Gertrude Laurie McLEAN
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Thomas Rofs McLEAN
(Cir 1829-1882)
Mary (Margaret) GORDON
Thomas (Butcher) ORTON
Murdoch McLEAN
Emily Frances ORTON

Gertrude Laurie McLEAN


Family Links

Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD

Gertrude Laurie McLEAN 5

  • Born: 11 Jan 1903, Townsville, Queensland 26
  • Marriage: Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD on 26 Jul 1923 in St Peter's Anglican Church, West End, Townsville, Queensland
  • Died: 24 Dec 1975, Sydney, New South Wales at age 72

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Gertrude was born on Sunday 11th January 1903.

The details from her birth certificate are:

Price, Two Shillings No. 94000

BIRTH in the District of Townsville in the State (Colony deleted) of Queensland. Registered by William Thomas, District Registrar.

1. Number in Register 12255
2. When and where born 11 January 1903 West End
3. Name, and whether present or not GERTRUDE LAURIE Not Present
4. Sex Female
Father -
5 1. Name and Surname 1. Murdoch McLEAN
2. Rank or profession 2. Laborer
3/4. Age and birthplace 3. 26 years 4. Townsville Queensland
6 1. When and where marrked 16 June 1897 Townsville Queensland
2. Previous issue living 2.- Living
Myrtle Ivy 4 years
Gladys Clare 2 years
3. Deceased 3. Deceased none.
7. 1. Name and maiden surname 1. Emily Frances formerly Orton
2/3. Age and birthplace 2. 25 years 3. Leicester England
8. Signature, description and residence of informant. Certified in writing by Murdoch McLean Father West End
9. 1. Medical attendant 1. Dr Gillies
2. Nurse 2. Mrs Chappell
3. Names of Witnesses 3.
10. 1. Signature of District Registrar 1. Will Thomas
2/3. Date and where registered 2. 10 February 1903 3. Townsville
11. Name, if added after registration of birth

I, Conrit James Bott, District Registrar, do hereby certify that the above is a true Copy of an Entry in a Register of Births kep in the District Registry Office, at Townsville, and I further certify that I am a person duly authorised by law to issue such Certificate.
Extracted this Eleventh day of April 1950.
Examined by ... District Registrar.

Gertrude's parents owned this house, at 57 Aherne Street, Hermit Park, Townsville.

Perhaps she was born there, as was to be the case with her own daughter, Claire, twenty-six years later?

This photo of the young McLean children has written on the back "Ruby, Glad, Gertrude, Rees".

Ruby was a cousin of Gertrude's. We have found a young Ruby McLean who was registered in Townsville North State School in 1900. We presume this is the same little girl, holding young Rees.

Gertrude is seated on the chair, and her older sister Beatrice is standing. Gertrude would have been one year and eight months old, as it is estimated that this photo was taken in October 1904.

Gertrude and Rees are seen here in a delightful pose.

On the frame, in silver, is printed "The Federal Studio Townsville Q"

Gertrude is seen here, about seven years old, do you think?

She makes a superb Little Red Riding Hood.

Gladys and Gertrude are seen in this delightful portrait. We think this would have been taken about 1914.

Here is a closer view of Gertrude.

Gertrude is seen here, in about 1920. She would have been about seventeen years old.

Gertrude is seen here, standing with her sister Gladys. We think it would have been about 1920. What do you think?

Here is a close up of Gertrude from that delightful portrait.

Gertrude is seen here on the beach, probably a Townsville or Magnetic Island beach.

Gertrude is seen here, believed to be about sixteen years old, in about 1922. She is leaning next to an open, slatted gate arrangement.

Gertrude's sister Gladys had this elegant portrait taken on the occasion of Gladys and Syd's wedding.

We can see Gertrude's father, Murdoch, standing on the left, and her husband Charles standing behind her.

The bride is her sister, Gladys, and her husband Sydney Charles Albert Lucas.

The other bride's attendant is unknown.

Standing on the left side is Gertrude's father, Murdoch McLean.

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

Gertrude is seen here with her soon-to-be husband, Charles, and her mother Emily.

Gertrude resided at Ahearne Street, prior to her marriage on 26 July 1923. This was the home of her parents, Murdoch and Emily McLean.

Gertrude Laurie McLean's occupation is recorded as Domestic Duties on her marriage certificate of 26 July 1923.

Here is the back yard of the house that Gertrude grew up in - Number 57 Aherne Street, Hermit Park, Townsville.

