(last updated 11 February 2017)
Three of Henry Hickmott's sons moved, with their wives and some or all of their respective children, from Victoria to Western Australia either during the gold rushes there or around the turn of the century in order to take up newly released farming land. This webpage details the life and times in the West of Henry's eldest son, Henry Edward Hickmott and his wife Elizabeth Owen who relocated there in around 1909. Details of Henry's other two sons who went to the west - James John Hickmott and Alfred Hickmott - can be viewed here.
A tennis party at Brookton in Western Australia around 1915
In around 1909 Henry Edward Hickmott and his wife Elizabeth moved from Victoria to Western Australia where they had purchased a farm, which they named 'Dingley Dell', eight miles east of the inland town of Brookton. Their new property was 1357 acres in size and was watered by a well and 'several good soaks'. By the time it was first offered for sale in 1950, it had been fully fenced and had on it a four-room stone house and adjoining stables. Three of Henry and Elizabeth's grown-up children - William Henry, John Edward and Edith Olive Hickmott - elected not to go with their parents and remained in Victoria. Their remaining children all relocated to the west and, as described below, established their own livelihoods and families there. As he had done at Lalbert, Henry soon became actively involved in the local community, serving as a founding member of the Brookton Farmers and Settlers Association and its President for two years, and a patron of the Brookton Swimming Club. On 21 October 1914, he was elected as the Country Party member for the electorate of Pingelly in the Western Australian Parliament where he sat for three terms before being defeated at the 1924 election. During the First World War Henry served on the Brookton Repatriation Committee which raised funds and other support for the soldiers and their dependents and helped returned men find employment. Throughout this time he retained his lifelong interest in cricket even participating, as the photo below shows, in a match between Parliamentarians and the press corps in 1921. Click here to read a detailed account of his ten years in the Western Australian Parliament.
Photo of a WA Parliamentary cricket team in a match against a press team in 1921.
Henry Edward Hickmott is pictured three from the left in the centre row.
On 16 April 1923, Henry Edward's wife, Elizabeth, died while visiting their son William Henry and his family at Ouyen in Victoria's mallee district. Two years later Henry married Sarah Ellen ('Nellie') Clarke, the daughter of Alfred and Emma Clarke, in Perth. The newly weds lived at Dingley Dell after their marriage. It is not known whether they had any children. On Sunday 18 January 1931, Henry Edward was killed when he was thrown from a cart he was riding in while laying rabbit poison on his property. The cart hit a stone and he was thrown to the ground, breaking his neck in the fall. His funeral took place the following day and he was buried in the Methodist section of the Brookton Cemetery. The 26 January 1931 edition of the West Australian published the following death notice: HICKMOTT - On January 19, at Brookton, Henry Edward, loving father of Florence (Mrs Austin), grandfather of Gladys, Mavis, Elsie, Olive. Sadly missed'. Three days later: 'HICKMOTT - January 19, Henry Edward, beloved husband of Nellie, and devoted father of Sophy (Mrs Carter), Florrie (Mrs Austin), Alice (Mrs Weise), Ella (Mrs Bowron), Elsie (Mrs Whittington), Jack, Willie (Victoria), and George and Olive (Mrs Lewis deceased), Arthur (deceased). As a result of an accident'. Henry Edward's death was reported in most of the mainland newspapers although, to date, I have not been able to find a detailed obituary beyond the following notice published in the West Australian on 24 January 1931:
Mr H.E.Hickmott, who was one of the pioneering members of the Country Party in the Legislative Assembly, died on his farm, a few miles from Brookton, on Sunday last, as a result of an accident. Mr Hickmott was born in South Australia 78 years ago, and was educated at a private school in that State. After some years residence in Victoria he transferred to Western Australia. He was returned in the Country Party interest for Pingelly at the general election of 1914, defeating Mr N. W. Harper, and held the seat for nine years. At the 1924 general election, owing to a temporary disagreement with the party he failed to receive its endorsement and was defeated by Mr J. H. Brown. Mr Hickmott continued to take an active interest in Country Party affairs, and was for some time chairman of the local branch of the Primary Producers' Association. He was married twice, and left a widow and nine children, all of whom are married.
One of Henry's great grandsons, Norman Carter, tells us that after Henry's death his second wife, 'Nellie', continued to live at 'Dingley Dell' on the interest paid from £5000 Henry left her in his will (Henry's eldest daughter Sophia was the executor of the will). Following Nellie's death in 1958, the estate was divided equally between Henry's children. Norman continues that the farm at Brookton continued to be occupied by Henry's descendants until at least the late 1960s (he thinks by Henry's youngest daughter Rebecca Whitington nee Hickmott and her husband Selby). He recalls the property as being 'rather stony' and within an easy drive from the local town by horse and cart.
1. Henry Edward Hickmott c1914, from the Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia.
2. Henry Edward and Elizabeth Hickmott nee Owen and their youngest son James Arthur (who died in a
shooting accident at Brookton in 1922).
Henry Edward Hickmott and granddaughters Melva and May, eldest daughters of John Edward and Eliza Ada Hickmott nee Free
(probably taken in Western Australia in the 1920s).
The members of Henry Edward and Elizabeth's family who went to the west were:
1. Sophia Elizabeth Hickmott (1879-1973)
Born at Charlton in Victoria in 1879, Sophia (pictured on the left) married George William Lewis there in 1898. Some twenty years older than his wife, George was born at Merino in Victoria, the eldest son of George Sugden Price Lewis (1815-77) and Catherine Ellen McGuire (1848-1933). George and Sophia had three children in Victoria - Gladys May Lewis who died as a small child at Lalbert, Henry Norman ('Harry') Lewis and Vivian Price Lewis - before relocating to Western Australia sometime before 1910. Family folklore has it that George was killed in a road accident not long after they arrived in Perth although we have found no record to support this (some family researchers believe he died in Busselton in Western Australia in 1955 although this has not been confirmed). Whatever the circumstances, Sophia and her two sons stayed on in Perth. She bought a house there in around 1914 and five years later was said to have married a returned serviceman, Charles Henry Carter (again we have not been able to find a record of this event).
Charles was then working for the Western Australian railways. He had been born at Hindmarsh in South Australia in 1877, the son of Edward and Ethel Mary Carter nee Ranger. Records held at the Australian Archives show that he enlisted in the First AIF on 4 June 1916 at Blackboy Hill in Western Australia. He was 37 years old and nominated as his NOK Elizabeth Sophia Carter of Victoria Park in Perth. He was assigned to the 7th reinforcements for the 51st Battalion and embarked for overseas service on the HMAT Argyleshire which left Fremantle on 9 November 1916. Charles served in France and Belgium (where he probably participated in the battles of Messines and Polygon Wood) before suffering a gunshot wound to the left eye on 12 October 1917. This resulted in him being repatriated to England on the hospital ship St Andrew. There he spent time at Harefield and Weymouth before being returned to Australia on the Dunvegan Castle and discharged from the Army at Perth on 24 June 1918. He was subsequently awarded a service pension of 45 shillings per fortnight.
