Hugh John Bird was born in Normanville in 1857, the son of an emancipated convict, John Bird, and Margaret Malthouse. He married Maud Mary Clark in Yankalilla in 1879 and had his first butchering business in that town.
The young family moved to Victor Harbor from Yankalilla in about 1883 when Hugh Bird was in his mid 20s. They had four children, three boys and a girl, who married into the local Grosvenor, Battye and Rumbelow families.
Victor Harbor saw many ships in her harbor in the 1800s, and each brought opportunities for trading. Hugh Bird and his opposition, Ted Field, would race each other out to the sailing ships when they anchored to be the first to obtain meat orders from visiting vessels. Both would row their flat-bottomed fishing boats with great strength and agility, then scale the rope ladder up the side of the ship as fast as they could. It was always a great competition between them as the first on deck would usually obtain some lucrative business.
This interaction with sailing ships from all over the world, meant that they would come into contact with a variety of characters and objects. On one occasion, a sailor gave Hugh Bird a pet monkey which then lived in the pepper tree at the back of the Bird property. When guests were present, the monkey would scamper down, steal a hat and run back up the tree. Bird would crack his whip three times and the obliging monkey would jump into his arms with the stolen hat. Quite a party trick!
The Bird butcher shop can still be seen in Victor Harbor today. It is located on what is now Albert Place, Victor Harbor.
This is a most remarkable and beautiful headstone. The inscription has weathered away but the intricate impressions left depict the Lord’s house, Fred’s new, loving and wonderful home. The empty book symbolises a life taken too young, that is, left unwritten.
Fred must have been much loved, and his early death much lamented. His death was reported in South Australian newspapers:
GROSVENOR.—On the 19th September 1900 accidentally drowned whilst bathing in the Hindmarsh River, Victor Harbor, Herbert Frederick (Fred), the second son of A T and P Grosvenor, aged 10 years and 5 months.
A cheerful loving boy was be,
So noble, kind, and true;
The cruel hand of Fate hath wrought
A work none can undo.”
At the bottom of the stone is a barely legible memorial to Ophir Clyde Grosvenor, another son, who died on the 21st March 1898, aged just 9 months.
The parents of these children were Archibald Grosvenor and Prudence Grovenor nee Prouse. Arch was the grandson of pioneer Edward Grosvenor, and son of Herbert and Barbara Grosvenor. Herbert was a talented builder and carpenter who showed his pioneering ingenuity when roads were being made in the district without modern machinery. He constructed a road roller from a five-foot diameter eucalypt, with banded metal tyres, for use in roadmaking. It was also used to smooth the cricket pitch for the Encounter Bay Cricket Club! Herbert served as Chairman of the council for eight years and was involved in many local improvements. The family also started the first undertaking business in the area.
When Herbert Grosvenor died in 1912, Arch continued in his father’s business and served a term as a Council Chairman from 1903. Arch and Prudence also lived in and ran a guesthouse, Teralba in Seaview Road, now the Church of Christ property. Prudence died in 1944 and Arch just over a year later. They had each lived out their 80+ years in the area.
Added to this site of the beautiful memorial to Fred and Ophir, is one to their sister-in-law, Elsie Marguerite Grosvenor, nee Bertram, who was married to Lewis Archibald Grosvenor, another son of Arch and Prudence. Elsie died in childbirth at age 20. Her daughter Helen, survived.
Viewing this sad memorial to the children of Albert Howard (Bert) Warland and Caroline Lottie nee Cakebread one immediately wonders what happened to take four children, the first aged five years and the other three all 23 years of age?
The youngest child Lonnen Trevor Warland got his fingers caught in a machine and some of his fingers were amputated. About a year later, it was reported that he was attempting to reach his toys above an almost boiling copper of water when he fell and was severely scalded. He lived only a few hours. Caroline, his mother, was away for a change on orders from the doctor at the time.
Eight years later, Howard Haddon Warland, the eldest child, took ill and died at a private hospital in Victor Harbor on 8 January 1925 after suffering from appendicitis for some time. He was 23 years old.
Two and a half years later, Jean Viola Grosvenor, the eldest daughter also aged 23, a highly respected young lady, fell ill with the same complaint that earlier took her brother Howard. Despite constant medical vigil by Drs Shipway and Douglas, and Dr Cudmore of Adelaide, she died a few days later at Lugano Private Hospital on 28 July 1927.
