Interesting Personalities

In the mid 1950’s Charlie lived in a shed at Kingsley and Margaret Richards’ place in Maslin Crescent as he was building stone walls for Margaret’s mother, Ethel Annie Osman, close by in Bertram St. The shed had been used by Margaret and Kingsley to live in while they built their house; it had an outside fire that Charlie liked.

 

One of Reg and Lil’s 9 children, Rod, married June Bolton in 1956 and they also lived in Darlington.  June’s father Wal and Charlie both had cancer at the same time: Charlie had throat cancer and Wal Boulton had Lymphosarcoma. They supported each other in hospital while both underwent radiation therapy.

 

Margaret Richards nursed Charlie almost to the end. He died from his cancer at Royal Perth Hospital on the 27th January 1959. His funeral was conducted by the Salvation Army on the 29th January 1959 at Karrakatta where he is buried in the Salvation Army section.

Charlie’s grave is No 23 on the Heritage Walk Trail II of Heroes and Humanitarians.

Charlie Wandi

Charlie Wandi was born in South Australia around 1884. His father was a sandalwood cutter and would bring the wood to Eucla where it was loaded onto sailing ships to take it overseas.

 

Around 1900 South Australia was experiencing drought so William George Harrold’s and Herbie Graham's families – from Hawker in South Australia – boarded a ship bound for Albany. The Harrold family had travelled by train to Port Augusta then by ship, which travelled via Eucla to Esperance, before arriving at Albany.

 

Charlie possibly boarded the ship at Eucla where he would have met these two families. He might have had some contact with the Missions, but the way he spoke indicated English wasn’t his first language but he did have knowledge of his culture.

 

From Albany the group walked some 280 miles to reach Narrogin; this would have been quite an ordeal for the families which included small children and stock. 

 

Charlie at first stayed with the Graham family.  Around 1909 he joined the Narrogin Scout group, as well as the Salvation Army, playing the drum which he covered with rabbit skins from the rabbits he caught and sold around Narrogin.

 

Around 1918 the Harrolds came into the Narrogin Township to live at Furnival Street, and Charlie worked in their wood yard. The wood yard was behind the house; Charlie lived in a room attached to the end of the woodshed.

 

 He worked as a woodcutter in Harrold’s timberyard until 1947 when George Harrold died.

George’s granddaughter Valda Ewing married Keith Abbott – a young soldier whom she met

when he did his Army training at Narrogin in 1942.  After George’s death Charlie move to

Darlington and lived with Reg and Lil Abbott (Valda’s parents-in-law). Charlie lived in a small

room underneath the house at Reg and Lil’s place in Darlington at 8 Maslin Crescent

(previously Hope Rd) where he helped with the gardening, did odd jobs and built rock walls.

Charlie was able to continue his connection with the Salvation Army in Midland, becoming

their drummer in 1949.

 

Charlie built many stone walls in the gardens of various friends and Abbott relatives in

Darlington. The Abbotts also owned a cow that Charlie milked in the mornings; he delivered the

milk to Jack Abbott’s young family in Darlington Rd.  Charlie loved children and the Abbott

family was very large with many grandchildren. He loved to entertain them by carving model

aeroplanes with which they could play when visiting.


 

 

 

POEM WRITTEN FOR CHARLIE WANDI BY GEORGE ROBINSON

 

Out from the bush he came, a lonely “Abbo” man

To seek a job, not fame, as a simple woodyard hand.

He hadn’t heard of Jesus’s name, except when a stockman swore.

Until he wandered in one eve to Narrogin Army Corps.

Twas there he heard of the Saviour’s love extended to one and all.

No colour bar was recognised by him who did all men call

And as this message he did receive, this lonely “Abbo” man

Decided then in Christ to trust and follow out God’s plan.

He donned the Army uniform, in our band was found a place.

And daily grew in spiritual strength, through God’s good grace.

The drum was his appointed task tho music he knew none.

Hymn tunes were no trouble to him as he watched the leader’s baton.

Of course when it came to marches, he would play these with zest.

For he had decided that from him, God should have the best!

Then came a time of trial, for Charlie, one day took ill;

And tho his frame grew very weak, he was still in God’s will.

The finest patient we ever had, the nurses all proclaimed.

For while the cancer did eat away, his wondrous smile remained.

