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Journal by itellya

I asked a question about Sarah Wilson when I was writing the PIONEER PATHWAY journal some time back. I now know all the answers thanks to Petonella Wilson's GIVING DESTINY A HAND and the Rosebud Library manager's consideration. In 2010,I had a problem after reading Leila Shaw's THE WAY WE WERE. Henry Gomm was the harbour master at Rosebud and was also at Somerville. Was it the same man? Leila could not help me much so I rang a young lady at Pearcedale who happened to have that surname. She said that her uncle Murray might be able to help.Thus Murray became the first descendant of pioneering Peninsula families with whom I came into contact.

Today, Somerville played the mighty Buds and I told Murray about the Gomm bit in GIVING DESTINY A HAND. I told him I'd photocopy and post it to him. Later, I thought I'd trace his mother's ancestors (from the book) back to those who arrived in the country. Having done that, I decided to make it a journal.I will do the same for his father, George's, side of the family later on. Last year Somerville had a shocking run with injuries but that hasn't deterred Murray and he was hard at work in the coach's box today. What else would we expect from someone with the bloodlines of so many Peninsula pioneers to whom overcoming adversity was a simple fact of life.

Petronella's book said that Murray's brother, Raymond George, could turn his hand to anything and that Murray William was great with horses. It gave great detail of George's dairy and the pub but it was probably written before George and his brother, Billy, were elevated to the status of Legends of the Somerville Football Club.

The LOCAL FOOTY SHOW is on digital 44 for 30 minutes on Fridays from 7 pm, and 9 to 10:30 am on Saturdays.
Apr 15, 2010 - 18 posts - 5 authors
LOCAL FOOTY HERO Murray Gomm (Somerville FC)
Murray Gomm has been a player, official and all-round tireless worker for the Somerville Football Club since 1967. But Murray is merely following a family tradition. The Gomm family has had a constant presence at the Somerville Football Club since the club was born in the 1890's, with Murray's father, grandfather and countless other family members heavily influential in the club's development. Congratulations Murray on being named as this weeks Bendigo Bank Local Footy Hero.

MorninGton PeninSula nePean Fl
Club legends. Somerville FC is a family club through and through, evidenced by many of its club legends. Both the Gomm (George and Bill) and the Armstrong ...

Lila was born in 1920,the third child of James Wilson(1884-1954) and Barbara Scott, nee Purves (1878-1934.) The 1919 assessment records that James was farming 163 acres (part 23B and 23B2, section B, Wannaeue) which probably means that his "50 acre property, "Fernlea" on which James and Barbara lived out their lives" was part of 23, on the south side of Whites Rd and west side of Main Creek Rd or 23A of 59 acres 3 roods and 34 perches (roughly Melway 171 H6) whose south west corner is the end of Wilson Rd. (There is no 23B2!)

James Wilson was the 8th of nine children born to George Wilson (1833-1905) and Mary Jane,nee Connell(1844-94.)
Barbara was the 7th of 10 children born to James Purves (29/9/1835 to 6/11/1913) and Emily Caroline,nee Quinan
(16/3/1844 to 4/8/1910.)

George Wilson was the first child of Oliver Wilson and Sarah,nee Spence who arrived landed at William's Town on 12-4-1841 having falsified their ages to qualify for a bounty,Sarah's up and Oliver's well down.They rented a house in Flinders Lane and Oliver continued his trade of shoemaking until his death in 1851. Soon after they leased a small farm on Jamieson's Special Survey (Safety Beach and east to Bulldog Creek Rd.)George selected land in the parish of Balnarring in the early 1860's and Sarah and George's siblings moved there with him.He married Mary Jane Connell in 1866.

Mary Jane Connell was a daughter of Anthony Connell, another early Survey tenant who bought much land between Old Moorooduc and Balnarring Rds in the parish of Moorooduc and called it Nag(g)s Hill. Some of his family later moved to Mornington and Red Hill. His son Lou (and Phillip Jackson) had a fox shooting contest that led to the creation of Foxey's Hangout.

See comment 1 for the parents of Barbara's parents.

Henry Gomm's biography, as at 1888 can be found in VICTORIA AND ITS METROPOLIS:PAST AND PRESENT but his surname has been given as GOMIN. It states that he was born in 1839 (correct) and that he came to the colony in the same year (wrong.) It gives extremely little detail. As I wanted to find out how he was connected to Henry Gomm of Rosebud, I consulted GOMM genealogy and discovered Convict Henry Gomm. Thinking that Somerville Henry's incorrect and far-too-brief 1888 biography might have been a cover-up attempt,it took me six months to write my diary of discovery, THE MYSTERIOUS HENRY GOMM.

If Henry's biography had been like his obituary (below), I probably would never have discovered that William Gomm of Rosebud and Hastings, Henry Gomm of Rosebud and Thomas Gomm of Dromana were all sons of Convict Henry and totally unrelated to Somerville Henry.Nor would the City of Kingston's historian, Graham Whitehead, have written about the two unrelated families whose members were neighbours for about 60 years until their deaths.
(People: Two Gomm Families - City of Kingston Historical Website).

