The Family of John Saunders Wright and
Sarah Bodger

(last updated: 1 December 2015)

John Saunders Wright and Sarah Bodger in Australia Life and times

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Amy Bridget Wright (1864-1932)

Life and times

Born at Carngham Amy married William Anthony Chibnall (1859-1936) at Carngham in 1883. According to the 'Brown-Patterson-Calder-Glover-Chibnall-Stewart' Family Tree on Ancestry, William's parents were William Henry Chibnall (1829-1904) and Elizabeth Rose (1819-95) who were married at Islington in London in 1850 and came to Australia two years later, landing at Point Henry near Geelong. They had two children in addition to William: Caroline Ann (1850-1927) and Arthur Frederick Chibnall (1855-1918). Although still to be confirmed, we think William senior, who was then working as a carter, was the licensee of the Swan Hotel at Carngham and the United States Hotel at Preston Hill (where Amy and William Anthony's first son, Walter Henry Chibnall, was born in 1885).

Their remaining children - William Anthony jnr, Alice Mary, Cecil Claude Charles and Pearl Amy Chibnall - were all born at Carngham where William senior worked as a cook. Sadly William Anthony jnr and Cecil died there as infants and are buried in the Carngham cemetery. In around 1909 William and Amy moved to Beaufort where their two daughters were married (see below). As reported in the Melbourne Argus on Wednesday 10 August 1932: 'Mrs Amy Chibnall, wife of Mr A. Chibnall, died at Beaufort aged 68 years. She was a native of Carngham, and a resident of Beaufort for 20 years. She leaves a widower and two daughters'. Amy's husband, William Anthony Chibnall, died at Carngham four years later. One of their descendants, Helen Bretherton, sent us the following obituary for Amy (which we think was published in the Riponshire Advocate:

An old and highly respected resident of Beaufort, Mrs Amy Chibnall; wife of Mr William A. Chibnall, died on Friday. The deceased, who was of a kindly disposition, was respected by all with whom she came in contact. She was a native of Carngham, and was married in that town when 19 years of age, and removed to Beaufort some 23 years ago. Mrs Chibnall had a family of three sons and two daughters; one son Cpl Walter H. Chibnall making the supreme sacrifice in the Great War. She leaves a husband and two daughters (Mrs J. T. Glover, of Beaufort, and Mrs Les Miles, of Rupanyup), to mourn their loss. On Saturday afternoon the remains of the deceased were interred in their last resting place in the Carngham cemetery. The funeral was largely attended by many old friends of deceased, and upon arriving at the cemetery was met by a number of Carngham residents. The coffin which was covered by many beautiful floral tributes of sympathy (including a beautiful wreath from the Mothers Guild, of which deceased's daughter, Mrs J. T. Glover, is an active member) was borne to the grave by Messrs J. T. Glover (son-in-law), W. Cheeseman (nephew), and R. G. Dooley. The chief mourners were the above named gentlemen, in company with Mr W. Chibnall (husband), Mesdames J. T. Glover and Les Miles (daughters), Mesdames M. Dames, G. Krick and W. Woods (sisters), Mr C. Wright (brother), Mesdames A. and Alfred Chibnall (sisters-in-law), Mrs M. Chibnall (daughter-in-law), and Mesdames Barrett and E. Malpass (nieces). An impressive service was conducted at the house by the Reverend J. P. McDougall, of Beaufort, whilst the service at the graveside was read by Rev. G. Elliott, of the Presbyterian Church.

amy bridget wright alice and amy glover in 1917 amy chibnall

Amy Bridget Chibnall nee Wright, her two daughters Alice Mary and Pearl Amy Chibnall taken at Carngham in 1917,
and Amy Chibnall not long before her death in 1932.

