The STRONGs of Ulster, Ireland, Chapter 12

The “STRONG Family” section of this site is divided into 13 chapters and 9 appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the “Quick Nav” at top right. Note that the chapters develop the story of our family and the appendices contain supporting data… for example the Descendancy Report in Appendix 1 with BDM records and photos of family members. Note the styles: links to individual images: …#20 ; citation of sources: …ix) If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page.

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David STRONG's child: R.G.D. STRONG part 2.

Wentworth Falls Parish.

The following account is of life seen through the eyes of R.G.D. Strong’s son Philip.

Image of Philip Strong under the apple tree.
See the above thumbnail photo linked to a full image: “Philip under the apple tree at Holy Trinity Rectory Wentworth Falls. Photo: Ron Patfield.”
Image of Rectory Image of Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls. Image of interior of Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls. Image of Bell tower Image of Lych gate.
Now click on the above thumbnails for full images of Holy Trinity Anglican Church Wentworth Falls and the Rectory where we lived.

This …#20 is where I lived in Armstrong St between the ages of 4 to 9. My father Robert George David Strong was Rector of Holy Trinity, Wentworth Falls, 1 Oct, 1941-25 Aug, 1946. The Rectory looks small in the postcard photo. My childhood memory is of a larger house! Looking at the photo, the room at the left is a large lounge room, on the right was my father’s study or parish office. Just past the front door is a hallway with entrances to the study and lounge room with a pressed metal ceiling, then further on the right is the main bedroom.

A little further on is a narrow stairway leading up to two attic bedrooms on either side of the house. My bedroom was on the left and my foster brother Ron Patfield on the right… used when he came from the war and his RAAF service in Port Moresby New Guinea. On his final leave he was awaiting release from the RAAF.

Diocesan Church House George St Sydney 18th September, 1944.
Dear Sir,
(Ser#) 74232, Corporal Patfield, R., Group 744 R.A.A.F., Port Moresby who is at present on final leave having served with the R.A.A.F. in New Guinea, has been accepted as a candidate for the ministry of the Church of England in this Diocese. He had intended offering his services before the war broke out but felt compelled to assist in the Air Force. I would be glad if you could possibly expedite his release as to save the time and expense involved in his return from an operational station, I understand his leave expires within a week. His home address while on leave is C/o The Rev. R.G.D. Strong, The Rectory, Wentworth Falls.
Believe me, Yours sincerely, Howard Sydney Archbishop of Sydney
(To)The Secretary, The Air Board, Melbourne …vii)

Further down the hallway is a passageway leading on the left to the kitchen, in the centre to a dining room and to the right the bathroom. Further through the kitchen is the laundry. Further through the dining room is a closed verandah leading to the maid’s quarters... who sacked because she secretly entertained a male friend there! Outside was a garage and a chook yard. My mother used to chop off the chooks heads when it was their turn to go. There were fire places in most downstairs rooms… this is where the maid was most valuable! There were buttons to summon the maid in the sitting room and dining room… still there in 1953. …iii)

The church was unusual since it had separate communion cups placed at the front. This was due to the fear or tuberculosis and the involvement of the Church in the nearby Queen Victoria Home and the Bodington Sanatorium. Traditionally it was thought that tuberculosis was helped by a rest cure in the mountains! Bodington was used for TB sufferers up to the 1950's. …xv)

Next to the church land was the heritage listed house and garden of 'Davisville', known to me as 'Rennie House'. It fronted 63 Falls Rd and was run by Miss Maude Stephens for the Young Women's Christian Association and then the Christian Alliance for Women and Girls from 1920 to 19$7. …xx) Maude helped playing the organ for the Church.…i)

Image of Rennie House

Next house again from the church, on Falls Rd, was 'Lutanda', fronting 61-57 Falls Rd. I have a story about 'Lutanda' … the home for "needy children", with land which backed onto Cascade St. I went out the back gate of the Rectory, walked into Cascade street then wandered through the adjacent vacant block behind Rennie House up to Lutanda's wire fence in search of playmates... and some child accurately threw a brick, hit me on the forehead and knocked me out! I should mention that I spent my working life as a Science teacher and later as a Head Teacher with responsibility for welfare and discipline… looking after students who hit each other with the nearest thing to hand. The Open Brethren Lutanda Children's Home was established in Wentworth Falls in 1930 by Miss Florence Dalwood, who had worked in the “George Müller Homes” in Bristol in the United Kingdom and wanted to establish a Christian home for ‘needy’ children. After Dalwood's death aged 75 in 1949 , Lutanda moved into a large purpose-built orphanage on Boundary Road in Pennant Hills. …iii) Today Lutanda is a Brethren youth camp initiative around the Blue Mountains at Yarramundi and at Mt Victoria. As a child I could not remember (was it the brick?) any of the Lutanda children attending the Primary School opposite or the Church next door! My childhood memory was faulty here, since Trevor Gunter…c/vii) tells me that some of his relatives lived in Lutanda and also attended Wentworth Falls Primary. Moreover, classmate Cath Bewley has a sharper memory than mine and lists nine Lutanda children out of a total class of 32, attending W Falls Primary in our composite 3-4 class in 1946 (see photo below). She also remembers her older sister attending Sunday School at Lutanda about 1941!…c/ix) Similarly, Paula Walden…c/viii) remembers Lutanda children attending Pennant Hills High and Primary when she lived there.

