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RICHARD EDWARD GILSENAN OF BULLA, ELTHAM AND TRENTHAM, VIC., AUST.

Information about Bulla's schoolteacher from about 1885 who was teaching at Trentham by 1893 and owned a property at Eltham where he became a Justice of the Peace can be found in the GILSENAN entry in my journal DICTIONARY HISTORY OF BULLA. If his wife, Harriet (nee Wilkins),was like most mothers of the bride she must have spent most of 1904 planning weddings and knitting clothes for the expected grandchildren!

You'll never guess the clever name the Watsons had for their farm at Trentham!

THE PUBS NEAR THE FUTURE STRATHMORE STATION, MELBOURNE,VIC., AUST.

The failed North Melbourne to Essendon railway, built by Hugh Glass and Peter McCracken and others, closed in 1864 and the government's slowness to purchase the line was probably responsible for the "accidental" medication overdose that caused the death of Glass and Peter McCracken's loss of "Ardmillan". However the government finally acted, extending the line circa 1872 as the North Eastern railway which eventually reached Albury.

There was no station at such a lonely place as today's Strathmore but by the mid 1850's there were two pubs virtually across the road from each other. A descendant of the Morgan family has a terrific website about the Cross Keys Hotel which includes a photograph of the original hotel.This is the website.

Morgan family at Cross Keys Hotel Essendon - Home
morganandkellyfamilyhistories.weebly.com/‎
North Essendon was formerly known as Hawstead and was in the Parish of Doutta Galla, County of Bourke. Bob said the details were a bit confusing and I have ...


The researcher asked the owner of the new Cross Keys about the original Cross Keys and was told that it was across the road. There was certainly an old hotel across the road but it wasn't the Cross Keys. I have sent the researcher the following information.

The owner of the Cross Keys was right about an old hotel being across Pascoe Vale Road from the Cross Keys but wrong about assuming that it was the original Cross Keys. It was on the site of Melfort Avenue,the block at Hawstead granted to John Haslett.

Ellen Haslitt (sic), National Hotel, Moonee Ponds. Granted.
(P.6, Argus, 16-4-1856.)
N.B. Moonee Ponds meant near the Moonee Ponds Creek, not the suburb.

Sam Merrifield's Annals of Essendon had an entry circa 1888 about a fellow called Robinson who apparently had just bought the hotel and was advertising some sort of race (bike?) to promote his hotel which he must have renamed as the Melfort. My old mate, Bob Chalmers, does not seem to have included this entry in his annals.

Hotel owners were wise to follow Morgan's scheme to protect his Cross Keys ( as you have described) because the Melfort was soon targeted.

CLEARING OUT A HOTEL.
Between 1 a.m. and 6 ajn. on Thursday,
burglars made a raid, which in its particular line
has not often been surpassed, on the Melfort
Hotel, which stands in a rather lonely spot on the
Pascoe Vale-road, Moonee Ponds, near Melbourne.
The place had been closed by Mr. Thomas
Adams, the licensee, at the usual hour, and
he and his family retired to rest. It was rather
a wild night, and. they, slept soundly. No noise
was heard by them, but on rising at 6 o'clock
Adams was astonished to find the front door open,
and a large proportion of his liquor stock
gone, in addition to six large boxes of
cigars and some cash. When the place
was thoroughly examined, it was found tbat the
work of the robbers had been effected with much
determination. They bad first examined all the
windows on the ground floor looking into the
street ; but finding the catches too strong, and
probably being chary of breaking the glass and
thus causidg- a noise, had obtained a carpenter's
brace and bit, and bored boles all round
the the woodwork near the back of the
bar door. The wood was then taken out
in one piece and the lock pushed back. Tbe
bar was then at their mercy, and they carried. ofiE,
amongst other property, 24db of tobacco, a keg of
whiskey, a number of bottles of brandy and
whiskey, a dozen bottles of ale, and so forth.- The
money bad been taken from the till. In order to
carry the plunder away they must have bad a
horse and conveyance. They left no clue.
(CLEANING OUT A HOTEL.
Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931) Saturday 3 August 1889 p 5 Article.)

Incidentally the names of HASLETT and BERGIN will be discussed in my BULLA or BROADMEADOWS journal re the Somerton Rd area. I will be checking but offhand,Haslett was the grantee of Sherwood/Ballater Park if I remember correctly and Bergin had a small grant on section 3 Bulla Bulla near the cemetery.

