by Rodney Hammett
from Bulletin 9 of 2020
Munro Terrace (Nos 212-230 Bridge Rd, Glebe) was in 1933 owned by architect William Ross McLean Munro, the grandson of architect William Munro who had purchased the house Forest Lodge and surrounding grounds in February 1871 – see also Bulletin 5/2020. All of these 10 terraces were leased.
The 1933 Electoral Roll for the subdivision of Glebe in the Commonwealth Division of West Sydney was my initial source of data which revealed the names listed in the table. An initial observation is that there were between four and six adults in each dwelling plus children, certainly more people than the current occupancy rates. This date was chosen because I could cross-check with the heads of households listed in the Sands Directory for 1932-33, the last time it was issued. These are shown right:
Head-of-household Ellen Beatrice (Trixie) Adams was the wife of George Hamilton (Ham) Adams having married on 28 September 1920 at St John’s Church, Glebe. At the time of their wedding George, 30, was a motor driver having survived WW1, his service record describing him as 5 ft 9½ inches (177 cm) tall, fair complexion, blue-grey eyes and fair hair. Ellen Beatrice Cruwys, 29, was a shop manageress.
Balmain boy George was wounded twice at Gallipoli then fought in France but as a result of desertion (about 48 hours) in October 1917 he was court marshalled and sentenced to 10 years prison with hard labour. At the end of the war and having already served two years he was released, being discharged in Sydney in February 1920. Initially not awarded any service medals, sense prevailed, and this was changed in late 1920.
George’s absence from the Electoral Roll in 1933 is unusual as he was included for 1934, when he is listed as a mechanic, both of them living at No 212 for the rest of their lives. Before the war George had been a member of the Victorian Police Force, in 1910, and after about two years’ service he joined the fire brigade in that city. He served about 18 months as a fireman, and afterwards came to Sydney, and joined the New South Wales Police Force. He was sent to Narromine, and afterwards transferred to Bathurst. Prior to enlisting, he was employed at E. Rich and Company. George was a scholar at Darling Rd School and a well-known ‘Soccer’ footballer. 1
Ellen died at St Vincent’s Hospital on 3 August 1958, aged 68. George died on 26 May 1964 aged 75. They did not have any children. Boarders at No 212 were John and Teresa McManus, Daisy Elizabeth Power and Elsie Merle Wilson making six adults in the household.
Teresa McManus and her moulder husband John lived at No 212 from at least 1930 to 1933. Details of their lives after 1933 have not been found. Tailoress Daisy Power seems to have been from Queensland, certainly she lived in Queensland from 1936, continuing her tailoring. Bookbinder Elsie Wilson has not been found after 1933.
No-one is listed as head-of-household at No 214 in 1933 however other research has established the Gahan family lived here from 1918 to 1931, afterwards moving to 44 Allen St, Glebe. Of those listed in the Electoral Roll; Bachelor Samuel Batten was 55 and the proprietor of a garage. From England, he and his brother Harry had migrated to Sydney, Harry later marrying Lucy from which came a son and daughter. A bit of a character, Samuel with two accomplices was in May 1933 charged with ‘having conspired to cheat and defraud the Vacuum Oil Company of large quantities of petrol’. In his defence he stated ‘I had been in business for a number of years and have been robbed and taken down on many occasions. I became hardened and it came to my mind that I would get a little of my own back.’2 Samuel died in 1949 aged 71.
Newlyweds Archibald and Irene Jewiss (née Moad) had been married in Blayney in November 1930. The family of Pyrmont born Archibald lived nearby at 32 Broughton St, Glebe and No 214 was only a brief stepping stone for Archibald and Irene living next at 4 Catherine St for a few years then moving to Sefton in the 1940s. Archibald enlisted for WW2 in September 1942, thankfully returning and being discharged in January 1945. Irene possibly died in 1944 but Archibald lived until 1987 when he died at Liverpool, aged 76.
Plumber Roy Phillip Pallier was going through a divorce while at No 214, from his wife of only three years – Phyllis Lillian Bell. The decree absolute was granted in May 1934. He grew up in the Sutherland Shire but made No 214 his home for about 10 years until the mid-1940s. Remarrying in 1948 he became a storekeeper before retiring to Surfers Paradise where he died in 1972 aged 67.
Amelia Agnes Tresidder and daughter Edna were Roy’s sister (15 years his senior) and niece. Amelia was a widow, her 33-year-old husband James having been accidently killed while working in the South Bulli coal mine in May 1919.3 Edna, just 21 (listed in the electoral rolls for the first time) was now a typist in the city. Amelia, Edna with brother James Richards Tresidder (b 1914) all lived at No 214 until first Edna married in 1945, then James, a veteran of WW2, married in 1947. Amelia continued at No 214 for several years until she died in 1953 aged 65.
No-one is listed as head-of-household at No 216 in 1933 however this was very much a family household.
