445 George Street, Fitzroy (Thiepval)

445 is on the left and 447 on the right in the photo below. This pair of houses appears to have been built between 1910-1913.

The first record I have found of this house is in 1913 when the occupier was looking for a young business girl to share a room with her 10 year old daughter (The Age, 3 Sep 1913). Sands and McDougall records show that the land between Rose St and Leicester St is vacant before this date.

Google Image – July 2019

Joseph and Frederica Robbins (1914 – 1915)

Joseph Robbins was recorded at this address in Sands & McDougall and Electoral Roll of 1915 and Electoral Roll 1914. In the 1916 and 1917 Electoral Roll he is recorded as living at 448 George Street. Joseph was a salesman. They had moved into Fitzroy from 23 Hoddle Street, Richmond where they were located in 1913.

I do not know much about Joseph and Frederica, other than he passes away in 1924 in Prahran, and at the time they were living on River Street, South Yarra (The Argus, 28 Jul 1924)

Helen Sanders/Sandner (1920-1925)

In 1920, Sands & McDougall record Helen Sanders as residing here and by 1925 it is recorded as Mrs Helen Sandner. The same name is used on the Electoral Records in 1922 and 1924. There are no records of Louisa or Mrs Sanders/Sandner’s husband in any of these documents, though he is referred to below.

Ernest Vivian and Louise Hawking (1921)

Ernest Vivian Hawking lived here with his wife in 1921 (Electoral Roll 1921). They were only here for about nine months, living with his wife’s parents. Ernest was a clerk, following his return from World War 1, which he went to aged just 18 years (Australia, World War 1 Service Records) and Louise / Louisa is recorded as home duties. Ernest was born at Nalinga, Victoria on 28 Aug 1896 and at age 21, married Louise Sander (20 years and was a factory employee) on 4 September 1920 at St Marks Church of England, Fitzroy by the Reverend Arthur J Drewett. Ernest was a postal employee at the time and later became a labourer. After the 9 months they moved to Mooroopna where they lived for 18 months when Louise then deserted Ernest.

From the divorce records it appears that Louisa missed her mother greatly, and would return often to Melbourne with their baby boy (Vivian Roy Hawking) to go stay with her mother. She would collect a week’s wages from him and go down to Fitzroy. He would manage as best he could working on the orchard and looking after himself. Generally she would only return when he came to Melbourne and persuaded her, but she would again return to Fitzroy, noting that her mother had first claim on her. Then in May 1923 after collecting his wages, Ernest went to bathe taking his son with him and when he came out, she was gone. He went to her parents home in Fitzroy, but they denied she was there, but on one of the two days of his visit he saw her. Despite this they continued to deny she was there and did so over many years when he wrote to them. She never enquired of him or her son, who Ernest placed with his sister-in-law also living in Mooroopna.

It took Ernest another 16 years to apply for divorce due to financial constraints. AT this time he searched for Louisa again as well as her family of which there appears to have only been her and her parents, whom he describes her father as foreign and unlikely to have family in Australia. Neighbours in Fitzroy confirm that they had left the area many years ago. (Divorce Records, Ancestry)

Ernest (son of Elizabeth and Edward Merryfeet Hawking) died in 1953 in Heidelberg

John Norman Cuthill and Cecily Elizabeth Hutchinson (1930 – 1972)

In 1932, John Norman Cuthill Hutchinson was living here with his wife Cecily. Cecily’s brother (Vincent Joseph Lonergan) was living/staying with them in May when he passed away (aged 34 years). Vincent and Cecily, along with Mary Brown, Margretta Purcell, Agatha Lewis, Vera (deceased), Lucy Manns, Annie Kennedy, John Lonergan and James Lonergan were the children of Bridget and James Lonergan of ‘Rosevale’ Woodfield. (The Age, 1932)

John Norman Cuthill, looks like he went by the name of Norman and is often referred to as N Hutchinson. John was born at Bonnie Doon on 22 May 1890.

He was a Soldier, VP1128 Captain or the Australian Instructional Corps (Electoral Roll 1931, Gravestone at Melbourne General Cemetery). John enrolled for the 1st World War on 18 August 1914. At the time he was a Labourer aged 24 years and was single. His father is listed as next of kin living at Homeleigh, Maindample (World War I Service Record).

John must have been injured in the war as he ends up in at the Worsley Hall Red Cross Hospital, Lancaster, a war time hospital set up on the estate. Here he marries Winifred Scholes (daughter of a Merchant), on 20 March 1918. At this time he is a Lieutenant in the RFA. He was aged 27. (Marriage Record, Ancestry). He is recorded at being enrolled till May 1920 (Divorce Records, 1925, Ancestry).

