Christopher Garsia

Christopher Garsia, Elizabeth Parker Watson and their children.

Introduction.

We have been greatly helped in writing up the story of Christopher Garsia and his family by his great granddaughter Christina Pender who lives in Australia (April 2010) and is in touch with other members of the family living there. In the same way as it seems unnecessary to acknowledge every individual contribution by Angela and Joan (in their case to the wider Garsia story) she will be treated here in the same way. Christina’s contributions have consisted of making available the texts of notes left by Christopher’s second daughter Beryl and of a similar set of notes by Tom Paxton (the husband of one of Christopher’s granddaughters) through the generosity of his daughters. Christina provided commentaries on both of these (referenced below as (CPx) and (CPTx) where x is the page number), in addition to numerous other contributions including checking my earlier draft.

It seems that Beryl wrote her memoirs during the years 1964 to 1968 when she was living in Tasmania and a few years before she died aged 93. They are referred to here as Beryl’s Memoirs and are referenced below as (BMx) where x is the page number. Word for word extracts are enclosed in single inverted comas ‘’ with our additional comments in square brackets [ ]. The copy I have is in a red folder and is marked ‘Beryl’s Memoirs’. In total there are eighty five pages. Accompanying the Memoirs is a commentary, running to eight pages, by Christina.

My copy of Tom Paxton’s account of this branch of the Garsia family is contained in a brown envelope with the title ‘Tom Paxton’s Account of the Garsia Family’. It is not clear when it was written but Tom died in 1991 and never met Christopher. His account is particularly useful in providing copies of, and quotations from, family letters and descriptions of family members but suffers from the lack of documented evidence which is now available to us. This lack inevitably resulted in his making some guesses, which he admits, in order to create a coherent story. This is fascinating in providing a picture of the family origins as he and those he was in touch with saw it. Thus many of the statements that he makes about the family history are not supported by specific references to sources although he does refer in a general way to a collection of family papers and letters not available to us. His account of the family history as he saw it has been written informally and was intended for the interest of his daughters. We are fortunate to have access to it. With my copy I started by numbering the pages in the top right-hand corner. There are thirty nine pages including four pages of images. Reference to this account in what follows is with the initials TP and the page number that I have marked.

References to other source material are listed as footnotes. Among these are some references to my own notes and material which I have collected or photocopied from other sources mostly official. References to these are in the form yymmdd being the dates on which the notes were prepared and DOCxxx being a number given to each document such as records of births, marriages and deaths. These have been stored in a series of ring-folders and are not included in this document 1)I have included reference to them partly for my own benefit but also in case there is a request for additional information. In time we may look to add copies of these documents to this website. ‘findmypast’ is the official website for The National Archives, Kew, UK.

My initial plan in writing up the lives of Christopher and Elizabeth’s children was to deal with them individually in the order of birth. However since most of the detailed information I have is based on Beryl’s Memoirs this involved a lot of repetition or cross referencing and for this reason I have redrafted these sections to cover specific periods when for example Beryl and Gwyn spent most of their time living together and later when Clive joined them and spent his time travelling Europe with Beryl. The other boys are dealt with individually at the end. But I start with the lives of Christopher and then Elizabeth Parker Watson his wife before moving on to the rest of the family. I hope this is not too confusing and easier to read than my earlier plan would have been.

To help in identifying where individuals fit into the family tree I provide a table of births, marriages and deaths followed by a time line which list in chronological order the more important events in the lives of the family members. I have not included dates of birth of people still alive (April 2010).

I have found a number of places where I am confused in trying to work out the order in which some of the visits and journeys that Beryl describes actually took place. She does not provide many dates. In some cases it is possible to fix a date from other material such as a birth or death record which may be regarded as reliable. Although I have done the best I can it is likely that I have got some of it wrong.

Although Christopher and Elizabeth had seven children, only Eric Marston, their fifth child, had children of his own and gave rise to a branch of which some members are still alive (October 2010). The vital statistics for Christopher and Elizabeth’s family are as follows:

Dates of births, marriages and deaths.

Christopher Garsia, wife and children tree

Christopher Garsia, wife and children tree

1 Christopher GARSIA b. 25 Feb 1837 d. 25 Apr 1917 m. 23 Jul 1872 Elizabeth Parker WATSON b. third quarter 1850, d. 25 May 1896.

Christopher Garsia dn Elizabeth Parker Watson had 7 children:

2 Gwendoline Mountney GARSIA b. 13 Aug 1874, d. 1 Mar 1949, m. 28 Jul 1920 Edward Brassey BERTHON.

2 Aubrey Christie Haly GARSIA b. 31 Jan 1876, d. 8 Jul 1905.

2 Beryl le Mesurier GARSIA b. 11 Jul 1879, d. 25 Feb 1973.

2 Willoughby Clive GARSIA b. 22 Feb 1881 d. 4 Jan 1961.

2 Eric Marston GARSIA b. 3 Dec 1882 d. 25 Dec 1968, m. 22 Jul 1908 Marjorie Sutherland BISDEE d. 30 Jun 1969.

2 Oliver Dunham Melville GARSIA b. 18 Nov 1885 d. 18 Sep 1914.

2 Rupert Clare GARSIA b. 9 Oct 1887 d. 18 Feb 1954 m. 28 Apr 1934 Dorothea LLOYD b. 24 Nov 1892. d. May 1968.

 

Eric Marston GARSIA and Marjorie Sutherland BISDEE had three children

Eric and Marjorie Garsia and children

Eric and Marjorie Garsia and children

3 Elizabeth Marjorie GARSIA b. 20 Apr 1909, d. 1 Apr 2007, m. 21 Nov 1945 William Rollo FINCHAM d. 14 Nov 1967.  Elizabeth and William had a daughter, Christina Mary FINCHAM m. 9 May 1970 William Michael PENDER, divorced 4 May 1976.

3 Gwyndoline Clare GARSIA b. 23 Oct 1910 d. 8 Mar 2003 m. 23 Nov 1938 Henry Llewellyn (Tom) PAXTON d. 25 May 1991. Gwyndoline and Henry had four daughters, as described below.

3 Margaret Katharine GARSIA m. 19 Jul 1940 John St Clair BERRY.  Margaret then m Terence Christopher (Terry) WOLFERSTAN 19 Jul 1947, and had two children and five grandchildren, as described below. 

Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren of Gwyndoline and Henry Paxton:

Henry and Gwydoline's children, Grandchildren and great grandchild

Henry and Gwydoline’s children, Grandchildren and great grandchild

4 Judith Margaret PAXTON m. 9 May 1983 David John Meade

4 Gillian Clare PAXTON m. 12 Mar 1965 Norman Karl SANDERS divorced March 1989. Gillian and Norman have one daughter: Christy Clare SANDERS m. 3 Jun 2006 Rob MILLER, who in turn have a daughter Annika Sophia JOY. 2)Gillian Paxton has informed us that Christy SANDERS (Gillian’s daughter) and Rob MILLER have changed their surname to JOY.

4 Susan Jessica PAXTON m. 15 Nov 1980 John Arthur TRINDER. Susan and John have one daughter: Jessica Amanda TRINDER m. 20 Mar 2010 Lewis MITCHELL, and one son: Peter Thomas Willis TRINDER m. 2 Jun 2007 Amanda FISCHMANN.

4 Amanda Margery PAXTON m. 29 Jan 1983 Graham James REILLY. Amanda and Graham have two daughters: Caitlin Clare Paxton REILLY and Grace Diana Paxton REILLY

 

Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren of Margaret Katharine GARSIA and John St Clair BERRY / Terence Christopher (Terry) WOLFERSTAN:

Margaret and Terrance Wolferstan's children and grandchildren

Margaret and Terrance Wolferstan’s children and grandchildren

4 Juliet Ann WOLFERSTAN m. 16 Sep 1972 Peter ACCADIA. Juliet m Matthew Lewis CORKHILL 16 Mar 1985. Juliet had three children, and based on the surnames it appears two with Peter and the third with Matthew: Lisa Maria ACCADIA, David Anthony ACCADIA, Anna Louise CORKHILL.

4 Christopher Martin WOLFERSTAN m. 30 Jul 1975 Alison Margaret EDMONDS. Christopher and Alison had two daughters: Jane Bonnie WOLFERSTAN and Angela Maree WOLFERSTAN

Jane Bonnie WOLFERSTAN m. 2 Feb 1997 Nigel LEWIS. and had two children: Joshua John LEWIS and Anna Grace LEWIS.

 

Time line for Christopher Garsia, Elizabeth Parker Watson and their children.

 

Christopher (C.G.) born:                             25 February 1837, Kingston, Jamaica.

C.G.joins British army:                                23 March 1858.

C.G. ADC to Sir William Haly:                     Bengal, India.

C.G. retires from the army:                        23 March 1870.

Census record of C.G.:                               1871,                          Clifton            , Bristol.

Elizabeth Parker Watson’s (E.P.W.)father dies:12 May 1871,   Hampstead, London.

C.G. marries E.P.W. (Lilla):                        23 July 1872,                 Hampstead, London.

First child born (Gwyn):                              13 August 1874,   Kensington, London.

Haly born:                                                      31 January 1876,  Hove, Sussex.

C.G.  sails to Australia:                                December 1876.

His family follows;                                        1878.

All move to Nelson, N.Z.                             1878.

Beryl born:                                                     11 July 1879,                        Nelson, N.Z.

Clive born:                                                     22 February 1881,   Nelson, N.Z.

Eric born:                                                       3 December 1882,   Nelson, N.Z.

Move to Christchurch:                                 About 1883.

Oliver born:                                                   18 November 1885, Christchurch.

Rupert born:                                                 9 October 1887,        Christchurch.

Move to Riccarton 5 m. from Christchurch:         About 1889,              Riccarton.

Committee, Canterbury Society of Arts:   1885 to about 1900.

The family returns to Christchurch:                      Before 1894,             Christchurch.

Gwyn visits England and returns to N.Z.:            1896.

Elizabeth Parker dies:                                             26 May 1896,            Christchurch.

Gwyn, Haly and Beryl leave for England:           1899.

C.G., Oliver and Rupert move to England:          circa 1901.

Haly, Clive, Eric, Oliver & Rupert:Boer War: 1901-1902                       South Africa.

Whole family gathers for last time:                        circa 1902,                 Southsea.

Eric sails to Argentina:                                November 1903        South America.

Rupert joins the navy (R.N. later R.A.N.) July 1904.

Haly dies/is killed:                                        8 July 1905,              Kashmir, India.

C.G. and some family move to W-s-M:     Before 1906,             Weston-s-Mare.

Eric marries Marjorie Bisdee:                                 22 July 1908,                        Somerset.

Eric and Marjorie settle in Tasmania:                   1908                           Tasmania.

C.G. moves to Woodlands, Congresbury:           About 1912,              Somerset.

Oliver is killed:                                              18 September 1914.            France.

C.G. moves to Burnham-on-Sea:              Before 1917,             Burnham-on-Sea.

C.G. dies:                                                       25 April 1917,           Burnham-on-Sea.

Gwyn marries Edward Berthon:                28 Jul 1920,              Kew.

Beryl travels the world sometimes with Clive: 1920 s and 1930s.

Beryl settles in Florence then Rome:                   1930s,                                    Italy.

Rupert appointed Administrator of Nauru:          December 1932,       Nauru, Pacific.

Rupert marries Dorothea Lloyd:                28 April 1934.                       Bong Bong, NSW.

Beryl (later Clive) move in with Harry Garsia October 1936     Epsom, Surrey.

Beryl, Clive and Harry travel Europe:

Beryl sells her flat in Rome, returns to UK.:        End of 1939,

Gwyn dies:                                                    1 March 1949,                       Epsom, Surrey.

Rupert dies in Canberra:                            18 February 1954,   Australia.

Harry dies:                                                     6 November 1955.

Beryl and Clive move to Vence, N. of Nice:        Early 1956,                South of France.

Clive dies:                                                     4 January 1961,       London.

Beryl moves to Australia:                            1962,                          Sydney, later Melbourne then Tasmania.

Eric dies at Berriedale, Tasmania:                        25 December 1968. Tasmania.

Beryl dies:                                                     25 February 1973.   Tasmania.

 

Christopher Garsia.

 

Christopher was the fifth child and third son of Jewish parents Aaron Garsia and his wife Sarah Melhado of Hanover Street, Kingston, Jamaica. He was born on 25 February 1837 and then baptised in the Anglican Church in Kingston on 12 December 1840 3)Transcripts of the records of the Anglican Church of Kingston and archived in Spanish Town. (Vol 3, page 100 for the year 1840. Copied onto 35mm film by the Mormons: film number 1281761. 05Jan26). His parents are given as Aaron Garsia, Surgeon, and his wife Sarah, Hanover Street, Kingston. When his father died in 1848 he would have been eleven years old and presumably stayed with his mother as she travelled to Chile (?) and then England in or before 1856. Like his younger brother, Michael Clare, he set out on a military career. The information about this is as follows and comes from the Army lists and from his military records deposited in The National Archives, Kew 4)The Army Lists are available on the open shelving at The National Archives, Kew. Christopher’s Service record has the reference numbers: WO76/61/f17, 61/f14, 62/f4, 26/f85. These have been photocopied and are filed as DOC393. See also 01Aug02.

At the age of 21 on 23 March 1858 he joined the Seventieth Regiment of Foot (also known as the ‘Surrey’) as an Ensign, without purchase. (Until 1871 Officers could purchase commissions …. It is not clear to me how he got his commission in the army.) On 11 October 1859 he was promoted to Lieutenant in the same regiment. On 8 March 1860 he transferred by exchange to the Seventy-ninth Regiment of Foot (The Cameron Highlanders) and on 3 August 1864 to the Eighty-ninth regiment of Foot. The record is difficult to read but he appears to have made a further transfer on 10 November 1865 to a fourth infantry regiment still with the rank of lieutenant. Finally he is recorded as joining on 8 February1867, the staff on Foreign Stations, Bengal, India as Aide-de-Camp to Major General Sir William Haly (also BM1). Under the heading ‘Non-effective Officers’ Captain C. Garsia’s retirement is listed as ‘on half-pay’ 15 May 1873 and ‘ret’ 1 July 1882. Officers were not entitled to pensions on retirement until 1871. Before that retiring officers either sold their commissions or received half-pay, which is similar to a retainer and paid to men who remained available for future service 5)Herber, M.D., Ancestral Trails, p. 321. (Sutton Publishing Limited, 1997) . His service record is very meagre in details and in particular there are no records of a more personal nature describing any qualities he displayed.

In the 1871 UK census he is recorded as being on sick leave from India and living with two servants in Clifton, Bristol not far from other members of the Garsia family 6)He is listed living at 6 Cornwallis Crescent, Clifton, Bristol aged 34, unmarried and a captain in the Bengal Staff Corps on sick leave from India. (DOC. 244). . In this document he is described as a captain in the Indian Army with no mention of his retirement. It was presumably at this time that he met his future wife.

On 23 July 1872 he married Elizabeth Parker Watson of Cumberland at St Peters church in the parish of Hampstead, Middlesex 7)The certificate shows Christopher aged 35, a captain in the Indian Army. His place of residence at the time of marriage is given as ‘This parish of St Peters, Belsize  Park [Hampstead] , his father’s name as Adrian Garsia, Physician. His wife is recorded as Elizabeth Parker Watson aged 22 of St Saviour, Haverstock Hill [Hampstead]. Her father’s name is given as Jhn. Watson, Merchant. The witnesses were W O G Haly [Sir William O’Grady Haly. The following comes from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography: ‘He was awarded the CB in 1855. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 38th Foot, then stationed in India, on 4 Feb. 1859 and served in the East Indies from 1861 to 1870; he was promoted major-general in January 1865 and lieutenant-general, May 1873.], [illegible]  Watson, W. Marston Garsia and H M Watson. (DOC153). The date of their marriage is confirmed by Christina’s note on Beryl’s Memoirs ‘this was 23 July 1872 according to Elizabeth’s own inscription in her Bible’ (CP2). and for their honeymoon travelled in Europe for a year.  Beryl provides a description of their honeymoon travels 8) ‘They first went to Venice and there is a photograph of them both taken there. One of the places they stayed at was Nice.  They had the offer of a beautiful villa at Cimiez standing in extensive grounds.  In those days Queen Victoria used to spend much of the winter in Cimiez.  So it became a fashionable place.  Father wanted it, but Mother said she wished her children to be born on British soil so they turned it down.  Had they bought it how different all our lives would have been.  We would have been bilingual and gone to school in England.  Cimiez has since been completely swallowed up in Nice, and the land has become immensely valuable. So they returned to England and stayed about in various watering places.’ (BM2). In this and other descriptions of her parents’ life together Beryl implies that it was her mother who was the dominant character and who took all the main decisions concerning the family. She has little good to say about her father whom she depicts as a rather feeble character.

On 13 August 1874 the first of their children Gwendoline Mountney was born 9)The birth certificate DOC261 records her name as Gwendoline Mountney, the date and place of birth as 13 Aug. 1874 at 22 Clarendon Road, Kensington. Her mother is recorded as Elizabeth Parker Garsia formerly Watson. Her father Christopher Garsia is described as Retired Captain H.M.S., late B.S.C. [Bengal Staff Corps]. Christina has provided a transcription from a Bible which had belonged to Elizabeth Parker Watson in which the birth dates of her children are inscribed by Christopher. DOC387. Her first daughter is listed as Gwendolyn Mountney. at 22 Clarence Road, Kensington. Beryl refers to her as Gwyn as I do below.

Then on 31 January 1876 their first son Aubrey (Aubry in family Bible) Christie Haly was born 10)I have a copy of his birth certificate, DOC.No. 147. The birth was registered in the registration district of Steyning, sub-district: Shorham, Sussex. Name: Aubrey Christie Haly.  His date of birth is given as 31 January 1876, at 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove. Father’s name: Christopher Garsia. Mother’s name Elizabeth Parker Garsia formerly Watson. Occupation of father: Captain Bengal Staff Corps H.P. Signature, description and residence of informant: Chr. Garsia Captn. H.P., Father, 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove.  at 1 Ventnor Villas, Hove, Sussex (He was known as Haly with various spellings – presumably after Sir William Haly to whom Christopher was ADC in India).

There is a record 11)On 28 Nov. 2001 Angela sent extracts from the Public Record Office, Victoria, Australia thus: Index of inward Passenger lists 1852 – 1889; (1) Surname — Garsia, Given name – Christopher, Age – 40, Year – 1876, Month – December, Ship – Sobraon. (2) Surname – Garcia, Given Names – Aubrey, C., Mrs. and Gwendoline, Ages 2, 28, and 3, Year – 1878, Month April, Ship – Garonne. (DOC331). of Christopher sailing to Australia in December 1876 followed by Elizabeth with the two children two years later. Beryl comments on this decision, presumably based on what her mother had to say. ‘My mother was not happy. … My father had nothing to occupy himself with and was always interfering with the upbringing and small details of the children. Finally, in desperation, my mother decided to go to the ‘Colonies’ and she packed my father off to spy out the land. The year must have been about 1875 or 1876.’ (BM2). ‘So about 1876 or later … he [Christopher] reached Melbourne and began looking round with the intention of buying a sheep station, knowing absolutely nothing about sheep or land, but it was thought then that anyone, however ignorant, could easily learn. … He wandered about, and I believe came to Tasmania and was about to return home when my mother decided for him.’ (BM3&4). With the two children she sailed for Melbourne. (see notes below about Elizabeth).

