Friday, 28 October 2016

Jack Armitstead's family

Now for more of the stories of my grandfather Jack Armitstead. After marrying in Liverpool, Lancashire in September 1910 he and his new wife Edith left Liverpool on December 25 1910 on the SS Medic of the White Line  bound for a new life in Australia.
Edith's brother, Louis Samuel Blackledge had already arrived in Brisbane Queensland Australia having left Liverpool on 25th February 1910 on the SS Essex. Perhaps he encouraged the family to come for a better life.  So when the Armitsteads accompanied by Edith's mother, brothers Herbert and Ernest and her sister Elsie arrived in Sydney on the 6th February 1911 they needed to get to Queensland to join Louis.
 The next record we have of the Armitsteads is when Dorothy Florence is born is Mackay, Queensland on  March 24 1911. Perhaps they travelled steerage to Mackay on a coastal service as I have not found a record of their travel to Mackay yet. At that time Mackay did not have a port so the ship would be offshore and passengers were transferred by sling onto the small craft to take them to land. Can you imagine a 7 month pregnant woman enjoying the sling?
Jack, Edith and daughter Dorothy Florence


Jack, Edith, Dorothy Florence, and baby Elsie Kathleen
Edith, Dorothy Florence and Rene Helen
After moving to Warwick  another daughter, Elsie was born on 20th May 1913. Unfortunately she contracted meningitis, gastroenteritis and asthma and died on November 27 1913. From all the official records she was Elsie but family had it that she was Kathleen. The only  record to have Kathleen included in the name was the burial record card on
In May 1914 Rene Helen arrived to make it a joyous time for the family.

By 1917 it was time for a holiday at Redcliffe.
Edith with Rene and Dorothy and her mother in the background at Redcliffe
Life was prosperous as seen by this lovely rocking horse that Dorothy and Rene were riding.
Dorothy & Rene

Then in October 1917
at last, a son, John Harley Leeson
( known as Harley)
was welcomed to the family. Doesn't he look like he's going to be a tough character? By the way he's holding the hammer he probably isn't going to be a carpenter.

The family enjoyed picnics at local creeks and this started a family tradition as we all like picnics even to this day.

Dorothy, Harley and Rene about 1920 on a picnic at Deuchars Creek

Rene, Harley and Dorothy at Deuchars Creek about 1920

Rene & Dorothy with family friends Allan and Ethel Durante at the Washpool

Rene, Dorothy, Aunt Elsie and Harley
Now tragedy struck Jack's family in November 1920
 when Edith died leaving Jack with 3 children under 10.
 Fortunately Edith's mother and sister Elsie came to
 Jack's rescue and helped look after the children for some time.

The Etheridges, family friends, purchased a Buick and all got aboard for a Sunday outing. What a treat that was.

 In July 1922 Jack married Florence Janet Gillie in Sydney and they welcomed a daughter Elizabeth in April 1923.
Florrie, Rene, Harley and Dorothy 1922

Harley, Betty, Dorothy and Rene 1923

 Now with 4 children they had fun times on more picnics
Dorothy, Harley and Rene perhaps near Stanthorpe
Harley, Jack & Betty 1927

 Notice no 4WD's in the bush
Armitstead with Durantes, about 1928

By 1930 the children were growing up and Florrie's brother Ken Gillie and his family lived in Sydney so the Armitsteads drove to Sydney for a visit and no visit would be complete without a visit to the beach and Taronga Park Zoo.
Betty at the beach-possibly Cronulla

Elephant ride at Taronga Zoo

 and  another trip to Sydney in 1935. Life continued for the Armitsteads but they were growing up and needed to leave home and that will be another installment.
Harley, Jack, Dorothy and Betty in Sydney 1935