474 Rae Street, Fitzroy North

In 1930 there were no houses north of 472 Rae Street, so it is likely this was either part of the property next door.

There is no one located here according to Sands & McDougall in 1935, so it is likely that the house was built in this year given the first advertisements from the house are in late 1935 and S&M is often up to a year behind.

Realestate.com.au image 2013

Ashby Harold White (resident: 1935-1940)

The first residents in this house was likely Ashby Harold White. He was the second surviving son of Ashby John White (builder) and Ellen Percy who were married in Victoria in 1883. According to the Herald and Electoral Roll.

There are two John Ashby / Ashby John Whites in Tasmania over the period 1873/1875 through to their deaths in 1915 /1946 respectively. I know that they both lived in Wynyard during the period, but the other items such as the purchase so 46 acres of land in Jacob’s Boat Harbour, the purchase of land in Launceston in 1875, the purchase of 50 acres in the vicinity of the River Inglis, the bankruptcy due to a failed gold mine in Tasmania, the wilful lighting and ultimate destruction of the house in 1928, I cannot determine which to attribute it to.

Ashby Harold’s older two siblings had been born Percy Charles White (1885-1967) and Charlotte May White Waite (1888-1962). The family are then in Victoria (Mitcham) where Ashby Harold was born in 1892 (Birth Index). There is another son and two daughters in the Birth Index, Henry Roy White, Ruth White and Vera Elsie White, but I don’t have dates so it is likely they may not have survived child birth. There is also something strange such as a falling out between Ashby Harold and his parents as he is not mentioned on his father’s grave, yet Ashby mentions his parents on his wedding notice in the newspaper.

Under the name of Harold Ashby, he joins the army at 24 years (13 Sep 1915, World War 1 Service Records, Draft) in Claremont Tasmania (he is listed as an architect and builder, 5ft 7.5 inches, weight of 124lbs (56kg), with fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, a Methodist and an appendix scar) and then he is in Melbourne where he marries Ruby Martha Hughes at her parents place in Northcote on 26 Feb 1917 and then on 3 June 1918 they bring their baby Ronald Ashby James White into the world (Headstone of RAJ White).

It seems they them moved a lot (Both Ashby and Ruby were at each of these):

  • 1919 – 11 Rathmine Road, Auburn (Electoral Roll 1919)
  • 1919 – 16 Derby Street, Kew (Electoral Roll 1919)
  • 1921 – Railway Road, Caulfield East. (Electoral Roll 1921)
  • 1921-1924 – 81 Colden St Kew (Electoral Roll 1921, 1922, 1924)
  • 1925 – 1928 -10 Aberdeen Street, Brunswick North. (Electoral Roll 1925, 1926, 1928)

Around this time it seems things start to go wrong for Harold.

The story of how he was endeavouring to ‘mother’ his 6 year old son, was related at the Collingwood Court today by Harold White, Charlotte Street, Collingwood, who was charged with having made false statements in six claims for sustenance. It was alleged that in his application for assistance, White had stated his son, Ronald, was dependent on him. After he had been given work it was discovered that the boy’s mother, who was living apart from White, was keeping the child and had taken him to Tasmania for a holiday. All this time White had continued to draw sustenance for him. White told the Court he had no intention of defrauding the Sustenance Department. “My wife is living with another man,” he told the Court ” and the only time she has the boy is when I have to work for my sustenance. I pay board for him, clothe him and look after him. “I cannot leave him alone while I work and as I have no people, I have to send him to his mother. When she took him to Tasmania it was without my consent, and I had a difficult job to get him back. He is living with me all the time now and going to school. “I dress and clean him each morning and manage to get away from my sustenance work in time to be waiting for him when he leaves the school. His mother does not want him now, but he is old enough for me to rear” (The Herald, 13 Aug 1934, p.12, How Man Mother’s His Son). The case against him was for the Feb, Mar, Apr, May and Jun1934. He said at the time he was residing with his sister and his son was living with him. The trip to Tasmania was in late January for six weeks, hence was still fined on the first 3 of the cases (despite paying his wife board) and the other three were dismissed (The Age, 14 Aug 1934, p12).

In March the following year he may have written the following letter to the editor about the sustenance strike (29 Mar 1935 (appears in the Shepparton Advertiser):

Ashby was a carpenter, but seemed to focus on government contracts to do repairs, particularly on schools. It would appear that by mid 1935 things had started to turn for him, he lands a big job (below) and he and Ruby move to 9 Collace Street, Brunswick. The following are some of his jobs:

  • 29 Jun 1935 (The Herald) – Royal Park – repairs, floor in nursery and hosptial ward, repairs and painting fence of girls depot. Children’s Welfare Depot (168 p 7s) – at this stage he is living at 9 Collace Street, Brunswick (Herald & Electoral Roll 1934)

The following are while he is located in North Fitzroy:

  • 5 Oct 1935 (The Herald) – Repairs and erecting new screen, Green House, Parliament House (11 p 17 s)
  • 12 Aug 1936 (The Age), he put an advert out to rent a house in Belgrave close to the school for four weeks, presumably to work there.
  • 29 May 1937 (The Age), he won a tender to do renovations on a girls school, for which he would be paid 11 p 9 s
  • 24 April 1937 for repairs to plaster for Broadford Primary School
  • 27 Aug 1938 to repair Clarinda Public School with payment of 22 p and 5 s (this school was built in 1904, but demolished in the early 70’s)
  • 22 Jun 1940 to renovate the kitchen of the Emerald Police Station (25 p, 3 s)

It looks like Ashby and Ruby may have moved away in the early 40’s. They had one son, Ronald White .. Ashby passed away on 4 March in 1971 in Kew aged 79 years. I think Ruby may have survived Ashby, but there seems that she is not buried with him.

Grave Index – Kew

Ronald Ashby James White (their son), died in 13 May 2011, he was married to Lovell Mersilla Smith (1942), father of Merrill White and Grandfather of Melinda, Andrew, Emma and Richard and great grandfather of their children (Headstone, RAJ White).

Schenn, Russell (resident 1940-1945)

There is a Russell Desmond Shenn who lives in Bendigo from 1958 onwards but I cannot connect anything to the ‘Schenn’ that lived here.

Delager, Jan Peter, teacher (resident 1963)

Jan Peter (born 6 Oct 1923) was transported to Naples Italy (resettlement camp) on the USS General Heintzelmann in 1949. He appears from the passenger lists to have boarded on 23 February 1949 in Villach. He was listed as a mechanic from Bela Zrvka, Yugoslava with no known address.

In 1963 Jan Peter Delager of this address was naturalised (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 21 Nov 1963, p.4121) He is also confirmed at this address with his wife Rosemary Lindsay Delager (Electoral Roll 1963).

By 1967 he had moved to 54 Malin Street, Kew, but Rosemary is not there, but she reappears in 1968 at his next address at 38 Erasmus St, Surry Hills. Rosemary here is recorded as a nurse and Jan is consistently a teacher. They seem to settle here. (Electoral Rolls 1967, 1968, 1972)

By the mid 70s they are in 9 Hamilton Ave, Blackburn and Jan is going by the name Ian (Electoral Roll 1977)

Jan Peter passed away on 27 Oct 1992 in Brunswick

Longo Tullio (resident 1971)

In August 1970 Longo Tullio of this address was also naturalised (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 18 Jan 1971, p.399). I have not conducted any further searches on Longo.

Committee for Urban Action 1970-1974 Image – State Library Victoria – CUAFY155/1-4 Image 4

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