One of their grandsons, Norman Carter, tells us that Charles and Sophia (now known as Elizabeth Sophia) had two children: Reginald Charles ('Reg') Carter, who was born at Guildford in Western Australia on 1 July 1913, and Dorothy Florence Elizabeth Carter who was born in Perth in 1919. Reg married Joyce O'Shannassy (1918-74) in Perth in 1937 (the couple's wedding photo is shown below). One of four daughters of William O'Shannassy (1879-1935) and Agnes Winifred McHugh (1892-1962), Joyce was born in Perth in 1918. She and Reg had only one child, Norman Carter, who was born in 1938. Reg's sister, Dorothy, married Keith Leonard Tate (1918-89) in Perth in 1940 and had at least three children. Sophia's two boys by her first marriage had remained in Perth with their mother and were both married there. Her youngest son, Vivian Price Lewis (1906-87), married Mary Isabella ('Molly') Reid (1909-69) in 1931 and had two children, Barry and Stanley James Lewis (who recently retired as Chairman of ASG, a multi-million dollar IT Services Company based in Perth). Vivian's older brother Henry Norman ('Harry') Lewis (1901-76) had married Rosetta Mary Hyde (1901-59), the daughter of Silas Augustus and Alice Louisa Hyde nee York, in Perth in 1924 and had three children: Joyce, Lorna and Harry Lewis jnr.
The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage Sophia and Charles lived at Victoria Park, Rivervale and Triggs Island. The WA Metropolitan Cemeteries Board index shows that Charles Henry Carter died at Triggs Island on 28 March 1958, aged 80 years. He was cremated and his ashes 'were taken by war graves at Karrakatta Cemetery'. Sohia died at Osborne Park on 27 February 1973, aged 94 years and is memorialised in the Garden of Remembrance in Karrakatta Cemetery (Crematorium Rose Gardens, Garden 29, Position 52).
All of Sophia's sons and her only son-in-law served in the Army during the Second World War. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs' WWII Nominal Roll, Cpl Harry Lewis enlisted at Karrakatta in Western Australia on 19 August 1942 and served with 7 Workshop and Park Company until his discharge from the Army on 7 November 1945. His brother, Sgt Vivian Lewis, enlisted at Perth on 19 July 1941 and served on the HQ Western Area until 21 January 1946. Sophia's son-in-law, Pte Keith Leonard Tate enlisted at Claremont on 16 July 1940 and served in the LHQ School of Infantry until his discharge on 18 September 1945. Sophia's youngest son, Pte Reginald Charles Carter enlisted at Claremont and was allocated to the 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division (Reg is pictured in his uniform on the right). In December 1941 Reg and his unit were sent to Singapore where he became a prisoner of war one month later. After spending time at Changi POW camp, he and other members of Dunlop or 'D' Force were sent by train from Singapore to Banpong in Malaya where they detrained and were force-marched into Siam (Thailand) to work on the infamous Thai-Burma railway. He died in Thailand from the effects of malaria on 18 February 1945, one of some 260 members of his unit who succumbed to illness and disease. According to a subsequent report in the West Australian newspaper, one of his colleagues informed Joyce that Reg's funeral was 'one of the biggest in Siam with more than 400 diggers attending and heaping the grave with flowers'. In 1946 his body was exhumed from the local camp burial ground and re-buried in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.
Norman tells us that after the war Joyce became estranged from his father's side of the family. Coming from a strong Catholic family, Norman was sent to the Christian Brothers College in Perth. In spite of his mother's estrangement, Norman spent much time with his paternal grandmother who remained in close contact with her parents and siblings and their families. He recalls that 'from 1942 I along with the other grandchildren from the Hickmott marriages all went to the farm at Brookton WA along with Sophia's sister Ella who lived in Perth with her husband Robert and one daughter, Wilma'. The photo shown below on the right of a young Norman seated on 'Bubbles' was taken during one of these visits. Sophia also remained in close contact with her Victorian siblings. One of her most treasured contacts took place in 1946 when she and Charles, together with Ella and Robert, travelled to Victoria where, as the photo below records, they were reunited with William and Frances Hickmott and their growing family. Norman eventually left Western Australia and lived and worked with his partner in Great Britain for a time before returning to Australia where they settled in the Southern Highlands of NSW.
The photo on the left is of Reginald Charles Carter and Joyce O'Shannassy at their wedding in 1937.
The one on the right is of their son Norman Carter seated on 'Bubbles'. It was taken at Brookton Farm in 1942.
Norman tells us that his father, who was captured by the Japanese in Malaya and sent to work on the Burma railway,
'eventually received it from the Red Cross ... the photograph is now at the War Memorial in Canberra
along with other of his possessions'.
Sent to us by Norman Carter this photo was taken at Ouyen in Victoria in 1946. It is of William and Frances Hickmott and
their family during a visit by some of William's Western Australian relatives. Those we have identified to date are:
Standing from R/L: Gladys Blake nee Hickmott, William Hickmott, Robert Bowron, Ella Bowron nee Hickmott,
Sophia Carter nee Hickmott, Grace Dean nee Hickmott (nursing unknown), Charles Carter, possibly Wilfred 'Forty'
Hickmott, 'Judy' Milkins nee Hickmott, Francis 'Ginge' Hickmott, Lorna Hickmott, Frances Hickmott nee Free,
Ruby 'Muriel' Hickmott nee Emmerson, John Hickmott and possibly Mavis Hickmott.
Kneeling or sitting (L/R): possibly Ralph Hickmott, Alan Dean, June Hickmott, Jennifer and Marion Milkins and
Winifred Dean (being nursed, probably, by Herbert Dean.)
Click here to see more photos of Sophia and her family.
2. Florence Mary Hickmott (1882-1977)
Born at Charlton in 1882, Florence married Richard Austin (1875-1940) at Cottosloe in Perth in 1904. According to one of their descendants, John Austin, Richard's parents, William George Austin and Mary Ann Joyce, came respectively from London and County Mayo in Ireland. They had eight children in addition to Richard, all born in Melbourne.
The electoral rolls show that Florence and Richard, who worked as an accountant, were living at Claremont in 1906 and Subiaco in Perth in 1910. By the time of the 1925 election they were living at different addresses in Subiaco. Sometime after this Florence moved to Victoria to live.
The 1931 electoral roll shows a Florence Mary and Horace Lionel Wilmshurst, salesman, living on Bracken Street in Caulfield in Melbourne. With them was Florence's daughter Mavis Florence Austin who was described as a 'retoucher'. Subsequent electoral rolls show that Florence and Horace were living at 5 Newstead Street in Caulfield in 1942, in Gisborne in country Victoria in 1949 and on William Street in Ferntree Gully in 1958. Although still to be confirmed, we think that Horace may have died there the following year. The 1963 electoral roll has Florence living by herself at 11 Rosamond Street in Ripponlea in Melbourne. By the time of the 1972 election she was at 5 Gray Street in Geelong. It seems that she eventually moved to Swan Hill where she died in 1977. The photo on the left, which comes from the 'Wilmshurst' family tree on Ancestry.com, is of Florence a few years before her death.
We don't think Florence and Horace had any children. According to John Austin she and and Richard had four daughters all born in Perth: Gladys Joyce Elizabeth, Mavis Florence Catherine, Elsie Lilian and Olive Rose Austin. The following details of them and their families have been drawn from a number of sources including especially John Austin's family trees on Rootsweb and Ancestry.com.
