Thursday, 25 April 2019

Anzac Day 2019: Remembering Andrew Crawford

Today I remember Andy Crawford, mum's cousin - B2455, ANDREW CRAWFORD, SERN Major, Tatura VIC. 8th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron; part of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
I have written a full story (click here), of Andy's war service.  (warning it is very long - 29 pages).

This is just a brief summary of ANZAC day, when Andy, in the 3rd Light Horse Brigade faced death at Gallipoli.

Charles E W Bean an Australian WWI war correspondent and historian records the action at Gallipoli:
‘The first line was to seize the Turkish trenches on ‘The Nek’; the second was to pass over them and take the nearer saps [short trenches] on ‘Baby 700’ [hill]”.

The 3rd LHB attempted against all odds to cross ‘The Nek’, led by the 8th LHR. Four waves attacked with 150 men each, they had no chance and were slaughtered. Andy was in the second wave following over the top just two minutes after the first.
From an Alexandria Military hospital Andy’s letter describes to his sister:
“The crackle was deafening and the smoke of the bombs terrific… We were only a minute or two behind the first line, and when we got up to them there wasn’t a man left standing, so we lay down and took as much cover as we could…I crawled forward a few yards and had a look at the Turks’ trenches. The 10th Regiment formed the 3rd and 4th lines and they came out soon after us. We got up and tried to rush forward with them, but it was no use. I got hit on my thigh as soon as I started to get up and was rolled right over.
My left leg was stiffened a bit with the hit, but I crawled on a bit further. I got right amongst the dead, and it was there I got the one in the back and several grazes on my back and one on my head. These I did not feel. All of the bullets that hit me came from the left flank and I am thankful to say that they went right through. After I was hit I wriggled back as far as I could undercover and lay there for some time. After a while, I heard the regiment was retiring”.

Andy was one lucky soldier when two men took his equipment off him and started to drag him in. Two others - Trumpeter Les Lawry, an 18-year-old carpenter’s apprentice from Geelong and trooper Albert Williams a 19-year-old farmer from Broadmeadows carried him to safety. 

R.I.P.  all who died there and who have died since.

Andy Crawford ready for Anzac Parade in later years


Sunday, 21 April 2019

2019. #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 16 Prompt: ‘Out of Place’

Week 16 Prompt: ‘Out of Place’


This time I have decided to look at a name that seemed out of place.  

My father was born in Peebles in 1904.  He was christened William Louden Pearce.  Years ago when I wondered if Louden was a family surname handed down, I asked my father where did the Loudens fit in? 
He laughed and told me – “they don’t, he was the minister who christened me!”.  

When speaking with my new found relatives in New Zealand last week (April 2019) I discovered that one of the women had also been given a middle name Louden, and the family story was the same – she was named after the minister in the Congregational Church in Innerleithen who christened her in 1915.  
NB: The Congregational Church was started in 1848.

I tried to research who this popular minister was. The only possibility I found was T.S. Loudon a minister with the Congregational Church, who was preaching at Muirkirk in Scotland in 1899.  Muirkirk is 1½ hours drive east from Innerleithen. 
If this is the same minister maybe he moved on to Innerleithen some time between 1899 and 1904. The reference to his being at Muirkirk is in a book which, unfortunately, only covers up to 1900.


The Old Manse, previously the Manse for the Congregational church in Leithen Road, Innerleithen,  
This is where Reverend Loudon would have lived as Minister of the Congregational Church.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

2019. #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 15 Prompt: DNA

Week 15 Prompt: DNA

A couple of years ago my husband and I decided to have DNA tests done. We used Ancestry first of all and then Family Finder. It was interesting to see which countries our ancestors came from.  But that was not our main interest.  It was to have a record so that hopefully at some time our ancestors would be traced in a proven manner.

Although I have saved on file many helpful documents on how to utilize the DNA results, and attended interesting presentations, at this time I have not had time to follow up. 

When the results first came, I was keen and contacted those other people DNA tested, who matched me. Sadly, most did not reply. Of the few who did, we were still unable to identify the connection, as it was probably too distant. 
I have saved my results on 'My Heritage' and 'Gedmatch' as well. 
There are a couple of ‘Brick Walls’ that I do hope to break down in the future when more people have tested and I understand it better.

