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Journal by itellya

While researching the origin of the name of Somerville, a town near the northern end of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, I found some interesting things that might help family historians.
Valda Cole has claimed that the town's name had connections with Canada; two of the settlers in the area were Canadian and were responsible for the name of Canadian Bay and Jones and Hodgins Rds.
A Frankston historian said that the town was named after Sir William Meredith Somerville (who was elevated to the peerage in 1863, three years before the earliest mention of the locality name in "The Argus".)
Sir William became Baron Athlumney of Somerville and Dollarstown in County Meath, Ireland and in 1866, he was given the additional title of Baron Meredith of Dollarstown.
The ancestor of all the Somervilles in England was sir Gaultier de Somerville who accompanied William the Conqueror to England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Somervilles had hereditary titles in England, Scotland and Ireland.Sons who were not heirs usually forged careers in the army, navy or the professions (law, the Established Church etc) but many tried their luck in the colonies. The 19th and last English Lord Somerville was one of these.The Argus of 25-1-1870 reported that he had recently returned from Australia and was quite ill. He died on 28-8-1870 at Aston (East) Somerville, Gloucestershire.

A SOMERVILLE FUNCTION.-The recent celebration at Solmerville in connection with the unveiling of the portraits of the late Messrs Jones and Unthank was worthy of the place.- Too often, men who have been benefactors of their district, have been passed over, and their labours forgotten; and it shows a fine spirit in the Somerville people, when they give this meed of re membrance to their old friends, and pioneers of the district. The men "who have blazed the track " do not always get their due in this respect. In addition it is a fine object lesson to the rising generation and inspires them to take a pride in their district and help it forward. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 6-7-1907.)

...Our Somerville Letter By Our Special Representative
Miss Thornell Honored A very pleasant social evening was spent by the members and friends of the local Presbyterian Church on the 29th ult, when a presentation was made to Miss Dorothy Thornell in recognition of her services as organist of the church. Mr J. F. Bell made the presentation-a silver cake dish -and spoke of the good and efficient services rendered by Miss Thornell for some time past. He said she had come to their assistance when they were in a fix and they felt deeply grateful for the help she had so cheerfully given them. (P.3, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 14-10-1921.)

SOMERVILLE -- THE LATE MARK THORNELL. . Sincere regret was expressed throughout the district when news was received here that Mr. Mark Thornell had died in a private hospital at Kiataia, New Zealand, on June 27, aged 53 years. Mr. Mark Thornell was born at "Sunny Cottage,". Somerville, his parents' farm. He was the third son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Mark Thornell, of "Frampton," Somerville. He went to New Zealand 33 years ago, and for the past 30 had been a member of the New Zealand police force, in which his energy and integrity won him promotion. He was noted for his ready wit and jovial manner. On three occasions he returned to his home town to visit his parents, the last trip being made ten years ago. His wife predeceased him by fourteen years. He leaves a daughter (Dorothy) to mourn her loss. (P.7, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 3-7-1936.)

PROGRESSIVE SOMERVILLE. THE NURSERIES AND ORCHARDS: No. IV, MR .THORNELL. One of the oldest, if not the very oldest, orchards in Somerville is that at present owned and occupied by Mr. T. Thornell, on the Eramosa road, within easy distance of the railway station. This orchard was established some 20 years ago by the present owner, whose father, Mr. John Thornell, senior, settled in the district with his family as far back as the year 1860, when the surrounding country was in a very wild state, it being by no means an uncommon occurrence in those days for wild kangaroos to be shot at their door. Mr. John Thornell, senior, who is at present 79 years of age, and hale, hearty, and strong, originally bought the site from the Crown and commenced operations in the cultivation of fruit trees almost immediately after his purchase, but did not turn his attention to the nursery business until some two years later, since when the nursery has been gradually extended, as many as 20,000 of nursery stuff being sent away in one year. Mr. T. Thornell, the present owner, has therefore had great experience in fruitgrowing and the raising of young trees, more especially so when it is taken into con- sideration that he was thrown into immediate contact with the business at the early age of 12 years, although it cannot be said that he took an active part until he arrived at the more mature age of 20 years, at which time he entered into partnership with his father, the partnership existing for 10 years, when Mr. J. Thornell, senior, retired from the business, which has since been carried on solely by Mr. T. Thornell. The orchard, which is situated at the rear and side of the homestead, Camillia Cottage, covers an area of from 15 to 20 acres, and is well stocked with trees of all kinds, which are in an excellent condition and bearing splendidly, as many as 2,000 cases of fruit being gathered during the present season. Peaches are grown extensively, the principal variety gone in for being the Royal George,which always commands a good market. Of this class of fruit 850 cases of fruit were forwarded to Melbourne during the present season, all of which were of first-class quality. Apricots are also gone in for extensively, but not on such a large scale as the peach. The quantity forwarded to the fruit salesmen this season was 180 cases. The principal class of fruit grown is however the apple, which is grown on a very large scale indeed,and for which there is always a good demand. The other varieties of fruit grown include pears, plums, cherries, quinces, almonds, and walnuts. All the fruit, when gathered, is packed in cases and forwarded by rail to agents in Melbourne, who in their turn dispose of it all over the colony. Prior to consigning the fruit to agents, it was the custom to convey it by road to the markets in Melbourne, which were visited as often as twice a week, and at times they were thus visited for a period of not less than three months without a spell, as many as 80 cases being taken at one time. The marketing was done by the present proprietor, who, it will thus be seen, has also had considerable experience in this direction. The price obtained for the fruit in the early days was, of course, much better than at the present time, and very often the takings at one market alone would amount to as much as ?30 or ?40. But Mr. T. Thornell has only attended Melbourne markets twice during the last ten years, his previous experience of fifteen years' marketing being quite enough for him, and at present he transacts most of his business through agents, although he does not debar himself from dealing with private individuals whenever the opportunity arises. This year the yield has been much better than for the previous two or three years, and in many instances it has more than doubled itself, the prices realised also being very satisfactory. The trees are all of good size and condition, and are planted about 20 feet apart each way. They range in age from 25 years down to 7 years, all bearing well. As much as ?20 a year is spent in manuring the orchard, stable manure, bone-dust, and dessicated night-soil being the kinds employed. The manuring generally takes place once a year, in the early spring, the plan adopted being to throw the manure on the ground and then plough it in. Mr. Thornell finds it most beneficial to change the manure every year. The nursery covers an area of 8 acres, and is situate almost immediately opposite the dwelling-house. At the present time it is estimated that it
contains between 60,000 and 70,000 young nursery stock of all varieties. As previously stated, the cultivation of nursery stock is gone in for on a more extensive scale than formerly, the young stuff being sent all over Victoria, a leading firm of nurserymen in Melbourne being supplied at one time with lines totalling 10,000. It is only to be supposed that a great amount of labour is required in the working of the orchard and nursery, at the present time Mr. Thornell employing two men, one of whom resides with his family all the year round, in a four-roomed cottage erected on the nursery, exclusive of his own and his son's labour. Great care has also to be exercised, the apples all being worked on blight-proof stocks, being first grafted in order to make them blight-proof and then budded to the varieties required. The birds have not been found to be so troublesome as of late. I might here state that Mr. Thornell has invented a simple and ingenious contrivance for the destruction of birds, which has been found to be very efficacious, as well as economical, and within the reach of all, as many as 250 minahs being caught in six weeks. It consists of a frame about 8 feet square, covered with ordinary netting wire, to which a line is attached. It is slightly raised up from the ground and a quantity of rotten fruit placed underneath, which attracts the minahs, who go underneath the netting in order to get at the fruit. The line is then pulled, with the result that the frame falls upon the birds, who are then removed and killed ad libitum. As many as 12 birds have been caught in this way at one time. It has the advantage also of saving powder and shot. Of course this is only of use when the fruit is gathered. The plan adopted for the preservation of the fruit held over is to place it upon layers of dry grass or ferns, which is first laid upon dry sandy soil, and then covered over with thatch grass. By adopting this plan it is found that the fruit is kept in good condition for a much longer time than by any other process. At the present time there are about 100 cases of apples being treated in this way. The orchard is ploughed over sometimes once a year, sometimes twice, but generally the latter-during the spring and autumn. Mr. Thornell is also very large land owner in the district, having in all about 400 acres, as much as ?14 an acre being given in some cases, besides which he possesses a great deal of property in the city, as well as in South Yarra and Prahran, all of which brings him in a fair rental. At one time he represented the district in the shire council, and, until a few weeks ago, he occupied the position of treasurer of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association, of which he is a prominent member. When Mr. Thornell, senr., first came into the district he had nothing beyond the land which he bought from the Crown. Mr. T. Thornell is one of few men who can say that he never paid one penny in rental during his lifetime. At one time he dabbled in speculation in buying and selling properties previous to the land boom and was very successful, the land boom not affecting him beyond decreasing the value of his pro perties. Mrs. T. Thornell, who was a very large prizetaker at the late shows, has a splendid collection of preserves of between 100 and 200 bottles of all varieties. The son was also successful in carrying off the first prize for the best pony at the show, out of 22 entries. (P.3, Mornington Standard, 16-7-1896.)
N.B. The journalist confused land boom with bust. Thornell sold during the boom,when his properties would have increased in value.

George Thornell was, with George Griffieth, a Justice of the Peace at Somerville in the early 1900's and also served as Coroner.

SOMERVILLE ACCIDENT TO MR. G. E. SHEPHERD, Senr. A rather serious accident befell our highly respected citizen, Mr. G. E. Shepherd, senr., of "Malurus." In driving a horse and jinker along Park street, it came in contact with a stump at the side of the road. The impact threw Mr. Shepherd out in front of the wheel, rendering him practically helpless. Fortunately, the pony was quiet, and remained stationary until help was forthcoming. Mr. Shepherd was badly bruised and shaken, though no bones were broken. He is under the case of Dr. Somers, of Mornington, and is now making favourable progress towards recovery.
(P.8, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 23-10-1925.)