==========================================================
xxx thanks so much for your contact on my webpage http://morganandkellyfamilyhistories.weebly.com/ and the information you have sent me regarding the other Hotel on Pascoe Vale Road.

One of these days I will find time to go through the land titles for the Cross Keys Hotel for myself. Probably not until I retire though.

I "googled" you and have found your Strathmore History page. I'm looking forward to reading through it. I must admit I get so confused with all the different names in the area, ie Hawstead, North Essendon, Pascoe Vale, Moonee Ponds. I suppose boundaries changed over the years?

I also see you are into Tullamarine history. I have been searching for more descendants of my Morgans from the Cross Keys Hotel. My grandmother's eldest brother was John "Jack" Adams who apparently died in a nursing home at Tullamarine in 1983. I have been told Jack may have been some sort of caretaker at a farm around Craigieburn/Yuroke. In the Vic electoral roles his address was with his son Morgan Adams at 51 Fraser Street Niddrie from 1963 until 1980.
If you happen to use ancestry.com the link to Jack in my tree is http://trees.ancestry.com.au/tree/6900954/person/-1207540832

-----------------------------------------------------------

It may just be co-incidence but Fraser St was close to the northern boundary of "Niddrie" (17B, Doutta Galla) whose eastern boundary is indicated by Treadwell St off Keilor Rd and Nomad Rd in Essendon Aerodrome. If I remember correctly,the farm was purchased by Dr. (Patrick?) Morgan in 1906. Patrick may actually have been the author of the family history THE MORGANS OF NIDDRIE. I don't know if this family was connected to your CROSS KEYS mob but family folklore would know of any doctors in the family.

There were plenty of Morgans around the area, Fred Morgan who married a Knight girl and farmed The Pines at Pascoe Vale and was somehow related to Joseph and John English who bought Fawkner's Belle Vue Park and built the mansion at the top of Oak Park Court; I think The Pines was part of Belle Vue Park.
(BETWEEN TWO CREEKS, Richard Broome.)

There was also a Morgan who bought Camp Hill at Tullamarine (from the Gilligans in about 1913 if I remember correctly) and W.R.Morgan who started an engineering firm in Glenroy and later transferred his operations to about the site of Hannah Pascoe Drive on the Moonee Ponds Creek floodplain on Camp Hill (renamed Gowanbrae by Scott.)

You wouldn't happen to have any idea of the owner of the property that Jack Adams was managing near Yuroke/
Craigieburn? Poole,Saunders,Simmie, Alston etc?

Hawstead was probably a place in the old country that the surveyor had come from and is the only case I have come across where suburban blocks (surveyed in every township) were actually given a suburb name. The name probably disappeared because it was replaced by NORTH PARK, which was probably a farm name before Alexander McCracken built his mansion of that name (now the Columban Mission) on the block. Part of Pascoeville/ Pascoevale/ Pascoe Vale became Oak Park when Hutchinson of the Glenroy flour mill changed the name of Fawkner's Belle Vue Park to Oak Park because of the many oak trees that Fawkner had planted.

Strathmore was known as North Essendon, as was the area near the Essendon Crossroads (near Keilor Rd corner) until the North Essendon Progress Association finally got a station near the Cross Keys. Names for the Stations (Strathmore, Glenbervie) were both places associated with Thomas Napier's native area in Scotland.

Moonee Ponds meant NEAR THE MOONEE PONDS CREEK for a great many decades.

-----------------------------------------------------------

If any other researchers of the Morgans of the Cross Keys Hotel would like to get in touch with Kerryn Taylor,send me a private message or contact her through her website.

----------------------------------------------------------------
DROWNED IN A TANK.
Dr. Cole, district coroner, held an inquest yesterday afternoon, at the Cross Keys Hotel, Pascoevale-road. Essendon North, on the body of John Morgan, licensee of that hotel. He was found drowned on Thursday afternoon, in a tank on the premises containing 10ft. of water. The deceased had employed two men to effect some repairs to the tap, which was out of order and during the course of their work they had to go to a buggy-shed, some few
yards away, to obtain some implements.