1. Born in Perth in 1905, Gladys married Albert Edward Holdsworth there in 1925. According to the 'holdsworth family tree' on Ancestry.com, Albert was born at Donald in Victoria in 1901, the son of Edwin Holdsworth (1856-1919) and Margaret Ellen Wallace (1857-1923). The 1936/7 electoral roll shows Gladys and Albert living at Glenwood Farm at Collie in WA (Albert was the farm manager there). The 1943 and subsequent rolls has them farming land at Wyalkatchem located some 190 kilometres northeast of Perth. Albert Edward Holdsworth died and was buried at Wyalkatchem in 1982. Gladys died there on 28 October 1988, aged 84 years. The inscription on her grave at Wyalkatchem Cemetery tells us she was the 'wife of Albert, mother of Aussie, Bob, Miriam, Royce, Elissa, Des, Wendy, Jenny, John. [and] Friend of Leon.' We know from the 'Reverse WA Marriage index' and other sources that Albert Austin ('Aussie') Holdsworth married Rita Joan Anderson in Perth in 1954 and had at least one child; Robert Richard Holdsworth married Mavis Begley in 1951; Royce Vivian Holdsworth married Yvonne Anderson in the Perth RD in 1958; Desmond Holdsworth married Barbara Joan Coombs in Fremantle in 1963; and an Elissa Margaret Holdsworth married Maurice Roland Fratel in the Perth RD in 1954.
2. Mavis was born in Perth on 22 October 1907. The 1931 and 1936/7 electoral rolls show her living at 1 Bracken Road in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield with her mother, Florence Mary Wilmshurst, and working as a 'retoucher'. She was at 5 Newstead Street in Caulfield in 1942. Ancestry's index of Australian bdms show that Mavis Florence Catherine Austin married William Leo Gattenhof in 1944. Although still to be confirmed, we think William was born at Ashfield in Sydney in 1909, the son of Percy Charles Gattenhof and Mary Bruhn Hedwig who were married at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia in 1904. The 1949 and 1954 rolls show Mavis and William Leo Gattenhof, storeman, living at 13 Smith Crescent in Wangaratta. Sometime after this they moved to New South Wales, the electoral rolls for that state showing them living on Renfrew Road in Werri Beach (near Berry) in 1958, 73 Wamboin Street in Gilgandra in 1963, and 10 Alleena Street in Moambee near Sawtell in 1980 (with them then was a Morris William Gattenhof, labourer, who, according to John Austin, was their eldest son. John adds that they had another another child still living). It seems that William died in Queensland in 1990 and Mavis in New South Wales nine years later.
3. Born at Leederville in WA in 1911, Elsie was living with her mother at 1 Bracken Road in Caulfield at the time of the 1936 and 1937 elections and working as a saleswoman. In 1939 she married at Caulfield Charles Edward Burke (1902-1983). The 1943 electoral roll shows Elsie and Charles, a public servant, living at 22 Mills Street in Camberwell in Melbourne. They continued to live in Melbourne until sometime between 1968 and 1972 when they moved to Labrador in Queensland. They were still at Labrador in 1977, the year Elsie died. Charles died in Sydney in 1983. He and Elsie had two children we are aware of: Austin Charles Burke (1940-2006) who was twice married and had five children in all, and Lindsay Owen Burke who worked as an industrial chemist and was living in Sydney at the time of the 1980 election.
4. Born in Perth in 1914, Olive moved with her mother and two older sisters to Melbourne where she married John Joseph Ivers (1904-1974) in 1935. The 1942 electoral roll shows John, then a soldier, and Olive living on North Road in the Melbourne suburb of North Clayton. By 1963 they had moved to Swan Hill where John was working as an ambulance superintendant. They continued to live at Swan Hill until John's death there in 1974. According to the 'Hall Family Tree' on Ancestry.com, Olive died in Bendigo in Victoria in 2005. John Austin tells us that she and John had five children: Ruth Elsa Ivers (1943-1990) and four others still living.
From the Applin Family Tree on Ancestry, this photo, taken at Katanning in 1941, is of the two Hickmott sisters:
Florence Mary Wilsmhurst and Alice Annie Weise.
3. Alice Ann Hickmott (1884-1948)
Alice was born at Charlton in 1884 and married Johann Otto Weise (1880-1947) at the Mechanics' Institute at Lalbert in Victoria in 1910. There is some confusion over Otto's parentage. The couple's wedding certificate, contained on the Weise Family Tree on Ancestry, tells us Otto was born at Wooroonook in Victoria and his parents were Gottleib Weise (1836-1926) and Louisa Verner (1839-1913). The following report in the Ariah Park News suggests his father may have been Gustav Weise (1833-1924):
Ariah Park News (Thurs, 1 May 1924). The Late G. Weise. The subject of our notice, who passed away on the 9th April at the ripe old age of 91, came to Australia in the 50's. and settled at Mt. Moriac near Geelong, Victoria, where he resided for a number of years, eventually selecting land at West Charlton, where he carried on farming for over 20 years. Selling his property, he again selected land at Lalbert and after meeting with much success as a result of his labors, he again sold and retired from active farm life. Just on 20 years ago he came to live with his son, Mr J. G. Weise, Ariah Park, with whom he resided up to the time of his demise. His wife predeceased him by 40 years, she being buried at West Charlton. Mrs J. G. Weise was unfailing, in her attentions to the old gentleman, and by her devotion earned his ever-lasting gratitude and the admiration of her home folk and neighbours. The following sons and daughters, with whom much genuine sympathy is felt, survive him: Mrs H. Blum, Berriwillock; Mrs W. Rabey, Melbourne; Mrs. C. Casey, St. Arnaud; Mr J. G. Weise, Ariah Park; Mr Gus Weise, Albert; Mr A. Weise, Culgoa; and Mr O. Weise, Boyup Brook, West Australia. There are 41 grandchildren.
The latter possibility is supported by the fact that the Australian electoral rolls show Otto and a Gustav Weise working as blacksmiths at Lalbert at the time of the 1903, 1905 and 1909 elections (Gustav was probably Otto's brother rather than his father). Of course Gustav snr and Gottlieb may have been the same person although Otto's siblings listed by the Weise Family Tree does not fully accord with those detailed in the Ariah Park News article. The 1912, 1913 and war-time electoral rolls have Otto, a farmer, and Alice Annie Weise living at 'The Gums' near the Western Australian wheat-belt town of East Pingelly (near where Alice's parents and some of her siblings had also settled). By 1922 Otto had given up farming and was working as a blacksmith and carpenter's labourer at Boyop Brook where he and Alice were then living. The 1931 to 1943 electoral rolls have them registered as living at Katanning, initially on Daping Street then Albion Street and, in 1943, on Austral Terrace. During this time Otto worked as a labourer, carpenter and blacksmith. They eventually moved to Mount Lawley where Otto died in 1947 and Alice the following year. Alice's death notice, published in the West Australian on 18 and 23 March 1948, indicated that she and Otto had six children and, in 1948, nine grandchildren as follows:
WEISE: On March 16 1948 at Perth. Alice Annie Weise of 5 Third Avenue Mount Lawley, widow of the late Otto Weise, fond mother of Thelma, Owen, Verna, Betty, Bill and Muriel, mother-in-law of Tom, Leaf, Frank and Rex, loved grandma of Faye, Lola, Lynn, Kerry, Kaye, Barbara, Susan, Diane and Denise; aged 63 years.
Known details of Alice and Otto's children are described below. Their four youngest children are pictured with Otto in the following photo. Click here to see a photo of Alice with her then two youngest grandchildren.