Monday, 1 April 2019

2019. #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 14 Prompt: 'Brick Wall'

Week 14 Prompt:  'Brick Wall'

In Week 11 this year, I wrote about an ancestral family with a large family  – The Bartons and their brood.
In the process, I discovered that there were a few facts unverified and my tree began to crumble all around them.
I started to try and make sense of all the Bartons and Burtons with their names intermingled and I couldn’t get very far. The trouble was finding documents to verify the relationships. 
I am now stuck at whether Elizabeth SIMMONS 1750-1812 is a daughter of Esau SIMMONS  1730-1798 and Elizabeth BARTON 1730-1794 or maybe his wife was Joane GALLOP.
I have left them all in my tree at the moment and developed a notice that I have put in as their profile photograph:  

Hopefully, this will deter anyone from copying this information to their own tree.
And hopefully, I can knock down this brick wall in the near future.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

#52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 13 Prompt: In the Paper

Week 13 Prompt: 'In the Paper'

Last week for the first time, I met seven new lovely relatives of mine in New Zealand.  Whilst over there on holidays I wanted to meet them as I had discovered a Facebook site about the Learmond family and had learned of our NZ connection. 

We are all descended from William Pearce and Sarah Clark/e who ran the ‘Lemonade Factory’ in Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, Scotland, on the Scottish borders. 
Judy and Kay’s Grandfather Frederick William Pearce was a brother of my paternal grandfather Francis George Pearce; both sons of William and Sarah.
Frederick William married Maggie Johnston and they had six children. The first-born, Isabella Hilda 'Isa' married Alexander Learmond.

Back Row : Winifred, Elsie, Elizabeth, Robert  
Middle Row : Isobel, Alexander (Snr) Jean, Isa, James, Hilda  
Front Row : Alexander, Kathleen, Ian

Judy is now 95 and Kay is 85.  They are so fit and healthy looking, they put me to shame.  We had such fun and many laughs as they told family stories, I do hope to catch up with them again. Both are very energetic and continue to play golf and win comps. They were celebrated in an article written by Lorraine Wilson in The Beacon: ‘Eastern Bay Life’ on 09 March 2019.  

The article photo does not do Judy justice, so I have a better one to post here.

 Judy and Kay, 2019 (Photo courtesy Rona McMahon)

Sunday, 17 March 2019

#52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 12 Prompt: ‘12’

Week 12 Prompt: ‘12’
For this prompt, I am writing about the 12thgrandchild of my GGGrandparents Richard PEARCE and Ann NYE.

He was: Winfred (Fred) Stuart PEARCE
and one of my paternal Great Uncles

Coincidentally Fred seemed to be attached to Number 12.
He was born on 12thof the 12th.
He married on the 12th
and he died on the 12th


Fred as a young man - date unknown

Fred PEARCE was born on 12 Dec 1871 in Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, Scotland as the sixth child of William (Will) PEARCE and Sarah CLARK.

Scotland Select Births & Baptisms 1564-1950

He had nine siblings, namely: 
Charles Albert, 
Francis George (Geordie)- my Grandfather, 
Frederick William, 
Edward (Ned)John, 
Mary Elizabeth, 
James (Joe) Arthur, 
Richard (Dick), 
Alice Annie (Elsie), 
and Joseph Henry (Harry). 

They certainly seemed to love using nicknames!

As a child, Fred lived with the family in Innerleithen, and along with the other children helped where they could in the soft drink factory run by their father, William Pearce.

Whilst a lot of his siblings as adults moved to other countries seeking work, Fred stayed in Innerleithen.  He ran a ‘chip shop’ there and delivered drinks for the family Lemonade factory

When he was 28, he married Margaret (Maggie) Jenkins LAMONT, daughter of Duncan and Grace LAMONT, on 12 Oct 1900 in Miller Street, Innerleithen. 

Fred and first wife Maggie with their children from left - 
Peggy, William, and Grace.

Fred and Maggie's children:
1.    William Clark PEARCE, 
born on 07 Feb 1901 in Galashiels, Selkirkshire. He died on 25 Dec 1962 in Peebles, Scotland.
2.  Grace Jane PEARCE, 
born in Jan 1903 in Galashiels. She died in 1986 in Galashiels, Scotland.
3.  Sarah Margaret (Peggy) PEARCE, 
born in 1905. She died in 1985 in Peebles, Scotland.

His wife Maggie died on 15 August 1921. 

