A new ANZAC relative

Yesterday, as part of the WikiTree Connectathon, I was adding siblings to my great great grandfather John Davey. He was born in Devon in 1834 and came to Tasmania as a free settler in 1855. He had 11 siblings – Thomas born in 1828 and dying young through to Michael born in 1854.

While adding those siblings I came across George born in 1851 who had emigrated to New Zealand in the 1870’s. His first wife was Margaret Collins from Wales and they married in 1878 and had 4 sons, two of whom died soon after birth. The other two sons were Joseph and Arthur. George also had 6 sons and 1 daughter with his second wife. Two of these sons also died as infants.

As part of adding profiles on the WikiTree Connectathon, you have to include sources, so naturally I headed to PapersPast, which is the New Zealand equivalent to Trove here in Australia. While searching for George Davey, I came across a mention of Arthur as a soldier.

Arthur’s life as a child

He was first mentioned in January 1889 as attending St Saviours Sunday School with his older brother Joseph. Both boys were often awarded prizes at this Sunday School.

At age 10 at the Temuka District High School awards night, Arthur won a special prize for spelling.

In January 1893, Arthur, aged 12, was involved in a court session after his younger half brother Frank was assaulted.

Brother Frank in a fight

Arthur as an adult

By 1903, aged 22, Arthur had purchased a coaching business. His father George was also a carrier in the Temuka district.

In November 1907, Arthur was accused of a breach of peace by picking up a passenger without the appropriate license.

Three years later, Arthur was part of a group purchasing land under the Land Settlement Finance Act of 1909.

January 1916 and Arthur’s brother Frank has returned wounded from WWI and will arrive February 6

April 1916 shows a write up about the sons of George Davey who have enlisted.

Was Arthur one of those rejected in 1916?

By October 1916, Arthur’s youngest brother Stanley Edward had also become a casualty of war dying in September.

In January 1917, Arthur leaves for active service and has requested a clearing sale. More details on what was to be sold are listed on another advertisement. He has until March to settle his affairs.

Clearing sale

June 1917 and Arthur was back home at Temuka for his final leave. He was having a great evening with family and friends.

October 1917 and Charles, Arthur’s second youngest brother was also called up to serve.

Arthur’s father, George, received notice his son had been injured and was in a French hospital in December 1917.

Injured in France

This newspaper article will gave me details I could use to research Arthur’s war records.

Arthur spent time first in Christchurch hospital and is now able to use a wheelchair.

By May 1918, Arthur was back in New Zealand but on his way to a hospital near his parents.

Home but still in hospital

Is this Arthur offering to make and repair baskets?

In May 1923, Arthur’s father suggested a special ceremony at Temuka for relatives of those who died in war.

By 1924, Arthur must have been back farming as he was part of a group who owned 1600 sheep which had recently been shorn.

January 1927 sees the passing of George’s second wife Maria Jane. She had brought up Arthur as if he was her own son.

Arthur’s father passes in 1939 and has a fantastic obituary in the local paper.

In 1942 Arthur sells the property owned by his father and has a clearing sale advertised with the noted items to be sold.

I will write another post about all the sons of George who enlisted in the New Zealand military to fight in World War One after I research their war service.

Hannah DAVEY

Hannah Davey was born in 1899 at Englishtown near Blessington in Tasmania. She was the 6th born out of 12 children to George and Martha Davey nee Colgrave.

Birth certificate Hannah Davey 1899 TAHO RGD 33/1/87 no 598

Englishtown is near the mountains of the Ben Lomond National Park in north-eastern Tasmania and would have been extremely cold during winter. The closest town is Evandale about 22kms away. Life would have been very hard for this large family. Hannah’s father, George, was mentioned in local papers as tendering for works on the roads near their land, but otherwise was a farmer.

1912 ‘EVANDALE.’, Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), 7 March, p. 7. (DAILY), viewed 11 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50641551

Hannah’s father died in November 1914, aged just 49 years. He died at the Launceston General Hospital and was interred in the Presbyterian Burial Ground in Evandale. Hannah’s youngest brother, Frederick, was born just one month before her father’s death so I am sure she would have been expected to help look after him when not at school.

