Sarah Jane Cheeseman

(last updated: 20 April 2017)

Alfred John's family

Sarah Jane Haggis nee Cheeseman, seated, second from the right
with her parents and siblings at Carngham in around 1898.
She is holding on to her son Alfred John Haggis.

Sarah Jane Cheeseman (1872-1948) was the oldest daughter of Alfred John and Jane Elizabeth Cheeseman. Born at Carngham in Victoria on 15 September 1872, she married Edward John Haggis (1867-1939) at Carngham in 1893. Edward was the son of John Haggis (1807-82) and Mary Donelly (1830-1915) and brother of Elizabeth Haggis, first wife of Herbert Benjamin Cheeseman. The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage Sarah and Edward, a labourer, lived at Beaufort until around 1920 when they moved to the Melbourne suburb of Northcote. They lived there for the remainder of their lives, Edward dying in 1939 and Sarah in 1948. The following death notices for Sarah were published in the Melbourne Age on 23 February 1948: 'HAGGIS. - On Feb. 21 at her residence, 18 St Davld-st., Northcote. Sarah Jane, wife of the late Edward, dearly beloved mother of Fred, Stan. Wilton (deceased). Lll (Mrs. Stranger). Al (Mrs. Hamilton), aged 75 years'. HAGGIS. - On Feb. 21. at 18 St. Davld-st. Northoote, Sarah Jane, dearly loved friend of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. North and Lesley, and loving grandma of William (Bill) R.A.N'. Sarah and Edward are buried together in the Preston Cemetery (Area A, plot 160). They had five children as follows:

1. Alfred John ('Fred') Haggis (1895-1960) who was born at Carngham in Victoria on 30 March 1895. The Australian National Archives indicates that Fred enlisted in the First AIF in 1916 but does not provide any details of when and with which unit he served. The War Memorial has no record of him. We do know that Fred married twice. His first wife, who he married in 1913, was Louisa Margaret ('Peggy') Davis (1893-1941), daughter of William George Davis (1861-1910) and Ann Rebecca Tiley (1869-1946). The Australian electoral rolls show Fred, a grocer, and Peggy living at Murtoa in country Victoria in 1919. After that they lived in Melbourne - in Northcote, Preston and Kew - where Fred worked as a tram conductor and then a clerk. As the following notice published in the Melbourne Age on 7 January 1941 indicates, Peggy died at their home in Kew in 1941: 'HAGGIS - On January 6 at 33 Denmark-street, Kew. Louisa Margaret, the dearly loved wife of Alfred (Fred) Haggis, and loved mother of Eric, Dot, Max and Nancy (Mrs. Rossborough), aged 47 years'. Louisa was buried in the Preston Cemetery on 7 January. The following year Fred re-married, to Dorothy May Amelia Sparrow Maher nee Yates (1899-1968). The Australian electoral rolls show they lived in the Melbourne suburbs of South Yarra and then Kew where Fred died in 1960 (the Melbourne Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust website tells us he was buried with his first wife Louisa in the Preston Cemetery on 10 March 1964). Dorothy died at Caulfield in 1968. She and Fred had one child, Maureen Alice Haggis, who married John Denning, the son of Joseph Denning (1911-92) and Emily Henriksen (1915-2004), and had three children we are aware of: Sharon, Lisa and Brett Denning. As indicated by Peggy's death notice, she and Fred had five children all of whom were born at Beaufort. Their eldest child, William Edward Haggis (1913-14), died as an infant at Beaufort from the effects of gastro-enteritis. We know little about William's older sister, Dorothy Mavis Haggis (1917-85) beyond her birth and death dates. As described below, the other three all married and had children of their own:

1. Eric Alfred Haggis (1915-64). In his memoirs, my father Laurie Cheeseman recalls that while he was working at his uncle's timber Mill at Rankin Springs in NSW in around 1936, he

received a letter from Aunty Sarah asking if I could get Eric Haggis (my cousin) a job, as jobs were scarce in Melbourne. I got him one and went to Narrandera to meet him and when this bloke stepped off the train I could not believe my eyes. I had never seen a dinkum town bum before. His clothes were flashy and filthy and he carried a swag. We stayed at Aunty Lucy's for the night and his swag must have been crawling with fleas. Poor Aunty Lucy, she had to fumigate every corner of the house after we left. For my part, I let him rig a bunk in my hut, and for a fortnight or more I got no sleep at night. The fleas attacked me and I was red raw all over. I got out of the hut and slept out in the open for many nights, and Eric never felt a one. He had asked me to buy enough food for him too and we would share the costs, so I got the food and did most of the cooking and Eric was always going to pay me 'next week without fail' but I never got it. We did get around a bit though, the bush sports and races, and dinky-di woolshed dances which were great. The people were great and Eric taught me to dance. He left after a couple of months and I never saw him again.