The Late Mr Henry Gomm. By the death of Mr Henry Gomm,Somerville has lost one of its oldest identities and one of its oldest benefactors. As the late gentleman was a colonist of 74 years, the story of his life is very interesting, especially to residents of this district. Leaving England with his parents in the ship "'Wallace" he arrived in Victoria in November 1843, being then five years of age. His parents settled in Melbourne and the boy received his early education at St James' School, West Melbourne. When he was 11 years old, his parents removed to Cope Cope where his father was employed as a bunder on Sutherland's sheep station. Gold having been discovered at Bendigo the family resolved to try their fortunes on the goldfields. They remained there about one year and then proceeded to Collingwood where Mr Gomm Senr. bought land and erected houses. Some time later the family shifted to Cheltenham and Mr Gomm who was then 15 years of age, became engaged in fishing pursuits at what was then called Schnapper Point. Subsequently he and his father in conjunction purchased a craft and visited Mud Island in search of guana. After several successful trips the vessel was wrecked at Davey's Bay, near Frankston and all the belongings of the crew were lost, as was also the craft. After the loss of the boat he entered into market gardening but on the outbreak of the Port Curtis diggings in Queensland, he journeyed there to try his luck. The venture proved a disastrous failure and Mr Gomm returned to Cheltenham. The following year, 1859, he married Margaret Monk and settled down. Mr Gomm afterwards built a home in this district and 51 years ago last November he brought his wife and family to live at what is now Somerville where all but two of the family were born. The late gentleman was very enthusiastic in all matters relating to the welfare of the district, his time, money and assistance being always proffered with the greatest willingness and alacrity. His liberality is too well known to require much comment as he donated the ground where stand both the local Mechanics' Institute and the Church of England. He leaves a widow, four sons and five daughters also 27 surviving grand children and two great-grandchildren. Mr Gomm was an only son, he and his three sisters being the total family of his parents. He was of a very bright and cheerful disposition and was keenly appreciative of a good joke. In boyhood he spent much time amongst the blacks and could speak the language of the aborigines; also he could throw the boomerang and other native weapons. Of his sons one is now fighting France, whilst a grandson took part in 'the landing" and fought for 6 months in Gallipoli and is still on active service. A second grandson only 18 years of age, is now in camp preparing to do his bit for the Empire. So far as Somerville is concerned,it may be truly said that the late Mr Gomm has left his "footprints on the sands of time."
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-4-1917.)

Within hours of reading my email, Neil (Mansfield) responded- with the names of Henry,s parents. They were George Gomm and Ann Teagle, who married at Hedington, Oxfordshire in March, 1839. Ann had been born on 22-10-1815 in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. Henry was actually born in 1840, but the place of Birth was Oxford as stated by Henry. George, who died in Fitzroy on 5-10-1898, became a widower when Ann died at Collingwood in 1887. He was not alone for long, marrying Mary Catherine Hoffman (born 1826 Stepney, London) in the same year.
George Gomm (1814), his father (Thomas, 5-7-1785), and his grand father (William, 5-4-1747) were all born in Wheatley, Oxfordshire. Margarets father, James Monk, was born at Brierton, Bucks in 1811 and married Eliza Clanfield at Tring Hertfordshire on 13-10-1831. Elizabeth was born on 7-5-1809 in Fyfield Parish, Berkshire.
Margaret Monk was born in 1838 in Brierton, Buckinghamshire.
This must sound like a lot of county hopping in days when some people spent their whole lives without travelling more than ten miles from home. However Oxfordshire shares boundaries with Wiltshire (sw), Berkshire (s), and Buckinghamshire (e) with Hertfordshire being on the other side of Bucks.
The above, obtained from rootsweb, proves conclusively that Somerville Henry was not Convict Henry's son. Apart from Somerville Henry's mothers place of birth, there seems to be no link with Wiltshire.
Henry's father and mother brought young Henry out on the Wallace, arriving at Port Phillip Bay on 16-4-1844. George's occupation was listed as Stonemason. This seems to be the information that Aussie1947 gave but certain details are different.
Rootsweb states that Henry and Margaret married on 17-10-1869 at St Peters Melbourne. The year should be 1859. Witnesses were Alfred Monk and Fanny Gomm. They were possibly siblings of the bride and groom. Their children are listed and further details provided.
1. George b. 1860 Moorabbin. Married Amelia Andrews.
2. Un-named b. 1862 Moorabbin.
3. Frances Elizabeth b. 1864 Moorabbin. Married George Vincent Coate at Ballarat in 1891.
4. Minnie Ann b. 12-8-1866 Frankston. Spouse George Edward Shepherd. Death/ burial 30-8-1955 at St Kilda.
5. Henry Ernest b.1869 Collingwood. Died 1869 Collingwood.
6. Angelina May b.1870 Cheltenham. Died 1952, Victoria. See death notice.
7. Harry Falby b. 24-2-1873 Frankston. Married Catherine Rogers at Albany W.A. in 1900.
8. Charles Edward b.1875 Somerville. Died Chelsea 1960, Married Annie Julia Henderson 1899, Langwarrin. (Probably Pearcedale.)
9. Isabella Jessie b.1878 Frankston. Married Oliver Percival Devlin in 1901 at Sth Fitzroy.
10. William Herbert b.1880 Frankston. Married Jean Firth 1915 Vic.
11. Beatrice Ethel b.1882 Frankston. Married David George Graf (born 1872 Shepherds Flat, Vic. ) in 1909 Vic.
The children of the above are listed following the father's surname and the mother's maiden name.