The family settled briefly in Melbourne but soon moved on to Nelson in New Zealand 12)‘After a few months in Melbourne they decided they disliked it.  Father knew a few retired Maori War Officers who had settled in New Zealand and taken up land near Nelson.  So they took ship to New Zealand and bought a house overlooking the Church Hill in Nelson at the north end of South Island. This house has a tower to it and was then the largest in Nelson.’ (BM4).. ‘Christopher bought a place in Melbourne overlooking the Treasury Gardens but they only stayed there three months. He found it very dusty.’ 13)This comment comes via Christina Pender (27 September 2009) from Margaret Katharine, Christopher’s grand daughter. (DOC444)

Their second daughter Beryl was born in Nelson on 11 July 1879. She has the unusual second name of le Mesurier – Beryl le Mesurier Garsia 14)The birth date for Beryl and for her brothers noted below are taken from their mother’s Bible (see DOC387)..

On 22 Feb. 1881 Willoughby Clive was born. (He was always known in the family as Clive.)

On 1 Jul. 1882 Christopher finally retired from the army 15)Army Lists 1859 to 1900 (see 01aug02.).. Prior to this time he was on half-pay as a captain.

On 3 Dec.1882 Eric Marston was born (Beryl refers to him as Eric).

While they were in Nelson they were visited by Christopher’s brother Willoughby Marston 16)9 Feb. 1876 there is a record of Dr W.M. Garsia applying for a UK passport (see findmypast.com)  mentioned in passing by Beryl (BM6).

About 1883 they moved to Christchurch because there was a better chance of a good education. Between Nelson and Christchurch they had a short stay at a seaside place called Totaranui and then sailed for Port Lyttelton. In Christchurch they moved into a corner house overlooking the bridge over the Avon into Hagley Park (BM6). ‘This house is still standing (2007/8) and, I think belongs to Christ’s College.’ (CP2)

On 18 Nov. 1885 Oliver Dunham Melville (family name: Oliver) was born.

On 9 Oct. 1887 Rupert Clare (known as Rupert or Rue) was born.

Beryl writes that in 1889 the family moved five miles out of Christchurch to Riccarton to a large house in twenty acres of grounds 17)‘When I was about 10 [c. 1889] we moved 5 miles out of Christchurch to Riccarton to a large house of 2 storeys standing in 20 acres of fields and garden. It had a wonderful view, uninterrupted by any house, over to the mountains.  Never will I forget what they looked like in the winter.  There were large stables, a long drive with trees, all well grown, the whole 20 acres surrounded by pine trees.  A group of pines and a large silver beech on one side of the lawn where we had a swing and later used to sit and have lessons’. (BM7)..

Beryl makes a number of comments about her parents’ life in New Zealand. ‘My Father and Mother were a strange couple.  Father had a very bad temper he used to vent on Mother.  She had been broken in, to giving in, by her sister Fanny who had a vile temper and she could not stand up to Father (whose bark was always worse than his bite).  She was devoted to him and always made excuses for him.  I believe that underneath he was fond of her.  They were both very intellectual and read good books, and Mother read aloud to us on winter evenings: books on Caldea and Assyria, and a book called “Life and her Children”.  There was a good Public Library in Christchurch we used to go into, and I remember discovering small articles by Bernard Shaw, I pointed out to Clive, in the Saturday Review.  I had never then heard of him’.  (BM9).

One of the difficulties in understanding the family’s affairs is how they managed to live such a well-funded life style when his only income seems to have been that of a retired captain in the British army. The answer is that Elizabeth his wife was very wealthy. (Tom Paxton has researched the Watson family history and shows that they were very successful farmers and that her father John had made money as a business man both in London and Bombay, India 18)Tom Paxton comments on Elizabeth’s wealth thus: ‘I know from documents in the family’s possession that when John Watson [Elizabeth’s father] died he left to Lilla [Elizabeth] a share of his property in Cumberland consisting of six farms, valued at £31,340. I have no record of what he may have left her from his properties in London or business in Bombay, but it must have been a considerable fortune.’ (TP22).. Elizabeth inherited some of this.).

According to Tom Paxton, Christopher’s son Eric had a poor view of his father’s character commenting particularly on his bad temper 19)Tom Paxton writes: ‘Christopher’s character has been summed up by Eric and I will quote this in full: “Of Father’s character I will find it hard to write. He had an appalling, fretful temper. He was quite unpredictable. He would bully us silly in the daytime and sit up all night with us when we were ill. He shouted and stormed at us over very trivial things.”’ (TP23).. As I have already mentioned none of Beryl’s comments is very complimentary about her father. However she does note that he had a part time job on the Board of Governors of Christchurch University and was instrumental in the founding of the Art Gallery in Christchurch 20)

‘Father, though not earning a living, was not idle.  He was on the Board of Governors of the University and he founded the Art Gallery in Christchurch. First he rented a small room to exhibit pictures painted locally, even sitting at the door to collect the entrance money, and they gave little concerts there – The Spanish Students – all Spanish – was one lot.  Then with money help from rich people – old Montgomery was one – he got enough to build a big gallery, two rooms, one for permanent collection, and one for annual exhibits.  The first,  a ballroom that was let for dancing with a small stage for concerts.  It was very successful. At first he got Sir Frederic Leighton to choose pictures and send them out and they were housed first in the Museum which moved to the Art Gallery.  Father’s portrait is in the Art Gallery.’ (BM10). On the involvement of Christopher in the Gallery of Art, Christina Pender has the following comment: ‘In early 2007 I visited Christchurch with my cousin Gillian Paxton and the following notes relating to BM10 result from that visit. “He founded the Art Gallery in Christchurch”. It was not in fact the Art Gallery but the Canterbury Society of Arts (CSA), and he didn’t found it. Its first meeting was held on 30 June 1880 and its first exhibition opened on 17 January 1881. Christopher moved to Christchurch at the end of 1882. He was one of the trustees and was Honorary Secretary and Treasurer from September 1885 to March 1896, and its Vice-President from March 1897 to March 1902. “Father’s portrait is in the Art Gallery.” The portrait was painted in 1902 by James Balfour and is in the CoCA – the Centre of Contemporary Art. The name of the CSA was changed to CoCA in 1996. See http://www.coca.org.nz/general_history.html The current director of CoCA, Warren Feeney, has written his PhD thesis on the history of the CoCA. It includes a chapter on the CSA’s galleries and Christopher Garsia is central to this chapter. ‘The Canterbury Society of Arts 1880-1996.  Conformity and Dissension Revisited’, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Otago, 2009.  Warren told us that the previous accounts of the early days of the CSA were critical of Captain Garsia and depicted him as very conservative. In its first years the CSA bought many pictures by local artists but the committee then decided they must have a building to house the works, so raised money for a building and stopped buying pictures. This of course alienated the artists who were very critical of the CSA and Garsia in particular. However the building was designed by the prominent Christchurch architect B.W. Mountfort and was paid off by 1902. This building is now part of the Christchurch Law Courts.’ (CP2&3). in the period 1885 to 1900. An article by the Director of the Centre of Contemporary Art refers to his work 21)Chapter 3 of Feeney’s thesis (referenced above) gives an account of his work– he is referred to as Captain Garsia. The Society held annual exhibitions of works by local artists but shortly before their 1889 exhibition they were denied use of their usual room.  Apparently Christopher was instrumental in helping to solve the problem and attracted praise for his efforts: ‘… our indefatigable  Hon. Secretary, Captain Garsia, has brought us fairly through our difficulties, …’. ‘The trustees felt equally appreciative of Garsia’s efforts and commissioned a portrait of him by James Lawson Balfour for its permanent collection in 1902’. Christopher was again active in the Society’s efforts to have built a permanent gallery in Armagh Street ready for the 1890 exhibition on 4 November.  Although congratulated in some quarters he suffered considerable criticism from others especially the working members of the Society. Thus: ‘His military background and social standing appears to have been at odds with a number of the Society’s artists … [who criticised his] ability to appreciate and administer the arts’. He was sensitive to these criticisms and offered to resign a number of times and eventually this was accepted in 1896 with ‘extreme regret’ and the council recorded its ‘highest appreciation of thanks for the valuable services of Captain Garsia to the Society’. Beryl’s account of how Christopher was involved with the Gallery of Art is also described in a letter she wrote to Mr. Stewart Mair, President of the Gallery on 7 February 1970, and of which a transcription was sent to me by Warren Feeney by email on 2 June 2009. (DOC435). In an exchange of emails between Joan and Christina Pender the latter says ‘he [Christopher] was its first Honorary Secretary and Treasurer from September 1885 to March 1896, and its Vice-President from March 1897 to March 1902 (when the portrait was painted).’ This last date is not consistent with our estimate of the date when he returned to England with the rest of his family. I return to this later.

In his work for the Society for Arts he had a mixed relationship with the local artist community arising probably from his lack of any practical experience in that field. However it was probably his administrative experience in the army that helped him to set up the Gallery.

A comment in favour of Christopher comes from one of his grand daughters Margaret Katharine: ‘Mother [Marjorie, Eric’s wife] told me that when Grandfather was old and his children had all left home, he was very charming. His family irritated him beyond words.’ 22)Remark to Christina Pender see an email dated 26 September 2009. (DOC444)..

During the last few years of the nineteenth century two particularly significant things happened to the family. The first was that Gwyn started their move back to England and the second was that Elizabeth died of breast cancer on 26 May 1896. Beryl writes that Gwyn returned to England to study music 23)‘The time had now come for Gwyn to go to England to study music.’ (BM11). but was called back when it became clear that her mother was about to die. In the event she got back too late 24)There is a record of Gwyn sailing from London to Sydney leaving on 3 April 1896. (DOC386d). and her mother had died 25) ‘Poor mother gradually sank and died, being partially kept out of pain by morphia. Gwyn was recalled from England. Mother longed to live till she saw Gwyn but died not long before she arrived.’ (BM17)..

It was at the turn of the century that the whole family returned to the UK as described by Beryl: ‘Gwyn was getting restive. We had to go to England. Gwyn to continue her studies of the piano, Haly for pen and ink drawing and myself for modelling in clay. … So we went to Wellington … and we left Clive, Eric, Oliver and Rupert behind – rather a wrench. The year was 1899 and I was 20.’  (BM19). They sailed via South America. That they were back in England by 1900 is confirmed by Beryl’s report of watching Queen Victoria’s funeral cortège and later the procession of King Edward and Queen Alexandra driving to Westminster Abbey to be crowned. (BM25). [Queen Victoria died 22 January 1901, Edward VII went in procession through the main streets of London on 25 October, 1902 (the coronation having taken place on 9 August 26)Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol. 8, page 998-9. This unusual arrangement was caused by the king’s ill health.].

The Boer or South African Wars (1880-81 and 1899-1902) took place at this time and Haly, Clive and Eric all went there to fight. Details of their service are given later when I describe their lives. After it was over they all moved to England to join those of the family already there. Beryl comments on their activities at that time thus: ‘Haly after about a year in England, volunteered and went to South Africa for the Boer War. … and went through the War with them [the 2nd New Zealand Contingent]’ and ‘Both Clive and Eric came later to S.A., Clive as an officer and Eric in the 9th Contingent.’ (BM23).

‘After two years in England it was my turn to go to New Zealand to bring home the two youngest boys, Oliver and Rupert. I went out on the Gothic. (BM26). There is a record 27)See DOC386e for details. of Beryl sailing to Wellington, New Zealand on the Gothic leaving London on 29 August 1901. ‘So Oliver, Rupert and I left [Christchurch] for Wellington to sail [home to England] in the Gothic. … Not long before we sailed … [Christopher had] decided that he could not remain behind with all his family in England. The captain delayed sailing until he arrived …’ (BM27).

Thus by 1902 the whole family was in England.

The best information about where they settled is a note by Beryl showing that they had taken rooms in Southsea very close to Portsea where the daughters of Christopher’s sister Wilhelmina Sophia continued living after their mother’s death in 1900. Strangely Beryl doesn’t make any mention of meeting them. It was in Southsea, according to Beryl that Christopher’s family all met before they went off on their separate ways. ‘Before we all scattered, and before father settled in Weston-super-Mare, [the first date we have of Christopher in Weston-super-Mare is 29 August, 1906 when he witnessed his brother Willoughby Marston’s will – see WMG’s notes], we were in rooms at Southsea. We all foregathered there for the last time! To me one scene is vivid. The boys lifted Gwyn and me onto their shoulders and marched round the room. Father sitting watching. Some of us (one at least) were never to meet again. We had been so much bound up with each other, and still were.’ (BM28).

The lives of the individual family members are traced in later sections and here I continue with Christopher.

In recognition of Christopher’s work for the Canterbury Society of Arts a portrait of him was commissioned. This now hangs in the Gallery (now called the Centre of Contemporary Art) and bears the date 1902 28)Christina Pender comments: ‘the portrait of Captain Garsia in the CoCA is dated 1902’. (CP4).. The information presented above indicates that he was back in England at that time. However we have a record 29)From ‘Findmypast’ a record of Passengers leaving  UK 1890 – 1960: Captain C.J. Garsia. (DOC386j). of him (listed as Captain C.J. Garsia) sailing from London to Bombay on 26 March 1902 and this may be when he was on his way back to New Zealand to sit for or accept his portrait. A stop at Bombay would be a natural place to visit the hotel that his father-in-law owned there.

Christopher moved to a ‘small house’ in Weston-super-Mare 30)‘Father took a small house at Weston-super-Mare to be near his favourite brother Willoughby who was settled there with a wife he had married late in life and four small children.  We despised a suburban life and hated W-s-M, a seaside resort with no country walks.’ (BM28). where his brother Willoughby Marston and his family were living. Beryl writes that Willoughby was his favourite brother. Certainly he witnessed Willoughby’s will in 1906 when he was living at 3 St Pauls Road and even then described as a Captain in the Indian Army 31)Christopher was appointed a trustee of his brother’s (WMG) will which was written on 10 August 1905 when he was living at 7 St Pauls Road, Weston-super-Mare where he is referred to as a ‘Retired Captain in the Indian Army’. Probate was granted to him and his nephew on 14 October 1909.  (DOC58).. By 1910 he had moved to 21 Ellensburgh Park, W-s-M 32)1910 He also appears as an entry in Kelly’s directory for Weston-super-Mare as Captain Christopher Garsia, 21 Ellensburgh Park, W-s-M. He is also listed in the 1911 census for W-s-M at the address given above aged 74 and with two servants. His Profession or Occupation is given as ‘Retired Army Captain (pensioned)’. (DOC430).. After his brother Willoughby Marston had died in 1909 he moved to a house called ‘Woodlands’, Congresbury in the Mendip Hills and only five or six miles from W-s-M, which he shared for a short time with his daughters Beryl and Gwyn. According to Beryl he didn’t like living there and moved to London 33) ‘By that time [1912] we had left W-s-M and gone to live at ‘Woodlands’ in the Mendips. Congresbury was our village, and Yatton an ancient village about midway between Bristol and Weston’ (BM39) … ‘The house was large and stood in a garden with acres of woods behind it all part of our property. It was all very steep. The view from the front door to a peak in the Mendips was quite lovely’ … ‘We ought to have been happy there but for different reasons we were not, and Father hated it and he decided to go to London and leave us to it’ (BM40-1)..

A letter, dated Woodlands, 24 June 1914 from Christopher to his son Rupert is a reply to one from Rupert to his father. In the latter Rupert must have reported that on a visit to Jamaica he had met someone who called himself a cousin of Christopher’s. In Christopher’s reply of 24 June 1914 he writes that his brother Willoughby ‘knew that my father had a family by his housekeeper prior to his marriage’. This is the only record that I am aware of, of Aaron’s children by partners other than Sarah Ann Melhado being known to Christopher’s generation 34)A photocopy of this letter appears in Tom Paxton’s account of the family. (TP7 and DOC412)..

At some stage he must have moved to Burnham on Sea (also not far from W-s-M) where on 25 April 1917 he died 35)Certified Copy of an Entry of Death. 25 April 1917, at Kenwyn, Sea View Road, Burnham [on Sea, Somerset], Christopher Garsia, Male, 80 years, Retired Captain, Cause of death: Heart failure, Informant Eliza Ricks [same address]. There is also a record of his burial in the cemetery at Burnham on Sea. (DOC 385). at the age of 80. He was buried in the cemetery there. He failed to leave a will and administration of his estate was granted to his daughters Gwendoline and Beryl at Wells on 27 August 1917. His estate was valued at just under £1500 36)He appears in the index of wills having the address: Woodlands, Congresbury, Somerset. Administration granted at Wells 27 Aug. 1917 to Gwendoline Mountney Garsia and Beryl le Mesurier Garsia spinsters. Effects £ 1449-19-0d. Thus he left no will..

 

Elizabeth Parker Watson.

 

Elizabeth Parker was born of parents John (b. 17 June 1818, d. 12 May 1871) and Hannah Maria Watson (née Proctor) of Cumberland in the third quarter of 1850 37)The index to birth records shows for the third quarter of 1850: Watson, Elizabeth Parker, Registration district St. George’s, Hanover Square, vol. V, p. 6, (findmypast).. Her father, John Watson, starting from nothing, became very rich, as Beryl describes in her Memoirs: ‘John Watson had an extraordinary career. He came of farmer stock in Cumberland and had no money. But one way or another he built up capital. Somehow he started a shop in Regent Street, the predecessor of Liberty’s, and he built Watson’s Hotel in Bombay. He built Gelt Hall at Castle Carrock, Cumberland, and died there in middle age, from dropsy [oedema], I believe’. (BM1).

Tom Paxton provides some information about the Watson family and in particular their financial success. He claims that Elizabeth was left over £30,000 out of an estate worth about £200,000 when her father died. Presumably this is the explanation of how the family was able to live as they did. Christopher’s captain’s pension would certainly not have been sufficient (TP20 to TP22).

Tom writes that Elizabeth’s father John Watson died ‘on 12th May, 1871 …at Fellows Road, Hampstead’. He goes on to say that Hannah survived him by only ‘four years and died still in Hampstead on 18th April 1875’ (TP20). An official record of John Watson’s death confirms Tom’s information 38)Certified copy of an entry of death: 1871 Hampstead, Middlesex, on 12 May 1871 at 20 Fellows Road, Hampstead, John Watson, male, aged 53, Occupation: East India Merchant, Cause of death: Diseased liver, Dropsy, Enfeebled heart, Congested lungs. Informant: Sarah Chapman. (DOC438).