Children and descendants

1. Walter Henry Chibnall (1885-1917)

walter and Willie ChibnallBorn at Carngham, Walter worked as a labourer and miner both at Carngham and neighbouring Snake Valley. He married Margaret Marion ('Molly') Dooley (1883-1963) at Ballarat in 1910. The 'Smith (Kellieanne_Art)' Family Tree on Ancestry tells us Margaret's parents were James Edward Dooley, who hailed from Limerick in Ireland, and Marion Currie (1862-1930) who were married in Victoria in 1876 and had nine children. These included a Thomas Beresford Dooley who would serve in the 3rd Tunnelling Company of the Australian Mining Corps during the First World War (see below).

At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Walter and Molly were living at Beaufort with their two year-old son, William Beresford Chibnall (pictured with his father on the left - they would have a daughter, Margaret Joan Chibnall, in 1916). Approaching his 30th year, Walter had seen a bit of the country, was still playing serviceable football for the local team against Trawalla and other competitors and was a valuable member of the Beaufort Fire Brigade. As a married man with a young son surrounded by numerous family members and friends, he was, presumably, enjoying a stable and happy period of his life. This was about to change. As reported in the Ballarat Courier on 6 March 1916, Walter and 27 others attending a recruiting meeting at Snake Valley were 'persuaded' by the Ripon Shire recruiting officer, Sergeant G. Smith, to enlist in the 1st AIF. The newspaper report went on to say that: 'the majority of these men will go into camp at Ballarat. There is good reason to hope that 30 recruits will be in readiness to take the place of those at present in training at Beaufort when their first month of soldiering has ended ... From Beaufort and its immediate district', the report continued, '113 volunteers have come forward in the past six weeks. Following are the names of the latest volunteers: Messes C. R. Pitcher, E. R. Deans, C. Callender, J. G. Cook, W. H. Chibnall, W.d. Forster, F. Haig, H. McCracken, R. H. Scurrie, M. Meehan, Leo P. Newey, T. F. Grantley, F. Fox and W. Gordon'.

Walter's military file shows he enlisted at Beaufort on the 15th of March and underwent his initial training at Ballarat. He was allocated to the 39th Infantry Battalion and embarked from Melbourne with the 1st Reinforcements for that unit on the HMAT ASCANIUS on 27 May 1916. Also on the ship was a cousin of Walter's from Carngham, LCpl (later Lieutenant) William Charles Cheeseman, who would serve as one of Walter's sergeants in France and Belgium. Walter and the other reinforcements on the ASCANIUS disembarked at Plymouth in England on 18 July 1916 and travelled on to Lark Hill on England's Salisbury Plain to undergo initial unit training.

We know from a copy of a letter supplied to us by Helen Bretherton, which was written to Amy by her cousin Frederick Ainsworth Bodger from Chelsea in London on 2 October 1916, that Walter was contacted by his English relatives while he was undergoing training on the Salisbury Plain. Fred told his 'dear cousin' he had written to Walter and 'got a reply, but unfortunately just missed his leave so did not see him, but he promises to call when he can get another holiday'. Fred added that his younger brother Bert Bodger, who had enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force about the same time as Walter and was training at the same camp, 'has looked him up and had a yarn, the boys seem to feel the change of climate very much and unfortunately we have had a very poor summer so cold and wet'.

While at Lark Hill Walter was transferred to William Cheeseman's unit, the 10th Light Trench Mortar Battery, and subsequently left England for France with the Battery on 22 November 1916. He participated in the Battle of Messines in June 1917 where a local boy in Walter's unit, Pte Archie Carmichael, and three other were killed by shell burst over their mortar position. After attending a Field Gas School run by the the 3rd Australian Division, Walter was promoted to Corporal on 15 September 1917. On the 12th October 1917 he was posted as missing in action during the Battle for Passchendaele in the Ypres sector of Belgium. According to newspaper reports of the time, Walter's wife and family in Beaufort were informed by the Defence Department in Melbourne on 29 November that Walter had been missing since 10 October 1917. Four months later Molly was visited by her local minister, the Reverend A. H. Ross, who informed her that Walter had now been officially reported to have been killed in action on 12 October 1917. As the report of this news in the Riponshire Advocate alluded, this latest development came as a considerable shock to Margaret and the Chibnall family 'who were still hoping he was alive'.

