Chapter 9: Vera Balcombe and Noel Gaden

The great grand-daughter of William Balcombe the former Colonial Treasurer was Vera Lydia Balcombe. An attractive and talented young lady, she was the daughter of the William Alexander Balcombe, the Deputy Registrar in Equity, a position of some prestige in the local community. She married Edward Noel Gaden who was born into a family which was the gentry of the ‘solicitor world’; his father Edward Ainsworth Gaden, several uncles and cousins had all studied law. Noel was well liked, intelligent and his prospects were excellent.

Why did it all go so badly wrong?

The Gaden family:

Noel was born in 1890, the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 May proudly noting the birth two days earlier at

11 Darlinghurst-road, the wife of E. A. Gaden, of a son. [1]

Edward Noel Gaden

Edward Noel Gaden


Gaden Edward Ainsworth JnrA young Edward Ainsworth (Ted) Gaden, Noel’s father

Gaden Lilian Agnes Atherton←Agnes Lilian (Atherton) Gaden

The marriage of Noel’s parents had been noted 9 months earlier:-

GADEN-ATHERTON.-August 14, at St. James’ Church, by the Rev. H L Jackson. M.A., Edward Ainsworth, third son of Thomas B Gaden, of Belvidere, Bayswater road, to Agnes Lilian, third daughter of Eben. Atherton, M.R.C.S., Eng. &c.[2]

Noel was the eldest of six children, the family moving round as the older five were all born at different addresses. It is known that E A Gaden leased ‘Tresco‘, Elizabeth Bay (later the Royal Australian Navy’s premier residence but now in private hands) from George Westgarth in 1891 [3] but they were not there when Agnes [Mollie] was born in 1892, they had moved to ‘Etham Cottage’, Darling Point. Essie was born in 1895 at ‘Adderstone’, North Sydney and James [Jim] in 1905 at ‘Sherbroke’, Wahroonga. Only Catherine [Kitty in 1906] and Gwendoline [Nancy in 1908] were born at the same address, ‘Santoft’, Ocean Road, Woollahra.[4] It must have been quite stressful for their mother Lilian to be regularly moving house with an ever increasing brood of children. One can only speculate why there were no living children in the ten years between Essie and Jim.

Noel attended Sydney Grammar School in College Street, Darlinghurst and lived with his family at ‘Santoft’ in Ocean Street, Woollahra which was next to number 85, the All Saints Church.

Noel’s father was Edward [Ted] Ainsworth Gaden, a solicitor in the firm Norton and Smith from 1 November 1888 for over fifty years, still being a partner on 1 July 1937. During his time E.A.Gaden specialised in insurance and shipping[5]. He acted on behalf of the Sydney Ferries when the Greycliffe disaster occurred. On 3 November 1927 the ferry Greycliffe and a San Francisco bound steamship Tahiti collided. The ferry was cut in two and forty people on board died. Mr Justice Campbell found Tahiti was to blame as it failed to keep out of the way of the Greycliffe and was also travelling too fast, being well over the prescribed speed limit for out going deep sea vessels in the harbour. [6]

Noel also chose Law as a profession, initially working with his father’s firm of Norton Smith. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Noel was one of a list of candidates who had been successful in sections of the final law examination for solicitors. He passed Section 1 but not the other sections. [7]

Santoft’ was sold in 1915 when Noel was about twenty five years old and the family then rented a house ‘Yerenbah’ in Darling Point Road close to Samuel Hordern’s home. Was Noel still living with his parents, or had he moved into a place of his own?

Later Ted, his wife Lilian and the younger members of the family moved to Bowral in 1916, first renting ‘Teddington’ in Merrygang Street before purchasing and moving to ‘Vermont’ in Shepherd Street in 1921. We know Nancy, the youngest, was still living at home, but which of the other children, if any, were still living with their parents in the 1920’s?


A couple of anecdotes which passed onto the next generations was the younger children getting into trouble one day. Nancy went to the lavatory which in those days was not a flushing ‘loo’ but a pit toilet or ‘long drop’ with a back door to open so it could easily be emptied. Nancy was sitting on the seat when the others opened the back door and tickled her bottom with a stick. Poor Nancy was appalled, thinking she had been bitten by a red-back spider. [This was a universal story about these pit toilets, my mother recounted the exact same tale from her childhood in Yorkshire, only the victim there was subject to painful stinging nettles.]

