Sunday, 26 January 2014

Australia Day: Climbing our family's gum tree

My children have fifty-one direct ancestors who were immigrants to Australia. It has been quite a job to gather and arrange this information about them.

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was my fifth great grandfather George Taylor (1758 - 1828). He came to Tasmania in 1822 with wife Mary née  Low (1765 -1850) and his family. His descendants still run Valleyfield near Longford, the property he and his sons farmed.
"Valleyfield" Epping Tas. The "Taylors" have lived here for over 100 years. , about 1914 - about 1941 Photograph in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. Accession number H22546. A.C. Dreier postcard collection. Retrieved from

Were there any convicts? There are no convicts on my side. On my husband Greg's side we know that Caroline Clarke, his great great grandmother who married George Young, was born in New South Wales about 1835. We haven't been able to trace her parents, so perhaps they were convicts.
Where did our ancestors come from? Twenty-six from England, seven from Scotland, two from Wales, eight from Ireland, and four from Germany.  One of our English forebears was born in India. There are at least four immigrants in the list of fifty-one that I know nothing about.

Did any of our ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? Many paid their own passage, and there were some assisted immigrants.  Only one seems to have worked his way to Australia. This was John Plowright, who stated when admitted to Maryborough Hospital in 1873 that he had arrived in the colony on the Speculation from London about 1853 and his occupation was mariner.  He wasn't listed as a deserter but perhaps he signed off to go to the goldfields.
How many ancestors came as singles? couples? families? Thirty-two of the fifty-one immigrants, or sixty percent, came as families. Thirteen came as single immigrants and there was only one couple without children: John and Sarah Way.
Did one person lead the way and others follow? There are quite a few instances of this. 
  • The de Crespignys probably came because Charlotte's brothers had been given jobs by Governor Latrobe. 
  • The Edwards probably came because Mary's sister Sarah and her husband Francis Tuckfield were already in Australia. 
  • Philip Chauncy followed his sisters, who had arrived in Adelaide two years previously. 
  • The Plaisteds followed Ann's sister and brother, who had arrived twelve years earlier in Adelaide. 
  • Isabella Hutcheson née Taylor followed her parents and brothers to Tasmania in about 1833 after the death of her husband.  She came with five young children.
  • My grandfather came first after the war and his wife and daughter joined him ten months later. My grandfather was the only immigrant to arrive by air.
Which state(s)/colony did our ancestors arrive? Eight arrived in Tasmania, eighteen in Victoria, fifteen in South Australia, two in Western Australia and four migrated to the Australian Capital Territory.

Forty-two, or ninety percent, of our forty-seven immigrant ancestors arrived before 1855, one arrived in 1888, and the remaining four arrived in the middle of the twentieth century after World War 2.

Number of arrivals by year of arrival:

1822 1833 1835 1836 1838 1839 1840 1849 1850 1852 1853 1854 1888 1949 1950 1960
2 2 3 1 2 2 3 6 3 3 6 9 1 1 2 1
Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? No, for example
  • the Ways moved from South Australia to Victoria and then to New South Wales
  • the Ralphs moved from Victoria to South Australia
  • the Plaisteds and the Hughes moved from South Australia to Victoria
  • the Cudmores and Nihills moved from Tasmania to South Australia
  • the Hutchesons moved from Tasmania to Victoria
  • Philip Chauncy moved from South Australia to Western Australia to Victoria
Did any of our ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? William Snell Chauncy visited his children in South Australia for only twelve months before returning to England. Gordon Mainwaring and his wife Mary née Hickey both died in England as did their son-in-law, Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring. My grandparents and mother visited Germany.

generated by inspired by the image by Sharon at who also responded to the challenge

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Sepia Saturday: First World War faces - Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh-Mainwaring at Gallipoli

This week's Sepia Saturday blog post topic focuses on the faces of the First World War.

Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring at Gallipoli in 1915

Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1869 - 1933), an Adelaide surgeon, was my great grand uncle.