Image of Lutanda

My parents told me the Rectory was designed by the Colonial Architect. They were close, since John Sulman was the architect. He was nominated for the position of Colonial Architect, but he declined. A descendant of John Sulman says:

Holy Trinity Rectory in Wentworth Falls was erected in 1906, still extant but no longer on its original site. Limited funds allowed only for a quite basic timber structure and there was a delay of six years between John Sulman doing the plans and the Rectory being built.…ii)

The Rectory was relocated by truck …#26 in December 1987 — January 1988.…viii), ix) Reference: Blue Mountains Echo Tues Dec 23 1987 AND Blue Mountains Gazette Tues Jan 26 1988. The new home for the Rectory is 56 Pritchard St …#25 and the new owner Michael Forbes was the manager of the Lithgow Zig Zag Railway.…iv), c/iv) …viii), ix) A new church hall was built on the Rectory site. Australia's Christian Heritage says: "It (new church hall) was dedicated in 1989 and has now become the worship centre."…xLii) Lynda Brown kindly sent a photo of the dedication plaque of the "building", showing it was dedicated on 12 Mar 1989 by archbishop Donald Robinson.…c/xvi) Did this building dedication include the new church or was the old church still operational? The old church was subsequently used as a hall. See the image below.…#37

Image of 56 Pritchard St. Image of removal of Rectory. Interior of of old church turned into hall.
Click on the above thumbnails for full images of the Rectory removal
and the interior of the old Holy Trinity Church after it was used as a hall.
Summary Timeline:

Dedication of Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls. 9 Mar 1889 See here, and here.
—> Rectory built next to the Church. 1906 …#20
—> Relocation of old Rectory to Pritchard St. Dec 1987-Jan 1988 …#25, …#26
—> New Church hall built on previous Rectory site and dedicated. 12 Mar 1989
—> Old Church deconsecrated to create a Hall. Date? …#37
—> Old Church furnishings moved to within the new Church Hall, now a “Worship Centre”. Date?

In winter, the Evening Prayer was about 4:00PM, when the sun was low in the sky. It got dark quite early and became cold in the Church. …#22, …#21 My vivid memory is of one service during WW2 at a time when many ships in our convoys had been sunk and the Japanese were advancing towards Australia and Singapore had fallen. This was when the Sydney Morning Herald had maps with big arrows showing the Jap advances and little arrows showing feeble Allied counter-attacks. Even though I was only a child, I will always remember the emotional feeling in the congregation when we sang:

Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!
The other hymn…. Oh God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Still may we dwell secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defence is sure.

My other wartime memory is ringing the bell …#23 on VE Day (Tues 8 May 1945) and VJ Day (15 Aug 1945). My father gave me instructions how to peal the bells, as distinct to tolling at funerals and ordinary ringing on a Sunday service. Unfortunate that modern society does not like church bells, but in those days they were important to the community!

The nearby homes were interesting to me. Immediately opposite the Church in Armstrong St was an extensive block (now subdivided) then owned by Walter Hamilton Ritchie (gardener), which had a model railway where you could sit in the train and be taken around the yard through tunnels etc… what fun!
Opposite the model railway house in Falls Rd and just down the hill, was a heritage-listed house "Strathmore", 74 Falls Rd, built in 1895 by Joseph Edward Bowes (1843-1925). The obituary of his wife Mary Bowes neé Carpenter (1859-1947) said: “Her late husband, Mr. J. Bowes, was related to our Queen, and on the occasion of their Majesties visit (1927) to the Blue Mountains, the then Duke and Duchess of York, a Royal call was made on Mrs. Bowes at Strathmore.”…xxiii) Note that the Queen Mother was a Bowes-Lyons and various members of this family were Earl of Strathmore.

Image of Strathmore

Just up Armstrong St on the left was heritage-listed “Northbrook” 22 Armstrong St, home to church members …i) Mr and Mrs Thomas Burrell whose son was Commander Henry Burrell, away fighting in WW2, later promoted to Vice Admiral.…x) Thomas Burrell (1859-1945) was the headmaster of Wentworth Falls Primary from 1900 to 1913.…xix)…pp 26-28.

Just opposite the top corner of the Rectory at 19 Armstrong St, (on the corner of Cascade and Armstrong Streets) I remember a man without a leg who lost it in WW1. This house had a glass panel on its front door saying “Victoria House” 1888. #19 was part of Lot 36, bought in 1888 by Charles William MEDCALF(1861-1939). Medcalf built #'s 19, 21, 23 and 25 on this Lot and lived in #23 “Addiscombe” (built c. 1890) until about 1935 when he moved to Coogee where he died in 1939.…xxxvii), xxxviii), c/xv) “Victoria House” and “Addiscombe” (both tenanted) were part of a deceased auction in 1941.…xxxix) The tenant of “Victoria House” in 1941 might have been the man I saw later who had lost his leg?

