Westaway One Name Study
John Trewin Westaway
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My “Dear” Great Grandparents

Lawrence Beare Westaway and wife Frances Ellen  Westaway (Nee Perryman)

This is the story of my great grandparents – Lawrence Beare Westaway and Frances Ellen Westaway (nee Perryman)….

 As is the same of many of our family – they made such an important decision back so many years ago – to leave their country of birth, being  Devon, England for Lawrence and Hampshire, England for  Frances – travel across the seas to a far off land -  to start a new life with their family in Australia…..

What is different circumstances with  Lawrence Beare Westaway and Frances Ellen,  is that they were both established and settled in their married life together, having been married for some fourteen years,  their two children – Lawrence James Westaway – aged 12 years and my grandmother, Florence Rosina Westaway aged 10 years  were both  established in their school life and would have had to leave many friends behind. it must have been quite a difficult decision for the  family to leave all that they had known and loved including their own dear families…..

The reason for this major upheaval in their lives seems to be that Lawrence, who had worked at the Royal Clarence Dockyards at Portsmouth in his trade of engine fitter for some 15 years, was offered or applied for the new role that was being created in Sydney, Australia at the British Navy’s new Garden Island dockyards.. He would have been one of a group selected from Portsmouth and  described as “specialist staff” to travel to Australia and set up and work in a supervisory role.  Garden Island at that stage was one of quite a few beautiful  Islands In the middle of Sydney Harbour. It had originally been used for the government “Gardens” after original settlement of Australia from 1788. Thus the name given of “Garden Island”.

Garden Island – Sydney – The Home Of Lawrence Beare Westaway And Family.

The British Navy had taken over the island some years earlier and had begun to build the many factory workshops and administrative buildings located on the island and they needed personnel to organise the many workers that the island would employ – would think, that originally the new work for Lawrence could have been for just a few short years, just to set up the factory areas for the dockyards and then return back to Royal Clarence Dockyards at Portsmouth. This probably would have meant for Lawrence, an advancement in his career by travelling to Sydney. Whatever the deciding factors for Lawrence and Frances, to remain at Garden Island and indeed settle in Australia is unsure, but can imagine that he would have found the new work position very exciting and challenging, probably so different for him, than at Portsmouth dockyards and also, not to mention the beautiful surroundings of Garden Island. Lawrence was supplied, by the navy a home, also located on the island, just a very short distance from his work place location…of course from there, he indeed did not return back to Portsmouth and continued on at Garden Island until his retirement from the navy – civil service in 1913/1914.



Lawrence Beare Westaway And Wife Francis Ellen With Family – 1913 – Before Leaving On Ship Moldavia For England

(Left To Right Of Photo) Lawrence James Wife,Margaret Westaway,Florence Rosina Westaway, Lawrence Beare Westaway,James Patrick Barry,Francis Ellen Westaway,Lawrence James Westaway – 2 Children In Front – Lawrence James And Wife Margaret’s Children – Frederick (On Left) Rosina (Rosa) (On Right)


Lawrence and Frances did return briefly to England – 1913 - in the period just before retirement, but only for some 14 months or so, whether they intended to stay a longer time in England is unsure…by then there was the threat of outbreak of World War 1, of course which did happen 1914 - would think that it was decided that they should return back to Australia while still resonably safe to travel..(although they did have great dangers travelling back to Australia, which i will write about further down in these notes)


The main reason for Lawrence and Frances to return back to England, apart from seeing family again, was for Lawrence to be presented by the King of England, a medal and award for long and disgtinguished service – Civil Service - British Navy and then in later years - Australian Navy – this award was the “ISO” (Imperial Service Order) and “ISM” (Imperial Service Medal)…They both returned 1914, Lawrence retired, and they continued to live out their lives happily in their new found “home” of Australia…..

32 Walker Avenue  Haberfield








They purchased a home for themselves In the Sydney suburb of Haberfield, 32 Walker Avenue, quite close to their daugher, Florence, who was by now married with her own family, and also their son Lawrence James Westaway,  who also had Married And Had 2 Children…..    

Lawrence and Frances both passed away – 1943 - at the grand old ages of 90 for Lawrence and 88 for Frances – within one month of each other – story is that simply could not live without the other…..Francis died of a broken heart without her dear husband of so many years…….

Both Lawrence and Frances’ ashes were scattered in the rose garden at Rookwood Cemetary – along with their daughter – Florence Rosina, who died 1979, also living a long life – Florence Rosina was 94 years at the time of her death…. Florence’s brother – Lawrence James Westaway also lived well into his old age – passing away just three years prior to Florence – 1976 - at his home at Ashfield. My nan (Florence Rosina) would always refer to both Lawrence and Frances as her “dear parents”…I just wish that I had known my g’grandparents as well……I know that I would have loved them dearly as my nan had done….

Garden Island – Sydney – Lawrence Beare Westaway – Was Brought Out By The Navy To Help Establish The Factory Areas Of The Naval Dockyards – Garden Island  – 1895 – 1914. He Was Also Given A Home To Live On The Island For Both Himself - Wife,Francis And Children, Lawrence And Florence.

