Grave Concerns & shortcuts for commenting….

It’s in the interest of us all to protect our Ancestor’s gravesites… so why not check out these “shortcuts” which will make commenting on the SA “Draft Burial & Cremation Bill 2012” an absolute breeze? …

Thanks to Gould Genealogy and their “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge” for being the motivation for “Grave Concerns” and “More Grave Concerns…” and to my Genealogy FaceBook friend for advising of the Draft Bill as well as those providing encouragement by commenting on the blog posts. What a team, eh?


The way in which the remains, memorials and documentation of our Ancestors are handled is crucially important to all Genealogists and Family Historians. We now have a very tight time-frame in which to influence the South Australian Government and bring about much needed improvement. I have a dream that the A-G’s office will be swamped with comments, some quite brief and from many corners of the earth, clearly showing this to be a matter of most serious concern and not just in this tiny part of the world we call South Australia.

Like me, you may find 37pages of “legalese” a lot to wade through, let alone analyse and provide comment on, by 4 July 2012… can you hear me squawking?… 😀  However, you can ask for an extension of time and these tips should help ease your way but firstly a word of warning. I tend to revert to my former “Junior Primary Teacher” habits and “over-explain”, so if I sound patronising, please forgive.

STEP (1)
Just click on “Your Say – South Australian Government” . This will bring up the Home Page with “Current Topics” listed. The first is the “Burial and Cremation Bill 2012”. Click on “view topic” which takes you through to a brief overview with links to:

(a)  Explanatory Notes (10 pages) … useful overall information
(b)  Draft Bill (37 pages) … the Bill in detail

Below this is a “Comments Section” for interatctive on-line comments, designed to promote discussion and give the Attorney-General feedback. You may like to comment here.

Comments on the Draft Bill, or any other related matters, can also be sent to:

Address:   Burial and Cremation Bill 2012 Consultation
                  c/o Legislative Services
                  Attorney-General’s Department
                  G.P.O. Box 464
                  ADELAIDE S.A. 5001


Fax:         (08) 8204 1337

STEP (2)
To download only those sections of the Bill which are of interest please refer to the following guide.

     (a)  Page 8-13: Disposal of Human Remains (burial, cremation, documents, exhumation & re-interment)
     (b)  Page 14-15: Central Register of Burials
     (c)  Page 16:  Establishment & Management of Cemeteries
     (d)  Page 17-22:  Closure of Cemeteries
     (e)  Page 22-24:  Interment Rights & Re-use of Interment Sites
     (f)   Page 25-26:  Memorials

STEP (3)
Consider these important miscellaneous matters.

     (a)  Page 13:  Prohibit the giving of death certificates to prevent those with a vested interest (e.g. Nursing Home owners, beneficiaries of the will, etc.) from signing the death certificate.
     (b)  Page 30:  Power of the Public Trustee if the owner of “the Grant” can not be located.
     (c)  Page 36:  Transitional provisions re: Interment rights.

So there you have it and if you’re running short on time just ask for an extension…   


Please note the South Australian Government’s Advice that “information contained in any submission may be referred to publicly or published. It may also be disclosed to applicants under the Freedom of Information Act.”

They also advise that “readers should not assume that any of the proposed changes will necessarily be made. The Government will decide on any changes only after considering submissions.”


Copyright © 2012. Catherine A. Crout-Habel.  “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family~

More Grave Concerns but of the happy kind…

How serendipitious that just one week ago I was writing “Gg – is for Grave Concerns”, in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, and was totally unaware that the South Australian Government had released a “Draft Burial and Cremation Bill 2012” for public consultation. The proposal that every cemetery must provide a central register of burials is most exciting news for Genealogists and Family Historians world wide and “not before time”, some would say.

How can I thank my Genealogy Facebook friend for posting THIS LINK to the “Murray Valley Standard” in which I read the enlightening news?

The intention of the Bill is to provide a single Act to regulate all cemeteries, burial grounds and related facilities in South Australia; “the removal of the 99-year limitation on interment rights in public cemeteries and the creation of a better system for the identification of human remains before disposal.”