The younger children all had wooden scooters which they used to ride on the wide verandahs of Vermount but this was a mid week activity only as their father Ted could not stand the whine of the wheels on the floor-boards. [8] Luckily he was only home at weekends. He travelled by train to work in Sydney on Monday mornings, stayed there during the week and returned to Bowral each weekend on the 3.50 pm train with good friends Samuel Hordern, Copland Lethbridge and Peter Tait. When in Sydney Ted stayed at the Royal Sydney Golf Club [where he swore loudly when playing]. He lost all his possessions housed at the golf club when the building burned down in April 1920.[9]

GOLF CLUB HOUSE DESTROYED FIRE AT ROSE BAY DAMAGE £20,000. With the exception, of the billiard-room and office, the picturesque club house on the Royal Sydney Golf Club’s links at Rose Bay was destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon. The damage is estimated at from £18,000 to £20,000, and the building and contents were insured with the Commercial Union Assurance Company for about £14,500. The latter amount included an insurance of £6 each on members’ lockers, all of which, numbering over 300, were destroyed. There were animated scenes soon after the outbreak was discovered at about 3.30 o’clock. The building was of timber, and it burned with a rapidity and ferocity which defied all efforts to check it. In an incredibly short space of time the flames, which had started in the locker-room on the upper floor, were bursting through the roof, and soon devoured the building. It stood on a little eminence, overlooking the links, and commanding a fine view of Rose Bay, and the flames and dense column of smoke which rolled from it were visible for miles around. In less than an hour the buildings were reduced to a dismal mass of smoking ruins, and the trim little lawn at the side, the scene of many a delightful afternoon party, was scorched and littered with debris and furniture. The secretary of the club, Mr. Ross Gore, was in the office at the time the outbreak was discovered, and he afterwards stated that on going up immediately to the locker-room, where the fire originated, he noticed that flames were bursting from the electric switch- board, and had gained a firm hold all around it. This might lead to the supposition that the fire was caused by a short circuit. The only other suggestion as to the cause was that some member might have left a lighted pipe in his locker, but Mr. Robb Gore said that he was practically certain no member holding a locker at the end of the room where the fire started was on the links yesterday afternoon. A light southerly wind fanned the flames, which quickly spread to the bedrooms of the resident members 11 in number. An effort was made to remove the contents of the rooms, but the fire made such rapid headway that it was impossible to do anything on the upper storey. Fire engines from the brigade headquarters and from the Darlinghurst, Woollahra, Waverley, and Vaucluse stations were soon deluging the premises with water, and in the meantime a large number of willing workers, including 20 or 30 members who had been playing on the links and the whole of the club staff, removed large quantities of furniture and other contents of the ground floor, together with all the club records and books. Much had been accomplished in this way before the falling of the roof and the floor of the upper story- forced everybody to quit the suffocating interior and stand helplessly around watching the flames complete their work of devastation. The plight of members who were on the links at the time of the outbreak, and who, had left their clothes and valuables in their lockers, and of others who returned later in the afternoon to find their bedrooms and all their personal belongings non-existent, might well have led to very dejected states of mind, but in spite of their losses, they took things philosophically. Amongst the members who resided at the clubhouse, Mr. N. C. Lockhart, who recently returned from the front, having served with the British artillery, and since the Armistice been stationed at the general Headquarters at Cologne, lost, with his other belongings, an exceptionally fine collection of war souvenirs. Amongst the other resident members who lost their belongings were Dr. Tidswell, Dr. Ziele, Dr. Verge, and Messrs. E. A. Gaden, H. C. Munro, S. Stockdale, C. E. Norman, and Newell. It is estimated that 3000 golf sticks, of an average value of 12/6 each, were destroyed. Mr Ross Gore stated last night that the committee was making temporary arrangements for accommodation in the vicinity of the course. He added that men had recently commenced laying the foundations of extensive brick additions to the clubhouse, which were to cost between £25,000 and £30,000. It had been intended to allow the old building to remain for about 10 years longer, and then replace it with a building which would complete the designs of which the extensions now in progress were a part.[10]