CHILDREN OF THE ABOVE. Same number as for the parents.
1. GOMM (Andrews). Henry George, born and died 1889, Schnapper Point.
Amelia, born 1891 and died 1892, both at Tyabb (parish!)
Francis Elizabeth, born 1892, Tyabb.
Marguerite, born 1897, Tyabb.

3. COATE (Gomm). Louisa May, born 1894, Warrnambool.
Frances Evelyn, born 1896, Kensington Hill, Vic.
George Henry, born 1898, Kensington Hill.

8. GOMM (Henderson). Elsie May, born 1899, Frankston.
William Henry, born and died 1901, Frankston.
Henry Ernest, born 1904, Frankston, died 1908, Kew.
George Roy, born 1907, Frankston Died 1981, Mt Martha. Married Theresa Frances Marshall 1931, Vic.

9. DEVLIN (Gomm). Marion Isabel, born 1901, Sth Fitzroy.

10. GOMM (Firth). William Henry, born 1917, Hastings.
George Edward Clarence, born 1918, Frankston.

11. GRAF (Gomm). Henry David, born 1910, Hotham West.
Raymond George, born 1913, Flemington.

The Gomms were related by marriage to many other pioneering families in the district. Paddy's wife was the daughter of William Firth from the Orkney Isles who had married Ann Scott, the first white girl born in the Somerville area, and had established Orkney Farm at the west corner of Eramosa and Coolart Rds. The Shepherds had established their Perfection Nursery in early days and it was continued in recent times by David Shepherd and his brother on "Penbank" at Moorooduc. It took a few generations for the descendants of Henry Gomm and Sarah Wilson to hook up but they were hardly neighbours. It was probably because of the famous Somerville Fruitgrowers' Shows and later the Red Hill Show that the two families became acquainted, the Gomms being involved almost as much as orchardists as with milk production and horses.

One in-law that wasn't a local was young Graf but that was because Henry Gomm thought the young station master at Somerville was not a suitable beau for his daughter. During his teens at Cheltenham Henry Gomm had become a mate of young Tommy Bent who later became the subject of a book called BENT BY NAME AND BENT BY NATURE. That's right, Sir Thomas Bent,minister for Railways and later Premier. Henry had only to ask and his wish would be granted.His first wish was that the Somerville station would be a stone's throw from "Glenhoya" (west corner of Eramosa and Jones Rds) rather than near Lower Somerville Rd, which was the centre of population according to Leila Shaw in THE WAY WE WERE.

Wedding. GRAF-GOMM. A wedding of local importance was celebrated quietly at St. Mary's Star of the Sea, West Melbourne, on Wednesday last, the contracting parties being Mr David J. Graf, of Ascot Vale and Miss Beatrice Ethel Gomm, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs H. Gomm, "Glenhoya" Somerville. The bride, who wore a handsome dress of cream crepe de cheyne, over glace silk, was given away by her brother, Mr C. E.Gomm, Mr W. H. Gomm acting as groomsman. The bridegroom's gifts to the bride were a handsome pearl pendant and beautifully bound prayer book. The happy couple left by the Sydney express for the Blue Mountains where they will spend their honeymoon. The bride's travelling dress was a tailor made costume of Navy blue with wedgewood blue hat. The presents were numerous, many being received from the Victorian railway staff.(P.2, Mornington and Dromana Standard, 14-8-1909.)

No Henry! I bet Margaret wasn't too happy missing the wedding! Charles Edward was commonly known as Edward. Edward St,between the hotel and Fruitgrowers' Reserve is named after him. The groomsman was Murray's grandfather, Paddy.

The second wish was to get rid of young Graf and he was posted to Ascot Vale station.It didn't do much good because Beatrice fled to the big smoke to join him despite being warned that she would no longer be part of the family. Unknown to Henry, Paddy and her other brothers used to give her food and other goodies every time they went to Melbourne. (See verse1 below.) It was not until after Henry's death that the Grafs were welcomed back into the fold, a member of the family being in Somerville's cricket premiership team in the first year. Graf Rd is named after Shaun Graf, a descendant of Beatrice, at the suggestion of a Somerville Cricket Club official (not a Gomm.)

The third wish was probably that the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Show would be opened by the Premier of Victoria.
(See verse 4.)