John Rau, South Australian Deputy Premier/Attorney-General, writes “A single Act to regulate the industry, including the management and establishment of cemeteries and crematoria, the duration of interment rights, the closure and conversion of cemeteries and the re-use of interment sites, would create consistency across the industry and ensure privately owned cemeteries are subject to the same regulatory scheme as publicly operated cemeteries.”


Elisabeth Clara HABEL – Private Cemetery, Loxton

This is an absolute boon, not only to South Australian’s, concerned about the desecration of their loved ones’ graves, but also to Genealogists and Family Historians throughout the country, and indeed the world. I keep thinking of the graves of those two precious little girls on private land which has since been sold outside of the family. One would hope that their graves would not be disturbed but… Changes to the Legislation will ensure they continue to R.I.P.

Barbara THIELE – Private Cemetery, Loxton

Now is your opportunity to encourage the South Australian Government in their plan and also quieten the voices of the “naysayers”, of whom there are sure to be many. Just click HERE to access the Draft Bill and Explanatory Notes.

The public consultation process closes VERY soon… next week, 4 July 2012, to be exact. If you’re short of time even a brief comment, on one or two items, would be so beneficial.

Feedback from Genealogists and Family Historians, both from inter-state and overseas, would be particularly useful, I believe.

Cheers, Catherine


SOURCES: “Murray Valley Standard”, 26 June 2012
                    South Australian (draft) Burial and Cremation Bill 2012 & Explanatory Notes

Copyright © 2012. Catherine A. Crout-Habel.  Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Safe return of the “Nashwauk” anchor.

The anchor is safe !!! – a phone call to the City of Onkaparinga and
I was assured that the “Nashwauk” anchor has been returned
to South Australia and that a safe, secure, prominent and
well lit site is being prepared for its final resting place …
now I’m smiling…

 The “Nashwauk”, a three masted wooden sailing ship built in 1853 at River John, Province of Novia Scotia, with a tonnage of 762, measuring 144.1ft in length, 29.ft in breadth at the widest part, with a midships depth of 2.7ft and a lower deck of 140ft, left Liverpool on 13 Feb 1855 under the command of Captain Archibald McIntyre, bound for South Australia. Aboard were over 300 “assisted emigrants, mostly from Ireland.

My Great Great Grand-mother Susan Kelleher and her sister Bridget, from County Clare, Ireland, were amongst the 207 single Irish girls aboard this “bride ship” when, three months later, it made its way up the Gulf St Vincent toward its final destination, Port Adelaide.  It had been an uneventful voyage and was a dark, but clear, moonlit night when at 4am the watch changed, clouds obscured the coast and the “Nashwauk” was wrecked adjacent to Harriott’s Creek (Pedler’s Creek) at the mouth of the Onkaparinga River, some 40 miles short of it’s destination.

It remains a mystery as to why, having successfully navigated the dreaded Troubridge Shoal, it foundered so close to the coast, at what is now suburban Moana.  There are many tales of smuggling, of the ship being lured by strange lights from Mr Harriott’s farmhouse, of the misbehaviour of the girls and crew but it’s all speculation and can be seen as newspapers, and reporters, simply trying to outdo each other with the more sensational stories. As N. F. Goss reports in “Drama of Moana Wreck: The End of the  Hoodoo Ship” (The Advertiser, Saturday 13 May 1933, page 9),

“There was obviously some rumor current at the time, but as there is
no later reference to it, and as the two sources disagree, it is
possible that nothing happened that cannot be explained
by the confusion natural to
the occasion and
overwrought condition of the women.”

My Susan spoke of cutting her sister’s hair when the ship struck and being carried ashore on the back of a sailor with ony the scissors in her hand and the clothes on her back. The beautiful painstakingly embroidered linen, of her trousseau, went down with the ship. All made it safely to shore but sadly two later died of exposure – the Captain and the single Irish girl Catherine Stanley, aged 23.