Mrs M.D. McLaurin said Medcalf was the builder of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church…i). Funds to build a church were assisted by 100 pounds from the trustees of the Anglican parish in Glebe and the wooden church was erected by J. Poulton for 229 pounds in 1888-9.…xxxiv) Then in 1902 a 17ft x 17ft chancel was added to the church at a cost of about £80, contractor Mr C.W. Medcalf and the honorary architect Mr Sulman.…xxxv), …xxxvi) Charles William MEDCALF… was a carpenter, churchman, builder, contractor,…xii) local councillor and manager of the Cemetery from 1910-1930…xL). Who built Holy Trinity church… was it Charles William MEDCALF(1861-1939) , or George William James SHOOBRIDGE(1876-1957) mentioned below? C.W. Medcalf and George Shoobridge probably worked as a team… credit for building rests between the contractor and those on the work site. Medcalf's obit describes him as a warden of Holy Trinity for many years.…xxxvii) Press reports of vestry meetings show him elected as a warden in 1894, sidesman in 1897 and 1904, rector's warden in 1921 and 1924. By 1930 he was not mentioned as warden and was not on the parish council.

Image of Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls. Image of interior of Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls.
Now click on the above thumbnails for full images of Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls
church exterior and also the interior showing the chancel.

Next door to the WW1 veteran at 51 Cascade St were the Kuwahatas… a Japanese family. I used to play with Mary Kuwahata. I often wondered where the family disappeared to during the war, and with more knowledge of history, thought they might have been interned. Many years later I contacted my playmate …c/vi) and found they were OK and her father only had to report to the police at set intervals. Mary's grandfather Hideo Kuwahata had first come to NSW in 1890, thus the Japanese Kuwahata family were real Australians, noting that my Irish grandfather immigrated to NSW about the same time! Note his 1930 obituary below.

Mr. Hideo Kuwahata, a well-known Japanese shipping providore and indent merchant in Sydney, died at Nagasaki on Monday at the age of 66 years. He had been in ill-health, and left Sydney for Japan last month.
For more than 40 years Mr Kuwahata conducted his business in Sydney, and some years ago he took his sons into partnership. He established a nursery at Guildford, The Mikado Farm about two years ago, and specialised in Japanese plants. He also opened a small shop for the sale of plants in George-street, city. The model garden in the State Theatre was designed by him. He was a member of the Horticultural Society of New South Wales and a member of the Japanese Club. Mrs Kuwahata and two sons survive. The funeral took place at Nagasaki. …xiii)

Image of Kuwahata home.
Click on the above thumbnail for a full image of the Kuwahata home at 51 Cascade St.

Just up from the model railway yard was a track into bush with great blackberries. My mother would send me of to pick the berries for blackberry pie. I didn't mind this at all! Then up past the Burrells and around into Pritchard St was Mrs Mary Ann Sheehan née Goss?? (1878-1955)… at “Roseville” a great friend of my mother who was also on the Womens’ Guild …i) and who visited our home in Lane Cove after we left Wentworth Falls. A lovely person. My mother kept this photo in a frame in pride of place!

Image of Mary Sheehan.
Click on the above thumbnail for a full image of Mary Sheehan.

Further down Pritchard St hill was Mrs Harriett Frances Gilson née Smith(1869-1951) at "Sunny Corner" (now 60 Backhouse St & 70 Pritchard St after subdivision)… a fascinating Jamaican lady who grew gooseberries and other trellised fruit vines on her 2 acre property.…xxvii) Note that small boys are food fixated! Harriet's husband John Harrison Gilson had been an orchardist who died in 1940.

My mother as the Rector's wife was president of the Guild and the meetings were held in the Rectory where I lived. I saw these women in the Rectory, Church and in church grounds for fetes.
I was an only child, lonely, and trained to be polite. I would say hullo to these ladies and strive to remember their names. Probably without exception they would indulgently talk to me. Then I was trained to disappear. I have clear memory of these ladies, since they were important to me. My mother's Guild friends…i) provided the main contacts for me at home.
An important person in our lives from the Guild was Gertrude Mary (Gertie) Gilpin (1890-1980), who lived with her father David Gilpin (1863-1952), …xi) previous Lord Mayor of Sydney, at “Kayla” Parkes Street. This was just down the Falls Rd hill from us and then turn left into Parkes St.… their home was just up from the creek. Gertie later married Charles Emmanuel Cripps (1875-1957) in 1949.
The other ladies of the Guild …i) seemed very old to me. I remember the Fairbairn sisters… Florence Ainslie Fairbairn (1887-1977) & Margaret Emily Elizabeth Royle née Fairbairn (1892-1958); and Miss Alice Maude Lambton (1876-1963).

