Passing of the Pioneers

A small group of Western District pioneers join Passing of the Pioneers this month.  Among them are immigrants from Scotland, England and Canada and, as usual, each have an interesting story. Their names have now been added to the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Peter DALLIMORE – Died September 1901 at Warrnambool.  Peter Dallimore was born in New Brunswick, Canada around 1842.  His father Captain Joseph Dallimore was born at the Isle of Wight in 1805.  He went to North America and married Mary Smith of Philadelphia.  The settled at St. Andrews in Charlotte county, New Brunswick, Canada where Peter was born in 1842.  In 1850, Mary Smith died.  Peter arrived in Australia and  went to the Warrnambool district in the late 1860s.  He married Marianne Meek on 15 March 1870 at St. James Cathedral in Melbourne.

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 19 Mar 1870: .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 19 Mar 1870: <;.

Peter set up a wool-scouring business on the banks of Lake Gillear near Allansford.


 "[No heading]." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918) 21 Dec 1870: 1. .

“[No heading].” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1873; 1914 – 1918) 21 Dec 1870: 1. <;.

In 1876, father  Joseph Dallimore arrived to Victoria aboard the Macduff.  He died at Warrnambool in 1878 and was buried at the Warrnambool Cemetery.

In the 1884, when journalist The Vagabond was touring Victoria, he called in on Peter Dallimore.  I  feel that he  may have crossed his wires, thinking Peter was a “native of the Old Dominian”…Virginia.  Peter was from Charlotte County in New Brunswick in Canada.  There is also a Charlotte County and a Brunswick in Virginia and no doubt Peter had a North American accent further confusing The Vagabond.

"PICTURESQUE VICTORIA." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 10 Jan 1885: 43. .

“PICTURESQUE VICTORIA.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 10 Jan 1885: 43. <;.

Peter Dallimore was buried in the Warrnambool Cemetery with his father and wife.  I have the Cemeteries of the S.W. USB that includes the Warrnambool Cemetery and a photo of the Dallimore headstone.  It is very informative and includes a memorial to Peter’s mother and all dates and places of birth.

George MARRINER – Died 7 September 1911 at Colac.  George Marriner was born in Fulham, London around 1833 and arrived in Australia around 1857. George was a nurseryman and established the Fulham Nursery in Colac.  He was also a founding member of the Colac I.O.O.F. In 1908, George’s wife Elizabeth was sitting by the fire in their home when her clothing caught alight.  George, in his mid-seventies, returned to the room and tried to douse the flames but to no avail.  Elizabeth died from her burns.  At the time of George’s death he had three sons and a daughter.

Thomas STAINSBY – Died 26 September 1914 at Warrnambool.  Thomas Stainsby was born in Melbourne in 1848.  He went to Warrnambool and worked as a bootmaker and lived on Raglan Parade.  Thomas took a keen interest in all sports in Warrnambool but cycling and pedestrianism where his preferred sports and was a handicapper for both.  He was also a sergeant in the Volunteer Militia and was involved with the Church of England men’s society.  Thomas had a shop in Fairy Street, Warrnambool and rode his bike each day from his home in Raglan Parade.  On the morning of his death, he rode to work as usual but on his return home around lunchtime, he collapsed off the bike and died soon after.  As two of Thomas’ sons were members of the Warrnambool Brass Band, the band did not play at the Saturday afternoon football or the evening pictures on the day of Thomas’ death.

Ellen MAY – Died 27 September 1914 at Ecklin South.  Ellen May was born in Berkshire in 1834.   She arrived in Australia in 1857 aboard the Sir William Fyre and in 1860 she married George Rodgers at Ballarat.  Their first child was born at Smythesdale in 1861.  During the early years of their marriage, George tried gold mining around the Haddon area and operated a grocers at Speciman Hill.  Eventually, they selected land in the Heytesbury forest, near Cobden and named their property Sunny Banks.  Ellen and George had seven children and one of those, Ellen Matilda Rodgers married my 1st cousin 4 x removed, Arthur John Harman, in 1891.  Arthur was a son of Jonathan Harman.

John Hutchinson MURRAY – Died 23 September 1935 at Glenthompson.  John Murray was born at Brighton in 1873 to William Murray and Harriett Hutchinson.  William Murray was the owner of Brie Brie near Glenthompson and had resided there since 1869, breeding fine Merino sheep.  When John was twenty-two, he built a golf course at Brie Brie, after playing the game in Scotland. It was one of the first private golf courses in Victoria.