Marriage

By 1922, Hannah had moved to the big city of Hobart in southern Tasmania. She was working as a housekeeper to the Lord family in Sandy Bay. This was mentioned in the electoral roll of that year as being on the corner of Grosvenor and Lord Streets. Her future husband, Henry Lewis England, also lived in Grosvenor Street with his parents. This is probably how they met.

Hannah and Henry married on 9 May 1923 at the Methodist Church, Longford. The following article was in the Examiner dated 10 May 1923.

WEDDING BELLS: ENGLAND-DAVEY. The marriage of Hannah, fourth daughter of Mrs. Davey, of Longford, and the late Mr. George Davey, late of Deddington, and Henry L., only son of Mr. HL. England, and the late Mrs. England, of Sandy Bay, Hobart, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Longford Methodist Church. Rev. George Arthur, M.A., was the officiating minister. The church was charmingly decorated with white roses and chrysanthemums and autumnal leaves by Misses Gladys Wheeler, and Millie Lee. The bride was given away by her young brother (Mr. Bert Davey) in the unavoidable absence of her elder brother (Mr. W. G. Davey, of Hobart). She wore a pretty frock of white organdie muslin embroidered with beads, and a wreath of orange blossoms and veil, the latter being loaned by her cousin (Mrs. Arthur Sherwood). She carried a shower bouquet of choice white flowers, tied with satin streamers. Her only attendant was her sister (Miss Doris Davey, who wore a frock of white crepe merle trimmed with blue. She carried a posey of white blossoms tied with blue streamers, and wore a gold bangle, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride’s brother (Mr. George Davey) supported the bridegroom as best man. Mrs. Davey (mother of the bride) wore a costume of navy blue serge and a black hat. Miss Gould played the “Wedding March” during the signing of the register, and as the newly-wedded couple left the church, Mrs. Davey entertained the bridal party and immediate relatives at wedding tea at the conclusion of the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. England left for Launceston, and later on the North East Coast. where the honeymoon will be spent. Mrs. England’s travelling dress was a smart navy blue costume, with cream crochet front and a navy blue and gold hat, with Oriental trimmings. She also wore the bridegroom’s gift – a handsome black fur. Her present to him was a pocket wallet and notebook.

Henry Lewis England and Hannah Davey at marriage May 1923
at Methodist Church, Longford, Tasmania.

Family life

Hannah and Henry had three daughters: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934 and still alive with stories to tell. Iris died one month after the birth of Phyllis, so my mum didn’t get to know her eldest sister. These are some memories my mum had about her mother and family life:

  • Hannah enjoyed crocheting and cooking, especially fish.
  • She always helped on committees at Sandy Bay Methodist church.
  • We always went to Long Beach for picnics – caught the double decker tram at the bottom of King Street.
  • We had no car and no phone and only once dad had built the new laundry and bathroom did we get hot running water.
  • Hannah chopped off the top of her thumb helping with the new building.
  • We walked everywhere or caught the trams.
  • Hannah’s mum lived with us for six months of the year and the other half with Hannah’s sister Lizzie who lived in Lenah Valley.
  • We grew a lot of our own food and dad had a great peach tree in the backyard.
  • We used to have lots of visitors and cousins (who were back from the war) who would stay with us – Eileen stayed for four years while doing her high school study.
  • On Sunday, dad would cook the roast on the fuel stove while we went to church and Sunday School.
  • For tea every Sunday we would have sponge cake and scones and eat at the dining room table rather than the kitchen table. It was a special event.

A few other pictures of Hannah and the family:

Iris and Margaret in the backyard at Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay
Iris and Margaret at Long Beach, Sandy Bay, Tasmania.
Henry, Hannah, Iris and Margaret at Hobart Regatta about 1929
Henry, Hannah, Margaret and Phyllis about 1937

Henry Lewis England died in March 1963 aged 74. Nearly four years to the day Hannah died March 1967 aged 67.