Young Noel Gaden’s first love was medicine, inherited from his mother’s father Dr. Ebenezer Atherton, originally from Bingley, Yorkshire, a graduate of Guy’s Hospital, London in 1863.[11]

However Noel was not able to follow his wish to study medicine (but in future generations two grand-daughters and two great-grandsons graduated as medical doctors). Perhaps Noel didn’t meet the necessary standard of marks for the medical course but in any case, his father would not allow it, but Noel’s brother James, fifteen years his junior,[12] was allowed to pursue his love of farming, with father Ted even buying a farm for Jim to follow his dream. This farm subsequently became the Gaden Trout Hatchery at Jindabyne; both father and son loved fishing.

Noel became an articled clerk in his father’s law firm, but at the time when he should have been admitted as a solicitor in his own right, Noel had still not qualified. Nancy recalled her father as being ‘very generous’[13], but it may have been a different situation for the eldest boy who did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps and we can only speculate about any clashes there may have been between father and son. We know E A Gaden did support other young men as they studied law.[14] Noel eventually served his articles under Mr J A K Shaw.[15]

At some stage Noel had broken his nose (probably from playing football) so he had breathing and nose bleeding problems and was refused entry into the army for the First World War, much to his disappointment.[16] Was it another cause of friction with his father when his cousin Trooper Stuart Courtney Gaden (son of Ted’s brother, solicitor Thomas Burton Gaden and his wife Ida Brereton Atherton, sister to Ted’s wife Lilian) of “Romani,” Hawkin St., Artarmon, New South Wales [17]) did enlist in 7th Australian Light Horse.

Sadly poor Ida lost both her husband and her son within 4 months of each other.[18] Husband Thomas died suddenly in April when he was only 53 years old [19] and Stuart died on Sunday 6th August 1916 of wounds received, he was aged 23, his Service Number was 1480. He is buried in grave B.29, at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt, [20] on the Eastern side of the Suez Canal, 160 kilometres north-east of Cairo and 50 kilometres south of Port Said [21]

Stuart Courtney Gaden [22]Stuart Courtney Gaden P08624.049



We do not know how or when Edward Noel Gaden and Vera Lydia Balcombe met, but a link through family members who played golf is an extremely strong possibility. Vera and her brothers were all keen golfers and played competition golf at a very high level. “Miss Balcombe” and “Miss Gaden” were both playing golf in the NSW State championships of 1913. [23]


Play was continued yesterday in the State championships of the Ladies’ Golf Union at the Royal Sydney Club links, Rose Bay. The attendance was large, and much interest was displayed in the proceedings. In the qualifying round of the State championship the play of Miss Una Clift and Miss Trevor-Jones was close and exciting; and Miss Purdie and Miss Walker also had an interesting game. In the other two games, however, the margins between the scores were wide.

In the bogey handicap, Miss Wray, an ex-champion, N.S.W., and of Australia, did remarkably well, so did Miss Purdie, of Orange. During the afternoon Miss Cape entertained a large number of the competitors.

State Championship.  

Miss Duret beat Miss Stevenson, 8 up and 7.

Miss Purdie beat Miss Walker, 3 up and 1,

Miss Boys beat Mrs. Aitken, 5 up and 4.

Miss Una Clift beat Miss Trevor-Jones, 2 up and 1.

Bogey Handicap – For players from 16 to 27 handicap.

Miss Gaden (18), 5 down.

Miss Lloyd (27), 5 down.

Mrs. Gore (10), 8 down.

Mrs. Clarke (19), 6 down.

Miss Hetherington (27), 6 down.

Miss Ivatt (15), 8 down.

Miss M. Moore (17), 8 down.

Mrs. Newman (18), 10 down.

Mrs. Wood (18), 10 down.

Miss Balcombe (24), 10 down.