John Murray was also a keen student of Australian History and had many books on the subject.  He was also interested in the history of Brie Brie with Sir Thomas Mitchell having passed over the same land while exploring Western Victoria in 1836.  In 1909, when that part of Brie Brie was sold off, John removed a tree that one of  Mitchell’s party had marked.  He was concerned bushfires would eventually destroy the tree and history would be lost.  He donated the trunk to the town of Hamilton as a public memorial.  The trunk was positioned in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens with a pair of whale bones.  The display was removed in 1984.  John was buried on the private cemetery at Brie Brie along with his parents and other owners of the property.  More about the Major Mitchell tree trunk is on the following links:

James Patrick DEVLIN – Died 4 September 1942 at Portland.  James Devlin was born at Cape Bridgewater in 1858.  He first worked for John Thomas Edgar at Kadnook near Harrow, then moved to Edgar’s station Thackaringa near Broken Hill.  At Broken Hill, James caught the mining bug and prospected first at Broken Hill and then Kalgoorlie where he spent thirty years.  He was manager of several different mining ventures while in Kalgoorlie.  James was also associated with Sir Sidney Kidman, possibly during their time in Broken Hill, and was good friends with Thomas Browne aka Rolf Boldrewood, author of “Robbery Under Arms”.  In 1891, James married a Portland girl Kate Duffy and they had two children.  In 1908, James returned to Portland residing in a property at North Portland until his death.

Jane KIRKWOOD – Died 2 September 1944 at Hamilton.  Jane Kirkwood was born at Hamilton in 1856, the daughter of  Scottish immigrants, William Kirkwood and Jane O’May.  The Kirkwoods lived at Buckley Swamp.  In 1885, Jane married William Chadderton and they settled at Glencoe near Bochara.  William was a renown breeder of Jersey cattle.  After William’s death in 1916, Jane moved into Hamilton to live until her death in 1944.  She was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.





Jessie Cairns SPALDING – Died 25 September 1944 at Cobden.  Jessie Spalding was born in Scotland in 1861.  As a baby, she travelled with her parents to Australia, arriving at Geelong.  They then went on to the Ballarat diggings.  From her time at Ballarat, Jessie recalled the visit from the Duke of Edinburgh in 1867 as depicted in the engraving below.

Samuel Calvert, engraver. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

Samuel Calvert, engraver. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

When Jessie was eighteen, she moved to Camperdown where she met Thomas Fletcher.  They married and raised a family of ten children.  One son was killed fighting during WW1.  At the time of her death, Jessie had thirty-five grandchildren and forty great-grandchildren.

Trove Tuesday – Thomas Hannay’s Photographs

One of my favourite Facebook pages “Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection” alerted me to some new treasures at one of my favourite websites, Trove. Those treasures were the Portland photos of Thomas Hannay, taken around 1859 and held by another favourite, the State Library of Victoria.

From the collection, a photo of Claremont, built by Stephen Henty in 1852 and rented to his brother Francis Henty, caught my eye. The house was the subject of a Western District Families post two years ago. Thomas Hannay’s photo is terrific and if the date on the photos of c1859 is correct, Claremont was in its infancy. At the time of the photo, Francis Henty used the house as a summer home when not at his property Merino Downs.


CLAREMONT c1859. Photographer Thomas Hanney. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/5

CLAREMONT c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/5


As I scrolled through the photos, some familiar names appeared.  They were the names of some of the Portland pioneers who have appeared in Passing of the Pioneers posts or other Portland related posts here at Western District Families.

There was Thomas Must’s home Prospect (below). Thomas was a Passing Pioneer in September 2013. The photo I found of Prospect for that post was from the 1960s, but Thomas Hannay’s photo shows Prospect, built in 1855, as a reasonably new home and with the Must family posing in the front yard.


"PROSPECT"c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/26

“PROSPECT”c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/26


There was also a photo of Captain James Fawthrop’s home. James Fawthrop’s grave was part of the Old Portland Cemetery Part 2 post. He was famous as captain of the Portland lifeboat that went to the aid of the steamer the Admella in 1859. The good Captain, his wife Jane Rosevear, and child posed for Thomas Hannay on his trip to Portland.



FAWTHROP RESIDENCE, PORTLAND. c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/16.


George Crouch’s name was familiar to me, as his wife, Marianne Trangmar was one of the pioneer women of Portland featured in the book Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance I wrote about in January 2013.  Their family home is below.


CROUCH RESIDENCE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hanney. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/14

CROUCH RESIDENCE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/14


Thomas Hannay, not only photographed George Crouch’s home, he also photographed his business Trangmar & Crouch that he started with James Trangmar.  The business was established after James Trangmar, a December 2012 Passing Pioneer, arrived in Portland in 1844. James Trangmar  removed himself from the business in 1856 but the name continued on. The business moved to new premises in 1857 and it is presumably that building that was photographed by Thomas Hannay.



TRANGMAR & CROUCH c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H2013.345/20.


Stephen Rowan Robertson, a Passing Pioneer from August 2013, married William Corney in 1846 and the house below is their family home in Portland.


Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/9

CORNEY FAMILY RESIDENCE, PORTLAND, c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/9


Robertson’s Iron Store (below) was owned by the Robertson brothers, James, John, and William.  James and William are among Western District Families’ Passing Pioneers .


ROBERTSON'S IRON STORE, PORTLAND c1859. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/2

ROBERTSON’S IRON STORE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/2


But Thomas Hannay’s photos are not limited to Portland. I also found Larra near Camperdown, the home of March 2012 Passing Pioneer, John  Lang Currie.  John Currie purchased Larra Estate in 1844.


"LARRA" c1859. Photographer John Lang Currie. Image no. H2013.345/42

“LARRA” c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image no. H2013.345/42


There are over eighty photographs by Thomas Hannay, from towns including Digby, Sandford, Hotspur, and Woolsthorpe and you can find them on the following link – Thomas Hannay’s Photographs

Back at Trove, I searched for Thomas Hannay and found he was from Maldon, but was Thomas Hannay Sr the photographer or Thomas Hannay Jr? The following articles are their obituaries, with father Hannay, passing away in 1883 and his son in 1897.


"MALDON." Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918) 7 Dec 1883: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2015 .

“MALDON.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 7 Dec 1883: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2015 <;.



"LOCAL NEWS." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 24 Sep 1897: 6. Web. 8 Sep 2015 .

“LOCAL NEWS.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 24 Sep 1897: 6. Web. 8 Sep 2015 <;.


Passing of the Pioneers

August Passing of the Pioneers includes a member of the Victorian Parliament, a publican, and a school principal.  All of this month’s pioneers are now on the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Robert HEANEY – Died 20 August, 1890 at Melbourne. Robert Heaney was born in Ireland around 1836.  He married Jane Armstrong and soon after they departed for Australia. The Heaneys arrived on the General Hewitt at Portland Harbour on 9 October 1856.  They spent the first ten years in Victoria at Heywood before moving to Condah Swap, later known as Wallacedale.

Mary Ann COUGHLAN – Died August 1917 at Caramut. Margaret Coughlan was born around 1833 and arrived at Portland on 21 January 1848 aboard the Sir Edward Parry with her siblings to meet up with their parents Jonathan Gordon Coughlan and Jane Richmond who settled in that town.  After some years, during a trip to Caramut, she met John Bendall and they married in 1864.  John was the manager of Hopkins Hill and The Gums, near Caramut for John Moffatt.  After the sale of The Gums, John Bendall operated a store and post office in Caramut until his death in 1887.  Mary Ann remained living at Caramut and was eighty-four at the time of her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

John THOMSON – Died 3 August 1917 at Melbourne.  John Thomson was born at Warrambine Station near Shelford in 1853.  His parents were James Thomson and Christian Armstrong.  In 1870,  James Thomson purchased Monivae near Hamilton from the deceased estate of former Police Magistrate Acheson Ffrench.  The family resided in the original homestead built for Acheson Ffrench but a new homestead was completed in 1877.

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

John attended Scotch College in Melbourne where he was one of the college’s finest athletes.  After he completed his schooling, John returned to Monivae. Soon after he entered public life, first as a Dundas Shire Councillor.  In 1892 he contested the seat of Dundas in the Victorian State Parliament.  He held the seat from 1892 to 1900 and from 1902 to 1914.  At the age of fifty-six, in 1909 John married Christina Robertson.

Aside from his political life, John was on the management committee of the St Andrews Presbyterian Church and member and onetime president of the Hamilton Racing Club.  He was also a supporter of many of Hamilton’s community and sporting groups, including the P&A Society, the Hamilton Pipe Band and the fire brigade.  John Thomson was attending a public school football match in Melbourne on 3 August 1917, when he died suddenly.  He was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

In 1919, a fountain was unveiled in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens by the then Victorian Premier, Harry Lawson in memory of John Thomson




William DERHAM – Died 16 August 1918 at Port Fairy.  William Derharm was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and arrived in Victoria around 1863.  He first worked at Korongah Station at Rosebrook for Messers Lydiard and Knight. He then turned to onion growing and resided at Korongah Lodge. William left four daughters and two sons.

Robert FRASER – Died 4 August 1918 at Strathkellar.  Robert Fraser was born in Scotland in 1841 and arrived in Adelaide in 1854 on the Joseph Rowan with his parents Archibald and Helen Fraser and his four sisters.  They soon headed for Victoria and resided at Bochara.  In 1865, Robert married Jane Mason and they settled and farmed at Muddy Creek.  Robert died at the home of his daughter at Strathkellar and was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.  Jane died only a few weeks before.

Francis Hazel WRIGHT – Died 18 August 1918 at Hamilton. Francis Wright was born at Broadwater around 1865.  He took up the running of the Grange Hotel (later called George Hotel) in Hamilton around 1914. He was involved with many Hamilton sporting clubs and the gun club.  For thirty years he was part of the Victorian Land’s Department rabbit extirpation branch and served as an inspector for the last five years of his life.  Three weeks before his death, Frank broke his kneecap while climbing into his buggy.  He then contracted pneumonia and died.

