Fairfield City Open Libraries: Heritage Blog

Pioneer Family – The Hanbury

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Hanbury family

Edward Hanbury

Edward Hanbury was born on the 1st of February 1863 in Coventry Warwickshire, England. The son of John Hanbury & Eliza Victoria Mann, he was one of their 9 children. (1) John Valentine (born in 03/1862 & buried 20/8/1862) Coventry England, (2) Edward,(3) Mary Elizabeth,(4) Louisa,(5) Edith,(6) Valentine,(7) Celia,(8) Kate,(9) Sarah. Edward was educated at Bablake School & Hospital from 1/5/1874 -1/5/1876.

He sailed for Australia on the John Elder from the Port of London aged 19 on 17/11/1882 & landed in Australian on 08/01/1883. The shipping log records showed all passengers as being “trades people”. Edward was listed as a “mason”. Edward first lived in Newtown and then moved to Canley Vale, where he meet Mary Louisa Westacott Gobey, born 27/9/1868 in Abersychan Monmouthshire, Wales, who had come to Australia 3 yrs earlier, aged 12yrs with her Aunt Mary Ann Westacott (Elliot) aged 40 & her Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Westacott, aged 63, as assisted Immigrants on the Peterborough that left from the Port of Plymouth, England on the 26/8/1880. Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Westacott had some relatives that lived in Canley Vale (William Westacott, her brother).

1st Marriage of Edward Hanbury

Edward Hanbury & Mary Louisa Westacott Gobey were married at a Liverpool registrar office on the 18/6/1888. Her aunt Mary Ann Westacott gave consent to the marriage as Mary was under age (20 yrs) & Edward 25 yrs old. The couple had 7 children Victor Stanley, Mabel Gwendoline, Norman Edward Leslie, Heather Inez, Daisy Louisa Ellen, Bertha Gladys, Inez Myrtle (born 19/3/1902 Died 9/6/1907). The Children attended Canley Vale School until they moved to Cabramatta.


Edward built a shop in Canley Vale at the corner of Railway Pde & Canley Vale Rd, this was the 2nd shop in the district. The first shop being a Butcher shop near Landsdown, owned by Mr Wood. Edward & Mary worked & lived at the shop. Minutes of a Council Meeting report shows that on19/1/1893, the municipal lists for the elections could be seen at Mr Hanbury’s store at Canley Vale. Edward was very interested in the community as can be seen by a petition on the 27/11/1888 where his name appeared to support for a municipal council to be formed for the District of Cabramatta & Canley Vale. In the early days of the country you had to be a land owner before you could vote or stand for council. At this time Cabramatta & Canley Vale was part of Liverpool Municipality. The new Municipality of Cabramatta & Canley Vale started in 1892. Edward was very active in the council in later years.

In 1902 Edward built a house in Cabramatta. The children attended both Canley Vale & Cabramatta Public School. An article in the Parramatta Argus reported on 2/1/1904, page 3 that Mabel Hanbury received 2 Prize in 3rd class & Heather Hanbury also received 1st prize in 1st class at Cabramatta School. Norman’s name is also featured on the Canley Vale Honour Roll as an old pupil who had enlisted in world war 1915-1918 (see Parramatta Argus, 22/12/1917). Edwards 2 sons, Victor Stan (known as Sam) & Norman who were both builders and were trained by their father. His 2 daughters, Mabel and Heather, excelled in sports at school. On the 30/4/1904.

Mary Hanbury died at the age of 35 yrs at Cabramatta & was buried at Liverpool Pioneer Cemetery. Their daughter Inez Myrtle Hanbury who died 1907 aged 5 yrs was also buried in the Liverpool Pioneer Cemetery near Mary.

2nd Marriage of Edward Hanbury
On the 13/6/1910 Edward married for the second time to Emily Phillips at the residence of F. Harrison Esq., Cabramatta. Emily was born in England in 1869 & died at Hughes St Cabramatta on the 19/8/1949. She was buried at Liverpool Uniting Cemetery . Emily was married to Edward during his time as an Alderman & was Mayoress from June 1917 to June 1918 when Edward was in England for 6 months.
The couple had 2 children, Dorothy Victoria (born 1912 & died 1912) & John Valentine (born 1916 & died 1919).Both were buried at Liverpool Pioneer Cemetery.

Edward Hanbury’s contributions to Fairfield and Cabramatta
town hallEdward built the old Town Hall in Cabramatta in 1902 (see Obituary Biz 11/8/1941) & many houses in the district during 1904-05 as he was a carpenter by trade. He was heavy involved with the construction of the Methodist Church as he was on the church’s committee. He was offered a contact of 100 pounds to completely finish & furnish the church (see more details on page 50-53 in “Foundations of Faith : Christian churches in the Fairfield area” By Beverley Donald ). Edward was a foundation member of the Masonic Lodge Celebration Canley Vale; he also built the Masonic Hall value for 400 pounds in Phelp St, Canley Vale.

Edward went back to England for a holiday in 1913 to see his mother & sisters who still lived in England.
In the 1913 Council elections, Edward was elected as an Alderman & was to remain in this position until 1925 .He became the Mayor in June 1917-June 1918 (he kept the position while he was in England). Mr McEacharn was elected Deputy Mayor while Edward was in England and in the following election, Mr McEacharn was elected as Mayor in June 1918.