Charlie went to be with Jesus, and left memories untold.

This once lonely Abbo man, who had a heart of gold.

And in our local Army hall a small table there does stand.

Donated “In Memoriam” by friends who thought him grand.

And in peaceful Karrakatta out here in the Golden West.

A little stone bears Charlie’s name, crossed drumsticks and Army crest.

Charlie Wandi at Harrold's Wood Yard

Harrold's wood yard, Charlie Wandi on right, Narrogin. (Click to enlarge)

Charlie Wandi's funeral

Charlie Wandi's funeral at Karrakatta 1959.

Courtesy of Coralie Grundy

Charlie Wandi's grave
Charlie Wandi's headstone

Charlie Wandi's headstone (above) and grave. Courtesy of Coralie Grundy

Charlie Wandi

Charlie Wandi in his Salvation Army uniform 1950's. (Click to enlarge)

Click images above to enlarge

 

William Milne-Robertson

William was known as 'Robbie'. William Milne-Robertson was born in 1898 at Roehampton, Surrey, England, to illustrious parents Alexander Milne Robertson and Lucy Sophia Blatchford Lefroy. His father was a surgeon, and his mother was the daughter of Henry Maxwell Lefroy.  Henry had arrived in WA around 1853/4 and married Annette Bate in Fremantle in 1855.  Lucy and her siblings were born in WA; she was the second child, born in 1857. Henry was the Assistant Superintendent of the Convict Establishment in Fremantle.

William’s parents met in Perth and later married at St George’s Cathedral in Perth on the 9th June 1880. They then travelled to New Zealand and Scotland before settling back in Surrey around 1884. William was the tenth of the eleven children born to Alexander and Lucy.

 

William would have been well-educated in England.  In WW1 he served as a Lieutenant with the 2 /5th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, in 1915. His father died in England in 1922, leaving Lucy with over £6000 from his estate. Lucy then brought most of  her grown-up family back to her birthplace of WA. In 1925 the family lived  at 6 Ventnor Ave, West Perth, and it was during that time that William applied for his WW1 medals.

By 1931 the family had all moved to Darlington: Lucy and the girls into the Neilson house on the corner of Lionel and Dalry Rd, and William to a property on the river in Helena Valley which he named “Indi”. The family was recorded as attending St Cuthbert’s Church during their time in Darlington; daughter Margaret was involved with the Girls’ Friendly Society, holding one of their Easter camps at the Darlington home in 1931.

 

Lucy, and daughters Margaret, Doris and Renee, lived at the Neilsons’ house in Darlington from 1931 until Lucy died in 1935.  Lucy left her money to son William, giving him independent means; this may be the origin of the rumour that he was a “Remittance Man”. On the Electoral Rolls he quirkily put his Occupation as “Peasant”.  In 1942 William enlisted in the Australian Army and served in the 2nd Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps, where he lists his brother Alexander as his next of kin.  Alexander, who was a bank manager, also lived in Perth.

 

William’s shack was across the river from the track which was used to get to the various picnic and swimming places along the Helena River.  The track was later gazetted as an extension of Victor Road, and his part of the river was called Robbie’s Pool by the locals. His abode was accessed by a flying fox across the river; he was self- reliant, growing a lot of his own vegetables. When he did go into the village he would come across the locals Kelvin and Ann Prater, and the Ashtons. Ann Prater and Les Ashton both recall having interactions with him but nothing about his background. Les spent some time with him replacing the Ashtons’ fence along the Mills Road frontage, and was impressed by Robbie’s patient and meticulous instruction in drilling holes for star-steel posts by hand, with chisel and mawl (a stonemason’s hammer); he also remembers an incident in his youth in which a local lad stole a WW1 Luger pistol from William’s shack and was brandishing it in the village until detained by police.

 

After their mother’s death, the unmarried sisters (Doris, Renee and Theophila), bought a house at 41 North Rd, Bassendean.  When William died in 1970 he was living at Bassendean, presumably with his sisters.

 

The eight members of the Milne-Robertson family who migrated to Western Australia are all interred in the Anglican section of Karrakatta Cemetery, six being acknowledged on the one headstone.

