THE KELSO EARLDOM OF ANCIENT SCOTLAND
April 25th, 1057 was coronation day for Malcolm 111, King of Scotland. Gathering around him that at the stone of Scone were the principal barons of Scotland. Among them was the Vinget Calco of Chalchou (born 1022). Some 18 years earlier, Calco, Malcolm and the other Scotish nobles had been banished to the north of England at the hands of Macbeth who had assassinated King Duncan of Scotland. Now the nobles had their revenge as Macbeth was slain at the battle of Birmam Wood and the kingdom was restored to the ancient line of Celtic monarchs. That dynasty had begun 843 with Kenneth 1 as the first King to reign over the combined lands of Picts and Scots.
Vignet of Chalchou was from a long line of Celtic barons. The Domain over which he ruled comprised parts of what became the shires of Dumbarton, Lanark, Renfrew and Ayr in the west of Scotland on both sides of the River Clyde. Upon his coronation, Malcolm created the first Earls of Scotland. An Earl was the highest rank a non-royal noble could obtain. Vinget of Chalchou, Major Baron, became the first Earl of Alcluyd. The word Alcluyd means “Hill of Clyde” and when anglicized it is “ Alclyde”. The name was derived from the name of the great manor house of the Earldom on a hill several hundred feet above the north shore of the Firth of Clyde on the east side of the River Leven. The modern city of Dumbarton, a suburb of Glasgow, is located on this site today.
The Celtic word Chalchou derives from a word, which means, “chalk height” and was probably descriptive of the area of residence of Vinget and his predecessors. As
Scotland was gradually anglicized, Chalcchou became Kalchou, Kelsou and finally Kelso. Vingnet of Chalchou was a prominent member of King Malcolm's court and is the earliest member of the Kelso family to be part of recorded history.
When William of Normandy invaded England in 1066, Edgar, heir to the English throne, along with his family fled to Scotland for refuge. Edgar's sister Margaret became the second wife of King Malcolm and under her influence the language and customs of Scotland rapidly became anglicized. Margaret was a pious Christian and began a program of building churches, monasteries and abbeys throughout the country. She enlisted the support of the Earls and Barons who controlled most of the wealth. One of her supporters was the second Earl of Alcluyd Vignet (the son of the first Vignet) whose name appears on the Charter of the Monks of Durham.
In 1124, Madach de Chalchou, Third Earl of Alcluyd, celebrated the coronation of King David 1 by becoming a principal sponsor of the abbey of Kelso. Kelso is the anglicized form of Chalchou and since the abbey was in the English speaking southeastern part of Scotland, it received the spelling originally, more than 170 years before the family name was completely anglicized.
The abbey town of Kelso remains today at the junction of the Tweed and Teviot rivers near the English border. The town of Kelso was never a part of the Kelso domain in Western Scotland.
Roland de Kelsou, fourth Earl of Alcluyd, gained renown by leading the armies of King Malcolm 1V. Roland was slain by the English in a battle near Carlisle in 1188.
John de Kelsou, the sixth Earl of Asceles (Latin for Alcluyd), lived in a manor house near the town of Largs on the shore of the Firth of Clyde. In 1263 The army of Norway picked this spot to launch an invasion to spread their domain in western Scotland and overthrow King Alexander 111. John's oldest son Peter was killed in that invasion, but his second son, Arnald, led a counter attack on the Norwegians and was personally responsible for killing Hakon, the nephew of Norway's King Haco. The Norwegians were soundly defeated and retreated from Scotland. This battle marked the end of centuries of Norwegian (Viking) aggression against England and Scotland.
KELSO TIES TO ROYALTY
The relationship between the Kelsos and the royalty of Scotland and England can be seen clearly by considering the progeny of three Scottish noblemen who were prominent in the last half of the thirteenth century. All three were the heads of families that gained control of adjoining Earldoms in that point of land which is located between the River Clyde on the east and the Firth of Clyde on the west. The three noblemen were Alexander, the fourth High Stewart of Scotland, Robert Bruce V1 and Arnald de Kelsou, the seventh Earl of Asceles. The Stewart and Bruce lines were both descended from French noble families that had accompanied William the Conqueror when he invaded England in 1066. Arnald, as we have seen, was descended from a long line of Celtic Barons of Scotland.
The three families developed close relationships over the next three hundred years through the marriage of Arnalds progeny with those of Alexander and Robert. In the next eleven generations, no less than six men of Arnald's inheriting lines would be marrying daughters descended from Alexander and Robert. After the merging of the Stewart and Bruce family lines there would be four more marriages between the daughters of the merged line and Arnald's direct inheriting line.
FROM TRANQUILITY TO TURMOIL IN SCOTLAND
John de Kelsou, eighth Earl of Asceles, third feudal Lord of Kelsoland, became Lord of the Free Barony of Kelsoland during a period known as Scotland's Golden Age. This was a period of approximately eighty years from 1214 to 1295 in which there were no wars between England and Scotland. This peaceful period began to come to an end in 1286 when the Scottish King, Alexander 111 died in an accident.
The King's only surviving descendant was his granddaughter Margaret who was a three-year old Princess in the Royal family of Norway. The deceased King left no children, brothers, sisters or near cousins to succeed him and soon there were thirteen claimants vying for the throne of Scotland. King Edward 1 of England intervened and claimed the throne for Margaret. He announced that Margaret would become the bride of his son, three year old Edward 11. In this manner he would unite England and Scotland under the Crown of England.