Horseshoe Inn 1865

The passengers assembled on the beach and walked, or were taken by dray, to the nearest township of Noarlunga where they were accommo-dated at the Horseshoe Inn.  In her book, “What Really Happened to the Nashwauk?”, Jean Callen writes,

“The residents of Noarunga had killed and roasted eight sheep,
brewed bucketsful of hot tea and baked many loaves of
bread to feed the distressed victims.” 

The following morning the Government Schooner “Yatala” and the Mail Steamer “Thomas Melbourne” arrived and ancored near the wreck, preparing to take the passengers to Port Adeaide.  However, the sea was so rough that boarding was impossible and Jean Callan confirms my Grandmother’s story of having to trudge miles back along the cliff tops.  Many of the girls were too terrified to take to the sea again and drays were finally brought to convey them to Adelaide.

It would seem that there was great chaos at the site of the wreck.  Strong winds had strewn debris for a mile along the shore.  The Captain desperately tried to recover whatever baggage he could, for the passengers, and the accessible cargo, unloaded by the crew, was closely guarded by police and customs officers.  Some three weeks later, on 29 May, the cargo was advertised for sale and all was purchased by Mr Harriott for £65 and the hull for £70.  With a shortage of material in the Colony, it was said that Mr Harriott made a tidy profit from the wreck which fuelled even more rumours of him being involved in a smuggling ring, although there is no official evidence of this.

The two official enquiries into the wreck, one by the Trinity Board and one by the Immigration Board, could not investigate fully because of the death of Captain Archibald McIntyre on 3 Jun 1855.  However, with the evidence already suppied it was concluded that complaints of the surgeon being drunk were to be dismissed and that there was no foundation for any complaint against the captain.  Sadly, dying from the effects of anxiety and exposure whilst attending to his duties after the wreck, Captain McIntre left a wife and 4 children in Glasgow, Scotland. He was 38 years old.

The “Nashwauk” was considered an unlucky ship as she had been driven ashore once before, badly dismasted and on fire four times.  A North West gale finally broke up the remains on 26 May 1855.

For 72 years the ship’s achor lay 200 yards off shore and, in 1927, the Noarlunga Council offerred £20 for its recovery. A local resident, Mr W. C. Robinson, who owned and worked a farm close to the place where the “Nashwauk” met her fate and set about the recovery task with the help of his son and brother.  They used 3 horses and, with the anchor being 11ft long and weighing several tons, it took 5-6 hours of strenuous work to haul it in. It was duly erected majesticaly on a plinth on the foreshore, next to the “roundhouse” kiosk where the memory of that fateful day, 13 May 1855, was kept alive.

Copyright(c)2012.Catherine Crout-Habel

I well remember our first family trip to Moana, in about 1954, to see “the anchor”. Cherished photographs were taken of it with mum, my three brothers and myself. The story of the wreck of the “Nashwauk” and the recovery of the anchor is where my fascination with Family History started, my sense of “Irishness” took root and the “search for Susan” began.

Some 20 years ago, on a nostalgic trip back to “the anchor”, I was horrified to discover it had disappeared.  Questioning the locals we found it standing rather forlornly, at ground level, at the entrance to the Moana Caravan Park.  Gone was the majesty … gone was the sense of reverence and nobody could tell me why it had been removed from the foreshore.  However it was comforting to know that, at least, it was safe and hadn’t been destroyed.

Then, a couple of years ago the “Nashwauk Anchor” did another disappearing act.  This time it was taken to Canberra by the National Museum of Australia, restored and put on display (17Mar-31Jul 2011) as part of the “Not Just Ned – A true History of the Irish in Australia” Exhibition. Pauline wrote about this Exhibition, and the “Nashwauk Anchor” in her blog “Family history across the seas”.  It’s wonderful that this precious relic has been cleaned, restored and has taken pride of place in such and important Exhibition but the the fear has been that it would never come back to its rightful home in South Australia.

