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Francis Treloar and Sarah Biggs bound for South Australia 1848

The following story has been kindly provided by John Kimber a descendent of Francis and Sarah Treloar. Francis was the ships steward onboard The Ship Sibella on which Henry and Rosina Darling sailed to Port Adelaide in 1848.

This is an adaptation from Francis diary of the voyage. John is very fortunate to have a copy of this diary and the actual diary of Sarah. What a family treasure to have.

I must say many thanks to John for allowing the use of this material on the Darling Family Web Site.

Please pay a visit to John’s web site which contains much more information on shipping and family history.

It can be found at

Ship Steward Francis Treloar and 18 yr old Sarah Biggs left London March 21st 1848 bound for South Australia.
Diary based on Francis' diary he named deaths and births.

January 1848: 24 year-old Francis Treloar arrived in London tired after the long trip from Cornwall, through Plymouth then Southampton. He had been to many places but now he had decided to settle in Adelaide, South Australia. So much had been said about this little colony and its discoveries in the mines of Burra Burra. He knew of the finds because he had been engaged by Captain Thomas as a coachman when in South Australia in 1845. Excitement had gripped that little colony when shepherds Thomas Pickett, employed by William Robinson, and William Streair, employed by James Stein, had come across two different outcrops of copper near the Burra creek, so settle there he would. He had had so many adventures and he had learnt a lot, worked since he was 8 years of age as a farm servant at Partnigne. How many occupations he had acquired, blacksmith trade, carrying business, gentleman's ser­vant, cabin boy, and as a coachman, Francis felt he was ready to settle down.

February 15th: "Sibella" enters East India docks and Capt. Coleman prepares for the voyage to Port Adelaide. Francis stays in London for five weeks, where he received the appointment as a ship steward aboard the 618 ton Barque "Sibella". Captain Coleman was a stern, but good Master of the ship and was impressed by Francis's willingness to work hard and good manners. Over the next weeks the ship is swabbed and cleaned and cargo is brought on board.

Unknown to Francis two young lasses and their family had made their way down from Leicester to London to board the Sibella. They and a Mr. Gregory Seal Walters, sent to Adelaide by the Patent Copper Co. to find out the viability of Burra, would have a big bearing on Francis Treloar's future.

March 21st: Francis Treloar boards the ship "Sibella" at the East India docks.       

March 22nd-25th: The "Sibella" is entered at the Customs House to sail for Port Adelaide. The steam tug towed the ship away from the docks. In the afternoon they reached Gravesend and immigrants joined the ship by row boats, with their luggage.

Sarah and Elizabeth had said their goodbyes to there father William and mother Elizabeth. It was a very tearful goodbye, as they clung to each other with heartfelt embrace, knowing they may never see each other again. Sarah and Elizabeth had paid for their voy­age and the Captain had asked the ships carpenter to run up a small cabin between decks for them. Francis noticed the young ladies and knew he would get to know them well as he would be their ship steward along with Mr. Walters and others.

What a long farewell for Sarah, just 18 years old and 23 year old Elizabeth bid their goodbyes, as the First Officer watched them board as he stood on the poop deck, hands behind his back. He had seen this scene so many times before.

There was a loud "All clear their for’ard? `Ay, Ay, sir all clear'. "Let Go!” We weighed anchor and set sail for Plymouth, then South Australia

March 26th: When the last boat left the ministers of various religions left with them. They had given comfort and tracts so that one wouldn't forget their beliefs. This left many very emotional as they were already overcome by the last farewells.

After all immigrants were accommodated Mr. Gregory Seal Walters, Mr. Fred Walters and Mr. Lomax came out to the ship "Sibella" aboard a boat and were soon made comfortable in their cabins. The Master, Captain Edward Coleman also came aboard to­day. He it would be that would control the lives of all to their destination Adelaide, South Australia, and the voyage ahead.

March 28th: They sailed down the Channel past the Downs. The Pilot was let off the ship for Deal as many had written letters to deliver. They were contemplating the fact they may never see their relatives again. Past the magnificent White Cliffs of Dover and on into Plymouth Sound.

March 31st: Arrived at Plymouth Sound. Francis went ashore by boat. That day one of the poor sailors broke his leg. Prepared for more immigrants.

April 4th-5th: Today those immigrants who waited patiently at the depots boarded with their trunks and few belongings. Tho­mas Bunney. Henry Davey, John C. Eddy, Robert Peters, William Thomas, Thomas Warren and their families, along with Martin and his sister Peggy Trebilcock and many more. All hoping for the future in the voyage ahead.

April 6th: 5.30am, All was calm as the steam tug took them out about 3 miles outside the Plymouth harbour and they got under sail. The voyage begins.

There was a fair South West wind and the steam tug moved away with one final blast. Emotions were mixed as the voyage began and English land would soon be seen no more. To find yourself in a space 6’ by 4’ was very difficult even more so with the first night of the reeling to and fro of a ship, so any comfy feeling or mirth was soon overcome by seasickness. Within a few hours nearly all were lying around helpless by the feel­ing of seasickness. Whether to lie down, walk around, not enough room for that, lie down again and then the stomach just heaves. Only those that had been at sea before were comfortable and so as Francis says in his di­ary, "a good deal of seasickness".       

April 7th-10th: Today more seasickness. It was very uncomfortable in the cramped quarters and they had not been sick in the toilet, many in their bunks. The smells of humans and sickness made it very uncomfortable. In fact this most probably caused the early birth of Mr. & Mrs. James Gordon's little boy. The doctor Mr. Gregory had to rush to her aid as she let out the most awful scream and then it turned into joy as she delivered a beautiful boy. She would have to sleep now in a bunk with baby and her hus­band, not much room, but that was the last of her thoughts as she held it close to her. She was even willing to put up with the reeling of the ship and the feeling of more seasickness. Her husband was so proud, a boy, they named it Edward after the Captain.

