2011BlencoweAlanSml.jpg 

Thomas William Blencowe 2nd m. Florence Rosetta Tull

22 Jun 1893, Greenwich, London, England - 25 Dec 1971, Mount Lawley, Western Australia


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Adam de Blencowe abt 1310,Blencow

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John Blencowe bef 1446, Marston Saint Laurence

John Blencowe abt 1460, Marston Saint Laurence

Thomas Blencowe abt 1475, Marston Saint Laurence

John Blencowe 1510, Marston Saint Laurence

John Blencowe 1553, Marston Saint Laurence

John Blincowe 1575, Marston Saint Laurence

John Blencowe 1604, Marston Saint Laurence

Francis Blincoe 1639, Purston

John Blincoe 1687, Hinton in the Hedges

Timothy Blencowe 1726 d. Brackley

Robert Blencowe 1767, Brackley

 

 

 

/Bicester Close DNA link about 9 generations back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--->

son of Francis?? DNA link

William Blincow abt 1702, Launton

William Blencowe 1735, Launton

Thomas Blincowe 1761, Bicester

James Blinco 1790, Bicester

Thomas Blencowe 1827, Bicester

Thomas William Blencowe 1857, Bicester

Thomas William Blencowe 1893, Greenwich

 

Download BlencoweArchive_BlencoweThomasWilliam1893.zip

Thomas William Blencowe II

Documents available to family members:
Page from Birth index - 1893 Greenwich, 2nd qtr
1901 Census London, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, 23 Clarence Street (now Canon Beck Road)
Reference "Felix Lowy" Tailors to Royalty in India & Afghanistan" 8 Feb. 1912
Army pay book WW1
Furlough document 20 Dec 1916
Marriage Certificate 3 Feb 1917
Page from Marriage register 1st qtr 1917
Certificate - Signalling Examiners Badge 18 May 1917
Certificate - Assistant instructor of Signalling 15 Jul 1917
Certificate of Employment During The War - Sep 1918 (cold storage hand bef. war)
Protection & ID Certificate 20 Feb 1919
Transfer to Army Reserve 22 Mar 1919
Discharge document cover 22 Mar 1919
Details of Service - R A Records Office - Woolwich 8 Feb 1928
WW2 CMF Pay book
Certificate of Discharge WW2 CMF - enlisted 14 May 1942 to 1 Mar 1944
Perth, Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website 25 Dec. 1971 Dispersed at Karrakatta Cemetery

 

 Thomas was born 22 Jun 1893 in Greenwich, London at his grandparents home and his parents moved to Rotherhithe soon after.  He grew up at 23 Clarence Street, Rotherhithe, S.E.16 (now Canon Beck Road) the present location of the Rotherhithe Tunnel air vent but by the 1910 census the family had been moved to 11 Temeraire St.

 

Thomas went to Albion St School in Rotherhithe where he achieved excellent results earning a book prize which his son still has.  As a young man, he resigned from Felix Lowy, (tailors to royalty in India and Afghanistan) in 1912, and travelled in New South Wales where he worked as a teacher’s aide.

 

He returned to England and within two weeks of the start of WW1, enlisted in the army 28th August 1914 as a gunner.  As one of the "Old Contemptibles", he was wounded in France, transferred to the reserve, retrained as a signaller and returned to service in France. He married Florence Rosetta Tull on the 3rd of February 1917 in the United Methodist Free Church.  She grew up in the next street and went to school and to the same church with him.

WW1 British War Medals (Old Contemptibles received three)

 

 

Tom and Flo with their two sons migrated to Western Australia on the "Hobsons Bay", leaving England on the 27th of November 1923 and on the 21st of February, 1924, they were appointed to Group 96, location 8233 but left that group in april 1925 and were re-appointed to group 108, location 9909 and on the 21st of April 1927, location 9853 was added (next door and adjacent to the state forest).


They found themselves in Karri bushland with 50 metre trees.  There were no schools. Each group of 20 families worked together to clear the land (and ringbark the trees) and then the farms were allocated by ballot.

