Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD
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Fanny / Frances REYNOLDS
Arthur Stanley SMALLWOOD
Mary Ellen PARSLOW

Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD


Family Links

1. Gertrude Laurie McLEAN

2. Living

Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD 5,6

  • Born: 21 Sep 1902, Townsville, Queensland 6
  • Marriage (1): Gertrude Laurie McLEAN on 26 Jul 1923 in St Peter's Anglican Church, West End, Townsville, Queensland
  • Died: 11 Mar 1967, Dundas, Sydney at age 64 7
  • Buried: 14 Mar 1967, Rookwood Crematorium Wall of Remembrance, NSW 8

bullet  Events

• It is interesting that there is a difference of opinion on Charles' birthday.

In the Birthday Book of Claire Smallwood, one of Charles' daughters, it is noted as 24th September.

However the Queensland Registrar of Births has it recorded as 21st September.

In any case, we know that Charles was born in Townsville.

• Charles enrolled at Irvinebank State School in 1907.

The records show his attendance as being from April 1907, January 1910, June 1911 and April 1913.

If you click on this image, and then click again on the "expand to regular size" button which will appear in the fresh window, you will be able to see more closely the details of "Chales" enrolment.

• Charles, the oldest was nine, when the youngest was born, little Jack, on 26 May 1912. A total of six children now! His mother was kept busy. The midwife lived right down the other end of the town. All the babies in Irvinebank were born at home. Charles' father would have to go and get her, and bring her home, when a baby was due.

Life was really tough then.

This image of the Irvinebank School was drawn by a local artist.

• The very first image we have of Charles is seen here, in a family portrait taken in Irvinebank, when he was about twelve years old.

He is standing at the back, with his brother Jack.

• Charles' sister Frances took this photo of her older brother with her Box Brownie. He was eighteen years old, she was sixteen ~ the year was 1920.

Frances recalls that her Box Brownie cost 7s 6d (that's 7 shillings and 6 pence.) That was a week's wages in those days ~ a lot of money.

• Charles is seen here with his future mother-in-law, Emily Frances McLean (nee Orton), and his future wife - Emily's youngest daughter - Gertrude Laurie McLean.

• Charlie is seen here with Rees Orton McLean, his brother in law. Written above, in a female handwriting, is "Rees and Charlie". The year would have been about 1922, do you think?

• Charles' sister-in-law, Gladys, is seen here after her marriage to Sydney Charles Albert Lucas, we think in the early 1920's.

Charles is standing, at the rear, on the right. His wife, or wife-to-be, Gertrude, is seated near him.

His father-in-law, or father-in-law-to-be, Murdoch McLean, is standing opposite Charles.

Sadly, we do not know who Gladys chose as her other attendant.

This photograph has the mark of "Federal, Townsville" photographers on its reverse.

• Here is another photograph of Charles, with the blushing bride and groom, Gladys and Sid, and Gertrude.

• Charles is recorded as a Storeman on his Marriage Certificate.

The scene shown here is probably one that Charles would visit with Gertrude to admire the view. The top of Castle Hill provided a spectacular panorama of Townsville, the ocean, the harbour, and the Ross River.

• Charles resided at Armstrong Street, West End, Townsville, prior to his marriage to Gertrude Laurie McLean.

The main street of Townsville, in those days, can be seen here. Chandlers and the Excelsior Hotel can be seen on the left, and the Adelaide Steamship Company building on the right.

• Charles married Gertrude on Thursday, 26th July 1923.

• Sadly, the original church is no longer on the site of 96-114 Leigh Street, West End. A modern church exists today.

• Charles Arthur William Smallwood was married to Gertrude Laurie McLean on Thursday 26th July 1923, by Frederick George Williams, Clergy of the Church of England, at St Peter's Anglican Church, West End, Townsville.

Charles' occupation was Storeman, and he resided in Armstrong Street, Townsville. He was a twenty-year old Townsville-born bachelor. His father, Arthur Stanley Smallwood, was an Engine Driver. His mother was Mary Ellen (nee Parslow).

Interestingly, Charles' brother-in-law, Sydney Charles Albert Lucas, was typed on the form to be his male witness. Instead, Rees McLean, another brother-in-law, has signed. The other witness was Frances Ellen Smallwood, Charles' younger sister.

• As both Charles and Gertrude were under the age of consent, an endorsement was required for their marriage to be conducted legally.