Worsley Hall, circa 1800-1950

Following the war Winifred and John have two children, Heloise Dora born in January 1919 (the record says 1921, but then refers to her as the eldest child) and Leonard Joseph Douglas born in March 1920.

Winifred and John live together after their marriage in Worsley for 4 months before he is posted to Fleetwood in Lancashire, where he lived for 3 months before returning to hospital as a result of the injury he attained during the war. Winifred stays with her mother other than for a month when she lives with him in Fleetwood. While in hospital Heloise was born. On discharge he was stationed at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh for six months. Winifred and Heloise joined him there after a month. He was then transferred to York and during the time at York, Winifred stayed with her mother.

In March 1920, John got passages for the family to Australia, but when the day of sailing came near she said that he should go alone and she would follow, Leonard was only 3 weeks old and unwell. John arrived on 12 May 1920 and lived at 72 Gertrude Street. He wrote advising that he had established a suitable home and wrote many time following. He only received two letters from her, one shortly after arrival and one in June 1920. In March 1921 she wrote again asking for maintenance and he wrote and told her he had a good home and would provide for their passage, but she never responded (Divorce Papers, Ancestry).

In 1925, he filed for divorce, now living at Greeves Street, Fitzroy. This was granted in October 1926 (Divorce Records, 1925, Ancestry). John then married Ceiciley E Lonergan on 11 December 1926 in Junee, New South Wales (Marriage records, 1926, Ancestry). They have one son Ivan Joseph (see below).

Photo of John and Cecilia on their wedding day. – this has been sourced from Ancestry (Rob Wilford)

Cecily is still living at 445 as late as 1972, though John Norman was last recorded in 1954 (Electoral Roll 1954, 1972), though it looks like he passed away in 1961 aged 71. John was the son of Joseph Hutchinson and Annie Hudson. Elizabeth Cecily (Cis or Sis) passes away on 16 April 1974 in North Balwyn.

State Library image of 445 George Street (right) and the corner house now removed. Circa 1970-1974

Ivan Joseph Hutchison (The below is a summary from IMDB)

Ivan Joseph Hutchison – Mr Movies, photo from Wikipedia

Ivan Joseph was born on 11 February 1928 in Fitzroy and grew up with his family at 445 George Street. He attended St. Bridget’s Primary School, St. Thomas’s in Clifton Hill and his final year at Parade College.

Ivan studied piano and music. At 16 he joined the Victorian State Public Service as a clerk in the Lands Department, but still followed his musical passion playing regularly at the Malvern Town Hall dances. He also was passionate about movies and would write his own reviews.

In 1949 he met Grace O’Connor and they were married in 1953. They raised four children.

In 1960 he began working for HSV Channel 7 as a pianist with the station’s orchestra in a variety of shows. By 1970 he was the Musical Director and in 1971 he proposed a film critic show. In 1974, when ‘Two on the Aisle’ ended, Channel 7 asked him to host the midday movie, which soon became ‘Ivan’s Midday Movie’ and rated well throughout the 70s and 80s. The success of these led to Ivan’s Movie Classics on Friday nights and Ivan’s Late Night Matinee etc. Ivan continued working until a sudden illness forced him to retire – his final week hosting was December 1994 and it then continued without a host. (IMDB)

Here is link to Ivan Hutchison’s Midday Movie, where he introduces the movie Monkey Grip, based on Helen Garner’s book.

House name – ‘Thiepval’

In 1933 year memorials were posted in the Age for Vincent and the property is recorded as ‘Thiepval’. I wonder if this is when it was named in the 1930’s by the Hutchinson’s in memory of those lost in World War 1, given John Norman was a soldier.

The following information is from WW1 Battlefields “Thiepval was one of the fortress villages that was held by the Germans on the Somme front in 1916. Thiepval village was destroyed by the bombardment, except for one part of the chateau (the ruins of which contained machine gun nests). The houses in the village, although flattened, had deep cellars where the Germans held out, and their machine gun posts were not destroyed by the bombardment.

On the 1st of July 1916, in front of and to the south of the village, the 32nd Division attacked. The 36th Division attacked just to the north of the village. After the War ended, Thiepval was chosen as the location for the Memorial to the Missing to commemorate those who died in the Somme before the 20th of March 1918 and have no known grave.

This is the largest and most imposing of the Memorials to the Missing, and visiting here is a moving and sobering experience. Those who died in the Somme after 20th March 1918 are commemorated at Pozieres.”

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