Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sepia Saturday 248: 4 October 2014

Marilyn aka Little Nell from Sepia Saturday says:

The 4th October is the date in 1941 that Norman Rockwell launched a series of Saturday Evening Post covers depicting Willie Gillis. Rockwell described Gillis as “an inoffensive ordinary little guy thrown into the chaos of war”. Willie made his debut carrying a food parcel and suddenly everyone wanted to be his friend.
No chaos here this week; Alan is on holiday and I’m reasonably organised. All you have to do is choose a theme suggested by the prompt picture: the little guy, parcel from home, food package, followers, magazine covers or whatever else you see. Post your own old images, sometime around Saturday 4th October, with a link back to Sepia Saturday.

I seem to be finding it increasingly difficult to match the Sepia Saturday prompts of late, so I do apologise for my absence.  

Group of people in ship's cabin bearing gifts
Gladys and Cecil Maloney with small girl carrying basket of flowers on board ship c. 1960s

Okay, so this is a picture of Gladys and Cecil Maloney with an unknown little girl carrying a basket of flowers.  I think this is a gift to my grandmother who is going on a trip overseas.  At least I think it is.  Maybe the Maloneys are going overseas.  I know my grandmother used to go overseas with Gladys from time to time.  It may have been the trip my grandmother took in 1964 to come and see us when we were in Scotland.  At any rate, it used to be the "done thing" to give people baskets of fruit and flowers when they were going on long trips abroad.  See the big basket of fruit on top of the bunk on the right?

According to my father, my grandmother's older sister Millie married a station master Frank Andrews who was posted to Lue near Mudgee.  

The Conners met the Maloneys through Millie and Frank and they all played tennis together. 

A group of tennis players having tea on the court
Tennis with the Maloneys - L to R Cecil, Joyce Muir, Gladys, Ethel, Millie and Frank

Cecil Maloney would sell his wool in Sydney at the Show and every year he would come and see the Conners.  The story went that he wasn't too keen on driving in Sydney and that Ted Conner would do the driving from the Blue Mountains down to Sydney.

Two men sitting on top of bales of wool
Ossie, my grandmother's brother and Ted my grandfather on bales of wool

My father was evacuated to the Maloneys during WW2 after the Japanese sub got into Sydney Harbour.  The Maloneys were Catholics and the Conners were Anglicans.  The joke was that by the time my father came home he was very much a Catholic.  

A farm with a Holden in the driveway
Maloneys place with Holden in Driveway

Cecil's full name was Cecil Stanislaus Maloney.  Stanislaus seems to be a name used as a middle name for a couple of the Maloney clan e.g. his brother James.  Maybe it is a surname of an ancestor.  Maybe it's after Saint Stanislaus.  I wonder if this is him with my grandfather.  This photo just has the caption Stan and Laurel (an oblique reference I think to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy).

Two men being silly with an axe
Stan and Laurel

Cecil was the youngest of a big Catholic family - 13 children that I have been able to find.  His parents Michael and Maria/Mary Eves/son married in 1866 and then had Patrick, Robert, John, Mary (Polly), Florence Margaret, Ellen Beatrice, Alice Maude, Daisy, James, Richard, Clarence (who died as an infant) and lastly Cecil.

Cecil applied to enlist 17 January 1916 and then completed his Attestation papers at the Royal Agricultural Showground 20 March 1916.  He was described as an unmarried farmer aged 22 years and 2 months born Bara near Lue, New South Wales.  He joined the 9th Machine Gun Battalion as a Driver and was later transferred to the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion.  He was described as 5 foot 8 inches with blue eyes and brown hair weighing 138 pounds.  He embarked 1 May 1916 on the HMAT Benalla A24.

He is mentioned in an article entitled South African Impressions in the Mudgee Guardian 31 August 1916.  Lieut. Dunn said:

Our journey has taken ten weeks, and it was hot and unpleasant in the tropics all the time.  Measles were very prevalent on board, but luckily we had no fatal cases....The following Mudgee district boys with us are now all well: Ken Pyne (Eurunderee), Cecil Maloney (Bara), J. Ward (Mullamuddy), Sgt. Young (Mudgee), Jack Cox (Mudgee), C. Cozier (Cudgegong).  

According to the Rylstone District Historical Society Wiki, Cecil met Gladys while he was in England during the war.  

There is an intriguing entry on Page 16 of his army record which you can view here.  He was granted leave from 9 July to 9 September 1919 Reason Stock ID2 (whatever that means) Attending Drage A Farmer Chapel Brampton Northampton.  I can only guess that he was looking for horse stock or selling horse stock back to the farmer.  I found an article online - reminiscences of Bert Drage from the area who talks about selling his horses to the war effort.  Maybe that is where Cecil met Gladys.  I can't be sure of Gladys' birth but I have found a Gladys Eliza in Northampton at about the right time c. 1902.

Cecil's father, Michael, died while he was overseas in July 1918 and his magnificent obituary gave me much insight into Cecil's family. You can read it here.

Cecil embarked for Australia after the war finished on 18 December 1919 on the Konigen Luise and arrived 7 February 1920.  There is a newspaper article describing his welcome home.