Many expressed concern – both local residents and descendants of the “Nashwauk” passengers. Some lobbied to prevent it being sent interstate and others wrote letters to the local paper. The last I heard was that it had come back to South Australia, was in the care of the City of Onkaparinga (Council) but the decision was yet to be made as to where it would be placed.  Apparently the owners of the Moana Caravan Park wanted it back but others were saying that it did not belong to them and should be honourable placed on public display and easily accessible to all.

Hip, hip, hooray to the City of Onkaparing and three cheers for all those involved in the decision-making.  No doubt my Susan Kelleher is not the only passenger of the ill-fated ship who is smiling down on us today.

SOURCES:  The Ships List:
“A Smuggler’s Home Claimed a Wreck” : Trove
“Moana Mystery Explained” : Trove
“Drama of Moana Wreck” : Trove
Family history across the seas:
“Not Just Ned – a true History of the Irish in Australia” : http://www.irish_in_australia/home
“What Really Happened to the Nashwauk?”, © 2004 J. Callen, ISBN 0-9595356-2-4  Printed by Butterly Press, 225 Main Road, Blackwood, South Australia, Australia. 5051. Tel: 08 8278 2899


Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Fun with “The Purple People Eater”

Seems to me that after all the sadness of ANZAC Day, see:

Tribute to our ANZAC Diggers
The Solitary Battlefield
The ANZACS and the Vietnam War 

it’s time for some fun and laughter.

My three brothers and I enjoyed  many of the crazy songs of the 1950’s. Sharing one of my favourites and remembering that my brother John did a real cool drawing of “The Purple Peope Eater”. Until seeing John’s drawing I thought this crazy “people eater” only ate purple people so I was safe 🙂   Enjoy…

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

The ANZACS and the Vietnam War

In the early 1960’s the South Vietnamese government was beset with problems.  It was under threat from a growing communist insurgency and sought assistance from the United States and her regional ally, Australia.  This support for Vietnam was in keeping with the policies of many other nations, to stem the spread of communism in Europe and Asia, with the fear that if one country “fell” to communism then others would swifty follow – referred to as “the Domino effect”.

Australia initially responded with 30 military advisers.  They arrived in South Vietnam during July and August 1962 and a proclamation, issued by the Governor-General on 11 Jan 1973, formally declared an end to Australia’s participation in the War.  Australia’s military involvement in the Vietnam War was the longest in duration of any war in Australia’s history.  From the time of the arrival of the first members of the Advisory Team almost 60,000 Australians, incuding ground troops and air force and navy personnel, served in Vietnam; 521 died as a result of the war and over 3,000 were wounded.

The war was the cause of the greatest social and political dissent in Australia since the conscription referendums of the First World War. In 1964, two years after entering Vietnam, compulsory National Service was introduced.  The scheme was based on a birthday ballot for 20-year-old- men who were to perform two years’ continuous full time service in the Regular Army Supplement, followed by three years’ part-time service in the Regular Army Reserve.  The full-time service requirement was reduced to eighteen months in 1971. 

 Protesters and those refusing to register, or refusing to serve if called up were jailed.  Public outrage intensified when, in May 1965, one year after the commencement of National Service the Australian Defence Act was amended to provide that National Servicemen could be obliged to serve overseas, a provision that had been applied only once before – during World War II.   Lobby groups were set up to fight for its repeal as well as the removal of Australian troops from Vietnam. Organisations, such as “Save Our Sons”, held protests across the country and handed out anti- conscription leaflets.  A major rally involving “Save Our Sons”, and other anti-war groups, was held when US President Lyndon B. Johnston visited Australia in 1966 with crowds of protestors chanting,

“LBJ, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”

During that rally a now famous line was uttered when the driver of the car carrying Johnston and New South Wales Premier Askin asked what he should do as the crowd was blocking the road.

“Run over the bastards” was Askin’s response.

Australian Defence Medal

Conscription ended as one of the first acts of the newly elected Whitlam Labor Government in late 1972. About 63,735 National Servicemen served in the military from 1964-1972.  Of that number, 19,450 served in Vietnam, all with the Army.