This unexpected and unwanted news prompted Molly, no doubt advised by Reverend Ross, to write to the Base Records Office on 15 June seeking clarification of exactly what happened to her husband: 'does it mean he was brought in amongst the killed and buried or just buried by a shell. I have got such a lot of different tidings from the boys of the 10th ALMTB [sic] but all of them say no trace can be found of him or his mate Gunner Bryant'. Like many in her situation, Molly ended her heart-felt letter by declaring 'I still hope and pray he is still alive but your letter to me sounds final. Could you give me the details trusting in my [indecipherable] I am not putting you to too much trouble'. In a reply penned the following week, the officer in charge of Base Records informed the grieving widow that 'the information conveyed to all that is known at this office. He was presumably buried by some of his comrades, but if you desire to make further enquiries you are advised to communicate with the Director of Graves Registration & Enquiries' in London.

We don't know if Molly followed this advice. Like thousands of others across the country, the family did write to the Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau run by the Australian Red Cross Society in London seeking answers to questions the Army and the Government, with its myriad of resources, were unable or unwilling to answer. Its records indicate the Bureau had also been requested to look into Walter's circumstances by Molly's brother, Sapper J. B. Dooley then of the 2nd Tunnelling Company, who had been in hospital at Brighton and was recuperating at Weymouth while waiting for a ship back to Australia. The Bureau's inquiries, conducted over the first half of 1918, yielded a number of witness statements that confirmed Walter and his colleague Private Bryant were killed when a high explosive shell landed in the shell hole in which they were sheltering near the village of Passendaele on the 12th October 1917. Most of the witnesses, who included the boy's colleagues and section commander Lieutenant G. S. Browne, were unable to say, however, whether the two men were buried in situ as the unit had been forced to withdraw from the area not long after they were killed. As the following letter written to the Bureau from France on 13 February 1918 indicates, William Cheeseman who then commanded the 10th Light Trench Mortar Battery, had also made extensive inquiries about his cousin:

Re 1626 W. H. Chibnall. We went to Passchendaele near Ypres on 12.10.17 and after that battle he failed to answer the roll call and it is my belief that Corporal W. H. Chibnall was killed by a shell for he and another of our men were together when last seen and neither of them answered the roll call, the other boys name was Bryant. I made inquiries through the dressing stations but they said nobody of those names passed through their hands, for I made all sorts of inquiries about Chibnall as he is my first cousin and I got as many particulars as I could so I could write and tell his wife, for she lives quite close to my wife, so you can see that I went fully into it. And that is my firm belief he was killed. I am putting in one of his photos for his persanal appearance, but that is all the information I can give you.

william beresford chibnallWalter's death was subsequently reported in the local newspapers and mentioned in a letter written by a Private E. J. Deans (who had volunteered at the same time as Walter) and published in the Riponshire Advocate on the 27th of April 1918. On 12 October the same year, Molly and other members of Walter's family published 'In Memorium' messages in the same newspaper. But doubts and hope continued to linger. On the 17th June 1919, Walter's father wrote to the Base Records Office asking if there were any cases of still unidentified soldiers. The sentiment in William's letter was clearly evident even though his meaning might appear somewhat vague especially to much later readers. Not so to the person who drafted the reply to William's letter in which it was stated 'there appears no reason to doubt the authenticity of the report that [Walter] was killed in action in Belgium on 12/10/17' and the branch was unaware 'of any soldiers whose identity has not been established'. William, clearly, was far from alone in hoping for an ever-diminishing miracle.

As time passed, the family had to come to terms with the awful reality that Walter would not be returning, a reality that would be continually reinforced by the receipt of further correspondence from the authorities and such events as the ending of the War, which engendered wild celebrations across the country, and the erection of local monuments dedicated to those who had served and died. The electoral rolls indicate that Molly did not re-marry and continued to live in the district with her two children, initially with her in-laws at Beaufort, and, later at Lake Goldsmith (where a Richard George Dooley, miner, also resided). She does not appear in the rolls after 1943 even though Ancestry's index of Australian bdms shows she died at Eildon in Victoria in 1963.