Emma Sophia Austin (née Lane), widow of Alfred Trevis Ernest Austin (1864-1927), and daughter Ruby Austin (b. 1895) were living at No 216 with Emma’s married step-daughter Florence May Ogg (née Austin), her husband William Ogg and their son William John Ogg (b 1927).
Emma was the third wife of Alfred Austin, the earlier being Sarah Ellen Buckley (1865-1886) and Bridget Cody (1869-1893). Emma had eight children with Alfred, there being a further five children from the previous marriages however several died as infants. Emma became the mother to them all living at No 216 until she was 65 in 1940.
Ruby never married. She continued to live at No 216 at least until 1963 and died in 1974 aged 70.
Scottish born carpenter William Ogg and Cowra born Florence Austin had married in Glebe in 1925, William John being their only child. The family lived at No 216 for over 30 years. William died here in April 1949 aged 57. Florence died here in August 1964 aged 77. When the Munro Terraces were sold in 1957 William John Ogg, a motor trimmer, bought No 216. He had married Rita Madeline Bonser in 1951. Selling in 1964 they moved to Kenthurst.
Mrs D Armstrong had been the head of the household since 1922 but she was not listed in the electoral rolls – maybe she was not eligible to vote.
Richard and Annie Barrat lived at No 218 only briefly. Both from Narrandera, NSW they had married in 1916 and by 1933 had about six children with them so during the 1930s depression, on labourer’s wages life was tough.
Records show them moving from Darlinghurst, to Glebe, to Alexandria during the 1930s. It also seems they separated by the late 1940s because after that Richard and Annie weren’t recorded at the same addresses.
John Joseph Pearson and wife Georgina May (née Hanel) were married at St Michael’s Church, Surry Hills on 24 December 1930.4 John, a police constable from Narrandera was 25; Georgina, also 25, was a waitress from Port Adelaide, South Australia. By 1932 they had at least one child with another, Elsie May, being born on 26 September 1933. Other children arrived later.
Whether John was dismissed from the force or they needed more income, by 1936 he was a labourer and the family was living at 43 Georgina St, Newtown. No record is found of the family in the 1940s but John did enlist in the Army, 19th Battalion, for WW2 on 11 March 1941. The 19th was moved to Darwin in 1941 to become the garrison, was repatriated to Sydney to recover in September 1942 then re-mobilised with US troops before being sent to New Guinea in 1943.5 John was discharged on 30 October 1945. In 1958 the family is found at Guilford, he still a labourer.
He died in 1963 at the age of 58, apparently due to cancer. Georgina lived until 1993 enjoying many years with family and grandchildren. John and Georgina are buried side-by-side in the Anglican section of Rookwood Cemetery.
Amy Coyle, the head of the household, had been at No 220 from at least 1930, with her only child George Thomas Coyle, seemingly estranged from her husband George who was living in Lewisham. Amy Caroline Lungren and labourer George Coyle had married at Carcoar in 1902. In 1933 Amy was 52 and son George 23 having been born at Yass in 1910.
Amy ran No 220 as a successful boarding house for over 30 years and took up the opportunity to purchase the property in 1957. She died here in 1961 aged 82.
Son George, a lorry driver, married Joyce Enid McMillan at St John’s Church, Glebe on 14 July 1945. Joyce had been born in Young in 1921, her father a horse trainer, but was living in Glebe working as a ledger keeper. They both lived at No 220 until 1961 then moving to Petersham. George died in 1992 aged 82.
Bernard Roy Blacker was a country boy from Wilcannia, born 11 December 1907, who had talent as a telegraphist. There was excitement locally when he passed the test in 1923:
Master Bernard Blacker, a pupil of the local Convent School, who recently sat for the examination held for telegraph messenger all over the Commonwealth, has just received notice of his pass. He secured third place in the State gaining 375 out of the possible 450 marks. 6
Bernard lived at No 220 for two years then moved to Surry Hills. In 1941 he married widow Rose Anne Beatrice Phillips (née Davy) 15 years his senior and lived at Bondi Beach. She died in 1957. Bernard didn’t remarry and remained at Bondi but when he died in 1981, he was buried in the Wilcannia Cemetery beside other family members.
For Martee Desmond Constance, 1933 was a year of change. He and Christina Jane Bevan had married in Glebe in 1932. From 1934 to 1936 they lived at 9 Arcadia Rd, Glebe. He changed jobs as well in 1933 from a tram conductor to a lorry driver. Martee was from the Cooma area, born there in 1904. At the end of the 30s he and Christina returned to live at the family sheep property at Cooltralantra south of Cooma. In the mid-1950s they became proprietors of the Eagle Service Station at Cooma. Martee died in 1966 aged 62.
Mary Norman’s details have been difficult to confirm because while she is listed in Sands Directory as head of household from 1925 to 1932, she is not listed in the electoral rolls between 1930-32.
