"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)

Laura Daisy PooleHere 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.

© Gordy

Colombo Tea RoomLaura 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'.

Passenger List

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 herself.

Laura Daisy Poole Wedding Dress

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.

Laura Daisy Poole Wedding Dress Laura Daisy Poole Wedding Dress

She also brought wedding presents from England, which included china and cutlery. Her luggage included a hatbox (a sort of small suitcase), passed on to her, which we are led to believe had been Laura's own grandmothers in the late 1800's.

On board S.S. Diogenes, there had been a concert. The concert program can be seen here.

Hat Box

Concert Program

Continue reading Page 2 (of 7) "A Journey Down Under and Back"...

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