In addition to losing her husband at an early age, the redoubtable Molly also outlived her two children by some 20 years. Her and Walter's son, William Beresford ('Billy') Chibnall (pictured on the right around the age of 18), grew up in Beaufort. The Australian electoral rolls have him living at Parkville in Melbourne from 1935 to 1943 where he was described as a student. The entry for 1943 is incorrect as, according to the Department of Repatriation's World War II Nominal Roll, he enlisted in the Army at Royal Park in Melbourne on 24 February 1941 and was assigned to the 2/21 Australian Infantry Battalion. The battalion was part of the 23rd Brigade of the 8th Australian Division and was made up of a mixture of Melbournians and men from country Victoria. Prior to William's enlistment the battalion had been relocated to Bonegilla near Wodonga. From March the same year it began to be deployed to Darwin where it was earmarked to reinforce Dutch troops on the island of Ambon in the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) in the event of a Japanese attack.

In December 1942 the battalion together with the 18th Anti-Tank Battery, 2/11th Field Company, 2/12the Field Ambulance and a number of other supporting units - which together formed so-called 'Gull Force' - began to be deployed to Ambon. Crucially Gull Force had little artillery and air support assets as well as limited reserves of ammunition and other supplies. From the 6th January onwards, the allied forces on Ambon were constantly attacked by Japanese aircraft. On the evening of 30 January three battalions of Japanese infantry and a battalion of marines landed on the northern and southern coast and began moving towards the airfield at Laha. Intervening Dutch and Australian outposts were swept aside and the main Australian forces around Laha airfield were surrounded and forced to surrender on the 2nd February. They were imprisoned in their former barracks at Tan Tui where, for several weeks after the surrender, allied troops were selected at random by the Japanese authorities and summarily executed, allegedly in retaliation for the earlier sinking of a Japanese minesweeper in the Bay of Ambon. It seems that Billy Chibnall was one of the more than 300 Dutch and Australian troops that were executed. He has no known grave but is memorialised on Ambon Memorial which is located in the Ambon War Cemetery (known locally as the Australian cemetery) on the opposite side of Ambon Bay to the airport.

Billy's sister, Dorothy Joan Chibnall, also gravitated to Melbourne where, in 1941, she married John David Hughes. The Department of Repatriation's WWII Nominal Roll shows NX90447 L/Cpl John David Hughes, was born in Melbourne on 14 April 1912 and was living at Lake Goldsmith in Victoria, when he enlisted in the 2nd AIF at Paddington in Sydney on 26 February 1942. He was discharged from the Army on 27 March 1944 while serving with the 1st Machine Gun Training Battalion. As the following death notices published in the Melbourne Argus indicate, Joan died in Melbourne on 30 May 1944. 'HUGHES - On 30 May, Margaret Joan beloved wife of John David Hughes, of 21a William Street Abbotsford, and fond mother of Paddy' (31 may 1944). 'HUGHES - In grief and affection for our beloved Joan Hughes (nee Chibnall) who died suddenly May 30 1944. From her aunt Alice Glover, and cousins Jean Amy, Margaret and Kathleen' (30 May 1945). Gail Gibson's 'Leslie Miles' family tree on Ancestry tells us that Margaret and John had one daughter who married Leo Doyle (1939-2005) and had five children. In spite of the trials and tribulations Molly went through, her and Walter's blood lives on.

molly chibnall & family

From Gail Gibson's 'Les Miles family Tree' on Ancestry, this photo shows (from L/R): Molly Chibnall nee Dooley,
Bob Miles, Alice Glover nee Chibnall, Pearl Miles nee Chibnall and Doug Miles.