Morgan at that time was standing on the top of the tank, the lid of which was off. Hearing a splash they returned, to find Morgan missing. About 10 minutes elapsed before they could recover his body, life being
then extinct. There being no evidence to show how the deceased had got into the water, an open verdict was returned.(P.19, Argus, 1-3-1907.)

1 comment(s), latest 3 years, 3 months ago

James Hearn and Big Clarke: KANGERONG/MOOROODUC; ESSENDON; YUROKE (VIC.,AUST.) The Ashes.

In a history of Essendon's historic houses, or historical origins of street names in the Essendon area,probably written by Lenore Frost,it was stated that James Hearn was the son-in -law of William John Turner Clarke (often referred to as "Big" Clarke.) At the time of Big Clarke's death,he was practically paralysed and was being cared for at "Roseneath",the residence of James Hearn.

Roseneath was just east of the water reserve at the south corner of Mt Alexander Rd and Woodland St and was later the residence of William Salmon who donated part of his estate (Salmon Reserve) to the Essendon Council. The part of the Township of Essendon north of Glass St, named "Hawstead" contained larger "suburban" blocks and the one on which Roseneath was built seems to have been granted to a member of Big Clarke's family. GET ALLOTMENT DETAILS.

Despite claims that William Pomeroy Greene of Woodlands was responsible for the name of Woodland St,the above author (if my memory is correct)stated that the street name came from a huge estate/run in the west of Victoria held by Big Clarke. Greene may have been responsible for the naming of Essendon, being associated with a village of that name in England whose Anglican Church still has a font donated by the Greene family. This latter article (font etc)was in the Essendon Historical Society newsletter. The Water Reserve,fed by Five Mile Creek,is now Woodlands Park.

Since I started researching my SAFETY BEACH journal,I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to prove that either James Hearn or John Vans Agnew Bruce (a big contractor from Essendon who owned, by 1863,the 1000 acres of Safety Beach etc north of the line of Martha Cove Waterway or Tassells Creek leased by Edwin Louis Tassell)was a son-in-law of Big Clarke.

"THORNGROVE" in the parish of Yuroke was granted to Big Clarke and later owned by James Hearn, as was a grant a bit further south in the parish of Will Will Rook that Hay Lonie had been leasing as a dairy farm. Big Clarke was said to have bought all of Jamieson's Special Survey in stages and (a) sold the northern 1000 acres to Bruce at a big profit (LIME LAND LEISURE) OR (b)given it to his son-in-law,Bruce, as a wedding present (A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.) The Survey was the northern part of the parish of Kangerong and immediately north of the Sea Lane (Ellerina/Bruce Rd)in the parish of Moorooduc, was the Mount Martha Run,last held by James Hearn who received the grants for most of it, along the coast from Balcombe Creek's mouth to Hearn's Rd,the Dalkeith pre-emptive Right (north to White's Lane, now Range Rd)and other land east to the Tubbarubba diggings.

The passing of ownership from Big Clarke to James Hearn of two large tracts north /west of Melbourne and ownership of adjoining property near Mt Martha and even Clarke's death at Roseneath could just indicate a very close friendship,akin to that between Edward Williams and Sidney Smith Crispo,the former managing Manners-Sutton (west of Canterbury Jetty Rd)in early days and buying the latter's Eastbourne estate at Rosebud West,even caring for the great Crispo there during his last days. However it seems more likely that the association between Clarke and Hearn was more than just a friendship,probably a relationship.

While asking that great detailer of history,Isaac Batey, about John Rankin with the aid of trove,the truth may have finally emerged.
During my stay in the Riverina, falling in with Mr. James Hearne, a first cousin of the late Sir William Clarke,I learnt that (etc.) (P.4, Sunbury News, 4-7-1903.)

Sir William was Big Clarke's son and built Rupertwood (named after his own son) where the tradition of "The Ashes" started. I'm hoping that a F.T.C. member has a copy of the Clarke family history and can provide the exact details of the Clarke-Hearn relationship.My guess is that Big Clarke's wife was a Hearn. Help!

WOW! 1860 FARMERS IN MELBOURNE'S NORTH WEST,VIC.,AUST.

2 comment(s), latest 3 years, 4 months ago

WILLIAM WESTGARTH AND EARLY MELBOURNE. (Index of pioneers in order of appearance at start of journal.)