Anniversary of National Service Medal

In 2002 National Servicemen, or “NASHOS” as they came to be known, were eventually recognised for their service with the “Australian Defence Medal”and the “Anniversary of National Service 1951-1972 Medal”. 




I was a teenager throughout this turbulent period in Australia’s history. Furthermore, it was my brothers, their friends, their friends’ brothers, my schoolfriends, cousins, etc., who were threatened by the infamous “lottery” – of having their names “drawn” and being sent off to the horror that was the Vietnam War when little more than children. Some managed to dodge it, some were unlucky, some didn’t come back and some came back maimed in body, mind and spirit.  


Copyright (c) 2012 Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family                      

The Silent Battlefield

“THE Australian soldier returned, he made it home to me:
Beyond the joy, the twinkling in his eyes I could not see;
His eyes were full of darkness, twinkling there was no more;
The man I loved had not returned, it was only the soldier that I saw;
So confident and so brave, but something had gone wrong;
He left himself behind in that battlefield all alone;
 Where is the man that I adore, for it is he I need;
Silent prayers have gone unanswered, please return to me;
I hold my breath and make a wish, for I know that he is trying;
Trying to leave his battlefield, a battlefield for the dying;
Waiting is what I will do, for eternity if need be,
Waiting for my love to return, return once more to me.”

KRYSTI NEALE, Kapooka, New South Wales, Australia
(born and raised in Semaphore, South Australia)


Published in:  “The (Adelaide) Advertiser“, Remembrance Day, 11 Nov 2011

Copyright © 2012 Catherine Crout-Habel  Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Tribute to our ANZAC Diggers

The First ANZAC Day – 15 Apr 1915

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall to weary them, nor the years condemn:
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,


“Ode of Remembrance” –  “From the Fallen” (1914) by Laurence Binyon

For further information on the ANZAC Tradition see: “The one day of the year” 

Copyright © 2012 Catherine Crout-Habel.
Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Introducing Decimal Currency

Was it really 46 years ago that Australia introduced Decimal Currency? … Yep, it was.  It was 14 Feb 1966 and I was 20 years old.

Remembering all the hooo haaa” that went on with the changeover, I thought it’d be fun to show the PR vid that played on our TV screens, seemingly endlessly. 

Enjoy 🙂 … but don’t laugh too loudly.  It might scare the chickens.

© Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

The House in Leeds

The wails of the newborn babe reverberate through the ward and down the passage of the Leeds Maternity Hospital, Hyde Street, Yorkshire, England as Marie (Ogilvie) Crout gives birth to her first, and only son, Harry Scarborough Crout. 

Over the years I’ve looked at dad’s treasured Birth Certificate and wondered why a child born on 4 March 1912, in Yorkshire, was not delivered at home? C. Lovegrove comments on “Leodis“,

“I believe this maternity hospital took the ladies who
were likely
to have difficult births.”

Maybe this is the explanation.  Further weight is given to this supposition when we learn that Marie temporarily re-located from her home in Shipley for the birth.  There on dad’s Birth Certificate is her address:

“10 Meanwood Street, Leeds” 


Curious about this house… dad’s first home, I did a search of the Leodis data base and was delighted to discover three photos taken, from different vantage points, before being demolished to make way for new road works.  Great excitement when the photos arrived.  It’s like touching the past.  My daughter, and I, went over them with a magnifying glass and decided that Marie’s abode at 10 Meanwood Street was on the left, at the rear of the building. 

Always questioning, I wondered why she stayed in this particular house?…  Was it the home of friends, or maybe relatives? The 1901 UK Census showed that eleven years earlier, Marie’s mum, dad and 5 younger siblings  were living at 34 Servia Road, so seemed unlikely to be the family home.  I let the question go and turned my attention to other matters.