Christina Ross LINTON – Died August 1926 at Hamilton.  Born at Inverness, Scotland in 1848, Christina came to Victoria with her parents William Linton and Jean Sinclair and her younger brother John around 1851 aboard the Statesman.  William gave his occupation as shepherd.  In 1868, Christina married Thomas Laidlaw at Wickliffe.  Christina and Thomas moved around between properties, Thomas had interests in and their first stop was Lake Roy in South Australia.  They also lived at Glenburnie, Macarthur, South Wonwondah Station and finally Glencairn just south of Hamilton.

Christina was buried in the Laidlaw family plot at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.




Rose Hannah HANN – Died 18 August 1935 at Portland.  Rose Hann was born in Somersetshire in 1850 to Paul Hann and Asenath Pitman.  The family arrived at Melbourne in 1852 aboard the Priam and stayed in the area for a time, before travelling to Portland to settle.  Around 1871, Rose married John Marshall.  Early in their marriage, they spent some time at the Bendigo diggings but most of their lives, Rose and John lived at Portland.  They raised a family of eleven  children.

Clara Jex EDRICH – Died August 1937 at Portland.  Clara Edrich was born at Portland in 1855 to Richard Jex Edrich and Eliza Martin and was baptised at St Stephens Church.  In 1877, Clara married John Guy at St Stephens Church, Portland by the Reverend Allnutt.

St Stephens Church, Portland


After a year of marriage they took up residence in Barclay Street, Portland, the birthplace of eight of Clara and John’s nine children and where Clara died in 1937.  John passed away four years before Clara.

Mary Arabella “Minnie” HISCOCK – Died 29 August 1941 at Hotspur.  Mary Hiscock, born in 1859 at Hotspur, was the daughter of James Hiscock and Mary Cobb and was known as Minnie. After her birth, the Hiscocks moved to Lower Crawford and Minnie remained there until she was fifty-eight in 1917 when she returned to Hotspur.   In her younger years, Minnie was known as a fine horsewoman and would ride around the countryside to attend balls and other social gatherings.  When she was seven, she rode with her father from Hotspur to Birregurra east of Colac, a distance of around 235 kilometers which took three days. Minnie never married.

Florence Helena LAIDLAW – Died 26 August 1944 at Malvern.  Florence Laidlaw was born at Port Fairy in  1858 to David Laidlaw and Eliza Fraser.  Although Florence was born at Port Fairy, where her grandparents William and Agnes Laidlaw lived, David and Eliza Laidlaw resided in Hamilton where David was a saddler.  David Laidlaw quickly rose to prominence in the Hamilton district and went on to serve five terms as Mayor of the town.  In 1873, David laid the foundation stone for the Alexandra Ladies’ College in Hamilton, of which he was one of the founders.

"TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 11 Nov .

“TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 11 Nov <;.

Florence Laidlaw attended Alexandra Ladies’ College and later became the headmistress.



On 29 December 1917, the Weekly Times reported on a trip Florence was making to Sydney to stay with her sister and mentioned she was the headmistress at Alexandra College.  However, she appears to have retired soon after.  On 25 July 1919, the Horsham Times reported that Florence was intending to visit Japan with Edith Lansell, daughter of George Lansell of Fortuna, Bendigo. After her return from overseas, Florence moved to South Yarra.

Trove Tuesday – A Venerable Couple

While researching Hamilton soldier Samuel Winifred Trigger recently, I stumbled across this wonderful photo at Trove of Samuel and Eliza Trigger, grandparents of Private Trigger, published in the Weekly Times on 14 April 1917.

"A VENERABLE COUPLE." Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015 .

“A VENERABLE COUPLE.” Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015 <;.

Further searching at Trove uncovered the obituaries of Eliza and Samuel, published in the Port Fairy Gazette on 18 March 1918 and 15 April 1918 respectively, and with the help of various records, I was able to find out a little more about Eliza and Samuel.

Eliza was the daughter of Charles Whittaker and Catherine Totterdale and was born in Naae, Ireland around 1823.  After the death of Charles Whittaker, a Battle of Waterloo veteran, Eliza’s family moved to Somersetshire, England.  That is where she met Samuel Trigger, formerly of Devonshire.  They married in 1847 at Bridgeport, Somersetshire and their first child Emily was born around 1848 in Somersetshire.  They then moved to Avening, Gloucestershire and another daughter, Christina was born in 1850.  Samuel was working as a miller and the family lived in Ball Street, Avening.  Another child, a son Henry, was born before they departed Plymouth in 1852 for Australia aboard the Eliza.  The family arrived at Portland on 9 April 1853.

