|Ray Jerrems, Our Genealogist, Historian||
This article is a collection of information about Henry Herbert Jerrems, the grandfather of our readers Anita Veale (nee Jerrems) and Ken Jerrems and the great grandfather of Ben, Tate and Emma. This is my first article about the 'Melbourne' side of the Jerrems family, the impetus for writing the article having come from Anita, who recently supplied me with documents and photos.
For the sake of convenience I have also included some information about Henry's parents, Robert Cane and Alice.
Sources of information
My main source of information is the research carried out by Noel and Laurel Burns in 2000. I have supplemented this information with my own research and the information and photos passed on to me by Anita.
Robert Cane Jerrems (Henry's father)
Robert, Henry Herbert's father, was the 'founding father' of the Melbourne branch of the Jerrems family, being a member of the Jerrems family which migrated to Victoria in the 1850s and settled in Richmond. He was born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire in 1849, his parents being Thomas Clarke and Elizabeth Jerrems (nee Jepson). My great grandfather Charles) was his brother, as was Donald's great grandfather (William George). Thomas died in 1866 but Elizabeth outlived some of her children, dying in 1902.
In 1870 Robert married Alice Rigg, who was born in 1850 in County Cumberland, England (on the Scottish border) and her Scottish parents were Thomas and Agnes Rigg (nee Carter). He died in 1888.
Robert and Alice had 6 children, Edwin (1871-1929), Edith Alice (1873-???), William George (1875-1937), Gertrude Amelia (1877-1951), Henry Herbert (1881- 1928) and Alfred Robert Cain (1883-1940).
After Robert died in 1888 in Richmond his widow Alice remarried in 1896, to James Alexander Newlands (b1829 in Scotland, father William Newlands). James died in Richmond in 1905, aged 76, leaving Alice a widow once again. She died in 15th April 1919.
Henry 's marriage and children
Born in Richmond in 1881, in 1903 Henry married Marion Elizabeth Beddome (she was born in Richmond in 1884, her parents being William John (born in New York) and Elizabeth Beddome (nee Sayce).
Henry and Marion had 4 sons (all of whom were born in Richmond except Arthur Ernest, born in Caulfield): Henry 'Harry' Beddome (1904-1955), Leonard William (1906-1982), Arthur Ernest (1910-1986) and Eric Alfred Sayce (1917-1970). Incidentally, Harry married Gladys Burns, the sister of Noel Burns who carried out the research on the Jerrems family.
Henry's Occupations and Addresses
1903 Electoral Roll, 78 Bridge Road Richmond West, Painter
1909 Electoral Roll, 6 Strode Street, Richmond, Painter (see photo of house)
1914 Electoral Roll, 33 Little Lennox Street, Richmond, Newsagent
July 1915 Army Enlistment Application, 14 Derby?? Street, Richmond, Clerk
January 1917 Army Enlistment Application 1 Botherambo Street Richmond, Newsagent (see photo of house)
1919 Electoral Roll, 1 Botherambo Street, Richmond, Soldier.
Mid 1920s Employed as typesetter by Melbourne 'Argus'.
1928 Death Notice, 9 Union Street, Richmond (see photo of house)
Note: Two of Henry's brothers (including Edwin) were also shown as painters living in Richmond in the Electoral Rolls (Alfred, painter in 1909, 1914, 1919, labourer 1931, 1936), Edwin (painter in 1909, 1914, and 1919), so it is possible that the 3 brothers worked together.
The house at Strode St was a modest little single storey weatherboard house. The larger single storey weatherboard house at Botherambo St would have been a welcome change now that there were 4 boys in the family. The final house at Union St was a pretty 2 storey weatherboard house (complete with 'lace' verandah fencing) typical of the 'terrace houses' which were so popular in the inner suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney in the late 1800s.
Henry's War Service in France
The following is a summary of Henry's war record; I have compiled a full account for readers who wish to see it.
Henry first enlisted in July 1915 and was drafted as a reinforcement for the 29th Battalion. He was discharged due to ill health in March 1916. His medical report at the time of enlistment shows that he was of medium build (5ft 6 inches, 9 stone 5 lbs, chest 32-34 inches and half inches), complexion sallow, eyes grey, brown hair, Presbyterian.
Henry enlisted again in January 1917 and was drafted as a reinforcement for the 38th Battalion.
At all stages he was listed as a private.
He embarked from Melbourne for England in June 1917 and trained in England until late December, when he was sent to France to reinforce the 38th Battalion. .
Belgium had been the focus of the 38th Battalion's activities when Henry joined it, until it was rushed south to France in late March 1918 to meet the German Army's massive Spring Offensive. The Allies were flung back over the areas they had conquered at great loss over the previous years, however the Allies countered this by launching their own offensive on 8 August 1918. Henry's Battalion was also involved in an ill-conceived attack that failed to capture the village of Proyart on 10 August. Undaunted, the battalion continued to play an active role throughout August and early September in the 3rd Division's advance along the notorious Somme Valley, where the fighting was fierce.
Shortly after this (on 23.9.18) he went to hospital with myalgia (muscle soreness), spending a total of a little over 5 months in hospital. By the time he was discharged from hospital the war had of course ended and a few months later he returned to Australia, disembarking in Melbourne on 8.6.19. His family's happiness at his return would have been tinged with some sadness because his mother Alice had passed away about 7 weeks earlier.
In due course Henry was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The fact that Henry spent 5 months in hospital in France indicates that his war service had taken a heavy toll on him, and this may have carried over to his civilian life later, as it did with my grandfather. A note from Joyce Jerrems passed on to me by Anita Veale refers to Henry as having retired from working at the 'Argus' newspaper due to gas damaged lungs ('gas' being poison gas released by the Germans).
Over 300,000 Australians volunteered to serve on the Western Front in the First World War, and over 50,000 were killed and a similar number were wounded or injured. There were also a large number who were 'gassed', many of whom were treated in the field and not recorded in the Army's medical records. In many cases the after-effects of the gassing lasted for years, culminating in death from lung problems.
Henry was one of many heroes who volunteered to serve their country, and finally paid the price. We will remember him.
The Jerrems Tree Grows
In the January edition of the Journal we referred to Helen Mitchell, who is a great great grand- daughter of Robert Cane Jerrems (her great grandfather Edwin being a son of Robert). Helen recently sent us the following email:
Hello Ray, just letting everyone know I am a nana again. My second daughter Jenni has just had a little girl Matilda Kimberley Hare. Both are well. She weighed in at 7lb 10oz. Regards Helen.
We also heard recently from Anita Veale (nee Jerrems), who supplied information and photographs for the previous article about her grandfather Henry Herbert Jerrems (coincidentally she is a great grand-daughter of Robert Cane Jerrems). Not to be outdone, Anita and George are now great grandparents for the first time, thanks to the arrival of Chloe Elise Berka. Anita and George now join the elite band of readers who are great grandparents.
We extend our congratulations to all concerned, and trust that the little girls are well.
After Ray had received letters from Anita Veale and Helen Mitchell and compared their addresses he realised that they virtually live in the same suburb of Melbourne.
This was amazing enough, when one realizes that their ancestors probably lost touch with each other about 80 years ago. But added to this is a further coincidence. When he told Helen where Anita lived she said that her youngest daughter Kelli went to school with a Kate Veale. Anita Veale confirmed that Kate is her grand daughter.
Melbourne has a population of over 3 million people, making these coincidences even more remarkable.
Jerrems Residences in Victoria (photos
taken Feb 2001).
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