A year, or so, later “the house in Leeds” became a matter of interest again. Delighted to be in contact with an Ogilvie 2nd cousin, from Leeds, I mentioned that my dad always said he had cousins in Western Australia but I had no idea who they were or where they were likely to be living. Finding them was especially complicated because it seemed their mum was a sister of Marie Ogilvie.  Was it a sister who emigrated?  If so, who was that sister? Did she marry?  If she married, what was her new name?  When did she come? … All were questions I’d mused over throughout the years, then John passed on one bit of information which changed everything.  He recalled that the relative was female and moved to Western Australia before WW1. Sadly he believed it unlikely she ever knew that her brother John had been killed in the War.

Well, that provided a time frame and certainly focused the attention.  Remembering that the 1911 UK Census had recently been released, I did a search to find out where members of the Ogilvie family were living in 1911, the year before dad’s birth, and there it was at last! … The answer to that ongoing and perplexing question was sitting there, shining like a sparkling jewel, just waiting to be picked up.

When Marie (Ogilvie) Crout gave birth to my dad, at Leeds Maternity Hospital, she was temporarily living with her widowed mum, sisters Maggie Ogilvie and Lucy Bartle, brother-in-law Walter Bartle and 4 year old nephew, Leslie Ogilvie, in the 5 roomed home at 10 Meanwood Street, Leeds.  Whooo Hooo!!!… puzzle solved at long last.

Further research revealed that 8 months later Maggie married John Henry Baxter.  They migrated to Western Australia the following year with John travelling on ahead and Maggie arriving at Fremantle, aboard the SS “Otrantra”, on 14 Oct 1913 but that’s another wonderful story to be told on another day.

Many thanks to my cousin for sharing his precious morsel of info which enabled the sidestepping of that particular “brick wall”.  It never fails to amaze how such seemingly inconsequential “rememberings” can make a huge difference when re-constructing the events of yesteryear.

Thanks also to Leeds City Council and the Leeds Library & Information Service for “Leodis”, its photographic archive of Leeds.  Containing 52,000 new and old images it’s a joyous treasure house to those, especially from across the seas, who are researching Family History.


SOURCES:  “Leodis” 
                      1901 UK Census
                      1911 UK Census

(c) Copyright. 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Dad… a Dreadnought Boy

It was early summer 1928 as Harry Scarborough Crout took the train from Shipley Railway Station, Yorkshire, England and made his way to London.  He had just turned 16 and was off on his “Great Adventure” at last.

There was huge excitement amongst the lads of Windhill as they scoured the newspapers and posters for every little detail of “Australia’s Offer to British Boys” but Harry was the only one to take up the offer and become a “Dreadnought Boy”.

“… in response to a growing German naval presence in the Pacific in 1909, the government of New South Wales decided to help fund the construction of a dreadnought battleship for the Royal Navy.  A public fund was established and by the end of the year 90,000pounds had been raised.  But with fears increasing the governent decided to construct a ship of its own, so that financing a second battleship seemed of little value.

Money was offered back to donors but more than 80,000pounds remained in the kitty.  Unsure what to do with it the government decided to use half to build a naval college while the remainder would be used to fund a scheme to bring young boys over from ‘Britain and train them to become agricultural workers.  And so was born the Dreadnought Scheme.

The scheme would bring out British boys between the ages of 16 and 19 ‘of good character and physique’ at a rate of about 20 everyfortnight. Originally, the scheme was aimed at those more than 17 years of age and one ad talked of wanting ‘strapping young fellows’.  After the First World War the minimum age was reduced to 15, although there is evidence to show that lads as young as 14 made the journey.  The aim, according to one booklet, was ‘to fill Australia’s empty spaces with young people of white, essentially Anglo-Saxon stock’.  Put bluntly, it was a form of white colonisation.”

It seemed to Harry that his 16th birthday would never come.  Marie, his mother, was bitterly opposed her only child’s “hair-brained” scheme.  She had scraped together enough money to enrol him at Bradford Secretarial College in preparation for a career as a clerk but Harry had other ideas.  Finally she gave in to his cajoling, nagging and sulking and tearfully waved him away … never to see her only child again.