Murray's grandfather was generally known as Paddy but also sometimes as Herb.
The wedding of Mr Wm Herbert (Paddy) Gomm, 'Glenhoya,' Somerville, to Jean, eldest daughter of the late Wm Firth and Mrs Firth. 'Orkney Farm.' Somerville, was quiety celebrated at St Anslem's Church of England, Middle Park, on November 20, the Rev A P McFarlane being the officiating clergyman.
(P.2, Dandenong Advertiser and Cranbourne Berwick and Oakleigh Advocate Advertiser, 9-12-1915.)

Charles Edward Gomm was known as Edward or Ted. His "Pine Side" was across Eramosa Rd from Glenhoya, being on Crown allotment 22, parish of Frankston, granted to Henry Gomm on 22-9-1874. The triangular block is labelled Township of Somerville and may have been resumed by the Crown in 1891 and the township gazetted in 1901. Obviously,despite the nearby railway station, the township did not take off and closer settlement blocks were consolidated in Gomm ownership. Ted, along with Alf Jones and later J.E.Sage of Almond Bush Stud, spend quite a bit on advertising pedigree stallions, so an extra plug among items of news was common. Ted also ran cross-bred sheep on Pine Side.

Mr C. E. Gomm. of " Pine Side." Somerville, is to be complimented on having introduced in the district a fine Clydesdale strain in the three-year-old stallion, "The Black Prince". This superb colt has youth, beauty and symmetry of action and appearance on his side, and as this is supplemented by a high-class pedigree, the colt can be confidently recommended to breeders.(P.2,Mornington Standard, 30-8-1900.)

IMPORTANT TO STOCK OWNERS. Attention is directed to the extended advertisement appearing in our advertising columns advising that Mr C. E. Gomm's stallion, "Favourite Lad," will-stand this season at "Pineside," Somerville, and, if required, travel the district. "Favourite Lad", foaled in 1922, was imported from New Zen land, having been bred by Mr. R. Paton, of Papakaio. His sire was "Knockinlaw Favourite," and his dam, "Abbotsford Flora," by "Black Knight." "Favourite Lad" holds the Government certificate,-and full particulars may be obtained from the proprietor, Mr. C. E. Gomm, "Pine side," Somerville. "
(P.2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 1-10-1925.)

Ted also dealt with straying cattle as a ranger appointed by the shire of Frankston and Hastings.
IMPOUNDED at Somerville-1 black heifer, earmarked ; 1 black and white yearling steer and 1 yellow heifer, no visible brands on either.-C. E. Gomm, ranger, Somerville. (P.2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 16-9-1921.)

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PADDY GOMM Argus issue in footnotes.

1.When little sis Beatrice went to Graf at Ascot Vale
Paddy gave help so their marriage wouldnt fail;
Her rejection by Henry was a sorry tale
So hed take her food when he went to a Newmarket sale.

2.Big sis Minnie Ann witnessed three deaths by suicide:
Stan Clarke and Janet Ross when their love expired,(1)
And hubby, George Shepherd, when his pain grew too great,
Made use of a shotgun to seal his fate. (2)

4. Tommy Bent, Paddy's dad's old mate
By 1906, was Premier of the State
And opening the Annual Fruitgrowers Show
Told why his Brighton cabbages did abundantly grow.(3)

(1)5-11-1921. (2) 28-6-1932. (3) P.4,15-3-1906.

See Comments re the year of Henry's arrival in Somerville.
See Comments for Murray's lineage.

Plans for the Smoke night for Henry Gomm reveal the kangaroo hunts as part of three-day entertainments provided by Henry.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Friday 25 December 1903 p 5 Article
... unanimously. agreed to tender Mr H. Gomm, sear., -a smoke nirght suliper'on Saturday. 2nd January, in the new hotel :'- Mr- Gomm has al l ways been first and foremost as a will ing helper where his ... old faces who used to patronise the good old three days' entertainmert provided by Mr Gomm twenty ... 370 words

The following webpage has excellent photos of Henry Gomm and the Glenhoya homestead.
Henry Gomm - Pioneer Graves in the Mornington Cemetery‎
Five-year-old Henry Gomm arrived with his parents aboard the ship Wallace, in 1843. ... Photo courtesy of Somerville & Tyabb District Heritage Society ...

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-04-27 07:07:43

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by itellya on 2013-04-27 16:23:34

James Purves was the only child of Peter Purves. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him in 1835 and he was placed in the care of an aunt. Heartbroken,Peter,a stonemason,joined his architect brother James to build bridges in Van Dieman's Land (Tassie.)By 1844 they may have become managers of Edward Hobson's Tootgarook Run while Edward managed and named his brother's run "Traralgon" (River of little fish.)James joined his father,Peter, at Tootgarook in 1852 and they had 8 years together until his death in 1860. James seems to have immediately afterwards moved to Fingal.(See the JAMES PURVES AT FINGAL journal.)Later, he established Green Hills on the west side of Purves Rd,Rosebud.

