Friday, 24 June 2016

Letter to New Zealand by Dolly KELLY (Johanna Margaret BINDON nee BARRETT)

 Johanna Margaret BARRETT was born in New Zealand in 1885 and was adopted by my great great grand uncle, Thomas KELLY and his wife Juliana. 
Thomas had gone to New Zealand from Australia in 1862 to follow the gold rushes.  
He married Juliana BASSETT in 1867.
Thomas died in 1912 and Juliana in 1929.
Later Thomas' nephew, Alexander MORGAN, joined him in New Zealand.
Alexander was the older brother of my paternal great grandmother, Mary ADAMS nee MORGAN.
Alexander married Lavinia (Vena) Stuart in 1894.  
Alexander died in 1929 and Lavinia died in 1954.
I am extremely grateful that descendants of Alex and Vena have shared with me many of his letters and photos.  I am amazed at what he kept.

Johanna BARRETT and her adoptive mother Juliana KELLY
Dolly (Johanna KELLY) and her adoptive mother Juliana KELLY nee BASSETT.
 A letter written to Vena MORGAN by Dolly from Sydney in 1933.
In this letter Dolly mentions the above photo.


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Private Ernest John (Ah KING) KING

The KING (AH KING) family are a challenge to research, even more so in recording the war service of the three youngest boys of Thomas AH KING and his wife; my great great grand aunt, Euphemia nee MASON.
Thomas AH KING who was born about 1843 in China had died in 1900 when Ernest was aged thirteen, Edmund eleven and David only five.  All eleven of the children's births were registered with Thomas KING/AH KING as father.

I have previously written about the war service of the two youngest, Edward (Edmund) James  and David Alexander.
None of the boys listed their mother as next of kin on their attestation papers.

When their mother married Richard POPE (pretty quick) in 1900  it is said he didn't want a chinese child in the house so their youngest sister, three year old Rachael, was "put on the State" (made a ward of the state).
She never got to know her family....... another story to come.

Richard POPE died in 1915 and Euphemia married Frederick ELLIS in 1920.

I haven't yet found where the boys were living at the time but it seems likely they were with their eldest sister Margaret who had married William CLOVER in 1894.  Margaret died in 1914.

When researching Edmund and David I didn't know that Ernest had also enlisted in the First A.I.F. until I found their mother's death notice in the newspaper archives at Trove .

In the war service records there was only one Ernest KING born at Birchip.  He enlisted into the 14th Battalion on the 4th of November 1916.  He was later in the 29th Battalion. 
His address was given as Holbrook, New South Wales, next of kin was first listed as a friend, Henry COLLYER also of Holbrook.  Later the next of kin was changed to cousin, Miss F HOWARD of Upper Edmonton, London.



It looks as though Ernest may have cut all ties with his mother and siblings.  
He declared "I Ernest John KING have no occasion to make a will" and to me it looks like the words "Parents forgotten" crossed out.


On the 17th of November 1916 Ernest embarked from Sydney on the SS Port Napier.  By March 1917 he was in France.  In October that year he sustained severe gunshot wounds to the thigh and face and in November was sent to hospital in England where he spent some months recuperating.

April 1918 saw Ernest at the No 1 Command depot at Sutton Veny.
On the 10th of December 1918 after some further medical issues Ernest returned to Australia on the "Somali" and was discharged from the A.I.F in March 1919.

On looking for further records of Ernest I came across a Will in New South Wales which named his wife as Lydia Violet Thorburn. His occupation was farmer and grazier.
Ernest died on the 8th of January 1940.
Ernest and Lydia had married at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales in 1919.  They had 5 children.
In the electoral rolls Ernest's address after the war was Coppabella near Holbrook, New South Wales.

 Interestingly Lydia had been married previously but her first husband turned out to be a bigamist.
From the 1919 New South Wales police gazettes I learned that a warrant was issued in Albury for the arrest of Private William LANE reg # 6887 of the same battalion as Ernest.  William was on active service abroad and was also from Holbrook.
He was being charged with bigamy as when he married Lydia at Holbrook in 1916 he had already been married in England, and was still, to an Ann GRIFFITHS of High Ercall in Shropshire.