Eric returned to Victoria where he worked for a time as a policeman and was later in trouble with the police. As the Healesville and Yarra Glen Guardian reported on 28 October 1939: 'A telephone call to Senior-constable Castles on Saturday week soon put a stop to the careering of youths who, slightly under the influence of liquor, were involved in a disturbance in Green street, where they had dictatorially ,'borrowed' a horse and steadfastly refused to hand the beast back when the owner demanded it ___ several were bundled off to the police station. In court on the Monday Eric E. Baguley, salesman, and Lindsay Wilkins, carpet layer, were charged before Mr. P. Johnston, J.P., with behaving offensively, and each was fined 10/-, or three days. Eric Alfred Haggis, a cleaner employed at the Myer Emporium and an ex-member of the police force, also faced charges of offensive behavior and using obsence language. Giving evidence, J. Burnside said he saw the men riding his horse, which they refused to give up when he demanded its return. They adopted a threatening attitude and wanted to fight him, whereupon he rang up the police. Senior-constable Castles stated that when Haggis was taken to the police station he used obscene language on being questioned. Accused also urged on his friends, and was the leader of the disturbance. Haggis was fined £3 on the obscuene language charge, and £2 for behaving offensively'.

The Department of Veterans Affairs' nominal roll for World War 2 shows that VX71143 Pte Eric Alfred Haggis, born at Beaufort on 29 April 1915, enlisted in the Australian Army at Caulfield on 7 January 1942. He was then living at Brunswick and gave as his NOK Lyle Haggis (nee Shegog who we believe he married in 1936). He was discharged on 20 May 1944 while serving with the NG RFTS. After the war he and Lyle lived in the Melbourne suburbs of East Brunswick and East Reservoir where Eric died in 1964. Lyle continued initially to live in Melbourne. We think she died in 1991 while living on Queensland's Gold Coast although that has still to be confirmed. She and Eric had four children we are aware of: 1) Clare Eleanor Haggis who married Ronald Albert Hudson; 2) Patricia Anne Haggis; 3) Bryan Stewart Haggis (1945-2007); and 4) Marilyn Joy Haggis.

2. Maxwell Graham ('Max') Haggis (1919-76) married an English woman, Jennie Atkinson (1919-2001) at Melbourne on 10 August 1940. As the Department of Veterans Affairs' World War 2 nominal roll shows, two weeks later he enlisted in the Australian Army at Hawthorn. He was discharged on 9 October 1941 while serving with the 37th Battalion. He re-enlisted on 7 April 1943 and was discharged on 30 August 1944 while serving with the 1 AGC. The Australian electoral rolls show Max, a truck driver, and Jennie lived all their married lives in Melbourne, initially at Lilydale, then Northcote and finally Frankston. We believe Max died at Eden on the NSW South Coast in 1976. The Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust website shows he was buried at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery in Melbourne on 5 January 1977 (W Stewart Lawn, Row R, Grave 67). Jennie died at Frankston on 19 September 2001 and was was buried at Springvale with Max on 24 September. The following death notice, published in the Herald Sun on 21 September that year, indicates she and Max had three children: 'HAGGIS - Jennie on September 19 2001, peacefully at Tattersals Palliative Care, Frankston. Loved wife of Max (dec). Loving mother of Beverley and Neville, Lynette and Hector and Marlene (Micky). Loving Nan of Debbie, Kim, Maxine, Gary, Annette and Raylene, Jamie, Mark and Jodie. Great-Nan of 19 great-grandchildren. An angel came a calling, 'Cause they only want the best. They took you up to Heaven, To have a well earned rest'.

3. Nancy Margaret Haggis (1921-71) married Fullerton Rossborough (1916-68), son of Fullerton Rossborough snr (1889-1960) and Josephine Victoria Jubilee (1887-1969), in Melbourne in 1940. The Department of Veterans Affairs' World War 2 nominal roll shows that VX74345 Sapper Fullerton Rossborough, born at St Kilda on 20 August 1916, enlisted in the Australian Army at Caulfield on 18 February 1942. He was then living at Richmond and gave as his NOK N. Rossborough. He was discharged on 25 November 1944 while serving with the 2/1 CW/LAB. The Australian electoral rolls show Fullerton, a driver, and Nancy were living in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond in 1942. In 1949 they were at Rosewood located between Holbrook and Talbingo in southern NSW where Fullerton was working as a station hand. They returned to Melbourne sometime before the 1954 election and were living at Glen Iris at the time of Fullerton's death in 1968. The Southern Melbourne Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust website shows he was buried at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on 30 April 1968 (A. F. Alway Lawn, Row N, grave 26). Nancy was buried in the same grave on 28 April 1971. According to the Rossborough Family Tree on Ancestry, Nancy and Fullerton had five children: John Rossborough (1941-77), pictured below, and four others still living. They in turn have had 13 children and at least 10 grandchildren.

fullerton and nancy rossborough john richard rossborough

From the Rossborough Family Tree on Ancestry the photo on the left is of Fullerton and Nancy Margaret Rossborough nee Haggis.
The one on the right is of their eldest son, John Richard Rossborough (1941-77).

