Alan & Mary Crosland (nee Newbegin) of Essex, UK
Alan and Mary Crosland (nee Newbegin) of Essex
ALAN CROSLAND, son of Ernest Crosland and May Richards, was born on 27 May 1900. He was orphaned at the age of 4. Alan's mother, May died in childbirth in 1900. Alan's father, Ernest, died of pneumonia four years later leaving Alan’s grandmother Lillie Crosland and his aunt Ethel Crosland to raise him.
Alan’s eldest daughter Elizabeth recounts... "For his education he joined the other children being taught by Lillie at her little school. Later, sometime during his teens, he joined the Eastern Telegraph at Porthcurno, Cornwall, where I think he completed his education and learnt morse code. This must have been during the time of the First World War. There is a photo of him in an army uniform looking very young and I seem to remember he told us he went to join up by raising his age, but was later found out and discharged. This is all a bit uncertain as Daddy was still in the Eastern Telegraph for years after the war. He was sent to Gibraltar and Alexandria in Egypt for the Eastern Telegraph and may have been part of the Secret Service as he told [Elizabeth’s brother] Richard he had a special "red passport" which enabled him to go anywhere. He was also in Turkey at the time Ataturk drove all foreigners into the sea. Daddy got out on the last boat to leave. This must have been in the early to mid 1920's. He was away from home for 5 years.
He left the Eastern Telegraph and joined my grandfather Donald Newbegin in the Middlesex and Surrey Laundry to train in the laundry business. My grandfather wanted him to take over from him, but Daddy wanted further experience and joined West Simpson who owned a group of laundries in East Anglia.
It was about this time that Alan was diagnosed with Type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetes. He was a patient in St Thomas's Hospital in London which is where my mother trained as a nurse, and where they became re-acquainted as adults. They had played together as children because they were second cousins. Alan’s grandmother Lillie Crosland (nee Swann) and Biddy’s grandmother, Bema Wadham (nee Swann) were sisters.
Alan was one of the first three patients chosen in Britain to start receiving insulin injections which had just been developed in the USA. He was on a very strict diet and set insulin doses by injection morning and evening. There was no easy way of monitoring blood sugar in those days. Later he got know by the way he felt whether his blood sugar was low or not.
Biddy and Alan started going out together after his discharge from hospital. She must have finished her training and also completed her midwifery training in Scotland by the time they were going out together because she was attending mothers for home deliveries and travelling all over England. Alan was driving at the weekends to meet her. They became engaged in 1930.
Alan married MARY MARINA NEWBEGIN (known as Biddy) at Staines, UK on 6 October 1931. Biddy was born on 5 November 1903. Biddy was the daughter of Donald Tracy Newbegin and Mary Wadham. Mary got the family nickname 'Biddy' because as a child she used to point to things and say 'biddy' for 'pretty'. Alan and Biddy had a very happy marriage.
Biddy died on 21 July 1956 at 52 years of age while she and Alan were on a cruise in the Mediterranean. She had a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage brought on by sea sickness and died within a few days. She was buried at sea in the Mediterranean south of Greece.
Alan died in May 1967 at Clacton-on-Sea, at 66 years of age.
Alan and Biddy had three children: Elizabeth, Richard and Sarah.
ELIZABETH MARY CROSLAND was born in Clacton-on-Sea, UK 20 Oct 1932. Elizabeth wrote the following brief autobiography for a gathering of descendants of the Swann family at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta in October 1993:
“My brother and sister and I were all born at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex in England, a few years before the second World War. We were bombed out of our house in Clacton-on-Sea in May 1940, and my brother, Richard and I went to stay with Grandpa and Grandma (Donald and Florence Newbegin) for three or four months while our parents and Sarah were finding somewhere else to live. Grandpa and Grandma lived at Laleham-on-Thames near Staines. The house was called 'The Barn' (made from beams from an old barn) and was right beside the River Thames.
Then our family went to Glapthorne in Northamptonshire to stay with Mr and Mrs Spencer on their farm. They had a big house and we stayed there for several months, nearly a year I think before we moved into the cottage opposite. It had no running water or electricity when we moved in. My mother carted water from the farm in buckets every day. Later a cold water tap was installed supplied by the windmill in the neighboring field. My mother cooked on an oil stove, very primitive and very hard work. After staying there for a year we moved to Weston Hall, a farm in Suffolk.
We were lucky in many ways, as we escaped most of the horrors of the war living at Weston Hall during most of those years. It was a big old Elizabethan farm house, quite creepy at night, but fun for children to live in! My great aunt, Ethel Crosland, whom we called ‘Granty’ lived with us for much of that time and she was able to tell us little stories about our ancestors, some of which I remember. I wish now I had listened more closely and, I remember, she said I would wish later that I had! She was very musical and played the piano beautifully. We all went to boarding school in the east of England, coming home during the holidays. When I finished school I attended a domestic science college in London, then started my nurse's training at St Thomas's Hospital. Towards the end of my training I met Dennis Yates, a journalist In Fleet St.”