Firstly, Samuel and Eliza settled at Mt Taurus north of Warrnambool, and Samuel worked as a sawyer.  They eventually moved to the Macarthur/Warabkook area where they remained for the duration of their lives.  Eliza passed away on 6 March 1918 and Samuel, only weeks later, on 1 April.  They were buried at Macarthur Cemetery.  The last piece of significant news they most likely received was that of the death of their grandson Samuel Winifred Trigger at Moquet Farm on 16 August 1916.  The family received notification almost a year later, on 11 July 1917.

After I found the photo of Eliza and Samuel, I posted it to the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, knowing a lot of Trigger descendants are members of the group, many I know personally.  Therefore, after reading the obituaries of the couple, I was not surprised to learn that when they passed, Samuel and Eliza left four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren.


Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915

National Library of Australia – Trove Digitised Newspapers

Pubic Record Office of Victoria, Index to Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871



More Soldiers, More Sorrow




Writing the profiles of the Hamilton WW1 soldiers has highlighted the month of August of 1915, 1916 and 1918 as particularly sad times for the town’s residents.  There was heaving fighting at Gallipoli during August 1915 with the battle of Lone Pine, the Charge at the Nek and the attack on Hill 971 and Hill 60.  During July and August 1916 there was heavy fighting at the Somme, France with the battles at Fromelles, Pozieres, and Moquet Farm.  During August 1918, there was the Battle of Amiens.  Many Hamilton men lost their lives during those months.

You can now read forty profiles of Hamilton’s WW1 soldiers from the tab at the top of the page “Hamilton’s WW1“.





Currently, I’m working to finish the profiles of the men who died during August, particularly those for whom it is now 100 years since they made the ultimate sacrifice.

The stories of Albert Sheehan, Arthur Lewis and Claude “Dot” Douglas are particularly sad considering they watched the occupancy in their tent diminish. Thirteen men occupied their tent at the start of their Gallipoli campaign.  By the beginning of August, only the three Hamilton mates were alive.  As the month passed, one by one, Albert, Arthur, and Claude did not return.  By the end of August 2015, their tent was empty.


Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P00649.004

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P00649.004


There is also the story of Lieutenant Edward “Ted” Henty of the 8th Light Horse Regiment (8th LHR), grandson of Stephen George Henty.  Before departing overseas, he married his sweetheart at Hamilton’s Christ Church. Ted was killed during the charge at the Nek.  A son he would never know was born in the months after his death.  Also killed at the Nek and with the 8th LHR was William Hind, who at the time of his enlistment was beginning his career in the printing industry with the Hamilton Spectator.  One man, an officer from an esteemed Victorian family, the other a private of working class blood, but each with so much more to offer.  They bravely gave their lives in what was one of the most futile battles of WW1.


"DISTRICT HONOUR ROLL." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 23 Sep 1915: 6. Web. .

“DISTRICT HONOUR ROLL.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 23 Sep 1915: 6. Web. .


With each profile, I attempt to uncover how the enlistment affected the family and the town’s residents and how each lost man was remembered.  In some cases, the shock of the loss of a son saw the death of a parent soon after, as was the case with the father of Arthur Lewis.  Other men had wives and children. I’m writing the profile of William John Clyde Kirkwood, a man who sits on the edge of my family tree with a Kirkwood link through marriage. The effect of his death on his children reverberated for well over a decade.  Parents and wives had exhausting ongoing correspondence with the Defence Department, often for years, sorting out pensions, medals and personal effects.  Some had to get around administrative challenges of incorrect names given at enlistment or the death of the listed next of kin.  There were also the men who returned home, like William Brake and Albert Davies (below) who never fully recovered from their war experiences.



STANLEY & ALBERT DAVIES. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DA15721


It is a privilege to research the stories of the Hamilton’s soldiers.  It’s easy to feel an attachment to them and in a small way feel the sorrow of their families, in the reading of their service records, letters published in the Hamilton Spectator, and looking at photographs of young, fresh faced men with innocence in their eyes.  One such soldier was Stan Niddrie (below) a quiet country lad, at home on his horse with his dogs bringing up a flock of sheep. He also shared his thoughts in letters home to his sister.  Nineteen at the time of his enlistment in September 1915 and just 5’4″, Stan would stand six feet tall during his service, working his way through the ranks, reaching Sergeant just before he was killed near Villers-Bretonneux in August 1918, only months from going home.  Stan’s eyes would have seen much during his three years of service, their innocence taken away.


STANLEY ROY NIDDRIE. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DASEY1899

STANLEY ROY NIDDRIE. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DASEY1899


The stories of the men, each from different backgrounds, with different war experiences, and different fates, all end the same.  There were no winners from The Great War and we really don’t understand what those that lived it endured.  Albert Lewis, writing home after the Gallipoli landing so rightly said, “I am certain there is not a single person in Australia who can near realise what their boys went through”.