Many of the Scottish noblemen, including the Stewart, Bruce and Kelsou families felt that uniting Scotland and England was better than certain civil war that was rapidly developing among the claimants to the throne. In July of 1290, representatives of King Edward met with the Great Council of Scottish Tenants-in-Chief and an agreement was reached to bring Princess Margaret to Scotland. One of names affixed to this “memorable letter” of the Great Council was that of John Kelsou who signed his name “John de Kelsou, Earl of Asceles”. This is the last occasion upon which written documentation indicates the title of “Earl” in reference to the Kelso family.
Unfortunately, Princess Margaret died on the voyage from Norway to Scotland and the country's political turmoil escalated. In 1295 Hugo de Kelso, Major Baron, Fourth Lord of Kelsoland, succeeded to the Lordship of Free Barony and soon found himself deeply involved in the struggle between the various claimants to the throne. Hugo's cousin John Comyn was one of the claimants. Another was Robert Bruce, first cousin of Hugo's wife Aleonore and a third was Patrick Dunbar, Aleonore's brother! Because of these close relationships among the Scottish nobility, family after family was torn apart in the choosing of sides. It was cousin against cousin and even brother against brother.
A fourth claimant was John Balliol. King Edward 1 intervened again and placed Balliol on the throne. However in exchange for this favour King Edward made Balliol a vassal and claimed Sovereignty of the English Crown over Scotland. Balliol rebelled this humiliation and went to war with King Edward. With Scottish allegiance greatly divided, Balliol and his forces were completely defeated in April of 1296.
Scotland was placed under military occupation and the Stone of Scone was removed to Westminster Abbey, Where it remains to this day Under the English throne.
Hugo de Kelso and others in Western Scotland resisted Edward's rule for about another year, but in July 1297, Kelso and the Bruce and Stewart families all made their submission to King Edward. They promised their allegiance and support to the English King in exchange for full ownership of their lands and titles. However one of their fellow citizens in Ayrshire, William Wallace (Braveheart), refused to submit and was soon at the head of a large army. The English King called upon the Scottish nobles to prove their allegiance by opposing Wallace. Baron Hugo de Kelso, Sir John de Graham and Sir John Stewart joined Wallace in his fight. Hugo left his beautiful manor house overlooking the Firth of Clyde in the care of his wife, Aelenore, his two sons, Richard and Andrew and daughter Aelenore. He would never see them again.
King Edward brought his vast army northward and met the army of William Wallace at Falkirk in July 1298. When the Scottish cavalry saw the overwhelming superiority of the English army, most of them retired from the battlefield without striking a blow. Baron Kelso was among those who chose to remain and fight with the army. The army of Wallace was completely destroyed and Wallace was captured and taken London where he was hanged.
While Wallace had lost the battle, Scotland still waged war, now under the leadership of aelenore's cousin Robert Bruce who was crowned King of Scone in March 1306. Fighting continued for eight more years until King Robert achieved final victory over the English at Bannockburn in June 1314.
In April 1315, Robert called together a Parliament so that he could be officially crowned King of Scotland. Richard de Kelso, fifth Lord of Kelsoland, son of Hugo, was one of the members of that Parliament who signed the deed of ratification which spelled out the order of succession to the throne.
King Robert's second wife, Elizabeth, Gave birth to a daughter Matilda in 1316. Princess Matilda became the second wife of Richard de Kelso, fifth feudal Lord of the Free Barony of Kelsoland. Matilda bore Richard a son John, who became the heir to the Barony of Kelsoland and the progenitor of all future Kelso descendants.
John de Kelso, seventh Lord of Kelsoland (Robert de Kelso, sixth Lord of Kelsoland, had not lived long), married Elizabeth Flemyn, daughter of the Earl of Callander. Their son, Thomas married Elizabeth Flemyn, granddaughter of King Robert 11, son of Princess Marjory. Thereby all subsequent Kelsos became descendants of King Robert Bruce 1 through both his daughter Marjory and Matilda.
It can be said that the Kelsos have lines of kinship from almost all the kings of Scotland and England beginning in the ninth century and extending even into the twentieth century. These lines of kinship and descent are established through six marriages during ten generations of Kelsos extending from John de Kelsou who died in 1291 until Lord Archibald Kelso who died in 1601. There seven traceable lines of descent from seven Scottish Kings who reigned from 843 to 1040. There six lines of descent from eight Kings who ruled between 829 and 1016, and up to sixteen lines of descent from King Robert Bruce 1 and his heirs. Thus the Kelso family has a substantial traceable kinship to virtually all the legitimate royalty of Scotland and England even to the present Royal house of England.
THE COSTLINESS OF KINGLY KINSHIP
As we have seen, the Kelsos were trusted kinsmen to many Scottish Kings. As such they were among those closest to the King during battle or when the King's life was in danger. In October 1346, King David 11 was leading his army at the battle of Neville's Cross near Durham. One of his personal bodyguards was Richard Kelso, son of Robert, sixth Lord of Kelsoland. The English captured King David and Richard was killed trying to protect King David. In 1488, Major Baron John Kelso, n ninth Lord of Kelsoland, was killed while siding with King James 111 against a faction of the Scottish nobility. In 1513, Lord John Kelso, tenth Lord Kelsoland, died along with King James 1V at the Battle of Flodden Field.