Elizabeth married DENNIS YATES in London, UK on 16 March 1955. Dennis was born 9 May 1917. They had two children:
GILES was born in London, UK on 12 April 1955.
MARY-JANE was born in London, UK on 15 Mar 1957.
Elizabeth’s autobiographical account continues, “…in 1963 Dennis developed cancer and was treated for 3 years before he died in 1966. My brother, Richard, had left England in 1961 to drive to Australia, settling in Sydney. He married Maureen Alexander and had 2 children, Fenella and Lisa, but, unfortunatley, Maureen died very suddenly a few months after Dennis. When Richard came back to England for a holiday we decided it would be good for all of us to join up and live in Sydney. I arrived in Sydney with Giles and Mary-Jane in January 1968 and we lived together happily in Richard's house in Paddington. I looked after the children while Richard went to work. When Richard re-married three years later, I went back to nursing at St Vincent's Hospital for a while, until I left to do midwifery at St Margaret's Hospital for a number of years. I also started my own home visiting service for mothers with new babies, which I very much enjoyed.”
In 2008 Elizabeth is retired and living in Pyrmont, Sydney. She keeps active, particularly helping her family in her role as grandmother and aunt.
ALAN RICHARDS (known as Richard) was born on 23 Mar 1935. Richard wrote the following brief autobiography for a gathering of descendants of the Swann family at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta in October 1993:
“I was born in 1935 in Essex, England. Two sisters, Elizabeth (older), Sarah (younger). In 1940 our family was evacuated from home due to bomb damage. After moving around a bit, we lived in an old Tudor farmhouse in the depths of Suffolk for five years. From 1945 to 1953 I was a boarder at Culford School, Bury St. Edmunds. In 1950 (approx) our family moved to "Tudor Barn", near Colchester in Essex. From 1953 to 1955 I did my National Service in the Royal Signals, eventually becoming a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1956 Mother died suddenly while on a Mediterranean cruise. From 1956 to 1959 I trained to be a manager in the family business of laundries and dry cleaning plants. 1959-60 I lived in a caravan on the banks of the river Wye in Monmouthshire, Wales, managing a staff of approx 100 in Monmouth and Cardiff. In September 1961 six bachelor layabouts (including me) set off from the Grenadier pub in Belgravia, London, destination Sydney, in a second-hand VW van. We sold the van in Penang, Malaysia three months later. On 1 January 1962 I landed at Sydney airport from Singapore. From 1962-67 I worked at various jobs including 5 years of utter boredom at Permanent Trustee Co. in the City. I also attended Sydney University for 3 years (part-time) doing Economics (unfinished). I got married, had two daughters, Fenella and Lisa. Maureen, their mother, died suddenly in 1967. I returned to U.K. for three months following my father's death and stayed with my sister, Elizabeth, in London. She had lost her husband , Dennis, from cancer, the previous year. We decided she and her two children, Giles and Mary-Jane, would emigrate to Australia. They arrived in 1968 and we lived as one family in Paddington. In 1970 I married Judy Pearce and in 1971 Adam was born. From 1969 to present - set up my own business as cabinet-maker (evolving from renovating terrace houses in Paddington) and then started my own woodwork school.”
Richard married three times. He married MAUREEN LESLEY ALEXANDER . Maureen was born in 1941. Maureen was the adopted daughter of Walter and Beryl Alexander. She grew up on their dairy farm near Lismore in northern NSW. At the time she married Richard she was living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and working as a nursing assistant at the Eastern Suburbs Hospital. Maureen died very suddenly of a siezure on 4 May 1967 in Paddington, NSW. Richard and Maureen had two daughters:
Fenella Jane Crosland, born at St Lukes Hospital, Kings Cross, Sydney on 15 Jun 1965;
Lisa Juliet Crosland born at Royal Women's Hospital, Paddington, Sydney on 27 Nov 1966.
Richard’s second marriage was to JUDITH ANNE PEARCE in September 1970. Judith was born in 1945.
Richard and Judy had one son, Adam Crosland born in Paddington, Sydney, Australia on 15 December 1971.
Richard and Judy separated in 1987.
Richard’s third marriage was to DELPHINE MORRISEY in Woollahra, Sydney on 12 April 2003. In 2008 Richard and Delphine are living in Alexandria, Sydney and he continues to run his own successful cabinet making school.
SARAH MARINA was born at Clacton-on-Sea on 22 June 1938.
At 23 years of age Sarah became the mother of Jeffrey Inkpen in London, UK on 3 April 1962.
She married EDWARD GAINEY in London, UK. Ted was born 1919.
Sarah and Ted had two children:
Pamela Gainey born on 26 July 1963;
Alan Gainey born on 17 September 1964.
Sarah died on 9 February 2002 in Mitcham, UK, at 63 years of age.