PROGRESSIVE SOMER VILLE. THE NURSERIES AND ORCHARDS: No. I. MESSRS. W. A. SHEPHERD AND SONS. The pioneer nursery and orchard in Somerville is without doubt that of Messrs. W. A. Shepherd and Sons, which is situated on Shepherd's road some two miles distant from the local railway station. The homestead in all covers an area of 207 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches, 10 acres being reserved for the nursery and 45 acres being planted with fruit. On arriving at the homestead our representative could not help being struck by the busy scene which burst upon his view, and every where it was apparent that here at least the depression experienced of late was not felt. In a large shed four men, under the supervision of Mr. W. A. Shepherd, jun., were busily engaged packing young trees, which were to be subsequently dispatched to the Somerville railway station, and thence forwarded to their destination. So ex?????? that it is found necessary to employ on an average four men throughout the whole of the year. The output during the present season has been something enormous, a decided improvement in business being experienced on that of last year, a fact due no doubt to the recent shows held in the place, which have been the means of bringing the district so prominently before the whole of the colonies. The principal market of young trees for which the demand is greatest for apples, which goes to show that orchardists and fruit - growers generally are fully alive to the fact that the export of apples to the old country will be one of the leading industries of the country, the demand being principally for local requirements. Great care has to be exercised when picking the young trees for transit, being first carefully tied together with New Zealand flax, which is specially grown for the purpose, after which they are protected by layers of ordinary bush grass, which is obtainable in large quantities close at hand, the whole when complete having a cone-like appearance. The nursery is named the Perfection Nursery, and was established 30 years ago by Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, who is alive at the present time hearty and well, and, although 70 years of ago he still takes an active interest in all matters connected with the nursery and orchard. Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, is the pioneer nurseryman of the district, and no doubt feels conscious of a certain amount of pride in the fact that the opinion formed by himself 30 years ago as to the suitability of the soil at Somerville for fruitgrowing purposes has, by the flourishing conditions of the place at the present time, been so conclusively proved to be correct, more especially so as when he first selected the site on which the nursery and orchard now stands the country all around was heavily timbered bush land, which is in marked contrast to the well-cared for and prolific orchards now established throughout the whole of the district. Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, arrived in the colony 38 years ago last December, when comparatively a young man. He will be 70 years of age next January, and, as previous stated bears his age well. He is a thoroughly trained orchardist, having served an apprenticeship of seven years when a lad under the head gardener of Middleton Park, England, then owned by the Earl of Jersey, and was there when the Earl brought his bride home. After serving his apprenticeship, Mr. Shepherd, senior, was for two years gardener at Holland Park, Kensington, England, the residence of Lord Holland, after which he filled the position of gardener at various other places. It will thus be seen that Mr. Shepherd, senior, is an authority on matters connected with horticulture. Mrs. Shepherd, who is some three years her husband's senior, is also alive and hearty, although she does not bear her age so well as her husband, but still, like him, she takes a lively interest in the busy scene around her. The management of the business is divided between the two sons, Mr. W. A. Shepherd, junior, and Mr. George Shepherd, who have inherited their father's good qualities regarding the culture of the soil, a fact which is plainly evident by the splendid specimens of trees to be seen in the orchard. The bulk of the work devolves upon Mr. George Shepherd, who attends to all the correspondence (which at the present time is very extensive) and the dispatching of orders, etc., while Mr. W. A. Shepherd, junior, who was recently elected to the high position of president of the Somerville Fruit growers' Association, attends to the more immediate work connected with the nursery and orchard, Mr. G. Shepherd, also bearing his share of the burden. Both work together with a will. The nursery occupies an area of about 10 acres, and at the present time it is estimated to contain about 200,000 young trees in all stages and of all varieties, which are planted in rows, each row containing from 700 to 800 young shoots. Even to an amateur the vast amount of work necessary is apparent, each shoot being grafted on to blight proof stocks, all of which are of even growth, and the soil free from weeds, the whole presenting a perfect picture, and one which any nurseryman might well feel proud of. The orchard, comprising 45 acres, is situated behind the nursery, and is a very fine one indeed. From year to year it is extended in order to have fresh trees coming into bearing, as well as to keep up the quality of the fruit. Apricots are grown very extensively, 10 acres of this fruit being planted. The crop from these trees last season was very great, as many as eight cases of fruit being obtained from one single tree. The total crop of apricots for the season just over was estimated at about 11 tons, as many as 7 tons being sent away in one day. Numerous varieties of apples are grown, amongst the number being the world -famed Shepherd's Perfection, which was first raised on this nursery thirty years ago, and from which the nursery derives its name, and not as many suppose, from the idea that the nursery is perfection in itself. The Shepherd's Perfection is an apple with which Mr. Shepherd's name will be always associated, and which is so well known for its many good qualities. The original tree, now 30 years old, was raised by Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, from the pip of a Blenheim Orange apple, and is still vigorous and healthy, it being one of the sights of the place, the elder Mr. Shepherd pointing it out with pride to all visitors. Last season eight cases of fruit were got off this tree. Peaches, pears, plums, and numerous other varieties of fruit are also grown very extensively, plums being greatly in evidence, a large demand in that class of fruit being experienced. The fruit grown is of splendid quality, the firm being large prizetakers at the late Somerville show, carrying off the Champion Challenge trophy for the best collection of fruits grown in Victoria, as well as the first prize for the best collection of twelve varieties of apples suitable for export, and also carried off six other first prizes, two seconds, and one third. As great attention has been paid to the pruning the trees are remarkably handsome and well grown specimens and are singularly free from blight or disease of any kind whatever,a fact due no doubt to the great care that is taken of them and to the unusually dry season last year. The trees in the orchard are planted 20ft apart each way, thus allowing them plenty of room for growth. Although most of the trees have been planted a number of years, the necessity for artificial manuring is not yet apparent. All the farm yard manure raised on the place is, however, used in the orchard, a good number of the trees receiving a good dressing every year. The system adopted of using the manure is to clear away the soil from the stem and top roots, the roots being bared for 3 feet or 4 feet from the stem, the trenches formed being left open for some time, after which they are filled with manure, the soil being again thrown in on top. The firm intend to go in for the use of dessicated nightsoil, which they believe will have a beneficial effect on the yields of the trees. The orchard ???and is ploughed on an average of about twice a year, generally in August and about the end of October, ordinary single-furrow ploughs being used, while for working the soil the acme harrow and a cultivator made by Mr. D. M. Bett, the local blacksmith, is used. The land is worked very frequently during the spring and summer right up to the time when the fruit has attained such a size as to be liable to injury from the horses and cultivating implements. Great care is exercised in picking and sorting the fruit for market, the main object being to produce as good a sample of fruit as possible, as well as to avoid the fruit being bruised. The apples which are held over for disposal later on in the season are all stored in cases in the fruit room, instead of the practice usually adopted of placing the fruit on shelves or trays, which the Messrs. Shepherd do not approve of, as they find that by heaping up the apples very often results in many being bruised, and in a very short time they become unfit for market. In order to allow of the free circulation of air, the cases are placed about 2 inches apart, and are stacked one on top of other. Vegetables are also grown, but only for home consumption. When Mr. Shepherd, senior, first came to the colony he brought with him some lettuce seed (Paris Cross), which he has kept ever since. A splendid specimen of rhubarb (Topp's Winter), about 2.5 feet in length, was shown our representative, the rhubarb being of a beautiful rich red colour. At the last show the firm obtained first prize for the best brace of cucumbers. Not withstanding the immense amount of labour involved in the working of the nursery and orchard, sufficient time is found for the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants, a large plot of ground, close to the homestead and in front of the nursery, being specially reserved for that purpose. Mr. George Shepherd is the fortunate possessor of a splendid collection of stuffed water and land birds, most of wh:ch have been shot in the neighbourhood, many being of very rare species. Each class of birds are enclosed in a separate case, each bird being appropriately mounted, the whole collection being valued at ?150. Included in the variety is a little Tabuan water crake, which is a very rare species indeed, but the two birds of which Mr. George Shepherd is most proud of are the tiny Little Bittern and a beautiful Australian White Egret, the Little Bittern standing out in marked contrast to the tall and noble-looking White Egret with its snowy white plumes. These two birds are enclosed in a separate glass globe. The crafty Renard is also to be found occupying the place usually allotted to him. A visit to the homestead would not be complete without a visit being made to the pantry of Mrs. George Shepherd, where, stored away on shelves, are to be found the collection of preserves so successfully shown at the town-hall, Melbourne, and at 8omerville and Cranbourne. The preserves are in just as good a state as when they were first preserved, and form a collection which any housewife might well be proud of. [xC Dn cotIIusao.] (P.3, Mornington Standard, 25-6-1896.)
N.B. A couple of lines, unable to be read because of a crease in the newspaper, are indicated by question marks. Mistakes, such as a redundant "of", are the journalist's not mine. I presume he means the crafty reynard (fox.)

See comment 6. (Oh Noes struck again!)

Leila Shaw,author of THE WAY WE WERE, was a Brunnings girl and her history gives much detail about the family,the St Kilda connection and so on. Sadly the soldiers' memorial park donated by the family has been sold to Aldi.

MR. JOHN BRUNNING. The death of Mr. Jno. Brunning, of Somerville, on Monday came as a shock to his many friends in that district. Deceased had been in ill health for some weeks, but his death was not anticipated. Mr. Brunning came to Somerville about 62 years ago, when he was a toddler of three years. For the grea ter part of his life he had conducted the well-known nursery business of J. Brunning and Sons. Burial took place at Frankston cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, when a large number of Somerville and district residents attended. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. D. A. White and Rev. C. R., C. Tidmarsh. Rev. Tidmarsh, who had known deceased for many years, gave an impressive address at the grave. Messrs. Herbert, George and Stanley. Brunning (cousins of the deceased), William Shepherd, James and Benja min Caldwell acted as pall-bearers. The funeral was conducted-by Mr. H. Gamble. Deceased leaves three sons and one daughter (Mrs. Ryan). His wife and two daughters predeceased him. (P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 7-9-1928.)

The will of the late Mr Alexander Scott, of Somerville, has been lodged for probate. In it the testator's two sons, James and John, are bequeathed the properties in the parish of Mooroo- duc, subject to the payment by the former of the sum of ?100 to deceased's daughter, Caroline, wife of Charles Unthank, of Bittern; and the latter of the sum of ?50 to the second daughter, Ann, wife of Wil- liam Firth, of Moorooduc. The bal- ance of the estate, after payment of debts, &c., is bequeathed in equal por- tions to the two sons and two daugh- ters named above. The estate is valued at ?1825, and the female branch of the beneficiaries are any thing but satisfied with the portions allowed them. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 17-10-1903.) Also see Firth.

Seldom has Somerville community been oftener called upon to mourn the loss of well known and respected residents than within the last two years. Another of the sturdy old pioneers passed away on Friday evening (20th. inst.), in the person of Mr. William Firth. The end was not altogether unexpected, as Mr. Firth has been in failing health for some time. The deceased, who was a native of the Island of Orkney, N.B., came to this colony when 16 years of age, and spent some four years at Bendigo, Maryborough, and other diggings. He then came to this district, and for a few years, as a partner with his brothers, John and James, he carried out several road and other large contracts. After purchasing the property on which he died (Orkney Farm), Mr. Firth gave up contract work, and has ever since devoted his energies, with marked success, to mixed farming, being one of the very first to attempt wheat growing in these parts. He was for some time successful in getting some very large returns per acre. His horses were well known, and always commanded a big figure, being specially sought after by Brighton market gardeners, who often bought them unbroken in the paddock. Sheep and cattle were also successfully raised. During Mr. Firth's long residence here of 53 years, he had seen vast changes, and had himself during his strenuous life become the owner of somewhere about 1000 acres in the district. Though a keen Scot at a bargain, deceased had by his uprightness, kindliness of heart and integrity, won the respect of all who knew him as a kindly neighbor, a staunch, friend, and a just foe. Although never taking any prominent part in public affairs Mr. Firth always had the welfare of the district at heart. The deceased leaves a widow, four daughters and one son to mourn the loss of a loving husband and fond father. Mrs. Firth is the daughter of another very old pioneer, Mr. Sandy Scott, who died a few years ago. The funeral on Sunday was very largely attended, some 40 vehicles and 12 horsemen being present, in addition to many relatives, including Messrs. John, James, and Joseph Firth (curator Macedon Nurseries). There were also present several leading councillors of the Mornington and Frankston and Hastings shires, and many old resi- dents. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-12-1907.)

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.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 16-8-1890.)

OBITUARY MR. GEORGE ALFRED GRANT Mr. George Alfred Grant died on Thursday, November 28, at his resi dence, Eramossa Road, Somerville. Mr. Grant was born at Somerville, and lived there all his life. He was a well-known orchardist and nursery man, and won many prizes at local shows. He was also interested in all sport, and won many trophies at foot running, high jumping, rifle shooting and cricket. He was a trustee of the early Presbyterian church, also member of the Fruit growers' Association, , Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, and past director of Cool stores. Mr. Grant's parents,, the late Mr. and Mrs. James Grant, were early settlers of Somerville, and were in charge of the first post office at Somerville. He was held in high esteem by a large circle of friends. His wife, six daughters,and two sons survive him. .The funeral took place on Saturday, November 30, the remains being interred in the Frankston Cemetery. Many floral tributes were made. There was a large attendance at the funeral, the district being well represented. Pall bearers were: Cr. Webb, Mesrrs W. P. Hutchinson, Geo Richardson, Chas. Thornell, D. Heywood, Theo Grant, Gus Murray, W. Monk. Coffin bearers were: Messrs. Ray Harding, Dan. Heywood, H. Brown, G. Gamble, L. Smith, sons-in-law, Ray Grant nephew. (P.7, Standard, 5-12-1946.)

Obituary MR JAS. GRANT, SEN. It is with regret we have to chronicle the demise, at the advanced age of 83, of one of Somerville's oldest and most respected residents, in the person of Mr Jas. Grant, sen., which occurred at his late residence at Somerville on Sunday last. By Mr Grant's death Somerville and district lose one of the very oldest and most highly respected residents. Mr Grant and Mr W. A. Shepherd (who died only a few weeks ago) were in the early days friends and neighbours in Melbourne, and came down and settled at Somerville together many years ago. Deceased for some time had charge of the post office when it was situated at the Somerville station. Mr Grant has been a successful and prosperous fruitgrower and nursery man, and has given each of his five sons a splendid start in life. By his honesty of purpose, strict integrity, hard work, and kindly nature, Mr Grant won the esteem and regard of every resident of the district. The respect in which Mr Grant was held was evinced on the day of the funeral, when, in the teeth of a blinding storm of wind and rain, one of the largest corteges seen at Somerville wended its way to the Frankston cemetery.
(P.3, Mornington and Dromana Standard, 1-5-1909.)

MR. J. E. MURRAY. Mr. James Edmund Murray, of Somerville, died at his late residence last Sunday at the age of 68 years. The late Mr. Murray was a well known resident of Somerville, and, though he had no family and his wife predeceased him, leaves many relatives in that district. Burial took place in Frankston cemetery on Monday last. The service was read by Rev. D. A. White, of Somerville. The coffin was borne to the grave by Messrs. J. E. Sage, E. J. Murray, S. C. Martin and F. S. Murray, all of whom are nephews of deceased. The pall-bearers were Messrs. H. Jones, S. W. M. West, and J. Hutchinson. The funeral was conducted by Mr. H. J. Gamble, of Frankston. Mr. Augustus Murray, Mr. John Murray, Mrs. Ross, Mrs. Harboard, Mrs. Harkness, Mrs. Batterham and Miss Jane Murray are the living brothers and sisters of deceased.
(P.1, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 3-8-1929.) See GRANT.
N.B. The Murrays granted much land on the south side of Mornington-Tyabb Rd,in the parish of Bittern,and much involved in the butchering business, seem to be unrelated.

SOMERVILLE. Mr. J. Murray, who sold his orchard property to Mr. Wood some time ago, has just purchased the property of Mr. McCalman (better known as McGurk's.) Mr. Murray wandered about we hear looking for a property in other parts, but has found nothing to beat Somerville. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 21-9-1907.)
The pioneers' properties will be discussed later but I will describe McGurk's now.

On 12-5-1890, Edward McGurk was granted crown allotment 61, parish of Moorooduc. Consisting of 203 acres, its northern and southern boundaries were those of Witchwood Park (Melway 148 B6), but it fronted both Webbs Lane and Jones Rd. Part of the allotment (61C of 28 acres,north of Pottery Lane)seems to have been granted to F.P.Wagner as a Closer Settlement farm.

OBITUARY ---0-- MISS M. MURRAY. The death occurred on Saturday of Miss Madge Murray, aged 12 years, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. Murray, of Somerville. Although so young, her bright disposition had won her many friends, 'and her parents received many beautiful floral tributes and other expressions of sympathy. The funeral took place in the Frankston Cemetery ,on Sunday. The cortege was formed by a large gathering of relatives and .friends. The casket was carried by Messrs. S. Scott, J. E. Sage, S. C. Martin and F. Martin... The pall bearers were Messrs. C. W. Roach, C. Barber, W.Hutchinson and C. Thornell. The Rev. S. O. Seward read the burial service. Mr. Hector Gamble had charge of the funeral arrangements.
(P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard,7-5-1937.)