About six years later on 22 May 1933, the only surviving son Blythe Halley Warland, known as Mick, a popular sportsman and farmer of Back Valley, died. He too, was 23 years of age, and left a wife and young son.
John Clark and Samuel Dodson
John McEwen Clark and Samuel Dodson were partners in business as Clark & Dodson. It is likely that they were related by marriage. They arrived in Encounter Bay in 1855 and started a successful flour mill on Section 161, Mill Road, near the junction of Waitpinga Road. The mill operated for 12 years but during that time they also diversified: in 1859 they produced 20 gallons of wine, described as ‘rather tart’.
By 1866 Clark and Dodson had built a woolstore on Flinders Parade at the corner of Coral Street. It was here the newly arrived Rev Charles Hodge, successor to Rev Ridgway Newland deceased, held services while the Church at Port Victor was being built.
In demise, Clark and Dodson lie side by side having died less than a year apart: John McEwen Clark on 7 March 1866 aged 34, and Samuel Dodson on 27 February 1867 aged 35 years old.
John McEwen Clark was killed by an accidental fall and kicks from his horse. He had been returning from Port Elliot in company with Mr Robinson, Captain Evan Jenkins and Richard Allen at about 6 or 7 o’clock in the evening. They were all on horseback, riding along the beach. Captain Jenkins’ mount went a little faster and John Clark’s horse bolted. Clark hung but finally he fell into the sea. He was pulled out by his friends, either dying or already dead. Richard Allen said John was quite blue in the face and his eyes sunken in. Someone went for Doctor James Todman who on arrival could feel no pulse. He said John McEwen Clark had been dead for between 10 to 15 minutes.
Low down on John Clark’s headstone in very small print is the curious and condemnatory inscription, ‘The wages of sin is death’, a text evidently selected by his wife, Jane.
In 1864 Samuel Dodson succeeded the Rev Newland as Chairman of the Encounter Bay Council who died earlier that year in a buggy accident. Dodson officiated at the opening of the extension of the railway to the Causeway (Victoria Pier). Afterwards he lowered a bag of wheat into a boat as the first shipment from the new facility and declared the new jetty open. Dodson died of a stroke.
William, son of Samuel Dodson is mentioned on Samuel Dodson’s headstone. He died in 1864 aged 2 years 10 months.
The headstones of Clark and Dodson face the opposite way to most others and possibly have been lifted and replaced the wrong way when a large tree was removed. Note the stump behind the headstones.
Taking into consideration the background of this man, George William de la Poer Beresford, this is an extremely modest gravestone, and it’s surprising that his family allowed his final resting place not to reflect the fact that he was descended from Anglo-Irish aristocracy.
George was born on 5 June 1823, probably on the Island of St Vincent, part of the British West Indies in the Caribbean. He was the eldest son of John Beresford, Colonial Secretary of St Vincent, and Harriet Eliza Wylly, daughter of the Hon William Wylly, Chief Justice of St Vincent. As Colonial Secretary, George’s father John was one of the colonial officials who signed the document in 1834 that initiated the abolition of slavery on the island.
George’s grandfather, after whom he was named, was the Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh in Ireland, and his ancestors included the Marquis of Waterford and the Earls of Tyrone. He was also related to Vice Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, from the naval branch of the Beresford family.
The de la Poer part of George’s name is a family tradition passed down to many of the Beresford sons since the time his great great grandfather Sir Marcus Beresford, 4th Baronet Beresford of Coleraine married Catherine, Baroness la Poer in 1717. She was the daughter of the 3rd Earl of Tyrone.
George worked for the British Colonial government, probably nepotistic appointments due to his family connections. Not only was his father the Colonial Secretary of St Vincent, his father’s sister Jane married Sir George Fitzgerald Hill, who later became governor of St Vincent and later of the island of Tobago.
Even after moving to Australia George retained a strong connection to the British West Indies and presumably the nepotism continued when his son John Hill de la Poer Beresford became the Colonial Secretary for the Island of Tobago.
In 1844 George William was appointed Deputy Colonial Secretary, Registrar of Deeds, and Deputy Clerk of the Executive and Legislative Councils to the Island of St. Vincent. He remained in this position until 1855. In 1848 he married Elizabeth Hannah Nicholson Maclean, daughter of Captain Donald Maclean in St Vincent, and three of their eight children were born on the island.
