My First Hannaford Family in Australia...

For Australia Day this year I decided to write about the Hannafords, who are one of my immigrating families. Or more specifically I should say, about  Susannah Hannaford (nee Elliott), who is truly the matriarch of the family, and her children. I admit I am in awe of Susannah,  in some ways anyway. She was a widow by age 48, not an easy thing for anyone, but then to pack up all of your belongings and move to the other side of the world, to a colony that had only been founded a few years before, with her six children, leaving her family, friends and whole life behind, to start again from scratch. I can’t even begin to think of what that would be like or how she managed it.  But she survived. So did her children, and now her descendants number the thousands. But let’s go back a little bit first. Back in Devon … Susannah Elliott was born in 1790 in the market town of Totnes, in Devon, England. Meanwhile the Hannaford family (the ones I’m writing about anyway), grew up just four miles away in the little town of Rattery. I mention that as the Hannaford name in Devon is much like Smith or Brown everywhere else. Hannafords are everywhere! When Susannah was 30 years old, she married William Hannaford (one from the neighbouring parish in Rattery), and who was actually a few years younger than her. Sadly William died at age 42, leaving Susannah with six children ranging in age from 17  down to 6. Devon at that time (actually probably England at that time) had limited employment opportunities, and with high taxes (land tax and window tax for instance), it would seem that emigrating...

Happy 100th Birthday to my Grandma...

Evelyn Phebe Randell was born on 24 June 1916 in “Caringa Private Hospital”, the first hospital in the small town of Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. She was born in the town, grew up living in the town, went to the local school, and married at Salem Baptist Church in Gumeracha too, and is buried there too. Known as Ev to some, Lyn to others, Evelyn was my grandma. Although she is no longer with us, having died a few years ago, I am remembering her on this day that would have been her 100th birthday. When I was young, the apple orchards, and her place at Cudlee Creek were my second home. So I have a lot of memories from that era. The daily morning and afternoon teas with Sao biscuits, the picnics on the side of the road, rock buns and jelly cakes, roast dinners, the old oven, the pantry, the outdoor loo, the small knife that was permanently in her bag to cut up a burger from McDonalds in half, the birds, the washhouse, her aprons, how she used a cup and saucer (rather than a mug), and the garden … oh she so loved her garden!! She would elbow my grandpa to wake him up during church, she would comment on what people wore, and the way she and my grandpa would sit in the car in their driveway on a Sunday afternoon, if it was cold but sunny. I remember how she got hooked on watching both Home and Away, and Punky Brewster, and was quite upset when it was taken off, even writing to the TV station. When she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or in her garden, she was crafting – taking up knitting,...

Reminiscences of WW2 from My Grandparents – Part 2...

ANZAC Day. A day that Australians and New Zealanders remember of those who went to war. A day to remember those who never made it home. And it is also a day to remember those who were left at home during the war and afterwards. Last week I wrote “Reminiscences of WW2 from My Grandparents – Part 1” which is primarily an interview with my grandparents Evelyn and Cecil Hannaford about their experiences during World War 2. This interview, which was done as a high school project a number of years ago by a friend who interviewed them, is written as a transcript. So this is my grandparents talking about their own experiences during the war, In. THEIR. OWN. WORDS! Not as history books records it, but as they experienced it. As it was a long interview I decided to split it into two, and this is the continuation. Continuation of the interview … What type of weather was it? Mr H. It was winter time. Then when we got up to Trincomalee [Sri Lanka] it was summer time, in the tropics. We were out in the bay and the sister ship, Mary, went out into the harbour and they had all the port holes open, light shining everywhere. We had to have ours shut and it was hot. Did you have enough food? Mrs H. Well, everyone was rationed. What were the ration books like? Mrs H. We were given ration books and you had to have so many coupons for tea and sugar and butter. We weren’t troubled about the butter because we made our own. How did they actually work? Mrs H. We had to go to the shop or on the other hand thee was...

Reminiscences of WW2 from My Grandparents – Part 1...