April 13th: The voyage is a little more comfortable to day as the weather is fine with fair winds. A tragedy though for Isaac Church and his wife Hannah, as their little Thomas passed away. Dr. Gregory did all he could. It was a terrible sight to see the par­ents in their grief as the infant left them for the ocean. That night Isaac tried to comfort his wife.

April 14th-17th: Watched and conversed with a ship going to Newfoundland. Passengers are becoming more stable as there is less seasickness, but still uncomfortable at night for many as they try to sleep. The weather fine with still fair wind.

April 18th: Passed the ship "Perseller" from Liverpool bound for Pernambuco, northeast seaport of Brazil. Many on deck call­ing out loudly as the ship came up close as it could and they spoke from deck to deck, ship to ship, at 3 pm.

April 19th: At daybreak they could see another ship, Madeira. The "Perseller" was still in sight. Francis was getting to know Mr. Walters well and was going to be his chauffeur when reaching Adelaide. He was also getting very friendly with Sarah and Eliza­beth. The weather has been very fair and helped all to enjoy the voyage.

April 20th: The ship "Sibella," was making good ground sailing at 8 knots. The weather was fine and still fair winds. The ships were now out of sight and the "Sibella" was just a speck on the Atlantic Ocean.

April 21st: The wind is getting a little fresh and stronger. Doctor Gregory is helping a man of the Smith family who is quite sick in the sick bay.

April 22nd-23rd: Weather fine again and winds fair about 8 knots still. Tragedy for Edmund Gilding and his wife as their little daughter Emma dies. His wife Elizabeth is expecting another baby when they arrive, and this makes it harder to bear their loss and brings them concern for the child to come,

April 24th-26th: Could see another ship in the distance. We sailed passed the Cape Verde Islands down the Atlantic Ocean. Some children falling sick.

April 27th-28th: Children have become sick because of an outbreak of measles and they are very worried for 2 year old Smith. With many sick the journey is causing some anxiety among the travellers.

April 29th-30th: It had become warm and very squally, making the “Sibella” a little uncomfortable, this being the first time that it had been wet on deck. Water came down the hatch and sleep became a little difficult through the night. Mrs. Mary Gordon’s baby, Edward was crying through the night from the rocking of the ship, kept many awake. It was so cramped for the families with babies.

May 1st: Measles is throughout the ship and one of the servants is now very sick. The sickness is worse as because of the squally weather and heavy rain, causing all to stay below deck.

May 2nd: A 2 year old boy named Smith dies. Today we are constantly tacking ship and it is more comfortable with fair wind. Francis has a real liking for Sarah. Her good morals, love of poetry and wanting to have a good standing with God endears to Francis. Today they were on deck enjoying the marvellous sunset at sea. Sarah was very taken by Francis’s honest nature and he obviously knew where he was heading. She just knew life would be right with Francis Treloar. (Only Francis diary mentions this death)

May 3rd: Weather becoming squally and more uncomfortable for the voyage.

May 4th-5th: Many children getting better from the measles, but Doctor Gregory is doing a great job to help some others. He is constantly at their attention. Weather is now squally, uncomfortable for those sick.

May 6th: A sad day as Ebenezer and Ann Mills' child dies of complications from measles. In the evening the doctor did the service and again we watched as the small child was buried at sea. It was not a comfortable day because of the strong winds.

May 7th: The weather was fine as the winds abated, but in the evening became stronger making sleep difficult again,

May 8th-11th: Another child succumbs to measles, Mr. & Mrs. John Joblings daughter Sarah Ann. She was just 2 years old. The weather was fine and all were enjoying the day at sea. Francis was getting to know Mr. Walters very well and enjoying the conversation with Sarah Treloar. (The date cannot he verified as both the newspaper and Francis do not mention who died on this date. Francis mentions the age as 17 yrs and 2 months, but this would hardly be the age of a child, so I think those making the copy that I have made a mistake).

May 12th: We could see another ship pass us in the distance seemingly on the way to England as the winds grew strong again, but not close enough to make contact.

May 13th: Excitement in this lonely world at sea as they spoke to a brig passing called "Socilda" from Pernambuco, (now known as Recife a city and seaport in the northeast Brazil) and on its way to Rio De Janeiro. Captain Coleman hailed the ship and many were on deck calling out questions. The news, where were they heading etc. It was the chance to make contact with land and relatives, so letters hastily written and sent aboard by boat between ships.

May 14th: More fine weather.

May 15th: The brig "Socilda" is still in our company and the Captain went aboard taking more letters, which we hoped our relatives and friends would receive before the year was through.

May 16th-17th: "Socilda" has left us and we have been blessed with more fine weather.

May 18th: Blessed with more fair winds. Thomas and Caroline Bunney are very worried parents as their little girl Louisa is very sick with measles and Mrs. Bunney is heavy with child as well.

May 19th: What a sad day, rainy and squally, as little Louisa Bunney passed away. Thomas Bunney and Caroline are very upset, but are taking comfort in their strong beliefs. Captain Coleman had the service that afternoon and the families bid farewell to the child. Mr. Robert Peters and his wife Ann, are extremely worried for their sick daughter too.

May 20th: The squally weather has abated, but not Mr. & Mrs. Robert Peters fear as their little girl passed away this day. Thomas Bunney, wife Caroline and Sarah Treloar love reading the Bible and they were on deck in deep discussion on one of their favourite texts. Francis Treloar smiled at her and listened, being taken by the comfort she was giving them in their hour of need. Grief has struck the ship as you hear Mrs. Peters sobbing through the night, highlighting it for others.