Emily Caroline Quinan was a daughter of Robert Denison Quinan who had established a private school in Dromana by 1861 when it was chosen over Nicholson's to become the Dromana Common School because of the support of many redsidents including Sarah Wilson and her sons Robert and George,who praised his efficiency and called him a gentleman of the highest character. A teacher's salary was not great so he added to his income by book-keeping for the Kangerong Road Board. However the books wouldn't balance and this would cast doubt on his efficiency and/or character so he tried to borrow 5 pounds from Richard Watkin of the Dromana Hotel. He was refused. He committed suicide!

Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 4 July 1862 p 4 Family Notices
PURVES -QUINAN-On the 16th ult, at the residence of the bride's father, Dromana, by the Rev. James Glover, of Schnapper Point, James Purves, of Tootgarook, to Emily Caroline, daughter of Robert Denison Quinan, Dromana.

Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918) Thursday 2 February 1865 Supplement: Supplement to The Bendigo Advertiser p 1 Article
... of Oeelong Advertiser. MELANCHOLY OCCURRENCE AT DROMANA.-A most deliberate suicide was committee.1 at Dromana on Saturday last. A man named Robert Deny Denison Quinan, a schoolmaster employed f>y the Educational Board at Dromana, was found in the scrub close to the township on Sunday afternoon, .

Bunyip (Gawler, SA : 1863 - 1954) Friday 5 July 1907 p 2 Family Notices
... DEATHS. QUINAN.- On the 21st of June, at 'Green Hills.' Dromana, Victoria, Frances Emma, in her 85th year, relict of the late R. D. D. Quinan, and mother of Mrs, John Laird, Gawler, Mrs. James Purves, Victoria, and Robert and Arthur Quinan, W. A., and *tster sister in-law of

Robert's widow seems to have used her second given name rather than Frances.

A widow lady, residing near the beach, is prepared to receive BOARDERS.
All the branches of a sound English education, ?30 a year ; extras If required.
Young gentlemen taken under 12.
Every attention to comfort and welfare. Satisfactory references. Address, E. QUINAN.
P.S.-Coach leaves Dromana daily.
(P.7, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)Thursday 12 December 1867.)

