth suburb of Bateman. Peter was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery and is memorialised in the Garden of Remembrance there (Garden 7, Position 006). 2) Patricia Kay Grimm; and 3) Donald Wayne Grimm who was born at West Leederville on 27 February 1944. An article in The Beverley Times on 11 August 1967, tells us he was then a member 'of the Beverley Co-operative staff' and had 'recently returned from the Eastern States where he has been attending the inter-state amateur football carnival as a member of the West Australian team'. The Australian electoral rolls show he and Janice Emily Grimm living at Dampier in the Pilbara region of Western Australia at the time of the 1972 election. Wayne was then manager of the local store and later manager of the newly-built Westfields shopping centre at Karratha. The 1977 and 1980 rolls have them living on Darley Circuit in the Perth suburb of Bull Creek. We have not been able to trace them after that.

jean sladden wedding

From Ronice Preston's 'Preston Family Tree' on Ancestry, Jean Sladden and Ron Vinicombe's wedding at West Leederville in 1937.
L/R: Unknown, Gwen Sladden, Ron Vinicombe, Jean Sladden, Unknown and Unknown.

. . . to be continued

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