2. Alice Mary Chibnall (1889-1978)

Born at Carngham in 1889, Alice married John Thompson Glover (1880-1937) there in 1913. According to the 'Brown Family Tree' on Ancestry, John's parents were John Glover (1824-97) and Jean Howitt Buchanan (1845-1901) who were born respectively at Tinmald and Kilmarnock in Scotland and were married at Ballarat in 1866. Their second youngest son, John Glover junior, was working as a malster and living with his siblings at 5 Ascot Street in North Ballarat when, on 22 April 1902, he enlisted in the Australian Army to fight against the Boers in South Africa. John's attestation papers showed him to be 5 foot 9 inches tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was allocated to the No 3 (Ballarat) Troop of the 3rd Squadron of the 6th Battalion of the Australian Commonwealth Horse (ACH). Serving in the No 4 (Sale) Troop of A Squadron was John's future brother-in-law, Alfred William Cheeseman, who hailed from nearby Beaufort.

Raised during the Second Boer War the Australian Commonwealth Horse was a mounted infantry unit and the first expeditionary military force to be established by the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia. More than 4,400 men enlisted in the ACH, with individual troops and squadrons raised in different states and then combined to form eight battalions. The 1st Battalion of the ACH arrived in Durban in March 1902. It and the 2nd Battalion conducted patrols against the Boers during the last great battles that ultimately ended the war. The 3rd and 4th Battalions arrived too late to see any action. When peace peace was declared on 31 May 1902, the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions were still at sea en route for South Africa. Although the ACH lost no soldiers in action, 28 men died from illness. We don't know if John immediately returned to Australia with his unit or, like Alfred Cheeseman, remained in South Africa for a period after the war.

The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage Alice and John lived at Beaufort where John and his younger brother, William Rodger Glover, worked as bakers. As reported in the Riponshire Advocate in August 1915 he and Alice held a reception at their home to celebrate the marriage of John's sister, Elizabeth Agnes Glover, to a Beaufort-born Melbourne man, Alfred John Saph at the local St Andrew's Church of England. The bride was given away by their older brother David Glover who was then living in Melbourne. By 1936 John and Alice and their four children (see below) had moved from Beaufort to Ballarat where John died the following year. Alice relocated to Melbourne sometime between 1942 and 1949 (the election roll for the latter year has her and her daughters, Kathleen Agnes and Margaret Pearl Glover, living at 67 Queensberry Street in Carlton). Alice remained in Melbourne until her death at Glen Waverley in 1978. As described below, we believe she and John had four children: Alice Jean, Amy Carolyn, Kathleen Agnes and Margaret Pearl Glover.

john thompson glover alice mary chibnall wedding alice mary chibnall 1952

John Thompson Glover in uniform prior to leaving for South Africa, John and Alice's wedding and Alice Mary Glover nee Chibnall in Melbourne in 1952.

2.1) Alice Jean Glover (1914-91). Jean attended Ballarat High School where she achieved first place in the Victorian Shakespeare's Society's Examination in 1929. In 1932 she was awarded a residential scholarship to attend the Janet Clarke Hall at Melbourne University where, in 1934, she obtained a BA (Honours) degree, majoring in English Language and Literature. She was awarded a Diploma of Education from the Teachers College there in 1935. Jean taught at the secondary school level in Bright in country Victoria and in Melbourne before marrying Stuart Paterson Brown (1916-95) at the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick in 1941.

The 'Brown Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us Stuart was a Melbourne boy, son of Francis Paterson Brown (1888-1928) and Edith Matilda Calder (1888-1965). The Department of Veterans Affairs' Second World War nominal roll shows that Stuart enlisted in the Australian Army at East Melbourne on 2 November 1941 and was discharged on 31 July 1945 as a Staff Sergeant in the Field Security Section. Records in the Australian War Memorial state he was mentioned in dispatches for service in the Southwest Pacific. The Australian electoral rolls indicate he served as a journalist in the Army and, together with Jean, was living in Melbourne in 1943. They were at 80 Clowes St in South Yarra in 1949 and 12 Mosman Drive in Ivanhoe in 1954 and 1963 (the roll for the latter year has an Edith Matilda Brown registered at the same address). By then Jean was teaching again. After living for a time in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy they moved to Williamstown in the mid-1970s (the electoral roll has a Francis John Brown, an assistant manager, living at the same address in Williamstown in 1977). Jean died at Williamstown in 1991. Stuart died there four years later. According to the 'Brown Family Tree', they had two children: Ian Stuart Brown (1949-2003) and one other.