The next day in the second round of the Challenge Cup, Miss Gaden was due to play Miss J Cape. Miss Meares and G T Balcombe (Vera’s brother) played (and won) the Championship Mixed foursomes at the Rose Bay links on 16 June 1913 and Miss Gaden played in the State championship, the country championship, and the gold medal competitions, which were played on the links of the Royal Sydney Golf Club. On the 17th June the State championship meeting of the Ladies’ Golf Union was continued, and there was a large gathering at the Royal Sydney golf links, Rose Bay. The second round of the State and country championships and the first round of the challenge cup were played. A heavy storm somewhat interfered with the players. Miss Gaden played in the Handicap Challenge Cup and Miss Balcombe in the Bogey competition. [24]

However they met, and we suspect golf just had to be involved, Noel Gaden fell in love with Vera Balcombe, a young lady of society just couple of years his senior. Her father William Alexander Balcombe, was the Chief Clerk in Equity, her mother was Jessie Edith Griffin. They lived in Woonona Avenue, Wahroonga, built in 1895, which they called ‘The Briars[25] after the family’s former home on St Helena.

So Vera Lydia Balcombe was the great-grand-daughter of the first Colonial Treasurer and, as the family of the Chief Clerk in Equity, she and her mother Jessie were part of the social scene of the day, and not just on the golf course. The Sydney Morning Herald of 12 November 1906 reported:

Steeplechase Day at Flemington brought the 1906 Cup carnival to a close and now all that remains for us is to remember the “have beens” and the “might have beens”. In the former category may be classed the unusually cold and wet days which have been experienced on three out of the four days of the meeting for Saturday was again unpleasantly cold with blinding showers of rain falling at short intervals throughout the day. Another certainty is that Sydney seems to have done a big share in monopolising the attention of the racing public as a Sydney horse secured the biggest prizes of the meeting and met with the approval of all true lovers of sport for even those who did not back the winner were greatly excited when the numbers went up on Cup day and countless were the exclamation of praise accorded the beautiful animal.

Another feather in the Cornstalker’s cap was won from a sartorial point of view by their beautifully frocked members of the fair set. Sydneyites had come over prepared for warm bright weather and though inclement conditions prevailed to such an extent that visitors generally speaking donned warm wintry clothing the Sydney girls and matrons nothing daunted attired themselves in their lovely gowns and when the sun did venture to peep out his rays shed brilliance on cloth and silk alike and the cloth was judged as second best in the big display. There were large parties from Federal and State Government Houses present including the Governor General Sir Reginald Talbot, Sir Wilmot and Lady Fawkes, Captain and Mrs. Halsey, the Hon Véronique Greville, Miss Bedford, Flag Lieutenant Evans, Captain Stephens, Mr. Share and Mr. Victor Hood. Lady Fawkes wore deep ficelle-tinted colienno trimmed with lace, black tulle and crinoline hat with black ostrich plumes and white osprey, a handsome lace coat completed her attire….Mrs. Alick Balcombe (Parkes) wore a dark grey cloth coat and skirt, small straw hat with tulle and red roses. Mrs. W Balcombe wore white embroidered Parisian lawn with threadings of black bebe ribbon, tuscan hat with pink roses. Miss Vera Balcombe was attired in white Swiss muslin broderie anglaise hat with pink silk scarf. [26]

These Balcombe ladies were all related. Vera’s father William Alexander Balcombe was first cousin to Herbert Henty Balcombe, the father of Alexander [Alick] Mornington Balcombe. Before her marriage Mrs Alick Balcombe was Doris Whitts.[27]

The following day the Sydney Morning Herald again mentioned the three Balcombe ladies –

Mrs. W. Balcombe’s dove-grey chiffon cloth costume was trimmed with lace and floral silk, and she wore a small Tuscan hat swathed with green and ecru tulle; Miss Vera Balcombe wore white Swiss muslin and lace, and a Leghorn hat with shaded pink ribbon and roses; Mrs. Alick Balcombe (Coradgerie station, Parkes), was dressed in navy and white floral voile, and a black hat with shaded yellow roses. [28]

In 1907 the Balcombe family attended the wedding of one of their Stuckey cousins, Violet. (Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, grandfather of Vera, had married Lydia Stuckey and George Hamilton Stuckey was her brother.[29]) At the wedding the Balcombes mixed with the gentry of the time including the Chisholm, Hume and Macarthur-Onslow families. No doubt a not-quite-twenty year old Vera would then have had a few dreams for her own wedding whenever it may occur in the future.