It seems the more closely a Kelso was allied to the Royal family, the less opportunity he had to live a life of normal length. It can readily be seen why the Kelso family did not increase numerically until well into the seventeenth century when the Royal relationship was no longer a factor.
RELIGION, POLITICS AND THE LOSS OF THE KELSO'S TITLE
Lord Thomas Kelso, twelfth Lord of Kelsoland, was a member of the Scottish Parliament during the regency of Mary Guise, mother of Queen Mary, in the mid 1500's. Mary Guise was a Catholic and Lord Kelso was a leader of the Protestant opposition. Written records indicate that Lord Kelso “was a man of most energetic character and a zealous adherent to the cause of the Reformed Church”. However, upon young Queen Mary's active ascension to the throne, Lord Kelso gave the new Monarch his complete loyalty during her turbulent reign from 1561 to 1567.
In 1567, Mary was deposed in favour of her one year old son, James V1. Mary was imprisoned for eleven months before escaping to form an army to reclaim her throne. Lord Thomas Kelso's son Archibald joined her army, but it was defeated at the battle of Langsayde in 1568 and Archibald went to prison for a few months.
Lord Thomas Kelso died in 1573 and Archibald succeeded to his father's estate and seat in Parliament. His name appears on the roles of the Scottish Parliaments in the years 1585, 1593, 1595, 1598 and 1600.
Late in life, Archibald married his second wife, Catherine Ruthven. Catherine was the daughter of the Earl of Gowrie who had been executed for high treason in 1584 by King James V1. In 1600, King James was visiting Gowrie Castle and Catherine's two brothers were murdered under mysterious circumstances. The Ruthven family blamed the King for their deaths, but the King claimed that he had merely foiled their attempt to murder him. In 1601, King James called a Parliament and it declared, “forfeit the lands and goods of all the Ruthven family”. Since Archibald Kelso had married a Ruthven, he was stripped of his title, his lands and his seat in Parliament.
A few months later Lord Archibald died as the last Kelso to be a member of titled Scottish nobility. In November 1601, by Royal Decree, the lands of the estate were restored to Lord Archibald's eldest son, David, but there is no written record of the name Kelso having born a title or having a seat in Parliament since that infamous day in 1601. Lord Archibald Kelso was the eighteenth and last of a continuous line of Scottish nobility which had lasted for 543 years.
David Kelso married Elizabeth Stewart, great, great, great granddaughter of King Robert 111 (reigned 1390-1406) and they had two sons, Archibald and Robert. David died in 1610 and Archibald followed in 1613. Robert had a son, Henry, who died without male heirs, so the inheriting line was re-established through Lord Archibald's second son William and William's son Robert.
Even though the Kelsos had lost their claim to nobility, they continued to be involved in the military and political life of Scotland and they continued to suffer the consequences. In 1644 civil war broke out in England, when the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell revolted against King Charles 1. Scotland sent an army of 10,000 men to aid Cromwell. Major Robert Kelso was a member of that army's Cavalry and was subsequently wounded in the battle of Marson Moor in July 1644.
After Oliver Cromwell died in 1658 and the English Crown was restored to King Charles 11. The primacy of the Episcopal Church was re-established and the Government began to punish all those opposed the Church and the Crown. Beginning in 1661, there were twenty-five years of brutal suppression of those who would not conform. According to written records in 1662 Robert of Kelsoland was fined 4,800 pounds and was subjected to other “ruinous fines for harboring persecuted Covenanters”. Kelso's neighbor, William Gordon, was similarly fined and in 1666 his two sons were executed in Edinburgh. Fortunately, that same fate did not befall Robert's sons, John and William.
John Kelso, the eldest son, became the progenitor of the inheriting line. John's descendants tended to remain in the British Isles while those of William migrated to the New World. The written record of John's inheriting line has been carefully preserved down to 1910 when it was in the hands of Captain Barrington Kelso, Royal Navy retired. A letter written in 1909 to Clarence Kelso ( a Kelso researcher in America) indicates that Barrington had no heirs and the family name and title would pass to a cousin. Unfortunately, his letter does not identify the cousin.
In the late 1600's and early 1700's, in the face of religious persecution, many Scottish Presbyterians fled across to the Antrim Mountains of Northern Ireland. William, younger brother of John, was one of those and during the first half of the eighteenth century a number of his descendants migrated to colonial America. Some other members of the various Kelso families also migrated to Australia and New Zealand. By these and other means the number of Kelso families in Scotland were reduced. So much so that the Kelso Clan was reduced to only two or three branches. Two of these left Scotland. One establishing itself in Wales, the other in Cornwall.
The furthest our Kelso family has been traced back so far is to n Edward or Richard Kelso who was born in England or Wales about 1840. His parents names are unknown, but his name was that of quite few Kelsos who had gone before. Unfortunately nothing is known of his life, until he married Caroline Elizabeth Winter (left)
in Cardiff, Wales on 1st October 1864. Caroline was born on 4th December 1842 at Shore, Leith, Scotland, the daughter of John Winter and Isabella nee
After their marriage Robert and Caroline are thought to have lived in Pollock Sheils, Scotland. They must have spent a lot of time in Cardiff, South Wales where Caroline's sister lived, as some of their six children were born there.