2.2) Amy Caroline Glover (1916-58). Born at Beaufort, Amy married Clarence Sydney Cuttriss (1914-96) in 1941. The Department of Veterans' Affairs Second World War Nominal Roll shows that V66675 Clarence Sydney Cuttriss, who was born at Geelong on 16 November 1914, enlisted in the Australian Army at Prahran in Melbourne Victoria on 11 March 1941. His NOK was given as W. Cuttriss. He was discharged on 29 January 1942 and had been serving as a private soldier in the 14th Infantry Battalion. The 1943 electoral roll shows Amy Caroline and Clarence Sydney Cuttriss, no occupation, at 23 Clarendon St in Melbourne. In 1949 and 1954 they were registered as living at 11/305 Dandenong Road in Armidale. Clarence was then working as a gardener. Amy died from a brain tumor in 1958. According to the 'Brown-Paterson-Calder-Glover-Chibnall-Stewart' Family Tree on Ancestry, she and Clarence had one child (presumably Graeme William Cuttriss - see below).

The 1963 electoral roll shows Clarence Sydney Cutriss, a caretaker, living at 7 Egan Street in Elsternwick with a Clarice Edith Cutriss, presser. They were still there at the time of the 1968 election together with a Graeme William Cuttriss, motor mechanic. Only Clarence and Clarice were there at the time of the 1972 and 1977 elections (the 1972 roll shows Graeme William, salesman, and Jenene Grace Cuttriss, typist, living at 8/30 Finlayson Street Malvern. They were both at 6 Walter Street in Mitcham in 1977 and 1980). The Australian Cemeteries Index shows that a Clarence Sydney Cuttriss was buried at Enfield Memorial Park in South Australia. His death date was given as 21 July 1996. Buried next to him is Clarice Edith Cuttriss who had died on 16 October 1989.

2.3) Kathleen Agnes ('Katie') Glover (1928-2011). Born at Ballarat, Katie was living with her parents in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton at the time of the 1949 election and working as a telephonist. She married Alan Roderick Barty (1928-27) sometime between then and 1954. Alan was born in the southern Mallee town of Beulah and moved with his parents, Albert Roderick Barty (1892-1946) and Anne Elizabeth Billingham (1895-1981), to Wonthaggi in the Gippsland region of the state. In 1946 he signed on as an airman in the Royal Australian Air Force. He seems to have continued to serve in the RAAF until at least 1980. The Australian electoral rolls show that during most of this time Alan and Katie were registered as living at the home of Katie's mother in Glen Waverley. According to the 'Leslie Miles' Family Tree on Ancestry, they had two children. Alan died at Maryborough in central Victoria in 1997 and Katie at Cranbourne outside Melbourne in 2011.

2.4) Margaret Pearl Glover. We know little about Margaret beyond the fact she worked in the 'boot trade' and lived with her mother until the latter's death at Glen Waverley in Melbourne in 1978.

alice jean glover 1934 alice jean glover in 1979 kathleen agnes glover

From L/R: Alice Jean Glover after graduating from Melbourne University in 1934, Alice in 1979, and Kathleen Agnes Glover.

pearl amy chibnall 19113. Pearl Amy Chibnall (1893-1978)

At around 16 years of age Pearl, together with her parents and surviving siblings, moved from Carngham to the township of Beaufort where she quickly became enmeshed in the local social scene (Pearl is pictured in the photo on the left which was taken in 1911). This was especially so during the war years where Pearl served as a tireless, and popular, supporter of, and fund-raiser for, Australia's war efforts and the soldiers who were serving overseas. In April 1916, for example, the Riponshire Advocate reported that 'the audience at the Beaufort Thistle Club's Scottish and national concert were told to great acclaim that Miss Pearl Chibnall, the recruits' nominee, had been elected queen of the patriotic carnival. Miss Chibnall who was attired in military costume, and was required to ascend the stage, in returning thanks, said this was the biggest honour a girl ever had, especially as the recruits, the bravest and best society in Beaufort, had nominated her'.