I must be careful here because I think there may have been more than one Martin family. Leila Shaw has quite a lot of detail in THE WAY WE WERE about the Martin's Corner store.The grocer family seems to have arrived in the early 1900's while the Blacksmith, W.Martin, was there in the 1890's and was involved in the early days of the Fruitgrowers' Association as was Betts, another blacksmith, who was the Secretary and the caretaker of the Mechanics' Institute.

Somerville have strengthened their team and improved their play, and should be able to hold their own against any of the local teams. Martin, Somerville, is deserving of special mention for his play. He is a decided acquisition to the ranks of the fruitgrowers. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 31-5-1902.)

The transfer of a grocer's license from Amelia Holmes to E. A. Martin, of Somerville, was approved.
(P.2, Mornington Standard,8-3-1902.)

Messrs E. A. and A. E. Martin, general storekeeper and wine and spirit merchants, of Somerville, notify that they are carrying an exceptionally large stock of well-selected goods. Quality combined with cheapness is their motto. The firm makes a speciality of patent medicines, every well-known line being kept.
(P.4, Mornington Standard, 18-10-1902.)

From various articles, it seems as if the Hutchinsons were market gardeners in Stumpy Gully Rd, Moorooduc and were involved in the early days of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association.They were probably near Mornington-Tyabb Rd as W.Hutchinson was described as being of Tyabb, as was William Murray whose property was in the parish of Bittern near Edward Jones' Spring Farm.There must have been two cousins,one dying in 1895 and another, possibly also John, experiencing difficulty a couple of years later.It is not known whether they were related to the Hutchinsons of the Frankston gasworks.

I regret to record the death of Mr. John Hutchinson, at the age of 30, at his residence, Moorooduc, on Thursday evening last. The deceased had been for the past two years a martyr to chronic sciatica, and although every medical attendance in the city was obtained at various periods, the deceased experienced little or no relief from his sufferings. The end was not altogether unexpected, and at 6 p.m. on Thursday he quietly passed away. The funeral was hold on Saturday, and was followed by a large number of friends around the district, comprising 21 vehicles, 30 horseman and 31 members of the A.O.F., who walked in front of the hearse, of which society the deceased was an old member. A widow and son are left to mourn the loss of the departed.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 27-6-1895.)

The Somerville Correspondent wrote:
The market gardener's life is not one of unalloyed pleasure. At Mordialloc on Saturday last Mr. J. Hutchinson had the misfortune to lose sight of his horse while enjoying a few minutes in the arms of Morpheus. After having tracked it for some miles he was unable to come up with it and had to walk the best part of the way home. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 8-4-1897.)

Sale of Property.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 6 September 1902 Edition: MORNING. p 4 Article
... Sale of Property. The well-known Westernport orchard and and nursery at Somerville, the property of the late John Holt and leased by Mr Chas. Barber is to be submitted for sale by auction by Messrs Graham and Styles on Wednesday next at noon.

We shall soon have to get iron safes to lock poultry up in at night. The cold weather has no doubt increased sly reynards always too keen appetite. One night last week after gobbling, up one or two clutches of chickens belonging to Mr Barber in mere devilment he killed eleven other fowls. Poultry farming under these conditions certainly does not pay.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 19-4-1900.)

Mr Barber almost lost a valuable horse last week through its slipping backwards down the steep bank of a creek. It took 8 men some time to liberate the poor brute. (P.3, Mornington Standard, 15-9-1898.)

The Barbers were much involved with the Fruitgrowers' Association from 1899 and the Methodist Church by 1896. A court case re a fire (P.3,Mornington Standard, 24-3-1898) leads me to believe that Charles was near the corner of Bungower and Lower Somerville Rds.He lived near the Clarkes and the accused.

Somerville is at the junction of three parishes with Moorooduc separated from Frankston by Eramosa Rd and both of those separated from Tyabb by Jones and Grant Rds respectively. The name of Sage is more often connected with Baxter but the family was also associated with Somerville. Ben Baxter's Carrup Carrup Run was not very far north of Eramosa Rd and when it was broken up and sold after being surveyed, the Sage family and the family of surveyor, Robert Hoddle, both related to Ben Baxter by marriage,received grants adjoining the pre-emptive right. William Firth's grant over Eramosa Rd from Orkney Farm adjoined a Baxter grant. Thus a Sage removal to Somerville was hardly a departure to parts unknown. By 1921, J.E.Sage was on Alfred Jones' Almond Bush Stud, carrying on the horse breeding tradition.

To Stand this season at Somerville At "Almond Bush" Travel if Required. The Champion Pony Stallion MALDON BEAUTIFUL Dappl.rt " foaled 1910, with good, clean, flat bone and plenty of muscle, style and action and stands about 18.2 hands high. Maldon is by Boy out of Fannie. Roy is by Fauntleroy. Maldon's dam, Fannie, is by Silver Prince, grand sire Silver King (imp). Maldon gained the Society's Champion Ribbon at Frankston in 1914, and in 1919 at Royal Show, Melbourne, First in Class as Sire of Harness Ponies, and Champion for Best Pony. TERMS...... For further particulars apply to J. E. SAGE, Somerville. Also at Stud the Pure Bred Berkshire Boar bred by Dookie College ...... FeI lOs Shorthorn Bull At Stud .... Fee 10l.
(P.1s,Frankston and Somerville Standard, 4-11-1921.)

MATRON A. M. SAGE, APPOINTED MATRON-IN-CHIEF HONOR FOR SOMERVILLE WOMAN A little over 12 months ago, Mat ron Sage, of Somerville, arrived in the Middle East, and in a letter to her brother, Mr Arthur Sage, receiv ed this week, she tells of her appointment as Matron-in-Chief of the A.I.F. This is a great honor to a local woman and we will let Matron Sage tell her own story: "You will see by the above address that I have gone up the scale a bit. Miss Wilson was ill and has return ed to Australia and word was sent to me to report immediately to head quarters, where I was told I had to leave my hospital and take over the duties of Principal Matron. ETC. (P.3, Standard, 20-6-1941.)


At least one of our local residents have been helping to buy out the Hey field estate. Mr A. Warren has ob- tained a very nice block said to be one of the most picturesque of the lot.
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 2-11-1899.)



by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-07-24 07:14:46

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 2011-07-24 07:39:14

19TH Lord Somerville (continued.) He was aged 32 and unmarried. His name was Aubrey John Somerville and he is recorded as having bought 40 acres from the grantee near the Myall Lakes in N.S.W. in August 1866. He was the son of the Reverend Honourable William Somerville and Charlotte (Bagot). I propose a third theory about the naming of the forementioned Mornington Peninsula town of Somerville. It could have been named after Aubrey John Somerville. His mother was a Bagot and it is possible that Robert Cooper Bagot (in 1864, first head of the Victorian Racing Club, which runs the Melbourne Cup) was a relative. Bagot lived in Ascot Vale and just a few miles north were Townshend Somerville, clerk of the Court of Petty Sessions and his neighbour, J.T.Smith,M.P. and a pioneer of that area and Mt Eliza. They probably met at a race meeting where racing enthusiast, the Canadian, Alfred Jones, said a name was needed for his area at the junction of three parishes. Alf owned horses named Lady Somerville and Lord Somerville!

by itellya on 2011-07-24 08:02:04

There are wonderful genealogies on the web about the SOMERVILLES and most of the preceding information came from them.The information about Bagot came from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, early maps etc. The information about Townshend Somerville and John Thomas Smith having adjoining property at North Essendon comes from Broadmeadows Shire rates and the Doutta Galla parish map.Most of the information about Alfred Jones, owner of the Almond Bush Stud, came from Trove (The Argus), Mr Mann's "The Early History Of Mt Eliza" (1926)and the Tyabb parish map; fellow Canadian, J.Hodgins' details came from Mr Mann and the Bittern parish map.

by itellya on 2011-07-24 08:25:13

Townshend Somerville, who died in Essendon in 1991, was said to have lived on his property "Summerhill" for 40 years but his last two years may have been spent at (old) 26 Ardmillan Rd, Moonee Ponds, on which he was assessed.(Annals of Essendon?, Essendon rates.) Townshend was the son of Thomas Somerville and Mary Townshend both born in 1785. He was born in 1812 and was the brother of Admiral Phillip H.T.Somerville who died on 12-5-1881 (Argus 14-7-1881.)Another Somerville was the best known Admiral of W.W.2 and an Irish Somerville, a noted author, was assassinated by Free Staters in 1936. Amen!

by itellya on 2012-07-30 10:08:50

"Better Days" is available from Somerville Football Club. It contains information about the Somerville footballers who defeated Rosebud in the 1936 first semi final. J. Sharp is the only Somerville player about whom no detail was given. Some spectators at the Somerville-Rosebud game on 28-7-2012 thought that Sharp may have been from Frankston. Information about the players and their families came mainly from trove, Murray Gomm and Leila Shaw's "The Way We Were".
Somerville is fortunate to have a "youngster" such as Murray Gomm who has saved a tea chest full of irreplaceable photos and soaked up information from Norm Unthank and others. Contact Murray for the 12 page book.
Players mentioned and some of the detail included is pasted below.

In the last quarter, Somerville outplayed Rosebud and gained a decisive victory.

Somerville. C.Harding (capt.)*, H.Armstrong*, K.Bryant*, R.Gomm*, G.Bryant, C.Martin, C.Murray, G.Gomm*, W.Clark, R.Armstrong*, J.Wood, G.Kay*, G.Bullen*, H.Thornell*, S.Clarke, J.Sharp, P.Currie,* J.Wotherspoon*, 19th-L.Iles. (* Member '35 premier team.)
C.Harding was Claude or Clyde and was known as Darkie. Murray Gomm thinks that the Harding and Scott families were related. Darkie was playing for Somerville by 1928 when he played in the premiership team and was described as a labourer, his christian name given as Claude. A picture of Gunner C.H.Harding is on page 1 of the Standard (Frankston) of 18-4-1941. He was reported as being seriously ill on page 6 of The Advertiser (Adelaide) of 17-2-1942.The Hardings were described as a longtime Somerville family when the death of Elias Harding on 13-5-1945 at the age of 76 was reported. Ray Harding married Phyllis Grant, descendant of a Somerville pioneer. (Frankston and Somerville Standard, 19-12-1931, page 4.) C.Harding seems to have been a good cricketer too, having taken 8 for 10 in one match, H.Thornell, a 1936 football team mate, taking the remaining two wickets for 16 runs. (FSS 28-10-1933, page 8.) Jessie A.Harding was an agent for the State Savings Bank in Somerville. (Mornington Standard 25-5-1912, page 2.) The Hardings were in Eramosa Rd.

Roy Gomm was the son of Edward Gomm. George Gomm was Murray Gomm's father; George and his brother Billy are legends of the Somerville Football Club. They are all descendants of Henry Gomm who left Cheltenham part time in 1861 to set up ?Glenhoya? and brought his wife, Margaret (nee Monk) and young family in 1867. He built the Somerville Hotel in 1904 and Billy nearly lost it because of his SP bookmaking; brother George had to leave his successful rare mineral mining to save the pub, establishing a reputation for culinary excellence. Billy was a high official in the Lands Department, one of his underlings being Henry Bolte, who as Premier visited the hotel on many occasions. Billy dressed immaculately but became a yokel back on the farm and was once seen drinking at the Mornington races with Reg Ansett wearing one shoe and one gumboot. Bill's fondness for a drink led to his drowning in Westernport during a fishing trip. It was not just good luck that the Somerville station was built just across Jones Rd from Glenhoya; Henry's longtime friend Tommy Bent was Minister for Railways circa 1889; as Premier, he opened the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Show later on. Many Somerville streets are named after the Gomms; Raymond is Murray's brother. (See Peter Currie re Paddy Gomm.) . Graf Rd is named after Shaun Graf who is a descendant of Henry Gomm despite Henry's best efforts. He had Station master Graf reposted to Ascot Vale (another favour from Tommy Bent) to ?protect? his daughter but she fled to him despite the threat of 'no more money', which was carried out!

Wes Clark would not have been playing in the game if it had been a few weeks later. It is possible that his surname was Clarke and that he was related to S.Clarke (who, Murray Gomm suspects,was in the 2nd A.I.F.) Wes Clarke and his team of 5 horses were severely stung by a swarm of bees which had been terrorising Somerville for some days, while he was ploughing a portion of his father's orchard. (FSS 30-10-1936 page 2.) At times like these the district's bee expert, a member of the Thornell family, would be called upon.(Above source.)