As noted above, in 1872 Elizabeth married Christopher Garsia. Beryl claims that ‘to have a father who owned a hotel, although the best residential one, was a slur not to be lived down. So my Father gave up his commission, came home and married my Mother. He had met her when on leave. … Mother had been sent to school in Paris and she had an excellent French accent. … She was very intellectual and extremely intelligent, and one of the kindest, most forgiving people possible to find. She was clairvoyant and could put her hands on one end of a large table and it would rear up the other end and turn. She disliked this gift and, later on, never practised it. … She married my Father, and for their honeymoon travelled Europe for a year. They first went to Venice and there is a photograph of them both taken there. … So they returned to England and stayed about in various watering places. My Mother was not happy. Two of the children were born, Gwyndoline and Haly [see Christopher’s notes above]. … My Father had nothing to occupy himself with and was always interfering with the upbringing and small details of the children. Finally, in desperation, my mother decided to go to the “Colonies”. She packed my Father off to spy out the land. … In those days there were still many sailing ships and they chose one, but it took much longer than usual for the voyage – six months.’ (BM1 and 2). There is a record of this sailing in 1876 (see Christopher’s notes above).

The following details of the hotel that Elizabeth’s father built in Bombay come from ‘Wikipedia’. It is a cast iron building fabricated in England and constructed on-site between 1867 and 1869. It was opened as an exclusive whites-only hotel, and it was the swankiest hotel in the city in those days. The hotel was eventually sold and is now given over to domestic living quarters and commercial use. The structure is deteriorating but because of its unique construction is listed as a Grade II-A Heritage Structure 39)Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watson%27s_Hotel.

Before she herself left to join her husband and sometime after Christopher had left for Australia Elizabeth Parker Garsia was a witness at the marriage of Emma Anita Garsia (her sister-in-law) to James Bradley Cooke on 25 October 1876 in Hove. 40)Certified copy of an entry of marriage: Parish of Hove, Sussex, 25 October 1876, James Bradley Cooke to Emma Anita Garsia, Father’s profession: Solicitor, Witnesses: Willoughby Marston Garsia, Sarah Anne Garsia, Alicia Garsia, Elizabeth Parker Garsia and one other illegible. DOC132

Elizabeth Parker’s story follows that of her husband Christopher. Below are a few notes specifically relating to her life in New Zealand.

Beryl writes: ‘[Following my father’s difficulty in finding a suitable place to settle in Australia my mother took matters into her own hands] She took ship to Melbourne with my sister and brother [this was in 1878 — see Christopher’s notes above] and brought with her a lady help, Annie Bisgood, and she met him there. … After a few months in Melbourne they decided they disliked it. Father knew a few retired Maori War Officers who had settled in New Zealand and taken up land near Nelson. So they took ship to New Zealand and bought a house overlooking the Church Hill in Nelson. I was born there in 1879. Then Clive was born and then Eric. The house has a tower on it and was the largest in Nelson.’ (BM4). After about five years in Nelson they moved to Christchurch. Oliver and Rupert were born there (BM5&6).

Of their life in New Zealand Beryl writes of her mother ‘She was devoted to him [Christopher] and always made excuses for him [because of his bad temper]. I believe that underneath he was fond of her. They were both very intellectual and read good books, and mother read aloud to us [on] winter evenings – books on Caldea and Assyria [?], and a book called “Life and her children” [which appears to be an introduction to Darwinism for children]’. (BM9).

Of Elizabeth Watson, Tom Paxton writes as follows:- ‘No-one seems to have anything but good to say of Lilla Watson … One thing that Lilla acquired was a deep religion and faith in God, and it is noteworthy that her youngest brother took Holy Orders. … Another characteristic that Lilla displayed was obedience, almost subservience, to her husband, and a requirement of obedience to herself from her children, … What she does not seem to have acquired from childhood was happiness, and according to Beryl she was pleased to marry to get away from the influences of her home. … [she] was married on the 22nd of July, 1872, at the age of 22.’ (TP21).

Tom quotes the following remarks about Elizabeth by Eric her son: ‘We were all devoted to her while we were antagonistic to Father. She was deeply religious, very well-read and very broad-minded. We all thought her perfect, which I’m sure she was, as near as anyone could be. Unfortunately for her and for us too she believed in absolute obedience to her husband, which in those days girls were taught. She and Father were devoted to each other, but that didn’t prevent him from being a terrible boar in his own house’. (TP23).

Another quote that Tom provides comes from a letter to Rupert from Gwyn thus: ‘I have just reread your last letter in which you tell me of going to Communion on May 26, the 50th anniversary of Mother’s death. What has always been a surprise to me is that you and Ole had such a strong recollection of what Mother said and did. By that I mean her outlook on life for you were both very young. Mother had two outstanding characteristics – her fearless honesty and her religion. Never in my life did I ever hear Mother say anything but exactly what the facts were. She never smoothed things over or made them more palatable to Father, and the temptation to keep the peace by a twist would have been very great to most people. Not so Mother. She did whatever she thought was right and said so. Frightful rows often followed, as Father wanted to do what Mother strongly disagreed with. It killed her and that is no doubt, but she gave her children a legacy of truth which is beyond all accounting’. (TP23).

On page 24 of Tom’s account of the family is a copy of a letter written by Elizabeth Parker to her elder daughter Gwyn dated 19 February 1896 from Christchurch. It shows her great courage at the prospect of her approaching death and praise for the great kindness shown by all members of the family including Christopher (TP24).

‘By that time (circa 1896) my poor mother had developed cancer of the breast, hastened by some treatment given her by a very ignorant woman who was giving [her] ‘mass-ege’ as she called it, and cold! sitting baths. This woman massaged the lump and mother had to be operated on and it was found to be in both breasts which had to be removed. Poor mother gradually sank and died, being partially kept out of pain by morphia.  Gwyn was recalled from England 41)Passenger lists from ‘findmypast’: Miss Garsia aged 24 on the Ormuz departing from London on 3 April 1896, destination: Sydney. DOC386d. Mother longed to live till she saw Gwyn but died not long before she arrived.’ (BM17).

Elizabeth died on 26 May 1896 in Christchurch, NZ and was ‘buried in the churchyard at Papanui’. (TP24).

 

Gwendoline Mountney Garsia and Beryl le Mesurier Garsia from the time the whole family foregathered for the last time in Southsea about 1902 till Gwendoline married (1920).

 

I will use ‘Gwyn’ to refer to Gwendoline (which is the spelling on her birth record – referenced above) partly because her name is spelt differently by different people and it is the name used by Beryl in her Memoirs. Margaret Wolferstan says that Gwyn always referred to herself as Gwyndoline (CP29Sep09).

Following the family’s foregathering in Southsea (c. 1902) the two sisters appear to have moved to Weston-super-Mare with Christopher. Beryl writes: ‘Father took a small house at Weston-super-Mare to be near his favourite brother Willoughby who had settled there with a wife he had married late in life and four small children. … We despised suburban life and hated Weston-super-Mare, a seaside resort with no country walks.’ (BM28). She goes on: ‘After returning from New Zealand we were very often ill and I wanted my back put right, for it was always painful. So we abandoned all work and went to have treatment … ‘ (BM28). They moved to London and were treated by people who spent their time between London and Sweden taking their patients with them. (During the second visit to Sweden by Gwyn and Beryl they had a telegram from Christopher reporting the death of Haly in India on 8 July 1905. This date gives us a fix on the time of this visit.) Following the Swedish visits Beryl talks of visiting Scotland (a rich shipbuilder) and Ireland to see the brother of their Aunt Maggie (wife of their uncle, Michael Clare Garsia) ‘who had a large property outside Waterford and a very large house filled with beautiful old furniture.’ (BM32). Beryl goes on to say: ‘Gwyn was very unwell and not being able to hit it off with Father and disliking Weston-super-Mare we rented a house at Cosham outside Portsmouth. [Confusingly there is a record 42)Kelly’s Directory for Hampshire 1903, p. 746 Private Residents in Hampshire: Miss Garsia, West House, Wymering, Cosham, RSO of a Miss Garsia living in Cosham in 1903.] … but after being not very long there Gwyn became restless. She had had a disappointment and wanted to get away [to New Zealand]. We had saved enough money for the journey … We went first class … [intending] to return second class [but it was so uncomfortable]. It ended in our wiring Father to supply the difference … and our luggage was at once wheeled into first class!’ (BM34). There is a record of two Misses Garsia sailing from London on 4 November 1905 for Sydney 43)See a passenger list DOC386f which shows two Misses Garsia leaving London on 4 November 1904 for Sydney, Australia. Their ages are given as 27 and 41 and nationality: Irish.. After the visit to New Zealand she writes: ‘Arrived back in England. I went to Prague, and Gwyn came to settle me in. I had decided on Prague because Oliver and I had heard at Queens Hall Jan Kubelik play … .’ (BM34). Beryl went back to violin lessons again but ‘At the end of nearly two years my back went all to pieces again and I had to leave. (BM35). … [during her stay she] became semi-engaged to a Czech youth [!] but I knew it would never come to more.’ (BM36). On the next page of her Memoirs Beryl writes: ‘After Prague I was quite finished mentally and physically and had nothing to look forward to. … In 1908 Eric came back from Tasmania and married Marjorie Bisdee. … The wedding took place at Hutton [the Bisdees’ home and very near Weston-super-Mare] and I and three of her sisters were bridesmaids. And so the happy couple left for Tasmania … . He later moved to Forest Gate in the extreme N.W. of Tasmania and … I went out and stayed two years with them. 1910-1912.’ (BM37). In all her notes covering this period Beryl does not mention Gwyn — her last mention was when she said that Gwyn accompanied her to Prague to ‘settle her in’.

At some stage about 1912 Christopher (the 1911 census 44)The 1911 census shows Christopher Garsia living at 13 Ellensborough Park, Weston-super-Mare. with two servants. He describes himself as a Retired Army Captain (Pensioned). DOC430. shows him living at 13 Ellensborough Park, Weston-super-Mare) must have bought a house called Woodlands in the Mendip Hills. Beryl describes it thus: ‘1912. The house was large and stood in a garden with acres of woods behind it all part of our property. It was all very steep. The view from the front door to a peak in the Mendips was quite lovely. There was rough shooting and Gwyn used to shoot with Reakes, our Chauffeur. In the house were: [a] very large drawing room and dining room and library; breakfast room and small gun room, a vast kitchen – all very inconvenient, and a servants’ hall. The servants slept in the attic. There was a gardener’s cottage. … We ought to have been happy there, but for different reasons we were not, and Father hated it and decided to go to London and leave us to it. [Tom Paxton in his account includes a photocopy of a letter from Christopher to his son Rupert dated Woodlands, 24 June 1915. (TP7). Thus it was probably after this date that he went to London. Beryl does not say where he lived in London.] … We bought a car, a Singer, later when the War came – a donkey, when Reakes and the gardener were called up. … At this time Eila Howard came to us. She was about 17 and very pretty. [Beryl would have been about 35 at this time.] … and she has been my friend for the rest of our lives, and still is. [She married well] So Eila from being very poor, is now affluent.’ (BM41 & 42). ‘I suppose, owing to the War, ill health and too much hard work our life was difficult and we were not particularly happy at Woodlands. As Gwyn was choosey and very autocratic our friends amounted to the Berthons – living about three miles off. Gwyn later married Edward Berthon, then living with his widowed sister-in-law and two nieces …’ (BM42). Beryl spent a winter in Cullen House in Scotland comforting a friend who had lost her husband in the war. (BM44). Having spent most of the war in Woodlands Beryl reports: ‘When my Father died [Christopher died at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset not far from Weston-super-Mare on 25 April 1917. His estate was valued at just under £1500.45)The  Catalogue at the Probate Office, London for 1917: shows Garsia, Christopher of Woodlands, Congresbury, Somerset, retd capt. in H M Army, died 25 Apr. 1917 at Kenwyn Sea View-road Burnham, Somerset. Administration: Wells 27 Aug. to Gwendoline Mounteney Garsia and Beryl Le Mesurier Garsia spinsters. Effects £1,449 19s. No will. ] we very soon gave up “Woodlands” and moved to a small cottage in the Berthons’ garden, near their stables, large and old, where we put the goats that remained over from our sale and we stored the furniture in the cottage attic. It was most uncomfortable. It had a large sitting room, two bedrooms, one leading out of the other and a kitchen with an old stove in which only wood was burned. I had to try and cook on it and Gwyn in a burst of hospitality invited Mrs. Berthon, her sister and the two girls to a meal. Eila was back from the War and she and Gwyn shared a bedroom. Gwyn never cooked. [It is not clear to me why Gwyn and Beryl didn’t have enough money to live more comfortably. They presumably inherited at least a fair share of their father’s estate which would include Woodlands and a house in Burnham-on-Sea.] As Gwyn’s affairs progressed to an engagement with Edward, his sister-in-law, Mrs. Berthon, became more and more antagonistic. We had to get out and this ended in our giving up the cottage and selling the less good of the furniture. Clive found a small house for us in London. It was the beginning of a not very happy time for me – Clive retired from the army [May 1920]. Eila married to Kenneth Greville Williams. (BM49-50). [In the second quarter of 1921 46)From findmypast.com.] Gwyn and Edward married.’ The marriage of Gwyn and Edward Berthon took place a day or two before 20 July 1920 47)Their marriage is listed by ‘findmypast’ thus: Garsia, Gwendoline M., Berthon, Richmond S., 2a, 1398, Third quarter of 1920.. It was clearly a fairly lavish affair as described in The Times announcement 48)MR. EDWARD B.  BERTHON AND MISS GARSIA.The marriage took place on Wednesday, at St. Anne’s, Kew, of Mr. Edward Brassey Berthon, fourth son of the late Major-General Thomas Porter Berthon, of Cleeve Court, Somerset, to Miss Gwendoline Mounteney Garsia, elder daughter of the late Captain Christopher Garsia, 79th (Cameron) Highlanders and Bengal Staff Corps. The bride, who was given away by her brother Lieutenant-Colonel  Clive Garsia DSO., MC., wore a dress … Her train-bearers were Master Paul Berthon and Miss Daphne Cochran (nephew and niece of the bride-groom).  She was also attended by four brides-maids – Miss Beryl Garsia (sister), Miss Joan Berthon (niece of the bridegroom), Miss Stella Macdonald and Miss Eila Howard.  Their dresses were of …  Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Berthon, C.B.E., was his brother’s best man.  The ceremony was performed by the Rev. J. V. Macmillan. Afterwards a reception was held by Lady Macdonald at Royal Cottage, Kew Gardens, and among those present were :- Mrs Charles Berthon, and the Misses Berthon. Mrs. Herbert Berthon and Miss Elleen Berthon. Mrs. H. V.  Wallace and Miss Molly Wallace.  Colonel and Mrs. Charles Vereker, Major and Mrs. Cochran.  Mrs. Preston and the Misses Preston.  Mrs. E. Berthon.   Mr. J. P. Watson.  Lieutenant-Colonel H. G. A. Garsia  D.SO. and Mrs. Garsia, Captain Clare Garsia, Mr. Harry Garsia, Miss Beauchamp Waddell, Miss Annie Bisgood, Mrs Bisdee, The Misses Mitchell,  Miss Rahelly. Mr. and Mrs. Major Heneker, Miss Macdonald and Miss Peart.. Clive officiated at Gwyn’s wedding giving her away in place of her late father. Despite the lavish nature of the wedding it appears that Beryl now entered a period of significantly reduced circumstances. Clive was living with her in their London home and for a while so were Gwyn and Edward.

I now go back in time and pick up Clive’s story from the time the whole family ‘foregathered for the last time’ in Southsea about 1902.

 

Willoughby Clive Garsia from 1902 till his retirement from the army (May 1920) when he joins up with his sister Beryl.

 

Clive, as he seems to have been known universally, was probably the most successful and interesting of Christopher and Elizabeth’s children. He spent his career in the army and rose to be a Colonel and a staff officer. He may even have had the rank of General for a short period.  He won a DSO and MC. After he retired he wrote a novel and a book about military tactics. With Beryl he travelled all over Europe and had settled in France with her before he died on 4 January 1961.

According to Beryl: ‘1899. Clive was still at the University …’ (BM19). Writing of the time she was already back in England she says: ‘And now Clive had to come home [to the UK] for he was already too late to enter Sandhurst and he wanted the Army for his career’. (BM22). His army service record 49)Partial army service record from the National Archives, Kew WO76/44 Photocopied DOC396. This covers the period from his transfer from the militia to the Hampshire Regiment in 1901 to 1907 when he was in Japan. I was able to get only that part covering the period from 4 May 1901 to 13 September 1907. I requested the rest but got no reply. There is probably much more to learn about Clive from a full set of his army records. shows that he was at home in the UK from 4 May 1901 to 5 July 1901 and appointed from the militia to be a lieutenant in the Hampshire Regiment on 4 May 1901. With them he went to South Africa on 5 July 1901 where he saw action in the Boer War, returning to the UK on 28 September 1902. This confirms Beryl’s comment thus: ‘End of our first separation. … Clive’s first commission was S.A., then Malta’. (BM28). He was in Malta till 1 December 1905 then Bermuda till 12 September 1907 then South Africa and Japan (no dates) (service record). There are two Ellis Island Records 50)Email from Allan Gray dated 25 April 2001. of Clive passing through New York on his way from Bermuda on 25 May 1907 and of him arriving from Liverpool on 2 June 1908 when he gives as his address Orange River Colony, South Africa. Beryl fills in some details thus: ‘Clive was language officer for two years to 1910 and while there was attached to the Japanese Army on manoeuvres … but he never could get hold of the language, …’. (BM39). Later: ‘Clive home from Japan to join his regiment went secretly to Montenegro as correspondent to the Morning Post while he was on long leave. … Clive had not been long in Montenegro when someone gave him away and he was recalled and severely reprimanded by his colonel’. (BM42/3). Christina Pender comments: ‘Margaret Wolferstan has a diary written by Clive in the Balkans in about 1912.’ Margaret says: “The story goes that Clive was recalled and refused to return to England! They had a bad time with him and it is a wonder that he wasn’t expelled from the army! Peculiar man, he seemed to enjoy warfare too!”’ (CP5). The 1911 census 51)The 1911 census record gives his name as Willoughby Clive Garsia, single, 30 years, Born Edinburgh (I have written to have this corrected) and Military Captain 411/-/0 Battn Hampshire Regiment. DOC340. locates him at Aldershot. Beryl fills in another few months thus: ‘In 1913 Clive was attached to the French Army at Lunéville and was with them until he entered the Staff College.’ (BM43). Confusingly there is a note on his service record thus: ‘Probationer A.S.C. 1903-1904’. Maybe he was there twice. Clive was only six months at the Staff College when the First World War broke out. He went to France in the very first ship and was put onto directing Railways, sometimes getting only two hours sleep at night. ‘He probably was close to his brother Oliver at this time without either knowing of the presence of the other. ‘ (BM43).

The Army Lists are also rather uninformative about him. They show that he was a made a Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment on 23 August 1900. Then in the 1915 List there is an entry: ‘Graduation List, Captains, Garsia Willoughby Clive, as above, Rly. Transport Off graded Staff Captain 5 August 1914.’