James and the Bushranger

My son is now eleven and thinks he’s a bit too cool for history.  But not all is lost. Often I can get him interested in history without him even realising.  Besides taking advantage of his confinement in the car when travelling through the Western District and imparting snippets of history to him, I know that I can take him anywhere historic if I can capture his imagination.  I knew I could do that at the Port Fairy Cemetery in January.  I was after some more headstone photos and the lure for Lachlan was the chance to see the grave of a bushranger.




The story of “Dick” the Bushranger unfolded just up the road from the cemetery, in front of the St Patrick’s Catholic Church on the Port Fairy/Yambuk Road, now known as the Princes Highway. We visited the church in 2014 and Lachlan took the following photo.





It was 12 February 1859 and the local constabulary had heard two bushrangers were approaching the town.  With only three local mounted police, they split up to make sure all roads into town were covered.  Constable Wigmore came face to face with the alleged bushrangers at 5.00pm near St. Patrick’s church.  After some questioning, he attempted to arrest them and warned them he would shoot if they continued walking toward the town’s centre.  One of the men refused and produced a pistol and Constable Wigmore felt he had no choice but to follow through with his warning and he shot the man.  The following report appeared in The Age of 24 February 1859.  Another report was published in the Geelong Advertiser of 23 February 1859.



The name of the dead man was not known.  His companion, William Darcy, said he only knew him as “Dick” and said they had met at the Yambuk Hotel where they allegedly stayed the night before.





William Darcy was charged with highway robbery by Portland police in the days after, as reported in the Portland Guardian and Normanby Advertiser on 2 March and stood trial in May 1859. Darcy was found guilty and sentenced to five years hard labour for assault and highway robbery as reported by the Portland Guardian and Normanby Advertiser on 13 May 1859.  Witness statements at the committal hearing published on 2 March would suggest both men were guilty and they didn’t support Darcy’s claim that he and “Dick” were at the Yambuk Inn, rather camped by the road.  But many questions remain and it was only the word of the defendant against the two witnesses, that led to Darcy’s charges.  “Dick” had no opportunity to give his side of the story.

A search of the Central Register of Male Prisoners at the Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV VPRS 515) found that William Darcy (no. 4481), a Presbyterian, was just twenty-three and had arrived in the colony alone and had no relatives in the colony.  He was sent to Pentridge Prison. Beyond William Darcy’s personal information, there was little else to take from the file.

“Dick” was buried in the Port Fairy Cemetery in a grave marked with rocks.  In recent years, an addition to the grave is a headstone, with the words “Did He Deserve This?”.  I’ve been on one of Maria Cameron’s wonderful Port Fairy cemetery tours and she believes from her research, that “Dick” was Frederick, but the mystery remains as to his true identity.

The story of “Dick” the bushranger is unlike any other bushranger story I could share with Lachlan.  As the dying man took his last breath, Lachlan’s gggg grandfather James Harman was present.


"A BUSHRANGER SHOT." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 24 Feb 1859 .

“A BUSHRANGER SHOT.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 24 Feb 1859 <;.


It was no surprise to learn that James and his brother, possible Jonathan Harman, were heading out of town toward Yambuk.  Although I am yet to fully establish James’ movements from the time he disembarked from the Duke of Richmond at Portland harbour in 1854 until he arrived in the Byaduk area around 1861, I do know that James was first employed at Boodcarra between Port Fairy and Yambuk.  I took this photo of Boodcarra from a moving car, simply because the road at that point is not good for stopping.




By 1859, James may have resided at Port Fairy, so he would be visiting Yambuk.  A reason for a visit was to see good family friends and later extended family, the Olivers who were living at Yambuk around that time.  Jonathan and Reuben Harman later married two of the Oliver girls.  They were also church friends of the Harmans, another reason James, a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher, may have headed out the Yambuk Road.  Perhaps there was a prayer session at a the home of another Wesleyan Methodist.  When there was not a local Methodist church, gatherings were held at private homes, by candlelight, and often running late into the night.  Whatever the reason, I am sure it was a trip James and his brother never forgot.

So mission accomplished, Lachlan learnt something of his family history and I got more headstone photos to add to my collection.   You can see some of those photos in my two Port Fairy cemetery posts to date – Port Fairy Cemetery Part One and Port Fairy Cemetery Part Two.


Hamilton Old Cemetery

In 1850, Henry Wade, the surveyor for the Portland district, completed a plan of the township of Hamilton, then known as The Grange.  He was under instruction from Robert Hoddle, the head of the Melbourne Survey Office.  Hoddle requested Wade set aside eight acres for a cemetery.  Wade surveyed a site on the then Wannon Road, later known as Coleraine Road. That site became the Hamilton Cemetery but is now more commonly known as the Hamilton Old Cemetery after the first burial at the Hamilton Lawn Cemetery in February 1970.  Some burials occurred at the old cemetery after that time, but generally with existing graves.