Then there was Mrs Shoobridge. In 1945 I was aged 8 and Hannah Maria Amelia SHOOBRIDGE née Pearce (1875-1964) was aged 70. She looked old to me…and then she had that black hat! I remember a vigorous formidable woman. She must have maintained that vigour since she lived until she was 89!  Hannah and her husband George William James SHOOBRIDGE (1876-1957) moved to Wentworth Falls via the Table Land Rd from their farm in Lower Burragorang about 1910. This road was an important supply route from Wentworth Falls before the Warragamba Dam was under construction (1946-1960). Megan Hitchens describes her g-grandmother in her fascinating blog. Hannah was known as a great seamstress and embroiderer as well as a midwife. George & Hannah ran the Valley of the Waters Tea Room in Wentworth Falls. Hannah had all the skills to make her in demand in the church womens' guild!…xxi), xxxiii) The SHOOBRIDGE home was at “Melrose”, 65 Valley Rd…xii), shown to be on a 0.43 acre lot…c/xiii), c/xiv) close to the top of my Armstrong St… which would explain her frequent visits to the Rectory. The old home was sold in 2017 and demolished. A new home was built and retained the old house name in a new glass fronted sign placed in the front verandah. Note the glassed-in verandah of the old house. Megan Hitchens says: “The verandah was glassed-in at some point while Hannah and George were still alive. I remember my grandmother saying that when women came up from the Valley (Burragorang) for their lying in, Hannah (the midwife) and George would give them their bed and they would sleep in the enclosed verandah.”

The previous owner of #65 was Barry Tulloch. Barry’s parents had owned #65 from the 1950's and he inherited it…c/xiv). Barry told Sophia Kevans…c/xiv) (#63) that

“#65 was the original farmhouse for the area. The Pearce family owned nos 61, 63, 65. The last house the Pearce family lived in was the grand one down on the corner (i.e. no 71). Pearce family came up from a valley in 1910 because it was going to be dammed.”…c/xiv) Note that Sophia's information was from a contemporaneous written record of her conversation with Barry who confused the Pearce family with the Shoobridge family. Hannah Maria Amelia SHOOBRIDGE was née Pearce.

Megan Hitchens…c/xiii) said

George SHOOBRIDGE had built “Melrose”, 65 Valley Rd himself, There were at least two houses next to each other that George built… there may have been three in a row including the house next door where her grandparents lived for a time and the 3rd house where her g-uncle Oliver George may have lived. George built a number of other houses and buildings in Wentworth Falls, including the local Anglican Church. George died at “Melrose” in 1957 and Hannah continued to live there until 1963, when she suffered a stroke and went to live with her daughter Eda and her brother Oliver George disposed of "Melrose".…c/xiii)

See Charles William MEDCALF (1861-1939) above for further comments on the building of the “local Anglican Church”.

Image of McMahon's Lookout Image of map around McMahon's Lookout Image of Hannah Shoobridge Image of Shoobridge front gate
Click on the thumbnail links above to the full sized photo of the lookout at the top of the old road down to the Burragorang Valley as well as the map showing its location. See Hannah in her trademark broadbrimmed hat. See the front gate with house name and number.
Note also the photos of the Burragorang Valley in the ABC article here. …xxxiii)


M.D. McLaurin said in her history of Holy Trinity: “Miss Cooke in other directions has given great service. For nineteen years with Miss (Ethel Maude) Turtle (1879-1960) she superintended the Sunday School”.…i) My prominent memory to this day is being tossed out of the junior Sunday School by one of these ladies for some sort of misbehaviour and being forced to report to my father who was taking the big Sunday School in the Church which was next door to the church hall. My father appeared humiliated at the time. My own life-time experience as a teacher makes me think this could have been handled better? Miss Cook was actually Mrs Annie Riddock Cook née Lyon (1862-1952).

I sought my father's approval, but he was a father in the Victorian model, gained from his own parenting. When he retreated into his office at the front of the house he was not to be disturbed. I must have been a nerdish child since I collected words and their meanings. I would ask my father the meaning of words he used in his sermon when we sat down to Sunday dinner. and he would oblige.

Image of Bill Bewley's Garden Shop
Click on the above thumbnail for a full image of Bill Bewley's Garden Shop.