Tom Paxton is his account of the family provides more information about Clive’s wartime activities thus: ‘In the winter of 1914/15, at his own request, he was transferred back to regimental duties and was in the trenches for nearly a year. During this period he won an MC during the second battle of Ypres.  From November 1915 he served, mainly as a staff officer, in Serbia and the Middle East and in Egypt and was Acting Chief Staff Officer, Egypt Command, when he retired from the army in May 1920.  He was awarded the DSO for Service during this period.’ (TP28). Back to Beryl’s Memoirs: ‘At the end of 1915 he was recalled by Lord Kitchener to organize a British Mission to take succour to the Serbs, who were then in full retreat over the mountains. He returned to London and then to Corfu from where he was able to organize food and medical supplies. For his efforts he was awarded the order of the Serbian White Eagle … [which I later gave to] Chris Wolferstan.’ (BM44). ‘Clive’s war medals – Margaret has told me that Beryl gave Clive’s war medals to her, not to Christopher (Margaret’s son) and they were stolen from her home when she and her husband Terry were overseas. She describes the theft as a disaster – the medals really were beautiful.’ (CP6). ‘Clive … was commanding the British Military Mission to the Serbian Army until disbanded in 1916, then on regimental duty as General Staff Officer at Salonica (G.S.O.2). He was then sent to Egypt as an Instructor at the Staff College and from there he went to Palestine where he served under Allenby as G.S.D.1 to the 54th Division. In 1919 Clive became Acting Chief Staff Officer in the Egypt Command with the title of General. He was there during the rising. He lost this title when he retired.’ (BM45).

Beryl adds some interesting comments about Clive’s wartime experiences thus: ‘Stories of Clive told me later by people who were with him showed him as being abnormally without fear. In Palestine he used to fly over enemy lines quite unnecessarily in one of the small planes they had in those days, to take notes on enemy positions. For a Staff Officer whose life is more valuable than the officers and men, it was a risk he should not have taken. Earlier, on the Ypres Salient, the enemy were advancing and our own in retreat, some in disorder, Peter Washington told me that he himself, coming back wounded in one arm with a splinter in one eye (which he afterwards lost), joined a little group of men taking shelter from a sudden burst of artillery – a Staff Officer was with them. He was surprised to see a Staff Officer so far forward. It was Clive – who was having a look round and who had collected these frightened men in a sheltered place. They only found out the coincidence later when comparing notes, for Peter married our second cousin, Daisy Waddell, who lost a leg driving an ambulance in France. Peter later also lost a leg, and they met at Roehampton where legs were fitted. It was a mistake to marry two people with only two legs between them and the marriage broke up – neither with much money.’ (BM46).

‘After the War, Clive retired. He had returned to his Regiment and his Colonel he disliked. He was inept and had been a Prisoner-of-war for most of the War. It was a mistake to retire for he was offered a very good job in the War Office (the offer came too late). But he also had private reasons for retiring. He had invested all his private means in a Housing Company and he wanted to superintend it. He so believed in it that a relation of Edwards with very little money had put £50 into it. It turned out to be fraudulent. It went into liquidation. Clive lost most of his capital, and he felt bound to give back the £50 to Edward’s relation. Clive paid bitterly for his mistaken idea that all men were honest. So he was down to his small pension to live on for he had retired too early to get his full pension.’ (BM51/52). Christina Pender also comments on this financial problem of Clive’s thus: ‘According to family lore this was by no means the only unwise investment made by Clive and he managed to lose much of his siblings’ money as well as his own.’ (CP6).

It was at this point that Clive and Beryl joined up living in ‘a small house’ in London where Gwyn and Edward also spent a short while. Beryl writes: ‘I was to join Clive later and we gave up the house in London, Gwyn and Edward having left for New Zealand. Thus began my adventures in Austria, Italy and France in 1921.’ (BM52).

 

Beryl le Mesurier and Willoughby Clive Garsia from about 1921 to Gwyn’s death (1949).

 

Having sold their house in London Beryl goes on: ‘I wandered about mostly alone but sometimes with Clive and never well. … In this connection I will just mention the number of serious tummy operations I have had in my life and leave the subject. The first in Bristol, one in Sydney, one in Rome and the last recently in Melbourne. There were two others besides, but not tummy operations.’ (BM52). This rather uninformative couple of sentences is all she says about the illness that she refers to many times in her Memoirs. In a letter dated 24 Oct. 2009 to CP  Margaret writes ‘ Beryl was very ill after Clive died and Clare brought her out to Australia where I took her to a specialist in Melbourne. She had cancer. The doctor did not expect her to live long after the operation. However, after a year it was announced that there was no longer any sign of cancer.’ 52)CR’s comments dated 10 Mar. 2010 on my text.

Concerning her travels she continues: ‘So to return to my adventures, I left England in 1921 and joined Clive in Vienna. Clive very soon went with Colonel Stewart to Budapest. For some reason I have never understood he did not take me, so I have never been there. [After a brief visit to Karlsbad] I soon returned to Vienna and I met Clive there. … Clive suggested my going to Bled in Yugoslavia and he would join me later. … Bled is at one end of a small lake surrounded by hills (covered in trees) which rise straight out of it. This makes the lake the loveliest deep blue colour. I have never seen a more lovely little lake. So Clive went down the Adriatic coast and I remained until the end of the summer, one of the last in the hotel to leave, I decided to go to Florence and took the little train to Trieste … [after some problems she got to Florence where she] met an American girl who recommended the Pension Bertolini in the Piazza Indipendenza [where she settled].’ (BM52-55).  Beryl again started ‘working in clay’ with an Italian teacher. She describes her impressions of Florence and the friends she made there. ‘The summer in Florence is very hot and I used always to go away for it. I met Bertie and Myra in the Italian Alps. [Bertie was a son of her uncle Michael Clare Garsia]’ (BM57). In this way she must have spent some years in Florence. From there she moved to Rome: ‘so I gave up the Pension Bertolini and stayed with them [her pottery teacher who had moved to Rome] in their flat in Rome until I got a flat of my own.’ (BM58).  Disconcertingly at this point Beryl’s Memoirs jump to ‘my summer adventures’ (BM58) and she describes visits to ‘a place outside Vienna’, ‘Gmunden’, ‘Salzburg’, ‘Brioni Island at the top of the Adriatic’ (where she met Clive), in Venice she met Harry, Uncle Clare’s son (BM58-60). Of Clive at this period she writes: ‘Clive meanwhile was touring for the A. B. Industries. However, finding it useless, he settled in a small town on the coast of France and began writing his first book called Tenacity.’ (BM60). Beryl explains A. B. Industries thus: ‘He decided [shortly after retiring from the army] to organize the “Allied British Industry”. It meant travelling abroad to get orders for British Industry, a vain enterprise because there was no money in Europe; the War had drained it dry.’ (BM52).

Beryl was now off in the opposite direction from Clive: ‘Rupert invited me to stay with him in the Tingira anchored in Sydney Harbour and so I left for Egypt to stay with Bertie and Myra in Cairo. Rupert who was in England, came on by a later ship (mid 1925 53)Australian Dictionary of Biography Rupert’s dates on the Tingra: Aug. 1925-Apr. 1927..) and we went on to Australia together. [Once in Sydney] we often drove down at weekends to see Elizabeth, Clare and Margaret at Frensham. In the holidays we went camping with Eric and Marjorie when she was there, but part of the time she was in England with Margaret, who stayed in the ship with us for some while.’ (BM61). ‘… before I left [to return to England] Gwyn and Edward came through and stayed in Sydney on their way to England. They had been with Eric at Forest Gate, …’ (BM62). ‘[Meanwhile] Clive had been in Constantinople, … and was meeting my ship in Naples. … as the ship drew closer I could see a figure … It was Clive come to meet me! We went together to the mountains outside Rome … then went higher up to a tiny place called Tossa, where Clive continued writing his book Tenacity. He had rewritten it several times, for to begin writing a novel after leading a soldier’s life was not easy.’ (BM62). Beryl and Clive must have stayed on for some months but then she writes: ‘Clive went to France to a coastal little town where he finished Tenacity and I to the Caloris now in Rome. [They had been] able to buy three flats … in the very centre of Rome … On the top of these flats was a Terrace and on that I built a flat for myself. It was the very highest in Rome and the view I got from it was magnificent.’ (BM64).

‘In England, Gwyn divided the furniture and sent my part to me. Gwyn had bought a house with fields at Pluckley in Kent, a very old house that had to be a good deal added to. She intended to run sheep in the fields as a paying proposition (knowing nothing about sheep!). Two oldish unmarried women lived not far off, the Maylams and they devoted themselves to Gwyn. She lived with them until her house was ready. Their house was even older than Gwyn’s. … Poor Edward did not live to enjoy the house of his own he had so longed for. The ulcer in his stomach burst and he had a haemorrhage and died not long after. I do not know what happened then. I had hurried over when he became ill, but only returned from Rome when I heard of his death. This sounds hard-hearted, but Gwyn did not want me there and she had the devoted Maylams to look after her. We never got on and she included Clive. Gwyn bought sheep for her farm but they all had foot rot, which Clive and I doctored while we were with her for a while. Clive rehung her gates which were all down, and the posts all sagging. The last one he called the Gold Standard for it was done the day England went off the Gold Standard. [The British government abandoned the gold standard on 21 September 1931 (Wikipedia)]. However, Gwyn finally broke off relations with us and I did not see or hear from her for fifteen years.’ (BM64/65).

‘Clive went to London and lived in a very poor way as he had lost most of his money. Finally Aunt Maggie at Epsom lost all her old servants. Cecile, the cook, who had been fifty years with her, and her husband and soon after, Ann, who had been nearly as long, said she must go. So Lily (Cecile’s daughter), Ann and Lily’s daughter all departed, leaving Aunt Maggie who was nearly 90 – with no-one. I had had a severe operation in Rome and felt I could not go on living alone there, so I came home (letting the flat) and went to Epsom. I managed to get a couple of servants and so began my many years with Harry in Epsom. I learned to drive a car and finally when Harry could not walk to the Station I used to drive him to London to the Law Courts and when Clive came to live with us – as he did on Aunt Maggie’s death [9 October 1936 54)Announcement in The Times. ], he used to. I would take over when we reached the Law Courts and once there I would have the car until it was time to call for Harry. In that way I got to know London very well indeed. Harry had never practised as a Barrister owing to his voice which had never broken, but did Law Reporting in the Court of Appeal and used to go up three times a week to London.’ (BM65). At this point Beryl describes how she took up painting for the first time apparently with some success. The Second World War had started so she went out to Rome to sell her flat which she did along with her furniture. She caught a train to Paris and got there when the Germans were only 30 miles away. She made a visit to the Salweys, her cousins, before continuing to St Malo where she got a boat to Southampton. (BM66-69).

Almost immediately on her arrival Clive had an accident which caused his bladder to burst. Despite a serious failure on the part of the first doctor who saw him he was exceedingly fortunate to be operated on by a surgeon who knew what to do and his life was saved. He resumed his old life in Epsom where their house suffered damage due to a near miss by a flying bomb. They were still very caught up with Uncle Clare’s family. (BM70/71).

At this point Beryl reports on Gwyn’s sudden return into her life thus: ‘Not long after the War was over, the Maylams, with Gwyn arrived at Epsom. They had given no notice of their coming. She had not been well. We took her to our doctor who said she must have an operation at once and as the London Hospital agreed, she was operated for cancer next day. She was brought back to us to recover and convalesce and our old misunderstandings seemed over. I had not seen her for fifteen years. When she was well she kept telling me that she ought to return to Pluckley as there were different urgent things she should do and we finally consented to drive her over. It was still winter and Kent is much colder than Surrey. I was rather alarmed by the icy roads we came to and when we finally arrived at Gwyn’s house we found that nothing had been prepared for her. No fire lit nor bed made. She had not let the Maylams know she was coming. Clive and I had to get back, so we hastily got the Maylams and left her. Gwyn blamed me for this and never forgave me. When Gwyn had her operation, the surgeon at the hospital told me that if a year passed with no return she might be considered safe.’ (BM73). Beryl decided ‘the year for Gwyn being nearly up’ to accept an invitation to go to Bermuda where she stayed with her friend Mona in great luxury. I find Beryl’s account very confusing at this stage. It seems that she started a fairly extended tour of the United States and Canada visiting various relations such as a cousin Beatrix who lived not far from New York. She also saw Edith Ward who lived in Dallas, Texas but was staying at Provincetown for the summer. She sailed home to England from New York. ‘I was astonished when Clive told me that Gwyn had returned. The day before I arrived she had gone to bed, never again to get up and she lingered on for several months … Gwyn left her money to Clive and myself, …’ (BM74/5). Gwyn died on 1 March 1949 at 18 Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey 55)See DOC401 for a photocopy of her will. After making a provision for her cousin Irene Meurice of an annuity of £100 she leaves interest on the residue to Clive and Beryl. Thereafter the residue goes to her nieces in Australia – Elizabeth, Clare and Margaret.. Her estate was valued at just over £20,000.

 

Beryl and Clive from 1949 till they died (1973 and 1961).

 

‘Harry by then was too crippled to go abroad by train or ‘plane for his vacation and he longed to go to France, so we decided to buy a caravan and we found an enormous one. It had three compartments, two beds in the front part, sitting room with a double bed that folded up against the wall during the day and a kitchen, lavatory and chest of drawers. It had two wardrobes with doors that could be latched across to make another room. It required a large Land Rover to pull it. Clive always preferred to sleep in a tent. And so that summer we set forth for France with Harry and with Mrs Mason to cook and look after Harry. We went to the Lascaux Caves and many beautiful places too numerous to mention, Clive driving this immensely long caravan. [They had many adventures curtailed by Clive suffering a haemorrhage which necessitated him going into hospital. He discharged himself and drove them all home against the doctor’s advice.] This was the beginning of Clive’s haemorrhages of which he had many. And it was the last of Harry’s excursions abroad for he became not up to them. About 1955 56)According to Margaret ‘this must have been about 1955’ – CP’s list of comments page 5 email of 10 Mar. 2010. Margaret’s letter to CP dated 3 Nov. 2009. Eric came to England with Marjorie and then Rupert and his wife … Then Clive, always adventurous for himself or for me suggested my going to Cyprus and I was delighted to do so. [She broke her journey in Athens and explored the Acropolis. She went on to Cyprus where she had a holiday exploring the island.]’ (BM75-78). ‘Not long after I returned [to England], Harry died, aged 80 57)The death certificate confirmed the date and place of death and gave his name as Harry Carew GARSIA aged 80, a retired barrister-at-law. The cause of death is given as 1(a) Pneumonia, (b) Hypostasis, (c) Neoplasma of bladder, 2(a) Generalised osteoarthritis. The informant was C. Garsia of the same address — presumably Willoughby Clive. Registered on 7 Nov. 1955. (DOC. No. 221).. He had retired from the Bar two years before. He left most of his money and the furniture to me and to Clive 58)His will is filed as DOC223.. We determined then to give up the house in Epsom and live somewhere in France and while looking for a house to live in the caravan. [While packing up to go Beryl became ill and to recuperate went to Dorset.] Clive had already departed in the caravan [then later] I went by plane to Nice where Clive awaited me in the Land Rover. … The furniture had arrived and was in store. … He [a house agent] drove us about showing us houses and we finally bought one at Vence which was about fifteen miles from Nice – 1,000 ft. up in the mountains. … we had an uninterrupted view of the Mediterranean. It was an enchanting place, but I foresaw difficulties. The property was of about 100 acres falling steeply down to the road to Nice. [The house required a lot of renovation which they put in hand.] The first summer we let the house and went to Italy to stay with the Mastinus in Rome … [They spent their summers touring Europe – Austria, Spain, Denmark and Holland]. We saw nearly every famous gallery in Europe not to speak of lovely old churches. [On one occasion] we went to see our cousin, widow of Colonel Meurice [Who is this?]. I had never before met her. Gwyn had left her a legacy of £100 a year on which she lived, augmented by [her] bridge winnings, for she was a very good bridge player. I don’t think she had much else. [Their lives continued in this way for some years]. (BM79-83). ‘Clive had other illnesses [besides cirrhosis of the liver] as well and one was dropsy. We had to go to King’s College Hospital from France more than once in the year, but he was extraordinarily courageous.’ (BM84/85).

Clive eventually died on 4 January 1961 at King’s College Hospital, London 59)A copy of his death certificate, filed as DOC145, gives the following information: Registration district:  Lambeth 1961 death in the Sub-district of Lambeth Central in the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth. When and where died:   Fourth January, 1961, Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill.  Name and surname:  Willoughby Clive Garsia.  Sex:  Male.  Age:  79 years.  Occupation:  Lieut. Colonel Hampshire Regt. (retired) of Villa le Lavandou, Vence, Alpes Maritimes, France. Cause of death: 1a. Cirrhosis of liver (Non alcoholic). Certified by H.A. Lee MB. Signature, description and residence of informant:  Peter Benenson. (Present at death). 1 Mitre Court Buildings, Temple, EC4.  When registered:  fifth January 1961.   Signature of registrar:  V. Gunn.

In his will 60)A copy of his will is filed as DOC146 which reads as follows: ‘I, Willoughby Clive Garsia, of 18, Ashley Road, Epsom, in the county of Surrey, Retired Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in His Majesty’s Army, hereby revoke all former Wills and Codicils made by me and declare this my last Will. Appoints his executor. Bequeaths all his estate to his sister Beryl le Mesurier Garsia except for £90 to his executor.  It is dated 10 March 1951. There is a note to say that he was a member of the Cremation Society. he leaves everything to Beryl. His obituary appeared in The Times on 6 January 1961. An appreciation of him appears in the same paper on 10 Jan. 1961 by Captain Cyril Falls 61)See DOC143 and includes the following paragraph: ‘Yet Clive was in fact one of the shrewdest of military critics, as well as one of the clearest and most persuasive. His talk on other matters was delightful. He was highly cultivated, engagingly cynical, and quick as lightning on apprehension. I have never known better company or more urbane. He was the kindliest of friends and I owe him much happiness’.

The following appears under the photograph of Clive Garsia 62)genpics/clive_g.bmp on the frontispiece 63)DOC. No. 144 of his book A Key to Victory.

‘Lieut.-Colonel Clive Garsia was born and educated in New Zealand and obtained a commission in the Hampshire Regiment in 1901, thus starting on his varied army career.  This included service in the South African War; Language Officer in Japan (1908-10); unofficial war correspondent in the First Balkan War (1912); attachment to the French Army (1913); Staff College (1914); Railway Transport Officer in France (1914); and Brigade Major of the 10th Brigade (1915) He was recalled from  France in 1915 and entrusted with the responsibility of organizing a supply mission to take succour to the Serbian Army when it was retreating across the Albanian mountains to the Adriatic.  This he subsequently commanded.  After seeing service in Salonica, he was present throughout the Palestine Campaigns (1917-18), occupying the appointment of senior General Staff Officer (G.S.O.1) of the 54th and 53rd Divisions successively, and was later acting Chief Staff Officer of the Egyptian Command.  Since his retirement, Colonel Garsia has travelled much in Europe, especially in the Balkans, and has published two books, Tenacity, a novel, under the pseudonym of Guy Cottar (1927), and ‘A Key to Victory: A Study in War Planning’ (1940).’