On 19 April 1928 Harry boarded the P. & O. Steam Ship “Ballarat” at the Port of London for Australia.  Clasped in his hand was a “THIRD CLASS (Steerage) PASSENGER’S CONTRACT TICKET”, in an eight berth cabin, from the Bradford Agents of Briggs Shipping Office at 89 Sunbridge Road, purchased on 23 March 1928 only 19 days after his 16th birthday.In his memoirs Harry writes,

” It was a mild and sunny day on the 13th June 1928 as the P&O Steam Ship Ballarat, laden with migrants (most British), was slowly escorted into Sydney Harbor by the usual flotilla of tug boats … as the ship slowly moved into its berth they gazed eagerly around at the many peninsulas fringing Sydney Harbour and the partly constructed Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The two pylons proudly rearing skyward and a section of the bridge reaching out from each one towards the great unfinished gap in the centre.”

He writes of his shipboard friendship with other Dreadnought Boys;

“Yorky, nicknamed because of the County he hailed from; Lanky, named partly because of his Manchester origin and partly because of his physique; Cock, the Londoner who had lived his boyhood within the sound of the bow Bells; Sammy, a Liverpool lad and two others who came from the Midlands.”

As the ship edged up to the wharf the Welfare officer, in charge of 40 boys, rushed them up to the top deck for some publicity shots.

“The camera crew were focussing their equipment and one of them called out, ‘Now then lads.  I want you to show the Australian people what a fine bunch of lads you are, and how happy you are to be in Australia.  Let’s see you laugh and cheer for the Aussie people.” 

Dreadnought Boys arriving in Sydney on the "SS Ballarat" - 1928

The welfare officer handed the boys over to Mr Johnstone, the Australian migration officer, who explained they would be sent to different parts of New South Wales and to different types of farm work.  Dad was one of 15 who voluteered for dairy farming on the North Coast of New South Wales largely because of descriptions of a warm climate, fertile soil, scenerery reminiscent of England, along with the explanation that,

“…you could start your own farm with less than you would need in the sheep and cattle country.”

Dad always joked that he grew up rather fancying himself as a “cowboy” but the type you see in “the pictures” riding horses and droving the cows, not milking them.

Systematic youth migration to Australia began early in the 20th century and continued for over seventy years, involving approximately 30,000 male and female school-aged immigrants under a number of schemes.  The Dreadnought Scheme was but one. For years I’ve tried to find which scheme brought Harry Scarborough Crout to Australia and finally had a breakthrough. The clue was in dad’s Certificate of achievement from the “Wollongbar Experiment Farm” in New South Wales where the Dreadnought boys were trained in farm work.  It was there I learnt about the Dreadnought scheme and my dad’s involvement.

The scheme began in 1911 and ran on and off for the next 28 years.  It was halted by the First World War, recommenced in 1921, then ceased again during the Great Depression for a period of six years.  In February 1915, 2,557 had arrived; when the last group arrived in September 1939, the total number of Dreadnought boys had reached 5,595. A wall plate behind the Orient Hotel in Kendall Lane, Sydney commemorates the Dreadnought scheme.  The memorial was erected by the Dreadnought Old Boys Association in 1984.

Harry Scarborough Crout died in South Australia, 18 January 2007, in his 95th year.  He lived a rich, varied and vibrant life, “jumping the rattlers” during the Great Depression, a gruelling pushbike across the Nullabor Plain (accompanied by his Dreadnought boyhood friend Sammy), earning pennies as a “pugilist” in travelling road shows, “stowing away” on coastal ships and “humping his bluey” for many a long mile are just a few of his adventures before settling down and raising a family.

Dad never found his “road paved with Gold”, nor returned to England a rich man.  In fact he never saw his homeland or his beloved mother again but was always proud of his achievements and believed his greatest achievement was his four Australian children.



Crout, Harry Scarborough.  My First Four Years in Australia (memoirs)
Kelly, Stephen, Australia’s Lost Boys.

Further Reading:
Gill, Alan.  Likely Lads and Lasses: Youth Migration to Australia 1911-1983. Marrickville: BBM Ltd, 2005

(c) Copyright 2012  Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~ Finding Family.