Fred remarried his housekeeper - Mary Stobie STEVENSON around 1925 - unconfirmed. (Family myth says Mary only had one leg - also unconfirmed.)
They had two daughters:
1.   Winifred Agnes PEARCE, 
      born on 16 Apr 1924 in Nursing Home, Tweedgreen, Peebles.
 2. Alison Robertson PEARCE, 
      born on 13 Oct 1925 in Nursing Home, Tweedgreen, Peebles.

Fred was 54 when he died of Tuberculosis on 12 Mar 1926 in Innerleithen, his home town, leaving his second wife with two young babies.

 Scotland National Probate Index. 1926.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

2019. #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 11: 'Large Family'

Large Family - The Bartons and their Brood

Jane PUTLAND and Walter BARTON,  1655- 1725 are my   7 X Gt Grandparents.  They lived, multiplied, died and were buried in Hadlow Kent in England.   Walter was a yeoman and the family lived in 'Court Lodge'.

Kent in England.  Large map showing the approximate position of Hadlow.

According to other online Family History website researchers they had SIXTEEN children, and this is something I am in the process of verifying. There are births with names repeated from earlier children and confusion over dates.  This can occur on Family History Websites and anything you take from there needs to be researched further to find out its truth and if it fits with your family and has the correct information.  

It was listed that Walter had already had 2 children to his first wife, Mary CHEESMAN. 
1. Elizabeth BARTON born on 05 Dec 1683 in Hadlow, Kent, England.
 2. Mary BARTON born on 06 May 1685 in Hadlow, Kent, England.
But on the Barton Historical and Genealogical Society ‘Barton database’ (One Name Study) they list Mary Cheesman being married 13 Feb 1682 to Thomas Barton a brother of Walter’s.  Thomas also had another spouse Sarah Stephens.

So, we can cross out those first two children of Walter’s to Mary Cheesman (greyed out) according to the ‘Barton database’

According to the Family History website, Walter and Jane had the following children in Hadlow, Kent, England.
       Thomas BARTON 08 May 1689 - 12 Sep 1741 
       John BARTON 11 Mar 1690 - 26 Aug 1768.
       Walter BARTON 27 May 1691 - 25 Jul 1740.  He married Sarah FRANCE on 26 Jul 1722 in St Benet Paul's Wharf Parish, London, England. (They are my 6X Gt Grandparents) 
       Ann BARTON 26 Jul 1692 – 11 May 1699 died at 7 yo.
       Thomas BARTON 05 Feb 1693 – 1789.
       John BARTON 21 May 1695 - 11 Sep 1729. Bef 1695
       Sarah BARTON 02 Feb 1696.
       George BARTON 29 Oct 1696 - 19 Jan 1743.  ? 1695
       Anthony BARTON 21 Jun 1698 in Great Longstone, Derbys, Kent, - 01 Sep 1783 in Hadlow, Kent, England.
       Ann BARTON 11 May 1699 - 12 Sep 1722 - This seems a strange coincidence that she was born on the same day her namesake died.  STILL TO CHECK
       Stephen BARTON  11 Jun 1702 - 31 Oct 1721.
       Elizabeth BARTON 18 Jun 1704- 16 Jan 1783.
       Alice BARTON 29 Jun 1707.
       Putland BARTON 08 Mar 1708 - 10 Dec 1723.
       Mary BARTON 1712-?
       Thomas BARTON 1714 -?
Checking this out on the ‘Barton Database’ I see that they have listed TWELVE children born to Walter and Jane.  Four of the ones above are not listed as part of this family. Of them, Thomas is listed as the son of Thomas Barton and Elizabeth Browne. The other three are not included in the database.
So this very large family could end up being just a large size family after all !

The twelve children that are part of the family have their dates pretty much right, except for the two highlighted in green., and the date coincidence of the two Ann’s

I will keep researching till I can sort out as much as possible after all genealogy is an ongoing business.

PS I would love to hear from any descendants of the Barton family who have sorted any of this out and verified it.

Friday, 1 March 2019

2019 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 10 – ‘Bachelor Uncle’

Bachelor Uncle’
My Uncle George

George Edward PEARCE was born on 17 Oct 1909 in Peebles, Peeblesshire, Scotland as the fifth child of Francis George (Geordie) PEARCE and Isabella MacIntosh LUMSDEN. 
He had two sisters: Auntie Tibbie (Isabella MacIntosh) and Auntie Ray (Sarah Elizabeth). 
And two brothers: my dad Bill (William Louden) and Uncle Jim (James Finlay). 
Apparently, they all doted on their little brother.
Not a great photo but little George is on the Left of his sisters and brothers.