At St. James’ Church last Tuesday evening September 24, the marriage was solemnised of Miss Violet Stuckey, youngest daughter of the late Mr. George Hamilton Stuckey, of Tintaldra, Upper Murray, and Mr. William Frederick Jackson, son of the late Very Rev. Dean Jackson, County Mayo, Ireland. The   Rev. George Carver performed the ceremony, and the bride was given away by her brother -in-law, Mr. Sydney Clarence. The bride’s dress was white chiffon glace, the skirt falling in pleats, trimmed with silver, and the kimono bodice, composed of Brussels net, embroidered with silver thread. She also wore a wreath of orange blossoms, and a Brussels lace veil, and carried a bouquet of roses and lilies of the valley, tied with silver streamers. The bridesmaid was Miss Ellie Hume, whose frock was of pale pink silk ninon, worn with a picture hat of pale pink silk tulle. She carried a bouquet of dark red roses, and wore a chain and pendant, the bridegroom’s gift. Mr. Dudley Gibson was best man. A reception was afterwards held by the bride’s sister, Mrs. John Hume, at 137 Macquarie street. The bride’s travelling dress was a cherry-coloured linen coat and skirt, and a tuscan straw hat, trimmed with cherries. Amongst the invited guests were Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Macgregor, Mrs. Sydney Clarence. Mr. and Mrs. George Cochran (Melbourne), Mr. and Mrs. Gibson (Goulburn), Dr and Mrs. W. Chisholm, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Middleton, Mr. and Mrs. Ewan Frazer, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Chisholm, Mr. and Mrs. A. Macarthur-Onslow, Mr. and Mrs. Alex. Middleton, Rev.- George and Mrs. Carver, Miss Beatrice Donkin, Mr. and Mrs. James Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Cunningham, Mrs. James Kennedy, Mr. and Mrs. W. Balcombe, Miss Vera Balcombe, Mr. and Mrs. H. Voss; Mr. and Mrs. Irving Keys, Mr. and Mrs. Beresford, Mr. and Mrs. John Gilchrist, Mr. and Mrs. T. Donkin, Messrs. A. and Clive Hume, Mr. and Mrs. T. MacCarthy, Mr. Justin MacCarthy, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Barbour, Mr. and Mrs. H. Smith (Darbalara). Mr. J. and N. MacCarthy, Messrs. Harold and Douglas Gilchrist, Mr. Douglas Campbell. [30]

In 1915 Vera’s younger sister Doris Miriam Balcombe had married a man on the land, Hugh David Grant. [31] They lived at Collarenebri and Doris went back to The Briars Sydney for the birth of her children including a son on 3 January 1917 and a daughter on 22 June 1923.[32]

Vera’s brother William Gould was a driver in the Field Artillery during the Great War and in March 1916 he was ill in hospital in Heliopolis, Cairo. [33] Vera, her mother and sister, were all involved in fund raising for the troops. In July 1916 they were part of a fundraising campaign for the Comfort’s Fund to support her brother’s unit fighting overseas, there were many stalls set up in the City.

MARTIN-PLACE, STALLS Before the great reminder, the G.P.O., that link between those who have gone and those who have stayed, the scene was most interesting. A great avenue of stalls transformed the ordinary aspect of Martin-place. Fifteen stalls clamoured for trade, where, ordinarily a lazy taxi or cab awaited a chance call. Each side of the street was lined by a series of stalls. Stall No. 13 was built in honour of the 5th Field Artillery. In charge were: Miss Cook and Mrs. Minter and assisting were Lady Maitland and Mesdames Manning, Bonthorne, Carter, Balcombe, Mr. Carter, and the Misses Balcombe, Carter, Russel, Nash, Begg, Moore, Ramke, Gaden, Bath, Halstead, Wood, Carr, and Boyd.[34]


It was close to a year after her sister Doris became married that Vera Lydia Balcombe and Edward Noel Gaden were married on 14 September 1916. [35]

Noel and Vera in front of the tennis court at “The Briars“, Woonona St, Wahroonga Noel and Vera sepia

Briars Vera & Doris Balcombe

Vera and her sister


No doubt Vera thought she had found an excellent partner in Noel Gaden. He was the son of a top Sydney solicitor and, one would have thought, a young man likely to do well, inherit a large commercial practice and make a good living to support his wife and their future children.