"I Charles Arthur William Smallwood of Townsville ... y sworn, do on my oath declare ... believe there is no impediment or lawful objection by reason of any kind, relationship or alliance, or any former marriage, or the want of consent of Parents or Guardians, or any other lawful cause, to my being married to Gertrude Laurie McLean of Townsville daughter of Murdoch McLean of Townsville.

Signature of Man: C.A.W. Smallwood

And I, the said Gertrude Laurie McLean of Townsville, do on my oath declare that I believe there is no impediment or lawful objection, by any such reason or lawful cause as aforesaid, to my being married to the said Charles Arthur William Smallwood.

Signature of Woman: G L. McLean

Declared and sworn for and affirmed by the parties named this 26th day of July 1923 before me - F. G. Williams, Rector of S.Peter's Townsville.

Bridegroom: The consent of ... was given to the marriage of Charles Arthur William Smallwood with Gertrude Laurie McLean the said Charles Arthur William Smallwood being under the age of twenty-one years. F. G. Williams, Minister or Registrar

Bride: The consent of ... was given to the marriage of Gertrude Laurie McLean with Charles Arthur William Smallwood the said Gertrude Laurie McLean being under the age of twenty-one years. F. G. Williams, Minister or Registrar

• In 1923, Charles was the bandmaster of the Townsville Naval Band. He had been married for only five months.

We can see here the cover of the program for the band competition, held in Charters Towers, in that year.

North Queensland Championship


DECEMBER 28th, 29th and 31st.


(The side-splitting advertisement, featuring a cricketer receiving a ball to the forehead, reads:
Did it ever strike you ?
that, in addition to our most up-to-date job printing plant
we have installed a Lino Type Setting Machine
Enabling us to set a string of Type from here to the Gulf.
We Cater for all descriptions of Printing, including -
Rule Books, Betting Lists, Programmes, Balance Sheets, Reports, Magazines, Etc. Etc.
CHRISTESON & MILLETT, Telephone 270. P.O. Box 92.

Price . . One Shilling.

J. C. JONES, Hon. Secretary.

Christeson & Millett, Printers, Bow St., Charters Towers.

• The program for the North Queensland Championship Brass Band Contest, or at least the page which featured Charles' entry, was as follows:

Item No. 18.

BRASS DUET - Any Two Instruments - "Own Choice." Prize £2/2/ .

W. Wallace and W. C. Northage, Cairns Citizens' Band.
F. Peters and H. Brown, Cairns Citizens' Band.
A. Humphries and A. Cerezo, Townsville Naval Band.
C. A. Smallwood and F. C. Minkin, Townsville Naval Band.
R. Woods and J. Carvolth, Charters Towers Citizens' Band.
A. Shaw and L. Grau, Charters Towers Concert Bnad.
A. Falsett and R. Reece, Charters Towers Concert Band.
W. J. Newman and B. Popham, Townsville Railway Band.
W. Dungavell and H. Brown, Charters Towers Concert Band.
S. V. Wyatt and V. Johnson, Townsville Railway Band.
W. Hooper and P. Hooper, Townsville Railway Band.


STREET MARCH - "Own Choice." First prize, £5 and Gold Mounted Baton, presented by J. C. Jones, Esq., Charters Towers; Second prize £2/10/ . Points awarded for music only.

Cairns Citizens' Band.
Townsville Naval Band.
Charters Towers Citizens' Band.
Charters Towers Concert Band.


Chairman: J. W. Ward, Esq, Charters Towers.


WALTZ - "Own Choice." First Prize £7 and Gold Mounted Baton, presented by E. Deighton, Esq., Charters Towers; Second prize, £3.

Cairns Citizens Band.
Townsville Naval Band.
Charters Towers Concert Band.
Charters Towers Citizens' Band.

Item No. 21.

DRUMS SOLO - "Captain Ginger" (Kirk). Prize, Gold Medals, valued at £1/1/ each.

D. Ziegler and F. Ireland, Cairns Citizens' Band.
R. Woodward and H. Lavery, Charters Towers Citizens' Band.
J. W. Horan, W. Galt, and L. Pope, Charters Towers Concert Band.
A. R. Cooper and W. Deans, Townsville Naval Band.

Item No. 22.


TEST SELECTION - "La Travitta" (Verdi). First prize £30 and Silver Cup; Second prize, £10. Prize month in conjunction with "Own Choice" Selection.