May 21st: Mrs. Gordon's child was baptized below deck today as it was blowing hard and raining. They named him Edward after the Captain and Doctor. The weather made the grieving parents even more unhappy. Francis wrote in his di­ary: "Had to reef closely and spent a, gibe".

May 22nd: We were not able to go on deck again today as it was still blowing hard and it was very uncomfortable for Mrs. Bunney who will have her child any day now. Francis wrote: "Sailing under close reefed top sails".

May 23rd-25th: Some are now being sick with the heaving of the ship "Sibella" as it keeps blowing a gale. Some went on deck as the winds lulled during the day and to pass the time they played deck games.

May 26th: What a lovely day as we finally have fair weather again. Today many watched a beautiful sunset.

May 27th: More bad weather again, squally and very rainy as we near Cape Of Good Hope. It is now very uncomfort­able for Mrs. Bunney in those bunks.

May 28th: More sadness, little Hannah Middleton succumbed to measles not long after the heavy rains came at 1 p.m. Sailors busy again as they had to reef top sails as the wind sprang up in the afternoon. Francis wrote: "We are now in the latitude of Cape Of Good Hope".

May 29th: The weather was fine today, but more pain. Michael Marshman brings more sadness as the little boy breathes his last breathe. He was just 1 yr and 9 months old. The sadness in the parents of those who have died is almost too hard to bear. His father Joshua seemed to be taking it very badly. Captain did the service as family and friends bid their farewell.

May 30th: The weather was fine as grieving families help each other cope.

May 31st: The weather was good and the winds were very light so studding-sails were set. Mrs. Bunney must surely have her baby today or tomorrow, for she is very heavy with child.

June 1st: The wind was fair in the morning, but by 11 am it was blowing a strong breeze. At last some good news Tho­mas and Caroline Bunney had a little girl. It was obvious they had mixed emotions feeling the loss of little Louisa and yet holding a newborn daughter very close. Their eyes told all as they looked longingly at each other and their new family member with tears in their eyes. Thomas gave his wife a loving reminders.

June 2nd: No-one seemed to mind being kept awake during the night by the Bunney baby as they heard Mrs. Bunney talk to their little daughter, comforting her and feeding her. During the day the breeze was strong.

June 3rd: 18 year old Henry Hunt had been sick for some time and many felt the Doctor had done all he could, but poor Henry passed away during the night. Sarah spent time comforting Mrs. Hunt. Henry's father was feeling it bad and felt the doctor could have done more, especially when he first got the fever. In the early part of the evening Captain Cole­man said a very moving service. It was a fair wind all day.

June 4th: Many upset over the death of Henry, another day of fair wind.

June 5th: The "Sibella" all alone at sea as they came abreast of the Cape Of Good Hope with still a fair wind and fami­lies coming to grips with life and death.

June 6th: A lovely fine day, but as evening came the wind rose and the "Sibella" again felt the brunt of a rough sea.

June 7th: The ship "Sibella" was now sailing under close reefs as the wind was blowing strong and some again found it difficult and uncomfortable as most stayed below deck. Edward Gregory was very sick and not expected to get better.

June 8th: The morning was wet, cold and cloudy as poor Edward Gregory died today after his illness that had lasted 3 weeks, he was just 21 years old. The death of the babies, Edward, Henry had affected all on board as they wondered what lay ahead and some wished they had never started on this journey. Others like Sarah, Thomas and Caroline could be seen gaining comfort from their favourite texts. Thomas and Caroline Bunney could be seen that night comforting each other, with little Louisa Sibella close between them, as this tiny dot of a ship crossed the Indian Ocean with the wind blowing right aft and giving a more uncomfortable sleep that night below deck.

June 9th: It was a fine day today, as the wind had dropped and a beautiful sunrise had welcomed those who were on deck this morning. Captain Coleman had the unenviable task of burying Edward Gregory. All dropped their heads in a sombre stance as his body slid over board into that lonely sea. Sarah later showed Francis a text. Francis looked with a smile at his betrothed and knew she was trying to reassure him and herself, he believed, but didn’t read his Bible like Sarah did. Many others like Robert and Hannah Marshman also looked for comfort. So many were making the voyage for religious freedom as Bible Christians.

June 10th: Crossing the Indian Ocean became more comfortable by the day as all well and the weather was fine.

June 11th: William Hunt and the Doctor had heated words, with much abuse. Mr. Hunt still feels very strongly that the Doctor was somehow responsible for his son, Henry’s death. It is amazing the emotions one goes through trying to except a death, especially a child. It seems even if one believes in the resurrection hope, it is not always an immediate comfort, as one seems to want their loved one now and in the future. Some, if they could get off and go back home, they would.

June 12th-14th: Fine weather and all starting to settle down a little as they come to grips with the grief that has covered the “Sibella”. Little Louisa Sibella, named after the ship, is a beautiful little girl and sleeping well at night.

June 15th: More trouble between the Doctor and Mr. Hunt. Today very little wind and such a beautiful sunset as Francis and Sarah could be seen on deck taking time out in preparation for their coming marriage, in South Australia.

June 16th: We had to close the reef sails today as it was very squally.

June 17th: Although we had a fair wind today it was blowing hard.

June 18th: Captain Coleman read the Sunday service today and many received comfort. Fair wind all day as Thomas Bunney could be seen meditating on deck.

June 19th-21st: The "Sibella" was rolling to and fro across the Indian Ocean as it passed the small Saint Paul's Island in squally conditions. Near their destination now as Mrs. Simcock will be the next to have a baby.

June 22nd: Conditions are difficult now as the rains are very heavy and the wind it is very squally. Mrs. Davey also heavy in child and finding it very uncomfortable as the ship made little headway in heavy seas. A woman fell down the hatch escaping with only bruises.