Edward/Richard died in the Chalmers Hospital, Edinburgh on 5th September 1888. Caroline died at Blantyre, Scotland in 1919.
CHILDREN OF ROBERT & CAROLINE KELSO
Sarah was probably born in Cardiff about 1863. Nothing further is known.
Caroline Alice 1860-1949
Caroline Alice was born on 24th April 1867 at Cardiff, South Wales. She married Peter Walker on 29th April 1886 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Peter was born on 28th February 1860 in Aidrie, Scotland, the son of Peter Walker and Margaret nee Badenoch. They had fourteen children of which seven died in infancy. In 1926, Peter and Caroline emigrated to the United States of America with all their surviving children. Peter died on 2nd August 1937 at Syracuse, New York. Caroline died on 16th September 1949 at Syracuse, New York.
1. Margaret born in Glasgow, Scotland. Married James Forsyth.
2. Wilamina born in Edinburgh, Scotland, married Edward Mahar.
3. Jean born in Scotland.
4. Richard Kelso born in Scotland in 1891. Died in Greece on 2nd September 1918.
5. Caroline born in Scotland on 12th May 1895. Married Peter Devine.
6. Robert Evans born in Edinburgh, Scotland 25th July 1899. Married Marian Robeson.
7. Joseph born in Glasgow, Scotland on 31st July 1901. Married Marion Moore.
Edward was born at Cardiff, Glamorganshire, South Wales. He married Julia Ann Mills. Edward is covered in more detail later in this chapter.
John was born about 1876. Nothing further is known
Frederick was born in 1878 at South Leith, Scotland. He died in infancy in 1879.
Frederick Kelso (right)
was born on 24th March 1880 at Greenock, Scotland, the twin of Maria. He married May McKillop on 26th June 1912 at Glasgow, Scotland, May was born in 1889 in Scotland, the daughter of Duncan McKillop and Margaret nee
Donat. After their marriage, Frederick and May lived in Pollock Shields, Scotland. They had three children.
1. Ethel born in Glasgow, 17th December 1912.
2. Winifred born in Glasgow, 21st November 1914.
3. Robert Alexander born in 19th October 1917. Married Philomena Margaret Bartrop, 22nd August 1940.
Maria was born on 24th March 1880 at Greenock, Scotland. She married Joseph Porter and had at least one child, Josephine. Nothing else is known.
Robert Andrew 1882 - 1942
Robert Andrew was born in 1882 at Larkhill, Scotland. Married and had one son, Edward and two daughters, Elizabeth and Caroline. The name of his wife is unknown.
Robert Andrew and his brother Frederick had a family business, in Jamaica Street Glasgow, but the type of business is unknown. When Robert Andrew died in 1942. Frederick carried on the family business alone, until the mid 1960's, when the premises in which the business was situated was sold. He could not afford the rents being asked at the time, or the expense of relocating to other premises.
Samuel was born on 8th October 1884 at New Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He died in infancy on 8th March 1886 at Glasgow, Scotland.
KELSO IN AUSTRALIA
Edward Kelso / Elso 1873-1959
Edward Kelso (left)
was born on 17th February 1873 in Cardiff, Glamorganshire, South Wales, while his mother was there visiting her sister.
nothing is known of Edward's early childhood. The first that is known of him is when he went to sea as a rigger in 1897 at the age of fourteen. It is thought that he sailed on the England Australia run for most of his time at sea.
Family legend has it that when he went to sea his mother gave him a bible, in which she hid a pound note. After each voyage she would ask to see the bible to see he had been reading it, by checking if the note was still there, it is not known if it was there or not.
One of the ships in which he sailed was the "LOCH LONG". It was from this ship that he jumped ship at
Geelong, on 13th January 1890. It was at this time Edward dropped the K from Kelso to avoid detection and being returned to the ship.
Family tradition has it that he jumped ship to marry Julia Ann Mills, although they were not married until 9th February 1891, at the Registrar's office at Footscray.
Julia Ann was born at Williamstown on 27th January 1872, the daughter of Noah Mills and Anne formerly Manson nee Nicholls.
Family tradition has it that Edward came to the front door of the boarding house run by the Mills family ( probably looking for accommodation). The door was answered by Julia's sister Alice, who could not understand what Edward was saying, because of his broad Scottish accent. She turned to Julia and said “if you can understand him you can have him”.
On their marriage certificate Edward gave his age as 22 although he was only 18 and Julia gave hers as 18 which was correct. Edward gave his occupation as a seaman, he also signed the register as Edward Elso and it is from this time that the Australian branch of the family has been known as Elso!
Edward was employed as a lighter man at the Colonial Sugar Refineries to ferry cargo to and from ships anchored in Port Phillip bay and the sugar wharves at Yarraville.
Part of the Williamstown Naval Brigade. Edward is front row left
Edward's love of the sea carried over into his leisure time, as he was a member of the Williamstown Naval Brigade.
Edward's other love was pigeons. He was a founding member of the Footscray pigeon club. A family anecdote has it that when one of his pigeons lost a leg, he fashioned one from wood to replace it! His sons Ted, Dick and George were also pigeon enthusiasts.