So Beryl’s memoirs come rather abruptly to an end on page 85. Her last words are: ‘[I] left with Clare, who had come over to me, for Australia. Of our family only two are left – Eric and myself – in this 1966. And so I will end this history.’ (BM85). 1966 is the time when she finished writing her history that she had started by 1964 (BM33). In 1962 shortly after Clive died (4 January 1961) Beryl moved to Australia (BM23) with the intention of living with her three nieces. Christina comments: ‘Clare Paxton had been summoned by Beryl. She had to help Beryl pack up and then return by ship because Beryl would not go by air.’ (CP8). She died on 25 February 1973 at the age of 94 years. In her will 64)A copy of her will is filed as DOC374. she left her estate to be divided equally among her six great-nieces and one great-nephew. It was valued at eighty eight and a half thousand Australian dollars.

It will have been apparent from this history of Gwyn and Beryl that they had a well funded lifestyle of travel and large houses and servants without ever there having been a need to earn any money. To a slightly less extent the same comment could be applied to Christopher their father although in his case it is clear that his financial problems were solved by marrying Elizabeth Parker Watson who brought with her a significant fortune as already noted. He probably supported his daughters up to the time they were living in Woodlands when they must have been quite affluent with a gardener, a chauffeur and servants. With their father’s death in 1917 they would inherit their shares of his estate which would include the large house Woodlands and maybe the house he died in in Burnham-on-Sea. Christopher died intestate and Gwyn and Beryl had the task of administering his affairs. Why the two girls fell on harder times during and immediately after the First World War according to Beryl’s account of their living in the Berthons’ ‘very uncomfortable cottage’ is a little difficult to understand. Then Gwyn married Edward Berthon and Beryl joined up with Clive who had a small pension from the army. Then when they moved to Epsom to be with Aunt Maggie she presumably gave then free accommodation and keep in return for them looking after her. Harry was probably glad to support his cousins for their help in getting him about before he retired. When he died he left Beryl eight thousand pounds and one thousand to Clive (see Harry’s will 65)Harry’s estate was valued at eighteen thousand pounds. A copy of his will is filed as DOC223.). Together with what Gwyn left them that was enough to see them through for the rest of their lives as is clear from the substantial amount she left in her will. Clive in his will (DOC145) left all his estate to Beryl.

Another remarkable feature of particularly Beryl’s lifestyle (as she describes it) is the way that she was able to stay with her many rich friends taking full advantage of their hospitality and generosity without apparently ever returning the favour by having them staying at her expense. She must have been a quite remarkable person to have been able to get away with this for the whole of her life until her final move to Australia where she stayed for a few months each with Elizabeth, Margaret and Clare till she was moved (at the insistence of the husbands) to a boarding house in Kingston, a suburb of Hobart 66)See CP10Mar2010,p.6...

Remarkable too is the way that Gwyn and Beryl seemed to move in such aristocratic and titled circles. Money would help when for example they travelled first class on board ship between the UK and New Zealand. The journey time would have been about six weeks and the company of two bright young women was probably effective in securing introductions to wealthy and titled passengers. Their father’s army connections may also have helped. Their personalities probably were important factors and it would have been nice if Tom Paxton had remarked on this. He implies that they were snobs which, on the evidence of Beryl’s own memoirs, would appear to be true. In discussing the family as a whole Tom writes: ‘As a family they were snobbish and arrogant to a degree and they possessed a strange mixture of family unity and family feuding.’ (TP26).

Another question about Beryl is why she never married. The only reference she makes to this possibility is where she remarks (when she was in Czechoslovakia): ‘I became semi-engaged to a Czech youth but I knew it would never come to more.’ (BM36). ‘In a recent conversation [2009], Margaret [Wolferstan] told me [CP] that Beryl had boyfriends, including the artist Roy de Maistre. I know that when Beryl came to Australia in the 1960s she brought with her two paintings by de Maistre which she donated to the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney.’ (DOC444).

In her memoirs Beryl has very little to say about members of her Garsia family other than her uncle Michael Clare and his family with whom she was quite close. She makes a couple of mentions of Willoughby Marston. When the family returned to England at the turn of the century they spent some time in the neighbourhood of Southsea where the daughters of Wilhelmina Sophia (Beryl’s aunt who died in 1900) were living yet she makes no mention of them.

 

Aubrey Christie Haly Garsia:

 

Haly, as he seems to have been universally known, was born in Hove, Sussex on 31 January 1876 67)A certified Copy of an Entry of Birth shows it was registered in the registration district of Steyning, sub-district: Shorham, Sussex. Name: Aubrey Christie Haly.  His date of birth is given as 31 January 1876, at 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove. Father’s name: Christopher Garsia. Mother’s name Elizabeth Parker Garsia formerly Watson. Occupation of father: Captain Bengal Staff Corps H.P. Signature, description and residence of informant: Chr. Garsia Captn. H.P., Father, 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove. (DOC.No. 147).. He travelled to New Zealand with his mother when he was two years old to join Christopher (See the notes above relating to Christopher and Elizabeth Parker Garsia). According to Beryl, Haly and she were very close: ‘The way it was between my brothers and me was that Gwyn and Haly went their own ways. Haly was three years older than I was and we were devoted to each other. … When the boys got too out of hand mother clapped them into stocks and one would see a couple of boys in the stocks grinning and punching each other.’ (BM9).

He was educated at Christchurch Boys High School 68)‘Officers in the Durham Light Infantry, 1758-1968 (Vol. 1, Regulars)’ by Malcolm McGregor. Published privately by the author (1989). and went on to start to study drawing. Beryl writes of him: ‘I was about 17 [therefore c.1891]. Haly had left school and was drawing. … Father never thought about careers for his children, whose talents he had little respect for, if he ever thought about them at all. Haly was extremely athletic, and at one time held the championship for, I think, the mile hurdling for all New Zealand. He was a first class tennis player and a great footballer. I went with him to the Tennis Tournament at Nelson, but the boat put in first at Wellington. We at once went to some place where foot and hurdle racing was being held and I sat up in the stand to watch while Haly hastily changed. I was beside two men who talked about the man who would easily win it when Haly came jumping over the fence just in time for the hurdle races. The men said: “Oh, who’s that long chap?” Off the race went and Haly easily won it, and we both left for Nelson for the Tennis Tournament. Quick Work. Haly never wasted a moment of his life – which was, alas, short. … Haly’s and my visit [to Nelson, which was after ten years since they left in c. 1883] was one of the bright spots I shall always remember.’ (BM17). ‘Three drawings by Haly, dated 1898, are held in the Macmillan Brown Library of  the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.’ (CP3). ‘Haly had the gift of exactly catching a likeness. I have a picture now of a boy called Booth who worked at the School of Arts in Christchurch. It is a living image of him. I gave it to Elizabeth and it is now in a carved wood frame standing on her mantle shelf (in this year 1964).’ (BM22). Mention is made of both Christopher and Haly Garsia in a catalogue for an exhibition of paintings at the gallery in 1898 available on the following Internet address: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Publications/Art/CanterburySocietyofArts/pdfs/Catalogue-1898.pdf

 

At the turn of the century with the rest of the family Haly moved to England. There is a disparity between Beryl’s account of Haly’s return and subsequent life in the army, and contemporary records. I searched for but failed to find his service record at The National Archives, Kew. The available records 69)Kevin Asplin’s website shows him as a Private in the Imperial Yeomanry fighting in the Boer War (1899-1902) thus: ‘Garsia, Haly  10226, Private, 56th Coy., 15th Bn., I.Y.’. This web site also records his death in Kashmir. show that he joined the third New Zealand Contingent of the Imperial Yeomanry as a private in New Zealand and sailed with them leaving on 17 February 1900 for South Africa to fight in the Boer War 70)London Times.  19/02/1900 (Monday) p7f. Dateline Wellington, Feb.18.    The third New Zealand contingent for South Africa sailed yesterday. (From Joan’s email of 10 July 2004).. There is a note about him giving some details of his service in South Africa in a book by Malcolm McGregor (referenced above). The section relating to the Boer War has the following about Haly: ‘Served in the South African War 1899-1902, with 3rd New Zealand Contingent. Operations in the Transvaal May and June 1900, including action near Johannesburg and Diamond Hill (11 and 12 June). Operations in Transvaal May 1901 to May 1902, Queens Medal with four clasps, Kings Medal with two clasps. His father was ADC in 1870 to Major-General Sir W. O’Grady Haly, subsequently Colonel of the Regiment.’ It was possibly this connection that secured his appointed as a second lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry on 19 May 1900, rising to lieutenant on 26 November 1901 71)The Army Lists for Jan. 1905 gives the following: ‘p. 1013, Garsia, Aubrey Christie Haly, date of birth 31 Jan. 1876, First appt. 2nd Lt. (From N.Z. contingent) Durham Light Infantry 19 May 1900, Lieut Durham L.I. 26 Nov. 1901. (Ref: 01Aug 2, 9 and 22.).

Beryl’s account is slightly different and goes as follows: ‘Haly, after about a year in England, volunteered and went to South Africa for the Boer War. … Haly joined [the second Contingent from New Zealand] … and went through the war with them. … We used often to hear from Haly. While camping in a deserted Boer farm house he discovered  a hide of money. I never heard how much. So with great joy he bought native karosses and pictures by Oerder – a Dutch artist working in South Africa. I brought these pictures to Australia when I came there in 1962, and one is hanging in Elizabeth’s house of a Kaffir girl walking down a path with a gourd in her hand. A portrait of Haly I gave to Margaret, but he is dressed as Oerder wanted and not as a New Zealander of the Second Contingent. … Seeing no future for himself as an artist, after fighting as a private, Haly was offered a commission in the Durham Light Infantry and he accepted it and came back to England.’ (BM23).

Tom Paxton gives his own account of Haly’s service career thus: ‘I do not know what the requirements for becoming a junior officer in the army were … Haly may have started as a private. At any rate, he enlisted in the Buckingham Imperial Yeomanry with which he went to South Africa, he transferred to the New Zealand Hotchkiss Battalion, and soon after to the New Zealand Second Contingent of Mounted Infantry. Later he received a commission in the Imperial Army and was posted to the Durham Light Infantry, which after the Boer War, proceeded from South Africa to India.’ (TP27).

There is some information about Haly’s army service in South Africa at http://archway.archives.govt.nz/SimpleSearch.do?keyword=Haly%20Garsia

After the family foregathered in Southsea for the last time Haly went to India (BM28).

Haly died on 8 July 1905 in Kashmir at the age of 29 years. There appears to be some doubt about how he died. In the account given by Beryl and referring to the information sent to Christopher by Haly’s colonel: ‘He was on leave and from Srinagar had gone into the Himalayas to sketch. He left his camp and bearers and went away to make a drawing of a view that he was engaged on. Some evil men – said to be Tibetans – attacked and murdered him. His naked body was found at the bottom of a cliff. This news came from his Colonel.’ (BM31). Tom Paxton’s account is as follows: ‘He was given leave to visit Kashmir. He went out one day to do some sketching on the Scinde River and did not return. A search was made for him but he was presumed to be dead. The circumstances of his death are indefinite and on his tombstone in Srinagar it states that he was killed, but other evidence is that he slipped into the river and drowned.’ (CP5). Tom Paxton adds: ‘However he met his death, the family lost probably one of its most attractive members, as all his brothers and sisters, at one time or another, have expressed great love of him.’ (TP27). His death record 72)Certified copy of death record. Name and surname: Aubrey Christie Haly Garsia (English), Male, Age 29 6/12, Rank: Lieut., When and where died: 8 July 1905, Scinde River, Kashmir, Cause of death Drowning, Informant: W.F. Shakespear, major, 6 Cavalry, The Dunbar, Kashmir, Registered: 17 July 1905, Lucknow. DOC222. shows the cause of death to be drowning.

Beryl makes the following comments about her brother after his death: ‘The sketch he was working on was sent with his other personal things to father. In 1963 I gave it to Elizabeth and it hangs in her house. It is partly in pencil and partly in ink, palpably unfinished, but to me – very beautiful. … Haly was an all round athlete – a first class polo player. When he joined the Durham Light Infantry, the regiment was the only infantry regiment to beat the cavalry regiments when de Lisle was the colonel. He wrote to father asking him to increase Haly’s allowance to enable him to keep another polo pony. If he did he said Haly would be the best number two in all India.’ (BM31).

Haly (spelt Haley in this record) died intestate 73)Copy of a letter of administration of the estate of Aubrey Christie Haley Garsia granted to his father Christopher Garsia12 September 1905. (DOC403).. Administration of his estate which was valued at £80-2s-11d. was granted to Christopher his father.

 

 

Eric Marston Garsia.

 

Besides the usual official sources providing information about Eric Marston’s life we have access to five others. These are: (1) his own short account of his life up to the time of his marriage to Marjorie Bisdee in 1908 74)One and a half pages of typescript by Eric Marston entitled ‘Early life of Eric Marston Garsia’ covering the period from birth to his marriage to Marjorie Bisdee in 1908. Sent to me by Christina 27 Oct. 2009 and filed as DOC445. (referenced below as EM); (2) in view of the time she spent close to him in the last years of her life Beryl wrote surprisingly little about Eric in her memoirs; (3) some useful comments by Tom Paxton in his account of the family; (4) two additional pages of notes by Tom 75)Notes by Tom Paxton sent to me by Christina Pender with her email of 2 April 2010 and filed as DOC449.. (referenced as TP without a page number) and (5) some remarks by Margaret Wolferstan his daughter, Christina Pender and  Judith Paxton his granddaughters 76)One and a quarter pages of typescript entitled ‘Eric Garsia’s life from Marriage’ compiled by Margaret Wolferstan (Eric’s daughter), Christina Pender  and Judith Paxton (Eric’s granddaughters) sent to me by Christina with her email of 2 April 2010, filed as DOC449. (referenced as MCJ).

Eric Marston was born the fifth child of Elizabeth and Christopher’s large family in Nelson, NZ on 3 December 1882 77)Copy of a transcription of Elizabeth Parker Watson’s Bible showing the birth dates of her children (from Christina Pender via email from Joan 21 Feb 2008), filed as DOC 387.. (BM4). He was generally know as Eric which is the name I use here although in the family he was called Ikey – the grandchildren having difficulty pronouncing Eric. Tom says: ‘[his birth was] just a day or two before the family’s move from Nelson to Christchurch.’ (TP28). (Eric reckoned that he was two or three years old when the family moved.) Beryl and Tom both provide a few words describing their family life: ‘Clive and I and Eric went together but we fought between each other with the usual quarrels. We had to be obedient but had high spirits, not knowing much about other children and sufficient to ourselves. … When the boys got too out of hand Mother clapped them into stocks and one would see a couple of boys in the stocks grinning and punching each other.’ (BM9). Tom depicts Eric as having ‘a natural tendency to be a loner. When it came to schooling, … It was hard for Eric to compete and he did not try. … So he wagged school and went down to the sale yards instead.’ (TP28). ‘Clive and I, and I think Eric, used to catch Mrs. Baines’ horses and learnt to ride up and down the grassy lane outside their property.’ (BM11).

‘When it became obvious that Eric was not going to be a scholar in the general sense, he was sent to Lincoln Agricultural College. There his stay was not very long and I don’t think he received any qualification from the College.’ (TP29). Eric reports that after college he went as a cadet to Nat Beamish in Hawkes Bay. ‘Then I took a shepherd’s job, after which I went down to Canterbury and joined  the 8th New Zealand Contingent for South Africa.  Clive and Haly were already there.  They had come from England.  Haly, who had been studying drawing in London, joined up with the Liverpool Regiment as a private, but on meeting an old friend on arriving at Cape Town he changed into the 2nd New Zealand Contingent and from that was later offered a Commission in the Durham Light Infantry.  Oliver was already an Officer in the Hants Regiment.’ (EM).

He saw no fighting but was involved in a train accident which resulted in some deaths although he escaped unhurt. ‘Another event that stands out in my mind is the only time I ever got drunk in my life.  Going along in a troop train it pulled up for a long time at a station.  The bar only served Officers and as I apparently looked like one, I was commissioned to go to the bar and buy bottles of whisky.  For my trouble I was given a swig from each bottle and by the time I had got all the bottles required, I was quite intoxicated.  Later someone shook me and said your brother wants to speak to you, and it was Haly, then an Officer.  I woke up feeling quite fit and well.  We had a cup of coffee together before the train moved on.’ (EM).

‘From South Africa I managed to be sent to England instead of being sent back to New Zealand.  After staying with Father a short while at Southsea, I went on to an estate called Colston Bassett near Nottingham and had a delightful year there getting a good deal of hunting and shooting.  The squire’s only son had been killed in South Africa and I was allowed to ride his hunter.’ (EM).

‘From Colston Bassett I went to the Argentine and from one of my letters of introduction I got a job on a property named Selmera which was part of a bigger estate called Esleta.  Selmera was managed by a nephew of the head of the firm, Runciman and Company’. While working there Eric had a fall from his horse and hit his head which caused him to be ‘insensible for several hours’. He was nursed back to health by the sister of one of the managers and then moved on to another job at Las Chilcas where he continued to suffer from headaches. These were bad enough for him to decide after a year to go home to England. (EM).

‘Father was then living at Weston-super-Mare and from there I met the girl who became my wife. When I told her Father that I intended to go back to the Argentine, he did not like this idea at all.  He wanted me to go to Tasmania, to his son who was managing his property Sandhill, Jericho’. Eric agreed to do this and sailed for Australia (There is a record of Eric sailing on 11 Aug 1905 from London to Melbourne 78)Passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960: Mr E.M. Garsia, 11 Aug. 1905 London to Melbourne, Age:31, Single, Male, Gent. (through findmypast) DOC: 386/l..) about which he has the following story to tell: ‘When I arrived at Gibraltar, a Captain of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry then quartered at Gibraltar came on board to see some friends, and seeing my name in a list of passengers thought I must be Oliver.  He suggested I should pretend to be Oliver and come up to breakfast with the Regiment.  I came and he introduced me as the new Lieutenant.  After this leg pull and a good breakfast I returned to the ship and eventually reached Tasmania and was met by my young charming host Graeme Bisdee [Marjorie’s brother]’ (EM).

Tom Paxton provides some dramatic details of the problems Eric had at the time of his marriage to Marjorie Bisdee and their settling in Tasmania. According to Tom’s account Marjorie’s father insisted that they should go to Tasmania and help his son Graeme Bisdee on his farm instead of the Argentine which had been Eric’s intention. Eric agreed and went out to Tasmania to make the necessary arrangements, with Marjorie following later. It appears that Eric was more inclined to settle in New Zealand as he bought a property there but sold it a year later at a profit. Marjorie’s father appears to have felt that New Zealand was too far and Eric was obliged to find a property in Tasmania. About a year later he bought a property called Stockdale between Campania and Colebrook. Tom writes ‘It was a very nice property of about 1400 acres, all cleared and good rolling sheep country with some flats on the Cole [Coal] River. It had a rather severe but pleasant old sandstone house on it with plenty of sandstone outbuildings. He must have thought that all his troubles were at an end. It was only about 20 miles from Sandhill and would have been a very nice property to own.’ According to Tom, Eric’s father-in-law-to-be insisted that he and Marjorie return to England to get married so he put a manager in the farm and sailed for England where he was married. (TP).