June 23rd: A Fine Friday with fair breezes blowing at 4 pm as most came on deck to say thank you to the Captain and Doctor, who have given all such fine treatment and had the best interest of all during the voyage.

June 24th: Late afternoon a fair breeze was blowing as the day had been fine, but then the wind gained force light aft. During the evening a heavy sea did a lot of damage as it struck the stern of the "Sibella".

June 25th: Captain Coleman again read a fine Sunday Service of everyone's favourite text, as he seems to want to bring com­fort to all because of the happenings during the recent weeks.

June 26th-28th: They had to batten down the hatches again and stay below as the rough weather came in and the "Sibella" was sailing with bare masts.

June 29th: The Captain said maybe 3 weeks from land, as the wind shifted and heavy rain fell.

June 30th: Hurray, today is fine and what a sight the sunset out on the Indian Ocean.

July 1st: What a horrible night, squally, hail and constant showers. James and Lavina Shipp especially found it uncomfortable as they awaited the birth of their baby. Suddenly in the early hours of the morning a cry of pain and rushing sound of the Doctor, which awoke all, and Lavina Shipp gave birth to a child. (all births can he verified by Francis' diary or the newspaper, but this one. May also be a Benjamin Wright child as the newspapers differ, if so it died 6 days later according to the Observor. Francis does not mention this death, why I went for James and Lavina Shipp.)

July 2nd: Another fine Service by The Captain as a fine day with fair wind was enjoyed by all, along with another spectacular sunset. It made it a little easier to enjoy the voyage, enjoying the creation of a sunset.

July 3rd-4th: More joy, no more deaths and a fine son born to Mr. & Mrs. Sincock, with good weather.

July 5th: Babies everywhere and Henry and his wife Mary Ann Davey awaiting their turn any day now, weather good.

July 6th: Today was generally squally, but with some fine patches.

July 7th: Foul wind which was blowing strong as the "Sibella" had to sail with bare poles.

July 8th: There was a fair wind today, but not as squally as it had been, of which Mrs. Davey was very thankful. When the cry of a little daughter was heard Henry Davey gave a sigh of relief.

July 9th: Captain read the service and it was a squally afternoon. It was hard to sleep with babies crying as the sound of one cry would start the others. Mary Ann and Henry Davey named their daughter Christiana Mary.

July 10th-11th: It is still very squally and constantly raining, making all stay below deck.

July 12th: A nice, fine day at last. Francis enjoyed Sarah's company today, especially her sense of humour. He noticed her strong feeling for family, good sense of duty and high moral standards. He felt she would make a very good wife and would stand up to the rigors of pioneering that lay ahead.

July 13th: Francis and Sarah have set August 16th as their wedding day. Weather fine as they get closer to South Australia.

July 14th: There was much excitement as the sun rose as they sighted land. It was a beautiful sight and what a calm day. As evening came the wind rose a little, the sunset beckoned all on to there destination as they passed Kangaroo Island.

July 15th: The Sibella was a fine sight as it came abreast Cape Jervis in a fresh wind. The ship was steady that night and the prospect of tomorrow and beyond was running high. There was general celebration, the voyage coming to its end.

July 16th: The expectations are high as it is Sunday and it is a fine, but cold day as the ship 'Sibella" is in full sail off Holdfast Bay. Families who lost loved ones though have mixed feelings, especially Mr, Hunt. Francis and Sarah are enjoying the sight of land as their future seems set. Francis has been engaged by Mr. Walters as his coach driver. Mr. Walters is here to see the viability of the Burra Burra mines. Thomas Bunney and his wife hold Louisa very close as they stand on deck, this cold day, trying to keep warm. They look out at land and like Isaac Church and his family wonder what lay ahead. Everyone was waking to the realization that here was South Australia. Port Adelaide, at last. It is 11 o'clock in the morning and the Pilot has come on board, the first person they have seen since they left their beloved home land. Excitement was high as they questioned him one after the other. It was barely 1 o'clock in the afternoon when he left for shore with the mail. They anchored off the Lightship near the mouth of the river that will lead us into Port Adelaide at 4 o'clock, but as the weather is rough they have to stay anchored there.

July 17th: The weather is still rough and wet as all are itching to go ashore, but we have to wait a little longer.

July 18th: The "Sibella" started to sway steadily forward as the sunrises and the small tug began to tow the ship up the river. At the same time the shipping and colonial inspectors were on board and all the immigrants were mustered on deck for inspection. That afternoon it was a busy sight as the "Sibella" anchored in the stream about fifty metres off shore. The weather was fine as a long boat took Misters. Gregory and Fred Walters, Mr. Lomax and Dr. Gregory and others including Sarah and Elizabeth, with the sailors who would help them ashore. It was a little nervy as the sailor hoisted up Sarah to shore that afternoon. The sailor carried 10 year old Emily Bliss to shore and into the waiting arms of her ecstatic father, Richard, who had written so many letters to get her to Sth Australia. He was overcome with emotion. Their embraces were long and hard. His other daughter was to come soon on another ship.

Francis had many things to plan for, like his wedding day August 16th. Others too were planning their wedding day, Jabez Cosby and Jane Masters for October 10th, Martin Trebilcock and Maria Roberts on August 25th. They had decided to settle in Burra. So much planning, weddings, babies, work and a place to settle down.