PIONEERS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE.)
Bold type indicates a major mention. I wanted to include these names under appropriate chapter heading in the CONTENTS below to better indicate their location given the lack of page numbers, but every time I edit, I lose most of the surnames, so the journal will remain untouched. All names are of Victorian pioneers, with the exception of Darwin (friend of Edward Wilson after his return to England.) I believe James Sceales should be James Scales.

WESTGARTH, DRUMMOND, LOCKE, LIARDET, LINGHAM,FAWKNER, SMITH,CRAIG, KERR,HOLMES,TURNBULL,ORR,FORSYTH,PITTMAN, DINWOODIE, TOWNEND,JAMES,HOOD,CASHMORE, CARSON, CHISHOLM, BENJAMIN, WITTON, HOWITT, ERSKINE, HOBSON, MORISON, FORBES,WELSH, SAYERS, WATSON, WIGHT, WERE,BARNES,STRACHAN,NODIN,BRODIE,CAREY,SMITH, CAMPBELL,RUSSELL, MARTIN, HUTTON,NANTES, BROADFOOT,ALISON, KNIGHT, LATROBE,ROACH,THOMSON, MANTON, JACKSON,RAE, ARDEN,CARRINGTON, CONDELL, PORTER, HEAP,GRICE, BELL,BUCHANAN,KELSH,LOVELL,CAMPBELL,WILLIAMS,PATTERSON,GRAHAM,RYRIE,
PURVES,KING, KERR, BROWNE,DAVIDSON, MOORE, TORRENS, JACKSON(SUNBURY), PINKERTON,SCEALES, HOYLE,HARDIE,MURRAY,MORRIS, BOYD, RYRIE(YERING),DE CASTELLA(YERING),FENNELL,ROBERTSON, MANIFOLD,GORRIE,MCGREGOR,IRVINE, MCKNIGHT, SUTHERLAND, BURCHETT,HENTY, BYASS,HAMILTON,ALLEN,BLACK,WEBSTER,MCCRAE, COPPIN,HENTY,MCKINNON,WILSON ,SINCLAIR, BATMAN,MCKINNEY,FENNELL,COLLYER, AITKEN, RUSSELL,CONDELL, INGLIS, KAYE, BUCHANAN, PORTER,THOMSON, CRESWICK, GELLIBRAND,HESSE, SMITH,MACKILLOP,WEBB,FAWKNERMOOR,MURPHY,MCARTHUR, WRIGHT,LALOR,SIMPSON, MCARTHUR(BANKER), LATROBE, WILSON,KILBURN, KERR, JOHNSTON, GILL, MACKINNON, JACKSON, RAE, DALGETY,DUCROZ, CASSELL,SYME,SPOWERS, DARWIN(ENGLAND),GRYLLS, CLOW, WILLIAMSON,SMITH,SIMPSON, STAWELL, BARRY,FOSTER, SLADEN, RUSDEN,CLARKE, CAMPBELL, FINLAY, HEARN,MCCOY, IRVING,PEARSON, WEBSTER,WESTBY, JAMES, WESTBY, MOOR,PATTERSON, PERRY,ELDER(S.A.), NEUHAUSS, MILLER,O'FARRELL,PALMER,BARKER,O'SHANNASSY, SERVICE, KERR,EBDEN, STAWELL, CASSELL, RUTLEDGE,SPLATT,POHLMAN, CAMPBELL, DUNLOP,STRACHAN,COWDEROY, REID, HENTY, JOHNSTON,MARSDEN,WOOLLEY, WIGHT, DAMYON, BRAHE, BARKER, SHADFORTH,HAM,BLACK,STAWELL,MURPHY, HENTY,MCARTHUR, MURPHY,WRIGHT,WERE,MCCRAE,CRESWICK,THOMSON, LANGHORNE,RALEIGH, RENNY, CASSELL, GILL, ROSS,WESTGARTH, HOBSON,WILLIAMSON, CURR, CASSELL



George Sinclair Brodie was heavily involved in Melbourne's early history and I expected to find an Australian Dictionary of Biography article about him. I found plenty of information about his arrival,his possible return home in 1851 and a possible divorce in the 1860's,his wife having remained in Australia. But not the Biography I had expected. However every cloud has a silver lining.