Beryl takes up the story: ‘In 1908 Eric came back from Tasmania and married Marjorie Bisdee.’ (BM37). They were married at the Hutton parish church, Somerset on 22 July 1908 79)From a certified copy of an entry of marriage from the General Register Office his age is given as 25. His rank or profession: sheep farmer.  His address: Buckland, Beach Road, Weston-super-Mare. His father’s name is given as Christopher Garsia Captain in British Army (Retired). His bride was Marjorie Sutherland Bisdee aged 27 (d.o.b. circa 1881). Her address: The Courts, Hutton. Her father’s name was Thomas Gamaliel (?) Bisdee of Rank or profession: Esquire. The witnesses were: Thomas G. Bisdee, Christopher Garsia Capt., Rupert Garsia Sub-Lieutenant. (Copy of his marriage certificate: DOC148).. Then on 8 August 1908 he sailed 80)Passenger lists leaving the UK 1980-1960; Mr E.M. Garsia & Mrs Garsia, 8 Aug. 1908 Plymouth to Wellington, N.Z. DOC386n.  – through findmypast with his wife from Plymouth to Wellington, NZ (In their note MCJ write that they sailed for Tasmania – the ship may have called in to an Australian port on its way to NZ). Beryl writes: ‘[after their wedding] the happy couple left for Tasmania where Eric had a property.’ (BM37).

Tom continues with the story: ‘Eric and Marjorie had to have a first class passage back to Tasmania. What they found on arrival was disaster – in effect they were broke. There had been a severe period of drought with which the manager had been quite unable to cope. They tried for a while to pull things around … . Eventually, Stockdale was sold, though for a sum which was too small to buy anything but the most limited place in its stead. Eric … bought a small dairy farm near Irishtown in the North West corner of Tasmania. It was called Forest Gate. This was, I think in 1910, and before the railway had been put through to Smithton, and Eric was hoping that this would be done in the near future, and the place would consequently improve in value.’ (TP).

‘I am not quite sure who was responsible for this debacle … but I know Eric put some blame on Thomas Bisdee [Marjorie’s father], and one cannot help being sympathetic with him’ (TP).

In a letter to Beryl dated 21 August 1909 from Tasmania (transcribed by Tom Paxton) Eric responds to what must have been some family criticism of the way that he had moved to such a remote place with his new wife. He refers to: ‘any condemnation that may float about at me taking Marge so far back.’ (TP33). ‘In Australia there are gentlewomen hundreds of miles from anywhere who bring up their families as gentlefolk and live a happy life in a killing climate … . When a girl has a youngster she finds it wonderful company and in a comfortable home with all the interests attending it like her horse, garden and dogs, poultry etc. the absence of friends is not so greatly felt.’ (TP34). The letter also describes all the things that Eric has done to build up his farm like being about to buy almost a thousand acres of top quality land. He goes on to say how much better it is to invest in this part of Tasmania than consider New Zealand where prices are higher. ‘If there was any money to be made in the more settled parts of NZ or here I would not start pioneering but as there is not and there is a lot to be made out of this land I have no other course open to me.’ (TP34). Here Eric is referring to his purchase of Forest Gate (MCJ).

While they were living at Stockdale Marjorie and Eric’s first daughter Elizabeth Marjorie was born at Hobart, on 20 April,1909. (MCJ). Following their move to Forest Gate their ‘second daughter, Gwyndoline Clare (always known as Clare) was born on 23 October 1910 in Stanley, on the north coast of Tasmania.’ (MCJ). ‘… when Elizabeth was one and a half and Clare a baby I went out and stayed two years with them. 1910-1912.’ (BM37). ‘Elizabeth and Clare had governesses for their early education, then later boarded at St Michael’s Collegiate School in Hobart, a two-day journey from home.  Eric and Marjorie’s third child, to Eric’s disappointment another girl, was born in Hobart in 1918 and named Margaret Katharine (MCJ).’

Tom provides a paragraph about how Marjorie coped after their return to Tasmania following their wedding: ‘Through all these vicissitudes, Marjorie was an extremely patient and long suffering wife.  The house at Forest Gate was weatherboard, and little more than a cottage.  A front door in the centre of the front veranda led into a central passage through the house with two rooms on each side and kitchen etc built on to the back, with stairs leading up to two attic bedrooms.  Clare and I made a trip to the North West coast when we came to Tasmania in the late 1950s but the house was no longer there.  Somebody, we were told, had loaded it on to a jinker and taken it down to Trowattta.  All that remained were a few flagstones and steps and some ragged old cypress trees showing where the garden had been.  In this house, Marjorie accommodated her two babies (later three), various servants or lady helps or governesses, and, at different times, her husband’s sister Beryl, (for two years), his brother Rupert, his sister Gwyn and her husband (for a year).  Not infrequently she found herself left at home with the domestic duties while the others were out riding.  It cannot have been a very inspiring life for her, as there were no people in the district who she could count as friends’ (TP).

It was some time before the outbreak of the First World War that Rupert visited Eric and Marjorie for Beryl reports: ‘[Rupert] was feeling discontented [with life in the navy] and he decided to retire and join Eric in Tasmania, sheep farming. While looking for a sheep station, the First World War broke out. He dashed up to Sydney just in time to join the Australia starting for New Guinea, to take the German owned part of it.’ (BM47). The next record we have relating to Eric refers to a time after the end of the war when Gwyn and Edward visited Forest Gate on their honeymoon. There is a record of them sailing from London on 9 December 1921 to Sydney 81)Passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960; Mr Edward Bussey (sic) Berthon & Mrs. Gwyndoline Berthon, 9 Dec. 1921 from London to Colombo, Sri Lanka (Ceylon). DOC386aa. – through findmypast. ‘Gwyn and Edward [sailed] for New Zealand … to camp and explore. … They … ended up at Forest Gate in Tasmania, with Eric and Marjorie.’ (BM51). ‘[Gwyn and Edward] had been with Eric at Forest Gate, but left it when Eric gave it up and bought a property at Wagga [now known as Wagga Wagga].’ (BM 62).

‘The north-west coast of Tasmania had a high rainfall, and the coming of World War I meant that the promised railway was never built.  In 1923 the family moved to a property Draycott near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales.  Here the family, particularly Marjorie, had to contend with another uncomfortable house, terrible summer heat, snakes (a problem already encountered at Forest Gate), grass fires, and occasional bush-fires’. (MCJ).

Then at some unspecified time between August 1925 and April 1927 when Rupert was in command of the Tingira and while Beryl was staying on board in Sydney Beryl writes ‘In the holidays we went camping with Eric and Marjorie when she was there …’ (BM61).

‘In about 1936 they moved to Micklegate, at Dunkeld, west of Bathurst, NSW (Bathurst is about 125 miles west of Sydney). The move was quite a long drawn out affair because although the sale of Draycott went through the buyer eventually couldn’t pay.  Margaret says that they had some months in Sydney, and another period in Tasmania, while Eric looked for a property. The Bathurst property had a much better climate, a comfortable and spacious house, and there were a number of people that Eric and Marjorie knew in the area.’ (MCJ).

Beryl notes that Eric and Marjorie visited England some time after Gwyn’s death in March 1949 thus: ‘Eric came to England with Marjorie [According to Margaret this was 1954 or 1955]’ (BM77). They saw members of both their families.   Margaret says that they enjoyed the voyage and danced in the evenings. (MCJ).

‘In the early 1950s Eric and Marjorie moved to Kewstoke [of] just 100 acres, 3 miles west of Bathurst (later swallowed by housing). This was Eric’s last property before full retirement.  He had a horse and umpired for polocrosse games, and still had about 100 merinos, two Border Leicesters, a cow which he milked, hens, a dog called Jack, and a couple of cats.’ (MCJ).

‘In Tasmania and at Wagga Wagga, Eric very successfully bred Southdown and Border Leicester sheep, but at Bathurst the land was more suitable for Merinos.  He did his own wool classing and obtained top prices for the wool.  His Southdowns and Border Leicesters won many prizes at local sheep shows.  He also had great success at country shows with his horses and horsemanship.  Some of his horses were Coastguard, Chinook, Chilly Wind, Rum Jungle and Billy Wallace, the last named after one of Princess Margaret’s boyfriends. Eric was a very good farmer, but lacked enough capital to buy larger sheep properties.  The disaster with his property at Campania left him short of money.  The drop in wool prices in the 1950s also hit him hard.’ (MCJ).

‘In 1959 [after his retirement] Eric and Marjorie moved back to Tasmania, to be near their daughter Clare Paxton and her family, especially Clare’s two youngest children, the twins Susan and Amanda.  They lived in the Hobart suburb of Taroona on the Derwent Estuary.  Eric kept a horse, Felix (a great jumper) on a property south of Hobart and continued to ride and to umpire for polocrosse   He also had a fibreglass dinghy and did a lot of fishing, going out in all weathers.’ (MCJ).

‘Eric got Parkinson’s Disease and he and Marjorie eventually had to move to a nursing home in the Hobart suburb of Berriedale’ (MCJ). Eric died (at the good age of 87) in Berriedale, Hobart on 25 December 1968. He left an estate of almost seventy four thousand Australian dollars to his three daughters and grandchildren 82)Copy of Eric’s will (Australian National Archives:Date 1969, Reference: AD960/118, Will No.: 51016. email from Angela 28 May 2007)  DOC372..

Marjorie died from a heart attack on 30 June 1969 while visiting her daughter Elizabeth in Sydney.’ (MCJ), leaving ninety three thousand Australian dollars to be divided between her daughters and grandchildren 83)Copy of Marjorie’s will (Australian National Archives:Date 1969, Reference: AD960/123, Will No.: 52105. email from Angela 28 May 2007.) DOC373..

 

Oliver Dunham Melville Garsia.

 

Oliver was born at Christchurch on 15 November 1885. ‘Oliver … [was] born there.’ (BM6). The family address on his birth record is Armagh Street, Christchurch 84)Copy of a transcription of Elizabeth Parker Watson’s Bible showing the birth dates of her children (from Christina Pender via email from Joan 21 Feb 2008) family Bible DOC 387. Also copies of his Certified Copy of an Entry in the Register-book for Christchurch, N.Z. and of his Baptism Record found with his Service Record at The National Archives, Kew. (DOC394).. One of the few comments by Beryl about her younger brother was: ‘Oliver was a little boy and his long curls had not been cut off, a secret annoyance to him. So one day he took a pair of scissors and standing close to the nursery fender so that his head just reached the top of it, he clipped it off, or hacked it off!’ (BM8). When the time came for Gwyn, Haly and Beryl to move back to England the younger ones were left behind: ‘So we went to Wellington to take the Liner we were travelling in and we left Clive, Eric, Oliver and Rupert behind – rather a wrench. The year was 1899 and I was 20.’ (BM19). ‘[Then in] 1901, after two years in England it was my turn to go to New Zealand to bring home the two youngest boys, Oliver and Rupert. … Arrived in N.Z. I found the two boys, especially Oliver, lonely and longing for a sister. … So Oliver, Rupert and I left by boat for Wellington to sail in the Gothic. We enjoyed ourselves in Wellington and went shopping … for Father had not thought about dress.’ (BM26/27). Although Beryl doesn’t mention him by name it is clear that Oliver was present at the foregathering at Southsea about 1902 before they all scattered after which he started his military career. ‘… later Oliver [went] to Gibraltar to join his regiment there.’ (BM28).

His army career can be assembled from the Army Lists 85)Army Lists 1905 and 1910, see 01aug02.lwp., and from his Service Record 86)His Service Record is held at The National Archives, Kew and have the following reference numbers: WO76/42/f60, /43/f67. Photocopies filed as DOC394. thus: He joined the British Army as a second lieutenant in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry on 20 May 1905. He became a lieutenant in the same regiment on 10 Nov. 1908. I found no further mention of him in the 1908 Army Lists. Beryl may have got the date wrong when she says that he accompanied her on her second visit to Sweden (BM29). After a few months at ‘home’ (20 May 1905 to 21 November 1905) he was posted to Gibraltar (22 November 1905 to 2 September 1907). From there he went to Bermuda (3 September 1905 to 21 December 1910). There is a note that he was passed for promotion to captain on 27 November 1912. There is an Ellis Island Record 87) From e-mail from Angela 2001 Aug. 4.  Oliver Dunham Melville Garsia.  ELLIS ISLAND RECORD  (see DOC. No. 151)  (See  photos (2) for Garsia, Oliver May 1909 and December 1909 –  passenger record). Dates of arrival in the US. Sailing:  May 1, 1909, Sailing:  December 27, 1909, Nationality: Great Britain, Last Permanent Residence: –  Prospect, Bermuda,   c/o DCLI Regiment.  Final Destination:  –  London, England – Hamilton, Bermuda.  Closest Relative     –  c/o Cox & Co, Chasing Cross, London, England, –  O.D. 2nd. D.C.L.I.,  Born:  Christchurch, New Zealand.  Desc:  6’2″, Dark complexion,  dark, black hair, brown eyes.  Calling  or Occupation:  “in transit”    –  Lieutenant, British Army  showing that he was in transit through New York on 1 May 1909 and on 27 December 1909; the first time travelling from Bermuda to London and the second returning to Bermuda. This is not recorded in his Service record. After Bermuda he was posted to South Africa (20 January 1910 to 21 December 1912) and then to Hong Kong (22 December 1912 to 25 August 1913) after which he came home. Although his service record doesn’t show it he must have gone to France when the First World War started for there is a very short note to the effect that he died of a gunshot wound (dated 19 September 1914). His death is recorded on the Somerset County War Memorial thus: Fallen in the 1914-18 War. Surname: Garsia,          Forename: Oliver Dunham Melville, Rank: Lieut.. He is also commemorated in the Somerset County War Memorial book thus: In Memory of OLIVER DUNHAM MELVILLE GARSIA  Lieutenant 2nd, attd. 1st Bn., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry who died on Friday, 18th September 1914 88)Roy Parkhouse created a list of 10,987 names of the fallen in the 1914-18 War. It was derived (by scanning) from a leather-bound book called the Somerset County War Memorial. It was published by E. Goodman and Son, The Phoenix Press, Taunton, 1923. It has no author. The bulk of the book is taken up with the Roll of Honour which is an index to the Memorial Book reportedly held in Wells Cathedral. This is an extract of the 133 names from the D.C.L.I.    From:  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.    Commemorative Information.   Memorial:   LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL, Seine-et-Marne, France.      Location:          La Ferte-sous-Jouarre is a small town 66 kilometres to the east of Paris, and the Memorial is situated in a small park on the south bank of the River Marne, just off the main road to Paris. The Memorial Register is kept at the Town Hall. The La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial commemorates nearly 4,000 officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force who died in August, September and the early part of October 1914 and who have no known grave. The monument consists of a rectangular block of stone, 62 feet by 30 feet and 24 feet high, with the names of the dead engraved on stone panels on all sides of the monument. The monument is surmounted by a sarcophagus and a trophy carved in stone. At the four corners of the pavement are stone piers with urns, carved with the coats of arms of the Empire..

In his will he left an estate valued at almost six thousand pounds which he directed should be divided equally among his brothers and sisters 89)His death is given at:  http://www.lightinfantry.org/dcli/dcli_somerset.htm. I found him in the Index of Wills at the Probate Office as follows: ‘Oliver Dunham Melville Garsia of Congresbury, Somerset died 18 Sep 1914. Probate was granted at Wells on 15 Mar 1915 to Willoughby Clive Garsia. Effects £5936-9s-10d’. I have a copy of his will which reads as follows: ‘This is the last Will and Testament of me Oliver Dunham Oliver Garsia Lieutenant in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry now stationed at the Curragh (about 20 miles SW of Dublin). I appoint my brother Willoughby Clive Garsia to administer my real and personal estate. I give and bequeath to my brothers and sisters all my said real and personal estate to be divides between them in equal parts or shares. I however desire to charge the real estate they each may receive from the said share with a contribution towards a legacy of one hundred pounds in aggregate which it is my wish to leave to my friend Miss Annie Bisgood [Elizabeth P. Watson’s lady’s companion]. And I hereby revoke …’. Dated 1 Feb.1914. Filed as DOC156..

Beryl provides a few more pieces of flesh to the bare bones of the skeleton provided by the official records although with the lack of dates from her it is hard to fit it all together. Thus: ‘Oliver meanwhile came to Melbourne as A.D.C. to Lord Carmichael, the Governor of Victoria.’ (BM37). Beryl writes: ‘I returned to Forest Gate and Oliver came over. … Oliver in Melbourne fell in love with Mai Ryan, now Lady Casey, and I think it was returned. Later when news came that Oliver had fallen in France, she was then in London training to be a nurse and she dashed down to us in Somerset. They were not officially engaged owing to her mother who thought Mai could do better than marry Oliver who had so little private means. Oliver’s time in Melbourne ended and he went to Japan. [This may have been at the time he was posted to Hong Kong (22 December 1912 to 25 August 1913).] He explored, saw lovely places and scenes and after a few weeks he went on to Korea and then took the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow. There he went to a middle aged widow as a teacher, and Oliver got on marvellously with Russian. She wrote to me later that Oliver was so sympathetic (sympathy and understanding of other people’s troubles came naturally to Oliver). She was full of premonitions for the future of Russia and very unhappy. She told me that Oliver had confided in her and she knew about his troubles with Mai Ryan. She was a woman of good class and I fear liquidated later. So Oliver went his way and joined the First Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in Ireland. … A little later came the troubles and with other officers he made up his mind to resign his commission if asked to fire on loyal Irishmen. But the war came. Oliver went with the regiment and he fell on 15 September 1914 at Missy-sur-Aisne. It is unknown where he is buried. His grave was never found owing to our army being in retreat soon after and no sign was found to show where it is.’ (BM38/39). At the beginning of the war: ‘[Clive in France] was put onto directing Railways, …Trainloads of officers and men came through and Oliver was among them. But neither knew that the other was near and so Clive missed seeing him.’ (BM43).

There is an obituary to Oliver published in the Povetry Bay Herald on 12 November 1914 90)Newspaper cutting by email from Angela 24 August 2009 and filed as DOC440. with the date line ‘Christchurch, this day.’ The following is an extract: ‘In a letter written from Carragh camp on 11th August last, two days before the regiment left for the front, he speaks with almost boyish enthusiasm of his men. “I wish you could see the battalion now, with all the reservists in – fine men with square chins and chests like gorillas. They are now nearly all foreign battalion men. The whole barracks seems to smile at me these days. You can’t imagine what it is all like. It is all too glorious for words. All our home service officers feel that they will never be able to stand home service again now that they have seen what it is like to command men and not pimply-faced boys. Everything here is quiet, but cheery. We all know what we are in for, and everything in the way of work is taken very seriously. God help the German troops that bump ours. Very few of us will come back, but the show will be worth while. Remember me to my friends, and if it turns out to be good-bye, give them that also.”’