“Don’t talk about the war to your grandparents”. That’s what I was told. So I didn’t. But fortunately for me (and the rest of my family), someone did. And for that I’m eternally grateful. When a friend was doing a school project on WW2 and needed to interview someone about the war, and didn’t have any reli’s here in Australia who were in the war, she asked my grandparents, Cecil and Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell). So I have to thank both Cathryn and my grandparents for this, because if she hadn’t asked, I guarantee that these memories would have been lost forever. Before I begin I shall just say that the original interview is quite long, so I won’t include every question, but even so it’s still long enough that I’ll split this over two posts. The introduction … As a brief introduction, at age 25 Cecil Hannaford joined the army in 1940, and was trained at Woodside Army Camp before going aboard in 1941. During his time with the army he travelled to Libya, Palestine, Syria and Egypt. Aged 25 when he signed up, he went away as a driver, but also had to man the anti-aircraft guns at times. My grandma, Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell) lived at Gumeracha with her family during the war. On their farm they grew vegetables which were needed for the army. The interview … How old were you when World War II was declared? Mrs H. 23 years old. Mr H. 25 years old. In what country were you living in? In what state? Both. Australia, South Australia. Living at Cudlee Creek. Were you living at Cudlee Creek all through the war? Mrs H. I was at Gumeracha during the war. Mr...

Looking Back: Photos of My Grandmas...

I’ve been good recently and have been scanning a few more old family photos. Scanning isn’t the funest job in the universe. In fact it’s rather a drag. But still it is nice to have a few more done. And they are nice high res ones, named, and filed appropriately, ready for when I need to access them again in the future. But while I was scanning some photos of one of my grandmas, I thought I’d like to share them so came up with an idea to do a mostly pictorial blog post of both of my grandma’s (maternal and paternal), and in another one I’ll show you my four great grandma’s. So let me introduce you firstly to Evelyn Hannaford (nee Randell) my maternal grandma (1916-2006) And that brings me to Valda Phillips (nee Winter), my paternal grandma...

Memories of Cecil Gould Hannaford (1914-2000)...

One hundred years ago today, my grandpa, Cecil Gould Hannaford was born. As he’s no longer with us to celebrate this milestone, I’ve decided to write down some of the memories I have of him. ‘Cec’ was the oldest of three children born to Ralph and Dorothy Hannaford (nee McCullough), and while he was born at Naracoorte, the family spent most of their life at Cudlee Creek in the Adelaide Hills. I was a regular visitor to my grandparents place at Cudlee Creek, and probably spent at least half of my early childhood racing around their house, playing in the orchard, riding on the tractor, and generally just getting muddy,  which by the way, I did totally master (see the pic at the bottom)!!! Anyway this isn’t really about me, but about my grandpa. So I’ve gone through the family photo albums, have found a bunch photos, and have decided to put them here together with some random memories that I have about him. – He LOVED nature documentaries, and I think he owned every video (and later DVD) that the ABC and Time put out in this genre. – There was always five meals a day. Everyday he was up early, breakfasted then out the door to do some farm/orchard work. Then he’d be back at the house by 10am for morning tea, then back out until lunchtime. In again midafternoon for afternoon tea, then back at 5.00pm for tea. – Grandpa taught me to skateboard. Ok, well not quite. But I did find a skateboard in his shed, a small wooden one (the first I’d ever seen), so if it wasn’t for it being there, I probably never would have skateboarded in my life. – He was...

Remembrance Day: Sixty Five Letters...

Sixty five letters … that’s is how many letters my grandma wrote to her husband while he was fighting overseas in WW2. How do I know this? Well, sadly I don’t have the letters, but I do have her diaries which lists the date of every letter she wrote to him over a period of 14 months. During the past few months I’ve been slowly going through our family heirlooms. Photographing, documenting them, and preserving them etc., and I have recently made my way on to Evelyn Hannaford’s (nee Randell) diaries … (aka my maternal grandma). I must say our family is fortunate that she was a diarykeeper, as we have 49 diaries covering a 61 year period. I can’t say I’ve read many of them yet, but two of these years 1942 and 1943 are what have intrigued me, as in the back each, grandma noted the date of every letter she wrote to my grandpa while he was in the Middle East fighting in WW2. Now it’s Remembrance Day next week on November the 11th which marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War. For this Australians observe one minute of silence at 11am on the 11th of November, “in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts”. So while this isn’t actually about a relative who died or was wounded, it is still a post about my military heritage. Remembrance Day and Anzac Day both make people think deeply about their ancestors. Those who fought in the many wars. Some died, some were wounded, some came back … all fought for their country. But not forgetting the families back home taking on tasks to make ends meet,...