by itellya on 2013-05-02 06:04:56

Murray Gomm is the younger son of George Gomm. Raymond St, near Gomms Rd is named after Murray?s older brother. George Gomm?s father, William Herbert (known as Paddy) was one of Somerville Henry?s sons. Murray has his shed almost full of photos etc about the family?s past. We spent four hours looking at a minute portion of this trove with pauses while I scribbled notes about the anecdotes prompted by each item.
Three of the stories concerned Somerville Henry and his grandsons, Billy and George. Henry might have started at Somerville doing it tough, such as surviving on Kangaroo meat for years from his arrival in 1861. However, once the advent of the railway (and the station on his doorstep) made him a rich man, he spent most of his time in Brighton hob-nobbing with his mates such as Tommy Bent. His sons were left to run the farm and hotel. Henry would appear with large parties of friends to spend a few days in the guise of a country squire. One of the activities on offer was shooting. Thirty double-barrelled shotguns sat in racks for the guests. By this time, Henry's presence down here was dictated by meeting dates. As Henry was such a prominent citizen, it was taken for granted that he would chair meetings.
Billy excelled on the sporting field but also in civil administration. He headed the Lands Department with young Henry Bolte working under him for some time. They became mates (like Henry and Tommy Bent) and the Premier often visited the pub. Another of Billy?s high level friends was Reg Ansett and once they drank together at the Mornington races while Billy wore one shoe and one gumboot. Billy always dressed like a country hick while on his farm, and unable to find one of his shoes, opted for the unusual combination, which seemingly did not affect the airline magnate.
Billy milked over 200 cows at three milking sheds, or rather George and other relatives (including Billy?s glamorous wife) did this work. During the war Billy enlisted and was stationed at Northam in Western Australia. Prahran had earlier been interested in recruiting him. (Trove.) His brother,George, wanted to join the navy but was denied the opportunity because his production of milk and food was an essential service.
George eventually grew disenchanted because of Billy?s lack of contribution on the farm and left. He went to South Australia and despite the full-time demands of his job, he proved his sporting prowess by playing three games for Norwood in the state?s top football competition. He was managing the Beauville Thoroughbred Stud in about 1950 and one of the lads who helped out there became a household name. Young Colin said to George, ?If you give me the contract to transport your horses, I?ll be able to buy a horse float.? George granted the request and launched the career of Colin Hayes, a trainer whose achievements have probably only been equalled by Bart Cummings. Much later one of Colin?s horses beat one of George?s and Colin was so grateful to George that he virtually apologized for beating him.
In about 1952, George opened a milk bar in Flinders and also did a milk run that he later sold to Kinross Dairies. At the age of 38, he started a football club at Flinders. George knew Clarrie Jennings well. Clarrie was also involved in dairying and the family had spent quite a while near Flinders before moving to Kariah (bounded by Dundas St, Browns Rd and Weeroona Rd) in 1914. Clarrie left Rye, bringing several of its players, and captain-coached Flinders to the premiership in that year. By 1967, when Murray Gomm first played for Somerville, the club had become Crib Point-Flinders and now survives as Crib Point.
In about 1954, probably because of government regulations regarding pasteurization of milk (which smaller dairies could not afford), George must have sold out to Kinross. He returned to help his father, William Herbert (Paddy), on the farm whose entrance and homestead was near Harrow Ave. Murray Gomm was born here in 1955. The farm was well equipped with sporting facilities. There was a tennis court, enclosed by the hedge visible in the photo of Paddy with his gun dog, a cricket pitch and a huge barn with stalls for 20 horses.
The Gomms (with families such as McLear, Purves,Jones, Benton, Wooley, Rennison, Watkin, Webster, Bullen, Buchanan, Cain, Anderson, Townsend, Ford, Moat, Holden, McKeown and Boag*) had been involved in horse racing since its inception on the peninsula in the late 1860?s. Horses romped all over the Glenhoya land.
*A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA Colin McLear Page 109.
It is easy to see how Paddy?s son Billy became a champion tennis player while at Frankston High and represented Victoria in Lands Department Carnivals, and how George was deemed qualified to run the Beauville Stud.
In 1960, George took his family to Queensland to dairy farm on a property of about 300 acres at Marsburg near Ispwich. One of the photos shows the modern milking system and one of George?s workers. For years on end, George won the Herd Recording award for best milk output. In about 1965, George sold the farm for 30 000 pounds and invested the money by buying land in the vicinity of Second Avenue, Palm Beach, Currumbin. He went into partnership with two builders, whereby he would get a certain proportion of the profit on every house they sold. This proved so lucrative for all that the builders took off a holiday in Japan. George read an article about a mineral and noted that the only places that it had been found were in Mexico and Torrington, New South Wales. The latter?s mine had not operated for forty years. (Torrington is near Glen Innes.)
Not one to twiddle his thumbs, George was soon at the ghost town. When he walked into the pub, he received a frosty reception but after a battle royal with one of the locals, he was regarded as their type of man. (This sounds like the description of life near Rye in the 1880?s!) From that point, they could not have been more helpful. With Tommy Toy pointing the way, Ken Keys, Herman Teech and George made their way by car (one on horseback) to the end of the beaten track, from where they walked a considerable distance to the abandoned mine.
The mineral that George was after was Bismuth but first he had to open the tin and manganotantalite mine. This mineral is a magnesium rich tantalite. The world?s largest reserve of this mineral is in Brazil but in 2006, 75% of the world output came from Australia. When George arrived, the town had a population of 20 and the only power came from the publican?s generator. George employed the whole town and soon there was a proper road linking the hamlet to the outside world.
In 1867, George turned into a white knight. Brother Billy had been big in the Lands Department but was also Melbourne?s biggest Starting Price (S.P.) bookie. He had drawn Sid Graf into the latter activity. A raid on the hotel had led to both of them being banned from the premises and Judge Driscoll told George that the hotel would be closed down unless he took over its operation. Reluctantly, George agreed to do this and left Herman Teech to manage mining operations and publican, Ronno Malone, to pay the workers.
The first sentence of the previous paragraph is not strictly correct because George was already a white knight to the whole population of Torrington. Whenever he made a visit to check on operations he was mobbed by a hero-worshipping throng. Eventually the strain of running the mine and the pub at the same time became too much and the mine was sold in about 1970.
The hotel became so popular that rival publicans breathed a sigh of relief when George retired. It employed 66 staff, including eleven permanent barmen. Two truckloads of beer arrived every week, three at Christmas, and 3000 meals were served weekly. George?s successor experienced a downturn in trade, which was arrested when George agreed to help him out.

by itellya on 2013-05-02 06:28:45

The obituary indicates that Henry had moved his family to Somerville in late 1865 but he had spent several years ensuring they would be comfortable and "Glenhoya" was well set up to provide a living. He had been splitting his time between Somerville and Cheltenham and on one of his travels may have found the purse that could be claimed at the Frankstone Hotel.
THE BUTCHER THE BAKER THE by Bruce Bennett. The following comes from page 13.
Mark Thornell spoke at a smoke night in honour of Henry Gomm in 1904, stating that Henry had been in the district 43 years and for the first twelve months had no meat but kangaroo flesh.

by itellya on 2013-05-03 01:09:51

George Gomm came from the land of the Royals;
Gold mining and house building among his toils.
Settled at the corner of Balcombe and Charman; (Melway 86 H5)
The teenaged Henry a fisherman.

Margaret, from the Monk family in Church Rd,now Church St,(Melway 86 G4)
Was not far away and they happened to meet.
They tied the knot in 1859, in the next year had a son,
And soon Henry's land-clearing at Somerville was begun.