Now to the details and story of Lawrence Beare Westaway and wife – Frances Ellen Westaway -nee Perryman - (my great grandparents)…..from the early days of their lives in England  to their deaths – Haberfield – Sydney

Just a note …. William Sweet Westaway and Elizabeth Westaway’s family -  all three sons – being my great grandfather, Lawrence, and  two elder brothers – William Henry and John,  all left their homeland  and settled in other lands…I must ask myself…. why had all three sons decided to leave their country of birth…. did they decide to move away from the depressive “Victorian times” of England back in those days, was William Sweet, their father, slightly overbearing and possessive… (with no knowledge of what William was like as a person – I know that this is slightly unfair of me to mention this.!! But just needed to add this possible thought)…. or were all three sons of William and Elizabeth simply ambitious (they carried that well known Westaway strength!!!)  they wanted something better for their lives and their future families, maybe William, their father, could  see the prospects of advancement in the new lands, and also wanted something better for his sons than what he had for himself during his life..he possibly  encouraged all three to move on with their lives…if this was the case, one can only imagine how difficult this must have been for William and Elizabeth, to see all sons eventually travel to far off lands, probably never to be seen again.…of course their  sons were very successful in their chosen field and in their new countries which must have made both William and Elizabeth very proud – but how they would have missed them, so far away and their grandchildren that they would never see again  - one can only imagine !!

Lawrence Beare Westaway  was born in Meeth, Devon, in 1853. His father, William Sweet Westaway was born in Bridestowe, Devon in 1824 and was an agricultural machinist and later engine fitter/ engineer who died in 1900, aged 76, in Newton Abbot, Devon and is buried in Wolborough Churchyard, Newton Abbot.

William Sweet Westaway and wife Elizabeth (nee Beare)

William Sweet Westaway and wife Elizabeth (nee Beare)

Lawrence Beare Westaway  was born in Meeth, Devon, in 1853. His father, William Sweet Westaway was born in Bridestowe, Devon in 1824 and was an agricultural machinist and later engine fitter/ engineer who died in 1900, aged 76, in Newton Abbot, Devon and is buried in Wolborough Churchyard, Newton Abbot.

Lawrence’s grandfather, Richard Snell Westaway was born in 1797, on Reddaway Farm, Sampford Courtney, and was the owner of hotel in lower market street – Tavistock (sadly no longer there) His grandmother, Ann Sweet was born in 1804 and died 1832 in Tavistock.

Lawrence’s great grandfather- John Westaway of “Reddaway Farm was born in 1743 – death 1828 and married Dorothy Snell

Elizabeth Beare’s father Lawrence was the owner of the Beare Machinery Works – and also in later years it passed to Elizabeth’s brother, Henry Beare – more than likely this would have been original business  passed down from Lawrence’s father, also Henry Beare and originally would have been somewhere around the Meeth area where the family had lived for many generations. Their  home “Shillingford”, Meeth….. Lawrence Beare was a “wheelright “ by trade – originally the business would have produced water wheels for the many water mills located in district – as is seen in photo (copy  in westaway family album) of the waterwheel that states - was made in Henry Beare’s machinery works, Liverton…. (the  Henry Beare mentioned in notes would be Lawrence’s son Henry – It states that the Beare Machinery Works opened business in Liverton in the 1840’s)

Lawrence’s father, William Sweet Westaway, started off  his trade of machine maker -  apprentice for Lawrence Beare and as is shown in the 1841 census – “William Sweet Westaway is “boarding” with the Beare family at “Shillingford”., Meeth – he was 17 at the time…

Children of the marriage of William Sweet Westaway and Elizabeth Beare…

  • William Henry Westaway  -  born  1847 – Ilsington (or in some records - Ipplepen– Devon, emmigrated to South Africa with wife – Julia Squire -  approx. 1882- (possibly on same ship “Moore” with brother John)…William  married Julia Squire (born Ipplepen)  1878.  occupation – enginefitter/engineer

    children of marriage - 

      • ·          Laurence Beare Westaway – born 1879 - Ipswich – England
      • ·          Studley Squire Westaway – born 1881 – Bideford, Devon
      • ·          Florence Annsmead Westaway – born – 1884 – Grahamstown – S. Africa
      • ·          Amina Julia Brinsmead Westaway – born 1886  - Grahamstown, S. Africa
      • ·          William Henry Westaway , death, South Africa ?, wife Julia, death, S Africa - ?
      • .
  • Jane Ann Snell Westaway – born 1849 Ilsington, Devon  death 1860 -  Ilsington. She was so sadly only 11 years old – do not know the cause of death
  • John Westaway (no middle name given to john) -  according to records born Newton Abbot in1851 -  baptised meeth - devon – 1851 – died 1900 – Grahamstown – South Africa – John emigrated to South Africa with wife – Elizabeth  Mercy Alice Stephens- born – Newton Abbot. John married Elizabeth in 1880 – probably Newton Abbot and emmigrated to South Africa in 1882 on the ship “Moore”. John’s occupation was engine fitter/engineer, the same occupation as his father,William Sweet, brother William Henry and also brother Lawrence Beare (my g’grandfather). John and Elizabeth (Alice) had four children –
      • Reginald John Westaway – born 1882 – Morice town, Plymouth, Devon
      • Ashley William Westaway – born 1883 – Morice Town (our dear cousin – Sandy’s family line)
      • Ethel Blanche Westaway – born – 1886 – Grahamstown – SA
      • Arnold Stephens Westaway – born – 1888 – Grahamstown - SA