My father did not introduce male parishioners to me in the same way as my mother did with her friends from the Guild. However, I do remember his "Rector's Warden" William James Douglas (Bill) Bewley (1909-2003), of “Kurk Burton”…xii) 71 Fletcher Street…c/xi),c/xii, xii), and his children Kevin (1930-2005), Cath, Heather and Naomi (-2021). I met all 5 of them again around the lower mountains when I moved there in 1979. Cath is the same age as me and was in the same classes at school. I made the mistake of asking her if she remembered me. She said: “you punched me in the stomach”! Then on the positive side she remembered me in costume, kneeling on the floor in a performance of A.A. Milne's “Christopher Robin is saying his prayers”. …c/ix) Bill told me that when he was young he was responsible for the labour of construction of well-known tracks in the National Park. He had served as the Ranger for the Wentworth Falls Sights Reserves from 13 Mar 1933 to his enlistment in the RAAF on 17 Mar 1941 at age 31 yrs 19 months. His letter to the recruiting centre showed his home address as the "Valley of Waters" with his civilian occupation of nurseryman. He left the RAAF on 1 Aug 1943 as a Flight Sergeant (Aerodrome Defence Instructor).…xxx) When he returned to Wentworth Falls he expanded his nursery interests beyond selling from his home to selling on the main street of Katoomba.…xxxi) After our family left Wentworth Falls, Bill became an important nurseryman. In 1949 Bill purchased 32 acres of land for his nursery where the Wentworth Falls TAFE now stands. His brick garden shop facing the Great Western Highway stood there long after Bill had left in 1955.…xxxii) The sign on the shop said: “Bewley’s Garden Shop. Fertilisers, pottery, furniture, seedlings.”…c/xii) Bill cared for the orchard of the neighbouring boys boarding hostel, now Blue Mountains Grammar School, and grew daffodils for the Sydney markets. All his children helped pick daffodils before and after school.…xxxii) For further details of his later life, see here.

My memories of school (just down the road) are few. The very cold winter involved going with a double set of underwear. On the way there was a shrub with brightly coloured caterpillars and little spines which stung. My teacher was "Miss Ball" with impossibly long legs. I must have annoyed her at some stage since I was sent to the Headmaster Mr W. D. Gregory… was it because I had punched Cath Bewley?? William Davis (Bill) Gregory (2 Nov 1885 - 23 Apr 1961) was at W/Falls Primary from 1942, transferred from Mendooran. He told me "if the pitcher goes to the well too often it gets broken"! Bill and his wife Mary Gregory were both members…i) of our church and lived at Wilson St until Bill died in 1961. Bill enlisted in the Army Citizen Military Forces with service number N347760 when he was at Wentworth Falls. He would have been supervising the "air raid practice with the air raid shelter- a huge trench near the boys toilets".…xix) I remember the shelter, but only for the prohibition that it was out of bounds. The school history says that "after school, the girls went to knitting classes... later at Hetherington's home Falls Road, where they produced scarves and balaclavas for the soldiers."…xix) I remember Mrs Hetherington (Amy Hetherington 1878-22 Dec 1949) as a member of our church and a friend of my mother. Cath Bewley attended these knitting groups and tells me that Amy's daughter Mildred ran the group.…c/ix)

My teacher "Miss Ball" turned out to be Agnes Eunson (Nan) BAULD, born 1924 Dubbo NSW,…c/x),…xii) on her first teaching appointment, perhaps living with her mother in Wentworth Falls.…c/x) She may have continued teaching at Wentworth Falls for a few years, since she lived in Bathurst Rd Valley Heights in 1949, then in Orange in 1954, South Grafton in 1958, back to Orange in 1963, 68, 77, 80.…xii) Agnes died unmarried on 24 Apr 2006 at Calare Nursing Home, Orange.…xvi) Agnes made an impression on me! Her nephew's wife says:

Nan was a beautiful caring soul. My daughters had wonderful holidays with her in Orange when they were young. The only reason I knew her mother lived in Wentworth Falls was because my husband showed me the home that his “gran” lived, when driving through from Sydney.…c/x)

Image of 3-4 Class 1946.
Click on the above thumbnail for a full image of my teacher Miss "Ball" and class in 1946.

I was fortunate to survive, since I contracted blood poisoning (sepsis) caused by picking my nose some time before 1946! I remember laying in my parents bed and the doctor using a flexible apple stick to get a sample from my nose. My parents told me that the doctor obtained an antibiotic just developed in the war. Perhaps I was part of Australian medical history! Note that Penicillin was first used clinically (Howard Florey) on 12 Feb 1941 (for staphylococcal and streptococcal septicaemia). Mass production of penicillin became a top priority of the U.S. War Department, second only to the Manhattan Project. Penicillin helped the Allies during World War II, preventing wound infections.…xvii) Tilly Boleyn of the Powerhouse Museum said that the first Australian military personnel was given penicillin in New Guinea in Dec 1943. Prior to this 6 year old Peter Harrison was the first Australian civilian to (unofficially) receive penicillin in July 1943.…xxvi) Australia was the first country to manufacture penicillin for the domestic market. It had sent scientists to America in discover the necessary techniques in Oct 1943, and by 1944 the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Melbourne was in production.…xviii)

Who was this doctor? He would need to be aware of modern American advances in wound treatment and have the ability to access them, even by unofficial channels like Peter Harrison's surgeon-father (above). To this he would need to have an interest and expertise in pathology and an ability to improvise (use of an apple stick to get a pathology sample). If he was not the local GP, then his family may have been friends of the Strongs.