After eight more were born they begat their last laddie;
William Henry, 1880,they all called him Paddy.
He married Jean Firth and they begat two sons;
Club legends George and Billy were the ones.

George was a worker, George was a smiler;
This must have made him attractive to Lila.
And they begat Raymond (of versatile skill)
And Murray, local footy hero of Somerville.

by itellya on 2013-05-03 01:51:11

This was Henry and Margaret Gomm's first child, George, born in 1860 at (the parish or road district of ) Moorabbin. Murray and Raymond's dad, George is the nephew referred to.

MR. G. GOMM. Mr. George Gomm died at his residence at Somerville on September 2, aged 76 years. He was one of the oldest residents of the district, having lived there for about 70 years. He leaves two daughters to mourn their loss.The funeral took place in the Mornington Cemetery last Friday. There was a large gathering of mourners at the grave. The casket was carried by Messrs. G. Gomm (nephew), W. Firth, A. Firth and J. Marshall. The pall-bearers were Messrs. J. W. Caldwell, S. Clark, J. Firth, V. Gault, H. Hawken and F.Mills. The burial service was read by the Rev. H. Owen Watson. Mr. Hector Gamble conducted the funeral arrangements.
(P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 10-9-1937.)

by itellya on 2013-05-03 03:13:07

Here's a turn-up! By 1899, Henry Gomm was extremely deaf. (Perhaps it was caused by his fondness for shooting!) He also owned some property at Fitzroy and that might have been where the Devlins were living in 1901. Alfred England was the grantee of 56 Moorooduc (fronting Graf Rd and Eramosa Rd, including the Centro Somerville site, Ronald Court and the Somerville Rise Primary School grounds)to the west of Glenhoya (crown allotment 57), and 58 to the south, bounded by Graf Rd, the water Reserve, Blacks Camp Rd, Jones Rd and Bungower Rd. (Melway maps 107 and 148.)
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 12-10-1899. WAS HE DEFRAUDED?GOMM V ALF.ENGLAND.)

by itellya on 2013-05-03 04:00:46

Henry's boy who went west.


born 24 02 1873, FRANKSTON VIC
died 02 02 1962, KALGOORLIE WA



Year Surname First Name Gender Residence Occupation

albany wa - Great Southern Pioneers

by itellya on 2013-05-04 22:52:36

Harry Falby Gomm's service details from MAPPING OUR ANZACS.
Service number 24526
Place of birth Frankston, VIC, Australia
Place of enlistment Blackboy Hill, WA, Australia
Next of kin Gomm, Catherine (wife)
WWI file B2455, GOMM H F

Harry's great-grandson, Kevin Gomm, has a publishing company called DIGGER PRESS. The website for DIGGER PRESS shows that Kevin looks very similar to our local footy hero. It also reveals that Harry fought in France and Belgium during W.W.1, suffering from the effects of mustard gas. He had earlier served as an armed guardsman at the Princess Royal Fortress at Albany throughout the 1890's.

Harry's second son, Frank (see previous comment)was Kevin's grandfather and was one of the key individuals who oversaw the bringing of the Desert Corps Memorial from Egypt and its erection on Mount Clarence at Albany. Frank was awarded the BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL for services to Legacy. Kevin's father, Brian was a National Serviceman and a talented pianist. We all know that Darwin was bombed during W.W.2 but it comes as a surprise to me that Western Australian towns suffered air raids too. Drawing on his family traditions, Kevin was an accomplished musician but is now the foremost authority on Western Australia military history relative to W.W.2.

Did the musical talent come from the Gomms?
Gunner Gomm was heard on the local concert platform for the first time in the song "Little Nell," and received a fair share of applause.
(P.3, Albany Advertiser, 4-11-1899.)

The Misses Grant sang a couple of duets very well; Mr H.Gomm doing justice to two very fine songs. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 29-3-1894.CONCERT AT MORNINGTON JUNCTION.)N.B. Mornington Junction had been known as Baxter's Flat until a railway line branched off to Mornington, and is now known as Baxter. Was this Henry, who was extremely deaf by 1899, or Harry, before his departure to the west?

Dance music was also supplied by Mrs Griffiths and Miss Jessie Gomm.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 7-7-1898.) Mr H.Gomm Snr rendered an item but it was unclear whether he sang or recited. Ted (Charles Edward)certainly sang and Isabella Jessie obviously played an instrument.

So it seems as if military historian,Kevin Gomm, inherited at least part of his musical ability from Somerville genes! The big question now is whether Murray can sing !!!

by itellya on 2013-05-06 21:21:00

We know the link between the Gomms of Somerville, Victoria and Albany, Western Australia was Harry Falby Gomm. While trying to find details of Harry's involvement in the council at Albany or an obituary on google, I found details of his son, Thomas Falby Gomm's wedding in 1932 on the outback pioneers website.
WesG - Outback Family History‎
GOMM Thomas Felby, 1932 Dec 12, Norseman. Methodist Church, HARSLETT Lilian Grace Allen, Ba/Prospector, Albany, Norseman, GOMM Harry Felby/ ...