Possibly the two brothers – William Henry and John Westaway emigrated to South Africa with families at same time on the ship “Moore” in 1882. The brothers – William Henry and John Westaway  set up an  engineering business in Grahamstown – South Africa   “the Devon Engineering Works" which became one of the leading engineering business’ in Grahamstown in those years – On John Westaway’s death in 1900 – the business  was taken over by his eldest son Reginald John Westaway – who it seems was also a very accomplished businessman. the business flourished yet again and become known as  - The Devon Motor and Engineering Works. . Reginald also was instrumental in importing one of the first motor cars from England to Grahamstown for a Mr.Galpin in 1901Reginald became one of the leading motor traders in that area and also was involved in many other business committees in the town. He also had a keen interest in flying and in 1934 brought the first aeroplane to Grahamstown. Since 1934 he owned no less than 4 light aeroplanes.  He also had a very large interest in motor racing and in 1918 won the Pegusus cup for hill climbing after leading his field for three years in a 1913 “hupp” which must have been a racing car for that time. He also had very many other varied interests.. On his death in 1949 – Reginald left his business (formerly his father John Westaway’s business) to his nephew – Ashley William Westaway (Sandy’s grandfather.)  

  • Lawrence Beare Westaway (my g’grandfather) born in 1853 – probably at “Smiths Cottage”, Meeth, as is shown in 1851 census records - the home of  William Sweet Westaway and wife Elizabeth. He married Frances Ellen Perryman in1881 in St.Thomas Church, Alverstoke, Gosport (near Portsmouth) Hampshire. Frances was born in 1855 in Alverstoke, Hampshire and was the only daughter of James Perryman and Mary Rosina Perryman (nee Evans.). Frances’s family  had many connections with the Royal British Navy - Clarence Dockyards- Portsmouth that extended back for many generations -  Notes on Frances’ family and the story of their working lives at  Royal Clarence Dockyard can  be found in  the Perryman family folder kept with Kaye at the present time)….. Francis Ellen had one brother, Charles that  died very young and another brother – William Alfred Perryman that married – Ellen ??? they  had a large family – William Alfred Perryman and family moved from Gosport to  Essex -  In future years William Alfred set up an ironworks business in Essex and seemed to have prospered in this business- – William Alfred’s trade was originally listed as ironmonger whilst living in Gosport.. In the 1891 census it is shown that the family are living at Essex and have 2  servants living in their home – not sure what happened to William Alfred after the 1891 census but in the 1901 census  it shows William Alfred's wife, Ellen, living alone with her family (no William Alfred) and is a dressmaker - . her daughters are also  dressmakers... there have been some suggestions passed through the family over the years that William may have gone to South Africa to live – maybe if his business became unsuccessful in Essex for whatever reason he decided to try his luck in South Africa – he possibly travelled with his son Alfred, as Alfred is also missing from the 1901 census.… There is a record of a William Alfred death in 1912 in the Kent area of England, which is very close to Essex, so possibly he did return to England in future years… .My other thought is that  possibly he could have joined  in some sort of business venture with either William or John Westaway in South Africa – (William Alfred Perryman would have been Lawrence Beare Westaway’s brother in law). maybe this did happen – he certainly would have had connections with the Westaway family  via Lawrence married to his sister, Frances Ellen..
  • Children Of Marriage….

    • Lawrence James Westaway  - born 1883 – Portsea – Portsmouth – England – married 1905 – Sydney – Margaret (Maggie) Oakes– Margaret died approx.1934 and Lawrence  re- married – Lillian Lil) Russell. Lawrence died 1976 at Ashfield and Lil died in the early 1970’s..

      Lawrence James and 1st wife – Margaret's two children–

        • Frederick Lawrence Westaway – born 1906 – St.Leonards - Sydney– death 1949 – married Alice ????
        • Rosina Francis Westaway – born  1908 – St .Leonards – Sydney -  married Marcus Woollett – Roseville - Sydney death ????
  • Elizabeth Mary Westaway – born 1858 – Ilsington – Devon – died 1906 – Newton Abbot – aged 48 – buried at Wolborough churchyard – Newton Abbot – Devon  (it seems as if Elizabeth Mary may have been known as Mary – as my nan has a photo that is now with my mum (copy in family album) and on this photo my nan has written my Aunt Mary Westaway)  – Elizabeth Mary’s  occupation was “mantle maker” – I think this is similar  trade of “dressmaker” as we know it today.- Elizabeth, it seems, never married
  • Eliza Ann Westaway – Born 1861 – Ilsington – Devon – Died 1930 – Newton Abbot – Devon – Aged 68 - - Buried Wolborough Churchyard – Newton Abbot – Devon.- Occupation – Milliner -   She  married John Bowden – Born 1857 – Bovey Tracey.- Devon.  John Bowden – Occupation – Engine Fitter – Death 1896 – John  was only 39 years old….  Eliza Ann and her husband John Bowden lived next door to Eliza’s  mother and father – William Sweet Westaway and Mother Elizabeth – at  9 Lower St.Pauls Road, Newton Abbott (Lower St.Pauls Road later changing name to – The Avenue in the 1900 period))- - No records can be found of any children to Eliza Ann and John Bowden.. After the death of Eliza Ann’s father – William Sweet Westaway in 1900 and also  Eliza Ann’s husband, John Bowden around the same time – it seems that Eliza moved in with her mother and sisters – Jessie  And Elizabeth Mary – No.11  Lower St.Pauls Road – Newton Abbbot...
  • Jessie Rebecca – Born 1865 – Ilsington – Devon – Died 1918 – Newton Abbott – Age 53 - Jessie was also a dressmaker by trade – It seems she also did not marry – Also buried in Wolborough Churchyard – Newton Abbot.