Then I found Dr Harold George Royle (1918-2008), son of one of my mother's friends, Margaret Emily Elizabeth Royle née Fairbairn (1892-1958). Harold was listed on the 1943 electoral roll as a medical practitioner living with his parents at Blaxland Rd Wentworth Falls, his parents' home later shown to be "Kuranda" 62 Blaxland Rd.…xii) He graduated from Sydney University in 1941, married Joan Mary Zouch (1917-2011) a theatre nurse in 1942 and signed up for the Army Medical Corps with serial # NX126937, serving in both New Guinea and Singapore. The official war diary…xxiv) shows Captain Royle was attached on 26.5.43 up to 29.7.44 to the 18 Aust Infantry Brigade 2/10 Battalion Headquarters from the Army Medical Corps. In August 1943, the 2/10 was sent to the Territory of New Guinea, first undertaking jungle training near Port Moresby and then, in December 1943, moving inland into the Finisterre Mountains where they later fought the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. Perhaps this is where penicillin was first used on Australian troops in Dec 1943? Following the conclusion of the fighting around Shaggy Ridge in February 1944, the brigade remained in New Guinea until May 1944 when they were withdrawn back to Townsville, Australia for re-organisation.…xxiv) Harold relinquished his position of Regimental Medical Officer of the 2/10 Bn on 3 Oct 1944, then appointed MO of the 113 Military Hospital on 23 Mar 1945, then MO of the 6 Aust. Prisoner of War Reception camp in Singapore. He returned to Sydney on the 'Circassia' on 16 Nov 1945 and then took up duties at 101 Australian General Hospital Military Hospital at Herne Bay (Riverwood) on 6 Dec 1945.…xLi) This hospital was originally an American hospital which implied access to penicillin. Jim Belshaw says he ran the dermatology ward at the 101, and then moved to Armidale…xxii) on 30 Jul 1946…xLi). Dr Royle started a pathology laboratory at the Armidale Hospital on August 5, 1946 with a bit of glassware acquired from Herne Bay Hospital and his student microscope… evidence of his improvisation!…xxii) At the moment the suggestion that Dr Royle saved my life is only conjecture.

Wentworth Falls was a place of climatic extremes. I remember a heat wave at Wentworth Falls where we lay on the floor waiting for it to leave. However it was not as bad as the bottom of the mountains when we drove the family car (Hillman DT324) down to Penrith High street... where there was great heat like a wall! In summer. I remember the noise of the cicadas in the trees on the Cascade St Rectory boundary. I also remember the sound of the wind going through the tall pine trees in the church grounds and the trestle tables for the Fetes held there. There were advertisements for these fetes in Jan 1942 and Jan 1943 in aid of the CMS (Church Missionary Society) opening late in the day at 3:00pm.…xxviii)

Spring was a good season when there were the more important annual Daffodil Fetes held in the School of Arts. Daffodils were supplied from paddocks in ‘Coorah’ on the Great Western Highway… now Blue Mountains Grammar. The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

DAFFODIL FETE WENTWORTH FALLS, Thursday (17 Sep 1931) Ten thousand golden daffodils were given by Mr. Robert Pitt for the twenty-second annual daffodil fete under the auspices of the Women's Guild of the Holy Trinity Church Wentworth Falls. The fete was opened by Mrs. Jackson, Lady Mayoress of Sydney. …xiv)

Robert Matcham Pitt (1849-1935), of Pitt, Son & Badgery Stock & Station Agents, built Coorah at Wentworth Falls in 1889. He pioneered daffodil growing on a large scale at 'Coorah', experimenting with many different varieties. From 1905 onwards there was a Daffodil Fair in the School of Arts Wentworth Falls, dominated by blooms from the Pitts’ garden. …xvi) I remember my mother taking me to Coorah and seeing with wonder a cultivated paddock of daffodils. She must have been organising the next donation of daffodils for the fete. The Pitt family were outstanding benefactors to Wentworth Falls. In 1914 Robert's wife donated the land for the School of Arts. In 1934 Robert donated 8 acres to the Council next to the School of Arts to create the R.M. Pitt Park.…xxix) I remember running a 440 yard race on this park during a school carnival… almost passing a older boy taking it easy at the front, who saw the unlikely challenge and "burnt me off" to win the race.

All my recollections do not reveal much about what life was like for my parents… but show what was important to a small child!