It is sad that we have no more information about Oliver that might have produced a clearer picture of a man who at only 29 years of age was killed in the war.

 

Rupert Clare Garsia.

 

Rupert was born on 9 October 1887 in a house referred to by Beryl as the ‘corner house overlooking the bridge over the Avon [close to] Hagley Park. [in Christchurch.]’ (BM6) 91)Birth date from the family Bible DOC 387.. We have little about his childhood till he returned to England with Oliver as described above. According to Beryl when Rupert was in his early teens in New Zealand he met some officers from a visiting cruiser who ‘influenced Rupert to go into the navy.’ (BM27). He too was present at the last family foregathering in Southsea about 1902.  ‘End of first separation. … and Rupert’s first and second commission was in the Russell where the midshipmen’s quarters were so airless he developed TB.’ (BM28). His life and career in the navy is described in the following extract from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

‘GARSIA, RUPERT CLARE (1887-1954), naval officer, was born on 9 October 1887 at Christchurch, New Zealand, son of Captain Christopher Garsia, 79th Cameron Highlanders, and his wife Elizabeth Parker, née Watson. He was educated at Christchurch High School and later in England at H.M.S. Britannia, the Royal Navy’s training ship. Appointed a midshipman in H.M.S. Russell in the Channel Fleet in July 1904, he became a sub-lieutenant in September 1907 and a lieutenant in April 1910. He served in the cruiser H.M.S. Psyche on the Australian Station in 1909-11 and then in battle cruisers in the Home Fleet.

‘Garsia resigned from the Royal Navy on 15 April 1914. He joined his family in Tasmania, but when war was imminent offered his services to the Royal Australian Navy and went on board H.M.A.S. Australia in Sydney on 4 August 1914 as lieutenant on the R.N. emergency list (on loan to the R.A.N.). He was transferred on 12 August as prize master to the Zambesi, a small vessel carrying material for the German wireless station at Bitapaka, New Britain. Garsia took the Zambesi to Sydney, arriving there on 26 August; he left the same day to go north again and served in H.M.A.S. Sydney from 14 September until the end of the war. The Sydney escorted the first convoy of troops from Australia to the Middle East and, en route, destroyed the German light cruiser Emden at Cocos Island on 9 November 1914; in this engagement Garsia was in charge of a group of guns. From Colombo he sent his father in England a description of the fight and this was published in the London Times ahead of the official account.

‘In 1915-16 the Sydney patrolled in the West Atlantic and in June 1916 joined the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. She suffered casualties in action in December 1916 and engaged the Zeppelin, L43, in May 1917. Her aeroplane, operated from a launching-platform, was in action on 1 June 1918. This was soon after Garsia’s promotion to the rank of lieutenant-commander, R.N., on 1 April 1918; he returned to Sydney in July 1919. On 31 January 1919 he had been appointed a lieutenant-commander in the R.A.N. He served in H.M.A.S. Tingira, the boys’ training ship in Sydney, from August 1919 until April 1921 when he went to command H.M.A.S. Penguin, the depot ship in Sydney. Promoted commander on 1 July 1921, he served in H.M.A.S. Brisbane from July 1921, and in the flagship Melbourne from March until November 1922 when he took command of the sloop Marguerite.

‘Garsia was sent to England in 1924-25 to study training and education in the R.N. On his return in August 1925 he took command of the Tingira where he remained until April 1927 when, to his acute disappointment, boys’ training was abandoned and the Tingira was paid off. The Naval Board had refused his politically naive submission that it should once more seek the government’s permission to reintroduce caning as the form of punishment which had been abolished after parliamentary debate. Garsia then commanded H.M.A.S. Platypus, a depot ship. In April 1928 he returned to the Penguin in command until August 1929 when he moved to H.M.A.S. Brisbane in command and as senior officer, reserve ships. In June 1930 he again took command of the Penguin.

‘Garsia ceased duty with the navy when he was appointed administrator of Nauru in December 1932, remaining there until October 1938. This phosphate island in the Pacific gave scope to his naval predilections for efficiency, paternalism, correctitude and a taste for intrigue. At the age of 46 he surprised everyone at Nauru by marrying. His wife was Dorothea Lloyd, a teacher of Hunters Hill, Sydney; the wedding took place at the Anglican church, Bong Bong, New South Wales, on 28 April 1934. There were no children of the marriage. In 1939 Garsia settled in Canberra, and in 1940 was appointed acting captain and served as commodore of convoys until 1943. He commanded H.M.A.S. Leeuwin, the navy’s main depot in Western Australia from October 1943 until September 1945 when his naval service finally concluded.

‘Survived by his wife, Garsia died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Canberra on 18 February 1954 and was cremated with Anglican rites. He was tall and well built and had a commanding presence; he made a significant contribution both as naval officer and administrator. He was public spirited, strong on the dignity of his naval rank and on his vision of the navy as the unchallengeable safeguard of the nation 92)Robert Hyslop, ‘Garsia, Rupert Clare (1887 – 1954)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, Melbourne University Press, 1981, pp 626-627. See here.

There is an official report 93)From: http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/nauru.html Rupert Garsia MS 2377 Garsia, Rupert C.  Papers relating to the administration of Nauru, including diary by Dorothea Garsia, 1934-38   Also mfm PMB 5 From: http://rspas.anu.edu.au/melanesia/thompson.html, on Australian Administrators in Papua New Guinea and Nauru by Roger C. Thompson including Rupert as administrator in Nauru, from which an edited extract is reproduced here:

‘Few of Australia’s administrators in New Guinea and Nauru before the Second World War had any previous colonial experience. Indeed, Australia regarded First World War officer experience as a mark of leadership and administrative abilities. Consequently, Brigadier General Griffiths, Commander Rupert Garsia and Colonel William Chambers were three of the four interwar administrators in Nauru. The most unsuitable of those Nauru appointments was Garsia, whose only administrative experience was commanding a naval boys’ training institute. But in seeking the Nauru post he was assisted by support from the war-time commanding officer Charles Marr, the Australian Minister for the Territories. Garsia in fact was preferred to Harold Page, the Government Secretary of the New Guinea Territory since 1923. The government accountant in Nauru commented about Garsia: ‘He came here straight from the Navy, knowing nothing about the island, and indeed little about the requirements of Civil Administration’. His appointment prompted the British Phosphate Commissioner to comment, after a visit to Nauru: ‘I fear the post is regarded in Australian official circles as a pleasant job for a civil servant nearing the age of retirement’. In reaction to the authoritarian and nepotistic policies of Newman’s successor, Garsia, Nauruans called for the return of Griffiths.’

An obituary in the Canberra Times for February 1954 is kinder and reports that when it had become clear that Hitler was preparing for war he urged the Australian government to install a gun on the island to protect its phosphate production. This was rejected and during the war a ‘German commerce raider without opposition destroyed the cantilever by gunfire and interrupted the allies’ major source of phosphate for the remainder of World War II.’

Some more personal details of Rupert’s life are provided by Beryl in her Memoirs from which some extracts are: ‘Rupert, the youngest of us, having had TB, could never go to Whale Island, where officers in the Navy went through heavy physical training – as this would have opened up the artificial lung covers induced by treatment for TB. So he could never get any different job than navigation officer. He was feeling discontented and he decided to retire and join Eric in Tasmania, sheep farming. While looking for a sheep station, the First World War broke out. He dashed up to Sydney just in time to join the Australia starting for New Guinea, to take over the German owned part of it.’ (BM47). ‘At New Guinea he was given a ship to convoy to Sydney, and arriving there he was just in time to board the Sydney sailing to track down the enemy raider who was cruising about sinking and blowing up our ships, the Emden. She ran the Emden to ground on the Cocos Island. Rupert’s long letter to father describing what happened there was so vivid and was the first detailed news reaching England, that Father sent it to the The Times and it was printed in many different languages, and is now in the Museum at Canberra. According to Rupert’s account, Captain Glossop of the Sydney signalled to Muller to surrender and he would not. Then he signalled again that he would have to fire again if he persisted. Not showing any signs of complying Sydney fired at close quarters and then the German hauled down his flag. Rupert was sent on board to take Muller’s sword and reported that the deck was a shambles. Many Germans had escaped and had landed on the Cocos Island and Rupert with some sailors was sent to find them. He ran them to ground after much searching – some dying of thirst. Some had drunk sea water and gone mad. Rupert had taken cocoa nuts for them to drink from. Captain Muller had an English mother but this did not prevent his having a virulent hatred of the English’. (BM48/9).

Christina Pender corrects Beryl’s account thus: ‘Beryl says that Rupert’s letter to his father about the encounter between the Sydney and the Emden, and which was published in The Times is now in the Museum of Canberra.’ In fact it is in the Australian War Memorial and in 2004 was used in a special exhibition about the encounter between the Sydney and the Emden 94)This letter and also Rupert’s diaries (also in the Australian War Memorial) are quoted extensively in The Anzacs by Patsy Adam-Smith (first published 1978).. (CP6)

In the late 1920s when Beryl was in Florence ‘… Rupert paid me a visit. I do not remember if on his way to England or out to Australia.’ (BM57). ‘Rupert invited me to stay with him in the Tingira anchored in Sydney Harbour so I left for Egypt to stay with Bertie and Myra in Cairo. Rupert who was in England came on by a later ship. I joined Rupert at Port Said and we went on to Sydney to the Tingira. (BM60/1).

The Canberra Times of 1954 reports 95)In an email dated 24 August 2009 Angela sent newspaper cuttings relating to Rupert and some of his siblings now filed as DOC446. that in his will he left just over eight thousand pounds to his wife Dorothea and then to be shared among his nieces, the daughters of Eric and Marjorie Garsia.

 

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. I have included reference to them partly for my own benefit but also in case there is a request for additional information. In time we may look to add copies of these documents to this website
2. Gillian Paxton has informed us that Christy SANDERS (Gillian’s daughter) and Rob MILLER have changed their surname to JOY.
3. Transcripts of the records of the Anglican Church of Kingston and archived in Spanish Town. (Vol 3, page 100 for the year 1840. Copied onto 35mm film by the Mormons: film number 1281761. 05Jan26). His parents are given as Aaron Garsia, Surgeon, and his wife Sarah, Hanover Street, Kingston
4. The Army Lists are available on the open shelving at The National Archives, Kew. Christopher’s Service record has the reference numbers: WO76/61/f17, 61/f14, 62/f4, 26/f85. These have been photocopied and are filed as DOC393. See also 01Aug02
5. Herber, M.D., Ancestral Trails, p. 321. (Sutton Publishing Limited, 1997)
6. He is listed living at 6 Cornwallis Crescent, Clifton, Bristol aged 34, unmarried and a captain in the Bengal Staff Corps on sick leave from India. (DOC. 244).
7. The certificate shows Christopher aged 35, a captain in the Indian Army. His place of residence at the time of marriage is given as ‘This parish of St Peters, Belsize  Park [Hampstead] , his father’s name as Adrian Garsia, Physician. His wife is recorded as Elizabeth Parker Watson aged 22 of St Saviour, Haverstock Hill [Hampstead]. Her father’s name is given as Jhn. Watson, Merchant. The witnesses were W O G Haly [Sir William O’Grady Haly. The following comes from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography: ‘He was awarded the CB in 1855. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 38th Foot, then stationed in India, on 4 Feb. 1859 and served in the East Indies from 1861 to 1870; he was promoted major-general in January 1865 and lieutenant-general, May 1873.], [illegible]  Watson, W. Marston Garsia and H M Watson. (DOC153). The date of their marriage is confirmed by Christina’s note on Beryl’s Memoirs ‘this was 23 July 1872 according to Elizabeth’s own inscription in her Bible’ (CP2).
8. ‘They first went to Venice and there is a photograph of them both taken there. One of the places they stayed at was Nice.  They had the offer of a beautiful villa at Cimiez standing in extensive grounds.  In those days Queen Victoria used to spend much of the winter in Cimiez.  So it became a fashionable place.  Father wanted it, but Mother said she wished her children to be born on British soil so they turned it down.  Had they bought it how different all our lives would have been.  We would have been bilingual and gone to school in England.  Cimiez has since been completely swallowed up in Nice, and the land has become immensely valuable. So they returned to England and stayed about in various watering places.’ (BM2).
9. The birth certificate DOC261 records her name as Gwendoline Mountney, the date and place of birth as 13 Aug. 1874 at 22 Clarendon Road, Kensington. Her mother is recorded as Elizabeth Parker Garsia formerly Watson. Her father Christopher Garsia is described as Retired Captain H.M.S., late B.S.C. [Bengal Staff Corps]. Christina has provided a transcription from a Bible which had belonged to Elizabeth Parker Watson in which the birth dates of her children are inscribed by Christopher. DOC387. Her first daughter is listed as Gwendolyn Mountney.
10. I have a copy of his birth certificate, DOC.No. 147. The birth was registered in the registration district of Steyning, sub-district: Shorham, Sussex. Name: Aubrey Christie Haly.  His date of birth is given as 31 January 1876, at 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove. Father’s name: Christopher Garsia. Mother’s name Elizabeth Parker Garsia formerly Watson. Occupation of father: Captain Bengal Staff Corps H.P. Signature, description and residence of informant: Chr. Garsia Captn. H.P., Father, 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove.
11. On 28 Nov. 2001 Angela sent extracts from the Public Record Office, Victoria, Australia thus: Index of inward Passenger lists 1852 – 1889; (1) Surname — Garsia, Given name – Christopher, Age – 40, Year – 1876, Month – December, Ship – Sobraon. (2) Surname – Garcia, Given Names – Aubrey, C., Mrs. and Gwendoline, Ages 2, 28, and 3, Year – 1878, Month April, Ship – Garonne. (DOC331).
12. ‘After a few months in Melbourne they decided they disliked it.  Father knew a few retired Maori War Officers who had settled in New Zealand and taken up land near Nelson.  So they took ship to New Zealand and bought a house overlooking the Church Hill in Nelson at the north end of South Island. This house has a tower to it and was then the largest in Nelson.’ (BM4).
13. This comment comes via Christina Pender (27 September 2009) from Margaret Katharine, Christopher’s grand daughter. (DOC444)
14. The birth date for Beryl and for her brothers noted below are taken from their mother’s Bible (see DOC387).
15. Army Lists 1859 to 1900 (see 01aug02.).
16. 9 Feb. 1876 there is a record of Dr W.M. Garsia applying for a UK passport (see findmypast.com)
17. ‘When I was about 10 [c. 1889] we moved 5 miles out of Christchurch to Riccarton to a large house of 2 storeys standing in 20 acres of fields and garden. It had a wonderful view, uninterrupted by any house, over to the mountains.  Never will I forget what they looked like in the winter.  There were large stables, a long drive with trees, all well grown, the whole 20 acres surrounded by pine trees.  A group of pines and a large silver beech on one side of the lawn where we had a swing and later used to sit and have lessons’. (BM7).
18. Tom Paxton comments on Elizabeth’s wealth thus: ‘I know from documents in the family’s possession that when John Watson [Elizabeth’s father] died he left to Lilla [Elizabeth] a share of his property in Cumberland consisting of six farms, valued at £31,340. I have no record of what he may have left her from his properties in London or business in Bombay, but it must have been a considerable fortune.’ (TP22).
19. Tom Paxton writes: ‘Christopher’s character has been summed up by Eric and I will quote this in full: “Of Father’s character I will find it hard to write. He had an appalling, fretful temper. He was quite unpredictable. He would bully us silly in the daytime and sit up all night with us when we were ill. He shouted and stormed at us over very trivial things.”’ (TP23).
20.

‘Father, though not earning a living, was not idle.  He was on the Board of Governors of the University and he founded the Art Gallery in Christchurch. First he rented a small room to exhibit pictures painted locally, even sitting at the door to collect the entrance money, and they gave little concerts there – The Spanish Students – all Spanish – was one lot.  Then with money help from rich people – old Montgomery was one – he got enough to build a big gallery, two rooms, one for permanent collection, and one for annual exhibits.  The first,  a ballroom that was let for dancing with a small stage for concerts.  It was very successful. At first he got Sir Frederic Leighton to choose pictures and send them out and they were housed first in the Museum which moved to the Art Gallery.  Father’s portrait is in the Art Gallery.’ (BM10). On the involvement of Christopher in the Gallery of Art, Christina Pender has the following comment: ‘In early 2007 I visited Christchurch with my cousin Gillian Paxton and the following notes relating to BM10 result from that visit. “He founded the Art Gallery in Christchurch”. It was not in fact the Art Gallery but the Canterbury Society of Arts (CSA), and he didn’t found it. Its first meeting was held on 30 June 1880 and its first exhibition opened on 17 January 1881. Christopher moved to Christchurch at the end of 1882. He was one of the trustees and was Honorary Secretary and Treasurer from September 1885 to March 1896, and its Vice-President from March 1897 to March 1902. “Father’s portrait is in the Art Gallery.” The portrait was painted in 1902 by James Balfour and is in the CoCA – the Centre of Contemporary Art. The name of the CSA was changed to CoCA in 1996. See http://www.coca.org.nz/general_history.html The current director of CoCA, Warren Feeney, has written his PhD thesis on the history of the CoCA. It includes a chapter on the CSA’s galleries and Christopher Garsia is central to this chapter. ‘The Canterbury Society of Arts 1880-1996.  Conformity and Dissension Revisited’, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Otago, 2009.  Warren told us that the previous accounts of the early days of the CSA were critical of Captain Garsia and depicted him as very conservative. In its first years the CSA bought many pictures by local artists but the committee then decided they must have a building to house the works, so raised money for a building and stopped buying pictures. This of course alienated the artists who were very critical of the CSA and Garsia in particular. However the building was designed by the prominent Christchurch architect B.W. Mountfort and was paid off by 1902. This building is now part of the Christchurch Law Courts.’ (CP2&3).