Cairns Citizens' Band.
Townsville Naval Band.
Charters Towers Concert Band.

• The advertisement appearing opposite the program details is of interest. Well, to some of us it is! And it obviously was a burning issue in Charters Towers, in 1923!

Charters Towers


If the Woollen Mill becomes an established fact, which we firmly believe it will, it will certainly be a great boom for the old city.

It simply bears out our expression of Faith published in our paper some few weeks ago.

The City and District were indeed fortunate that the directors of CALEDONIAN HOUSE had sufficient Faith and Foresight to put the enormous Amount of Stock and Capital into their Business which they have done in the last year.

They have taken this step with the idea of giving the people "The Better Class of Goods" at Lower than Southern Prices.

The Woollen Mill when in full swing will give the people an opportunity of earning good money.

THAT - Backed up by CALEDONIAN HOUSE FAMOUS LOW PRICES, will enable them to live in at least that state of comfort that every man, woman and child in North Queensland surely deserves.





• The back cover of the program, too, provides an interesting and amusing advertisement.

Salesman to male customer:

It's an Absolute Fact, Sir.


Look into it, Man!








Richard Hall, The Stove Shop, Gill Street.

Telephone 165. PO Box 116.

• Charles is seen here, in his band uniform, with his first born son, baby Arthur. It is not known who the lad is.

• Proud father, Charles Arthur William Smallwood, is holding his first-born, a son, Arthur Murdoch Rees Smallwood, on top of a horse. Note the unshackled sulky, with its studded leather upholstery, on the left.

• Charles is seen here with his family, this portrait taken in Townsville.

Gertrude is holding their new baby daughter, Claire, while Ross sits next to them.

Joan is standing on the sofa, and Arthur is smiling beguilingly on the right.

• Charles and his family moved to Barcaldine in about 1932, when his youngest daughter at the time, Claire, was only a few years old. Charles had the job of manager of the swimming pool.

The first town swimming pool was built near the bore site in 1907. There were corrugated iron dressing sheds and a separate room containing a corrugated iron bath tub near the pool.

The artesian water was reputed to cure sore eyes, fevers and even paralysis, and attracted many visitors for its curative powers.

The pool was 100ft. (30m) long by 25ft (7.5m) wide with 6 inch (15cm) concrete walls. The water in the pool was replaced twice a week with the old water being piped across to Oak Street and then into Lagoon Creek.

• "Charl after his dunking" was written on the reverse of this photograph, in Charles' wife Gertrude's writing.

We can only wonder exactly what the "dunking" was for.

The family enjoyed their time in Barcaldine, a town in the central west of Queensland 108 kms east of Longreach. It is situated on Lagoon Creek and is the centre of a pastoral area devoted to the production of sheep and some beef cattle.

There is good supply of artesian water and the town's wide streets are lined with flowering shade trees.

Barcaldine is known as the Garden City of the West. The town takes its name from Barcaldine Downs Station, which was named by Donald Charles Cameron, a pioneer pastoralist who had stayed with family in Barcaldine, Ayrshire before migrating to Australia. Barcaldine figured prominently in the 1891 shearers' strike, when 400 shearers camped on the fringes of the town for several months protesting the use of non-union labour. The strike gave birth to the political Labor movement. In the following year Thomas Ryan, a member of the state committee, became the first endorsed Labor candidate in the Australian parliament. The Australian Worker's Heritage Centre celebrates the contribution made by workers in pioneering and building Australia.

• Charles was the Band Master of the Barcaldine Town Band, in the years following 1929.

He can be seen here, in the centre of the front row, kneeling with his beloved trumpet.

The other gentlemen listed in the Town Band are:

Back row (L-R) D. Ross, L. Vale, H. Freehely, L. Tooth, G. Banker, R. Soley, W. Ross

Centre Row (L-R) R. Osbaldiston, T. Ross, H. Osbaldiston, W. Moore, B. Hayes, H. Davies, F. James, H. Heumiller, (Standing) K. Grant

Front Row (L-R) V. Hayes, F. James, C. Smallwood (Band Master), E. Vale, H. Osbaldiston, W. McLaughlin

This photo is on display in the Barcaldine and District Historical Museum, right near the front door!

The Museum was opened in 1974 in the old National Bank Building, built at Barcaldine in 1906. It is permanently open to the public and there is an honour box at the entrance. Visitors to the museum can read the story of how one of Australia's most famous emblems, the slouch hat adorned with emu feathers, was born from the 1891 shearers' strike. There is also a collection of wartime memorabilia on display or held in archives at the Museum.