      i)  M.D. McLaurin. 1889—1955 A brief history of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Wentworth Falls (Diocese of Sydney). Holy Trinity Newsletter; Aug 1955. This source with its details of names and events has been relevant to much of the above discussion and is often cited and is quoted in full in the appendix beneath. Marion Dorothy McLaurin b.1882 - d. 24 Jun 1972 lived in Henderson Rd Wentworth Falls from at least 1934-1954. Her husband Duncan died in 1949. …c/i)
      ii)   David Sulman Carment. The Sulmans in the Blue Mountains; 2015: 14-15. Accessed 2018 here
    David Sulman is Emeritus Professor of History at Charles Darwin University.
      iii)   Find & connect: Lutanda Children's Home (1930 - 1984). See here.
      iv)   Zenaida S Edwards. The Life and Work of Sir John Sulman 1849-1934.
    PhD thesis, University of Technology Sydney; 2006
      v)   The Pigott family of Queen's County, Ireland; some ancestral connections. See here.
      vi)  State heritage inventory: Wf029 : Blue Mountains Grammar School. See here.
      vii)   Ronald Patfield RAAF service record. See here.
      viii)   Moving house the hard way. Blue Mountains Gazette; 26 Jan 1988: 44.
      ix)   Holy mackerel, it’s Holy Trinity on the move. Blue Mountains Echo; 23 Dec 1987.
      x)   Vice Admiral Henry Mackay Burrell. Wikipedia. See here.
      xi)   David Gilpin Wikipedia. See here.
      xii)   Electoral Roll.
      xiii)   Death of Hideo Kuwahata. Sydney Morning Herald; 19 Mar 1930:17
      xiv)   Daffodil fete Wentworth Falls. Sydney Morning Herald; 18 Sep 1931:10
      xv)   Wendy Thorp. Archeological assessment: Bodington Hospital Wentworth Falls. See here.
      xvi)   Death notice of Agnes Eunson (Nan) BAULD. Ryerson Index.
      xvii)   Bill Sullivan. Guns, not roses – here’s the true story of penicillin’s first patient. See here.
      xviii)   Penicillin 1944, life-saving antibiotic. Powerhouse Museum. See here.
      xix)   Lois Smith (ed). Blackboards in Weatherboard. A centenary history of Wentworth Falls Public School 1887-1987. Wentworth Falls Public School Centenary Committee; 1987:53.
      xx)  Wikipedia. Davisville, Wentworth Falls. See here.
      xxi)  Megan Hitchens. History in the Making. See here.
      xxii) Jim Belshaw. Death of Armidale’s Dr Harold Royle. See here.
      xxiii) Death of Mrs. Bowes, aged 88 years after a short illness. Blue Mountains Advertiser; 23 May 1947: 8. See here.
      xxiv) AWM52 2nd Australian Imperial Force and Commonwealth Military Forces unit war diaries, 1939-45 War. Item number: 8/3/10. See here for download.
      xxv) Wikipedia. 2/10th Battalion (Australia). See here.
      xxvi) Tracy Bowden. Secret history of the first Australian to be given penicillin. See here.
      xxvii) Sale of cottage and land from the Estate of Harriet Frances Gilson. Sydney Morning Herald; 3 Nov 1951: 28. See here.
      xxviii) Missionary Fete in the grounds of 'Holy Trinity' Church Wentworth Falls. Blue Mountains Advertiser; 15 Jan 1943: 4. Also 16 Jan 1942: 3.
      xxix) The late R.M. Pitt. Katoomba Daily; 10 Oct 1935: 2.
      xxx) William James Douglas Bewley serial # 38000. Military record National Archives of Australia see here.
      xxxi) Bewley's Nursery advertising. Blue Mountains Advertiser; 1946-1954.
      xxxii) Liz Riley. “Bill Bewley.” Gardens50plus. See here.
      xxxiii) Rachel Hayter. “How Sydney's water supply needs drowned a Blue Mountains town”
      ABC News. See here.
      xxxiv) Holy Trinity Anglican Church and interiors. Blue Mountains Heritage Register Review. See here.
      xxxv) New chancel of Holy Trinity. Mountaineer; 12 Dec 1902: 4. See here.
      xxxvi) Arnold Percy. A series of vignettes of Holy Trinity Anglican Church Wentworth Falls; 1989.
      xxxvii) S.C. Rose. The late Mr. C.W. Medcalf: an appreciation. Unknown newspaper; 28 Jul 1939.
        S.C. Rose was headmaster of Wentworth Falls Primary 1913-1928
      & district reporter for the Blue Mountains Echo… thus this unknown paper was probably the "Echo"
      xxxviii) Charles Medcalf cottages. Blue Mountains Heritage Inventory. SHI number 1170028.
      Location: 19, 21, 23, 25 Armstrong Street Wentworth Falls
      xxxix) Auction sale in Estate of C.W. Medcalf, Wentworth Falls, Victoria House and Addiscombe.
      Sydney Morning Herald; 13 Sep 1941: 4.
      xL) Wentworth Falls Cemetery Trust. Sydney Morning Herald; 27 Jun 1930: 12. See here.
        C.W. Medcalf retires as Cemetery Manager, S.C. Rose succeeds him.
      xLi) NAA Service record of ROYLE HAROLD GEORGE : Service Number - NX126937. See here.
      xLii) Holy Trinity Anglican Church Wentworth Falls, NSW 2782. Australia’s Christian Heritage. See here.
Correspondence… Special thanks to:
      c/i)   Pers. comm: Bruce Dunstan, Blue Mountains Historical Society, 2018.
      c/ii)   Pers. comm: Arnold and June Percy, 2018.
      c/iii)   Pers. comm: Alleyne McGee, 2018.
      c/iv)   Pers. comm: Michael Forbes, 2018.
      c/v)   Pers. comm: Chris Pigott, 2018.
      c/vi)   Pers. comm: Mary Drewett, 2018.
      c/vii)   Pers. comm: Trevor Gunter, 2018.
      c/viii)   Pers. comm: Paula and Alison Walden, 2018.
      c/ix)   Pers. comm: Cath Challinor, 2018-23.
      c/x)   Pers. comm: Kathleen Reynolds, 2018.
      c/xi)   Pers. comm: Chris Williams, 2023. Previous tenant of 71 Fletcher St Wentworth Falls in 1990-1992.
      c/xii)   Pers. comm: Dan Krige, 2023. Bill Bewley grandson, who provided photos of the Bewley family home at 71 Fletcher St Wentworth Falls.
      c/xiii)   Pers. comm: Megan Hitchens, 2023.
      c/xiv)   Pers. comm: Sophia Kevans, 2023.
      c/xv)   Pers. comm: Suzanne Yates, 2023.
      c/xvi)   Pers. comm: Lynda Brown, 2024. Administrator, Holy Trinity Wentworh Falls Parish.