Gertrude and Charles were married on Thursday, 26th July 1923, at St Peter's Church, 96-134 Leigh Street, West End.

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

Gertrude's occupation was "Domestic Duties", she lived in Ahearn Street, Townsville, and was a twenty-year old Townsville born spinster.

Her father, Murdoch McLean, was a Foreman, and her mother was Emily Frances (nee Orton).

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

We are not sure, but we think this baby may be Arthur, and the mother tending to him may be Gertrude. What do you think?

Gertrude can be seen here, well almost, bathing young Arthur, in a metal tub.

Arthur was a tiny tot, barely old enough to walk, but adventurous enough to be into everything he could find. One day in the summer of 1925, Frances Smallwood was visiting with Gert and her family, and little Arthur was playing in the yard. Gertrude was feeding the next baby, Ross, when she noticed that Arthur had climbed to the very top of the windmill in the yard. Most houses had a windmill in the yard in Ayr, to feed bore water into the house tank.

Without a fuss or a flurry, Gertrude called out softly "I wonder who'd like to have this little chocolate that I have here with me?"

Arthur climbed down quite safely.

As a result of his explorations, Arthur was to be seen thereafter shackled to the verandah posts, with a very long, very sturdy rope tied to his leg. This would certainly keep him on ground level.

Gertrude was a very calm, controlled mother, as this little tale shows us. Frances' recollection of her was of a delightful, gentle lady, who was very kind and generous.

Gertrude is seen here, for some reason seated on a train carriage or platform? She has one or two children seated with her.

Gertrude is seen here, holding her new-born baby, Claire. Arthur is standing to her left.

Young Ross is seated on the sofa, and little Joan looks over his shoulder. Her husband Charles stands at the back.

After only two or three months after Claire's birth, the Smallwood family re-located to Barcaldine, in Queensland's west. Charles had a job as the Swimming Pool Manager.

Gertrude had written on the back of this photograph "Charl after his dunking".

We can only wonder what the dunking was for, and why the Swimming Pool Manager would deserve such a fate.

It must be difficult being a mother.

In June 1942, while the family was living in Ayr, Gertrude's son, Arthur, wanted badly to join the Air Force. Gertrude would not sign the papers for his enlistment, telling the eighteen-year old that "You haven't seen the world - you haven't been anywhere - you don't ever go out - you don't ever do anything. You can't join up when you haven't seen any life here."

True, Arthur was a very quiet, studious young man. However, one afternoon, Arthur dressed in his suit (as young men did, in those days, to go out), and went out to "the pictures".

He came home. He walked up to his Mother. "Well, I've been out now. Will you sign the papers, please?"

Gertrude is seen here, it looks as though she is just patiently waiting, doesn't it?

Gertrude would have been about forty-two years old in this photograph, from her daughter Claire's estimation. Claire believes this photograph was taken about 1945.

The reverse of this photo was lovingly inscribed by Charles, Gertrude's youngest son, with the simple, single word, "Mum".

Gertrude's daughter, Claire, was fortunate to have a beautiful hand-crocheted white silk frock for her daughter Ellen to wear. It was made by her grandmother, Gertrude.

Gertrude is seen here, at a family wedding, with her family.

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

Gertrude is seen here at her daughter Claire's house. It must be winter, as Gertrude is wearing a coat, and a lovely gold brooch.

The hot sun is kept off the faces of Gertrude and two of her grand-children.

Gertrude McLean lived in the later part of her life at 56 Moffats Drive, Dundas, Sydney. She is photographed here with one of her many fine paintings "The Galleons". It is thought that Ross, her son, has the painting in his home.

Gertrude was a very handicraft-oriented lady. She is seen here with her famous crocheted poodles.

Gertrude is standing, with her cardigan on, on a late afternoon, outside her house at 56 Moffats Drive, Dundas.

Gertrude is about seventy years old in this photograph, taken at her beloved home in Moffats Drive, Dundas.

Gertrude is seen here standing at her home in Dundas.


Gertrude married Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD, son of Arthur Stanley SMALLWOOD and Mary Ellen PARSLOW, on 26 Jul 1923 in St Peter's Anglican Church, West End, Townsville, Queensland. (Charles Arthur William SMALLWOOD was born on 21 Sep 1902 in Townsville, Queensland,6 died on 11 Mar 1967 in Dundas, Sydney 7 and was buried on 14 Mar 1967 in Rookwood Crematorium Wall of Remembrance, NSW 8.)

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