Other buildings include a wagon shed, furnished single man's railway quarters and an unusual two storey building built in 1900, which was the bookkeeper/manager's office at Westbourne wool scour. A miniature train is available for rides on the last Sunday of the month from March to October. Morning tea and a barbecue lunch are available on these family days. A Railway Guard's van, once the Barcaldine Information Centre, serves as an office and storage for historical archives relating to Barcaldine and District.

• Charles' four oldest children, Arthur, Ross, Joan and Claire, are seen here enjoying the cool of the pool.

We think this photograph was taken about 1933.

What do you think?

• The Smallwood family lived at the Pioneer Sugar Mill Estate when Charles and Gertrude had their youngest child, a son, also named Charles, on 3rd June 1938.

Charles drove a sugar mill locomotive engine. At a park in close-by Brandon, there is a locomotive featured as a memorial to the workers and the mill. Ross has told the family, who have unfortunately not yet been able to see it, that it was “Dad's locomotive”.

With employment at the mill being abundant only in the crushing season, the workers there were out of a job for the rest of the year. Jobs had to be found to feed hungry mouths, and clothe young children.

This photo from the family collection shows train tracks, and what appears to be a mill at the end of those train tracks. We presume this is a photo taken of the Pioneer Sugar Mill Estate. What do you think?

• Charles had a Singer car. At this time of his career, he used to fix sewing machines while the family lived in Pioneer.

His daughter Claire remembers one freezing cold winter when the Smallwood family packed themselves into the car, with blankets, and drove to Ayr to see the film "Alexander's Rag Time Band" at an indoor movie theatre. Of course, this would have been of great interest to Charles, as he was a band master.

Charles had had the "dickey" seat altered to fit the sewing machines which he would pickup and deliver.

The family couldn't all go out at once, because although there were only five of the seven children born at this time, they still couldn't all fit into the car at once.

• Charles was a Salesman when he enlisted in the Australian Army on 5th May 1942. He had listed his "Normal Occupation" as Clerk, and his "Present Occupation" as Salesman.

• Charles' Army forms "Mobilization Attestation Form" and Medical History Sheet" tell us the following about him.

He was 39 years and 8 months old, and living in Ayr - at 90 Wilmington Street.

In answer to the following question, Charles wrote "Church of England" :

Q 10 What is your religious denomination? (This question need not be answered if the man has a conscientious objection to doing so.)

He describes himself on his Medical History Sheet as "fair complexion, brown hair, light blue eyes. No distinctive marks, and no marks indicating congenital peculiarities or previous disease."

Charles' only medical problem seems to have been a fracture to his right elbow, when he was "in infancy".

His vision was 6/6 in each eye.

Charles was 5ft 11 inches, and weighed 15 stone.

J. Macdonald, the Examining Medical Officer, who made this declaration on 22nd May 1942:

I have made full and careful examination of the abovenamed person in accordance with the instructions contained in the Standing Orders for Australian Army Medical Services. In my opinion he is Fit for Class I.

• Charles Arthur William Smallwood's Australian Army Service Number was Q218017, his birth date is recorded by the Services as 24 September 1902.

His Place of Enlistment was Ayr, Queensland, when he enlisted on 22 May 1942, exactly one month before his son Arthur. He listed Gertrude Smallwood, his wife, as his Next of Kin.

Charles was discharged on 20 July 1945, at the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1. His posting at that time was the 16 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (Qld).

Charles Service Records are:

Service Record
Service Australian Army
Service Number Q218017
Date of Birth 24 Sep 1902
Place of Birth TOWNSVILLE, QLD
Date of Enlistment 22 May 1942
Locality on Enlistment AYR, QLD
Place of Enlistment AYR, QLD
Date of Discharge 20 Jul 1945
Rank Warrant Officer Class 1
WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display
Prisoner of War No


For persons enlisted or called upon under Part III. or Part IV. of the Defence Act, and not being members of hte Active Citizen Military Forces to serve in the Citizen Forces in time of war. Not compulsory for serving members of the Forces or those allotted to the Citizen Forces under Part XII. of the Act, but unless in any case an objection is raised, the oath should be administered to them as part of the ceremony of attestation.