In January 1918, while Edward was Mayor, he & Norman returned to England to work in the munitions factories, until the end of the war (they remained in England for 12 months). Prior to his departure, the Cabra-Vale Council gave Mayor Hanbury a dinner to farewell him on his trip to England & presented him with a large cabin trunk , suitably inscribed (see Argus 22/12/1917 page 5). Edward had 5 trips back to England,  in 1913, 1918 with Norman and Emily in the latter years.

Edward died at his resident in Cabramatta August 1941 & was buried at the Methodist Cemetery (now known as the Uniting Cemetery at Liverpool), not far away from his daughter Mable & aunt Westacott (Elliott).

Edward Handbury’s children – Norman & Victor

soldierIn 1915 when the World War I started, Norman enlisted in the Army & was sent to Egypt, Gallipoli & France where he was subsequently wounded in the leg .Norman was sent to England to recover & returned to Australia in April 1917 on crutches. He was welcomed back at an Oddfellows meeting. (see Argus 11/4/1917 page 5). The lodge also held a party in the Town Hall to welcome Norman back home (see Argus21/4/1917 page). On returning to Australia, Norman meet Miss Linda Myrtle Wood who was living with her Aunt Mrs D. Fowler (her mother’s sister was Maria Louise Fowler, nee Stephens) & uncle D. W. Fowler (Uncle Dan) in Cabramatta who lived behind the Edward Hanbury’s shop. The rented property was located on Cabramatta Rd and had a back entrance to the house in John St.

Norman & Linda where married at the Soldiers Memorial church Cabramatta on the 13/3/1920. The old church was opened in 3/11/1917 and was built by voluntary labour. A new brick church was built and dedicated in 24/3/1923. Mr Fowler gave the bride away and Laura Wood (sister) was the bridesmaid and Mr William Wood was best man. Norman & Linda held their wedding breakfast at W. D. Fowlers’ resident and Mrs Colless (the bride’s Aunt) presented the couple with the wedding cake. The couple spent their honeymoon in Katoomba (see argus 27/3/1920 page 10). Prior to the wedding, the Pastime Club also held a kitchen tea party in the old Town Hall (see Parramatta Argus 13/3/1920 page 9).

Norman and Linda had 6 children, Wilga Louisa (13/12/1920) born at Cabramatta Rd, Norma (27/8/1922) born at Cabramatta Rd, Joan Beatrice (5/8/1925) born in Coventry Rd , John Valentine (8/5/1928) born at Board St & Coventry St, twins Ronald & Margaret (4/9/1933) born 377 Cabramatta Rd Cabramatta at the Poultry Farm .

In January 1927 Norman stood for the council & was elected an Alderman then in December 1930 he was elected Mayor until January 1932 . It was a hard time as it was at the height of the depression He was defeated in the February 1932 elections.

Norman subsequently left the building industry & ran a poultry farm on 377 Cabramatta Rd, Cabramatta. The farm and the adjoining poultry farm (owned by Mr Samuals) was acquired by the Dept. of Education and this became the site for Cabramatta West Public School .

ON the 16th of April 1925, Norman convened a meeting in the Cabramatta Town Hall with 20 other ex-servicemen, and formed what is now known as Cabra-Vale Ex-Active Servicemen Club. Norman became the Foundation Treasurer and later the President whilst Linda was the first Secretary of the Ladies Auxiliary. They continued in these roles and participated in many activities such as raising funds to build a Club House. Prior to the construction of the Club House, ex-servicemen would meet in different places, and later they rented a room on the east side of Cabramatta, next to the Protea picture theatre.

During World War II, Norman tried many time to re-elist for duty but was refused. He was finally accepted after changes were made to his name (N. E. Hanbury) &  his date of birth (1st February). Linda was left to dispose the Poultry Farm. She started a new life and had a regular income.

Norman’s brother, Victor Stanley Hanbury had 3 sons & 2 daughters (Victor, Edward, Paul, Violet, Joyce).

Norman Hanbury’s Children

normaNorma became a milliner & worked in the factories during the war years. Donald Leech Bevington & Norma had 6 children,  4 were born in Lochiel Private Hospital in Canley Vale. The entire family then moved to Queensland & had 2 more children, David & Kay were born in Eumundi. Later she married Philip Casper Payne and had 1 child, Annette. Norma passed away on the 17th July 2016.

joanJoan also worked in the factories during the war years. Joan moved to Western Australia & had 2 children, Roslyn & Ann. Joan Beatrice Hanbury married Rexinald Hutchinson From Western Australia.


wilgaWilga become a dressmaker with David Jones & worked in the factories during the War years. Wilga Louisa Hanbury married Reginald Lyndyn Dietrich From Canowindra at the Cabramatta Methodist Church 18/3 /1941. The couple had six children, James, Elaine, Leonie, Roslyn and finally twins Ian & David . Reg died March 1964. Year later, Wilga was remarried to George Castles. Wilga passed away on September 2015.

Margaret Hanbury married Leslie Gordon Goodridge at the Soldiers Memorial Church, Cabramatta. Margaret & Les had 3 children (Alan, Ross and Trudy). The couple lived on Cabramatta Rd, Cabramatta and later moved to Hercules St, Fairfield in January 1955. Les passed away on the 28th March 1981 at Westmead Hospital & is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery.


[Excerpt from Margaret Goodridge (nee Hanbury)’s speech at the Cabra-Vale Park 100th Anniversary Celebration]


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