Having googled "George Sinclair Brodie,Victoria", I tried this result:
Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria - Project ...
gutenberg.net.au/ebooks/e00090.txt‎
I had long looked forward to one more visit to Victoria, perhaps the last I should ..... where I first met my most worthy old friend, George Sinclair Brodie, so well ...

William Westgarth's history had been much quoted in a history of the Lalor/ Epping area (in regard to its early Lutheran influence) that Irma Hatty kindly offered to lend me years ago so the portion about his involvement in the encouragement of German immigration came as no surprise. His history is absolutely wonderful and gives much information about prominent residents of early Melbourne, squatters, parliament etc. Even though it did not give the detail I sought about G.S.Brodie,I was compelled to read it to the very end.

William attended the wedding of John Batman's daughter at John Aitken's Mt Aitken and his description of how guests coped with the lack of accommodation has the sort of anecdotal detail which makes eye-witness history so valuable. He provided fascinating insights into the Jacksons of Sunbury, Edward Wilson of the Argus, James Stewart Johnston of "Craig Lee" and so many other pioneers.

Thanks to Project Gutenberg Australia for making this great history available online.

Here is a table of contents.
CONTENTS.

AN INTRODUCTORY MEDLEY.

MR. FROUDE'S "OCEANA".

NEW ZEALAND.

UNITY OF THE EMPIRE.

EARLY PORT PHILLIP.

MY FIRST NIGHT ASHORE.

INDIGENOUS FEATURES AROUND MELBOURNE.

THE ABORIGINAL NATIVES IN AND ABOUT TOWN.

EARLY CIVILIZING DIFFICULTIES.

"THE BEACH" (NOW PORT MELBOURNE).

EARLY MELBOURNE, ITS UPS AND DOWNS--1840-1851.

THE MELBOURNE CORPORATION, 1842.

EARLY SUBURBAN MELBOURNE.

THE EARLY SQUATTING TIMES.

EARLY WESTERN VICTORIA ("AUSTRALIA FELIX").

SOME NAMES OF MARK IN THE EARLY YEARS.

THE HENTY FAMILY, AND THE FOUNDATION OF VICTORIA.

SOME INTERJECTA IN RE BATMAN, PIONEER OF THE PORT PHILLIP SETTLEMENT.

JOHN PASCOE FAWKNER, FATHER OF MELBOURNE.

JAMES SIMPSON, FIRST MAGISTRATE OF "THE SETTLEMENT".

DAVID CHARTERIS McARTHUR, FATHER OF VICTORIAN BANKING.

CHARLES JOSEPH LA TROBE, C.B.

SIR JOHN O'SHANASSY.

WILLIAM KERR, FOUNDER OF "THE ARGUS".

WILLIAM NICHOLSON.

CHARLES HOTSON EBDEN, ESQUIRE.

EDWARD WILSON, CHIEF PROPRIETOR OF "THE ARGUS", "THE TIMES" OF THE
SOUTH.

EARLY SOCIETY: WAYS, MEANS, AND MANNERS.

"GOVERNMENT HOUSE".

CHEAP LIVING.

RELIGIOUS INTERESTS.

THE GERMAN IMMIGRATION.

THE GERMAN PRINCE.

BLACK THURSDAY.

EARLY VICTORIA, FROM 1851.

EARLY BALLARAT.

MOUNT ALEXANDER AND BENDIGO.

EARLY VICTORIAN LEGISLATION.

POSTCRIPT.

MELBOURNE IN 1888.

ALBURY.

SYDNEY.

BRISBANE.

The author of Rosebud Flower of the Peninsula.

This has been posted on Facebook after two tries here.

1 comment(s), latest 3 years, 4 months ago

Re: [GSV] Ford, Skelton, Sullivan & McGrath families of Point Nepean.

I am helping one of my people from my Family History Group of the Breakfast
Point Probus Club with their family history.

James McGRATH butcher died on 21 Feb 1865 aged 37 years. His place of burial
states " Sanctuary Station". I am wondering if anyone can shed some light on
Sanctuary Station please ?
--------------------------------------
Would logically be a vast cattle or sheep station somewhere in Australia.
So give us a clue as which STATE it may be.
I know there is a Point Nepean in Vic.but sure I have heard the term for N.S.W.
Hope Di Christensen reads this.
----------------------------------------
SANCTUARY STATION was probably an alternative description of QUARANTINE STATION and a misreading of SANITARY STATION.