Nora Shaw Norman, born 1896 in Manchester, England, lived at No 222 at least in 1932 and 1933. She may or may not have been related to Mary Norman. A music teacher, she arrived in Sydney on the migrant ship Balranald in about August 1930 with her youngest brother Wilfred Shaw Norman, born 1913. He could well have been at No 222 in 1933 but not included in the electoral rolls because he was too young.
Their parents in England, George and Mary had married in about 1895 – he a greengrocer in his 50s and she aged 25. There was another son, Roy Shaw Norman, born in 1910. Nora was in Darlinghurst in 1935 and married James Alfred Hope in 1938. Her whereabouts after that are unknown.
Roy remained in England and married Julia Tombs in 1936. At the time of the 1939 UK Register they were living in Yorkshire, he a bus conductor. Enlisting in the RAF for WW2 he was sent to fight the Japanese in Malaya and Singapore but became a prisoner of war. He was one of the many POWs who died at Ambon, Indonesia in 1944 where he is buried.
Wilfred enlisted for WW2 on 22 Oct 1939, in the Australian Army where he was a signalman in the 7th Signal Regiment. After the war he lived at Woolgooga, NSW and died in 2005 aged 91.
Roy and Ellen Taylor moved around country NSW together, but no record of their marriage has yet been found. For them No 222 was a brief stop in 1933 as afterwards they were found at Bugilborne Siding (Warren Junction) in 1936, Annandale in 1937, and on the railway line at Gundagai 1943 and 1949. Roy was sometimes listed as a shearer and sometimes a labourer. Nothing has been found of them after 1949.
Agnes Brenda Merrett was living in Glebe from 1931 with her daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth, b 1915, was 17 when she married house painter Ernest Kochner in Glebe in 1932, afterwards living in Five Dock. Agnes Collins had married Harry Merrett in 1914 but they seem to have separated. She was listed in the electoral rolls with ‘home duties’ as she moved from Glebe to Forest Lodge, to Surry Hills then as machinist in 1954, aged 58, in Darlinghurst. She died in April 1968 aged 72.
Recovering from a bruising in the divorce courts, Edward McQuellin lived at No 222 for one or two years. He had married Martha Marion Guest at St Brendan’s Church, Annandale on 29 December 1908 from which came Philip (1909-1991), Marie (1911-1959), Marion (1913-2006) and Joan (1916-?). Edward enlisted for WW1 on 6 May 1915 stating he was an estate agent however after not quite five months and while still in Australia he was medically discharged due to his rheumatism.
His divorce had started in 1925 (see newspaper item) but the decree absolute was not finalised until 1928. The son of Sydney hotelier Phillip McQuillin, Edward was born in March 1884 and died in July 1942, aged 58.
Mrs M J Forrester was the head of the household according to Sands however no-one is listed in the electoral rolls. The house could well have been vacant in 1933.
The first family to occupy No 226 were the Knutsens in 1914. Norwegian born John Martin Knutsen, a sailor, was 26 when he married 17-year-old Mary Ellen Baird in St Patrick’s Catholic Church (later the Cathedral) on 23 September 1902. One of the witnesses was Mary’s sister Gertrude. This union produced 6 sons and a daughter, their first being born in 1905.
Second son David died when only one in 1907 while they were living at 52 Lower Fort St, Sydney. John at that time was working as a sailor on ships trading up and down the NSW coast. Later he gained his master’s certificate becoming a tug master on Sydney Harbour. In about 1920 the family moved from Bridge Rd to 11 Stewart St, Glebe to be closer to his work – see photo. 11 Stewart St is located within the red dashed oval, now several blocks of 1960s apartments. Tugboats can be seen moored in Blackwattle Bay. John and Mary remained at 11 Stewart St for over 25 years. Mary died there in 1946 aged 61 and John died in 1948 aged 71.
Mary’s parents David Samuel Baird and Elizabeth (née Gorman) moved into No 226 when the Knutsens left. This was Elizabeth’s second marriage; her first husband Michael Morrison having died in 1885 shortly after the birth of their second son. Elizabeth and David married in the manse of Scots Church, Sydney in February 1886 from which came Mary (1885-1946), David (1886-1947), Gertrude (1889-1957), Anne (1891-1978), William (1895-1938) and Bertha (1895-1968).
The head of the household was widow Catherine Dixon. Catherine Elizabeth Spillane and Charles James Dixon had married in Glebe in 1889 producing four daughters – Edith (1888-1950), Mabel (1890-1980), Clare (1898-1989) and Ethel (1903-1976).
Mabel married Bertram Mathieson at St Andrew’s Church, Annandale on 10 February 1917, and were seemingly a mismatch with Bertram a civil servant from Queensland working in the Sydney office of Queensland’s Intelligence and Tourism Bureau, while Mabel was a machinist. Bertram died in 1928 after a long illness. Charles, Catherine and widowed Mabel with her son Jack (b 1918) moved into No 228 in 1924; Charles worked as a carter in one of the numerous carting firms in Glebe and Forest Lodge. Catherine managed the boarders.