The family migrated from Scotland to Australia in 1912. The children attended school and Sunday School at Orrvale and grew up with the mixed migrant families in the fruit growing area.
Link to Pearce family migration and orcharding
Further link


George with his Mother Isabella Pearce

Eventually, the Pearce children grew up into hardworking adults - the men running the orchard after their father died.  They married one by one, except for George. My mother said he was a popular young fellow and admired by all the ladies. One photo of him shows his excellent physique with very strong muscled arms.

Jim, Ray, Bill and George sorting fruit on the Orrvale orchard

George had enlisted in the militia on 31 Mar 1928 and was called up for World War II.  Listed as Lieutenant VX 52859 AIF  2/14Bn. Australian Infantry:  06 Nov 1939. He was involved in training soldiers until he embarked for war on 07 Dec 1941. He arrived in France 01 April 1942

Lieut.George Edward Pearce

George with Jim (L) and Isobel (R) Richards, nephew and niece, 
just before leaving for overseas, Dec 1941

He was injured  01 Jul  1942, but returned to fight.  He was reported missing in Action  11 Sep 1942, but he and his group managed to fight their way back to camp.  Later, on 28 Nov  he was injured in action – a gunshot wound to the stomach.  On 01 Dec he was placed on the dangerously ill list where he died in ‘46 Camp hospital’, 06 Dec 1942.  

His death was announced in the paper back home on the same day as the news he had been awarded the Military Cross (for his soldiering 28 Aug to 01 Sep 1942, Isurava, NG).

His citation reads:  
       Lieutenant Pearce with excellent control and leadership held his  troops together against repeated enemy attacks and personally led a fighting patrol into the enemy’s lines.  Unaware that a general order to withdraw had been issued, he still continued to beat off enemy attacks.  After his troops were pushed back some distance, Lieut. Pearce decided to break up the party and fight their way back in groups.  It was four days before his group reached the lines, and during this  time Lieut. Pearce showed grew skill and ability in getting his party back.
‘Shepparton News’ 14 Dec 1942.

‘A Fighting Leader
Lieut. George Pearce Dies of Wounds
In New Guinea Fighting’
Expressions of deep regret were heard at the weekend as news of the death on active service of  Lieut. George Edward Pearce became more generally known in Shepparton and district.
Official information was conveyed to his mother and family late on Thursday by Rev. D McKnight Jones.  This advice was to the effect that his death had occurred on Sunday, December 06 at a base hospital of the New Guinea Forces.
Lieut. Pearce who was born at Peebles, (Scotland) 33 years ago, was the youngest son of Mrs. and the late Mr. F. G. Pearce, of Orrvale, and came with his parents to this district when two years of age.  Growing up here, he made many friends who recognized his sterling worth, which was hidden to casual observers, under a quiet exterior.
His main recreations were football and the militia.  Playing with Lemnos, he was a sturdy defender on the half back line.  Before hostilities broke out, he took an active interest in the militia and early in the war each attempt to enlist was frustrated by the authorities, who required him for instructional work at the local A.I.F. camp where he was Regimental Sergeant Major.
Ultimately his transfer to the A.I.F. was sanctioned and subsequently he went with reinforcements to the Middle East, later returning to Australia.
A few months ago, he was wounded in the left thigh, but soon recovered and was again in  the fighting  line. The second wound was in the stomach and letters from him led his family to believe he was making reasonably good progress, so that the sad news conveyed to them by their minister came as a great shock.  Lieut. Pearce was a single man and is survived by his mother, two brothers and two sisters. His brothers are Cr. Wm Pearce and James, the latter being with the AIF “somewhere in Australia”, while his sisters are Mrs. Ray Richards and Sister “TIbby’ Pearce. 
‘Shepparton News’ 14 Dec 1942.

George was buried in 1942 in Bomana War Cemetery, Port Moresby, New Guinea, Grave No: B1-D-11. 

I never met my bachelor uncle but heard so much about him over the years, especially at Anzac Day time.  Auntie TIbbie the oldest of the family always marched a wreath up to the memorial in his honour.  I think she always felt that he was so young and should not have died before her.  It is such a shame that so many young men and women lost their lives in the war and never survived to live out their natural lives.
- RIP Uncle George -

A comic interpretation of Uncle George's war experience that led to his award - the Military Cross.