1889—1955 A brief history of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Wentworth Falls (Diocese of Sydney)
Compiled by Mrs M.D. McLaurin, Research Secretary, Blue Mountains Historical Society.
Published August 1955. (Continued from July issue) …c/i
The need for a Rectory was still in the forefront and certain funds having been raised and a grant made of £250, to be repaid in £50 instalments, land adjoining the Church was purchased and plans were sufficiently advanced for the foundation stone to be laid on the 28th July 1906, the tender of Mr Metcalf being accepted for the erection of a Rectory designed by Mr John (later Sir John) Sulman, Mr W.F. Goyer of Katoomba acting as clerk of works. When the house was finished, the Rector was still living in a more central part of the parish so the house was let to occasional visitors and to various ministers who acted as curates. When the present Rector arrived in 1953 he pressed the buttons in the sitting and dining rooms but no servants materialised! The Rev E.C. Robison conducted services at the Queen Victoria Home as early as 1908 and at Bodington Sanatorium from 1912. These services are still held regularly, the Minister of Holy Trinity acting as Chaplain on behalf of the Home Mission Society. In 1912 a sum of £1 having been received from a Mrs Charles Hay, who had been been a tenant at the Rectory, it was decided to use the money for a Church Building Fund and with this modest sum the New Church Building Fund was inaugurated. The Fund is still accumulating and now, nearly fifty years later, stands at £2,225. A further advancement in this period was the opening of a Sunday School by one of the church wardens, Mr Dufton. At this time and for many years afterwards,there was a strong team of men able and willing to give their services for the benefit of the church. Among the names remembered, in addition to Cpt. Murray, are Cpt. R.H. Jackson, Messrs A.E. Ivan, T.H. Burrell, C.W. Medcalf, A.R. Woodhill, R. Golding, S.E. Rose, and in more recent years, CE Cripps, David Gilpin, Percy Baker, C.E. Hitches, A.W. Wood and W.M. Bewley.In 1905 the Women’s Guild was inaugurated with Mrs T.H. Burrell as Secretary and Mrs A.W. Woodhill as treasurer. All through the years since its inception the Guild has been fortunate in having a band of loyal and devoted women its service, the Church benefitting greatly from their efforts in organising the annual Daffodil Fete and giving aid wherever it was needed. Most prominent in its records, in addition to those already mentioned are Misses E. Palmer, A. Hegman, Lylie Brown (for many years secretary), E. Fairbairn, F. Fairbairn, A. Lambton, (for many years treasurer), W. Watkins, G.M. Gilpin (later Mrs C.E. Cripps), secretary, and Mesdames S.H. Childe, W.G.R. Fowler, M. Sheehan, G. Shoobridge, E.E.R. Young, C.E. Hitches, R.H. Jackson, W.F. Keeble and W.D. Gregory. Miss Louisa Brown is one of the best remembered as a most active church worker and, among other activities, conducted the Women’s Bible Class, now conducted by Miss C. Cook. Miss Cooke in other directions has given great service. For nineteen years with Miss E.A. Turtle she superintended the Sunday School, and these two ladies also collected for the stipend fund during the same period. Mrs Fowler was honorary organist of the church for more that thirteen years and she trained a choir of such excellence that it attracted the attention of the Conservatorium Music Journal in Sydney. Also as organist, Miss M. Stephens has given years of service and Mrs Keeble, Mr Burrell and Mr E.A. Drew have also assisted in this way. (To be continued)

This document is quoted in full due to its local historical value. Unfortunately, the copyright holders could not be contacted. Mrs McLaurin's death notice said: McLaurin, Marion Dorothy,—June 24, 1972, late of Wentworth Falls, and “Wendy Lodge,” beloved wife of Duncan (deceased), loving sister of Grace, Nora, Billie (deceased), Judith (deceased) and Eric, aged 90 years. Privately cremated. Sydney Morning Herald, 30 Jun 1972. This shows she has no descendants. Her Probate file was examined… but I could not find a person or entity who was bequeathed Mrs McLaurin's intellectual property.

May invite anybody who believes they have the copyright to this document… please contact me, using the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.


It would be great if people with knowledge of this family, could make contact with me. See the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.

The Story Continues