Monday, 20 June 2016

Trooper David Alexander KING (AHKING)

David Alexander AHKING (surname later changed to KING) was born in 1895 at Wirrimbirchip (now known as Birchip) Victoria, Australia.
David was a first cousin of my great great grandmother, Margaret HART.

He was the tenth child and sixth son of Euphemia Margaret MASON (1859-1942) and Thomas AHKING.  Thomas was born in Canton, China in 1843.  He died at Maryborough in 1900. Euphemia is recorded as marrying Richard POPE in 1900. At the time of her mother's remarriage, the youngest child Rachel AHKING was a ward of the state.  It is said that Richard Pope didn't want a Chinese child in his house.

The older surviving children may have already left home and sadly David and his brother Edmund James were both killed in the war.

On his attestation paper of December 4, 1914, David named his older brother Arthur as next of kin.
Arthur's address was recorded as Kellerberin, Doodlakine, Western Australia.
David enlisted at Culcairn, New South Wales on the 28th of November 1914 and was recorded as 22 years old, 5 foot 11 inches tall in one record and 5 foot 9 inches in another.  He weighed 160 lbs with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and light brown hair.

A timeline of David's war service from the National Archives.
20 Feb 1915 embarked at Sydney per HMAT A21 Marere
18 July 1915 Sick with influenza
23 July 1915 Admitted to 1st A.C.C.S
27 July 1915 Admitted to NZ Hospital Port Said.
3 August 1915 Admitted to 1st A. StynHpl Mudros
13 August 1915 Admitted to 24th CCS Mudros
20 August 1915 Insubordination at Mudros.  72 hours detention
24 August 1915 Rejoined regiment ex-hospital.
3 October 1915 Pyrexia - adm 1st Aust Cas clearing stn to hosp
5 October 1915 admitted to 21st G Hpl Alexandria. Enteric.
12 October 1915. Reported sick to HPL
10 November 1915 Adm to enteric conv camp Port Said.
13 December 1915 Invalided to Aust for 3 months. change ex Suez.
13 December 1915 Sailed from Suez on Wandilla Arr Melb 1/4/1/16 (sic) enteric fever

4 April 1916 return to duty 2nd M.D
10 July 1916 Trans to Camel Corps ex 2nd L.H.T. Rgt
15 July 1916 Taken on strength No 11 Coy 1 Camel Corps.
25 July 1916 App T/Lance Cpl.
11 November 1916 Trans from 6th L.H. & T.O.S of 3rd Anzac Bn 1CB de (states T/L.Cpl)
13 December 1916 sick to Hpl. ex 1. C.C No 12 Coy
15 December 1916 Adm to 24th Styn Hpl. Disorders of Accommodation.
15 December 1916 Adm to 24th Stat Hpl.
17 December 1916 disc to duty
18 December 1916 reported for duty X Hpl

28 January 1917 Insolence to an NCO "In the Field"
4 Feb 1917 Deprived of 5 days pay (states 12th Coy I.C.C)
28 Feb 1917 Delay in obeying an order in the field
1 Mar 1917 Awarded 3 days F.R. No.2 (Pte)
19 April 1917 Reptd. "wounded in action" Near Gaza & to Hpl same date.
19 April 1917 Shell wd Lt shldr 4th fld Coy Amb
29 April 1917 Died of wounds GSW Chest at 2nd Aust Sty Hpl
29 April 1917 GSW Back & through lung.  Died at 2nd Aust Sty Hpl El Arish
Buried by W.A. Moore C.F. Chaplain

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Witnesses state that about 8 am on the 19th of April 1917 during the second Gaza Stunt (2nd Battle of Gaza) David King suffered dangerous gunshot wounds to the chest while at the front of enemy lines.  "He was well liked by all, jolly and cheery always".

Several letters in 1920 and 1921 record the War office searching for Arthur King's address regarding who is next of kin of David. Correspondence had been sent to the recorded address of Arthur being c/o Hedge's Store, Koolberrin, via Bruce Rock, W.A.

NAA: B2455, KING D A

NAA: B2455, KING D A

The Bruce Rock postmaster informed that his address was unknown, believed to have returned to Victoria.
The manager of Hedge's Store later informed Base Records that Arthur King's address was now Birchip, Victoria.
Nearest next of kin was to be established for the disbursement of David's medals.

Eventually, David's mother, Mrs. E Pope of Stawell made contact with the War Office and was granted his war gratuity and medals.