2. Stanley Edward Haggis (1898-1953). His military records in the Australian Archives show that Stan enlisted in the First AIF on 22 February 1917. He was 18 years old and had just completed school. He embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT ULYSSES on 18 December 1917 and after training in England was posted to France on 6 May 1918 where he served initially in the 37th Battalion's Light Trench Mortar Battery. Sometime before his departure overseas his mother, Sarah, had written to the Army stating: 'hearing that my son Stanley Haggis has been put into the machine gun section, I am writing to say that his father and I both object to him being sent away from Australia till he is over 19 years as we think he is not mature enough for a soldier's life in foreign parts as he only left school last Christmas'. Although he spent some time in hostpital, Stan survived his time in France. At War's end, he spent some time with the Graves registration Unit before returning to Australia on the KANOWNA on 28 August 1919.

The Australian electoral rolls show Stan, working as a labourer, was living with his parents in Northcote at the time of the 1921, 1922 and 1924 elections. The following year he married Elsie Maud Bainbridge who divorced him three years later. As the Melbourne Argus reported on 28 April 1928: 'Elsie May Haggis, aged 23 years of Barry street, Nothcote petitioned for divoree from Stanley Edward Haggis, aged 29 years, of David street Northcote, collector, on grounds of mlsconduct and miscondurt coupled with cruelty'. Stan re-married in 1930, his bride being Sandringham-born Ruby Vera Weeks (1903-83), the daughter of John Henry Weeks and Marie Clara Brown (or Braun). Their wedding was described in Melbourne's Table Talk as follows:

A pretty wedding took place recently at St Margaret's Church E St Kilda when Ruby Vera, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Weeks. of Waltham Street Sandringham, was married to Stanley Edward, second son of Mr and Mrs Haggis, of Northcote. The Rev E. Swan performed the ceremony. The bride who was given awau by her father, was a charming figure in ivory satin and silver lame, her gown being made with long sleeves and a close-fitting rucked bodice. A beautiful lace veil, mounted over tuile, the latter forming the train, was caught to the head with a coronet and clusters of orange blossom. A shower bouquet of deep cream roses was an effective complement. The train was carried by little Audrey Weeks, neice of the bride, who looked very sweet in her frilled frock of pale pink georgette and hair band and wrist posy of tiny pink rosebuds. The bridesmaids, Myrtle and Betty Weeks, sister and neice of the bride, were frocked alike in pink georgette, the former wearing a toning felt hat and the other a hair band. Shower bouquets of pink roses were carried. The bridegroom was attended by his brother, Alfred Haggis, as best man. The guests adjourned to ‘St Quinton’ E St Kilda, the home of the bride’s brother, where wedding breakfast was served, the decorations being carried out in the pink and white colour scheme.

The Australian electoral rolls show Stan, now working as a lift attendant, and Ruby living at 23 Reid Street in Northcote at the time of the 1931, 1936, 1937 1942 and 1949 elections. Stan died there three years later. His death notices, published in the Melbourne Argus on 3 November 1952 read: 'HAGGIS Stanley Edward of 23 Reid street Northcote. On November 1 at Royal Melbourne Hospital beloved husband of Ruby and loved father of Beverley and Shirley - Some day we will understand'; 'HAGGIS Stanley Edward - On November 1 dearlv loved son of the late Edward and Sarah and loving brother of Fred Wilson (deceased) Lil (Mis Stranger) and Al (Mrs Hamilton) loved brother in law of Dot, Jack and Barney - A patient sufferer at rest' and 'HAGGIS Stanlev Edward - On November 1 dearly loved brother In law of Myrtle and Les -Our pal at rest'. The Melbourne Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust website shows that Stan was cremated at the Fawknew Memorial Park on 3 November 1952 and is memorialised in the Rose garden No 2 section. He and Ruby had two daughters we are aware of: Beverley Joan and Shirley Joyce Haggis.

The electoral rolls shows that Ruby was still living at 23 Reid St in Northcote at the time of the 1954 and 1963 elections (also there in 1954 was Beverley Joan Haggis, a typist). Subsequent electoral rolls have Ruby Vera and Robert James Westworth, MMBW employee, living at 23 Reid Street. The Melbourne Metropolitan Cemeteries index shows that Ruby Vera Westworth was cremated at Fawkner Memorial Park on 5 May 1983 and is memorialised in the H. L. Curwen-walker Gardens border (position 79). Robert James Westworth died two years later and is memorialised on the Carl Verey Gardens Balustrade.