Elizabeth Mary WestawayLawrence Beare Westaway’s Sister  (Seems As If Elizabeth Mary May Have Used Her Middle Name As Her Christian Name – As On Back Photo My Nan Has Written -  My “Aunt Mary”




Jessie WestawayLawrence Beare Westaway’s Sister



Now  to the details of my great grandfather Lawrence Beare Westaway And Wife Francis Ellen Westaway….Their lives together….

Meeth-Devon- Home Of Lawrence And Francis And Children Florence And Lawrence -Garden Island – Sydney – 1895 - 1914 Imperial Service Order/Imperial Service Medal That Lawrence Received On Retirement From Navy 1914




It seems as if Lawrence Beare Westaway, even though born ‘Smiths Cottage’ Meeth, Devon – 1853 – did not stay in Meeth for very many years – Lawrence’s Father - William Sweet Westaway and Mother Elizabeth Beare moved, it seems, in those years, between Meeth, Illsington/Liverton-Devon and possibly even Newton Abbott in the years just prior to when Lawrence was born…... Lawrence’s younger sisters were born  in Ilsington/Liverton between the years 1858 and 1865 and also Lawrence’s eldest brother William Henry – Born Ilsington 1847 (Although in some records it states that William Henry Westaway born At Ipplepen – Devon) Lawrence’s  Elder Sister – Jane Ann Snell Westaway  also born  Ilsington – 1849 (The sister that so sadly died at only 11 years of age)….and as mentioned above, possibly John Westaway being born at Newton Abbot In 1851….. So it seems that William Sweet Westaway and wife Elizabeth only came back to Meeth for a short time, probably as Elizabeth’s Family  still lived at  Meeth.






Village Ilsington – Devon - England

They then  returned  to Ilsington where William Sweet would have been working in Elizabeth’s father and brother’s machine workshops.. Lawrence’s Father, William Sweet was a machine maker by trade and it looks as if right from the days when it is shown that he was an Apprentice Machine Maker and working and living in the house “Shillingford” of the Beare family 1841 – He  continued on working with the Beare family for all of his working life – following the business and the Beare family in future years to Newton Abbot, Devon…. Lawrence Beare - (Elizabeth’s father and William’s father in law - In the 1841 census Lawrence Beare is shown as being master machine maker  with 7 men employed, William Sweet Westaway would have been one of these men. It seems in the years 1851, just before William and Elizabeth’s son Lawrence (My G’grandfather) was born – they were living at “Smiths Cottage” Meeth.. Back in the years of William Sweet Westaway's apprenticeship with the Beare Family would have been the years that he first met and eventually married the Beare family’s daughter, Elizabeth – That must have been so lovely for William And Elizabeth – both living in the same home of Elizabeth’s parents. Of course William Sweet at the time of boarding with the Beare Family was only 17 years old and Elizabeth Beare, Lawrence And Jane’s Daughter was only 15 Years Old.

Henry Beares Machinery Works – Ilsington - Devon

Possibly the original business of the Beare Family could have been started by Henry Beare – Lawrence’s father back in the early 1800’s – This would have been a water wheel business supplying the various mills for grain grinding in the areas surrounding Meeth. On Lawrence’s father, Henry’s death In 1808 – Lawrence would have taken the business over from his father and then in turn Lawrence continued on the business in Liverton with  son Henry Beare, eventually moving the business to Newton Abbot in future years. – The business seemed to have prospered in the years of 1861-1871 period – the 1871 Census sees Henry Beare (Lawrence Beare’s son) employing 15 Men and 6 Boys and Is noted as Master – Engine Fitter – Around those same years William Sweet Westaway  is noted as Occupation Engine Fitter - the same occupation William’s  three sons would follow. It seems that the business built many of the water wheels in the district and indeed in the family album can be seen a copy photo of water wheel that states was built by The Henry Beare Machinary Works at Ilsington/Liverton….It also states in notes under photo, that the business has been operating since the 1840’s at Liverton… 

Around the 1870 period, as I have read,  it was thought that the new -  Devon To Plymouth Railway would be coming through Ilsington/Liverton On It’s way  to Plymouth…Unfortunately, it seems that this did not ever happen and instead the new railway was decided to run through Newton Abbot – Devon.




