Family Tree of the Adlers, Edwardses, Hogans, Lipscombes and Olivers

William Edwards (1887 - 1955), and Mary Ann Oliver (1888 - 1979)

John Edwards
Born: 24 Sep 1847, Newcastle, Monm., England
Christened: 28 Nov 1847, Llangattock Vibon Avel, Monm., England
Died: 15 Jun 1905, Wedderburn Junction, Vic, Australia
Buried: Wedderburn Junction, Vic, Australia

Mary Ann Abson
Born: 1848, Wakefield, Yorks, England
Died: 1926, Wedderburn, Vic, Australia
Buried: 1 Sep 1926, Wedderburn Cemetery, Vic, Australia

Born: 24 Oct 1887, Mt Korong, Vic, Australia
Died: 1955, White Hills, Vic, Australia



Mary Jane Edwards
Born: 26 Nov 1915, Wedderburn, Vic, Australia
Died: 26 Nov 1919, Bendigo, Vic, Australia
Buried: White Hills, Vic, Australia

Emma Ellen Edwards
Born: 2 Feb 1917, Wedderburn, Vic, Australia
Died: 6 Oct 2002, Bendigo, Vic, Australia

Leslie William Edwards
Born: 7 Mar 1919, White Hills, Vic, Australia
Died: 28 Oct 1986, Maryborough, Vic, Australia

John Edwards
Born: 27 Oct 1920, White Hills, Vic, Australia
Died: 11 Mar 1991, Bendigo, Vic, Australia
Buried: White Hills, Vic, Australia


Dorothy Jean Edwards
Born: 26 Aug 1922, Vic, Australia
Died: 6 Dec 2002, Bendigo, Vic, Australia

J.H. Edwards
Born: Vic, Australia

F.O. Edwards
Born: Vic, Australia

Thomas Raymond Edwards
Born: 7 Mar 1928, Vic, Australia
Died: 9 Jan 2007, Lockwood, Vic, Australia
Buried: 17 Jan 2007, Kangaroo Flat, Vic, Australia

H.J. Edwards
Born: Vic, Australia

G.A. Edwards
Born: Vic, Australia

Robert Hamilton Oliver
Born: 31 Jul 1868, Collingwood, Vic, Australia
Died: 5 Oct 1939, Manangatang, Vic, Australia


Mary Ann Edmeades
Born: 28 Jul 1863, Glendarnel, Vic, Australia
Died: 22 May 1942, Manangatang, Vic, Australia

Born: 27 Oct 1888, Gre Gre North, Vic, Australia
Died: 17 May 1979, White Hills, Vic, Australia


1st family  2nd family  

W. Edwards
Source: Birth - Victorian Pioneer Index on CD-ROM (1836-1888). Death - Victorian Death Index on CD-ROM (1921-1985).

M.A. Oliver
Notes: see also the Oliver family portrait, and her childhood photo.
Source: Birth - Victorian Pioneer Index on CD-ROM (1836-1888). Death - Victorian Death Index on CD-ROM (1921-1985) [AL].  

Story: William Edwards (1887 - 1955)

From Hilda Dean, added to this site 2 Feb 2001

William Edwards and Mary Ann Oliver

William and Mary came to Bendigo in 1917, first renting a house in Thistle St, then moving to Neale St. They then decided to buy a property of 10 acres with house for £120, situated at Grassy Flat, White Hills, which is to the right rear of the Bendigo race-course. The house was weatherboard, consisting of two bedrooms, narrow passage-way, a large dining room and a small kitchen - verandah front and back, with two large and one small water tanks. This was never enough water for the large family they were to have, and water was carted some distance from a neighbours' every summer - they had town water on. The washhouse (laundry) was detached, as most were those days.

When William and Mary purchased this property they already had four children and went on to have seven more. Tragedy struck when a diptheria epidemic came in 1919. Mary Jane contracted the disease and died after only 2 days' illness at only four years of age. She was buried in the White Hills cemetery.

William had been working at Leggo's tomato factory for some years, when at one of their raffles he was lucky enough to win the first prize of £20 - which in those days was several weeks' wages. With this windfall William re-built the kitchen to the same size as the dining room - approx. 20 x 14 feet - putting in an open fire at the side of the wood stove. In winter the large table was put up the fire end, and in summer down the other end. The property was fenced with post and rail, which William gradually replaced with a post and 5-wire fence with barb on top. It was while at Leggo's that William made two dams on the property, working with only pick, shovel, crow-bar and wheel-barrow. One was made very deep at one end so that clear water could be piped to the house for washing etc. The tank water was only used in the kitchen.

When Leggo's closed down, William found work where-ever he could, working for some time at Bendigo race-course helping to maintain the grounds. William grew tomatoes and vegetables to help supplement his income. Mary, besides looking after her large family, milked cows and sold cream and milk.