We don’t know the reason for John’s departure from St Vincent but disclosures during his insolvency hearings in 1870 in South Australia revealed that he may have blotted his copybook and was encouraged by his father to make the move.
George arrived in the colony of South Australia with his family in 1855, and shortly afterwards was appointed Private Secretary to Sir Richard MacDonnell at a salary of £200 a year. He served in this position for two years. He then became Clerk and Librarian of the House of Assembly.
George and Elizabeth had a further four children in South Australia between 1855 and 1865.
George had never been a good money manager and his luck ran out in 1870 when he was declared insolvent. His job was apparently unaffected and he went on later that same year to published an elaborate index and analysis of Acts of the Parliament of South Australia.
After 30 years’ service in the House of Assembly George retired in 1886. He and Elizabeth were then living in North Adelaide. Elizabeth died four years later in 1890 at the age of 67. George moved to Victor Harbor where he died in July 1903 at the age of 80.
Ten members of the pioneering Cudmore family buried in this plot, along with a memorial to an eleventh. Several of them had an important impact on Victor Harbor’s history. They grazed the land, were entrepreneurial businessmen, served the community on local councils, and built the iconic Adare House. Three generations are represented, all descended from Daniel Henry who was the first Cudmore buried here in 1913. Four faces to the memorial depict different generations.
The first of the family to be buried here was Daniel Henry Cashell Cudmore. He was born in Modbury, South Australia, in 1844, the second son of Daniel Michael Paul Cudmore and his wife Mary Nihill, both born in Limerick in Ireland.
Shortly after their marriage Daniel Michael Paul and Mary were granted free passage to Australia in 1834 on the John Deniston. They weren’t from the peasant class often associated with Irish emigration but from a family, while not wealthy, did own some property. They probably headed originally for Sydney but when the ship reached Hobart in 1835 were persuaded by Daniel’s cousin, surgeon Captain Russell of the 63rd Regiment, to settle instead in Van Diemen’s land.
Daniel Michael worked in Hobart as a schoolmaster, and later at a brewery for a few years, but decided to relocate after the new province of South Australia was proclaimed. He chartered a schooner called the Cygnet bringing supplies, all their possessions, baby daughter Dymphna and eight-months-pregnant Mary for another new start. On the voyage Mary went into early labour and their first son, James Francis, was born on board before they reached dry land in 1837.
Daniel Michael’s initial efforts in building pise (rammed earth) huts enabled him to finance the establishment of breweries, and to purchase farming land at Modbury where second son Daniel Henry was born in 1844.
Three years later, in 1847, Daniel Michael sold property he’d inherited from his cousin Jane Cudmore in Limerick Ireland, and used the proceeds to buy Yongala, the first of a string of properties he held, some through squatting rights, stretching from South Australia, NSW, and as far as Northern Queensland.
By the late 1850s he had begun transferring the various properties to his sons, eventually returning to his villa, Claremont, at Glen Osmond, where he died in 1891.
Daniel Henry, like his brothers, followed in his father’s footsteps. He based himself at Avoca Station in Wentworth, NSW, did well there. and eventually, in 1889, sold out his interest to his younger brothers and retired to Victor Harbor. In his latter years he suffered poor health. In 1913 his youngest son Roland by his first wife Harriet, who lived in Mildura, came to visit his ailing father, driving a recently purchased motor car. Roland, despite his father’s misgivings about driving so far alone, started his return journey, only to overturn at Ned’s Corner. He was trapped under the vehicle and his body crushed. It’s thought the news of the tragic death of his son hastened Daniel Henry’s death later that year at age 69.
Daniel Henry Cudmore was responsible for building Adare House, a well-known landmark in Victor Harbor. He bought what had been the summer home of Governor Hindmarsh and rebuilt it. The story is that his inspiration for the unusual house was a hotel in Scotland that resembled a castle in which he and his family had holidayed some years earlier. He named it after a favourite place in Ireland.
Daniel Henry married twice. In 1872 he married Harriet Smedley who died just seven years later in 1879 shortly after giving birth to their fifth child.
His second marriage was in 1882 to Martha Earle McCracken. She was born in 1855 in Moonee Ponds, Victoria, daughter of Peter McCracken and Grace Robertson both from Scotland. She was named after her paternal grandmother, Martha Earle. Martha lived for 25 years after his death and was buried here with Daniel Henry in 1938. She was aged 83. Adare House is located in the suburb named McCracken after her family. Martha and Daniel Henry had four sons, two of whom are buried here, and there is a memorial to a third.