William Sweet Westaway And Wife Elizabeth’s Home – 11 The Avenue, Newton Abbott (Formerly Called Lower St.Pauls Rd) – William Sweet Westaway And Wife Elizabeth’s Daughter Eliza And Husband John – Lived Next Door At No.9 ;



Whatever happened around this period and probably because of the re-location of the railway to Newton Abbot– we  note the Beare Family and William Sweet Westaway and Family  move  to Newton Abbot – Again probably because of the new railway location plans – whether the business did not continue to prosper as had originally been planned in Newton Abbott -  is not known… – but it sees all  three sons of William Sweet Westaway, being William Henry,John And Lawrence…  who would, I would think in those years been working for Lawrence and Henry Beare at Liverton and probably would have gained their apprenticeship’s as engine fitters with the Beare business -  – move away to other locations  – with both William Henry Westaway and John Westaway – both their occupations being engine fitters, as mentioned above, they decided to make the move and travel to the far off shores of South Africa – no doubt they could see the potential and prosperous future for both themselves and their families in South Africa in the engineering field – Of course which did eventually happen for both in their new adopted land of South Africa…. In the case of my great grandfather Lawrence Beare Westaway – as also already mentioned above, he at first, relocated and continued on his trade at Portsmouth – having deciding to join the civil service of The British Navy at their Clarence Yard Dockyards as a engine fitter. as will write about in notes further down in this story – Lawrence married in Portsmouth – 1881 – and settled down to work and raise a family in Portsmouth for some 14 years before he made the decision to travel to Australia to continue on with his work with The British Navy in Sydney, which in future years became the Australian Navy…. The 1881 Census shows Lawrence Beare Westaway boarding at -  King Street, Gosport and working at Portsmouth 

Rev.Evans – John Robert Evans (Mary Rosina Perryman  Father
Frances's Mum – Mary Rosina Perryman
Frances Ellen Westaway (Nee Perryman) In Her Younger Days


28 Shaftesbury Road- Gosport  - The Home Of James Perryman And Wife Mary Rosina Perryman (Nee Evans) - Francis Ellen Westaway’ Parents Unfortunately Demolished In The 1970’s For A New Road  In The Area Of Gosport – Terrace Homes That Are Further Along The Street And Are Very Similar In Design To Their Home Are Fortunately Still Standing

As I have already mentioned,  in that time after his move to Gosport/Portsmouth he  met his future wife, Frances Ellen Perryman, who apparently, as I have been told from stories handed down from my grandmother (Frances’ daughter)…. Frances’  mother – Mary Rosina Perryman (Nee Evans) -  Father John Robert Evans  was a tailor by trade and owned and ran The Tailor Naval Outfitters Shop at the Portsmouth Dockyards – This being Frances Ellen’s grandfather, She possibly met Lawrence whilst visiting her grandfathers shop at the dockyards.  Frances’s father was originally a baker in the naval shops at Portsmouth and in later years a messenger for the Navy, So if Lawrence had not met Frances through her grandfather’s tailor shop then he probably met Frances  through some of her families  association with the naval dockyards…

Lawrence and Francis  married 1881 at St.Thomas’ Church – Alverstoke – Gosport. Lawrence Beare Westaway continued  with his career in the civil service – Naval Dockyards at Portsmouth – They lived for a short time with Frances’ parents at 28 Shaftesbury Road, Gosport and then in the years prior to Lawrence and Frances travelling to Australia lived at – St.Georges Terrace  Portsmouth…within easy distance to the dockyards for Lawrence… Lawrence, it seems,  had started to advance  in his trade of engine fitter – maybe by this time he had qualified as engineer and maybe had advanced to become supervisor of the factory workshop for engine fitters – a role that he would carry on with  once he commenced his new role at the dockyards in Sydney…this is shown in the sort of home that he was now living in at Portsmouth with his family – St.Georges Square seemed to be in a fairly well off and affluent area of Portsmouth, this is shown in the cenus records of 1891, just a few years prior to the family leaving England -  the neighbours of Lawrence and Frances at St.Georges Terrace seemed to be of a more prominent class – listed as principal of a college – two neighbours stated as -  living “off their own means” with  servants and a few were business owners.

Lawrence James Westaway and sister Florence Rosina Westaway – Lawrence Beare Westaway and wife Frances’s children

By then of course my nan (Florence Rosina Westaway) was going on for eight years old and her brother Lawrence James, a little older at ten years old, they both would have  been settled in schools in the area and each had their own sets of friends….of course all would change for the family in a few short years - by 1895 – they were packing up all of their possessions, saying good bye to friends and family and preparing to make the long voyage across the seas to Australia – maybe as already mentioned - originally just for a few short Years….. little did they  know that this adventure would end up with the family living the rest of their lives in Australia….... sadly it seems that their home at St.Georges Terrace is no longer standing – it possibly could have been damaged during the second world war, Portsmouth, as can be imagined, with the naval dockyards being so close, would have suffered very considerable damage.