3. Wilton James Haggis (1900-27). Born at Beaufort Wilton married Alice Isobel Ranking (1901-45), daughter of James Lancaster Ranking (1868-1923) and Mary Elizabeth Watts (1867-1941), in 1925. As the following notices published in the Melbourne Argus indicates, Wilton died two years later: HAGGIS - On the 9th August, at his parents' residence St David street Northcote, Wilton James, loving husband of Isabel (Hubs), beloved youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Haggis, and loved brother of Fred. Stan, Lily, Alice, and loving uncle of Eric, Dorothy, Max and Nancy Haggis, Jack Ray (?) and James Ranking (late of indecipherable), aged 27 years' (11 August 1927). 'HAGGIS - In loving memory of my dear husbnd, Wil. who passed away on the 9th August, 1927. Love's greatest gift — remembrance' (9 August 1927). 'HAGGIS - In loving memory of Willie, who passed away 9th August, 1927. At evetlde, when shadows are falling, memories saddened with pain, Steal Into our hearts, such a longing, Could we only see you again. Uncle Jack. Auntle Ada, Clarie and Les' (9 August 1927). The Melbourne Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us Wilton was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Coburg Pine Ridge Cemetery on 11 August 1927. His wife Alice Isabel Haggis was buried with him on 4 September 1945. We don't think they had any children.

4. Lilian May Haggis (1902-97) grew up in Beaufort before moving with her parents to Melbourne in around 1920. She married John Philip ('Jack') Stranger (1902-78), son of Phillip and Mary Stranger nee Wilkinson, in 1926 probably in Melbourne although that has not been confirmed. The Australian electoral rolls show that Jack, who worked as a 'clicker', was living at 57 Gladstone Ave Northcote in 1925. In the years leading up to the Second World war, he and Lilian lived at different places in Northcote, Albert Park and Preston. The Department of Veterans Affairs' nominal roll shows that V295414 Sergeant John Phillip Stranger, born at Coburg on 14 November 1902, enlisted in the Australian Army at Preston on 29 October 1941. He was then living at Northcote and gave as his NOK Lilian Stranger. He was discharged on 14 June 1943 while serving with the 57/60 Battalion. He had earlier enlisted at Caulfield on 19 July 1940 and was discharged on 19 September 1941 as a Lance Sergeant in the 2/21 Battalion (the 2/21 Battalion was formed at Trawool near Seymour in August 1940, was relocated to Bonegilla near Albury (where the photo below was taken) and, after Jack had left the unit, formed part of Gull Force which was deployed to Ambon in December 1941 where it was captured by the Japanese in January the following year).

After the war Jack and Lilian continued to live at Northcote (in Lilian's parental home) where Jack died in 1978. Lilian lived on for another 20 years. The Melbourne Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website tells us she was cremated at the Fawkner Memorial Park on 20 January 1997 and is memorialised in the New Lawn Area Wall Niches. Information provided by Jenny Tapungao informs us that Jack and Lilian had two children: 1) Valma Jean Stranger who married John ('Jack') Tobin and had three children: John Andrew, Michael Phillip and Grant William Tobin; and 2) and Philip Edward Stranger who married Judith Rae Brady and also had three children: Debra Jane, Richard John and Meaghan Louise Stranger.

2/21 Battalion Band 1941

From the 2/21st Battalion Association Gull Force website, this photo was taken at Bonegilla near Albury on 2 March 1941.
Jack Stranger is seated in the centre of the first row.

5. Alice Jane Haggis (1907-77) was married twice. Her first husband, who she married 1928, was Archibald John ('Jack') North (1900-52) who was born at Queenstown in Victoria, the son of Frederick North and Annie Bertha Anderson (who were married in Victoria in 1888). The Australian electoral rolls show Jack, a tram conductor, and Alice at 18 St David Street Northcote (the home of Alice's parents) in 1931 and 1936. By the time of the 1937 election, they had separated and Jack was living with his mother at 160 Wingrove Street in Alphington. By 1939 Alice had remarried, to Wangaratta-born Benjamin Bell ('Barney') Hamilton (1906-68), son of John James Hamilton (1882-955) and Ann Stone (1884-1930). The Australian electoral rolls show Alice and Barney, a driver, living in the inner Melbourne suburb of Kew at the time of the 1943, 1949 and 1954 elections. During the 1960s they lived at Upwey in the Dandenong Ranges where Barney worked as a chauffeur. Barney died at Upwey in 1968 and was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium (Cassia, Wall ZM, niche 141). Alice was living at Thornbury in Melbourne in 1972 and died at Parkville in 1977. She was also cremated at the Springvale Botanical Crematorium (Cassia, Wall ZM, niche 148). According to information provided by Jenny Tapungao, Alice had two sons, one with Jack North and one with Barney Hamilton.

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