The Bullens had an orchard now occupied by Pembroke Drive. The Unthanks owned this orchard at one stage and I think that the name Pembroke may have come from Mr Morris (from Pembroke in Wales) who married Mrs Unthank's sister ; both girls were daughters of Edward Jones of Spring Farm and Penbank (west of Jones Corner) in Tyabb Rd. The 1936 player was George Bullen. Another Bullen was away in 1932-4 and 1936-7. I think I can guess why Somerville won the premiership in 1935 but not 1936. His name was Horrie Bullen and he played 59 games for Carlton, kicking 38 goals. In his first season, he started in the forward pocket in the grand final team which was narrowly beaten by Richmond 13-14-92 to 12-11-83. Murray Gomm told me that Horrie was recalled by Carlton to nullify the dominance of ?Captain Blood?, Jack Dyer. This explains his second spell at Carlton from 1936 (when Somerville might have gone back to back with his huge presence) when he added 16 more games. Horrie was captain of the Somerville side in 1938.
Some who played for Somerville in 1931 but not 1936 were E.Nelson, R.Jessup, A.Telford, C.Wilson, F.Nilsson, E.Perriman, T.Pearce, R.Thornell, D.Morrison, W.S.Craig and J.Unthank. Pearce might have been a descendant of Nathaniel Pearce who revived the Langwarrin Township during the 1890's depression, and after whom it was named Pearcedale. Ray Jessup was a member of the 1928 premiership team; he and his father Alf, both bootmakers, made a pair of boots for each player in that team. (The Way We Were page 170.) W.S.Craig was probably a son of S.Craig who received a crown grant between the northern part of the Bembridge Golf Course and Watson Inlet. SNIPPETS.
Somerville won a hard-fought grand final against Red Hill in 1935. You will be able to read all the details of this match (except the final scores) on page 6 of the 11-10-1935 issue of the Frankston and Somerville Standard. There is a picture of the victorious team in the Somerville clubrooms. Those in the photo who were not in the 1936 first semi team were Horrie Bullen (at Carlton again), R.Philbrick, W.Craig, R.Durrant, W.Gomm, W.Victor, and L.Clarke. Those marked with an asterisk in the 1936 team appear in the premiership photo. W.Craig was probably a descendant of S.Craig who had land at Melway 141 B12 between Philbricks and Watson's Inlet.

W.S.Craig played his 200th game in his 14th season for Somerville (the goldfinches, as another article reported) against Frankston in 1936.He was living in Pearcedale. (The Argus 27-7-1936.)

by itellya on 2013-05-09 06:22:32

Gee,I didn't realise how little I had written about the town's history. I might spend a little time adding some detail about some of the district's pioneers in the journal. While you're waiting, you might like to read my MURRAY GOMM,LOCAL FOOTY HERO journal to find the connection between Somerville and Albany, Western Australia.
Don't forget to read Leila Shaw's THE WAY WE WERE and to visit the historical society's museum in the Mechanics' Institute.

by itellya on 2013-05-09 11:18:35

BAXTER After residing for 45 years at 'Heath Vale," her pretty little home, Grant Road, Somerville, Mrs. Docwra has sold out and is going to reside with her son, Sydney J., and his wife. She will be greatly missed by her circle of friends, but all wish her good health and happiness. (P.2,Standard, 27-2-1947.)

OBITUARY MR J. DOCWRA Mr Joseph Docwra, 78 years, died at his residence,. "Heathvale," Grant's Road, Somerville, on Saturday last. He was a resident of Somerville for over 50 years, and took a great interest in bird life. His wive and one son survive him. Although notice of the funeral was short, there was a representative attendance at the Frankston Cemetery on Sunday. Pall bearers were: Messrs. E. Barrett , W.Bond, J. Coxens, R. Docwra, A.Dicker, W. Scott, H. Hosking and W. Hicks, The coffin was carried by Messrs. S. J. Doowra, G. Docwra, M. De Bernardi and L. Parry. A. Harris-read the burial se l' the funeral was conducted by Hector Gamble.(P.4, Standard, 28-11-1941.)

A YACHT suddenly capsized off Hastings on October 12 and three gentlemen named Rodwell, Lindsey, and Docwra, and a boatman named Swaine, were drowned. Only one man was saved out of all on board.
(P.6, Argus,8-12-1880.) Had the Docwras left Rushworth for the Peninsula?

Last name: Docwra
This very interesting surname is English, but arguably of Norse-Viking origin. Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including: Docwra, Dockray, Dockerey, Dockwray, Dockeray, and Dockwra, it is a locational name from the village of Dockray in the county of Cumberland. The derivation is from the Norse-Viking word of the pre 7th century "dokk" meaning a hollow or valley, and "vra", meaning a corner. The area was under Norse control for several centuries, and they have left their mark with many place names such as this one. It is first recorded as Dochora in the registers known as "The Feet of Fines" for the year 1195, and later as Dokwra in the rolls called the "Placita de quo Warranto" of 1292. The surname is later, being early 14th Century, (see below). Early examples of church recordings include: Eliza Dockerey, who married John Lewis on January 28th 1606 at St Margarets church, Westminster, and Margaret Dockwra, who married Thomas Arrys on March 23rd 1646 at the church of St. Bartholomew the Less in the city of London. William Dockwray who died in 1716, was a London merchant. He established a postal system in the metropolis in 1680, and was comptroller of the penny post from 1697 to 1700. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of John de Dokwra. This was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls" of Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward 111,1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. (Surname Database.)

While researching THE MYSTERIOUS HENRY GOMM, I discovered that the Docwras, Gomms, Ricketts and several other pioneering families in the area near Somerville had come from the Moorabbin area. The following is just one result from a "Docwra, Moorabbin" search. Joseph was the son of Alfred Docwra and Mary (nee Scott.) Ann Scott, the first white (child/girl?) born at Somerville, who married William Firth may have been related to Alfred's wife.
Joseph Docwra b. 1864 Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia d. 23 Oct ...‎
Joseph Docwra b. 1864 Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia d. 23 Oct 1941 Somerville, Victoria, Australia.

by itellya on 2013-05-10 05:42:46

PROGRESSIVE SOMER VILLE. THE NURSERIES AND ORCHARDS: No. II, MESSRS. J. M. CALDWELL AND SONS, The orchard owned and occupied by Messrs.J. Caldwell and Sons is situated about two and a half miles from the railway station, and stands on the summit of a steep hill, comprising in all about 146 acres. The area however used for cultivation purposes is only 30 acres, the remainder being used for grazing stock, etc. Unlike the majority of orchardists in the district the Messrs Caldwell are not adepts in horticultural. Prior to their removal to Somerville five years ago, they had no knowledge whatever of this particular industry, having being compelled to resort to it as a means of livelihood owing to a reversal of fortune, and they owe what knowledge they at present possesses to the kindness of their neighbours. Since their residence in the district they have been very active in matters connected with the welfare of the place, and were amongst the promoters of the shows recently held at Somerville, the eldest son being secretary of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association. The orchard is rather overstocked, owing to the trees being originally planted too close which has had a prejudicial effect upon them, and caused them to be rather stunted in their growth, but the Messrs. Caldwell are gradually thinning them out. Notwithstanding this, the fruit grown is of a superior quality, some splendid specimens being shown at the local shows, at which they were large prize- takers. As an instance of the quantity of fruit grown, during the first year 4,200 cases of fruit were sent away, exclusive of which about 90 cases of Early Margarets were given to the pigs. This year, however, the yield was not nearly so large, the most noticeable falling off being in the Five Crown apple, trees usually bearing from 10 cases downwards only bearing an average a little over half a case. Out of a whole row of this particular kind of fruit only one and a half cases were obtained. Prices have also been correspondingly low this season. Two seasons ago as high a price as 15s per case was obtained for the Rome Beauty apple, but at present the price ranges from about 4s 6d up to 6s per case. The former was the highest price obtained during the season. The yield of some varieties of apples have, however, been just as good as ever, notably the Italian Red, 11 cases being got off one tree. It is the custom of the Messrs. Caldwell to put burnt ashes around the foot of the trees in the place of manure, which they find has the effect of giving the fruit a rich bright color. The ashes are not specially burnt for the purpose, but are taken from the logs which have been burnt in the paddock, as well as those from household use. This does not apply to all of the trees, only a few being treated in this manner. The fruit held over when packed is placed in racks specially built for the purpose in the fruit room, then covered over with cloths, the fruit being picked over from time to time in order to allow of any that may have become bruised being sorted out. At present the firm have 100 cases of Stone Pippin in stock, besides which they have between 200 and 900 cases of apples of other varieties, including the Shep- herd's Perfection, Light Aromatic, Rome Beauty, Italian Red, Cleopatra, Nicker Jack and others, all of which are in splendid condition and of good quality, the Shepherd's Perfection being of a beautiful colour, more so than usual, owing, as the Messrs. Caldwell aver, to the use of the ashes above described. A small plot of ground is planted out with young shoots, which when ready will he transplanted into the orchard. Mr. Caldwell, senior, and his two sons, do all the work connected with the orchard. By the courtesy of Mr. J. M. Caldwell our representative was accorded a peep at the collection of preserves shows by Mrs. J. M. Caldwell at the local show, for which she gained the first prize two years in succession. At present the collection numbers nearly 100 varieties, all of which are ranged on shelves in the pantry two and three deep. Our representative was informed that it was the intention of Mrs.J.M.Caldwell not to compete at the next show, but possibly before the time arrives that lady may be prevailed upon to once more enter the lists. [so Inm.a couNisUets.] (P.3, Mornington Standard, 2-7-1896.)

by itellya on 2013-05-10 05:51:28

Fruit Trees for China
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 9 October 1936 p 5 Article
... Fruit Trees for China SOMERVILLE, Thursday. shipment A shipment of fruit trees has been sent to China by Messrs. Caldwell Bros., St Johns Nurseries, Somerville. This is claimed to be the first shipment of its kind to be sent from Victoria to China. The buyer, a Chinese, was formerly in business ...

by itellya on 2013-05-10 07:36:42

Mr A.Warren was the subject of the third article in the PROGRESSIVE SOMERVILLE series (P.3,Mornington Standard, 9-7-1896.) He seems to have been renting his orchard from J.Brunning from 1891 until about 1905, at which time he may have moved to the Apple Isle. An advocate of heavy pruning, he must have been highly regarded and was the judge for fruit at the Kangerong Ag. and Hort. Soc. Show.

Mr. H. H.Hawken has acquired a lease of the orchard property belonging to Mr. J. Brunning and lately occupied by Mr. A. Warren. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 25-8-1906.)

Alfred Warren was actually a Somerville resident for about 20 years and was involved in many community groups. The following article includes a testimonial to his contributions but unfortunately did not mention where his new home would be.

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 9 June 1906 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article
... FARWELL TO MR ALFRED WARREN. This took the outward and visible sign of a "smoke smoke night" at the Hotel Somerville on the evening of Thursday day week. Between 50 and 60 gentlemen were present to ... presented to Mr Warren before leaving, and a "smoke night" was chosen as the most convenient form for the ... 886 words

by itellya on 2013-05-10 21:15:43

My guess that Alfred Warren might have moved to Tasmania was due to a Mr A.Warren suggesting a way to deal with birds that were devastating orchards there at about the time that I thought the Somerville resident had left. However, that Warren family had arrived in Tasmania circa 1880. It is far more likely that Alfred had moved to Heyfield, the gateway to the High Country, near the Thompson River in Gippsland. He had bought land there in 1899. (The article actually made it into my journal.) When I saw the par in the Mornington Standard, I thought it might have been somewhere near that paper's circulation area. This made it seem even more likely:

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 19 October 1899 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article
... a sire. The day on which the sale of furniture, stock and effects of the Heyfield estate was ..

However, later mentions of Tyson and the late Jimmy, dispelled this theory. In 1841, the original settler, James McFarlane had called the area Hayfield, but by 1866 when James Tyson acquired the property, it was Heyfield.

by itellya on 2013-05-12 09:44:54

Like Red Hill pioneer, George Higgens, the Griffieth brothers had a surname that was a tad too complicated for local journalists who rendered it as Griffeth or Griffith. I found the will of George Griffieth two years ago when I was researching THE FEMALE DROVER.The will gave his address in America and if my memory is correct, he actually died there and not in Melbourne. I would not have found the announce- ment of his death on trove unless for some strange reason I had entered: G. Griffellti.

Mr. Charles Griffieth Dead
The death occurred at Moorooduc on Monday night of Mr. Charles Griffieth, managing director of Two Bays Nurseries and Orchard Co., Pty. Ltd. He was aged 81 years. Mr. Griffieth and his late brother, Mr. George Griffieth, were the founders of an extensive business of nurserymen and orchardists carried on at Somerville, Moorooduc, Nyah, and other places for many years. The brothers were born in the State of New York, U.S.A., and came to Australia more than 50 years ago. The business is now carried on at Moorooduc, the orchard comprising about 700 acres. Mr.Griffieth was a widower. (P.6, Argus, 7-11-1934.)

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 14 September 1907 Edition: MORNING. p 3 Article
... The Peninsula Official Directory. SHIRE COUNCILS. Frankston and Hastings-President, George Griffeth.

Death of Cr. G. Griffellti -... - -- 13 It was with deep reret tt:x?( was received of thel eaith cttrl cillor George (;rifeth, of thh Bays Nurseries," t;omil:'r i ?7 Thursday list at prilvt t:e ni Melbourne, at the an:e ofi 6;i4 Although being in failin i' " for some time, deah :': )7 - ted, and no particu!aramet'?

Oh,you want it in English! Okay.

Death of Cr. G. Griffieth It was with deep regret that news was received of the death of councillor George Griffieth, of the "Two Bays Nurseries," Somerville on Thursday last at private hospital Melbourne, at the age of 67 years. Although being in failing health for some time, death was unexpected,and no particulars are to (hand?) (P.2, Mornington Standard, 31-3-1917.)

Mr Geo.Griffeth, of Two Bays nurseries, who has been elected president of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association for the ensuing twelve months, hails from Stuban County, New York, where he was born in 1850. His father carried on a very successful fruit growing and nursery business on a shores of Lake (Senoga?), in the States, and Mr Griffieth served. a long apprenticeship there which he has turned to good account here. He went subsequently to Canada, and 12 years ago came to Australia, and, after a tour through the colony, took up the land at Somerville upon which he is now settled, and with his brother, Mr Chas Griffeth, founded the Two Bays, which has come to be generally regarded as one of the leading fruit-tree nurseries in the Colony.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-6-1902.)

by itellya on 2013-05-26 11:14:00

I remember a sad story from when I wrote THE FEMALE DROVER. It concerned a bookmaker who had committed suicide. He had been experiencing financial difficulties but it was thought that the main cause was grief over the death of his wife. The family was much involved with the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association and with sport in the area in early days, with cricket teams playing for the Dicker Trophy.