St Georges Terrace, Portsmouth

There are a couple of old terrace homes still standing, but as the numbering system of St.Georges Terrace has changed over the years, can not be certain if their actual home is one of the  terrace homes still standing or not…most of the homes in St.Georges Terrace have now been replaced with flats and units.

There is still the original church at the top end of St.Georges Terrace – this church would more than likely have stood at the time that Lawrence and his family lived there and could possibly have been the church that both my grandmother, Florence and her brother Lawrence were christened in…..

As mentioned above, Lawrence, back in the 1895 period, would probably  have been one of the “specialist staff” that the British Navy were looking for to be transferred to the navy’s new marine dockyards in Sydney.. The Navy’s new dockyards were planned and building commenced a few years prior to the 1895 year that Lawrence and family arrived in Australia. By the time that Lawrence commenced, the factory workshops were almost complete and would think that this would have been one of his roles, to organise the workers that had been employed. I would think that a lot of workers would have come from the Sydney area and the new dockyards would have been a sorce of much employment for the area – can imagine that Lawrence, in those early years must have been so extremely busy in his new role – and Frances would have been given the task of organising her new home on the island and settling both of their children in schools etc….she also must have missed her family so much all those miles so far away in England…..This gets back to me thinking …just what a difficult decision that must have been for Lawrence and Frances – to decide to leave their homeland – not only for themselves but for their two children as well -  also both Lawrence and Frances would be leaving behind their own families – be it their respective parents – for Frances her parents, by this time elderly and living at Gosport and for Lawrence, his parents now living at  Newton Abbot, Devon, also both elderly….. must have been such a difficult time for all – especially  for Lawrence’s parents – William Sweet Westaway and wife Elizabeth, their other two sons, William Henry Westaway and  son John had already emigrated to South Africa, now it meant for  both that they would be loosing their only other son, Lawrence as well as their grandchildren. Also for Frances the same, her parents would be left behind in England, her brother William Alfred was still living in Essex with his children, but as have written about above, he also would leave probably for South Africa in future years, although it seems that his wife and her children stayed behind in Essex. For Frances’s parents it must have been also so sad, the thought that they possibly would never see their grandchildren again…


Lawrence and Frances and family left Southhampton – 7 th October 1895 aboard the ship “Oruba” arriving - Sydney  three months later. – I can imagine that the sight of their new home on the shores of Sydney harbour with such wonderful views across the water from their home and work would have been some sort of a compensation for leaving their homeland and families  behind in England…

Lawrence would have settled into his  role of engine fitter/foreman and supervisor/inspector of the new factory areas of the naval workshops and Frances and their two children would have  settled into their  new home at Garden Island. This home still stands today, and is still used for naval personnel – it is one of two  single level homes on the eastern side of the island and has lovely harbour views across the botanical gardens and towards the city. – such a beautiful area of Sydney to live for all those years…of course back in those years, still being an island and surrounded by water, but just a short boat ride from the heart of Sydney….Sadly with all the security that exists on the island today, one can just not walk around as one likes…the park area at the foot of garden island, just near the ferry wharf is still open to the public, this is the park area where my Nan would so often talk about all of the many many happy times and picnics she would have with her friends that would travel over by boat from Sydney. She has told me so often over the years before her death, of how her many friends, would just “love” to come over to visit her on Garden Island – who could blame them – with such a lovely area to visit…

There is at Garden Island today – the Maritime Navy Museum – our family have donated a couple of items that they display at various times in their exhibitions – one is a small hammer that Lawrence Beare Westaway made whilst serving his time at Royal Clarence Dockyards and he used a small piece of timber for the handle of the hammer from Lord Nelson’s ship “ Victory” that is in permanent dry dock at Portsmouth. The victory was restored many many years ago and probably at the time of restoration Lawrence acquired a small  piece of the old timber from the Victory from which he made the hammer….a work of art..and one can see just what an excellent tradesperson he was at his craft. Another item the family has donated to the Garden Island Museum and is on display is an engineers calliper set that Lawrence also made in his apprenticeship days.  They were kept for some time in the navy stores at Cockatoo Island. Some years ago I made a request to inspect these items, to make sure that the navy museum were looking after these pieces correctly – I visited Cockatoo Island and was able to find the items that were made by Lawrence Beare Westaway. They were being stored correctly and in good condition and hopefully is the same today, now they are again back at the new museum at Garden Island

Garden Island – Sydney – As The Island Looked Before Being Connected To The Mainland At Potts Point - Sydney – Garden Island Was Not Joined To The Mainland Of Sydney Until Around The  Late 1940’s –I N This Time The Dockyards Were Extended , Thus Joining To Mainland Of Sydney

Garden Island, of course, is no longer technically an island – having been joined to the mainland of sydney in the late 1940’s – just after the second world war ended – access to garden island can be made from Darlinghurst – Sydney – although as can be imagined – can only be accessed by naval personnel – but there is also a ferry from the quay that stops at garden island at various times of the day and one can alight the ferry and take a walk around, not only the park area where my Nan would so often have her picnics with her friends, but also the museum that have just mentioned above, is accessible by walking just around the corner from the wharf area and is open to the public most days of the week and weekends….It is just such a lovely area to just soak up the view of Sydney harbour – how I can see why Lawrence and his family did not want to leave and return back to England …all those years ago……