From the Applin Family Tree on Ancestry, this photo, taken in 1939, shows Johann Otto Weise (1880-1949) with four
of his six children: (L/R): Muriel Faith, Elizabeth Valma ('Betty'), Verna Hope and William Arthur ('Bill') Weise.
1) Thelma Elizabeth Louise Weise (1910-2007)
Born at Pingelly in 1910, Alice and Otto's eldest daughter married Thomas Applin (1908-86), the son of Thomas Edwin Applin (1868-1939) and Agnes Moore (1868-1958), at Katanning on 21 January 1935 (Thomas and Thelma's wedding photo is pictured on the left. The photo on the right is of Thomas taken at around the same time). The Applin Family Tree on Ancestry tells us Thomas was born at Monks Green Farm outside Hertford in Hertfordshire in 1908. Four years later he and his parents and eight siblings sailed from Liverpool to Fremantle in Western Australia. The Australian electoral rolls show the family headed straight to the township of Katanning located some 270km southeast of Perth where Thomas' father took up dairy farming. In 1916, Thomas' older brother, Robert Harry Applin, sailed back to England after enlisting in the First AIF. Sadly he was killed in action on 12 October the following year while serving with the 48th Infantry Battalion at Paschendaele. Click here to see a photo of Robert Harry in uniform.
Thomas was working as a shop assistant at Katanning when he courted and married Thelma Weise. Their wedding took place in the local Anglican church and was duly reported on by The Southern Districts Advocate as follows:
To the strains of the "Wedding March" the bride entered the church on the arm of Mr N. Wells (who gave her away) in the absence of her father. She was exquisitely gowned in white morocain, fashionably pin-tucked to fit the figure, with trimmings of kilting at neck and sleeves: Her beautiful veil was held in place with a coronet of orange blossom. She carried an artificial bouquet of white roses and maiden hair fern. The bride was attended by Miss Ethel Stallwood, smartly dressed in flowing blue lace, fashioned on close fitting lines, the skirt inlet with godets to form fullness. She wore a crinoline picture hat of same blue, with grey shoes, stockings, and gloves to match. She also carried an artificial bouquet of pink and white roses, entwined with maiden hair fern. The train-bearer, Miss Muriel Weise (youngest sister of the bride), looked sweet in her pretty frock of deep saxe blue, with pink sash, and head band, ' and she also carried a bouquet'of pink roses. The duties of best' man were performed by Mr S. C. Barclay. After the service the wedding march was played by Mr Gordon Beeck, who presided at the organ. The reception was held at the Masonic Hall, where relatives and friends were received by Mrs Weise (mother of the bride), who was dressed in black reversible satin relieved with white, and black hat to match. She was attended by Mrs Applin (mother off the bridegroom), who wore navy blue morocain with beige trimming arid black hat to tone; both carrying posies of mixed roses and fern. The usual toasts were honored, with Mr A. Barclay carrying out the duties of master of ceremonies; then came the cutting of the beautiful three-tiered wedding cake (made by the bride's mother). After the reception, the tables were cleared and the hall was partaken of for dancing, t to the music supplied by Mr F. Martin, until a late hour, when supper was indulged in and the bride and bridegroom retired to leave for their honeymoon, which is being spent touring through Perth and the South-West, the bride travelling in a frock of floral pink and white morocain, with white hat, shoes and gloves, to match. After the joining of hands and the singing of "For They Are Jolly Good Fellows,"' followed by "Auld Lang Syne," the happy couple left mid shower of confetti and rattling of kerosene tins. Many useful and handsome presents, including several cheques, were received by the happy couple.
The Australian Electoral Rolls show that Thelma and Thomas lived all their married lives at Katanning where Thomas worked variously as a shop assistant and milkman. Thomas died in Perth in 1986 but is buried at Katanning along with Thelma who died there in 2007. They had three children we are aware of: 1) Audrey Faye Applin who married twice, first to Thomas John Harrison (1935-62) and second to Eric Desmond Lake Wickland of 'Spring Hill' in Kirup. We believe Faye had one child with Thomas although that is still to be confirmed. 2) Lola Naomi Applin who married Frederick James Bielby (1932-2012) at Katanning in 1957. She and Frederick had at least three children all of whom married. 3) Thomas Kerry Applin.
2) Henry Hickmott Owen Weise (1914-2000)
Owen was born at Pingelly in 1914. A report in The Southern Districts Advocate (dated 11 February 1935) indicated he worked on the staff of Messrs. Richardson and Co. Ltd before being appointed to the Education Department and employed at the Katanning State School. The Australian War Memorial database for World War Two shows that Owen enlisted in the Army at Katanning on 24 February 1941. He transferred to the RAAF in Perth in 1942, the same year he married Beryl Leaf Thompson, daughter of John Thomas McLennan Thompson (1878-1963) and Hannah Eliza Kinnersley (1881-1971). Owen was discharged from the Air Force in February 1945 and he and Leaf lived for a time at Katanning before moving to Wembley Park where Owen worked as an accountant. From the 1960s onward they lived at Floreat Park and Owen worked as a company secretary. Although still to be confirmed, we think they had at two daughters, Barbara and Susan Joy Weise (who was working as a bank officer at the time of the 1968 election). The WA Metropolitan Cemeteries Board index shows that Owen died at City Beach in Perth on 19 August 2000, aged 86 years. He was cremated and is memorialised in the Garden of Remembrance at Karrakatta (Crematorium Rose Garden 20C, position 108).
3) Verna Hope Weise (1920-2014)
Born probably at Pingelly in Western Australia in 1920, Verna married Francis Alwynne ('Frank') Taylor (1909-87) at nearby Katanning in 1940. His military record shows Frank was born at Port Hedland in Western Australia on 20 December 1909. The Weise Family Tree on Ancestry tells us his parents were William Innes Taylor (1877-1955) and Frances Matilda Skillen (1876-1950) who were married in Victoria in 1899. The Australian Electoral Rolls show Frank was living at Geraldton with his parents in 1931 and working as a store assistant. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WWII nominal roll shows he enlisted in the RAAF at Mount Hawthorn on 9 April 1942 and served until 17 December 1945. At the time of his discharge he a Leading Aircraftman at HQ Western Area. The electoral rolls indicate that Frank working as a clerk both in the Air Force and as a civilian. Both during and immediately after the war, he and Verna at Leederville with their son, Lynn Francis Taylor who was born at Katanning in 1940. From the 1950s onwards, the family lived at Scarborough where Frank continued to work as a clerk and their son as a factory worker and orderly. Once Lynn had grown up and started working, Verna also worked, as a machinist.
The WA Cemeteries Board index shows that a Frank, aged 77, died in in the Perth suburb of Armadale on 26 June 1987. Verna died at Mundaring on 21 December 2014. Both she and Frank were cremated and are memorialised at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth (VC Section, Wall 20, position 001). Their son Lynn posted the following notice in the West Australian after his mother's death: 'TAYLOR (Verna Hope Weise): No words enough what you meant to us, for the loss felt. Great Mum, friend. You and Dad took me home, heart, became family, ours. Lynn, Le, Natelle, Danae, Jono, Kynan, Bailey, Tenniel, Lee, Luca, Dakin. You are now with Dad and Tim. Rest in Peace Lynn and Carmen.'