Mary and Will (as Mary affectionately called him) were adherents of the White Hills Methodist church (now Uniting), and all the children attended the White Hills Methodist Sunday School. Will had a lovely tenor singing voice and we liked nothing better than listening to him sings the old songs and hymns. His voice would carry and the neighbours would turn their wirelesses off to listen to him. Will could also play the mouth organ. All children attended the White Hills Primary School No. 1916.

The Second World War broke out on the 1st Sept 1939 and William obtained work as a labourer helping expand the Victorian Inland Meat Authority. The government of the day formed the Civil Construction Corp to help the war effort. William joined and was sent to Seymour as an assistant cook for a gang of men employed there. William enjoyed his time there - the company of the men and the good wages - there was great excitement when he would come home on leave. Ann had married Arch Lipscombe on the 25th of February 1939 and lived in Melbourne. John had joined up in the militia nearly as soon as war broke out and then transferred to the A.I.F. He was soon sent to the Middle East and saw action in many places: Syria, New Guinea (twice), and Balikpapan, Borneo. It was when he was sent to New Guinea the second time that he was reported "Missing In Action" - dear Mum and Dad, how worried they must have been. He was lost in the jungle for 21 day with 20 other men without food or water. American servicemen came across and guided them back to the Australian lines. Several of John's mates died from the ordeal.

Em married Fred Scheuffele on 26th Dec 1941 and they made their home in Condon St, Bendigo. The government brought in compulsory registration in March 1942 and everyone had to register who was over 14 years of age. The war was going very badly. Everyone had to carry identity cards at all times, and food rationing was brought in on 30-3-1942. One was issued with a book of coupons and you were allowed so much per week of tea, sugar, butter and meat. Clothes and petrol were also rationed, and some foods became very scarce.

In 1943 conscription was introduced and Les was called up for the Militia. He saw service mostly in Australia - Darwin, Western Australia, and New Guinea towards the end of the war. Les married Dorothy Kirk while home on leave on 7-3-1942.

In 1944 William purchased a property known as "The Pines" in Kangaroo Flat for £1200, selling our home at Grassy Flat to Mr and Mrs Brooks for £600. Jean was nursing and lived in at what is now known as the Ann Caudle Centre. We left White Hills on 2-6-1944. William had purchased the larger property of 70 acres in the hope that he might have been able to get John out of the army to help on the farm, but it was not to be. Both sons stayed in the forces until after the war finished on 12th Aug 1945. Shortly after shifting to the farm we had a terrible drought and loss all our cows and two horses. The move to Kangaroo Flat was not a good move for my dear mother as she was so isolated two and a half miles from Kangaroo Flat and no transport.

Willliam was a wood-cutter by this time, cutting wood in the forest for Mr Watson for 5 shillings (or 50 cents today) per ton. He would leave home on his bike in the dark, ride into Bendigo to meet the truck which would transport him to the forest, cut wood all day, and return mostly in the dark.

Will and Mary's family were all grown up now. John married Elva (Peg) Mary Williams at Forest St Methodist Church in Sept 1947 and went to live with Peg's parents at 24 Kennedy St. The next to marry was Jean, to John Jones on 11th Oct 1947. They made their home with John's father and brother at 11 Jennings St. while they built a solid brick home at 69 Strickland Rd. Next to marry was Jim, to Shirley Williams on 5th Nov 1948. They made their home with Shirl's mother at 80 Anderson St. Frank married next, to Lorraine Harding from Wood Wood on 26-8-1949. They made their home with Will and Mary at "The Pines", Kangaroo Flat. Hilda married John (Jack) Dean on 11th Feb 1950, followed 6 months later by Tom, who married Lorraine Read. George, the youngest child, has never married and lives at the farm with Frank and Lorraine.

William and Mary both had very hard lives, working tirelessly to support their family. After William retired, he continued to work on the farm for some years before taking sick in 1955 and passing away on 30th Oct - 6 days after his 65th birthday. He was buried at the White Hills cemetary with his daughter Mary Jane. Mary continued to live on the farm, sharing the home with Frank and Lorraine and their family. As Mary aged, Lorraine was a wonderful daughter-in-law and looked after her. Mary passed away on the 17th May 1979 at the age of 90 and is buried next to William at the White Hills cemetery.

My dear parents were survivors, struggling very hard to support their large family through two wars and a depression. I have nothing but love and admiration for them.

Will Edwards

Will Edwards

Mary Ann Edwards (nee Oliver) with Hilda and George at the Sunday School picnic in Ravenswood, circa 1935.

Mary Ann Edwards (nee Oliver) with Hilda and George at the Sunday School picnic in Ravenswood, circa 1935.

Site version: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 11:36 AM
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