Extensive information about the four families, who lived on the Nepean Peninsula,that is the Portsea/Sorrento area on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, is available in:
1. LIME LAND LEISURE, (Shire of Flinders), C.N.Hollinshed.
2. THOSE COURAGEOUS, HARDY WOMEN, Elizabeth McMeekin.
3. FAMILY, CONNECTIONS, SORRENTO AND PORTSEA, Jennifer Nixon.

Genealogical information in 1. is a bit dodgy. It can probably be borrowed from the Mornington Peninsula Shire library system via an inter-library loan.

2 deals mainly with the second generation of the Skelton family and their spouses such as McGrath, Lugger Jack Clark etc.

3. takes the family connections much further and shows conclusively that it's wise not to badmouth any of the Nepean Peninsula pioneers while you're in the area, because the person you're talking to is likely to be related in some way.

James Ford married Dennis Sullivan's daughter. Both of them had stations but Sullivan's was on the site of the quarantine station and was dispossessed in 1852 when it was established. The Fords and Sullivans (+ Farnsworth etc.) are discussed in fair detail in 1 and 3. If the query concerns either of these families,their grants in the parishes of Nepean and Wannaeue can be found online. Google:
Nepean,county of Mornington or
Wannaeue,county of Mornington.

Until I know exactly which family is being researched(or families), I can't help much more at the moment. In regard to books 2 and 3, the researcher should ring Jenny Nixon for a chat. I just rang Jenny who said it was okay to include her number and that she would be happy to hear what information is required and to recommend the book most likely to supply it. She is excited to find out about an interstate descendant of one of the Nepean Peninsula pioneering families.Her own book is out of print but will be reprinted soon.
Jenny's phone number is xxxxxxxx.

Some information about the four families named will be found in my journals. Google the surname and itellya, family tree circles,
e.g. McGrath, itellya, family tree circles or Skelton, itellya, family tree circles etc.
----------------------------------------------------
Little Brother has replied back to me, rather than direct to you.
But, read & discover, there are some little gems within..
How clear & from where did you get Sanctuary Station ???

=========================================================================
SANITARY STATION.
Confirmation that the Quarantine Station was also officially called the Sanitary Station.

MEAT FOR SANITARY STATION -Tenders will be received until eleven o'olock of Tuesday, 8th of August,from parties willing to supply meat for the use of the Sanitary Station at tho Heads. Farther Information,(etc.)
(DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 3 August 1854 p 3 Article-7th item in 1st column,Domestic Intelligence.)
P.S. I wouldn't mind betting that John Barker (Boniyong and Cape Schanck) won the contract and Sam Sherlock senior (then a lad) delivered the meat*. They also needed vegetables and they would have been supplied by James Ford* whose wife would have passed on the secrets that allowed the Sullivans to stagger early Melbourne with their giant cucumber** not long before they moved to the Heads in 1843*. James Ford may have been ready to supply meat as well by this time or soon after; in 1859 James Ford and Peter Purves were grazing 500 bullocks in the police paddock and got up a dodgy petition against a fence being built from White Cliffs to the back beach which would have prevented the free grazing***.

* LIME LAND LEISURE.
**EARLY MELBOURNE Michael? Sullivan.)
***ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD Peter Wilson and FAMILY, CONNECTIONS, SORRENTO AND PORTSEA Jennifer Nixon.

2 comment(s), latest 3 years, 4 months ago

THE EADIE FAMILY OF SUNBURY NEAR MELBOURNE, VIC., AUST.and the Healesville Sanctuary/ saving Winston Churchill..

See the EADIE entry in my journal DICTIONARY HISTORY OF BULLA. Combined with information from Ian William Symonds' BULLA BULLA, it will provide much information about this fascinating family that has been associated with the Healesville Sanctuary,South Africa and New Zealand as well as Sunbury.