There's nothing in these death notices to reveal the sad tale!
Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 4 September 1901 p 1 Family Notices
... DICKER.-On the 2nd September, at his residence, Highfield, Somerville, Thomas Harrie Dicker, aged 38 ... letters, and floral tributes in their sad bereave ment. FUNERAL NOTICES. DICKER. - The friends of the late THOMAS HARRIE DICKER are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of internment ... 1183 words

Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 20 October 1900 p 9 Family Notices
DEATHS. DICKER.-On the I8th October, at Somerville, Louisa Jane, the beloved wife of Harrie Dicker, aged 36 y ... Friends of HARRIE

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 4 September 1901 p 8 Article
A magisterial inquiry was held this afternoon on the remains of the late Harrie Thomas Dicker, a well-known bookmaker, particulars of whose death appeared in "The Argus" to-day. The inquiry was held before Mr. Alfred Jones, J.P., and a post-mortem examination was made by Mr. S. Plowman. A number of witnesses were examined, and the verdict was that deceased died by his own hand by strangulation whilst temporarily insane. He had been much attached to his wife, who died a few months ago suddenly, and close to where he committed the deed relics of his late wife were found. He had also been greatly troubled of late over money matters. He was a very popular man in this district.

Another tragedy took place at "Highfield" not long before the death of Louisa Jane (nee Gill.)
GILL. ?On the 10th February, at the residence of his brother-in-law, Mr. H. Dicker, Frank Henry Smith, only beloved son of Henry and the late Elizabeth Gill, brother of Mrs. W.Williams, Mrs. H. Dicker, and Mrs. W. Edwards,aged 28 years 9 months. At rest.(P.1, Argus, 11-2-1899.)

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 11 October 1894 Edition: MORNING. p 4 Article Illustrated

The family remained in the area, a couple of Dicker girls being skittled while riding their bikes near Mornington Junction much later. However the youngsters (Harrie was only 38) must have left the property soon after the suicide, perhaps to be cared for neighbours or relatives at Baxter which probably wasn't very far from Highfield, going by the report of a fire in 1898. *I also took a stab and entered "Dicker, Mornington Junction" on trove and received confirmation that Highfield was probably in the parish of Frankston or east of Grants Rd near Docwras in the parish of Tyabb.

THE PERPETUAL EXECUTORS and TRUSTEES ASSOCIATION of AUSTRALIA, LIMITED, 113 Queen Street Melbourne, invite Tenders for the Leasing of the Orchard and Home stead, at Somerville, known as "Highfield," in the Estate of the late Thos. H. Dicker. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 21-11-1901.)

*Shocking Death at Mornington Junction. MR H. DICKER STRANGLES HIMSELF. INSANE WITH GRIEF.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 5 September 1901 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article

REMARKABLE EGG-LAYING.BAXTER, Sunday,- Six White Leghorn pullets entered in the 1928-29 Eastern Districts'
Egg Laying competitions by Mr. Alan Dicker, of the Highfield Poultry Farm , put up a remarkable performance. They won the team test with 1,680 eggs, averaging 280 eggs a bird, and the trio section with 595 an average of 296 a bird, and one bird by scoring 307 secured an equal first in the singles section. It is very doubtful if any better record than this has been established by an equal number of birds by any of the recognised egg-laying competitions in Victoria.
(P.16,Argus, 8-4-1929.)

by BarbiMcGrath on 2014-08-31 10:32:45

Hello there, I just found an interesting newspaper clip from 1910 referencing Somerville House, Capt. Frances Griffin, Caherfinick,Doonbeg. My cousin and I can't seem to locate a Somerville House near Clare, so we think it might be referencing two residences. I'd love to email you the clip in a word file from the Limerick Leader Oct 23 1910 "AEROPLANE FLIGHT IN CLARE, REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT BY CAPTAIN GRIFFIN. etc. Thanks for taking a look.
~Barbie McGrath

by itellya on 2014-10-24 18:57:09

Unable to confirm the location of Mr S.Webb's farm in Tucks Rd near Red Hill, I thought I'd see if he and Mr C.Webb, also of Red Hill were related to the Somerville Webbs.

That is how I found that the Webbs at Somerville were orchardists as well as manufacturers of bricks. The following article has photos of methods at Mr Webb's orchard.
The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Saturday 20 May 1916 p 56 Article Illustrated

I presume the orchard and brickworks were both near Webb's Lane on crown allotment 63A (part of Joseph Porta's original grant) or 61(into which Pottery Lane runs) in the parish of Moorooduc.

(From Our Own Correspondent)
We regret to have to record a serious accident which happened to George Webb, son of Mr G. Webb, of Malvern. Mr Webb sen. is one of the Government shorthand writers, and though residing at E. Malvern, has an orchard at Somerville. Mr Webb jr. was trying
a young horse on Thursday last, but in attempting a jump over a fence the horse struck heavily, and, together with its rider, fell badly. The result was that Mr Webb was rendered unconscious, and found himself long afterwards walking towards home.

He was taken late in the night to Dr Plowman, of Frankston, who ascertained that the right fore-arm was badly shattered, the fracture being compound, and one of the bones projecting an inch or two beyond the skin. The face was also badly abraded and bruised. It was thought at one time that some of the projecting bones would have to be removed or the external wound enlarged to reduce the injury, but with consider-able effort Dr. Plowman succeeded in reducing the fracture under chloroform.
We are glad to say the patient is now doing remarkably well.
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 23-11-1899.)

A rather nasty accident happened to Mr. G. O. Webb last Saturday evening. Since the last time Mr. Webb was in the township, alterations have been made at the railway platform.When leaving the station, Mr. Webb walked in his accustomed direction, but
in the darkness, did not notice the alterations, and suddenly fell off the extended platform into a new rampway, sustaining a nasty injury to one knee and general shock.(P.2,Mornington Standard,12-10-1907.)

It seems certain that the orchardist and brickmaker were one and the same.

The work in connection with the new brick works at Somerville is proceeding rapidly. On Thursday last truck loads of machinery arrived and is being carried to the site of the work. Mr G. O. Webb, the proprietor, expects to have everything in order and a kiln out in a few weeks.(P.3, Mornington Standard, 26-7-1902.)

by itellya on 2015-02-03 07:00:46


Wedding Bells.
A very pretty wedding was celebrated in the Methodist Church,Somerville, between Mr George Richardson, of Melbourne, and Miss Alison Thornell, daughter of Mrs E. Thornell* and the late Thomas Thornell of the Federal Nurseries. (gowns, attendants ETC.) (P.2, Mornington Standard, 6-2-1915.) * See end of comment.

This wedding report was in the history page of today's Southern Peninsula News and attracted my attention because I'd never seen or heard a mention of the Federal Nurseries. I was in the process of re-looking at AROUND SOMERVILLE (1907)when I lost my internet signal so I rang Brenda Thornell and she'd never heard of it either, but suggested that it might have been at Tyabb.

"Around Somerville" lists the owners of the orchards and nurseries near the (Somerville) station but, in regard to property names,mentions only the Shepherds "of Perfection fame".

The annual meeting of the Somerville Fruit-growers' Association was held in the
Mechanics' Institute on June 3, when the following gentlemen were elected as office
bearers for the ensuing year:-President, Mr.Thomas Unthank; vice-president, Mr. J.Brunning; hon. treasurer, Mr. Thomas Thornell ; hon. secretary, Mr. James Caldwell. The balance-sheet showed a credit balance of £14 7s. 4d. for the year. It was decided to affiliate with the Australasian Federated Fruit-growers' Association.
(P.10, The Australasian, 15-6-1895.)

A trove search for FEDERAL NURSERIES, SOMERVILLE produced nothing I was likely to find within a year and FEDERAL NURSERIES, THORNELL resulted in the above. Then I substituted TYABB for Thornell.

G. L. COLE, Rosalton Nurseries, Tyabb, Vic.
(Near the start of P.30,Argus, 6-8-1938.)

I forgot to include N.Unthank,Merrivale Nurseries, Somerville in 1938 but Joseph had Merrivale in 1920 and in the same paper:
APPLES, 2/ to 4/ per case, eating or cooking;cash with order. Twyford, Mont View, Somerville.(P.14, Argus, 4-2-1920.)

I believe that the federal nurseries were set up by the federal government as a sort of a Burnley Horticultural School and Thomas Thornell was an instructor. Sorry but that's the best I can do.

Mrs. E. Thornell
Mrs. Elizabeth Thornell passed
away on Sunday, February 16, at St.
Andrew's Hospital. She lived in the
district all her life and was born at
Hastings, a daughter of the late Tho
mas and Margaret Mentiplay, early
residents of Hastings.
Mrs. Thornell had a large circle of
friends and was held in high esteem.
She leaves a husband and one daugh
The funeral took place on Monday,
17th February, the remains being in
terred in the Frankston Cemetery.
There was a large attendance at the
funeral. A service was held at the
Methodist Church, Frankston, con
ducted by Rev P. H. Smith, who also
read the burial service.
The pall-bearers were:--Messrs H.
C. Barclay, D. Mentiplay, H. Mc
Cracken, H. G. Overton,. C. Renouf,
G., Russ. The coflin-bearers were:
Messrs. A. Mentiplay, R; Mentiplay,
C. Barber, S. Clarke.: ,
Mr. Hector Gamble conducted the
funeral arrangements. (P.1s, Standard, 21-2-1941.)

by Morgan2409 on 2015-02-03 21:53:03


There are a lot of the Docwra Family buried in Cheltenham Cemetery.
William Docwra (Cousin of Alfred Docwra) came to Australia in 1848 aboard "Cheapside"

Born: Abt. 1826 Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England.
Married: Mary Scott 5th March 1852
Died: 2nd June 1903
DOCWRA.--On the 2nd June, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. J. Parry, 21 Thomas street,
Windsor, Alfred Docwra, of Cheltenham, aged 78 years.
Sweet rest.
The Argus 3rd June 1903
Burial: Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery 2nd June 1903 Grave 242*ECE*0 (no headstone). Occupation listed as Gardener.

Born: 1864 Victoria reg#1379
Parents: Alfred Docwra & Mary Scott
Married: Sarah Maria Barrett
Died: 1941 Somerville, Victoria reg#22107
Buried: Frankston Cemetery

Mr. J. Docwra, of Baxter, is suffering from ptomaine poisoning and is seriously ill at his home, where he isunder the care of Dr. Bickart.
Frankston & Somerville Standard 21st September 1928

Miss Sara Barrett was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Mr. Joseph Docwra on 10th June. The marriage took place at the residence of the bride's parents, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. A. P. Macfarlane. The relatives of the bride were the only guests present. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a very handsome costume of brown velvet, trimmed with old gold silk, she also wore a wreath and veil.
Miss Amy Barrett, the only bridesmaid wore a pretty costume of pale pink nuns vailing, which formed a pretty contrast with the dress worn by the bride.
After the wedding, tea being served, the happy pair left for their new abode. The bride was made the recipient of many presents, which were both numerous and useful.
Mornington Standard 18th June 1896

DOCWRA -On November 22 at his residence Heathvale, Grants road Somerville, Joseph, dearly beloved husband of Sarah Maria, loved father of Sydney John, aged 78 years.
The Argus 24th November 1941

Mr Joseph Docwra, 78 years, died at his residence, "Heathvale," Grant's Road, Somerville, on Saturday last.
He was a resident of Somerville for over 50 years, and took a great interest in bird life. His wife and one son survive him. Although notice of the funeral was short, there was a representative attendance at the Frankston Cemetery on Sunday. Pall bearers were: Messrs. E. Barrett , W.Bond, J. Coxens, R. Docwra, A.Dicker, W. Scott, H. Hosking and W.Hicks. The coffin was carried by Messrs. S. J. Doowra, G. Docwra, M. De Bernardi and L. Parry.
A. Harris-read the burial service. The funeral was conducted by Hector Gamble.
Frankston Standard 28th November 1941

After residing for 45 years at
“Heath Vale", her pretty little home, Grant Road, Somerville, Mrs. Docwra has sold out and is going to reside with her son, Sydney J., and his wife. She will be greatly missed by her circle of friends, but all wish her good health and happiness.
Frankston Standard 27th February 1947

DOCWRA.-On October 15 at Somerville Sarah Maria Docwra beloved wife of the late Joseph loved mother of Sydney and John mother-in law of Marion Rose aged 81 years.
The Argus 17th October 1950

The marriage of Sydney J. Docwra, only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Docwra, of "Heath Vale," Somerville, to Marion Rose, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bond, of "Mimosa,"Pearcedale, took place, at the Presbyterian Church, Baxter, on Thursday, 12th October. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. S. A. Swan, assisted by Mr. W. E. Watkins. The bride, who was given away by her brother, was dressed in ivory crepe de chene, with wreath and yell that had been worn by the bride-groom's mother on her wedding day, and carried a beautiful shower bouquet. The bouquet was the work of Mr. Norman Westaway.
The bridesmaid Miss Ollie Wisken, was tastefully dressed in pink cashmere de soi, with hat to match. The bridegroom was supported by Mr. Jack Cozens as best man. As the bride left the church a lucky horseshoe was hung on her arm by little Clarice Parsons. The Wedding March was played by Miss Rodgers. The church was tastefully decorated by Mesdames Parriss, Hawken, Parsons, and other friends of the bride. After the ceremony a wedding tea was held at the brides mother's residence. The usual toasts were proposed and responded to and the happy couple left by motor to spend their honeymoon at Upwey.
Frankston & Somerville Standard 25th October 1922

by itellya on 2015-02-04 07:19:35

Fantastic stuff, Morgan2409! On checking the journal to see what I'd written about the Docwra family,I found that I'd had trouble submitting and had eventually managed to post it in comment 6.