Just prior to the second world war, Edward went on a visit to Scotland. , returning six months after the war started. He brought back some pigeons, among these were some Queens Loft pigeons. These were placed in quarantine, some of them later being confiscated by the army for use as carrier pigeons.
During the war there was an army truck parked outside the house and two soldiers used to stand guard at the gate. When asked if the pigeons were used to carry messages, Edward would always reply “you don't need to know”. One of Edward's pigeons was supposedly awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, but details of this are to sketchy to verify.
In June 1900, Edward, volunteered for service in the war in China, also known as the Boxer Rebellion. On 7th July 1900 he was among the “brave boys” at a send off at the Williamstown Mechanic's Institute, with much patriotic feffffeRorer and toasts to the empire.
The contingent then embarked on the steam ship "Salamis", calling at Sydney, then on to Hong Kong, were they were issued with Martini Henry rifles. From Hong Kong, they proceeded to the Chinese port of Taku where they boarded lighters for the trip up the Pei-Ho river to Tientsin, around which they fought in a number of engagements.
The Victorian Naval Contingent arrived home from China in May 1903, and in a ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall were presented with campaign medals for the part they had played in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion.
Family tradition has it that Edward also fought in the Boar war, but as he was in China at the time, this is impossible.
Edward must have liked a fight, because on 10th February 1916 he enlisted in the A.I.F. giving his age as 42, when he was actually 44. He was allotted the service number V20394 and assigned to A Company, 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion.
He embarked aboard the troopship "Wandilla" on 6th June 1916, arriving in Plymouth England on 26th July 1916, having called at Capetown on the way. He proceeded to France on 24th November 1916.
Edward served out the whole of World War 1 without being wounded. He returned to Australia aboard the Hospital transport ship "Gaika", arriving in Melbourne on 5th July 1918, suffering from Chronic Nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys). He was discharged on 23rd July 1918 as medically unfit.
For his service he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
During his stay in Britain, Ted went up to Scotland to see his family. While there he asked one of his sisters to look after a new pipe he had bought at Capetown on the way to England. He never got the chance to get it back, because he was shipped home from France without getting the chance to see his family.
Edward also tried to volunteer for the army in the 2nd World War, but they threw him out of the enlistment office. Telling him to “go home you silly old bugger”.
After the end of World War 1. Edward returned to his job at Colonial Sugar Refineries, where we worked until his retirement.
After he retired from Colonial Sugar Refineries in 1938 he took a trip back to Scotland to see his family. When he called to see his sister she said “ well Ted now that your back , I suppose you want that pipe you asked me to keep for you”? She had kept it nicely packed away in a little box for 33 years. Edward returned from Scotland in 1940 aboard the “Orama”. Soon after his return he got a job at the Skipping Girl vinegar factory in Abbotsford, and at the age of 74, would ride his bike from his home in South Kensington, where he had moved some years previously, to work and back each day. Even at the age the ripe old of 84 he would still ride his bike to see his children and grandchildren at Yarraville.
His wife Julia Ann (right) died on 7th November 1931, and is buried at Footscray Cemetery.
Edward married again when he was 67. He married Alice Margaret formerly Williams nee Pullinger at North Melbourne on 26th March 1940. Alice was aged 59, she was born at Port Melbourne, Victoria in 1881, the daughter of John Pullinger and Margaret nee Koford. It was after this 2nd marriage Edward moved to South Kensington.
Alice died at Melbourne in 1958 aged 76. Edward died of heat exhaustion and pneumonia at the Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg on, 20th January 1959, aged 86. He is buried at Footscray Cemetery.
Edward and Julia had twelve children. Julia also had a child in 1888, that died in 1889. This child was named Ethel May Mills. The father's name is not recorded, could she have been fathered by Edward when he was in Melbourne on an earlier voyage?
CHILDREN OF EDWARD & JULIA ELSO
Edward was born in Footscray in 1891, he lived less than three years dying in Footscray in 1893.
Leslie Charles Thomas 1894-1915
Leslie Charles Thomas was born in Footscray in April 1894. Nothing is known of Leslie's early life, until he enlisted in the A.I.F. on 18th September 1914 at the age of 20. He enlisted at Morphettville in South Australia, the reason for him being in South Australia is unknown, but as he gave his occupation as Station hand on his enlistment papers, it is presumed he was working on a sheep station some where in South Australia.
After his enlistment Leslie was sent to do his basic training at Broadmeadows in Victoria, where he was issued with service number 1863. Leslie was taken on strength into the 16th Battalion and proceeded to England. However because of the situation in the Dardanelles, they were diverted to Egypt, arriving there 12th April 1915. By this time Leslie had attained the rank of Sergeant.
Leslie was not in the dawn landing at Gallipoli. The records state that he landed on the shores of Gallipoli at 5-30 pm on 25th April 1915, with the 16th Battalion of the 4th Infantry Brigade. On Sunday 2nd May 1915 he was ordered with the men under his command to the forward trenches to take part in what was to become known as the battle of “ Baby 700”, where he was shot and killed.