The following is posted here so I won't have to spend precious time trying to work out where to post it in the Eadie entry in the dictionary history without interrupting the flow of what I have written so far.The author of the letter was one of three sons of John Eadie senior of Ben Eadie, Sunbury. The (eldest?) John, would not have been allowed to enlist for the Boer War because of the fits he had suffered from boyhood. Platypus Bob, as I call him, went to South Africa in late 1896, to utilise his mining expertise and became an intelligence officer for the British in the Boer War,; the aforementioned expertise most likely being the reason that future prime minister, Winston Churchill,survived to make his famous WE SHALL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES etc. speech. William Aitken Eadie was the third son and according to evidence in the trial concerning Miss Davies' right to be the sole beneficiary of John junior's will in 1904, William, the writer of this letter, was a bit extravagant when it came to drink and his ponies. Peter Eadie,mentioned in the letter was the son of Peter Eadie senior, who retired from his hotel and store in 1893 to enjoy life in his beautiful DUNBLANE (38-40 Jackson St but originally fronting Brook St)which was designed by Robert Eadie (most likely the mining engineer, Platypus Bob,a few years before he left for South Africa.)

WITH THE COMMONWEALTH HORSE.
Mr. W. A. Eadie, formerly of Sunbury,
and who joined the second contingent of
Commonwealth Horse, writes under date
May 6th from Newcastle, S. Africa :
'We left Durban on Saturday week, and
travelling by train arrived here Sunday
night. It was a beautiful trip through
very mountainous country, the scenery
being grand. We stopped at Colenso,
and had explained to us the famous
battle in which Lord Roberts' son fell;
it is a very small place. Every Britisher
that fell has a cross or else a headstone.
In some places as many as twenty are
buried together. The stones are really
good, the one over Lieutenant Roberts'
grave being a beauty. We arrived at
Lrdysmith on Sunday morning, and I
was very much surprised to find it such
a small place, not half the size of Sun
bury. We watered our horses there, and
had a look all round, and saw the Boers'
positions. It seems marvellous how Sir
George White could have held it so long.
Of course if the Boers had got possession
railway communication further north
would have been stopped, which meant a
great deal. On arriving at Pietermar
itzburg we got our arms and ammunition.
It is a very nice little town ; the Cape
Parliament sits there. Newcastle is a
small town, with a very busy railway
station, where all the fodder and rations
for the forces and blockhouses for miles
round are loaded. The blockhouses are
small forts, generally manned by ten to
forty men, and there is always one near
a bridge. They will probably do more
than anything else to bring the war to a
successful termination. Botha was re
ported captured the other day with ten
men ; and the Boers are surrendering
every week, they are very short of food
and clothes, and in my opinion the end
will come before another six months. We
leave here on the conclusion of the arm
istice, and will go into the Transvaal
about 250 miles further. Peter Eadie
was camped within three miles of us last
week, and left last Tuesday for the
Transvaal. I was going across in the
afternoon, but they struck camp early,
and entrained at 9 am. We are having
a splendid time, and are treated right
royally. Tell- he made a big mistake
in not coming; it is a splendid place for
a young man to make money in. A
fellow with a little brains can easily, after
a month's experience, earn 5 to 6 per
week, and in some cases more. The cost
of living is very reasonable. I saw three
fellows the other day who had called on
Robert Eadie at Vereeniging, and they
spoke very highly of both him and Mrs.
Eadie, who treated them in great style,
being awfully anxious for news from
Victoria. I wrote to Bob last week, and
expect to, see him shortly if all goes well.
I am kept very busy, being on special
duty nearly every day, and am in tip-top
nick. If things keep on as they are at
present, it is more than likely that I will
remain in South Africa with the standing
army for a little longer than 12 months;
but I suppose by that time, and after a
trip to England, I shall be glad to settle
down in Sunbury. We had a football
match last Saturday, and I kicked the
only two goals on our side; we have
some smart fellows with us. Everything
is going on nicely, except that Captain
Mailer, the adjutant, who is well known
in Sunbury, is very unpopular with the
men, some of whom swear they will shoot
him on the firing line. I like him very
well, and we get on firstrate; he is, as
many of the Sunbury fellows know, a bit
of a bully, but a thoroughly practical
man, and a good one for the position.
There are lots of minerals in this country,
coal in abundance. The Kaffirs are very
numerous round here, and are very par
tial to the British, but hate the Boers.
They do all the convoy work, sometimes
leading and driving as many as twenty
bullocks, and often one man drives 12
mules, and never less than six. It is
nothing unusual to see a convoy a mile
and a half long going out or coming in.
Majuba Hill (20 miles away), Laing's
Nek, and Botha's Pass are all plainly to
be seen from here.' (P.2, Sunbury News, 14-6-1902.)

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