This was probably the reason that the name of Somerville was coined for the locality. As well, some residents living to the east,past Boundary Rd were very close to a fourth parish, Langwarrin. The Tyabb Bushland Reserve (Melway 140 B8-9), was a 25 acre water reserve on 3B Tyabb and only 5634 links (1133 metres and 38 centimetres) along the southern boundary of W.A.Shepherd's crown allotment 3A from the parish of Langwarrin.

While on the subject of Langwarrin,it might interest Somerville people to find out what happened to the original Langwarrin township and why. The committee of the Pearcedale Hall published a wonderful little book on the history of Pearcedale which is available in Mornington Peninsula Shire libraries. Langwarrin was originally a run,and if, I remember correctly, after the survey was completed, a Township of Langwarrin was declared on it. Townships always had suburban blocks and many orchardists settled on these making the township a bustling place.

Railways often did not follow a straight line, for various reasons. The railway to Castlemaine deviated crazily from Diggers Rest,through Sunbury and Clarkefield before completing the loop at New Gisborne. Big Clarke certainly had influence!
Early lines to the Peninsula had more to do with defence strategies than the needs of residents. The first deviation from a direct route from Frankston was to the Langwarrin Army camp. The second was the bypassing of Lower Somerville Rd, where, as Leila Shaw stated in THE WAY WE WERE, the centre of population lay. This was almost certainly the decision of Tommy Bent so that the Somerville Station would be right next to the "Glenhoya" property of his childhood mate in the Moorabbin Road District, Henry Gomm. Tommy did another favourite for Henry later,having young Graf transferred to Ascot Vale Station to prevent (unsuccessfully) an infatuation becoming a marriage.

The railway reached Somerville in 1889,just in time! Soon after,a bust followed the boom (to use Michael Cannon's terms,which are pretty easily understood.) The effects of the depression lasted for a decade,even longer in the Shire of Flinders. Many farmers,unable to repay mortgages, were forced to walk off their farms. Many peninsula lads,such as Henry Falby Gomm of Somerville, headed to W.A. where the gold rush prevented the depression which affected much of the world.

For Langwarrin Township, being bypassed was bad enough,but the depression ensured that it quickly became a ghost town. In about 1896, Nathaniel Pearce bought many properties dirt cheap and revived the town. The only trouble now was misdirected mail because there were two Langwarrin Townships. Residents of the original one met to decide a new name and you can guess which of the three options they preferred.

"What's "Tractor Park" got to do with Somerville?" you might ask. Master Bill Craig was in Pearcedale by 1916 according to the report of a concert. Leila Shaw's map of the parish of Tyabb (P.6,THE WAY WE WERE)was not only the reason that my interest in Somerville and the Gomm family was aroused but also shows Will Craig's name on crown allotment 27, Tyabb (on which the Bembridge Hall was built.) Here's a link!

Has played in 200 Games for Same Club.
SOMERVILLE Sunday -W.S.Craig played his 200th game for Somerville Football Club when that team opposed Frankston yesterday. This is the 14th consecutive season that Craig has played for Somerville. Each Saturday he drives seven miles in a jinker from his home at Pearcedale to join his team at Somerville. Officials of the club claim that he has never been late for a match and that he has had to retire from the field only once as a result of injury.(P.15,Argus,27-7-1936.)
This is only one article about the players involved in a 1938 footy final contested by Somerville and Rosebud, in a booklet called BETTER DAYS sold (for the benefit of R.F.N.C.) at the launch of Rosebud's new netball courts at a fixture between the same two clubs, both of which have my file (Somerville via Murray Gomm) if you want a copy. The irony of the title is that Rosebud and Somerville had been playing like dogs when BETTER DAYS was written but the Buds finished up making the finals.

As soon as I saw the previous comment,I realised that unlike in the southern peninsula,I had not given farm locations for the Somerville pioneers. This is hard to do with certainty unless rate records can be matched with parish maps. However descendants of pioneers could substitute family folklore for the former.

I came across Leila's book while I was in the midst of furious but tedious note- making from every history concerning the area between Safety Beach and Portsea. Aha,I thought,here's one I can read just for enjoyment! Oh yeah? Half a year was spent finding out that Henry Gomm of Somerville was not related to William Gomm (Rosebud,Hastings), Henry Gomm (Rosebud) and Thomas Gomm (Dromana), sons of Convict Henry and neighbours of Somerville Henry for over half a century.

Two Gomm Families - City of Kingston Historical Website
Mar 4, 2012 - Henry Gomm, a Cheltenham pioneer. ... In the 1850s there were two distinct Gomm families residing in Cheltenham. ..... Graham J Whitehead.

I had an image of exactly where the Dowcras lived even though it was years since I read Leila's book. DOWCRA is the sort of name that imprints itself into your memory. Imagine my surprise when I found that the word was of English origin.

Those three parishes that intersect at the railway gates are Moorooduc (south of Eramosa,west of Jones), Frankston (north of Eramosa, west of Grants)and Tyabb (east of Grants and Jones.) Pardon my reluctance to type "Rd" six times; my left index finger is down to the stump already!

To access the parish maps,enter the parish name and COUNTY OF MORNINGTON e.g.

I opened the Tyabb map and scrolled to the top (north of INGHAMS) and- there was no DOWCRA on crown allotment 6. The name was Thomas Barber. I rifled through my paper maps and found the photocopy of Leila's page 6 map. My mental image had been spot on.

Evelyn Sage's family had lived on Alfred Jones' old Almond Bush Stud (near c/a 6) so I rang her to sort out if Barber was the grantee or bought it as a soldier settlement farm circa 1947. Evelyn wasn't at home and it's a bit late to ring her at 11:13 p.m. so we'll have to leave that one hanging in the air.

by itellya on 2015-02-04 10:56:31

Somerville was a district or locality. I'm not sure what they expected to gain, and from which authorities, by having a township declared. In early days it resulted in the provision of a post office.

After I had corrected the digitisation in this article, I clicked save and exit but was told my corrections couldn't be saved. Rather than lose the lot,I had to copy one line (5-7 words)at a time into a word document. Hopefully the Historical Society has a copy of the map showing the boundaries or a group of people could print the three parish maps (all the same scale)and with the assistance of any local knowledge remaining about unspecified properties,trace the boundary lines.

SOMERVILLE. (From Our Own Correspondent.) Prior to the public meeting of ratepayers to decide the boundaries of the proposed township, the committee met and sketched out the boundaries on a small map furnished by Mr Moors. At the public meeting Cr T. Unthank took the chair and explained the object of the meeting, attributing the action to the energy of Mr J. P Whitfield. As the outcome of the meeting a Progress Association was to be formally initiated. An opportunity would be given later on for all those willing to join.

In laying out the township the object was to condense the area as much as possible and the local Government Act specified the limit at 3 square miles. While not going to the extent allowed it was necessary to embrace 1515 acres in order to obtain the necessary 25 votes. Mr Unthank then called on Mr McGurk to define the boundaries which are as follows: Commencing at the N W corner of lot 22 (Mr Gomm's old property) E. to Hastings Road to S E corner of Mr J. Grant jr's lot thence N to boundary of lot 28B (between Grant's and Collins) thence E to Grant's Road, thence S to N.W corner of lot7 (between Dicker's and Thompson's, then E to NE corner of lot 9?, thence S to ?? corner of lot 16, then W to Abbot's S W corner, thence W to Eramosa Road, then W to S W corner of lot 22 (between Gomm's and Kelly's) then N to starting point. and Kelly's) then N to starting point.

This will include the following ratepayers:--Messrs Ritchie, Mason, H. Gomm, M.Gomm,
G. Gomm, Tonks, E. Gomm, P. Holmes, C. Murray, J. Grant jr, Mr Thompson, H. Thomas,
J. Holmes, Miss Holmes, Bygrave, Martin, Thornell, Mrs Thorne , Monk (2), Westaway,
Barber, Jones, Collins, Douglass, Grant, Mr and Mrs T. Thornell, and A. Nunn. Mr McGurk dilated on the benefits that would accrue through the forming of the township and an easy method of raising funds for beautifying same. The chairman said he had received a letter from Mr Moors enclosing the map showing a mile radius from the Railway station. Those interested could inspect the map and see the pencilled lines, which indicated the boundaries. He moved that the necessary steps be
taken to have the township gazetted in accordance with the local government Act.
Carried unanimously.

Mr McGurk and T. Thornell proposed that the township be called Somerville. Carried
unanimously. Mr J. Grant and C.Barber moved that the present committee draw up the
necessary petition. Carried. The committee consists of Cr Unthink, Messrs M'Gurk,
T. Thornell and J. P. Whitfield. The chairman then advised that a Progress Association be formed and explained that the title indicated its nature. He said the endeavor would be to enrol as many members as possible. The suggestion was made a motion and carried unanimously . Messrs T. Thornell and Mason moved that an entrance fee of 2s 6d per member be made to cover initial expenses, this was modified by an amendment that the amount be fixed at 2s, this was carried by a 10 to 6 vote.

The officers elected were as follows: President and treasurer, Cr Unthank; vice-president, Mr McGurk; secretary, Mr J .P. Whitfield.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 20-6-1901.)

Mr Moors was the engineer of both Mornington and Flinders and Kangerong Shires concurrently while living in the former which led to calls from Balnarring and other residents for the latter shire to appoint a resident officer.

by itellya on 2015-02-04 11:10:47


(I'rom Our Own Correspbrodnt.)'
,,;Prior to,the public meeting of ratte
payers to decidq,the, boundaries of the
proposed township,'the cominit'ee mel
and sketched out the bonodaries ohn. i

by itellya on 2015-02-04 11:39:47

O.M.G. The brain does some strange things when the body wants to go to bed. My spelling of DOCWRA was almost as bad as trove digitisation. Just noticed!

Steve Johnson of Kananook,a most valued member of Team Itellya,has just (about 4 ours ago at 11:40 p.m.yesterday) sent the following in an email about the family I insulted by spelling the surname wrongly.

Born: Abt. 1826 Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England.
Married: Mary Scott 5th March 1852, Victoria reg#5880
Died: 2nd June 1903
DOCWRA.--On the 2nd June, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. J. Parry, 21 Thomas street,
Windsor, Alfred Docwra, of Cheltenham, aged 78 years.
Sweet rest.
The Argus 3rd June 1903
Burial: Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery 2nd June 1903 Grave 242*ECE*0 (no headstone). Occupation listed as Gardener.

Died: 1885, Cheltenham, Victoria reg#11472. Father Joseph Scott


Born: 1857 Brighton, Victoria
Died; 1923 Somerville, Victoria
DOCWRA- On the 25th July, at his residence,Somerville, Stephen, eldest son of the late Alfred and May Docwra, of Cheltenham, brother of Lizzie, James, May, Joseph, Harry, Dave, and Edie.
The Argus 27th July 1923

Born: 1866 Keysborough, Victoria reg#7231
DOCWRA.-On the 21st August at his residence Baxter, Harry beloved husband of the late Emily Alice Docwra and loved father of Edith, George, Annie and Ronald aged 68
years. (Private Interment ) -Sleeping peacefully.
The Argus 22nd August 1934

Mr. Henry Docwra, aged 68 years, died last Tuesday after a long illness. Mr Docwra had resided in this district for more than 40 years. He leaves two sons and two daughters to mourn their loss.
Frankston & Somerville Standard 25th August 1934

Born: 1864 Victoria reg#1379
Parents: Alfred Docwra & Mary Scott
Married: Sarah Maria Barrett
Died: 1941 Somerville, Victoria reg#22107
Buried: Frankston Cemetery

Mr. J. Docwra, of Baxter, is suffering from ptomaine poisoning and is seriously ill at his home, where he isunder the care of Dr. Bickart.
Frankston & Somerville Standard 21st September 1928

Miss Sara Barrett was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Mr. Joseph Docwra on 10th June. The marriage took place at the residence of the bride's parents, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. A. P. Macfarlane. The relatives of the bride were the only guests present. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a very handsome costume of brown velvet, trimmed with old gold silk, she also wore a wreath and veil.
Miss Amy Barrett, the only bridesmaid wore a pretty costume of pale pink nuns vailing, which formed a pretty contrast with the dress worn by the bride.
After the wedding, tea being served, the happy pair left for their new abode. The bride was made the recipient of many presents, which were both numerous and useful.
Mornington Standard 18th June 1896

DOCWRA -On November 22 at his residence Heathvale, Grants road Somerville, Joseph, dearly beloved husband of Sarah Maria, loved father of Sydney John, aged 78 years.
The Argus 24th November 1941

Mr Joseph Docwra, 78 years, died at his residence, "Heathvale," Grant's Road, Somerville, on Saturday last.
He was a resident of Somerville for over 50 years, and took a great interest in bird life. His wife and one son survive him. Although notice of the funeral was short, there was a representative attendance at the Frankston Cemetery on Sunday. Pall bearers were: Messrs. E. Barrett , W.Bond, J. Coxens, R. Docwra, A.Dicker, W. Scott, H. Hosking and W.Hicks. The coffin was carried by Messrs. S. J. Doowra, G. Docwra, M. De Bernardi and L. Parry.
A. Harris-read the burial service. The funeral was conducted by Hector Gamble.
Frankston Standard 28th November 1941