Lawrence continued on with his occupation as engine fitter/foreman and then supervisor and inspector of works -  Naval dockyards – Garden Island right to  his retirement – 1913/1914….Frances Ellen continued on with her life on the island, but would have made, I would think, very many visits to Sydney with her children Florence and Lawrence – This would have been made by boat, probably supplied by the navy for the people that would be living at Garden Island – so that they could travel over to Sydney for their shopping and to visit friends – My Nan and hebrother also attended school in Sydney every day – first at Plunkett Street Public School, Darlinghurst (which is still a school today) and then I think, for my Nan, Fort Street Girls School – which is in the location and building of the national trust in these years – Kent Street – Sydney – just near the approaches of the harbour bridge on the Sydney side. not sure where Lawrence attended his future schooling but on leaving school, would think, probably around the age of 15 or so, gained  apprenticeship, -  naval dockyards at Garden Island – also the same trade as his father – engine fitter/engineer…

84 Waratah Street – Haberfield – Nan’s Home  (2 Semi-Detached Homes) – She Purchased After The Sale Of Robin Hood Hotel-Waverley  

My Nan  met and married  –  James Patrick Barry – 1909 – Sydney – (see the Barry family story for continuation of Florence Rosina and James Patrick Barry’s married lives together)..James Patrick Barry lived in their early years of meeting and courtship  at Rushcutters Bay/Paddington – Would think that they  met through their mutual friends that lived in that area of Sydney. My Nan in the later years of her life, so  often spoke about the many happy days she had spent growing up on garden island, her many friends that would love to visit her and have picnics on the lawnsher much loved family pets that are all buried on the island. she often spoke about her beloved dog and pet cockatoo bird that when they met their death, were buried somewhere just near the carvings in the rocks by one of the first fleet sailors, probably just near the rocky outcrop and steps that are located there…I so often think of my Nan’s pets that are buried there, whenever I visit Garden Island and walk down these steps and think of what happy times both she and her brother must have had living there…such lovely memories of a beautiful part of Sydney….even though Garden Island played such an important role for the British Navy and following on as it is today, the Australian Navy…,


Maybe Lawrence and Frances had planned to return back to England a lot sooner than what they eventually did – but they finally  returned for a period of fourteen months on Lawrence’s retirement…24 th august 1913 – Both Lawrence and Frances sailed aboard the ship the “Moldavia” for England and probably returned earlier than originally planned back  to Australia  in 1914 – it was the outbreak of the first world war – and with the outbreak they were both still in England – so would think would have decided that it would be best to return back to Australia as soon as possible, before it became  too dangerous to travel -  

They departed England for Australia5th October 1914 – again aboard the Moldavia – the story that has been told and handed down – is that the ship that they were sailing on “Moldavia” was chased by enemy – somewhere in the waters between England and Australia – a sudden thick fog surrounded their ship and enabled the ship to sail to safety – and thus they both were able to return unharmed – can imagine how worried and frightened they must have been and also must have been a worrying time for their family back here in Australia. of course, this also would have been  blemished with much sadness, as again, they would have had to say good-bye to their families they were leaving behind in England – by the time of their being in England – Lawrences’ mother and father – William Sweet Westaway and wife Elizabeth had sadly died and also Frances’s father – James Perryman who had died some years prior to this, but Frances’s mother was still alive, Mary Rosina Perryman did not meet her death until 1922 – so Frances would have known that she would never see her mother again and of course, Lawrence’s two sisters would have been still alive, Jessie who did not die until 1918 and Eliza Ann who died in 1930….

Imperial Services Medal

One of the reasons for Lawrence to travel back to England – 1913 – was to receive the “ISO/ISM” award from the King of England – this award – Imperial Services Order and Imperial Services Medal – was presented to members of the civil service on their retirement – for long and distinguished service – the medal and award  was presented by the King of England to Lawrence – for his many years of outstanding service with both the British and Australian navies as a civilian - this must have been such a great honour to receive such an award and to be presented to him by King George V of England…..Frances must have been so very proud, and a honour so well deserved for all the years of hard work he had achieved…

 After Lawrence and Frances returned home from England and Lawrence retired from Garden Island – it is noted that he seemed to have a brief period working as a “broker” not sure what sort of broker he was – possibly he could have been working with his son-in-law – James Patrick Barry (Lawrence’s daughter – Florence’s husband) do not know how long he continued on with the “broker” occupation or if it was successful or not  – apart from the notes that I found for this time and year when it states that he was a broker – nothing is known of this period of his life – sometime in the following years Lawrence seemed to settle happily into permanent retirement – Lawrence and wife Frances  purchased a home for themselves at  Haberfield – Sydney – quite close to their daughter Florence and family and also only just the next suburb from  their son Lawrence and his family, who by now lived at Ashfield – Sydney.