And then I found that the W.A. branch of the family had its own MURRAY Gomm.
In view of not having found any marital connection with a Murray family, I can only assume that the name was part of the family folklore taken west by Harry. (See after the ORANJE TRACTOR excerpt.)

Oranje Tractor | Our Story‎
His story: Murray Gomm. Murray was raised in the Albany region, on a dairy farm and fled, as most school-leavers do, to continue his education in Perth.
His story: Murray Gomm
Murray was raised in the Albany region, on a dairy farm and fled, as most school-leavers do, to continue his education in Perth. Although he studied physical education, most of his work has been in the health promotion field. He has a naturally 'green thumb' which he clearly inherited from his mother, and a penchant for hard work like his father - who is still farming on the adjacent property. Murray is the creative genius of the oranje tractor team: he took the photo of the tractor that's been used on the label, and he developed the name oranje tractor.

Harry probably played cricket with the Murray boys.(P.S. note DEVLIN!)
Somerville Railways play Hastings on the ground of the former, whose team will be chosen from the following, Docwra, Barrett, Harboard, Gomm 3, Beauland, Devlin, Rule Murray and Firth. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 4-1-1894.)

While the majority of the Murray grants were on the south side of Mornington-Tyabb Rd between Stumpy Gully and Coolart Rds (14AB, 13, 8A Bittern of 445 acres) and 6A Tyabb (144 acres granted 1875, Melway 107 G8, Inghams site)the following death notice indicates that the Murrays would have been well acquainted with the Gomms outside of sport and possibly great friends. The post office was probably diagonally across the railway crossing from Henry Gomm's Somerville Hotel.

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 16 August 1890 Edition: MIRNING. p 2 Family Notices
... Death. MURRAY--On the 7th August, at her residence, Somerville, Elizabeth, the dearly beloved wife of Charles Murray, and only daughter of James Grant, post- master, Somerville. Deeply regretted. .

by itellya on 2013-05-07 03:55:31

Somerville was probably still pretty much a small country town in 1950 but it had local government in the form of a shire. It makes you realise how quickly Western Australia has grown in fairly recent times to discover that Frank Gomm was a member of the Albany Road Board at this time. By 1872, Somerville was represented on Mornington Shire Council by Alfred Jones of Almond Bush Stud and the Kangerong and Flinders Road Boards joined to become a shire two years later.

To the "Editor"
Sir,-It has come to my notice that some person has been broadcasting false information regarding my previous term as a member of the Albany Road Board.
If my memory serves me correctly I attended 39 out of a possible 48 meetings.
Most of the meetings were missed while I was on military duties. I resigned from the Board when I joined the A.I.F. and received my D.P.?.
The above can be verified by calling on the Secretary of the Board.
-Yours etc., FRANK W. GOMM. (P.6, Albany Advertiser, 21-4-1949.)

He was not the first Gomm member of the Road Board.
The following additional returns in connection with the road board elections, held throughout the State on Saturday, have been received: ?
Albany. Torbay Ward: P. W. Buckeridge, 47; J. S. Whittem, 17; J. T. Rutherford, 14. Lower Kalgan Ward: H. C. Gomm, 22; O. Thorne, 24. Auditor: H. W. Leask (unopposed). (P.9,The West Australian, 15-4-1930.)

by itellya on 2013-05-29 20:28:42

Lila Gomm's great grandparents were not given on the Purves/Quinan side.The following comes from Hec Hanson's MEMOIRS OF A LARRIKIN.

James Purves' father was Peter Purves. Peter was born in 1802 in Berwick upon Tweed in Scotland. He was a mason as indicated on his tombstone at Point Nepean. Peter married his sweetheart, Barbara Scott, in March 1835, and on 29-9-1835 while living in Pilgrim St,Newcastle-on-Tyne, England,she gave birth to a son,James. A month later, Barbara died and leaving the baby in the care of an aunt,the heart-broken Peter went to Tassie to join his architect brother, James, building early bridges there.Peter joined his father at Tootgarook in 1852 and they had 8 years together before Peter died in 1860. The name of Peter's lost sweetheart became Lila Gomm's mother's given names.

Hec stated only that Barbara Scott Purves' mother(Emily Caroline,nee Quinan,) was born at Broken River(Benalla)on 16-3-1844 and died at Rosebud (i.e.Green Hills)on 4-8-1910. Details of Emily and her parents are shown below.

Emily Caroline Quinan - Records -
10 Records ? Born in Broken River, Victoria, Australia on 1845 to Robert Denys Quinan and Emma Frances Shackcloth. Emily Caroline married James Purves and .

Emma Frances Shackcloth (1823 - 1907)
Born in London, England on 1823 to William Shackcloth and Mary Anne Watkins. Emma Frances married Hemminsly. Emma Frances married Robert Denys Quinan and had 6 children. She passed away on 21 Jun 1907 in Dromana, Victoria, Australia.

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