July 19th: Today the mothers can be seen in the steerage dressing themselves in their best clothes and their children. This was the end of the voyage and now the adventure begins. The passengers were brought ashore in small groups in the rowing boats. Children and women carried from the little boats to shore. They had heard of the hot winds of South Australia, but today they es­caped this as a fine mild temperature. As they rode up to Adelaide it wasn't at all unpleasant. Parts of Adelaide were similar to an English village except for the bullock drays. Then there was the mud huts as one drove up the Port road to Adelaide. The Immi­grants knew how to do with and survive. In town there were fine fruits grapes, tomatoes, apples and more. Some still ate tomatoes with reservation as they still felt they might be poisonous, even though in 1820 they were proven otherwise. As the sunset on Adelaide the last of the immigrants were taken ashore. They now all had placed their feet on land, 104 days since they left Plymouth.

July 20th: Today Francis went ashore and rode up to Adelaide to see Mr. Waters and start preparations with his Sarah for the wedding day. Mr Walters was going to engage him as a coachman and servant, as his knowledge of Adelaide would also be helpful.

July 21st: Francis returned to the ship to finish his duties as a ship steward.

July 22nd: Sunday as the voyagers awoke to a frosty morning, which reminded them so much of home the London streets or the moors of Cornwall. It became a fine day as many enjoyed their first Sunday service on land. The rest of the month Francis was to finish his duties aboard ship and Sarah was preparing for their future.

The weather report was from a diary by farmer Peter Anderson and supplied by Prue at the research section, state library, South Australia. I am currently researching conditions in Adelaide when they arrived. I have recently discovered books of the Pryor and Simpson families and they have written detail of Adelaide when they arrived.

Source; John Kimber,

To add to this fantastic story the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London have kindly given us a picture of the Ship Sibella and their permission to display it on this web site. It can be seen via the link on the home page or simply click here- ( Please visit the National Maritime Museums web site at

Again, may I thank John for the permission he gave me to use his story. Please pay John’s Web Site a visit, it is full of information and a very interesting read.

I will buy the coffee later in the year John, kind Regards

Martin   e-mail:


Wedding Notice

14 November 1923

I have just been passed the details from a newspaper clipping dated 1923 and thought it was such a nice article that it should be shared. The following information was reported in a local newspaper in South Australia.



"A pretty wedding took place at Bartholomew's Church, Maitland (S.A.) on Wednesday last. The contracting parties were Henry William, son of Benjamin Charles Darling and Euphemia, daughter of Theophilus Hamlyn of Yorktown. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev.Father Aylward, after which, Nuptial Mass was celebrated.

The bride was charmingly frocked in creme marocain, with beautiful long veil. The bridesmaid, Miss M A.Tomney ( cousin of the bride), wore lemon crepe-de-chine with hat to tone. Mr W Darmody acted as best man. Miss K.Smith presided at the organ; and played Mendelssohn's, " Wedding March" as the bridal party left the church. The happy couple then motored to their home, where the wedding breakfast was served and the usual toasts were honoured."


One Year On

It is now very nearly one year since the creation of this Web Site, and we have had 32,461 visits with January 2008 seeing a staggering 3,639 visits alone.

September 2007 I decided to add a chat Forum to the site and in December 2007 members voted to open the Forum to visitors of the site to browse. It has been a very slow start with the Forum but we now have 18 members from Australia, USA, England and Scotland. I must say however if it wasn't for Joy, Maurice and Lorna the Forum would probably have died of death. So a big thank you goes out to those three members and a plea to others to join in and help make it a success.

Lorna started the most successful   topic "Word Association Game" on the Forum back in Jan 2008 and it has attracted over 600 replies! well done Lorna, Gold star for you.

Anyway back in May 2007 I purchased the name for a one year period as a trial to see if this Web site was a success. I have now secured ownership of this site name for a further five years. I hope we can build on what we have created together over the past 12 months and enjoy the content that we build together.

All the very best,  Martin                (April 2008)


Welcome to Zak

On 2nd April 2008 at 3.15am the Darling family saw the arrival of it's latest member Zak David.

Congratulations from us all to very proud parents, Becky and Ant and big sister Mya.


Christmas 2007

Please may I say on behalf of my family and I that we wish you all a very happy Christmas and also wish you happiness and good health not only in 2008 but also the years ahead.

Please remember at this time of year the departed members of this vast family who can’t be with us.

God bless, Good Health and Happiness


Another portrait by Ida Amelia Darling turns up in Canberra Australia

Recently I was contacted via e-mail by a lady from Canberra Australia, Dr Diana Kostyrko who descends from Henry Darling Turner. It turns out that Diana and I are fourth cousins, yes we now have yet another branch to the family tree!

Diana has forwarded to me a portrait by Ida Amelia Darling and she has very kindly given her permission for it to be displayed on this web site. Diana an art historian says “I am privileged to have it from my aunt and uncle - Lang & Edna Turner (deceased) - since 1974, so I should share it” “I have not been able to trace any other works by Ida Amelia - although I have not made a great effort, admittedly - so it was a tremendous surprise to see another on your website”

The pastel and graphite portrait by Ida Amelia DARLING, entitled 'The Athenian' and dated 30 October 1869 can be viewed on left of this page, I am sure that you will all agree it is yet another fantastic portrait by Ida which now increases our known family collection to two great works of art. The other as you probably know can be seen on the home page.

There must be many more beautiful paintings by Ida scattered around Australia and maybe further afield, if you know of or hear of any please pass on the information so we can one day dedicate a section of this web site to Ida Amelia and her work.


Family Announcement

Congratulations to Antony Darling and Becky Lissemore on their Marriage which took place in Worcester on Saturday 7th July 2007

With our love and best wishes for their future together from all the Darling Family


Man attacks shark

Everyone’s heard of the crocodile hunter, but its now time to meet the new man on the block, the shark hunter.

Phillip Kerkhof from Louth Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, is the talk of the town, after catching a bronze whaler shark in his hands and wrestling it up onto the local jetty.
It's a feat he's now warning others not to try.