A search of the Sydney Morning Herald has not found an engagement notice and an extensive search of September and October newspapers has so far failed to find a report of their wedding even though the marriage of Agnes Mary Bodley (Molly) Gaden, Noel’s sister, on 1 June 1916, is listed.

It is surprising that the occasion of the union of two such prominent Sydney families appears to be unrecorded in the newspapers. However we suspect the wedding was a very quiet affair due to the war … Vera’s brother was overseas fighting and Noel’s cousin Trooper Stuart Courtney Gaden, son of Thomas and Ida Gaden was killed in Egypt just the previous month.[36] Wedding plans would have been finalised and difficult to change but now, with the recent news from Egypt, the family would have been in mourning.


After their marriage Noel and Vera moved to Scone, a town of around a thousand people in the Hunter Valley of NSW. The Government surveyor Henry Dangar and his team were the first Europeans to travel through the area, prior to passing over the Liverpool Range above Murrurundi in 1824. The settlement was named Scone in 1831 after the town of Scone in Scotland, by Jason Kent Toth, who was an Australian of Scottish descent.[37] Scone was gazetted in 1837 and during the early days was renowned for its large pastoral properties which included Belltrees and Segenhoe.[38] Early buildings were the St Aubins’ Inn licensed in 1838[39] and St Luke’s (Anglican) Church erected in 1841.[40]

Did the newlyweds move north so Noel could find work away from the shadow of his father? Was the cost of living more affordable for a young family on a Law Clerk’s salary? Did they move on the recommendation of their good friend and Noel’s Best Man Dr Oswald ‘Toby’ Barton who was one of the towns. doctors? One can only wonder what Vera really thought of this move to a small bush town away from her friends, parents and the social scene that was Sydney… at least there was a railway line to maintain direct contact with the city, but that was to prove a very deceptive blessing in the years to come.

Did the move from the City become more acceptable when Vera’s brother William Gould (Billy) Balcombe moved to a soldier settlement block that he was awarded in the Scone area, a property he called Terrell?

Initially Noel and Vera lived in Park Street but then bought Marooan, a house named after the original property. It faced the Great Northern Road and was Number 1 Joan Street, on the south west corner of Joan Street and the Great Northern Road [current New England Highway] on land which had belonged to the Assistant Commissioner James Edward Ebsworth, a wool trader with the AA Company.[41]

MAROOAN 1924Marooan c 1924 with possibly Vera and children near the door.

The sub division of the lands of the property Marooan within the town of Scone where Smith and Joan Streets were created, took place on 26 March 1915.[42] (Joan Street was named after Joan Ebsworth, no doubt related to the Assistant Commissioner and Smith Street was named after the founder of the Scone Advocate newspaper.)

On the 1916 Plan of the Municipality of Scone,[43] the Marooan site was officially Lot Number 19, Section 13 and owned by Maud White. The current Council has it listed as Lot 190, DP 608, Parish and Town of Scone, County of Brisbane. [44]

At St Luke’s Church service of thanksgiving was held on 5 January 1919 to celebrate the end of the Great War and a few weeks later on 23 February St Luke’s parishioners were again offering special prayers for the abatement of the dreadful influenza outbreak which was to claim so many lives in the post-war period. In the local district the disease reached its peak in June before gradually declining.[45]

When the Gadens arrived in Scone there was no electricity available within the town, it did not arrive until 1920 for selected properties such as the ‘Scone Advocate’ newspaper and the Municipal Office. Mr O J Price owned the Hunter Garage in Guernsey Street which supplied this limited power. It was not until 1921 that the Scone Electric Light and Power Company commenced to supply electricity to the whole town [46] and only in 1930 was the town’s water supply was turned on. [47] Until then wells and water tanks meant water had to be physically carried indoors for use; cooking was done on a wood stove and lighting was carbide gas or oil. Soon afterwards the local Scone Fire Brigade came into being.[48] By 1936 the population of Scone reached 2000 and Council finally planned to install a sewerage system.[49]