A Wedding in the Midst of War...

Both my maternal and paternal grandparents were married during World War Two. That was nothing unusual, in fact probably every family has ancestors that were married during that era. They married before the man was sent off overseas or elsewhere for training, or they married when he came home on leave. This post is about my maternal grandparents Cecil Hannaford and Evelyn Randell. Both grew up in the Adelaide Hills, Cec (as he was known) was an orchardist at Cudlee Creek, and Evelyn grew up at Gumeracha on the family farm, so no doubt knew each other through being in neighbouring towns. While my grandma, Evelyn was a brilliant diary keeper, sadly 1941, the year she got married, is one year that doesn’t seem to have survived. So without her words to tell me what her wedding was like, we simply have to rely on other sources. For that I turn to Trove for the newspaper notices, and any wedding photos. Fortunately my family were into putting notices in the newspaper, so I found an Approaching Marriage notice in The Advertiser. And I am fortunate that my family has wedding photos of my grandparents wedding too. Now I hadn’t thought of this before, but they were married at the Salem Baptist Church at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills, and the photos were taken by a photographer in Adelaide, which means sometime after their wedding they got redressed up in their wedding gear, headed to Adelaide, and had them done. I don’t know when this was done, as the photos aren’t dated. But Cec was on leave from the Army to get married, and was back with his battalion only 4 days later, so maybe it was at that time...

Trove Tuesday: Grandpa Won a Competition...

My mum’s dad, my maternal grandpa, Grandpa Cecil Hannaford was someone that I knew. But I feel I never ‘really’ knew him if you know what I mean. I knew that he always had 6 meals a day (breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, tea, and supper). I knew that he usually wore his hat to church, and quite often fell asleep during the service, which resulted in an elbow to the ribs from my grandma to wake him up. He loved nature which is shown by the collection of slides of birds and flowers he took, as well as the many documentary type DVDs he had … these together with a whole heap of other anecdotal memories are my grandpa to me. But he was far more than that! Grandpa was farmer and orchardist, and was born and bred into the life from his forebears who were in the same business. His father bought the farm at Cudlee Creek when grandpa was in high school, and he lived and breathed farm life, and ultimately in 2000 died doing what he loved, working on the farm. While browsing around on Trove (which is commonly becoming known as “Troving”) I came across two articles relating to Grandpa Cec Hannaford that really got my attention. For two years in a row, Cecil Hannaford won the under 15s Apple Packing Competion. Now this is a period of his life that I really didn’t know anything about, so it is very cool to add in a little more detail to his life. And having a picture showing him is simply ‘icing on the cake’....

History Under Your Feet

North Terrace is a major road right in the heart of Adelaide, South Australia, yet I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t even know that the plaques are there. These represent the many men and women who helped make South Australia as it is, and they are right there on the footpath under your feet. Heading over to Wikipedia they explain the plaques as … The Jubilee 150 Walkway, also variously known as the Jubilee 150 Commemorative Walk is a series of (initially) 150 bronze plaques set into the pavement of North Terrace, Adelaide. It was officially opened on 21 December 1986. It was commissioned as part of the celebrations commemorating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the state of South Australia. The plaques contain the names and deeds of (initially) 170 people who made major contributions to the founding and development of South Australia. Since 1986, the Adelaide City Council has added four plaques. The plaques are arranged in alphabetic order, and stretch from King William Street to Pulteney Street along the north side of North Terrace. Anyway on a recent trip into the city I took the opportunity to photograph the plaques of my reli’s. So here’s the story of my reli’s on the North Terrace plaques: =========================================================== ALFRED HANNAFORD (1890-1969) Alfred Hannaford’s claim to fame was that he was an inventor of farm machinery. It was in 1914, when Alfred was only 24 years old he attended a farmers’ conference, saw a machine for the treatment of seed wheat against the parasitic fungal diseases, and he decided he could make a better one. So, he did. He devised the first mechanical wet pickling machine. In 1915 production of the machines began, and they proved incredibly...