"A Journey Down Under and Back" ...
Laura Daisy Poole (Nee Stafford) and family, the S.S. Jervis Bay,
and a whole lot more
A story by Trevor Reeve, HMS Jervis Bay Association
with content provided by Philip Maggs.
(Page 1 of 7... Departure from England)
Here is a story, which
although it involves the ship S.S. Jervis Bay (in the days before she became
HMS Jervis Bay) only briefly in the story on and off, I do hope that readers
might find it both interesting and fascinating, as I myself has found it to be.
The story came about when Philip Maggs of Weston-Super-Mare (England)
contacted our website early in 2013, with a story concerning his grandparents'
connection with the S.S. Jervis Bay, in her early days as an immigrant ship,
taking passengers from the UK to start new lives in Australia. Philip's father
had recently passed away, and whilst sorting out his father's things, Philip
had come across many interesting artifacts relating to his descendants early
lives in both England and Australia.
It is quite a complicated story, which grew and developed when writing and
constructing it, so I hope that I do it justice, in writing this piece. I
wanted to include other aspects of the family, rather than just their
connection with the S.S. Jervis Bay, as there is so much more to tell. It shows
us successes and failures, and how fate can take a hand in what comes to be.
Philip's grandmother Laura Daisy Stafford, was born in 1892, in
Littleton-Upon-Severn, South Gloucestershire, England, the daughter of Henry
James and Laura Stafford (nee Gough.) In 1901, Laura was resident at Rock
House, Littleton, along with her parents and siblings Samuel, Arthur, Edward
and Margaret. Laura continued to reside in Littleton until leaving England to
emigrate to Australia in 1922. She departed England on the ship S.S. Diogenes,
sailing to Albany, Western Australia.
Laura Stafford joined the ship at Victoria Docks, London
and the S.S. Diogenes sailed via Southampton and Plymouth, England, and on to
Australia via the Suez Canal. One of the ports of call was at Colombo, Ceylon
(now known as Sri Lanka.) On board this ship, or perhaps later in her journeys
to and from the UK and Australia on other ships (S.S. Balranald or S.S. Jervis
Bay) that Laura travelled on, Laura picked up an advertisement for a tea room
there. It contains many interesting facts and figures from those 1920's days.
Laura's intended address in Australia being Elberton, 9 Clydesdale Road, Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia. The following passenger list from the S.S. Diogenes, shows Laura sailing on the ship in 1922, to start her new life 'down under'.
On the S.S. Diogenes, Laura had her 'banns' read aboard the ship, as she
intended to marry as soon as she arrived in Australia. Laura arrived in
Australia on 22nd September, 1922 (in the port of Albany - 418 km South-East of
Perth.) Among Laura's luggage was her wedding dress, which she had made
The underneath part of the dress has survived to this day, and photographs do not do it justice, for an item that is nearly 100 years old.