Wiliam Milne-Robertson's headstone

Click image to enlarge

Ravelstone Gore Lawson

Ravelstone’s name was taken from his family’s property at Port Lincoln, South Australia, where he was born in 1863 to parents George and Helen Lawson. He was one of 8 children born in South Australia to this couple. His father George was a well respected doctor at Port Lincoln in South Australia, whose life was cut short after a fall from his horse while attending a patient.

R.G. Lawson sat and passed his cadet exam for the Civil Service in South Australia in 1881. Exactly what he did for an occupation with the South Australian Government is unclear but it appears to be connected to engineering projects. A newspaper article in 1890 has him prospecting for gold and finding it at the Forrest Range diggings.

In May 1896 Ravelstone married Marianne Emily Smyth-Blood, the granddaughter of Dr Smyth-Blood of Kapunda, South Australia. Coincidently this same year his brother-in-law Charles Frederick Wells, who was second in charge of the Calvert Expedition, perished in the desert although this apparently didn’t appear to put him off joining Canning’s Expedition in 1908, which covered similar terrain and included travelling over the spot where Wells and another expeditioner perished from lack of water.

 

A daughter, Helen, was born in 1897 and a second daughter, Kathleen, in 1899 then tragedy struck with Emily’s death from typhoid and pneumonia in 1902.

 

Ravelstone was later to spend two years (1908-1910) with Alfred Canning who was a surveyor with the Department of Lands and Survey in WA.  This expedition’s goal was to sink 48 wells between Wiluna and Halls Creek in the West Australian Kimberley area, with the aim of providing a stock route to bring cattle from the north to the goldfields further south. His occupation on the trip was listed as General Assistant to the well sinkers.

 

He wrote a detailed account of this expedition which appeared in the West Australian and Adelaide papers in 1910 (“Through the Great Desert - two years with Canning” – refer to the associated pdf document). It would appear from the Electoral Rolls that he stayed in Western Australia after the expedition ended, where he would have only been aged in his late 40’s. He appears to have lived a low key and solitary life for the next 18 years somewhere within the “Hillsden” area in Darlington, where he gives his calling as ‘Orchardist’. About 1929 his Darlington address changed to ‘The Old Men’s Home, Claremont’as he was now a pensioner. He died there on the 20th November 1934, aged 71, and was buried in the Anglican section of Karrakatta Cemetery.

 

Whether Ravelstone’s daughters knew of his whereabouts or he ever remained in contact with them cannot be ascertained but there was no death notice from his family and both his daughters remained in South Australia. Helen never married and Kathleen married later in life after her father’s death, to a widower with 4 children. She does not appear to have had children of her own.

REFER TO THIS PDF FOR R.G. LAWSON'S ACCOUNT OF THE CANNING EXPEDITION  ------>.

 

Ann Deeble Joynes alias “Sister Ruby Jean Burns”  Orchard Cottage

What initially sparked my interest in Miss Ruby Burns was a comment by a long term Darlington resident that as a small child he was frightened by this lady as she drove her phaeton down Darlington Road. While trying to find information about Ruby in the newspapers I came across a notice in the West Australian after she died under claims against estate whereby she went under two names – Ann Deeble Joynes and Ruby Jean Burns, late of Orchard Cottage, Darlington, married woman. On further research her correct legal name was Ann Deeble Joynes - she had married and was the mother of 4 children all of which contradicted the title she gave herself of Miss Ruby Burns. I had to find out more about this story teller.- Lyn Myles.

Ann Deeble Joynes (nee Daniels) was born to parents Malachi Daniels and Elizabeth Ann Deeble in 1878 at Daly, South Australia. She was one of 6 surviving children who came with these parents to Kamballie, Western Australia, sometime before 1903. Malachi’s occupation at Kamballie was Watchman. The family then moved to Pingelly shortly after this, where Ann’s mother’s occupation was noted as nurse and her father was trying his hand at farming.

In 1903 aged 25, Annie (Ann Deeble Daniels) as she was known, married Walter John Stephen Joynes at Kalgoorlie. Walter was born on the ship his parents took to South Australia in 1876. It isn’t known if the families were acquainted in South Australia but both came to Western Australia around the 1900’s.