Noel was initially articled to Norton Smith and Co. but he moved to Scone to continue with George M. Westgarth, a solicitor and attorney of Campbell’s Chambers, Liverpool Street, who advertised his business in the local newspaper in 1917.[50] George Westgarth was a son of solicitor George Charles Westgarth[51] who had left Norton Smith around the time that Ted Gaden had joined the firm. Westgarth, like all country solicitors, had an agent in Sydney, using Garland, Seaborn and Abbott.[52]


IMG_9057IMG_9058←Campbell Chambers, west of the railway line in Liverpool Street, in 2013 it was home to a veterinary practice


Noel Gaden stayed with Westgarth until he finally qualified, aged thirty plus, when he was finally admitted on 3 November 1921, the paper reporting he was admitted by the Full Court to the roll of solicitors of the Supreme Court.[53]

In 1922 Noel set up in opposition to Westgarth with his own practice in the Cornwall Chambers, Kelly Street, Scone[54]. His Sydney agent was Piggott and Stinson.[55] His address was PO Box 1 for all correspondence, and his office telephone number was No. 7 and Residence No. 140. [56] (The telephone exchange had been established in 1906.)[57]

The Scone and Upper Hunter District were able to provide these two black and white photographs for ‘Cornwall Chambers’. The earlier building has “Mr John AK Shaw, Solicitor” across one window and “Savings Bank of NSW” on the other. John Shaw died in April 1920 and Noel Gaden was one of the mourners at his Waverley funeral.[58] One newspaper reports suggests Noel was articled under Shaw.[59]

IMG_9129←The first Cornwall Chambers, office of Mr John AK Shaw, Solicitor


The Australian Bank of Commerce is to left and Cornwall Chambers to rightIMG_9133


In 1914 the old Savings Bank of NSW had moved its offices to Cornwall Chambers and in May was amalgamated with the Government Savings Bank, so the business of both banks continued here.[60]

In Sands’s Trade Directory for 1917 there was an advertisement for ‘R&N Lochhead, Stock and Property Salesmen’ who were located in Cornwall Chambers.[61] They had registered in 1914 and continued until 1933. [62]In 1931 the Government Savings Bank and Australian Bank of Commerce closed, the latter amalgamating with the Bank of New South Wales. The former was eventually absorbed into the Commonwealth Bank and they remain the current occupier of the site.[63]

The local Court House was originally located at the end of Kingdon Street, to the west of the railway line. A new Scone Court House was opened in 1937 by Hon LO Martin, Minister for Justice,[64] in Liverpool Street on the eastern side of the railway.

The old Court House in 2013




The current Scone Court House in 2013

Noel was an invited guest among the dignitaries whose photograph appeared in the Scone Advocate of 26 November 1937. He is part of the central group of men at the top of the steps, between the OF THE NEW COURT of the headline. The poor quality photograph is a photograph of the microfilm reader screen showing the newspaper page.[65]

Noel Court House opening

In his capacity as a solicitor Noel appeared in Court to represent local defendants or the interests of the local Council. He was often there to look after families at a Coroner’s Court and he was very aware of the need for compassion when dealing with distraught families.[66]

Noel had the reputation for being an excellent court-room solicitor but in those days clients were expected to pay for legal advice to give their solicitor some incomve. Legal Aid NSW was only established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW) as an independent statutory body to provide free legal advice, court representation, and grants for Legal Aid lawyers or private solicitors to socially and economically disadvantaged people.[67]

Here are a several of the trials reported in the local Muswellbrook Chronicle newspaper which show the incredible diversity of cases Noel defended… and highlights that he was not going to make his fortune in the Court Room!


Before Mr. A. E. May. P.M., at the  Scone Police Court, an application was made by P. G. Preston, licensee of the Victoria Hotel, Moonan Flat, for an order under section 73 of the Liquor Act for permission to sell an aeroplane for the purposes of liquidating a claim for accommodation by the people who left it there. The  application was allowed to stand over to August 12 to enable the matter to be mentioned in the Press, so as to give the persons interested an opportunity of paying the licensee’s account without putting them to the expense of advertising in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The amount claimed, said Mr. E. N. Gaden, was approximately £100, which included storage from September 25 1925. to date. All efforts to discover the owners had proved futile.[68]


Ancient English Act Quoted.