In December the same year, the Camperdown Chronicle informed its readers that Miss Pearl Chibnall, secretary of the Beaufort Girls Anzac Club had received a letter from Brigadier General E. Tivey saying: 'The 30 pairs of socks knitted and forwarded by the Anzac Girls Club, Beaufort, arrived safely and have been distributed to the men of the 8th Brigade. I desire to express my warmest appreciation and thanks for your good work and hope you will continue to knit socks for our boys'. Pearl was also Secretary of the Waterloo and district branch of the 15th Brigade Comforts Depot which, by May 1917, had forward to soldiers at the front some 80 parcels and more than 80 pairs of socks. One of the beneficiaries of the Depot's efforts was Pearl's cousin, Sgt Ralph Edward Cheeseman who, the Riponshire Advocate informed is readers, in a letter to Miss P. Chibnall, written in London in September 1917, 'gratefully acknowledges receipt of a parcel from the Beaufort and Waterloo 15th Infantry Brigade Comforts Depot. They knew their womenfolk were sacrificing a lot to send comforts to them. He shared his parcel with a Waterloo boy, Pte G. Grey. He (Sgt Cheeseman) had thoroughly recovered from his wounds, and expected to return to France in a few days'.

The death of her brother at Passchendaele in 1917 seemed to spur Pearl to even greater efforts. In addition to her continuing duties, she both conceived and helped organise various concerts and other fund-raising activities. One of her more bizarre ideas was duly reported by the Riponshire Advocate in May 1918 as follows: 'Miss Pearl Chibnall, who is a "pearl of great price" as a patriotic worker, and as full of ideas "as an egg is full of meat", has now in full swing a ballot for the ugliest and most handsome man in Beaufort - a penny a vote. There are 16 candidates for each honour'. I have yet to discover any report of who won (or lost) the ballot.

pearl amy chibnall 1942Pearl eventually relinquished her social activities for married life when she and Leslie George Miles (1891-1957) were wed at St John's Church of England at Beaufort on 8 May 1920. Gail Gibson's 'Leslie Miles 'family tree on Ancestry tells us Leslie's parents were Walter Frederick Miles (1858-1904) and Margaret Parr Carlaw Johnston (1858-1918) who were married at Port Pirie in South Australia in 1885 and had four sons. Leslie's marriage to Pearl was reported in the columns of the Ballarat Star on 15 May 1920 as follows:

A very pretty wedding and one in which great local interest was taken, was celebrated at St John's Church of England, Beaufort, on Saturday afternoon last, the contracting parties being Mr Leslie George Miles (late AIF), son of the late Mr and Mrs Miles of Melbourne, and Miss Pearl Chibnall, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs W. A. Chibnall, of Beaufort. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. W. C. Webb. The interior of the building was packed and many people had to remain outside. The bride, who was given away by her father, was becomingly gowned in white satin, with bridal lace overdress, her bodice being worked with pearls. The long court train was lined with pink crepe de chine and trimmed with orange blossom and true lovers knots. She wore the customary wreath and veil and carried a handsome bouquet of white chrysanthemums and asparagus with white chiffon streamers, the gift of the bridegroom. Miss Lily Smart acted as bridesmaid ... the bride was also attended by her little niece (Jean Glover) and nephew (Billy Chibnall) as trainbearers ... The best man was Mr Arthur Miles of St Kilda, brother of the bridegroom ... A reception was afterwards held in the Societies Hall, where 200 guests of the bride's parents sat down to a sumptuous wedding breakfast ... The newly married couple left by the evening train on their honeymoon trip and were given a hearty send-off at the railway station by a large number of residents and freely showered with confetti. A number of local and returned soldiers formed a guard of honour from the car to the platform. Mrs Philip Russell (Mawollock) and Mr Halpin (Beaufort) kindly lent cars for the day.

