Florence Ethel Jeffrey

Florence Ethel Jeffrey & Thomas Jeffrey

Florence Ethel Jeffrey was born on the 4th January 1903 at Kings St, Coolgardie in the goldfields of Western Australia. Her parents were Thomas Francis Jeffrey [born 7th March.1877 at Eaglehawk, Victoria to Thomas Jeffrey and Honoria Curtain] and Ethel Florence Johns [born 11th March 1879 at Sandhurst [Bendigo] Victoria to James Henry Johns and Jane Stevens/Stephens] Thomas Jeffrey and Ethel Johns married on the 1st of October 1900 at St Patricks, Melbourne.

Florence Jeffrey, taken at Ewin's Studio, Boulder

The family ran a bakery at Nicholas St, Burbanks, a tiny goldfields town.

A scene from the main Street of Burbanks.
 By 1907 they had moved to Johnstone St, Lakeside, Boulder.

Photograph taken by J J Dwyer at Kalgoorlie, probably before Thomas died.

They lived near the Scougall family who had little girls of a similar age, so perhaps Florrie played with them while her parents baked. After she moved to Subiaco she was sent several postcards sending greetings from Doris, Nell and Mary Scougall.

Photo from Moya Sharp and the Goldfields Family History Society.

One of the many postcards sent to Florrie from Lakeside by her Uncle John Bolitho Johns. In this one he passes on greetings from the Scougall girls, who can be seen in the photograph above.

On the 17th June 1907 Thomas Jeffrey went turkey shooting with James George Hockley. While adjusting a slipping seat in the sulky ,his gun accidentally discharged, shooting him fatally in the shoulder. He was brought back to Lakeside and Mr W O'Brien the publican summoned  Dr Bridgeford, and Thomas was taken to Nurse Egan's hospital. The arm was amputated in an attempt to save his life, but he died 3 hours later from blood loss and shock. There was a Coronial Enquiry, reported in the "Kalgoorlie Miner" June 22, 1902. The report shows that poor Thomas was identified by his brother "Francis Patrick Jeffrey", presumably to spare his poor widow. Patrick Francis Jeffrey was living at Kurrawang in the Mt Burgess district. The directory lists him as a clerk in 1906-8. He married his wife Annabelle "Belle" Rieger in 1907.

Card from John Bolitho Johns to his niece Florence Jeffrey letting the family in Subiaco know that "Paddy, Belle and Baby Tommy" were coming for a visit in December 1908. Shortly after this Patrick Jeffrey and his family move to Melbourne.

The enquiry also mentions that before he lost consciousness, Thomas Jeffrey was mentioning a previous accident that occurred two years previously. I do not know how serious that accident was.
Thomas Francis Jeffrey was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Boulder Cemetery in grave 199. His grave has no stone or plaque, something I intend to rectify in the future.[ Many thanks to Moya Sharp all her help in locating the grave, the bakery and many other details about the Jeffrey family]

This photograph, taken at Coolgardie, is labelled "Tom Jeffrey" in the middle. The man in the centre, standing looks the right age to be Thomas, or possibly the seated dark haired man. The Jeffreys are dark, so it seems unlikely to be the fair man. Photograph from M. Fitzgerald [nee Jeffrey], a niece of Thomas Jeffrey.

After the tragic death of her father, four year old Florrie was sent to Subiaco to live with Ethel's mother, Jane Johns. She was a miners widow and had recently moved with her family from Bendigo. She had daughters Catherine "Jane" who was married to Henry Smithiam back in Bendigo, Mary, Alice, Ethel, Ada Lillian [ twice, both deceased], Rose, Margaret "Jessie" and one son, John Bolitho. It was John who went to lakeside to help his widowed sister run the bakery. He also wrote most of the postcards to his niece, although he often signed them "your Mother Ethel", instead of Uncle Jack. His rather elegant script is very different from Ethel's smaller writing.
Florrie in 1909, to be bridesmaid at Rose's wedding.  In 1908 with her Aunty Alice Johns.

John Bolitho Johns was named after his grandfather, and was the only boy in the family of ten children. He was a keen footballer and a member of the Trafalgar Fire Brigade. As a little girl I used to delight in looking at the old family photographs, and Johns was a favourite, in part I think because he had been so kind to my grandmother when she was little. I knew he died young, but I always hoped that maybe that part of the story was wrong.

John Bolitho Johns

Unfortunately, the stories were correct. John helped his sister with the bakery until he became ill in May 1909. Florrie was at Lakeside at the time visiting. There are postcards among the other Aunties & Alice comes out to see him. News is sent home that he is in hospital, but improving, then suddenly he dies, I believe from Peritonitis. John was buried in grave 386 in the Methodist section of the Boulder Cemetery, not far from Thomas. His grave also is unmarked. Poor little Florence has lost her father and Uncle in a very short space of time [not to forget my Great Grandmother's loss].

Ethel Johns at Kalgoorlie, possibly in mourning

The next series of postcards from Lakeside are written by Alice, so it seems that this time she assisted her sister until Ethel remarried on the 18th September 1909 at the Wesley Manse, Menzies. She married Denis "Dinny" Daly, the son of John Daly and Catherine Jeffrey [who was the sister of Thomas's father, Thomas Jeffrey], so Dinny was a cousin of Thomas Jeffrey.  He was a gold miner, and he and Ethel lived out at Woolgar [also called Yundaga ], an even more distant part of the Western Australian Goldfields. They had one son Lesley Daly, born on the 9th April 1913 at Subiaco. In another bitter blow, poor Dinny died in the Menzie Government Hospital on the 22nd June 1919, also of Peritonitis. Florrie however continued to live with her Grandma and Aunts until she herself married in 1929.

Inscription on Teapot presented to Mrs Jeffrey by the residents of Lakeside 13.8.1909, shortly before she left Lakeside to move to Woolgar. The teapot now belongs to Poppy Becher.

Lesley Daly, Ethel Daly [nee Johns] and Florence Jeffrey c1918

Florence as Bridesmaid for her Aunty Jess in 1918.
[Photo from Betty Cook]

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