Mr Kerkhof's adventure began when he'd had a few drinks, and decided to take a stroll on the Louth Bay jetty.

He was chatting to a couple of fishermen who were after a catch of squid when a 1.3 metre bronze whaler shark began chasing their squid lures.
With the shark keeping the squid away, and no means of removing the problem, Mr Kerkhof told ABC News that he decided he could help.

“I said to them, we’ll just see if we can lure it into the shallows a bit and I’ll jump in and grab him”, he said.
Mr Kerkhof explained how he stripped off his clothing, climbed down a ladder on the jetty and began to stalk the shark into shallow water, slowly sneaking up behind it.

“Eventually I went for the big grab and I fluked it and got him... he's just thrashing around in the water… but then he was starting to turn around and try to bite me”, he said.

Catching the shark with his bare hands wasn’t the hardest part of the evening, as he explained, he then had to land it on the jetty.

“Then I had to try and get him from the ladder up onto the jetty. Eventually we got him. I got a fair way up (the ladder) and managed to throw him up there. That scared everyone up there, a shark thrashing around”.

After getting the 1.3 metre shark on dry land, Mr Kerkhof bled the shark and thought it had gone to the big sea in the sky, when some people arrived and came to see what was going on.

But wait there’s more: the shark bites back

Mr Kerkhof held the shark up in the air, to showcase his catch, when the shark decided to fight back.

“I held it up… and it came back. By then I’d put my clothes back on and he came back for the big snap and just got the edge of my jeans, and I went ‘phew, that was lucky’… It was still kicking around in the front of my car as I’m trying to get home to clean it.”

But while it makes a great story, Mr Kerkhof said others should think twice before attempting the same feat.

“It's not something I'd recommend to do… definitely not, because they’ve got a cartilage in them, not actually bone structure, so they can snap right around and virtually bite their own tail.”

Mr Kerkhof said that the few drinks he’d consumed before attempting to catch the shark with his bare hands probably impaired his judgement somewhat.

“When I sobered up I thought about it and I said you know 'I'm a bit of an idiot doing it'... it's amazing what vodka does...”

As for shark wrestling, Mr Kerkof doesn’t think it will be his next big career move.
“Yeah, we’ll it’s not a real good sport to do,” he said laughing.

 Source; Tim Jeanes ABC Regional Radio Eyre Peninsula & the West Coast SA Friday 16th February 2007


A reading from the funeral service of Horace Darling 1908-1999

Horace was born in Worcester in 1908. Throughout his long life his experiences were many, which he often retold to his family. Stories of his childhood, how he used to call the ferry man over from one side of the river Severn to the other and then run off, usually getting a clip round the ear for his fun. Every day Cycling miles after school delivering bread from his Grandfathers bakery.

Horace was a keen footballer. In his younger years he played for Worcester City Youth verses Worcester Massatusis of America. He was selected for the return match in Massatusis, unfortunately there was always to much work to be done at home.

He moved to London in 1938 with his wife Hilda and his children, Sylvia, Maurice and Mavis.

During the Second World War he worked for Handley Page Aircraft Company. His job involved building bombers and repairing them after the nightly air raids. Due to the importance of his job he was not permitted to join the RAF.

He supported Chelsea football club with a passion, as he did with all sport, there wasn’t a question he couldn’t answer. You even began to enjoy the sport yourself, after listening to his pleasure and enthusiasm.

Horace has seven Grandchildren and fifteen Great Grandchildren. Even though members of his family live all over the country, they have always remained close and in touch.

After visiting Devon many times over the last twenty years, Horace finally moved from London five years ago to live with his daughter Mavis. It was a happy five years, he took great pleasure in going over Dartmoor, it was a bonus if there was a cream tea involved. He spent many a happy hour at Chats corner on Shaldon sea front, watching the boats and chatting to holiday makers.

He enjoyed listening to his music and it was of great comfort to him in his later years.

To Horace his family was everything and I’m sure each member and generation of his family have their own special memory of him which will always remain.

He will be remembered with respect, love and affection for the true gentleman that he was.

Horace Darling. Rest in Peace.

A reading used at Horace’s funeral service 1999


A Short Story on Henry Darling


Henry Darling was born the second child and eldest son of Benjamin and Sarah Darling (nee’ Jefferies). He was born in Worcester, England on 7th December 1825 and baptised on 11th December 1825 in the parish Church of St Peter the Great, Worcester. Little is known of Henry’s early life other than he was one of 12 children and his father was a cordwainer (shoemaker). In the 1841 census, Henry aged 15 was recorded as an apprentice tailor and lived with his parents in Diglis Street, Worcester.

On 25th December 1843 Henry married Rosina Orsmond in the parish Church of St George, Hanover Square, London, England. Why London? Both were minors (under age 21) both are recorded as living in Davies Street (1/4 mile from Hanover Square) and the marriage took place after Banns were called, which mean they’d been in the area for at least three successive Sundays.

Four and a half years after their marriage Henry and Rosina together with their two young daughters Grace aged 3 ½ and Ida aged 1 ¾ set sail for Australia on the SS Sibella departing London on the 6th April 1848 and arriving in Port Adelaide, south Australia on the 16th July 1848.

Their first child born in Australia was a son George born 6 months after their arrival. On George’s birth certificate Henry’s occupation is listed as a tailor. Henry and rosina had eight children, the last pregnancy being twins.

In 1856 the Pauperism List of Wives on Relief – due to husbands at the Gold Diggings, has record number 304 as Rosina Darling, so Henry must have tried his hand at Gold prospecting. It would seem he may have been successful judging by the amount of land he purchased in later years.