Of the cemeteries I have visited in the Western District, the Hamilton Old Cemetery is the one closest to my heart. The following grave is the one that first took me there.  The time of my first visit is unclear but maybe as a toddler.  I’m not sure who I even went with.  Maybe my Nana or my great auntie Rosie, both daughters of Thomas and Sarah Hadden. Both Nana and Auntie Rosie took me to the cemetery many times as a child.




The visits to the cemetery were a regular Sunday ritual. If I heard Nana say, “Those flowers would be nice for the cemetery”, I knew the camellias or the dahlias were in bloom and a cemetery visit was impending. Of course, there were also the visits on significant dates.  Nana and Auntie Rosie would weed the plot and put fresh flowers in the vases and I would fill the vases with water at a nearby tap.  The vases in the photo (above) have been with the grave since the beginning as Mum remembers them when she was a child visiting the grave.  And now my son, a fourth generation descendant, has visited the grave of his gg grandparents Thomas and Sarah.

Thomas Hadden was born in Cavendish in 1879, a son of a Scottish immigrant while Sarah was born Sarah Elizabeth Harman at Byaduk.  Her mother, Lizzie Bishop, passed away when Sarah was seven and she and her two siblings were raised by their father Reuben and step-mother Emma Lorden.  Thomas Hadden and Sarah Harman married in 1904 at Byaduk.  They raised seven children in a small house on Coleraine Road, their first-born Lucy Angelina in 1905.





Both Sarah and Tom passed away in their sixties. Tom in 1943 aged sixty-four and Sarah in 1948 aged sixty-five, both still relatively young.

When I was ten, there was another grave to visit at the cemetery, that of my great Uncle Len Hadden.  We probably visited it before that, but it’s not in my memory. My great-aunt Jessie was buried in 1969, but I was one-year-old and don’t remember her, but I do remember Uncle Len.




Arthur Leonard Hadden (below), better known as Len, was the second child and oldest son of Thomas and Sarah.  He was born in  February 1907 at Hamilton.  Len attended the Hamilton State school and became a butcher.




Len married Jessie McPhail in October 1928 at Hamilton.  Jessie was born at Tahara to Archibald McPhail and Jessie Wilson in 1905.  Jessie and Len had four boys.


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Visiting Uncle Len at his home on Port Fairy Road, Hamilton during the 1970s was memorable.  Then a widower, he was in his mid-sixties but he seemed very old to me.  I recall he always had the newspaper open on the table and the radio going, the racing station I think, and he didn’t talk much to me, not in the way his younger brother Bill did anyway. Uncle Len had an ankle biting silky terrier called Scruffy I was a bit scared of and a talking cockatoo.  Most memorable was his outdoor dunny, the only one I had seen at the time, and I can still recall the smell which was probably phenyle.




From the Hadden’s, the next of my family graves are those I discovered when I began researching my family history.  As a child, I had no idea there were others in the cemetery related to me.  Little did I know my great-grandmother Sarah Harman’s great-uncle and aunt William Reed and Sarah Burgin were there and not too far away either.

William Reed and Sarah Burgin were the subjects of my post The Muddy Creek Reeds.  There you can read about William’s early life in Cambridgeshire and later as a husband and father living at Muddy Creek.




Also buried there is Edna Alice Ford, a grand-daughter of William and Sarah.  Her parents were Martha Reed and James Ernest Ford and she was their fourth born.  There is also William Reed Jnr, the eldest child of William Reed and Sarah Burgin. Dying aged eighty-six, William never married.

Not far away is the grave of another of William and Sarah’s children, Sarah Ann Reed (below). She married William Kirkwood of Buckley’s Swamp in 1903.  They settled at Buckley’s Swamp and raised a family of at least seven children.  I have several more photos of Kirkwood graves and I will feature those in a future post on the Hamilton Cemetery.




There are more of the Reed family graves to photograph including William and Sarah’s daughter and mother of Alice Edna Ford, Martha Reed and her husband James Ford.  Also daughter Eliza Reed and her husband James Clayton and her sister Alice Reed and Alice’s husband Henry Brewis.  Williams and Sarah’s son, Albert Reed and his wife Elilias Patman are also buried in the cemetery.

Nearby the grave of William and Sarah is the last resting place of Sarah’s parents Richard Burgin and Eliza Addinsall.  They were from Lincolnshire and arrived at Geelong aboard the Joshua in 1854.  Accompanying them were their children, Richard Jnr, Sarah, William and baby Hannah.  According to the passenger list, they were heading to nearby Batesford, the home of relatives.  They eventually made their way further west and were in the Hamilton district by 1858 when their daughter Eliza was born.  They settled at Muddy Creek, a small settlement just south of Hamilton with a large Methodist population.