Interestingly the start of the many differing names Annie invented first appeared with the birth transcriptions for her son Walter’s birth at Pingelly (Annie’s parents lived here) and John’s birth at North Fremantle, stating her name as Ann Evelyn Daniels (obviously Annie wasn’t keen on her mother’s maiden name Deeble). By 1908 Annie and Jack Joynes had moved back to Daly in South Australia, Annie’s birthplace. Here in South Australia three more births for the couple were registered - Llewellyn, Dorothy and Helen. Annie had become somewhat obsessed with inventing as many middle names as possible for herself which can be found on these children’s birth entries culminating in her adding three more names to the list – Ann Evelyn Ruby Myrtle Jean Joynes (nee Daniels). She is to make use of various combinations of these added names over the years. In Western Australia and South Australia a total of six children were born to the couple, four of whom survived infancy to adulthood.

survived infancy to adulthood.

A remarkably detailed court room account of Ann Joynes’s exploits while in South Australia show she called herself Sister Burns and along with her foster sister Leticia (Littie) Kennerley, told the court that initially they looked after an uncle in Adelaide. Then both appear to have done some sort of nursing and fostering of children although neither was qualified. They returned to Western Australia with one such boy who was the subject of the court case being held in 1922 due to his apparent kidnapping, neglect and mistreatment in their care from around 1920. The court found the women guilty of neglect and mistreatment that resulted in Annie receiving 3 months imprisonment with hard labour and Lettie (Letitia) 6 months. The boy was put into care until he was 18 indicating his parents were also deemed not fit to care for him.

The 1925 Electoral rolls record that Annie was using the name Ruby Jean Joynes and was back living at Carlisle with her husband while her partner in crime, Lettie, wasn’t too far away in Victoria Park. Interestingly Lettie married Ann Joynes’s son Walter Thomas Theodore (known as Theodore) in 1923 when he was just 19 and she was 12 years older than him. Theodore had been a witness at the trial in 1922 and was supposedly aged 16 in the articles when in fact he would have been more like 18.

There was a mystery person: Evelyn Jean Joynes, who had a connection to both Lettie Joynes (Kennerley) and Olive Daisy Wooldridge - who later teamed up with Annie Joynes at Darlington.  The Electoral Rolls for 1931 recorded both Evelyn Joynes and Olive Wooldridge residing at Brackenhurst in Albany (Olive was born at Albany) with neither giving an occupation. Then in 1934 this couple were sharing accommodation at Subiaco while in 1943 Olive and Miss Ruby Burns (she had reverted to a previous alias) were sharing a house called  “Orchard Cottage” in Darlington, which they  operated as a home for children (well, at least two). Perhaps because Annie and her husband were no longer together she felt justified in using the prefix Miss before her name. Jack Joynes resided at Kalgoorlie where his youngest daughter Helen and her husband also lived.

The 1925 Electoral rolls record that Annie was using the name Ruby Jean Joynes and was back living at Carlisle with her husband while her partner in crime, Lettie, wasn’t too far away in Victoria Park. Interestingly Lettie married Ann Joynes’s son Walter Thomas Theodore (known as Theodore) in 1923 when he was just 19 and she was 12 years older than him. Theodore had been a witness at the trial in 1922 and was supposedly aged 16 in the articles when in fact he would have been more like 18.

There was a mystery person: Evelyn Jean Joynes, who had a connection to both Lettie Joynes (Kennerley) and Olive Daisy Wooldridge - who later teamed up with Annie Joynes at Darlington.  The Electoral Rolls for 1931 recorded both Evelyn Joynes and Olive Wooldridge residing at Brackenhurst in Albany (Olive was born at Albany) with neither giving an occupation. Then in 1934 this couple were sharing accommodation at Subiaco while in 1943 Olive and Miss Ruby Burns (she had reverted to a previous alias) were sharing a house called  “Orchard Cottage” in Darlington, which they  operated as a home for children (well, at least two). Perhaps because Annie and her husband were no longer together she felt justified in using the prefix Miss before her name. Jack Joynes resided at Kalgoorlie where his youngest daughter Helen and her husband also lived.

 

A contemporary  (1922) newspaper article of the court case for the boy's ill-treatment can be viewed by clicking on the pdf icon on the right.

Yorkie, Moondyne Joe & the Greenmount Convict Station

 

Read about 'Yorkie', whose real name was William Taylor and who 'apparently' lived to 103!

Click on the pdf icon on the right to open the 3 page document.

© Darlington History Group       Ver 2.1.3     Oct 2019