21. Chapter 3 of Feeney’s thesis (referenced above) gives an account of his work– he is referred to as Captain Garsia. The Society held annual exhibitions of works by local artists but shortly before their 1889 exhibition they were denied use of their usual room.  Apparently Christopher was instrumental in helping to solve the problem and attracted praise for his efforts: ‘… our indefatigable  Hon. Secretary, Captain Garsia, has brought us fairly through our difficulties, …’. ‘The trustees felt equally appreciative of Garsia’s efforts and commissioned a portrait of him by James Lawson Balfour for its permanent collection in 1902’. Christopher was again active in the Society’s efforts to have built a permanent gallery in Armagh Street ready for the 1890 exhibition on 4 November.  Although congratulated in some quarters he suffered considerable criticism from others especially the working members of the Society. Thus: ‘His military background and social standing appears to have been at odds with a number of the Society’s artists … [who criticised his] ability to appreciate and administer the arts’. He was sensitive to these criticisms and offered to resign a number of times and eventually this was accepted in 1896 with ‘extreme regret’ and the council recorded its ‘highest appreciation of thanks for the valuable services of Captain Garsia to the Society’. Beryl’s account of how Christopher was involved with the Gallery of Art is also described in a letter she wrote to Mr. Stewart Mair, President of the Gallery on 7 February 1970, and of which a transcription was sent to me by Warren Feeney by email on 2 June 2009. (DOC435). In an exchange of emails between Joan and Christina Pender the latter says ‘he [Christopher] was its first Honorary Secretary and Treasurer from September 1885 to March 1896, and its Vice-President from March 1897 to March 1902 (when the portrait was painted).’ This last date is not consistent with our estimate of the date when he returned to England with the rest of his family. I return to this later.
22. Remark to Christina Pender see an email dated 26 September 2009. (DOC444).
23. ‘The time had now come for Gwyn to go to England to study music.’ (BM11).
24. There is a record of Gwyn sailing from London to Sydney leaving on 3 April 1896. (DOC386d).
25. ‘Poor mother gradually sank and died, being partially kept out of pain by morphia. Gwyn was recalled from England. Mother longed to live till she saw Gwyn but died not long before she arrived.’ (BM17).
26. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol. 8, page 998-9. This unusual arrangement was caused by the king’s ill health.
27. See DOC386e for details.
28. Christina Pender comments: ‘the portrait of Captain Garsia in the CoCA is dated 1902’. (CP4).
29. From ‘Findmypast’ a record of Passengers leaving  UK 1890 – 1960: Captain C.J. Garsia. (DOC386j).
30. ‘Father took a small house at Weston-super-Mare to be near his favourite brother Willoughby who was settled there with a wife he had married late in life and four small children.  We despised a suburban life and hated W-s-M, a seaside resort with no country walks.’ (BM28).
31. Christopher was appointed a trustee of his brother’s (WMG) will which was written on 10 August 1905 when he was living at 7 St Pauls Road, Weston-super-Mare where he is referred to as a ‘Retired Captain in the Indian Army’. Probate was granted to him and his nephew on 14 October 1909.  (DOC58).
32. 1910 He also appears as an entry in Kelly’s directory for Weston-super-Mare as Captain Christopher Garsia, 21 Ellensburgh Park, W-s-M. He is also listed in the 1911 census for W-s-M at the address given above aged 74 and with two servants. His Profession or Occupation is given as ‘Retired Army Captain (pensioned)’. (DOC430).
33. ‘By that time [1912] we had left W-s-M and gone to live at ‘Woodlands’ in the Mendips. Congresbury was our village, and Yatton an ancient village about midway between Bristol and Weston’ (BM39) … ‘The house was large and stood in a garden with acres of woods behind it all part of our property. It was all very steep. The view from the front door to a peak in the Mendips was quite lovely’ … ‘We ought to have been happy there but for different reasons we were not, and Father hated it and he decided to go to London and leave us to it’ (BM40-1).
34. A photocopy of this letter appears in Tom Paxton’s account of the family. (TP7 and DOC412).
35. Certified Copy of an Entry of Death. 25 April 1917, at Kenwyn, Sea View Road, Burnham [on Sea, Somerset], Christopher Garsia, Male, 80 years, Retired Captain, Cause of death: Heart failure, Informant Eliza Ricks [same address]. There is also a record of his burial in the cemetery at Burnham on Sea. (DOC 385).
36. He appears in the index of wills having the address: Woodlands, Congresbury, Somerset. Administration granted at Wells 27 Aug. 1917 to Gwendoline Mountney Garsia and Beryl le Mesurier Garsia spinsters. Effects £ 1449-19-0d. Thus he left no will.
37. The index to birth records shows for the third quarter of 1850: Watson, Elizabeth Parker, Registration district St. George’s, Hanover Square, vol. V, p. 6, (findmypast).
38. Certified copy of an entry of death: 1871 Hampstead, Middlesex, on 12 May 1871 at 20 Fellows Road, Hampstead, John Watson, male, aged 53, Occupation: East India Merchant, Cause of death: Diseased liver, Dropsy, Enfeebled heart, Congested lungs. Informant: Sarah Chapman. (DOC438).
39. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watson%27s_Hotel.
40. Certified copy of an entry of marriage: Parish of Hove, Sussex, 25 October 1876, James Bradley Cooke to Emma Anita Garsia, Father’s profession: Solicitor, Witnesses: Willoughby Marston Garsia, Sarah Anne Garsia, Alicia Garsia, Elizabeth Parker Garsia and one other illegible. DOC132
41. Passenger lists from ‘findmypast’: Miss Garsia aged 24 on the Ormuz departing from London on 3 April 1896, destination: Sydney. DOC386d
42. Kelly’s Directory for Hampshire 1903, p. 746 Private Residents in Hampshire: Miss Garsia, West House, Wymering, Cosham, RSO
43. See a passenger list DOC386f which shows two Misses Garsia leaving London on 4 November 1904 for Sydney, Australia. Their ages are given as 27 and 41 and nationality: Irish.
44. The 1911 census shows Christopher Garsia living at 13 Ellensborough Park, Weston-super-Mare. with two servants. He describes himself as a Retired Army Captain (Pensioned). DOC430.
45. The  Catalogue at the Probate Office, London for 1917: shows Garsia, Christopher of Woodlands, Congresbury, Somerset, retd capt. in H M Army, died 25 Apr. 1917 at Kenwyn Sea View-road Burnham, Somerset. Administration: Wells 27 Aug. to Gwendoline Mounteney Garsia and Beryl Le Mesurier Garsia spinsters. Effects £1,449 19s. No will.
46. From findmypast.com
47. Their marriage is listed by ‘findmypast’ thus: Garsia, Gwendoline M., Berthon, Richmond S., 2a, 1398, Third quarter of 1920.
48. MR. EDWARD B.  BERTHON AND MISS GARSIA.The marriage took place on Wednesday, at St. Anne’s, Kew, of Mr. Edward Brassey Berthon, fourth son of the late Major-General Thomas Porter Berthon, of Cleeve Court, Somerset, to Miss Gwendoline Mounteney Garsia, elder daughter of the late Captain Christopher Garsia, 79th (Cameron) Highlanders and Bengal Staff Corps. The bride, who was given away by her brother Lieutenant-Colonel  Clive Garsia DSO., MC., wore a dress … Her train-bearers were Master Paul Berthon and Miss Daphne Cochran (nephew and niece of the bride-groom).  She was also attended by four brides-maids – Miss Beryl Garsia (sister), Miss Joan Berthon (niece of the bridegroom), Miss Stella Macdonald and Miss Eila Howard.  Their dresses were of …  Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Berthon, C.B.E., was his brother’s best man.  The ceremony was performed by the Rev. J. V. Macmillan. Afterwards a reception was held by Lady Macdonald at Royal Cottage, Kew Gardens, and among those present were :- Mrs Charles Berthon, and the Misses Berthon. Mrs. Herbert Berthon and Miss Elleen Berthon. Mrs. H. V.  Wallace and Miss Molly Wallace.  Colonel and Mrs. Charles Vereker, Major and Mrs. Cochran.  Mrs. Preston and the Misses Preston.  Mrs. E. Berthon.   Mr. J. P. Watson.  Lieutenant-Colonel H. G. A. Garsia  D.SO. and Mrs. Garsia, Captain Clare Garsia, Mr. Harry Garsia, Miss Beauchamp Waddell, Miss Annie Bisgood, Mrs Bisdee, The Misses Mitchell,  Miss Rahelly. Mr. and Mrs. Major Heneker, Miss Macdonald and Miss Peart.
49. Partial army service record from the National Archives, Kew WO76/44 Photocopied DOC396. This covers the period from his transfer from the militia to the Hampshire Regiment in 1901 to 1907 when he was in Japan. I was able to get only that part covering the period from 4 May 1901 to 13 September 1907. I requested the rest but got no reply. There is probably much more to learn about Clive from a full set of his army records.
50. Email from Allan Gray dated 25 April 2001.
51. The 1911 census record gives his name as Willoughby Clive Garsia, single, 30 years, Born Edinburgh (I have written to have this corrected) and Military Captain 411/-/0 Battn Hampshire Regiment. DOC340.
52. CR’s comments dated 10 Mar. 2010 on my text.
53. Australian Dictionary of Biography Rupert’s dates on the Tingra: Aug. 1925-Apr. 1927.
54. Announcement in The Times.
55. See DOC401 for a photocopy of her will. After making a provision for her cousin Irene Meurice of an annuity of £100 she leaves interest on the residue to Clive and Beryl. Thereafter the residue goes to her nieces in Australia – Elizabeth, Clare and Margaret.
56. According to Margaret ‘this must have been about 1955’ – CP’s list of comments page 5 email of 10 Mar. 2010. Margaret’s letter to CP dated 3 Nov. 2009.
57. The death certificate confirmed the date and place of death and gave his name as Harry Carew GARSIA aged 80, a retired barrister-at-law. The cause of death is given as 1(a) Pneumonia, (b) Hypostasis, (c) Neoplasma of bladder, 2(a) Generalised osteoarthritis. The informant was C. Garsia of the same address — presumably Willoughby Clive. Registered on 7 Nov. 1955. (DOC. No. 221).
58. His will is filed as DOC223.
59. A copy of his death certificate, filed as DOC145, gives the following information: Registration district:  Lambeth 1961 death in the Sub-district of Lambeth Central in the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth. When and where died:   Fourth January, 1961, Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill.  Name and surname:  Willoughby Clive Garsia.  Sex:  Male.  Age:  79 years.  Occupation:  Lieut. Colonel Hampshire Regt. (retired) of Villa le Lavandou, Vence, Alpes Maritimes, France. Cause of death: 1a. Cirrhosis of liver (Non alcoholic). Certified by H.A. Lee MB. Signature, description and residence of informant:  Peter Benenson. (Present at death). 1 Mitre Court Buildings, Temple, EC4.  When registered:  fifth January 1961.   Signature of registrar:  V. Gunn.
60. A copy of his will is filed as DOC146 which reads as follows: ‘I, Willoughby Clive Garsia, of 18, Ashley Road, Epsom, in the county of Surrey, Retired Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in His Majesty’s Army, hereby revoke all former Wills and Codicils made by me and declare this my last Will. Appoints his executor. Bequeaths all his estate to his sister Beryl le Mesurier Garsia except for £90 to his executor.  It is dated 10 March 1951. There is a note to say that he was a member of the Cremation Society.
61. See DOC143
62. genpics/clive_g.bmp
63. DOC. No. 144
64. A copy of her will is filed as DOC374.
65. Harry’s estate was valued at eighteen thousand pounds. A copy of his will is filed as DOC223
66. See CP10Mar2010,p.6..
67. A certified Copy of an Entry of Birth shows it was registered in the registration district of Steyning, sub-district: Shorham, Sussex. Name: Aubrey Christie Haly.  His date of birth is given as 31 January 1876, at 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove. Father’s name: Christopher Garsia. Mother’s name Elizabeth Parker Garsia formerly Watson. Occupation of father: Captain Bengal Staff Corps H.P. Signature, description and residence of informant: Chr. Garsia Captn. H.P., Father, 1, Ventnor Villas, Hove. (DOC.No. 147).
68. ‘Officers in the Durham Light Infantry, 1758-1968 (Vol. 1, Regulars)’ by Malcolm McGregor. Published privately by the author (1989).
69. Kevin Asplin’s website shows him as a Private in the Imperial Yeomanry fighting in the Boer War (1899-1902) thus: ‘Garsia, Haly  10226, Private, 56th Coy., 15th Bn., I.Y.’. This web site also records his death in Kashmir.
70. London Times.  19/02/1900 (Monday) p7f. Dateline Wellington, Feb.18.    The third New Zealand contingent for South Africa sailed yesterday. (From Joan’s email of 10 July 2004).
71. The Army Lists for Jan. 1905 gives the following: ‘p. 1013, Garsia, Aubrey Christie Haly, date of birth 31 Jan. 1876, First appt. 2nd Lt. (From N.Z. contingent) Durham Light Infantry 19 May 1900, Lieut Durham L.I. 26 Nov. 1901. (Ref: 01Aug 2, 9 and 22.).
72. Certified copy of death record. Name and surname: Aubrey Christie Haly Garsia (English), Male, Age 29 6/12, Rank: Lieut., When and where died: 8 July 1905, Scinde River, Kashmir, Cause of death Drowning, Informant: W.F. Shakespear, major, 6 Cavalry, The Dunbar, Kashmir, Registered: 17 July 1905, Lucknow. DOC222.
73. Copy of a letter of administration of the estate of Aubrey Christie Haley Garsia granted to his father Christopher Garsia12 September 1905. (DOC403).
74. One and a half pages of typescript by Eric Marston entitled ‘Early life of Eric Marston Garsia’ covering the period from birth to his marriage to Marjorie Bisdee in 1908. Sent to me by Christina 27 Oct. 2009 and filed as DOC445.
75. Notes by Tom Paxton sent to me by Christina Pender with her email of 2 April 2010 and filed as DOC449..
76. One and a quarter pages of typescript entitled ‘Eric Garsia’s life from Marriage’ compiled by Margaret Wolferstan (Eric’s daughter), Christina Pender  and Judith Paxton (Eric’s granddaughters) sent to me by Christina with her email of 2 April 2010, filed as DOC449.
77. Copy of a transcription of Elizabeth Parker Watson’s Bible showing the birth dates of her children (from Christina Pender via email from Joan 21 Feb 2008), filed as DOC 387.
78. Passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960: Mr E.M. Garsia, 11 Aug. 1905 London to Melbourne, Age:31, Single, Male, Gent. (through findmypast) DOC: 386/l.
79. From a certified copy of an entry of marriage from the General Register Office his age is given as 25. His rank or profession: sheep farmer.  His address: Buckland, Beach Road, Weston-super-Mare. His father’s name is given as Christopher Garsia Captain in British Army (Retired). His bride was Marjorie Sutherland Bisdee aged 27 (d.o.b. circa 1881). Her address: The Courts, Hutton. Her father’s name was Thomas Gamaliel (?) Bisdee of Rank or profession: Esquire. The witnesses were: Thomas G. Bisdee, Christopher Garsia Capt., Rupert Garsia Sub-Lieutenant. (Copy of his marriage certificate: DOC148).
80. Passenger lists leaving the UK 1980-1960; Mr E.M. Garsia & Mrs Garsia, 8 Aug. 1908 Plymouth to Wellington, N.Z. DOC386n.  – through findmypast
81. Passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960; Mr Edward Bussey (sic) Berthon & Mrs. Gwyndoline Berthon, 9 Dec. 1921 from London to Colombo, Sri Lanka (Ceylon). DOC386aa. – through findmypast
82. Copy of Eric’s will (Australian National Archives:Date 1969, Reference: AD960/118, Will No.: 51016. email from Angela 28 May 2007)  DOC372.
83. Copy of Marjorie’s will (Australian National Archives:Date 1969, Reference: AD960/123, Will No.: 52105. email from Angela 28 May 2007.) DOC373.
84. Copy of a transcription of Elizabeth Parker Watson’s Bible showing the birth dates of her children (from Christina Pender via email from Joan 21 Feb 2008) family Bible DOC 387. Also copies of his Certified Copy of an Entry in the Register-book for Christchurch, N.Z. and of his Baptism Record found with his Service Record at The National Archives, Kew. (DOC394).
85. Army Lists 1905 and 1910, see 01aug02.lwp.
86. His Service Record is held at The National Archives, Kew and have the following reference numbers: WO76/42/f60, /43/f67. Photocopies filed as DOC394.
87.  From e-mail from Angela 2001 Aug. 4.  Oliver Dunham Melville Garsia.  ELLIS ISLAND RECORD  (see DOC. No. 151)  (See  photos (2) for Garsia, Oliver May 1909 and December 1909 –  passenger record). Dates of arrival in the US. Sailing:  May 1, 1909, Sailing:  December 27, 1909, Nationality: Great Britain, Last Permanent Residence: –  Prospect, Bermuda,   c/o DCLI Regiment.  Final Destination:  –  London, England – Hamilton, Bermuda.  Closest Relative     –  c/o Cox & Co, Chasing Cross, London, England, –  O.D. 2nd. D.C.L.I.,  Born:  Christchurch, New Zealand.  Desc:  6’2″, Dark complexion,  dark, black hair, brown eyes.  Calling  or Occupation:  “in transit”    –  Lieutenant, British Army
88. Roy Parkhouse created a list of 10,987 names of the fallen in the 1914-18 War. It was derived (by scanning) from a leather-bound book called the Somerset County War Memorial. It was published by E. Goodman and Son, The Phoenix Press, Taunton, 1923. It has no author. The bulk of the book is taken up with the Roll of Honour which is an index to the Memorial Book reportedly held in Wells Cathedral. This is an extract of the 133 names from the D.C.L.I.    From:  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.    Commemorative Information.   Memorial:   LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL, Seine-et-Marne, France.      Location:          La Ferte-sous-Jouarre is a small town 66 kilometres to the east of Paris, and the Memorial is situated in a small park on the south bank of the River Marne, just off the main road to Paris. The Memorial Register is kept at the Town Hall. The La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial commemorates nearly 4,000 officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force who died in August, September and the early part of October 1914 and who have no known grave. The monument consists of a rectangular block of stone, 62 feet by 30 feet and 24 feet high, with the names of the dead engraved on stone panels on all sides of the monument. The monument is surmounted by a sarcophagus and a trophy carved in stone. At the four corners of the pavement are stone piers with urns, carved with the coats of arms of the Empire.
89. His death is given at:  http://www.lightinfantry.org/dcli/dcli_somerset.htm. I found him in the Index of Wills at the Probate Office as follows: ‘Oliver Dunham Melville Garsia of Congresbury, Somerset died 18 Sep 1914. Probate was granted at Wells on 15 Mar 1915 to Willoughby Clive Garsia. Effects £5936-9s-10d’. I have a copy of his will which reads as follows: ‘This is the last Will and Testament of me Oliver Dunham Oliver Garsia Lieutenant in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry now stationed at the Curragh (about 20 miles SW of Dublin). I appoint my brother Willoughby Clive Garsia to administer my real and personal estate. I give and bequeath to my brothers and sisters all my said real and personal estate to be divides between them in equal parts or shares. I however desire to charge the real estate they each may receive from the said share with a contribution towards a legacy of one hundred pounds in aggregate which it is my wish to leave to my friend Miss Annie Bisgood [Elizabeth P. Watson’s lady’s companion]. And I hereby revoke …’. Dated 1 Feb.1914. Filed as DOC156.
90. Newspaper cutting by email from Angela 24 August 2009 and filed as DOC440.
91. Birth date from the family Bible DOC 387.
92. Robert Hyslop, ‘Garsia, Rupert Clare (1887 – 1954)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, Melbourne University Press, 1981, pp 626-627.
93. From: http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/nauru.html Rupert Garsia MS 2377 Garsia, Rupert C.  Papers relating to the administration of Nauru, including diary by Dorothea Garsia, 1934-38   Also mfm PMB 5 From: http://rspas.anu.edu.au/melanesia/thompson.html
94. This letter and also Rupert’s diaries (also in the Australian War Memorial) are quoted extensively in The Anzacs by Patsy Adam-Smith (first published 1978).
95. In an email dated 24 August 2009 Angela sent newspaper cuttings relating to Rupert and some of his siblings now filed as DOC446.