Devout Wesleyans, the Burgins attended the Muddy Creek Methodist Chuch.  That is where the Burgin, Reed, Harman connection all began.  My ggg grandfather was a local preacher and in the early 1860s, before he settled his family at what would become Byaduk, Muddy Creek was their nearest church.  James’ wife Susan Reed was a sister of William, who arrived in the district from England as a single man and settled around Muddy Creek.  Sarah and William met, possibly at church, married and the rest is history.

The first burial in the Burgin plot was Eliza Burgin Jnr who passed away in 1874 aged sixteen.  Her mother Eliza followed in 1883 aged sixty-six then father Richard who passed away in 1888 aged seventy-eight.


"The Horsham Times." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 8 Jun 1888:.

“The Horsham Times.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 8 Jun 1888:<;.

The last burial was, Hannah Burgin who never married and passed away in 1923 aged seventy.

Still close by is the grave of Sarah Harman’s 1st cousin 1 x removed, Jessie Harman.  Jessie, of Byaduk, was the daughter of Reuben Harman and Elizabeth Oliver and married Hamilton man, Walter Greed in 1898.




Walter’s parents, John Weaver Greed and Emma Grinter started an undertaking business in Hamilton in 1861.  Around 1890, it was taken over by Walter’s younger brother Frank after the death of their father. It  became known as F.Greed & Sons and today the descendants of John and Emma run the business on the site where the business began 154 years ago.

Walter was the nephew of Abraham Greed a Hamilton coachmaker and at one time, Mayor. When he finished school, Walter went to work with his uncle in the coach building trade.  After their marriage, Jessie and Walter lived at 21 Stephen Street (below), with not only their children, Vera and Arthur, but at times, Jessie’s mother and two sisters, Beatrice and Sarah.


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Jessie and Walter’s son Arthur married Evelyn Sack around 1928 at the Hamilton Baptist Church, just a couple of blocks from the Greed home.


"SOCIAL." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 22 Jun 1928:.

“SOCIAL.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 22 Jun 1928:<;.





Evelyn was born in Shepparton, but her family moved to Hamilton soon after and her father Frederick Sack operated a jewellers and optician business in Gray Street.  The family lived at 46 Martin Street.

"Advertising." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918) 8 Jun 1918>.

“Advertising.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1873; 1914 – 1918) 8 Jun 1918;.


Arthur Greed worked in the materials and curtain department in Miller’s store also in Gray Street.  After he and Evelyn married, they lived at 20 Stephen Street, across the road from Arthur’s parents.  In their later years, Arthur and Evelyn retired to Portland.  They passed away within three months of each other in 1993.






We now make our way to the opposite end of the cemetery to the Diwell plot.  On my last visit, I found another Diwell grave along the way.




I’ll have to use the cemetery records to find out who it belongs to, however, I have narrowed it down to possibly being Jonathan Richard Diwell, born at Hamilton in 1919 and who died in Hamilton in 1928.  He was the son of William Diwell and Vita Gleeson and grandson of Richard Diwell and Elizabeth Jelly, buried in the next featured grave.

This grave is the most ornate of my family graves at the cemetery, the final resting place of my gg grandparents, Richard Diwell and Elizabeth Jelly and four of their children.




You can read more about Richard and Elizabeth in the posts Elizabeth Ann Jelly and Another What the Dickens Moment.

Buried with them are four children including the baby Elizabeth gave birth to in 1900, with both dying as a result.  Also Richard and Elizabeth’s seventh child, Ernest Richard. He died in 1939 aged forty-eight after accidentally drinking spirits of salt.




The grave is looking a little worse for wear.




There are still several Diwell related headstones to get photos of.  They include Richard and Anne’s three young granddaughters, Hilda, Linda and Margaret the daughters of Margaret Ann Diwell and her husband Frederick Coustley.  There are also Richard’s sister Margaret Ann McClintock and her daughter Martha Emily McClintock and another daughter Mary Crawford McClintock who married John Blackney.

Since my collection of Hamilton Old cemetery photos is close to 200, this is not the last post on the cemetery.  Next, a tour of some of the graves of those who shaped Hamilton.


Garden, Donald S. (Donald Stuart) and Hamilton (Vic.). Council Hamilton, a Western District history. City of Hamilton in conjunction with Hargreen, North Melbourne, 1984, p38.

Hamilton History Centre Driving Tour

Gardner, Margaret & Heffernan, Val & Hamilton History Centre (2007). Exploring Hamilton : mini histories for drive no. 1. Hamilton History Centre, Hamilton, Vic, p15.

Victoria. Register of Assisted Immigrants from the United Kingdom. Microfiche VPRS 14. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria, sourced from


©Merron Riddiford 2015.  The use of the content and images in this post is according to Western District Families’ Creative Commons License