At the Military Court of inquiry, a witness, Pte. T. W, Jones says that Elso was in the charge on 2nd May and he had scarcely got into the firing line before he was hit by a bullet, but witness say whether he was wounded badly or not, but he seemed to be badly wounded. Witness asked him where he had got it, but he said “ I have stopped one”, but he did where. He could walk with rests and flopped down beside witness, who told him to go down into the gully. Witness did not see him again as he was shifted further down into the gully, to the left. Wirtness says Elso was a Sergeant.
Witness: - Jones Pte. T. W. 1288 16th A.I.F
Tel El Kabir
Leslie is buried in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Gallipoli. For his service he was posthumously awarded, the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, these being sent to his father along with a memorial plaque and memorial scroll. He was also later awarded the Gallipoli Commemorative Medal. This being given to a family member.
Left to Right 1914-15 Star British War Medal Victory Medal Gallipoli Medal
Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli
Richard Edward 1896-1964
Richard Edward was born in Yarraville, 28th March 1896. Nothing is known of Richard's early life. He also served in World War 1, in the Royal Australian Navy, he joined 10th August 1914, receiving his basic training at HMAS “Cerberus” (depot). At the end of his training he was posted to the flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, the battle cruiser HMAS “Australia” (below), with the rank of stoker. His service number was 3990.
While serving aboard this ship he missed out on being engaged in the only major engagement fought between the British and German fleets during the war, the battle of Jutland which was fought on 31st May 1916. The reason being that the “Australia” was involved in a collision with another ship on the way out of Scapa Flow. However the “Australia” took part in a battle off the Falkland islands in the South Atlantic. It would have been a horrific experience, as during the battle Richard and all the other crewmen in the engine room would have been sealed in behind watertight doors deep in the bowels of the ship, not knowing how the battle was going, or if the next shell from an enemy ship was going to blow them all to kingdom come. Richard was honorably discharged from the Navy on 20th August 1919. For his service he received the War Medal, Victory Medal and Returned Sailors Badge.
Richard married Hilda Alice Bolan, in 1920. Hilda was born in Stawell, Victoria in 1897, the daughter of William Bolan and Elizabeth Helen nee Clarke. They had two children. Ernest Leslie, born at Yarraville in 1925. Died at Yarraville in 1979 and Betty Thelma, born at Yarraville in 1930. Died at Spotswood in 1972.
Richard died at Footscray 1st June 1964. He is buried in the Footscray Cemetery. Hilda died at Yarraville on 23rd March 1972 and is also buried in the Footscray Cemetery.
Daisy Caroline 1898-1946
Daisy Caroline was born in Yarraville on 17th September 1898. She married Leon Ernest George Donne in 1919. Leon was born in Williamstown, Victoria in 1898 the 2nd son of James Warrington Donne and Mary Elizabeth nee Johnson.
Daisy Caroline died at Yarraville on 17th April 1946. Leon died at Newport in 1967. They are both buried at Footscray Cemetery. Leon and Daisy had two children.
1. Nancy Daisy. She married Laurence Tweedly. They had one son, Richard.
Nancy died at Bendigo, Victoria on 20th July 1994.
2. Caroline. She married William Ritter.
Edward Noah 1900-1978
Edward Noah Elso (left)
was born at Yarraville on 14th September 1900. He married Lucy Wall, the daughter of Thomas Wall and Lillian nee
Parry, at the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church in 1922. Shortly after their marriage Edward and Lucy moved to Flemington, where the first of their children was born. They later moved to Newmarket and then Moonee Ponds.
Edward worked all his life at Mackay Rubber Industries. He was also a member of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party, and often served as minutes Secretary at the annual State Conferences.
He was a member of the Federated Rubber and Allied Workers Union, and was the shop steward at Mackay Rubber.
In 1961 he was awarded an Honorary life membership of the union. He was also an umpire in the Footscray District Industrial Cricket Umpires Association, for which he also received a life membership award.
Edward died at Natimuk, Victoria on 6th September 1978 while staying with his daughter Iris. He was there recuperating from Cerebral Thrombosis. He was cremated two days later at Springvale Cemetery.
Lucy died at her home in Dickens street, Moonee Ponds on 18th April 1985 and was also cremated at Springvale Cemetery. Edward and Lucy had six children.
CHILDREN OF EDWARD & LUCY ELSO
Pearl May 1924-
Pearl May was born on 27th March 1924 at Flemington. She married George Robert Gordon at Ascot Vale on 3rd March 1945. Pearl's story is covered in the Gordon part of this history.
Iris Lillian 1926-
Iris Lillian was born at Newmarket on 27th July 1926. She married Erwin Ziersch. Iris became a nurse and is the matron in charge at the Natimuk hospital.
Ronald William 1928- 1987
Ronald William was born at Moonee Ponds on 16th July 1928. He married Phyliss Stanton at St.Monica's Church, Moonee Ponds on 19th October 1957. Ronald and Phyliss moved to Maryborough, where Ron was a postman. He died at Maryborough on 23rd June 1987. They had six children. Jennifer, Shauna, Robyn Mark, Bernadette and Catherine.
Noel Richard 1936-
Noel Richard was born at Moonee Ponds on 28th March 1936. He married Ruth May Naylor at St.Monica's Church, Moonee Ponds in June 1967. They have two children.
1. Daniel Noel born on 12th February 1970. Married Linda George.
2. Sharon Lee born on 9th July 1972.
Derek Edward 1936-
Derek Edward born at Moonee Ponds on 28th March 1936, the twin of Noel. He married Claire Menzies at St.Columbs' Church, Brisbane, Queeensland on 7th October 1972.