The 1924 electoral roll shows Pearl and Leslie, a malster, living on Neil St in Beaufort. In 1931 she and Leslie, who was then working as a baker, were at Rupanyup near Horsham in central Victoria. Sometime after this they moved to Melbourne. At the time of the 1937 election they were at 24 Brunswick St in Fitzroy where Leslie was working as a chauffeur. In 1942 they were registered as living at 67 Hoddle St Richmond along with their eldest son, Anthony Walter George Miles, a fitter. Gail Gibson tells us that during this time 'Nan Miles ran Navy House for lonely seamen stationed in Melbourne before being sent overseas - many of them stayed in touch with her for years - she was their foster mother at a home away from home'. The photo on the right is of Pearl in 1942.

The 1949 roll has Leslie, a clerk, and Pearl at 67 Queensberry St Carlton where Pearl's older sister, Alice Mary Glover and her children were living. Also registered there were a Herbert Leslie Miles, carpenter, and Robert Dunbar Miles, a labourer. The 1954 roll shows only Leslie George was living at 67 Queensberry St. It seems the family either had or were about to move out of Melbourne to Thornton near Lake Eildon and Alexandra in central Victoria (where Leslie George Miles died in 1957). The 1963 and subsequent electoral rolls have Pearl living at 'Tumbling Waters' at Thornton where she died in 1978. They further indicated that her and Leslie's three younger sons had also moved to Thornton: Herbert Leslie and Robert Dunbar Miles, both of whom worked as carpenters, and Kenneth John Miles who was a welder by trade.

3.1) Anthony Walter George Miles (1921-2001). The Department of Repatriation's Second World War Nominal Roll shows that V356472 Anthony George Walter Miles enlisted in the Australian Army at North Richmond in Melbourne on 12 May 1942. He was then living at Richmond and gave as his NOK his father, Leslie Miles. Anthony was discharged from the Army on 7 October 1945 when he was serving as a private soldier in the 1st Battalion of the Volunteer Defence Corps. According to Gail Gibson's 'Leslie Miles' family tree on Ancestry, Anthony married Patricia Diwell Miss (1925-2011) at the Holy Trinity Church in Balaclava in Victoria on 11 March 1944. It adds that Patricia's parents were Charles Arthur Diwell (1898-1982) and Rose Taylor Miss (1905-1982) who were married in Melbourne on 25 June 1924 and had two children. Not long after their marriage Anthony and Patricia moved from Melbourne to Boydtown near the fishing village of Eden on the NSW south coast where Anthony worked as a guest house proprietor. The Australian electoral rolls show they later moved into Eden where Anthony worked as a fishermen. They both died at Eden, Anthony in 2001 and Patricia ten years later. Gail Gibson tells us they had three children, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

3.2) Robert Dunbar Miles (1924-89). Born at Beaufort, Bob moved with his family to Melbourne where he enlisted in the Australian Army 'in the field' on 23 July 1942. He was then living in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond and gave as his NOK his father, Leslie Miles. He was discharged from the Army on 17 July 1946 while serving as a private soldier in the 3rd Australian Supply Depot Platoon. He later moved with his family to Thornton near Lake Eildon in central Victoria where her and his brother, Herbert Leslie Miles, worked as carpenters. According to Gail Gibson's 'Miles Family Tree' on Ancestry, Bob died in the Bega District Hospital on 21 June 1989. We don't think he married.

anthony miles wedding herbert leslie miles robert dunbar miles

From L/R: Wedding photo of Anthony George Walter Miles and Patricia Diwell-Miss in 1944, Herbert Leslie Miles with his fiance
Betty Marion Hewitt and a friend, and Robert Dunbar ('Bob') Miles.

Image sources:
All photographs from, including Gail Gibson's 'Leslie Miles' family tree, the 'Brown' and 'Brown-Paterson-Calder-Glover-Chibnall-Stewart' family trees' and the 'Wright Family Tree'.

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