After residing for 45 years at
“Heath Vale", her pretty little home, Grant Road, Somerville, Mrs. Docwra has sold out and is going to reside with her son, Sydney J., and his wife. She will be greatly missed by her circle of friends, but all wish her good health and happiness.
Frankston Standard 27th February 1947

DOCWRA.-On October 15 at Somerville Sarah Maria Docwra beloved wife of the late Joseph loved mother of Sydney and John mother-in law of Marion Rose aged 81 years.
The Argus 17th October 1950

The marriage of Sydney J. Docwra, only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Docwra, of "Heath Vale," Somerville, to Marion Rose, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bond, of "Mimosa,"Pearcedale, took place, at the Presbyterian Church, Baxter, on Thursday, 12th October. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. S. A. Swan, assisted by Mr. W. E. Watkins. The bride, who was given away by her brother, was dressed in ivory crepe de chene, with wreath and yell that had been worn by the bride-groom's mother on her wedding day, and carried a beautiful shower bouquet. The bouquet was the work of Mr. Norman Westaway.
The bridesmaid Miss Ollie Wisken, was tastefully dressed in pink cashmere de soi, with hat to match. The bridegroom was supported by Mr. Jack Cozens as best man. As the bride left the church a lucky horseshoe was hung on her arm by little Clarice Parsons. The Wedding March was played by Miss Rodgers. The church was tastefully decorated by Mesdames Parriss, Hawken, Parsons, and other friends of the bride. After the ceremony a wedding tea was held at the brides mother's residence. The usual toasts were proposed and responded to and the happy couple leftby motor to spend their honeymoon at Upwey.
Frankston & Somerville Standard 25th October 1922

Sydney John Docwra died 1969 Baxter, Victoria, aged 71 years reg#15055. Parents Joseph Docwra & Sarah Maria Barrett


Married: James Parry 1893 Victoria reg#6782
Died: 1960 Prahran, Victoria, aged 90 years reg#30039

PARRY - DOCWRA -Mr. and Mrs. J. Parry, of 49 Donald street, Prahran, have pleasure in announcing the 50th anniversary of their wedding celebrated at Fitzroy, October 12, 1893.
The Argus 12th October 1943

Born: 1873, Cheltenham Victoria reg#8169
Died: 1873, Victoria, aged 2 months reg#3524
Burial: Cheltenham Pioneer, Public Burial Ground ,61*GCE*O, aged 10 weeks


Born: Abt. 1851
Married: Rebecca Elizabeth Tilley 1876, Victoria reg#2524
Died: 1889 Brighton, Victoria, aged 38 years reg#6249 Parents William Docwra and Sarah Kimpton Harradence.

DOCWRA.—On the 5th September, at her residence, 636 Hampton street, Brighton, Rebecca Elizabeth, relict of the late Joseph, loving mother Florence and Amy (Mrs. Dunlop), aged 82 years.
The Argus 6th September 1934.
Rebecca died 1934 reg#7727, Parents Thomas Tilley & Mary Woodham

DOCWRA. — On the 22nd November, 1936, at
154 Ketford road, Albert Park, Evelyn Amelia
the dearly loved wife of Stephen John Docwra
and loved daughter of Mr. and Mrs J. F.
O'Donnell, and loving sister of William, Louisa
(Mrs. Secombe), Angelina (Mrs. Graham)
Charles, Mary (Mrs Frey), Violet (Mrs. Clark)
Rosetta (deceased), Marjorie, George (de-
ceased), Herbert and lenin. aged 31 years.
— A patient sufferer at rest
DOCWRA (nee Evelyn O'Donnell). — On the
22nd November, at 154 Kerferd road, Albert
Park, Evelyn Amelia, dearly loved sister of
Mary and William Frey, and loved aunti of
John, Harold, and Raymond.
DOCWRA (nee Evelyn O'Donnell). — On the
22nd November, at 154 Kerferd road, Albert
Park, Evelyn Amelia, dearly loved sister of
Louisa and Redvers Secombe, and loved auntie
of Marjorie.
The Argus 23rd November 1936

Mr Jack Docwra, also of Somerville, a lad about 14 years old, was cutting
firewood When the axe slipped, and cut a
nasty gash in his foot. Both sufferers
were attended to by Dr Griffith, and are
progressing well.
Mornington Standard 12th August 1911

DOCWRA. - On September 2,
James of 50 Rose street West
Bunswick, loved father of Alf, Joe,
Edie, Steve, Pete and Vera aged
94 years. Peacefully sleeping
The Argus 3rd September 1951

DOCWRA.-On November 27, at her resi-
dence, 50 Rose street, West Brunswick,
Clementina, dearly loved wife of James, and
loving mother of Alf, Joe, Eddie, Steve, Pete,
and Vera (Mrs. Knighton), aged 76 years.
-Peacefully sleeping
The Argus 28th November 1942

On Wednesday morning, 26th ult., an old
resident of Cheltenham, Mrs. Docwra, of
Point Nepean-road, whilst dressing, was
seized with an attack of dizziness, which
caused her to fall and resulted iu her breaking
her left leg. Dr Scantlebury was called in
but, on account of her advanced age (75 yeara)
advised her removal to the Hospital.
Brighton Southern Cross 12th August 1899

Miss Sara Barrett was united in the
bonds of holy matrimony with Mr.
Joseph Docwra on 10th June. The
a marriage took place at the residence of
the bride's parents, the ceremony being
performed by the Rev. A. P. Mac-
farlane. The relatives of the bride
were the only guests present. The
bride, who was given away by her
father, wore a very handsome costume
of brown velvet, trimmed with old gold
silk, she also wore a wreath and veil.
Miss Amy Barrett, the only bridesmaid.
wore a pretty costume of pale pink nuns
vailing, which formed a pretty con-
trast with the dress worn by the bride.
After the wedding, tea being served,
the happy pair left for their new
abode. The bride was made the
be recipient of many presents, which were
both numerous and useful.
Mornington Standard 18th June 1896

BOND-On the 11th December at Baxter,
William, dearly beloved husband of Emily Bond
loving father of Alfred (Antwerp) Will (de
ceased late A.I F ) Ethel (Mrs Bodsworth of
Hampton) Charles (Pearcedale) Marion (Mrs
Docwra of Somerville) and Harry (deceased)
aged 79 years -At rest
The Argus 12th December 1939

by itellya on 2015-06-10 07:47:23

Hopefully,I have mentioned more Somerville pioneers than did "Victoria and its Metropolis: Past and Present". However the book did give detail about several and it's a good bet that their descendants have a copy of it,because such a purchase was apparently required in order to be included. In my journal,my main purpose was to indicate whose biographies were included, with a brief summary. I have added information from various sources.


by itellya on 2015-10-08 10:00:11


If the entry for Henry Gomm in VICTORIA AND ITS METROPOLIS in 1888 had not wrongly stated that he was born in 1839 and had come to Victoria in the same year, I would not have discovered the love story. There was a Henry Gomm at Rosebud in 1900 but not in 1915 and I wondered if they were one and the same. No Henry Gomm arrived in Victoria in 1839 and I wondered if Henry was a child of Henry Gomm who had been transported to Tassie in about 1836 and was trying to hide something. It turned out that Henry of Rosebud (and his brothers, William and Thomas) were sons of the convict and that these three were neighbours of Somerville Henry in the parish of Moorabbin and, later, on the peninsula. (As told in Graham Whitehead in TWO GOMM FAMILIES.)

Another neighbour of young Somerville Henry was Tommy Bent and they developed a life-long friendship that enabled Henry to ask three favours. 1. For the Somerville station to be across Jones Rd from "Glenhoya" when it should have been near Lower Somerville Rd (THE WAY WE WERE, Leila Shaw.) 2. To get the young station master, Graf, transferred to Ascot Vale Station to end his daughter's infatuation with him. 3. As Premier, to open the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Show.

By 1860 Henry and his father, George Gomm, had land at the north west corner of Balcombe and Charman Rds at Cheltenham, not far east of Church Rd, now Church St, where the Monks owned land. Henry spent several years getting "Glenhoya" ready for Margaret to occupy in 1866 and he would have made countless trips, living on roo meat for his first two years at Somerville. (Henry? Thornell at a smoke night in Henry's honour.)

One of Henry's sons was William Henry, known as Paddy, who married the daughter of William Firth and Ann (nee Scott, the first white child born at Somerville.)They had two sons, George and Billy. It was Murray Gomm, one of George's sons, who told me the story of Tommy Bent's second favour. Murray told me that Graf had been Somerville's first station master, and as he was regarded as the "old favourite" in 1907, this may well have been true. Henry's request backfired and his daughter threatened to join Graf at Ascot Vale. Here I must confess that I didn't overhear Henry's reply but I think the words in the title just might have escaped his lips.

Paddy and his brothers often had cause to go to the Newmarket Saleyards and they would have used those occasions to visit and assist the newlyweds. One article (most likely in a paper circulating in the Moorabbin area)that I have been unable to find but have used elsewhere, mentioned that the parents of the bride did not attend the Graf-Gomm wedding. Poor Margaret! No doubt Margaret slipped some of her housekeeping money to them to take. The reception after Paddy's wedding at Ascot Vale would have been organised during one of these occasions.

After Henry died, it was Paddy who extended the olive branch to the Grafs. Perhaps if Somerville had another Graf (like Syd Graf) about a month ago, they would have beaten Rosebud in the 2015 footy grand final as they did in 1949. Graf Rd is a reminder of this love story, as was the Somerville Cricket Club's function featuring Shaun Graf and Rodney Hogg.

Frankston Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1949) Thursday 15 September 1949 p 9 Article
Somerville's big men, Graf and Biggs, finally won the game for their team.

News & Events

Business Lunch - Hoggy & Graffy Nov 6th

Rodney Hogg & Shaun Graf at the Somerville Cricket Club.

When - Friday November 6th (from 12:00 noon)

Where - Somerville Cricket Club, Jones Road Somerville

Cost - $60 per head

5 Star meal, introductory wine, entertainment from Hoggy & Graffy, plenty of laughs & great conversation with the whole community.

To book tickets or for more information contact:

Peter Alp - 0412 683 245. (BE THERE OR BE SQUARE-itellya.)

People: Two Gomm Families

Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association. ANNUAL SHOW.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 19 March 1904 p 5 Article
The ceremony of declaring the show open was performed by the Premier,the Hon. Thos. Bent, who was the recipient of a most cordial welcome.

GRAF - GOMM- On the 11th August, at St. Mary's Star of the Sea, West Melbourne, by the Rev. Father Rennan, David John Graf, of Ascotvale (Victorian Railways), to Beatrice Ethel, youngest daughter of Mr. H. Gomm, "Glenhoya," Somerville.
(P.1, Argus, 20-9-1909.)

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 ofcream 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.)

Mr. G. Cummins, S.M,(station master) is at present on holiday, his place being taken up by an old favorite, Mr. Graf. The barrier at the station after a long lapse is again being proceeded with. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 7-12-1907.)

The wedding of Mr William Herbert (Paddy) Gomm, '"Glenhoya" Somerville, to Jean, eldest daughter of the late William Firth and Mrs Firth, "Orkney Farm", Somerville,
was quietly celebrated at St Auselm's Church of England, Middle Park, on
November 20th, the Rev A. P.McFarlane being the officiating clergyman. After the ceremony the party motored to the residence of Mrs J.D.Graf's "Arundel", Bloomfield road,Ascot Vale (sister of the bridegroom)where the wedding breakfast was partaken of, and a very enjoyable time was spent, the happy couple left later for a short honeymoon. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 4-12-1915.)

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 builder 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 guanas. 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 grandchildren 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 in France, whilst a grandson took part in "the landing" and fought for five 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.)

NOTICE is hereby given, that after the expiration of 34 days from the publication hereof, application will be made to the Supreme Court of the State of Victoria, In Its Probate jurisdiction, that PROBATE of the WILL dated the 23rd day of July, 1915 with the codicil thereto (dated 17th day of June, 1918) of MARGARET GOMM, late of Somerville, in the said State, deceased, be granted to John David Graf,of Bloomfield road, Ascotvale, in the said State, civil servant; Angelina May Gomm, of Somerville
aforesaid, spinster, and William Herbert Gomm,of Somerville aforesaid, orchardist, the executors named in and appointed by the said will.
Dated the 11th day of March, 1927.
WILLIAM CRAWFORD. Chancery House, 440 Little Collins street, Melbourne, solicitor for the applicants. (P.19, Argus, 11-3-1927.)

Interned while on a visit to Germany with her niece, Miss Graf, at the outbreak of war in September, the welfare of Miss A. M. Gomm, a well known resident of Somerville, is causing grave concern, particularly among relatives and her many friends. Miss Gomm, who is about 70 years of age, is the daughter of a pioneer of the Peninsula, her father having been one of the first landholders in the Somerville district. Her home is just outside the main shopping area at the Somerville township, where she is said to own the greater part of the property. Miss Gomm is now one of the oldest members of the very well known Gomm family living in Somerville and district. In company with Miss Graf, she left Australia early last year on a tour of Europe. They were unfortunate enough to be in Germany on a visit
to a relation, it is believed, at the outbreak of war. Both Miss Gomm and Miss Graf were immediately interned by the Nazi Government, together with many other Allied subjects. Since November the only news that has been received of them has come
from British subjects who have been released from German internment. It was stated through this source that on one occasion Miss Gomm, presumably on account of her age, had been permitted to leave the concentrationcamp and go to an hotel. She, how-
ever, refused to leave her niece, and returned to the camp. Absence of further news is causing considerable anxiety. Australian authorities have been in touch with the British Foreign Office, so far without result. The outbreak of active hostilities
during the past two days has given more cause for concern for the safety of the two women. (P.1, Standard, Frankston, 12-4-1940.)