Derek runs his own taxi truck business and lives in Cottles bridge, Victoria.
Leslie Raymond 1940-
Leslie Raymond was born at Moonee Ponds on 26th July 1940. He married Margaret Wood at St. Mary's Church, North Melbourne on 11th January.
Left Margaret Elso nee Wood
CHILDREN OF EDWARD & JULIA ELSO Cont.
John Frederick 1902-1975
John Frederick was born at Yarraville on 16th July 1902. He married Adelaide Marie Robbins nee Versi at the Baptist house Collingwood, Victoria on 5th June 1929. Adelaide was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 8th March 1902.
John Frederick died at Laverton on 10th November 1975 and is buried at Footscray Cemetery. Adelaide died at Yarraville, 20th November 1965 and is also buried at Footscray Cemetery. John and Adelaide had two children.
Lesley Jewel born 20th April 1930. Lesley became a nurse and while on an exchange program to the U.S.A. with the World Federation of Nurses, met Aurelius “Duke” Sofia Jr. They were married at St.Julian's Catholic Church in West Palm Springs, Florida on 29th October 1955. “Duke” was born in Brooklyn, New York on 26th November 1928, the son of Aurelius Sofia and Henrietta nee Petrillo.
Lesley and Aurelius have five children.
1. Michael Aurelius born at West Palm Beach, Florida on 15th July 1956. Married Doreen Marie Cappelli.
2. Maria Angela born Landstuhl, Germany on 11th August 1962. Married Carl Stone.
3. Regina Anne born Landstuhl, Germany on 10th January 1959. Married Brian Hudson.
4. Frances Theresa born Landstuhl, Germany on 10th February 1959. Married Samuel Wayne Miller.
5. Mark John born Fort Belvoir, Virginia on 10th February 1960. Married Ann Mary Olson.
John and Adelaide's 2nd child, John Edward was born at Yarraville in 1933. He married Beulah Hardy. They have three children. Clinton John, born in 1953, Tracy-Lea, born in 1962 and Kellie-Jane, born in 1967.
Julia Ann 1904 - 1970
Julia Ann Elso (left)
was born Yarraville on 7th April 1904. She married John Graham in Toorak, Victoria on 27th May 1942. John was born in Gatehead, Durham, England on 25th February 1889. John and Julia had two children.
1. Jeanette Ann, born at Caulfield on 23rd January 1948. She married John Grose on 21st December 1966. This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage. Jeanette married David Brian Heath in Brisbane, Queensland on 29th December 1982.
David and Jeanette have two children. James Alexander, born at Melbourne, on 23rd January 1980 and Eleanor Jane, born at Melbourne on 10th June 1982.
2. Margaret Alice, born at North Brighton 9th October 1950. Married Alan Rudge at Kangaroo Ground 1 November 1969. Alan was born at Hartlepool, England, on 28th May 1948. They have two children. Tansy, born at Preston on 4th March 1976. Tansy and her partner Simon Matthews have one son, Jonah, born at Perth, West Australia on 5th March 1999. Alan and Margaret's 2nd child, Geordie was born at Greensborough on 12th August 1978 and is not married.
John died at Heidelberg, Victoria on 30th September 1967. Julia died at the Austin hospital, Heidelberg on 29th March 1970.
Robert Joseph 1906-1974
Robert Joseph Elso (left)
was born at Yarraville on 22nd February 1906. He married Myrtle Daphne May Bright at the Presbyterian Church, Brunswick on 14th July 1928. Myrtle was born on 9th May 1909 at Collingwood, the daughter of Samuel Bright and Bertha nee
White. Robert shared his fathers interest in pigeon breeding and racing and was a member of the Yarraville Homing Club. Robert and Myrtle had three children.
1. Etheleen Amelia, born at the Royal Women's Hospital on 28th August 1929. She married Murdoch Alexander Macdonald at Yarraville on 16th October 1948. They have seven children. Thomas Robert, Lorraine Mavis, Denise Gail, Norman Alexander, Joanne Lee, Russell John and Bruce Duncan.
2. Myrtle Nancy Dawn born at Yarraville on 11th June 1932. She married Kenneth Jackson at Yarraville on 18th May 1957. They have four children. Wayne Robert, Mark Elliot, Cherylee Ann and Matthew Kenneth.
3. Robert Charles Edward, born Yarraville 6th November 1934. Married Joan Gladys Campbell at Essendon 27th September 1958. They have one child. Carlolee.
Robert Joseph died at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville on 22nd June 1974. He is buried at Footscray Cemetery. Myrtle died at Moonee Ponds on 5th February 1997. She is also buried at Footscray Cemetery.
Mary Mather 1908-1984
Mary Mather was born at Yarraville on 8th August 1908. She married Frederick Bradley in 1926. Mary died at Coburg on 8th August 1984. Frederick died at Dandenong in 1978. They only had the one son, Edward Frederick, born in 1929, died at Heidelberg in 1954.