4) Elizabeth Valma ('Betty') Weise
Betty was born at Katanning in 1924 and married another local, Ford Robinson Quartermaine (1920-45), there in 1942. Ford's parents were Andrew Raymond Frederick Quartermaine (1883-1963) and Mary Louise bain (1883-1979). His military record in the Australian Archives service records show that Ford, who worked as a railway employee at the time, enlisted in the RAAF on 17 February 1942. His NOK, Elizabeth Valma Quatermaine, was then living at Austral Terrace in Katanning (presumably with her parents). The records also show that they had a daughter, Kaye Wanda Quartermaine, who was born on 10 January 1943. Ford died from an electric shock from an air cooled generating set at Tarakan in Boreo in 1945.
Betty and other family members posted memorial notices in the the West Australian on the first anniversary of Ford's death. Betty's read: 'QUARTERMAINE. F. S. (LAC RAAF). Treasured memories always of our darling husband and Daddy, Ford, who was accidentally killed, Tarakan, June 18. 1945. Loved and longed for always by his loving wife and little daughter, Betty and Kaye.' The 'Reverse' WA Marriage lookup website shows that Elizabeth remarried in 1948, to Ewan Thomas Tate, the brother of her cousin-in-law Frank Leonard Tate (who, as described above, married Dorothy Florence Elizabeth Carter in Perth in 1919). The electoral rolls for Western Australia show that she and Ewan, who worked as a mechanic and later a fitter, lived at Coomberdale until around 1972 and thereafter at Riverdale. We don't know if they had any children.
5) William Arthur ('Bill') Weise
Bill was born at Boyup Brook in 1926. The Australian War Memorial's World War 2 nominal roll website shows that he enlisted in the RAAF at Mount Hawthorn in Perth on 1 April 1944 and was discharged on 4 March 1946 as a Leading Aircraftsman in 1 TAF Tele U. The 1949 electoral roll for Mount Hawthorn showed a William Arthur Weise, student, registered at 90 Same Avenue. We think he may have moved away from Western Australia after this possibly to Queensland although that has still to be confirmed.
6) Muriel Faith Weise
Born at Katanning in 1929, Muriel married Rex Egerton-Warburton in the town's St Andrews Anglican Church on 20 March 1946. Rex too was born Katanning (in 1928), the son of Rex Hubert Egerton-Warburton (1894-1962) and Lena Mary Lambe. The Australian Electoral Rolls show that Rex and Muriel have lived all their married lives at 'Woolareen', a sheep station located to the east of Katanning near the town of Kojonop. As described in a report recently published in The Greater Southern Weekender, the couple returned to St Andrews in January this year to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. Among the information provided in the report was tat they had three daughters - Dianne, Denise and Maree - eight grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren. Click here to see a copy of the photo that accompanied the newspaper report.
4. George Alfred Hickmott (1889-1945)
Born at Charlton in 1899, George (pictured on the left) went to Western Australia with his parents in around 1909. As the photo below shows, he worked for a time as a miner before taking up farming at Brookton. Records in the Australian War Memorial show that he enlisted in the 1st AIF on 31 August 1914 and embarked from Fremantle on the transport ship A7 Medic on 2 November 1914. He trained with the 12th Battalion in Egypt but returned to Australia on the Ulysses on 20 March 1915. His records show that he was discharged as medically unfit on 26 July 1915 due to rheumatism, and that prior to enlistment, he had served six months in the Pingelly Light Horse.
The 1916 electoral roll for the Federal division of Swan shows George Alfred Hickmott, farmer, registered as living at Newminster in East Pingelly. The WA index of bdms show that a George A. Hickmott married Mena 'Minnie' May Spice in the Perth registration district in 1920. He and Mena had two children we are aware of: Charles Alfred and Robert Arthur Hickmott both of whom saw active service in the Second World War (see their photos below). In compensation, perhaps, for missing out on Gallipoli, George also enlisted in the Second AIF at Yealering on 26 April 1942. His date of birth was recorded as 21 July 1891 (two years after his actual birth day). His next of kin was Mena Hickmott. His date of and posting at discharge were 'unknown'.
The 1916, 1925, 1931, 1936/7 and 1943 electoral rolls for the Federal division of Swan shows George Alfred Hickmott, farmer, registered as living at Newminster in East Pingelly (in 1925, 1931, 1936/7 and 1943 George's wife, Mena May Hickmott, was living at Kelvin Grove in East Pingelly). Win Noblet's The Hickmott Story 1812-1981 records that George died of lung cancer at Perth. His wife, Minnie Hickmott (nee Spice) was still living at East Pingelly at the time of the 1954 election and died at Leederville in Western Australia in 1969.
What of their children? The Australian War Memorial's WWII database shows 406901 Charles Alfred Hickmott of Victor Harbour enlisted into the RAAF at Perth on 24 May 1941. He derved as a Leading Aircraftman in 1 Operational Training Unit. His next of kin was his father George Hickmott. The same database shows that W74304 Robert Arthur Hickmott of East Pingelly enlisted in the Second AIF at Yealering on 26 April 1942. He served as a private in the 10th Battalion. His next of kin was Mena Hickmott and his date of discharge is unknown. The 'Reverse' WA Marriage lookup website and other sources show that a Charles and Robert Hickmott were both married in the Williams registration district of Western Australia, Charles in 1948 to Valerie Grace Magor,the daughter of Mr and Mrs L.T. Magor of Wickepin, and Robert in 1950 to Dawn H. Hovell.
From the collection provided by my mother, Elsie Cheeseman (nee Hickmott),
this partially damaged photograph of a group of miners in Western Australia includes,
fourth from the left in the rear row, George Alfred Hickmott.
1. George and Minnie's sons Charles and Robert Hickmott c1927.
2. Charles Alfred Hickmott in the RAAF during the Second Warld War.
5. Ruby Minnie Hickmott (1893-1941)
Minnie was born at Charlton in 1893 and moved to Brookton in Western Australia with her parents in around 1909. She married Enoch Arthur Holdsworth (1892-1966) there in 1916 (their wedding photo is pictured below). The following report of the wedding was published in The Pingelly Leader on 30 March 1916:
The Methodifci Church at Brookton was the scene of a very pretty wedding at 11 a. m. on Wednesday 22nd. inst; when Enoch Arthur son of Mr. and Mrs E. Holdsworth of East Brookton, was joined In holy matrimony to Ruby Minnie, daughter of Mr. H. E. Hickmott, M.L.A., and Mrs. Hickmott, of Brookton by the Rev H. Moore. The church was tastefully decorated by the friends of the bride, and Mrs. Carter officiated at the organ. 'The Voice that breathed o'er Eden' was sung during the entrance of the bridal party. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a short cream satin frock, trimmed with, raised silk embroidery and carried an ivory Prayer Book, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride was attended by Miss Holdsworth, (sister of the bridegroom), Miss Olive Whittington and Miss Gladys Austin, whilst Mr G. Hickmott acted as best man. Mr. G. Holdsworth took the part of groomsman. Miss Holdsworth was attired in a soft cream silk frock, with black hat, carried a bouquet of pink roses and fern, and wore a gold broach, the gift of the bridegroom. Miss Whittington wore a dainty silk voile, with hat to match, carried pink lilies and fern, and wore a band ring, the gift of the bridegroom. Miss Gladys Austin was also robed in voile, with black hat, carried a bouquet of roses and fern, and wore a gold brooch, the gift of the bridegroom. The mother of the bride wore black voile and black hat, whilst the mother of the bridegroom wore tussore silk with hat to match. After the ceremony the bride and bridegroom were motored to the Brookton Hall where the reception was held. The table, which was profusely decorated with minature sunflowers and fern, was laden with dainties to tempt one. During the ceremony many toasts were honoured, among them being that of " The bride and bridegroom," "The parents of bride and bridegroom" and "The bridesmaids". After the reception the bride retired to the Club Hotel to prepare for her departure, her travelling costume being a short, navy blue silk relieved with a touch of white at the throat and a tugel straw hat trimmed with cream ribbons and cherries. The happy couple who were the recipients of numerous presents, departed, by the l. 15 pm train for Perth, where the honeymoon is to be spent.