I Charles Arthur William Smallwood swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord, the King, in the Citizen Military Forces of the Commonwealth of Autralia for the duration of the present time of war, or until sooner lawfully discharged, dismissed, or removed, and that I will resist His Majesty's enemies and cause His Majesty's peace to be kept and maintained, and that I will in all matters appertaining to my service faithfully discharge my duty according to law.

So Help Me God !

Signature of Person Enlisted C.A.W. Smallwood
Subscribed at Ayr in the State of Queensland this twenty-second day of May 1942
Before me -
Signature of Attesting Officer ... JP

Persons who object to take an oath may make an affirmation in accordance with the Third Schedule of the Defence Act. In such case the above form will be amended accordingly and initialled by the Attesting Officer.

• This photograph was taken at 57 Ahearn Street, Hermit Park, about 1945. In the background is the shed, with Rees' car parked under it.

We are not yet sure if this is Charles, or Rees McLean. Can you help?

• Charlie is seen here with two of his sons, Charlie on the left, looking quite smug, and David on the right. Is dejected the word? Or is he in trouble because he has no tie?

• Charles is seen here, standing behind the bridesmaid, at his daughter Claire's wedding day - Saturday, 28th January 1950.

Interestingly, the bridesmaid turned out to be Charles' first cousin, once removed. The young lady, Ailsa Smallwood, happened to book into the hairdressing salon where Claire worked. The attendant who made the booking said to Claire "You'd better do her - she's related to you". When it became known that Claire was getting married, of course Ailsa was invited to the wedding.

• Charles was kept on after the war to do Radar work. Merle Smallwood can supply more detail of this. There was an article in the East Gippsland paper, Judith Cummings recalls.

• This photograph has written on the back, in two different handwritings - 'Dad and Mr Burt' and 'Please return - Charlie and Mr. Burt wading out towards the road the last place in the centre of flood waters'.

We gather that the inked-in structure in the background had been washed away.

We believe it was taken near Carramar, Sydney near Georges River, as the largest flood to be recorded in 100 years happened there.

• Few people may remember the 1956 flood, which was the largest flood to have been recorded over the last 100 years.

A copy of the Sydney Morning Herald, dated 7th February 1956, is reproduced here. This article talks about the devastation caused by the 1956 flood. However, this flood is still relatively small compared to other historical floods that have occurred.

• The Georges River is located in and to the south-west of Sydney. Over 1 million people now live within the catchment, making it one of the most populated catchments in Australia. It has a catchment area of 960km\super 2\nosupersub and also contains significant areas identified for future urban development.

The Georges River is about 100km long. It commences near Appin, about 60km south-west of Sydney. From here the river flows north towards Liverpool, through the Chipping Norton Lakes Scheme, and then east through Bankstown to Botany Bay.

This photograph shows some more devastation from the 1956 flood.

• One of the many bands Charles was to be conductor of in his lifetime. Charles is standing, in the back row, on the left. But of course, you could pick him straight away!

• Charles is seen here, receiving a toy trumpet from Santa. We hope he'd been good that year!

• Charles is seen here, at a wedding, with his family. The year was 1964.

From left, Arthur, Charles, Charlie, Merle, Gertrude, David, Joan, Claire, Ross.

• Charles is seen here, again in 1964, dressed elegantly.

• When Charles used to play in the band at Luna Park, he would buy strips of tickets to the rides for the children in the band.

Charles is seen here, directing, oops, conducting, some of the children in his band.

• Charles was Musical Director for the Bankstown Theatrical Society.

Having worked together to train the company for their productions of "The Desert Song" and "The Maid of the Mountains", Producer Edith Paull, Musical Director Charles Smallwood and Pianiste Margaret Hayes were quite a familiar team.

Charles was also the Musical Director for the Liverpool Musical Society, which presented "Carousel" in 1966.

• Charles was known as a good humoured, witty man. This photograph was taken at what looks like a function, and he looks happy and relaxed.

• Charles is seen here, playing a game of the ever-popular Video Village with two of his grandchildren, Paul and Maxine.

• Charles' remains are in the Rookwood Crematorium.


Charles married Gertrude Laurie McLEAN, daughter of Murdoch McLEAN and Emily Frances ORTON, on 26 Jul 1923 in St Peter's Anglican Church, West End, Townsville, Queensland. (Gertrude Laurie McLEAN was born on 11 Jan 1903 in Townsville, Queensland 26 and died on 24 Dec 1975 in Sydney, New South Wales.)


Charles had a friendship with Living

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