Courtesy of National Library of Australia Mudgee Guardian, 26 February 1920, page 17

Cecil and Gladys married that same year.  To my knowledge they didn't have any children.  Cecil was also successful in winning a block of land in the Returned Soldiers Settlement Ballot - part of the Havilah Estate.

Courtesy of the National Library of Australia, Mudgee Guardian, 1 April 1920, page 20

Cecil and Gladys seem to have been popular residents in the District.  Gladys won Belle of the Ball one year:

Courtesy of the National Library of Australia,  Mudgee Guardian, 5 November 1931, page 13

One year Cecil was runner-up in the Popular Man contest:

Courtesy of the National Library of Australia, Catholic Press, 14 February 1935, page 33

Cecil died 1974 aged 80 - you can see his gravestone here.  Gladys followed him six years later in 1980.  My grandmother outlived them both.

The Maloneys weren't family but they may as well have been.  They took my father in during the war.  Gladys was my grandmother's best friend.  Cecil and my grandfather helped each other.  I still find it amusing that Cecil wasn't confident driving in Sydney traffic and yet he drove around the battlefields of WW1 for four years.  That gives you an idea of what Sydney traffic is like!


ScotSue said...

Hi, Alex, I too have had some difficulty lately in coming up with a theme or fresh images to match the SS prormpt and I admire those of a more inventive frame of mind than mine who can do this every week. But you have written an impressive article here on the Maloney family. The name Cecil Stanislaus Maloney conveys so many different fascinating elements - English, Polish and Irish.

Bob Scotney said...

Having read your post I feel I know Cecil well - an eventful life for sure.

Little Nell said...

I’d never heard of the tradition of giving baskets of fruit and flowers to those going on trips. An interesting post.

Alex Daw said...

Sue, isn't it a most interesting name? I am really intrigued by the Stanislaus and want to know more.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Bob. I didn't know much about him until I wrote this blog post either. I'm a bit sorry I didn't know him better when he was alive.

Alex Daw said...

Hi Marilyn - thanks for swinging by. It is a bit of a quaint custom isn't it but definitely worth recording. Maybe food storage and/or on board catering wasn't all that it could have been in the "olden" days - hence the gifts.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Looking at those gift baskets made me chuckle given that space is so limited in most of our modern transportation. A lot of fine research here. I enjoyed reading the obituary and had forgotten how quickly people died of pneumonia. Most enjoyable.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Helen. Yes I think we forget that pneumonia can carry us off quickly if not diagnosed and treated quickly.

Anonymous said...

Another impressive piece of your research. One week I was getting so desperate to match the image that I found myself making anagrams of the suggested words to broaden the field !

Alex Daw said...

Now that is funny! But it really does take time and grunt work doesn't it this blogging business.

La Nightingail said...

The name Stanislaus is Slavic in origin & a somewhat popular given name meaning to strive for glory. But I'm smiling because it's a very familiar name to me. In fact I'm surrounded by it - on the north by the Stanislaus River, on the east by the Stanislaus National Forest, & on the west by Stanislaus County (all pronounced with a silent 's' at the end) Wikipedia says the Stanislaus name in our region came from a Mi-Wok Indian leader whose name, according to information from Mission San Jose, was Estanislao. I don't know if that man had any connection to Slavic heritage, however.

Jo Featherston said...

You've done some great research on Cecil there. I love the concept of a Popular Man contest!

Alex Daw said...

Thank you for letting me know about the silent 's'. There is a St Stanislaus school at Bathurst I think so I'm not sure if the boys took it as their middle name for that reason. But I think I have seen one of the women with it too.

Alex Daw said...

Isn't that popular man contest fabulous Jo ? I wonder what they had to do....

Doug Peabody said...

Sydney traffic sounds like Boston traffic here! Great post. :)

Wendy said...

With issues of security being such a big thing these days, I doubt you could carry a basket of fruit onto a cruise ship. However, I do know you can call the cruise line and order a gift for someone going on a trip.

I love the photo of the men on bales of wool. That must have required a LOT of sheep!

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Doug! Good to know that if ever I'm in Boston I will be able to handle the traffic having learned to drive in Sydney ;)

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Wendy. Yes and a lot of sheep means a lot of shearers. I think that's why my grandmother went up to help Milly too as they both had to cook for the shearers - hard yakka as we call it here in Orstralia - yakka being slang for work. Funnily enough as I was writing this post, my daughter was sending me photos of alpacas being shorn at her partner's mother's property. How times have changed!

Myree said...

Hi Alex
I was excited to read the information and view your photos of Gladys and Cecil Maloney. Cecil was my great uncle and when my dad, Norman Richard Maloney, purchased Gulgowra (from Uncle Cecil) at the time of his (dad) marriage in 1952 I think, Cecil and Gladys moved to Bara. I was born in 1953 and so grew up at Gulgowra,. Lue. I asked my mum if she knew who your grandmother was..but not enough clues to gain any more information. What was her name? Cecil and Gladys had no children. Tennis was the social activity of the time and I remember Cecil in his latter years critiquing my and my twin sister's tennis skills!!! Thank you for the information. If I find any info re your grandmother I will let you know.Myree Maloney

Alex Daw said...

Hi Myree - my grandmother's name was Ethel Conner (nee Carrett). I'm so glad to have found a relation to the Maloneys who were very important in my father's early years during the war.