Enoch was born at Cannum (near Warracknabeal) in Victoria in 1892, one of 12 children of Edwin Holdsworth (1856-1919) and Margaret Ellen Wallace (1857-1923). According to a report in The Pingelly Leader published after his death, Enoch's father was 'a native of Ballarat, and when quite a young man took up farming pursuits in the Wimmera. He later removed to Donald with his wife and family to start a business in that town. After some nine years of this life, the call of the land proved too great, so he retired from active business life and migrated to WA. About 12 years ago he acquired land at Stony Grossing and continued farming operations there up to the time of his demise'. One of Enoch's older brothers, Edwin Holdsworth jnr, was killed in action on the day of the Gallipoli landing while serving with the 12th Battalion, 1st AIF. Click here to see a photo of Edwin.
It is more than likely that Minnie and Enoch met each other through the Brookton Methodist Church of which both families were active members. As keen tennis players they would have also been members of the Brookton tennis Club of which Minnie's father was patron. The 1916, 1925 and 1931 electoral rolls for the division of Swan show Minnie living at Dingley Dell at East Brookton. Enoch, who was working as a labourer, was at East Brookton. In 1936/7 Minnie was registered at 24 Spring Park Rd in Midland (Enoch, still working as a labourer, was registered as living on William St in Brookton). Chris Buchanan has told us that Minnie and Enoch had four children: Henry or Ted as he was known as (born in 1917), Dorothy (1920), Iris (1921) and Ronald Holdsworth (1923). Chris added that Henry Edwin Arthur ('Ted') Holdsworth played football for both Swan Districts and Western Australia and married Eileen Winifred Balmer at Guildford on 4 February 1938. Ted's grandson, Ryan Edwin Turnbull, the son of John Turnbull and Kaye Holdsworth, later played football for the West Coast Eagles (another of Henry's descendants, Adrian Hickmott, is presently an assistant coach at the West Coast Eagles).
According to the WA Metropolitan Cemeteries' Board website, Minnie Holdsworth nee Hickmott died at West Midland on 16 October 1941 and was buried in the Wesleyan section of the Karrakatta Cemetery. The following death notices were published in the West Australian newspaper on 18 October: 'HOLDSWORTH - On October 16 at Perth. Ruby Minnie, dearly beloved mother of Ted and Eileen, and grandmother of baby Valerie'. 'HOLDSWORTH - On October 16 at Perth. Ruby Minnie, loving sister of Sophy (Mrs Carter), Jack Hickmott, Flo (Mrs Wilmdhurst), Alice (Mrs Weise), Olive (dec), Willie, George, Ella (Mrs Bowron), Elsie (Mrs Whittington) and Arthur (dec)'. 'HOLDSWORTH ... dearly beloved sister-in-law of Gilbert and Ivy, loving Aunty of Neil.
The 1943 electoral roll shows Enoch, a labourer, living at 5 Harper St West Midland. In 1954 he was at 20 Parker St Bassendean. The 1958 and 1963 rolls show him as a plumber and living at 8 Cooper Street Midland Junction together with an Alma Christina Holdsworth. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows that Enoch, aged 74 years, died at Midland in 1966. He is memorialised in the Crematorum Rose Gardens at Karrakatta cemetery (Wall R, position 91). His second wife, Alma Christina Holdsworth nee Johnson, who he married in the Northam registrationn district of WA in 1956, died at Midland in 1992, aged 89 years, and is also memorialised in the Karrakatta Rose Gardens (Wall R, position 92).
As mentioned above, Ruby and Enoch's eldest son, Harry Edwin Arthur ('Ted') Holdsworth (1917-84), married Eileen Winifred Balmer (1916-2003) at Guilford in 1938. As the Perth Mirror noted, at the time Ted was working as a fitter and playing Australian rules football for Swan District in the Western Australian National Football League where he had already 'played 50 games with Swans, has a bag of 258 goals. Started in 1935, coming from Midland BÕs. Lives at West Midland, is employed at the Midland Workshops. Was a member of the Railway cricket team that toured the Eastern States this year. The only curly-headed man in the team, is a great sport known by his team mates as 'The Peanut King.' Challenges Jim Ditchburn for the title of team's woret dancer. Ted considers Crew and Clarke the two best goalies he has played against this season. He looks a certainty for Interstate honours'. He played for the Western Australian State team on two occasions, the first in 1946, where he played at full forward, and then again a year later when he was at full back. He retired in 1947 after playing 143 games for the Swan District and kicking 532 goals, the second-most of any Swans player after Eric Gorman. He went on to coach Swan Districts in 1952 and later became vice president of the club. He is named in the Swan Districts Team of the Century at full forward. The Australian electoral rolls show that Ted and Eileen lived the bulk their married lives in the Perth of Bassendean. They had at least one daughter, Valerie, in around 1940.
Their second son, Ronald George Hodsworth (1922-2004),enlisted in the 2nd AIF in 1943. He was then living at West Midland and gave his father as his NOK. He served in the Army Ordnance Corps and was discharged in 1946. He married Marjory Iris Woolands in Perth in 1948. He died in Bentley in 2004 and is memorialised in the Banksia Court of the Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park.
1. Photo of Ruby Minnie Hickmott before her marriage
2. Wedding photo of Enoch Arthur and Ruby Minnie Holdsworth (nee Hickmott)
3. Minnie Holdsworth with two of her children.
WA State selector Ted Holdsworth with Swan Districts 1965 state representatives
(L/R) Rear row: Tom Stannage, Colin Maynard, Tony Nesbit and Bill Walker.
Front: Ken Bagley, Ted Holdswaoth and Peter Manning.