On August 19 1914 he enlisted the First Australian Imperial Force at the age of 44 and was assigned to the Light Horse as a member of the Medical Corps.

NAA: B2455, Mainwaring Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh page 05 of 70

Dr. Cavenagh-Mainwaring Selected. (1914, August 20). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 7. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from

THE NATIONS AT WAR. (1914, August 25). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from

 He arrived at Gallipoli on 12 May 1915 and was evacuated 11 September 1915, sick with enteritis.

NAA: B2455, Mainwaring Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh page 13 of 70

Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring (right) at Gallipoli with Arthur Murray Cudmore. My great grandfather, Arthur Murray Cudmore, also a surgeon from Adelaide, was his brother-in-law. I don't know who the seated man is although it may be Bronte Smeaton, a fellow doctor from Adelaide.

In November 1915 Wentworth was recommended for an award and was later presented with the Serbian Order of the White Eagle 5th class (with swords) on 7 September 1917 (gazetted 15 February 1917). My father still has this medal in its presentation box.

The  Order of the White Eagle with Swords, which was awarded for wartime services contributing to Serbia’s victories, was created by King Peter II during World War 1 and is distinct from the Order of the White Eagle.( ) A discussion thread on the Great War Forum states  a lot of foreign awards were to members of Corps & appear to be their bravery & meritorious awards rather than giving MM's & DCM's. However there seems to be no authoritative  statement as to why. Over 37,000 names appeared in the London Gazette as having received foreign awards. ( ) 

There seems to be no record of the specific reasons for Wentworth receiving the Serbian award and I assume it was associated with the nomination in 1915 to receive a French award.

Rank: Captain
Unit: 3rd Light Horse Regiment
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Award: French Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Fifth Class
Date of recommendation: 16 November 1915
from the Australian War Memorial website Recommendation for award:
For repeatedly exposing himself to sniper's fire while attending to men wounded by sniper's fire in Monash Gully between 11-5-15 and 30-5-15 and for consistent good work in the field since those dates.
Australian War Memorial Photograph IDnumber C02676 Photographer Unknown Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Anzac Area (Gallipoli), Shrapnel Gully Area, Shrapnel Gully Date made May 1915 Description The main track up Shrapnel Gully on the Gallipoli Peninsula, showing traverses, built to provide cover from Turkish snipers. It was near this site that 283 Major General William Throsby Bridges KCB AIFHQ CMG, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1st Australian Division, was mortally wounded. Pope's Hill can be seen in the background.

Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring served for the  duration of the war. His obituary mentions his war service.

DEATH OF WAR SURGEON. (1933, June 29). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 41. Retrieved January 17, 2014, from
In 1967 my grandmother applied for the ANZAC commemorative medallion as Wentworth's next of kin.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A quiet wedding in Staffordshire

Lady Kitty Says—. (1931, July 23). Advertiser and Register (Adelaide, SA : 1931), p. 14. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from
Rosemary Cudmore (1904 - 1987) was the older sister of my grandmother Kathleen.  Rosemary married her cousin, Rafe Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1906 - 1995).

No Title. (1930, December 26). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), p. 5 Edition: SPORTS EDITION. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from

This is Rosemary in the early 1930s. She's dressed in what's possibly her wedding outfit.
Rafe, also from the early 1930s.

Trove Tuesday: home movies in 1933

Social Doings Of The Week. (1933, March 16). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 53. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from
We still have those home movies and I remember being shown them by my grandmother, Kathleen.  My brother has had them copied to DVD.

Some stills of scenes that would have been viewed that evening in March 1933:

HMS Effingham arriving Colombo Harbour
Aden from the Salt Works

Aden from the Salt Works (another scene)
Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem
Rhodes shipping
Athens Acropolis
Trooping the Colour - 1932
Hendon Air Show - 1932
Hendon Air Show
The film of Hendon Air Show I found particularly fascinating.
Hendon Air Show - Westland-Hill Pterodactyl flying wing - probably version iv, an experimental tailless aircraft
Hendon Air Show - gyrocopter?