GOMM, Angelina May, - On December 17, at 19 Bloomfield road,Ascotvale, dearly loved daughter of the late Henry and Margaret Gomm,of Glenhoya, Somerville, and loved
sister of George (deceased), Harry (W.A.,) Min (Mrs Shepherd), Fan(Mrs Coate, deceased) Jess (Mrs Devlin), Ted, Bert, and Beatrice (Mrs Graf, deceased), aged 83
years - R. I. P. (P.15, Argus, 18-12-1952.)

Shaun Graf
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shaun Graf
Personal information
Full name Shaun Francis Graf
Born 30 December 1959 (age 55)
Melbourne, Australia
Batting style Right-handed batsman
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Role Fast bowler
International information
National side
ODI debut (cap 62) 23 November 1980 v New Zealand
Last ODI 24 November 1981 v West Indies
Domestic team information
Years Team
1979–1983, 1985 Victoria
1980 Hampshire
1983–1984 Western Australia
Career statistics
Competition ODI FC LA
Matches 11 55 41
Runs scored 24 1559 300
Batting average 4.00 25.14 15.00
100s/50s 0/0 1/8 –/–
Top score 8 100* 37*
Balls bowled 522 9220 2033
Wickets 8 124 51
Bowling average 43.12 33.91 25.58
5 wickets in innings 0 1 0
10 wickets in match n/a 0 n/a
Best bowling 2/23 5/95 4/15
Catches/stumpings 1/– 30/– 7/–
Source: Cricinfo, 26 February 2013
Shaun Francis Graf (born 19 May 1957 in Somerville, Victoria, Australia) is a former Australian cricketer who played 11 One Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia in the early 1980s as an all-rounder. He represented Western Australia as well as his native Victoria in the Sheffield Shield and also played county cricket for Hampshire.

Life Members - Somerville Cricket Club
Ian Dennett, Shane O'Connell. William McMahon, Ashley White. Andrew Doherty, Lorraine Burt. Shaun Graf, Gary Spencer. Geoff Burt.

by itellya on 2015-10-08 10:10:04

Paddy Gomm was William HERBERT, not William Henry.

by itellya on 2016-06-29 09:18:01

Today, I read the Mornington News 28-6-2016 issue and in "100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK on page 52 read this. The young student, Sidney (sic?*)J.Doewra (sic!), of "Heath Vale" Somerville, has been very successful in his examinations and has gained his certificate for electrical engineering, from "Scotts College" Melbourne. (From the pages of the Mornington Standard, 1 July, 1916.)

I was going to add the property name but found that I already had it in the journal so I let my curiosity run wild. I found this.

A BARGAIN.-FARM, 152 acres, l8 miles from Melbourne, near Dandenong, fenced and other improvements. Title Crown grant -Suitable for dairy. Apply Mr. Alfred Docwra, near Mr. Corrigan's, Old Dandenong-road.
(P.8, Argus, 31-12-1869.)

Alfred had married Mary Scott in 1852 at St James Old Cathedral, Melbourne. Charles, apparently their first child, was born at Moorabbin (parish of, north of the parish of Mordialloc)and Alfred would probably pick up his mail at the Brighton post office.
(Events in the Past: Pioneer Settlers - City of Kingston Historical Website

By the time Harry was "Born in Dandenong Road Keysborough, Victoria, Australia on 1867 to Alfred Docwra and Mary Scott", the family would have been on the land Alfred was selling in 1869.

I knew the Keys family was prominent at the junction of the parishes of Lyndhurst and Mordialloc (in which Alfred Docwra was not a grantee.) The present Old Dandenong Rd runs between Melway 78 D4 and 8 H8. I googled DANDENONG, COUNTY OF BOURKE to get the Dandenong parish map. Once again, Alfred Docwra was not shown as a grantee, but crown allotment 25C consisted of 152 acres and adjoined T.Corrigan's c/a 24D, being across Corrigans Rd (a government road reserved in the subdivision of the parish by the crown)
extending east 800 metres to the east side of Finisterre Drive and north 760 metres to a line indicated by the Turramurra Drive/Wingala Avenue corner. (Roughly Melway 89 C-E8)

The start of Old Dandenong road has been obliterated by grid-type subdivisions north of 78 D5 but it's fairly obvious that from 8 H8 it headed due east along the present Cheltenham-Dandenong Rd. Just when I was about to state with certainty that the only 152 acre lot "near Mr. Corrigan's, Old Dandenong road" was M.O'Sullivan's c/a 25, described above, I checked whether there were any other crown allotments of 152 acres that could be described as being on old Dandenong Rd. There was one, also adjoining T.Corrigan's c/a 24 D, but on the west side. It was c/a 24C granted to W.Hardy. It went north from the Cheltenham/Springvale Rd corner to a point opposite the Westall Rd extension on-ramp and east to the west border of Melway map 89, the north east corner being at the north end of Colchester Court.

To show in the DOCWRA FAMILY HISTORY where Alfred Docwra was living before he went to the Somerville district, researchers would need to ask the titles office staff to check both crown allotments,W.Hardy's 24C and M.O'Sullivan's 25C to see which one Alfred Docwra had bought in its entirety. If they would like to have a copy of Melway maps with Alfred's land at Keyborough and near Somerville (and Baxter) transposed, text DOCWRA and your landline number and name to 0490 253 134.

Nobody seems to know the names of Alfred's parents. I wonder if he was related to Thomas Docwra, the world's greatest authority at the time of boring wells to obtain artesian water. A member of the Docwra family showed proficiency at the same business at Horsham and RED HILL*.
(*MY RED HILL RESEARCH SHOWED THAT THERE WERE PLACES CALLED RED HILL EVERYWHERE, ESPECIALLY IN GOLD MINING AREAS. It would be good to find that it was Red Hill near Dromana. It might show why young Sydney J.Docwra had such practical intelligence.

by itellya on 2020-06-30 02:35:25

As I'd never seen his christian name given
I think that I can be forgiven
When of the Doc there was talk
For assuming he was a native of New York*.

On Saturday evening at the usual meeting of the Leisure Hour Club a spelling bee was introduced as a novelty, and proved most popular and attractive, eighteen competitors being on the platform. The hall was filled with an audience who (sic) were highly amused.
The interrogator asked mostly simple Anglo-Saxon words, but a few catchy ones were thrown in, such as bluish and irresistible, characteristic and others of "a mountain range" nature, The gentleman who was asked to spell the last word referred to omitted about six inches of letters, and bluish and irresistible proved fatal to a lady and gentleman ; the competition ultimately narrowed down to two ladies and one gentleman, Mrs Taylor securing first prize,Mrs Davies second, and Mr Frank Shepherd third.
An invitation to the spelling bee was recited by Dr. Griffith, as follows:
A B, or not a B ! Why raise a question ?
" Bees" provoke laughter: laughter aids digestion;
From good digestion we derive that health,
Without which what avails the miser's wealth ?
Then let the hum resound
The pleasant country round.
From Hastings shore to Mount Elija's Hill;
Come ye in swarms! Our Mechanics' Hall to fill,
Come ye who ply the spray and pruning knife,
And war incessantly with Insect Life;
Young men and maidens pour forth from your dwelling
To take part in the tournament of spelling;
Not there to stumble over" myrrh" and "manna,"
"Diachylon,' or." 'Ipecacuanha; "
That we have outvied ".Watt's Busy Bee,"
Keeping before the mind's eye every name,
So deeply 'graven on the Scroll of Fame.
Jones*-the pioneer-whose death has left a blank
The grave, sincere, outspoken Thomas Unthank.
Let these and others of the noble dead
Who o'er our neighbourhood a lustre shed
Prove an incentive--nay, invoke a spell,
That there may be no mis-spelt syllable.
(P. 2, Mornington Standard, 14-3-1908.)
*Alfred Jones, who established Almond Bush Stud) a native of London who went to Canada with his parents at the age of 12 and was one of the Canadians who gave Canadian Bay its name. Lance Hodgins of Hastings Historical Society is a descendant of one of the others.

James De Burg * GRIFFITH
ReligionChurch of England OccupationMedical practitioner AddressSomerville, Victoria Marital statusSingle Age at embarkation62 Next of kinMother, Mrs H Griffith, Danby Lodge, Somerville, Victoria Enlistment date29 December 1915 Rank on enlistmentMajor Unit nameMedical Officers Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A53 Itria on 9 February 1915 Rank from Nominal RollMajor Unit from Nominal RollAustralian Army Medical Corps FateReturned to Australia 13 March 1916

Dr Griffiths, of Somerville, notifies that he has again returned from active service, and has resumed practice at his residence.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 1-4-1916.)

The Late Mrs Griffith
A Life of Nearly One Hundred Years Terminates
Mrs Hannah Rose Griffith, who
passed away after a brief illness on
the 10th inst at "Danby Lodge,"
Somerville, was born nearly a century
ago at Bangor, Wales. She was one
of six daughters of the late James
Courtney Cottingham. She had two
brothers, one being Judge James
Cottingham, of Manchester, and the
other, Christopher Cottingham, the
Editor of the "Mercantile & Ship-
ping Gazette," London, whilst her
cousins were Sir Hercules Robinson
(later Earl Rosemead) and Sir Willi-
am Robinson, Governor of N.S.W and
later of Victoria. Her early life was
spent in Dublin. She was tutored
with her friend, Lady Ann Fitzger-
ald*, at the Duchess of Leinster's
home. She was both accomplished
and fascinating, and for some time
was considered to be one of the belles
of Dublin. She was married in 1848
at St George's, Dublin, to Arthur
Hill Griffith, a leading solicitor in
Dublin, who was a scion of the anci-
ent Griffith family of Penrhyn, Wales,
and 30 years her senior. Subsequent
to this—his second marriage Mr
Griffith took up a country estate at
Gortmore, County Westmeath, and it
was here that all the family, consist-
ing of nine sons and two daughters,
were born. In 1870, Mr Griffith de-
cided to come to the Antipodes, whi-
ther his brother, Hon Charles Griffith
(a member of the first Victorian Le-
gislative Council) and his cousins,
Molesworth Green* and the Very Rev.
Hussey Burgh Macartney, D.D (first
Dean of Melbourne) had preceded
him. Mrs Griffith accompanied him,
with nine members of the family, the
eldest, James de Burgh, remaining at
Trinity College, Dublin, to complete
his medical course ; another son,
Walter Hussey, being already settled
in New Zealand, where the family
arrived after a passage of six months.
Subsequently the family settled in
Victoria, and Melbourne became their
home. Here the family grew up and
entered their several professions.
Two became doctors, Dr J. de B.
Griffith, of Somerville, and Dr C. A.
Griffith, of Berwick ; another, Hon
Arthur Griffith, took up politics, and
became Minister of Education in New
South Wales ; the others entered va-
rious banks. Few of the family,
however, married. The number of
grandchildren (viz, 11) was exactly
that of her family, whilst the great
grandchildren numbered twelve. Mrs
Griffith was widowed in 1882, and she
finally decided to live with her eldest
son, Dr J. de B. Griffith, keeping
house for him until the time of her
death. For some years, Dr Griffith
practised in Carlton, from where he
went as Medical Officer of the famous
Bushmen's Contingent to the South
African War. On his return from a
subsequent visit to England, he, in
1906, settled in Somerville, where the
home was later totally destroyed by
fire but rebuilt.
The late Mrs Griffith had lived un-
der five Sovereigns, viz:—George IV,
William IV, Victoria, Edward VII,
and George V. She possessed almost
up to the hour of her death wonder-
ful powers of both mind and body,
and until her last brief illness—the
only serious one through life—was
remarkably active and energetic. She
was at all times interesting, kind
hearted and generous to a fault. Be-
ing of a deeply religious nature, she
possessed a calm, sure faith in things
eternal, and of later years was ever
prepared for and joyfully anticipated
her death, which was truly the end of
a long journey. She died quietly and
peacefully of asthma of the heart and
was laid to rest in the Frankston Ce-
metery on Tuesday last, several of
her sons and grandsons being present
as mourners, and quite a number of
friends to pay their last respects to
her memory. The solemn service of
the Church of England was impres-
sively read by a grandson of the de-
ceased, the Rev. Maurice de Burgh
Griffith, M.A., B.D. who conducted a
short service at the house before lea-
ving. The Rev. A. P. McFarlane ass-
isted in the service at the graveside ;
also speaking a few words eulogistic
of the deceased lady, whom he had
known for a number of years. The
coffin was of polished oak and was co-
vered with floral tributes from rela-
tives and friends. (P.3, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 15-7-1921.)

*Victoria's constitution was drafted by two cousins, the Colonial Secretary John Fitzgerald Leslie Foster and William Stawell. The latter married a daughter of William Green (father of Molesworth Green) who in 1843 established Woodlands (immediately north east of Melbourne Airport)in whose homestead Lady Stawell's diary is hopefully still displayed. Foster, unfairly blamed for the Eureka Stockade,returned home, changing his surname to FITZGERALD in order to inherit an estate.If Hannah Rose was related to Molesworth Green she must also have been related in some way to her friend Lady Fitzgerald.

GRIFFITH James De Burgh, Death
father:GRIFFITH Arthur Hill
place of death:MALVERN
78, 1929, 10506/1929

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