6. Ella Adeline Hickmott (1895-1975)
Ella was born at Bungeeluke North near Charlton in Victoria and went with her parents to Western Australia in around 1909. The WA index of bdms shows that she married Cecil John ('Jack') Shean in the Claremont district in 1911 (Ella and Jack are pictured in the photo below). The 1916 electoral roll for the Division of Perth shows Cecil John and Ella Adeline Shean living at 96 Burke St in Balkatta. As the following article entitled 'Shean's Shillyshally with a warrior's wife precedes decree nisi', which was published in Perth's Truth newspaper makes clear, Jack Shean, who was a butcher by trade, was also a philanderer:
Ella Adeline Shean applied to Judge Rooth on Thursday last week for a decree releasing her from the bonds of more or less holy matrimony with Cecil John Shean. The ground for the application was the adultery of Cecil John, "with some woman unknown, at some place unknown". Mr. E. G. Bateman appeared for the petitioner. The respondent was originally represented by Mr. J. W. Clydesdale, but neither he nor the respondent were present at the court. His Honor inquired why it was so. Mr. Bateman said the respondent had been ordered by the court to put up certain costs. He had not done so, and therefore he had been guilty of contempt and not entitled to appear. His solicitor, when the order could not be obeyed, had withdrawn from the case --- In her evidence the petitioner said they were married on August 21, 1911 and lived in different places until finally they settled in Leederville. At the time of the marriage the respondent was a butcher, but latterly he had been following what Mr. Bateman called "the vocation of a fish hawker." In July last the respondent made reference to some woman when she had complained about his being out at night. He said he had got a soldier's wife into trouble. He wanted to bring the woman into their own home so she could be laid up, and they could keep the chiid. The petitioner has not had any family. However, she declined to entertain the proposal, and she expressed her surprise at the respondent's explanation. She spoke to him on several occasions about the matter, and he always persisted in his statement. She had not believed him at first, but eventually she did so, and she ceased to cohabit with him --- Florence May Austin, a sister of the petitioner, said she spoke to the respondent about the matter in July last. She said the petitioner had been a good wife to him, and he "just laughed" and went out --- Fanny Hickmott, aunt of the petitioner, said she visited the petitioner's residence in July last. Only the respondent was home. He said he supposed she had heard "about it". The witness said she had heard that he was accused of getting a woman in a certain condition, and, she added, that surely it could not be the truth. The respondent laughed. She said she had not come to make trouble, but to try and make peace. The respondent replied, "Pooh, pooh; it is too late." Later on. in the petitioner's presence, in reply to some questions, the respondent admitted he had been responsible for the woman's condition. A decree nisi was granted, with costs against the respondent (21 September 1918).
The electoral rolls indicate that Ella went back to live at Brookton where, in 1922, she married Charles Lock (1884-1923). Sadly about 18 months later, Charles was severely injured in a work accident. As the Beverley Times informed its readers: 'he was attending to a stationary engine and the belt flew off and struck him, inflicting severe injuries. He was brought into Brookton Wednesday evening and taken to Perth, where soon after entering the hospital he was placed on the danger list and passed away on the 14th inds. His body was brought back to Brookton on Monday last and was interred in the Methodist portion of the local cemetery, which was well attended by a large crowd' (22 December 1923). Undaunted by her wretched experience, the redoubtable Ella got married again, to a local boy and veteran of the Great War, Robert Bowron (1897-1981), at either Brookton or Beverley in 1927.
According to the Winchester and a number of other family trees on Ancestry, Robert was the son of David Bowron (1860-1941) and Alice Maria Burrows (1861-1937) who were married in 1906 and had five children in addition to Robert: Emily (1891-1937), Maragret (1893-96), Rosa may (1894-96), Annie (1898-1960) and Hilda Mary Bowron (1901-2000). The Australian National Archives shows that at 19 years of age, Robert enlisted in the First AIF at Blackboy Hill. He was allocated to the reinforcements for the 28th Battalion and sailed from Fremantle on the HMAT Shropshire in April 1916. After spending some time training and in hospital at Suez with measles, he sailed from Alexandria on 2 June 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth six days later. He proceeded to France on 5 September and after training at Etaples joined the 28 Battalion on 23 September 1916. Over the ensuing year he spent as much time in hospital as in the field. Finally, after succumbing to a septic heel on 17 March 1917, he was repatriated back to England where he spent time in hospital at Brighton, Dartford and Weymouth. After a medical board eventually found him unfit for active service, he returned Australia on 3 October 1917 and was discharged from the Army on 28 November the same year.
The 1936/7 electoral rolls Ella and Robert, a repairer for the WAGR, were living at Congelin. They were at Popanyinning in the division of Forrest in 1943 and, in 1949, at 49 Mandurah Rd South Fremantle where Robert was employed as a railway worker. They were at 343 Oxford St in Leederville in 1954, 36 Blackwood Street in Mount Hawthorn in 1958, and 23 Upton Street St James from 1963 to the time of Ella's death there in 1975. Robert then moved back to Wyalkatchem where he died in 1981. Although still to be confirmed, we believe that Ella and Robert had a daughter, Gladys Wilma Bowron (pictured with her parents in the photo below), who was born at Perth in 1931 and married Colin Owen Marsh in the beverley RD of WA in 1948. They can be seen on the electoral rolls between 1954 and 1968 (living first at Oingelly and then in Perth). Thereafter their trail runs cold.
Sent to us by Matt Dean, this photo has written on the back of it:
'To Dear Will & Frances with love from Jack & Ella (write soon)'.
We think it was taken sometime between 1911 and 1918 and is of Ella Hickmott
and her first husband Cecil John Shean.
7. Rebecca Elsie Hickmott (1898-1989)
Born at Lalbert in 1898, Elsie moved with her parents and siblings to Brookton in the Western Australian wheat belt region in around 1909. In March 1915 she married a local boy, Robert Spice, at her parent's residence, 'Dingley Dell' outside Brookton. The following report of the wedding was published in The Pingelly Leader a couple of weeks later:
A very pretty wedding celebrated on March 30th at the residence of the bride's parents. Was that of Mr. Robert Spice, eldest son of Mr. H. Spice, of Stoney Crossing, to Miss Elsie, youngest daughter of Mr. and. Mrs. H. E. Hickmott, 'Dingley Dell', Brookton. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked lovely in a robe of cream lace over satin, with a court train of satin and true lovers knots of pearl beads; she also wore the usual wreath and veil. The bridesmaid was Miss Gertie Spice, whilst little Miss Thelma Weise, who acted as train-bearer, made a dainty little picture. The former looked charming in a gown of white silk with white felt hat trimmed with pink ostrich plumes; the latter wore a pretty frock of cream silk, trimmed with cream lace and pale blue sash, she also wore a cream hat trimmed with pale blue. Mr.George Spice supported the bridegroom as best man. The reception was held in the dining room, where the guests assembled at the invitation of Mr and Mrs Hickmott. After the various toasts had been disposed of the happy couple left by motor for Perth and the caves, where the honeymoon will be spent. The bride's travelling dress was a brown silk crepe de chine, with hat to match. The presents were numerous and costly (22 April 1915).
Sadly Robert died at Brookton in 1919 and was buried in the local cemetery. We don't think he and Elsie had any children. We think Elsie lived with her parents at 'Dingley Dell' until her marriage to a returned soldier, Selby Maurice Whittington, in Perth in 1920. Selby's grandparents had come to the Swan River Settlement in the early 1860s and later pioneered land at Dale near Brookton. Selby's father was Robert Whittington (1857-1910) who, according to the Whittington Family Tree on Ancestry, married Isabella Strange (1861-1910) at Beverley in 1889.
On 15 November 1915, Selby (pictured in uniform on the left) enlisted in the First AIF at Blackboy Hill. He was then 21 years and three months old, was working as a farm labourer and had been born at Brookton, the son of John Whittington of East Brookton. His attestation papers show he had previously served 15 months in the 25th Light Horse. Initially allocated to the 16th Battalion, Selby embarked from Fremantle on the SS Multiades on 12 February 1916 and disembarked at Port Suez four weeks later. There he was transferred to the newly-formed 48th Battalion and sailed from Alexandria on 2 June 1916 to Marseilles in France where he and his unit were soon in action in the Battle of the Somme.