 

Flo told me she subsequently returned to England with her sons, William Thomas and Herbert John (left her husband) but picketed Australia House for about six months because they had promised schools and had not delivered. She subsequently returned to Northcliffe and had her third child.  After some time not coming up with a name for the baby, the brothers suggested he be named after Stan Beeby, the boy on the next farm (also group 108, loc. 9909) so "Stanley" it was and call him that if you dare.

 

The Londoners with no experience set up a dairy farm 230 miles from the Perth market and supplied butter and cream to the dairy at Brunswick Junction by train.  Stan remembers as a small boy, his father used to give him milk from the cows and he poured it into a tree stump.


Thomas' sister Rose Jane and husband Arthur Charles Scanlan also came out to the group settlement scheme on the "Hobson's Bay" but a year later, leaving England on the 25th of March 1924 and joined Group 98, Location 8586 but they left on the 31st of March 1927 and Arthur, not being able to find work in Perth during the depression, was sent to the bush to make roads and settled in Donnybrook.



 

 

The boys had to walk five miles to school each day and often took their three year old brother Stan because mum was busy on the farm.  Bill and Bert were mentioned in the Sunday Times at the time when they went fishing and were lost in the tall timber for two days.  They were with another boy who was sure he knew the way back and led them the wrong way.  Eventually they were found by a man with a bugle.  Bert related recently that the other boy was older and new to the area and insists they could have got home OK if Harry hadn't insisted that he knew where he was going and followed the wrong branch of the creek. (9 Feb 1930 - Bill was 11 and Bert was 10)




Bob the horse was lent to a neighbour and worked so hard he came back badly injured and had to be shot.  The family were not able to replace him and so managed the farming by hand.



Subsequently the cattle got into the fresh bracken fern during the depression and all died, the Blencowe’s then walked off the farm as did many others and moved to the suburb of Subiaco in Perth, Western Australia.  My grandfather worked for the rest of his working life as a painter. He enlisted in the AIF during WW2 as a signaller serving in Meekatharra and Darwin.  Tom was in Darwin during the last bombing raid.

 

 

Tom also volunteered quickly for WW2 was accepted into the signals but because he lied about his age stayed within Australia and was kicked out before the end.  He served at a supposedly secret location at Lesmurdie in the hills above Perth then at the RFDS base at Meekatharra.  After that, he was  transported in a 6000km in a cattle truck, back to Perth, across the Nullabor and up to Six Mile Well in the Northern Territory (open location in google earth), which is about 80km from the Western Australian border,  600km south of Darwin and 8 km from any road.  Finally, he was in Darwin during the last air raid which would have been the 12th of November 1943.  Tom was a chain smoker but for a boy who was born pidgeon chested and not expected to live, managed to live to the age of 79.  As a boy, he never smoked but in the trenches of the Somme, soldiers (and nurses) were encouraged to smoke to control nerves and it got him hooked.  After a series of strokes, he was reduced to a vocabulary of two phrases, "cuppa tea" and "Women!"  Fortunately Flo wasn't bothered because she was partly deaf and she could still talk the leg off an iron pot.

 

Flo had taken piano lessons for six months and after that had taught herself, so in Northcliffe, she played at the Borara schoolhouse for the local dances.  She subsequently became the organist at Mount Hawthorn Baptist Church for about 40 years.  She was a well liked person and was known for her offbeat phrases such as "I'll see you on the Christmas tree" and "I'm as silly as a wheel".  She would often catch the bus to her son's home with "I've just come to see if you're still alive".

 

When living in the Church of Christ retirement homes at Mount Lawley, two Jehova's Witnesses were silly enough to come onto the property and knock on her door.  She invited them in and politely refused their copy of the watchtower claiming she had read it.  She then proceeded to introduce them to all of her family and then offer them Baptist tracts.  I remember they were squirming to move toward the door and they never came back.  She lived to the age of 91 and was extremely active right up until the last few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sons of Thomas and Flo

 

 

William Thomas (right)

 

Herbert John (Bert, left) 1919-2013 (zipfile)

 

Stan (centre)

 


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