Henry purchased a parcel of land number 31 at Medindie on 24th March 1873 for the sum of £250, the land fronted Main North Road and was approximately five acres in area. The memorial for the mortgage of the land states a sum of £50 was to be expended on a dwelling within six months of the purchase date. This could have been the house Henry and Rosina lived in on Main North Road. The Walkerville rate assessment records 1876-1877 for Main North Road, Medindie has record number 249 as Henry Darling owning a four room cottage and sheds on ½ acres with rate value of £12, the next assessment record 250 as Bejamin Darling 2 ½ acres of fenced land rate value £2, record 248 as Three room cottage owned by Henry Darling and occupied by George Darling rate value £8.

The land was re-mortgaged in 1877 for the sum of £260 with the proviso it was to be repaid by 19th January 1881. The money received for this mortgage was probably used to subdivide the land and build the four houses in Darling Street which were named Grace, Ida, Dalia and Rose. Three houses are still standing today (2007).

By Trevor Livingston and Kay Lockley (nee’ Osterstock) Henry’s Great Great Grand Children.


The Darlings reunited by the internet

FAMILY tree enthusiasts from across the UK and Australia have met in Worcester after discovering they were all descended from a city man.

More than 50 members of the Darling family joined a reunion at the Oak Apple pub in Spetchley Road to swap stories about their lives and compare genealogy research.

All those who attended were related to brothers Benjamin and Henry Darling, who were born in Worcester during the 19th century.

Family members have discovered Henry was born in 1825 and baptised in the parish church of St Peter the Great. At the age of 15 he was an apprentice tailor who lived with his parents in Diglis Street.

However, by 1848 he, his wife and two young daughters had set sail on the SS Sibella for a new life in Port Adelaide, South Australia.

Australian records show Henry later became a gold prospector and the family believes evidence of land he bought later proves he must have been successful in his search.

Martin Darling, who is descended from Benjamin, who lived in King Street, Worcester, said: "About five years ago, through the website Genes Reunited, I was contacted by a lady from Melbourne who asked if I was related to the Darlings of Worcester.

"We established we were fourth cousins.

"Then last year I had a call from Adelaide, from another cousin who was coming to England and wanted to meet."

Mr Darling agreed to show his cousin around the city and, in return, he was invited back to Adelaide to meet 60 of Henry's Australian descendants.

This year, the family decided to meet again, with 55 people from travelling from Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Australia for the get-together earlier this month.

Mr Darling, of West Hendred, Oxfordshire, said: "We had a fantastic time. Everyone turned up and we all had something in common - we are all from one family.

"Some hadn't heard of each other before and others hadn't seen each other for more than 60 years."

Source; Alicia Kelly, Worcester News                           Wednesday 30th May 2007


“I dashed into the back garden and saw the bomb go off…..”

An evacuee, sent by his parents from the London blitz to spend most of the war years with relatives in the place of his birth and early childhood, Worcester, has put together some memories of those difficult days.

Maurice Darling recently decided to record his boyhood recollections of wartime stays in the Faithful City – home to generations of his forebears, the Darlings and the Birds.

He has now lived in Swindon for many years but wrote to us wondering whether we would be interested in his wartime memories of Worcester, and I asked him to forward them to me, which he kindly did.

Maurice was born in 1932 in one of a cluster of six small rented cottages in Hylton Road. His parents were Horace Darling, whose family lived for a long time in the Carden Street area, and his wife Hilda, who was from the Bird family of Hylton road.

Her father, Alfred, known to Maurice as “Granddad Bird”, was a wholesale fruit merchant who kept two cart horses and a dray in the same Hylton Road stables as the black funeral horses of Mr Wootton, the undertaker.

Maurice Darling spent his first six years with his parents and two sisters in the Hylton Road cottage which had one room downstairs, plus a larder, and two rooms upstairs. Outside was a yard with a toilet and washroom shared by all the occupants of the cottages.

Since dispatching his wartime recollections, Maurice has also sent me several pages recounting his first six years of life amid the shops, pubs, characters and businesses which then thrived in a well populated Hylton Road. Alas, space does not permit me to include those memories too, save to say that Maurice calculates that, at the time, 14 relatives were living in the Hylton Road area.

It was in 1938 that his family was uprooted and moved to Cricklewood in London where his father got a job in the Handley page aircraft works.

“But when war was declared the following year, our parents sent my sister Sylvia and I back to stay with relatives in Worcester, the Kellys – Aunt Phoebe and Uncle George who lived with their children in a two up, two down cottage in Chequers Lane off Hylton Road.

“I went initially to St Clement’s School but had lessons in makeshift places such as my grandfather’s loft over the stables in Hylton Road and in the front room of Mrs Wootton, the undertaker’s wife.

“Sylvia returned to London and I later went to live with Granddad Bird’s brother George and his wife Annie in Boughton Avenue. I well remember the Meco factory bombing and have a clear memory of the German plane flying over our street. Quite distinctly, I saw a bomb being released, and dashed through into the back garden and saw the explosion as the bomb went off.

“I wanted to go and see what had happened but my Aunt Annie insisted we got into the Morrison shelter in the front room. I remember my uncle George, a veteran of the First World War, telling her it was too late, now that the bomb had already landed. I managed to slip away later to look at the bomb damage,” writes Maurice.

His younger sister Mavis was also sent to Worcester around this time and went to live with relatives named Waldron in Victoria Avenue.

Maurice’s next temporary home was in Stallard Road with his Aunt Nancie whose husband Ralph Bird – brother of Maurice’s mother- was on active service in the army.

“Afterwards, I went to live with my other grandfather, Walter Darling and his second wife Alice in St Paul’s Street and was sent to St Paul’s School where the headmaster was a Mr Darke who was also in the Home Guard.