The pictures of Whitmore would seem to be those that were the backdrop for a comedy film called "A Run for his Money". Unfortunately I am not able to capture any meaningful stills of Whitmore - the village and lake featured in the film as well as the grounds of Whitmore.
Kathleen played the heroine Elsie Oozegold
Rafe Cavenagh-Mainwaring played the heroine's father Isaac Oozegold, a Steel Magnet (sic ;) )

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny (1897 - 1969)

Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny was the fourth of the six sons of my great great grandfather, Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850 - 1927).  His mother was Sophia Montgomery Grattan née Beggs (1870 - 1936).

He was born on 8 April 1897 at "Ottowa", Gladstone Parade, Elsternwick, Melbourne.

Family Notices. (1897, April 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 1. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from
inscribed For Birdie - with love from H. V. Champion de Crespigny Nov. 1912. Birdie was the wife of Hugh's oldest brother Philip. This photograph came to me by way of Birdie and Philip's son John

On 30 August 1914 Hugh enlisted in the 7th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force.  He had previously served as 2nd Lieutenant in the 46th Battalion of the Senior Cadets from 1 January 1914 resigning on 14 October 1914. He was discharged to the 2nd Expeditionary Force in October 1914. (NAA: B2455, DE CRESPIGNY H V C) Hugh was only 17 years 4 months at the time of this enlistment.  His original attestation papers are not available.

In May 1915 his name (and that of his brother Constantine Trent) was added to the Brighton Grammar School Roll of Honour.

The War. (1915, May 8). Brighton Southern Cross (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from

Hugh Champion de Crespigny enlisted in the British Army on 16 Jul 1915 as a Flying Officer in the Special Reserve RFC (Royal Flying Corps). He had gained his Royal Aero Club Aviator Certificate No 1099 on 26 February 1915. He retired from the Airforce in November 1945 as an Air Vice-Marshall (the equivalent of an army Major General). (

Inscribed H. V. Champion de Crespigny taken on his Viplane (Vicars) - Netheravon - England. For Phil and Birdie. Accompanying a letter from France dated 3rd April 1916.

From RFC Communique No 24 (13 December 1915):
2nd Lt De Crespigny and Lt Insall (Vickers Fighter, 11 Sqn) while patrolling over Bienvillers, sighted an LVG [German reconnaissance two-seater]. They chased the hostile machine which crossed the lines and made off in the direction of Bapaume.(

From RFC Communique No 27 (14 January 1916):
2nd Lt De Crespigny and 2nd Lt Hughes Chamberlain (Vickers F.B, 11 Sqn) sighted a Fokker near Bertincourt at about 8,000 feet. The German immediately began to dive, the Vickers following and firing nearly one drum of tracer bullets. The Fokker was seen to descend with great speed to earth and was last seen in a field. As the day was hazy it was impossible to ascertain if the hostile machine was completely wrecked. An Albatros and another Fokker were sighted at about 2,000 feet, but owing to engine trouble the Vickers was unable to attack and recrossed the lines.(

From RFC Communique No 32 (2 April 1916):
Capt de Crespigny on a machine of 11 Sqn (observer, 2nd Lt J Hughes Chamberlain) while on patrol attacked five LVG biplanes over Lens. He fired three drums at the first at about 11 yards range and three drums at the second at about 40 yards. The latter dived steeply towards the German lines. The other three machines made off. Capt de Crespigny's machine was now completely out of control, the engine having stopped, the propellor being smashed and the control wire shot away. Capt de Crespigny, however, with great skill brought his machine to the ground behind our own lines without any casualty to himself or his observer. (