Malen and Alice Rumbelow
The Rumbelow family, Malen, Alice nee Pitches and eight children aged two years to 22, arrived in Port Adelaide in late 1854 aboard the ship Pestonjee Bomanjee. The family started a dynastic boating and fishing industry a few years after their arrival at Encounter Bay in 1855.
This is the grave site of Malen and Alice Rumbelow, the family patriarch and matriarch. They had 11 children together, seven daughters and four sons. Malen was born in Suffolk, England in 1812, so was already 42 years old when they arrived in South Australia in 1854. Moving to the young South Australian colony must have been difficult for an older man who also, according to family history, had just one good eye. The Rumbelow family first settled in Maude Street near the original Encounter Bay school and post office.
When the Rumbelows arrived at Encounter Bay, whaling was still a money-making industry and Malen managed to find a job with the local Encounter Bay whaling company, cutting up the last of the whales to be caught in the area. They watched most of their children flourish in their new home, and now have many hundreds of descendants.
Malen died in 1889 at the age of 77, and Alice died in 1890 at the age of 78.
Alongside them is buried their daughter Mahalia who died in 1878 aged 38. Mahalia’s first husband was Henry Matthew(s) Weymouth. Two years after the marriage Henry aged 23 years, was killed instantly while working on the Hindmarsh Bridge cutting for the tramway extension from Port Elliot. He had been employed for just three hours. Henry Weymouth’s grave and large memorial can still be seen among the bushes of the much forgotten early section in the south-east corner of the cemetery. The tramway company held a concert to raise funds for Henry’s pregnant widow, Mahalia and their two-year-old son, Henry Matthias.
Mahalia married again in 1866 to Edward Robert Bolger who also worked on the Goolwa/Victor Harbor tramway. Together they had four children. After Mahalia died, Edward Bolger married Mahalia’s widowed sister, Alice Jelliff nee Rumbelow, aunt and now stepmother to the Weymouth and Bolger children. Edward purchased the store at Yilki and was also the postmaster there. He served on the Encounter Bay District Council for many years, and was also elected as Chairman.
In 1920 Alice Bolger formerly Jelliff nee Rumbelow died, and Edward married a third Rumbelow sister, Emma Watson nee Rumbelow in 1922. It is reported that she was the sister he had always wanted to marry! She had nine children of her first marriage to Thomas Watson.
Edward Bolger died in 1927 aged 82 years, at Strathalbyn. Emma died in 1938 and was buried with her first husband (Watson) in the Strathalbyn Cemetery. At that time Emma and Thomas had over 100 descendants.
During the Rumbelow’s 112-day voyage to Australia, it seems likely there was an onboard romance, for one of the sailors, Cain Jelliff, accompanied the family to Encounter Bay, where they had been encouraged to settle by a cousin already in the Colony. On the 25th January 1855, shortly after arriving in their new home, eldest daughter Alice Rumbelow, married the young seaman Cain Jelliff in the Encounter Bay Tabernacle church.
After a short diversion to the Bendigo goldfields, the young couple returned to Encounter Bay where Cain started a fishing partnership with his brother-in-law, Malen Rumbelow II, who was just 16 and already married to local girl Mary Glastonbury (Glassenbury). Both Cain and Malen seemed to be born seamen, and with a plentiful supply of fish, their industry was very successful. One family story is of so many mullet being caught on one occasion that they collected them on a dray and ploughed them into the paddocks as fertiliser. Snapper and crayfish were also plentiful, and these were taken by horse and cart to the markets in Adelaide where Alice acted as saleswoman and hawker.
Sadly, and surprisingly, Cain Jelliff never learnt to swim. One dark night, 2 March 1877, he was thrown into the sea on a fishing trip between Goolwa and the Murray mouth. He drowned almost immediately before the boat could be turned and get back to him.
Although Cain and Alice had no children together, as a mark of respect for someone they must have held in high regard, both the names Cain and Jelliff continue to be used in subsequent generations by the extended Rumbelow family.
Alice remarried in 1880 to Edward Robert Bolger, who had also been married to her sister Mahalia who had died in 1878.
Alice died in 1920.