“There was an air-raid shelter in the school playground but I can’t remember ever having to go into it. We had to carry gas-masks at all times and had collections at school for war savings. When you had collected 15 shillings, you went to see Mr Darke who would give you a savings certificate. We also went pea-picking from school because of the wartime shortage of labour on the land.

“We had gardening lessons too on land at Stanley Road with a teacher named Hicks or Higgs, and one day we went up to nearby Shrub Hill Station to see an ambulance train pulling out for the south coast. After the Normandy LANDINGS, Ronkswood Hospital was used for wounded soldiers, and there were lots of them. You would see them around the city in their blue outfits, and seats were placed at strategic locations with notices saying `Wounded Only.’

“My Uncle, Ralph Bird, a sergeant in the Royal Warwicks, had been wounded and was sent to Ronkswood Hospital, and I walked up there in the hope I might see him, but there were hundreds and hundreds of wounded serviceman.

“Among my other Worcester wartime recollections are of seeing lines of soldiers marching along, passing a cigarette to each other, and of Tiger Moth aircraft flying to and from the airfield at Perdiswell – the sky seemed to be full of them.

“On the Cathedral side of the river, there were some big concrete blocks which, we were told, would be moved into place, if necessary, as enemy tank traps. Later on, when the United States entered the war, Worcester seemed to be full of American soldiers.

“The city, like the rest of Britain, was in darkness at night, and we all had torches to see our way around. Metal bins were in the streets for people to put their scraps in for pig food.

“In all, I spent three separate spells in Worcester, and each time I came back from London things had changed.

“The only news we had about the bombing in London came on the wireless. Whenever the announcer said `there was air activity over southern England last night,’ we knew the capital had been under enemy attack again. I did worry about my parents and family in London every time I heard that statement and obviously looked forward to the next letters from them to know that all was well with them.

“During one of our stays back in London, a V1 just missed our house and killed 10 people in a nearby street. Mum immediately decided Worcester was the best place for my sister and I, and quickly dispatched us back.

“Then one day I was in the street outside my grandparents house when a couple of chaps, coming home from work, quipped to one another: `See you after the war!’ I was mystified by this strange comment as the war had been raging for nearly six years, and went inside to find my grandparents listening intently to the radio. The news had just come through that the Germans had surrendered.

“We had no school next day, and that night I went to the city centre, where the thing I remember most was all the lights. It seemed every house had the curtains open and their lights on. Every street was a blaze of light – such a sharp contrast from all the years of blackout.

“Through the Cornmarket, up to the Cross and along High Street to the Cathedral, people were shouting and singing – it was a great feeling. People went wild,” says Maurice. “On that first day after the war ended, I remember seeing a man selling flags outside a pub in the Cornmarket square.

“I felt so good, and later there was a street party with tables laid out along James Street. The adults put on a good spread of food which must have meant a lot of going without on their part in those times of strict rationing. There were flags hanging all over the place along  the street and out of windows.

“Then one day I came back from school and Gran told me I would be going home. We were given a label with our name and destination on it and went one afternoon to Shrub Hill Station to catch the train. I was surprised to see how many evacuees there had been in Worcester. The station was full of children on their way to London. Coaches picked us up at Paddington and dropped children off at various places. Our parents were waiting anxiously but joyfully outside a school for my sister and me.

“I enjoyed my wartime stays in Worcester – but then I was with relations. It must have been harder for my younger sister Mavis who was aged about five when she came to stay with relatives in Victoria Avenue. She went to Stanley Road School, and I kept in touch and met up with her as often as possible. We were treated very well in Worcester but, of course, missed our parents,” writes Maurice.

He tells me he still has relatives living in Worcester – “lots of them, in fact.”

He adds the information that his father’s mother, Mary Darling, died aged 39 when he was only two as a result of a miscarriage after seeing the horrific aeroplane tragedy on Pitchcroft in 1910. More than 14,000 people had gathered on the racecourse to watch a flying display by a light aircraft, but as it taxied for take-off it veered into the crowd, killing one women and badly injuring several others. Maurice’s ill-fated grandmother was a belated victim of that incident! I have previously given full details of that 1910 tragedy in Memory Lane. Horace Darling, Maurice’s father, died only two years ago, aged 92.

Source; Memory Lane with Michael Grundy. Worcester Evening News, Saturday, May 1st 2004


Aeroplane Disaster Occurring at Pitchcroft, Worcester.

Précis account of reported aeroplane disaster at Pitchcroft, Worcester.

One women was killed and several people injured on the closing day of the Hereford and Worcester agricultural show being held at Pitchcroft when a flight demonstration went disastrously wrong.

14,000 people crowded on to the course in order to see Captain Clayton and his assistant, Ernest D’Artigan close the show with an air display but the flight had to be delayed several times when the excited mass bulged through the safety ropes on to the runway. After a number of appeals by the local police the crowds were largely under control when rain began to fall sharply and Mr D’Artigan decided there was no time to lose if the flight were to go ahead.

The machine had not proceeded far when it was seen to swerve suddenly to the right and into the crowd. Mrs Pitt of Hindlip received the full impact of the plane and was killed. Several others were taken to hospital suffering from cuts, bruises and shock. One old man, struck by part of the aeroplane was thrown inside the tent into Mr E.J Parsons rose display.

(This accident has been said to account for the death of Mary Darling, wife of Walter Darling due to a miscarriage caused by shock, borne out by the announcement of her passing only one week later.)

Source; Worcester Journal, Saturday, June 11th 1910



Darling, at Foundry St on the 20th inst

Mary (Polly), beloved wife of Walter Darling and eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Williams, aged 39. Deeply regretted.

Source; Worcester Journal, Saturday June 25th 1910


Walter James Darling

Mary Elizabeth Darling


The Athenian 30th October 1869 by Ida Amelia Darling 1846-1875


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