Hugh was awarded the Military Cross in 1916:
"2nd Lt. (temp. Capt.) Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny, Suff. R. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and skill, notably when he attacked five enemy machines over the enemy's lines. He drove away one, and brought another to the ground badly hit. His own machine was then crippled by the fire of the remaining three, but, after emptying one more drum at them, he brought his machine down safely in our lines." (London Gazette - 16 May 1916)
In 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
“Maj. Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny, M.C. (Suff. R.). (FRANCE)
A brilliant and gallant officer who displays high initiative in night flying, in which service his example has been invaluable to those under his command. On the night of 23rd-24th. September Major Champion de Crespigny carried out a long distance bombing raid. Flying a machine unsuitable for night duty, and in face of adverse weather conditions, he reached, and successfully bombed, his objective. A fine performance, calling for cool courage and determination.
(M.C. gazetted 16th May, 1916.)” (London Gazette – 3 December 1918)
After the war he was promoted to captain and then posted to India.(

During the Second World War he served as AOC, AHQ Iraq and Persia in 1942 and 1943.(
Once A Private. (1943, October 22). Army News (Darwin, NT : 1941 - 1946), p. 3. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from and AUSTRALIAN'S AIR POST. (1943, October 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from

Air Vice Marshal Hugh Champion de Crespigny, Commander of the Royal Air Force in Iraq and Iran, at his desk. Photographed by Cecil Beaton. Photograph CBM 2192 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.

After the war Hugh de Crespigny served as Regional Commissioner, Schleswig-Holstein Control Commission for Germany.(

As British governor of Schleswig-Holstein, Air Marshal Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny (center, with hat in hand) visits the Kieler refugee camp in June 1947 together with the British minister for the occupied territories in Germany, Lord Francis Pakenham (right). Image retrieved from ZENTRUM GEGEN VERTREIBUNGEN (Centre against Expulsions)

Wants RAF To Save Children. (1945, November 27). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 13 Edition: HOME EDITION. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from

Graham-Dixon, Francis. The Allied Occupation of Germany: The Refugee Crisis, Denazification and the Path to Reconstruction.  I.B.Tauris, 2013. Google Books, 2013. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. <>. pages 94-5

In 1926 Hugh married Sylvia Usher in Wiltshire.
Family Notices. (1926, November 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 13. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from
Air Force Wedding at Fovant. (1926, October 15). Western Gazette (Yeovil, Somerset), p. 7. Retrieved from Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The article goes on to describe the dresses, the presents and the guest list.  The guests included Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny who proposed the toast of the bride and bridegroom as well as Hugh's brother Constantine and his wife, plus a Colonel Champion de Crespigny - not sure who this is but probably one of the sons of Sir Claude.

 Hugh and Sylvia had four sons
  • Robert Vivian (1927 - 1929)
  • Hugh Philip (1928 - 2004)
  • Anthony Richard (1930 - 2008)
  • Julian Augustus Claude (1934 - 1974)
Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny died on 20 June 1969 at Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa.
The Times 23 June 1969 page 18

Medals of Hugh Vivian Champion_de_Crespigny which were sold in 2001 for £6200 together with some photographs and letters. Lot description from ?itemid=28098 (retrieved 2011): A fine Second War C.B., Great War Pilot’s M.C., D.F.C. group of twelve awarded to Air Vice-Marshal H. V. Champion_de_Crespigny, commanding No. 29 Squadron R.F.C. and No. 65 Squadron R.A.F. on the Western Front, and with extensive service on the North West Frontier of India The Most Honourable Order of The Bath, C.B. (Military) neck badge, silver-gilt and enamels, in its Garrard case of issue; Military Cross, G.V.R.; Distinguished Flying Cross, G.V.R.; 1914-15 Star (2. Lieutenant, R.F.C.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Major, R.A.F.); India General Service 1908-35, 4 clasps, Mahsud 1919-20, Waziristan 1919-21, Waziristan 1921-24, North West Frontier 1930-31 (F/Lt., R.A.F.); Africa Star; Defence & War Medals; Coronation 1937; French Croix de Guerre 1914-18, the last eleven mounted as worn, together with a Polish pilot’s badge by Firmin, nearly very fine or better, the I.G.S. extremely rare (13) £4000-4500 Sold by Dix Noonan Webb, 16 Bolton St, Mayfair, London, W1J 8BQ.