Selby was wounded in action on four separate occasions. The first, a GSW to the left hip occurred on 5 August 1916 (most likely at Pozieres) and saw him hospitalised at Etaples before being shipped back to England a week later. He spent time in hospital at Chatham in Kent before being cleared for duty and posted to Perham Downs on 3 October 1916 (where he spent a further period in hospital with the mumps). He sailed back to France on 29 April 1917 and, following training at Etaples, rejoined his old unit on 3 March. Promoted to LCpl on 28 August 1917, he suffered a GSW to the mouth two weeks later - possibly at Bullecourt - and spent time in a Base Hospital at Rouen. On rejoining his unit he was again wounded in action (on 5 April 1918) and repatriated back to England. Selby returned to the front on 16 August 1918 and was again wounded (a GSW to the thigh) two days later. He pent time in hospital in France, where was promoted to Cpl on 26 August 1918 before returning to his unit, thankfully after hostilities had ended. Returning to England in February 1919, he eventually sailed for Australia on the SS Commonwealth and was discharged from the Army in Perth on 19 July 1919.
The electoral rolls for Western Australia show Elsie and Selby, who was working as a farmer, lived at Brookton between 1925 and 1954 (Norman Carter believes they may have lived on Henry's farm after Henry's death there in 1931). The following report in Perth's Sunday Times in December 1929, suggests they could have also lived there beforehand: 'To augment funds for a Christmas tree for the East Brookton State School, the school mistress (Kiss K. Symons) organised a successfui evening, which was held at the residence of Mrs. Selby Whittington. Sixteen motor cars conveyed the surrounding residents, who were well catered for. The older folks Indulged in bridge while the younger set danced and played games. Mrs. Arblaster and Mr. Duffy carried off the bridge prizes, and a happy company disbanded at a late hour'.The couple were still registered at Brookton in 1958 (the roll for that year also included there: Theresa Rebecca Elizabeth Whittington, Arthur James Whittington, baker and pastry-cook and Kenneth Selby Whittington, farmer). On 24 April the following year, The Beverley Times informed its readers that: 'The death occurred at the Beverley Hospital on Monday of Mr Selby Maurice Whittington, an elderly and well-known resident of Brookton and a veteran of the First World War. He is survived by a widow and large family. The funeral took place at Brookton on Wednesday'. The 1963 and 1968 rolls indicate that Rebecca remained at Brookton for a time before moving to Coolbellup in Fremantle. By the time of the 1980 elections, however, she was back at Brookton (at Unit 3 White Street) where she died in 1989 and was buried in the local cemetery.
We are uncertain exactly how many children made up Selby and Elsie's 'large family'. The notices published in the West Australian immediately after the death of her second son, Maurice Andrew Whittington, indicates she and Selby had seven additional children - Arthur, Ken, Frank, Julie, Rhonda, Beryl and Bob - and nine grandchildren. To date, we have only been able to discover any significant information about their first three children as follows
The Australian Archives show that Elsie and Selbey's eldest son, Arthur James Whittington (1920-90), enlisted in the second AIF at Claremont on 4 June 1941 and served as a gunner in the 2/3 Australian Field Regiment. He was discharged on 18 April 1946. According to the 'Reverse' WA Marriage lookup website shows he married Amelia Nora Fabre Simmonds in the Beverley registration district of WA in 1948. The 1949 electoral rolls show that Arthur, who worked as a baker and pastry cook, and Amelia lived at Brookton after their marriage. Arthur died and was was buried at Brookton in 1986. His headstone reads: 'Father of Donald, Lynette and Colin. Husband to Amelie and Duangkamon'.
Arthur's younger brother, Maurice Andrew Whittington (1921-51), served in the RAN during the war and married Mavis Snow (1918-73), the daughter of Alfred Harold Snow and Olga Amelia Vale, in 1941. Maurice died in 1951 and was buried at Brookton. His gravestone states that he was the 'Husband of Mavis and father of Brian and Sandra'. The Whittington Family Tree on Ancestry tells us that Brian married Rosemary Patroni (1942-2001) and had two children both of whom are married and one of whom has three children.
A third brother, Kenneth Selby Whittington (1923-99), enlisted at Rottnest on 28 July 1942 and served as a gunner in the 1st Australian Sound Ranging Battery. He was discharged from the Army on 21 June 1946 the same year he married Elaine Freida Douglas, the youngest daughter of C. K. and Mrs Douglas of Fremantle, in Perth in 1946. The 1949 electoral roll for the division of Forrest showed Kenneth and Elaine were living at Borden in the subdivision of Katanning. In 1954 and 1963 they were at Brookton where Kenneth was working as a farmer. The Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website shows that he died at the Fremantle suburb of Spearwood on 28 January 1999.
8. James Arthur Hickmott (1903-1922)
Born at Lalbert in 1903, Arthur travelled with his parents and siblings to Western Australia in around 1909. It seems he lived and worked at 'Dingley Dell' until his death there in a shooting accident in 1922. The circumstances surrounding his death were described in the following report published in The Pingelly Leader on 15 June 1922:
A serious shooting accident occurred at the farm of Mr. H. E. Hickmott (member for the district) on Friday morning last. As far as can be gathered Mr. Hickmott's son Arthur, a lad of 19 years, got up as usual about 6 o'clock, and proceeded, together with another lad, to carry out his usual early morning duties. The latter attended to the stable work, leaving Arthur Hickmott to light the kitchen fire, etc. However, the report of a gan was heard close at hand, and on investigation by Mrs. Hickmott, she was amazed to find her son Arthur lying close to the house, shot through the body. He was found to be seriously injured, and was hurried into Brookton by Mr. Pond, a neighbour. The lad, who was unconscious, passed away at about 1.30 the same afternoon. An inquiry was opened on Saturday and adjourned. The funeral took place on Sunday at 3 p.m., the cortege leaving the residence of Mr Holdsworth (son-in-law) for the place of interment, the Methodist portion of the Brookton cemetery.
1. Robert and Ella Adeline Bowron (nee Hickmott) and daughter Wilma.
2. Selby and Rebecca Elsie Whittington (nee Hickmott) and sons
Arthur James, Maurice Andrew and Kenneth Selby.
3. James Arthur Hickmott c1920.
'Brookton tennis party' from State Library of Western Australia, Online Image 648D.
'Parliamentary cricketers', Western Mail, 22 December 1921.
Henry Edward Hickmott c1914, Biographical Register of Members of Parliament of Western Australia.
'Henry Edward and Elizabeth', 'Henry and granddaughters', 'George Alfred Hickmott' and Arthur Hickmott from Win Noblet's The Hickmott Story 1825-1981 (Bendigo: Cambridge Press, 1981).
'Sophia Elizabeth Hickmott', 'Western Australian miners', 'Minnie Hickmott', 'Charles & Robert Hickmott', 'Charles Alfred Hickmott',' Ella & family' and 'Elsie and family' from Private photograph collection .
'Reginald and Joyce Carter', 'Norman and Bubbles' and 'Hickmott Family Reunion, 1946' courtesy of Norman Carter.
Pte Reginald Charles Carter, 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.
'Enoch and Minnie Holdsworth's wedding', State Library of Western Australia online Image BA 1011/886.
'Wedding of Thelma Weise and Thomas Applin', 'Thomas Applin', 'Florence and Alice Hickmott' and 'Otto Weise and family', from the 'Applin Family Tree' on Ancestry.com.
Cecil John and Ella Shean nee Hickmott', courtesy of Matt Dean.
'Selby Maurice Whittington', from Dick Whittington's Family Tree on 'MyHeritage'.
Hickmott family Rootsweb site Henry Edward Hickmott and Elizabeth Owen in Victoria Henry Hickmott and Harriet Waters Samuel Hickmott