My Nan’s Wedding Photo (Florence Rosina Barry (Nee Westaway) - 1909

Top Row – Left To Right – Lawrence Beare Westaway – Friend Of Nans-Lil Harris – Bride – Florence Rosina Westaway –Groom – James Patrick Barry – Friend ? – Francis Ellen Westaway – (Middle Row) From Right – Helen Therese Barry – William Barry – Grooms Sister – Kathleen Barry – Friend – Frank Harris – (Bottom From Left) Brides Brother – Lawrence James Westaway – Two Young Friends ??-



Lawrence And Francis Westaway – 2 Grandchildren – The Two Sons Of Their Daughter – Florence Rosina Barry (Nee Westaway)  (Top Photo) Eric William Barry With His Wife Olive,  (Bottom Photo) – Ronald James Barry With  2 nd Wife – Ivy (Both Photos Taken Approx 1986))


As I have been told by my mum, Lawrence and Frances, occupied their days very happily, being surrounded by their five grandchildren –My Nan and her husband James Patrick Barry had 3 children by then – being my mum, Ona and her brothers Eric and Ron and Nan’s brother Lawrence and wife had two children – Frederick Lawrence and Rosina Frances Westaway. These would have been happy times for Lawrence and Frances, I am sure that they missed both Garden Island and the beautiful surroundings of the island. Lawrence would have missed his work on the island I am sure….but so many happy memories and a little sad  to look back on….so I have been told by my mum, as she used to live quite close to her grandparents – she would often visit them in her lunchtime from school and also after school had finished for the day – I know that Lawrence and Frances would have enjoyed those times so much – also I have been told by mum that  Lawrence used to have a small shed in the back yard of his home and he would often mend the families shoes and potter in his shed – he would always come inside to his loungeroom in the later part of the afternoon and light the fire and sit in his favourite chair and smoke his pipe…a very contended life I would think….

Lawrence and Frances continued to live in their home at Haberfield well into their old age and so sadly passed away – Lawrence October 1943 and Frances, November 1943 – they parted their life as they would have wanted – both together…..Lawrence was 90 and Frances was 88, and as have already mentioned above – much loved by everyone including their family and friends….

Lawrence James (Lawrence and Frances’s son -   married Margaret Oakes – Sydney – 1905  and settled at St.Leonards – Sydney –  Margaret Westaway (nee Oakes) died 1934 and Lawrence James re-married Lillian (Lil) Russell in years following….. Lawrence James died 1976 at his home at Ashfield. Lawrence’s 2nd wife Lil – died a few years prior to Lawrence………


As I have been told by my nan many years ago before her death and also by my mum (Lawrence and Frances - mum’s grandparents) – they were a dear couple….

I just wish I had known them as my nan and mum had…the photo of Lawrence and Frances in their elderly years that I have included in these notes,  is the photo that nan used to always keep in a silver frame on her dressing table of her bedroom…such a lovely memory of  treasured parents…

Lawrence Beare Westaway And Wife Francis Ellen Westaway – Photo Taken A Few Years Before Their Deaths – 1943

On Lawrence and Frances’s deaths - their ashes were scattered together in the rose garden at Rookwood Cemetary together with my nan (Lawrence and Frances’s daughter) besides them….

Kaye (The Author) and my dearest most special cousin Sandy Both William Sweet Westaways G’g’ Granddaughters John Westaway – Sandys G’grandfather – Lawrence Westaway – Kaye’s G’grandfather (Photo Taken On A Visit By Sandy And Husband David From England To Australia – 2006)


These notes have been written in loving memory of my great grandparents - Lawrence and Francis Westaway

My Dear Cousin – Sandy’s Family – Lawrence Beare Westaway Brother – John Westaway – Emmigrated To South Africa And Started A Successful Engineering Business And In Later Years Taken Over By Son Reginald Westaway’

 Kaye Rosina Thompson  -  2009

Many thanks to Kaye for sharing this with us.

September, 2009 Biography of Lawrence Beare Westaway by a gentleman living in Sydney and by chance Kaye met him and was given a copy. How proud she must have been to have received this lovely tribute.

” Lawrence Westaway was brought out to Garden Island Dockyards under “contract” – Engine Fitter/Foreman – probably, originally for a period of 5 years or so….along with Lawrence, he also brought out -  4 chargehands – a boilermaker, coppersmith, engine smith and another engine fitter such as Lawrence’s own trade….these would have been part of the “specialist staff” that he would have needed to set up the factory workshops. Also along with Lawrence and the 4 chargehands there were other personnel that arrived about the same time, so Lawrence would have felt completely at home in his new position of work.   He was responsible for many new systems that were set in place in the factory workshops around that time, and in fact one such system remained right to the 1970’s – the well known time-keeping ticketing  system that Lawrence had set up and was so efficient a system that it remained in use for many years to come…..he also was responsible for the policy of men “wearing their bowler hats” the “English way” as was common at Portsmouth dockyards during that time (would not think that would be appropriate for men to wear during worktime), maybe this ruling only applied for the special occasions…!!!!..Apparently stories have been passed down over the years by staff that worked for Lawrence Westaway, – he was a much respected man and always known for his fairness and kindness…”


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  © 2003-6 Sheila Yeo | For more information on the Westaway family and the research contained in this site email sheila@yeosociety.com or call me on +44 (0)1626 360978