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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Friends and Relations

In my grandfather's letters and diaries, he mentions lots of people. I will try to list them here, updating when necessary and providing any information I have about them. If anyone else in the family can shed light on any of the people that we can't identify, please get in touch.

Bee - my grandfather's older brother, Bertie, with whom he went to Britain to join up

Mim - my grandfather's sister, Mildred

Freyda Shaw (who marries Pyman) - Thank you to Liz Landy for providing this information: "Lawrence Lee Pyman was born on the 13th March 1917 to Ronald and Catherine Freyda Pyman (nee Shaw). She came from a family of Australian sheep farmers who owned a large station in Victoria, Australia and was brought up in the correct manner, dressing for dinner each night. Catherine was sent to Germany before the Great War 'to grow up' and have an education, under the watchful eye of a devoted governess who was very keen on German opera! On the outbreak of WW1 she returned to Australia, where she met an Englishman, Ronald Pyman (known as George by his family), who worked for Asiatic Petroleum (Shell) in Melbourne, and after a short whirlwind romance, they married in 1916.
Ronald volunteered to serve 'the old country' and enlisted in the army with the Middlesex Regiment. Catherine meanwhile joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment as a nurse and was sent to France. Lawrence would never see his father, who was tragically killed in action on the 3rd May 1917, whilst serving as a Lieutenant on the Western Front with the 15th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. On this day, the British attacked the Germans on a 12 mile front just east of Arras. Lieutenant Pyman is buried in Bay 7 of the Commonwealth War Graves plot in Arras Cemetery, France. " etc.   This is taken from the web page

I have a collection of Purrumbete photos I have been working through and I had noted Freyda Pyman and her baby son Lawrence  in one of them. The photos are mostly of  John Manifold (son of W.T. Manifold), Barbara his wife  and their  young son John Streeter Manifold in 1916 - 1917. John was 5 years older than Uncle Wal.  He enlisted in the Royal Horse Artillery in 1916. Some of the photos are  named but sadly many are not.

Russells from Carngham - a family whose property, Carngham, was in the Western District of Victoria (there are other Russells from other properties in the district, who may pop up later in the narrative).

211 Piccadilly - Carlyle Club (Thank you, Bim Affleck)

McArthurs - also from the Western District, from a property called Meningoort


Dan - possibly Dan McKinnon?

Rutledges - graziers from near Bungendore. Their son Foster eventually married Mildred

Bo Fairbairn - lived in Queensland


Mr Gilliard

Siggers. Cruikshanks, Grant Suttie and Evans - fellow officers with whom my grandfather became close friends (Cruikshanks was from South Africa)


  1. 'Bo' Fairbairn probably Gordon Fairbairn (1892-1973), son of Frederick Fairbairn and Rhoda McLeod. Partner in 'Capella' and 'Peak Downs' properties in Queensland.

  2. Blip - mum says he later had a son called Freddie who got meningitis while staying at Mondilibi and, because her own son had died of the illness, my mother's mother was able to react quickly and make sure he got immediate treatment so that he survived. Is that the same one?

  3. Z. Freyda was the only daughter of Oliphant Shaw, Wurrong, Camperdown. She & 'Pyman' were married at St Margaret's Westminster 23rd October 1915?

  4. Blip - that date fits with the letter where grandfather mentions her marriage, I think. I will ask mum and her sisters if they knew Wurrong. Best Z

  5. Suggestion ... maybe some of these characters could be listed in a sidebar for ready reference when the letters start to flow.

  6. That's a good idea - as is your suggestion about a map. One of the children is v good with setting up websites (this is hers: When she comes home at Christmas, I will ask her to help me set these things up (I am hopeless).

  7. I went over to your daughter's site. She is a wonderful artist, drawer. I agree that the beauty she presents to us, is of a most melancholic variety, poetic even.

    Do not say that you yourself are hopeless. The very existence of this blog testifies otherwise!