Henley was born at Yarraville on 23rd October 1909. He married Edith Cavell Jackson at Holy Trinity Church, Northcote on 16th December 1926. Edith was born at Northcote, Victoria on 26th May 1916, the daughter of John Henry Phillips Jackson and Edith Isabella nee
Sonnett. Henley died at the Dandenong Hospital on 2nd November 1972. He is buried at Springvale Cemetery. They had four children.
On 28th January 1978 Edith married Reginald Theodore Hine at Cranbourne. Reg was born at Meeniyan, Victoria in 1908 He died at Cranbourne on 6th July 1994 and was cremated at Springvale on 11th July 1994.
(left) Henley Elso & Edith nee Jackson
CHILDREN OF HENLEY & EDITH ELSO
John Edward 1939 -
John Edward born at the Royal Women's Hospital on 24th February 1939. Married June May Hector at St. John's Church, Cranbourne, Victoria. June was born at the Royal Women's Hospital on 3rd August 1939, the daughter of George Henry Hector and Isabella Victoria Lilly Forscutt. John and June live in Wodonga, where John works at the local hospital. John and June have four children.
1. Deborah Anne, born at Berwick, Victoria on 1st June 1955. Married Geoffrey Gordon Savage at St. John's Church of England, Cranbourne on 10th May 1975. Geoffrey was born at Stawell, Victoria on 9th November 1953, the son of Stanley Savage and Edith nee Bruggman. Geoffrey and Deborah have three children. Cameron Geoffrey, born at Dandenong on 3rd December 1980, Reece John, born at Dandenong on 11th February 1983 and Brenton Stanley, born at Dandenong on 29th February 1984.
2. Christopher John, born at Berwick on 2nd April 1963.
3. Richard James, born at Berwick on 2nd April 1963. Died at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne on 4th April 1963
4. Michael Henley, born at Berwick on 16th November 1965. Married Tracey Michelle Kennedy at All Saints Church, Greensborough on 19th November 1988. Tracey is the daughter of Brian James Kennedy and Merle Lillian nee Trenerry. Michael and Tracey have one child. Daniel Michael born at Noble Park, Victoria on 2nd October 1992.
Donald Alexander 1940 -
Donald Alexander was born on 29th August 1940. Married Beverley Joy Ferguson at the Presbyterian Church, Dandenong, Victoria on 24th January 1959. Beverley was born at The Royal Women's Hospital on 24th January 1942, the daughter of Gladstone Ferguson and Joyce nee Garrett. Donald and Beverley have four children.
1. Laurie Daryl, born at Dandenong on 17th July 1959. Married Deborah Ellen Donnelly at the Presbyterian Church, Cranbourne on 19th March 1983. They have three children, all born at Frankston. Robert Angus born 13th October 1984, Catrina Louise born 20th September 1985 and Shannon Marie born 15th July 1988.
2. Erin Jane, born at Dandenong on 16th November 1960. Married Wayne Methven at the Presbyterian Church, Cranbourne on 17th December 1988. They have two children. Lucas Samuel born at Dandenong on 17th March 1990 and Jessica Lee born at Dandenong on 4th August 1991.
3. Victor Raymond, born at Dandenong 21st July 1963.
4. Jason Dameane, born at Dandenong on 27th November 1972. Married Linda Ann Hauselberger. Linda was born at Oakleigh, Victoria on 6th November 1975. They have one child. Courtney Ann born at Dandenong on 30th December 1992.
Graham Henley 1944 -
Graham Henley born at home at Footscray on 12th March 1944. Married Hazel Ivy Mooney at St. John's Church, Cranbourne on 28th November 1964. Hazel was born in August 1945, the daughter of Mervyn Mooney and Muriel nee Thoroughgood. Graham and Hazel have four children. Rodney Graham born at Dandenong on 11th July 1965, Stephen Anthony born at Dandenong on 25th July 1966. Died at Flynn, Victoria on 1st November 1983, Sharon Marie born at Dandenong on 13th March 1969 and Dianne Sue born at Dandenong on 16 June 1971.
Ian Douglas 1946 -
Ian Douglas was born at home at Footscray on 26th March 1946. Married Judith Anne Trounson at St. Thomas' Church, Langwarrin, Victoria on 18th September 1965. Judith was born on 3rd September 1946, the daughter of Charles Trounson and Sylvia nee Mills. Ian and Judith have two children. Mark Ian born at Melbourne on 28th April !972 and Sylvia Cavell born at Melbourne on 28th June 1977.
CHILDREN OF EDWARD & JULIA ELSO Cont.
George Albert 1911-1975
George Albert was born at Yarraville on 10th May 1911. He married Lucy Kift. Lucy was born at Ballarat, Victoria in 1915, the daughter of Thomas Joseph Kift and Mary Jane nee Walters,
George was a butcher by trade, he had his own shop near the railway line in Yarraville. The sign is still over the shop, although it is no longer a butcher's shop.
George died on 14th April 1975. They only had the one known child, Neil George, who was born and died at Footscray in 1954.
Alice Isobel 1912-1974
Alice Isobel was born at Yarraville on 9th October 1915. She married Frederick Hester.
Alice worked at the Footscray Baths. She was an excellent swimmer and all round sportswoman. While in her teens she declined an offer to play for the interstate hockey team, as she was already committed to the interstate basketball and cricket teams.
Frederick died at Bendigo in 1966. Alice died at Bendigo on 18th December 1974.
Edward and Julia Elso and Family