T. Ryan, licensee of the Segenhoe Hotel, Aberdeen, sued W. H. Gardiner, of Aberdeen, mutton butcher, for £30, being for board £9, money lent £5, refreshments supplied, £16.

The case was heard at Aberdeen on Wednesday; Mr. E. N. Gaden, of Scone, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr Ross Douglas, of Muswellbrook, for the defendant.

Mrs. Ryan and T. J Ryan gave evidence that defendant had stayed at the hotel for six weeks and during that time had borrowed £5 and had run up an account for drinks for £16. The amount of £9 for board was not disputed.

No evidence was called for the defence.

Mr. Douglass submitted that the claim for the money lent and drink supplied should be dismissed. In support of his contention he quoted the “Tippling Act,” an English Act of King George III, which he submitted still applied to New South Wales and cited several cases.

The P M. (Mr. May), held that the Act applied to New South Wales, and prevented an hotel keeper claiming in respect of spirits supplied under the value in each sale of £1, but did not apply as far as beer was concerned. Evidence, had been given that the defendant’s favorite drink was beer. He therefore gave a verdict for the plaintiff for £9, the amount admitted, and £11 for money lent and beer supplied, with 18/- costs. No order was made as to payment.[69]


At the Muswellbrook Police Court on Tuesday afternoon, before Mr. A. E. May, P.M., two landowners were fined for failing to destroy rabbits.

The Upper Hunter P. P. Board, represented by Mr C. Brooks (Stock Inspector) proceeded against Albert E. Witney. Mr. Gaden (Scone) appeared for the complainant and Mr. Halliday (Messrs. R. G D. FitzGerald and Co.) for the defendant, who pleaded guilty. Mr. Brooks said that an area of 200 acres was inspected in February, 1926, when rabbits were found. No work at destruction was being carried on. On two other occasions in 1926 the property was again inspected, and the rabbits were found to be very numerous, and there was no evidence of efforts having been taken to suppress the pest.    

A statement made on defendant’s behalf was that he had eight or 10 trappers on the place for the whole year, and during October last was making arrangements to transfer the property. It was stated that adjoining vacant Crown lands were the cause of a lot of trouble.

On this charge defendant was fined £7, costs 4/-, and professional expenses £3/3/-. For a similar offence, Witney was proceeded against by the Denman P. P. Board and was fined £10, costs 11/6, and witness ‘s expenses 30/-.[70]


Following the death of Mr. H.W James, the Manager of the Scone Electric Light and Power Company who was electrocuted whilst connecting Mr. D. McGregor’s house to the power,

he Manager of the Scone Electric Light and Power Company who was electrocuted whilst connecting Mr. D. McGregor’s house to the power,

N. Gaden, Scone, advised (Council) that the widow of the late Mr. H. W. James intended claiming against the council under the Workers’ Compensation Act. It was decided to forward the matter on to the insurance company.  [71]


CASES DISMISSED – Assault Charges.

Harry Henry and Hugh John Hillan proceeded against each other on charges of assault at the police court on Friday. Henry said he was on his own property on Good Friday morning when he alleged Hillan assaulted him. Hillan on the other hand said he had got the worst of the encounter. The cases were dismissed. Henry was represented by Mr. N. A. Halliday (of R. G. D. Fitz Gerald and Co.) and Hillan by Mr. E. N. Gaden (Scone).[72]



There was a small list of cases for hearing at the District Court to-day, when his Honor Judge White presided. A number of cases were adjourned.

P. Chisley, for whom Mr. Braddon (instructed by Mr. E. N. Gaden, of Scone) appeared, claimed £338/5/- from John Sprocci, licensee of the Golden Fleece Hotel, Scone, being amount of contract for building garages at the hotel. Mr. Betts (instructed by Mr. Westgarth, of Scone) appeared for the defendant, and admitted liability, and asked for time to pay.

His Honor made an order for £150 to be paid in a week’s time, and the balance in two equal instalments on 16th August and 16th September next, the balance to carry bank interest and costs on taxation.  [73]


WOOL STEALING – A Midnight Raid-Three Men Charged.


At the Uralla Police Court on 11th inst., Sergt. Willard, who was responsible for their arrests, had three young men, Sidney Burt (26), Arthur Dal Bates (19), and Thomas Edward Thorley (30), convicted on a charge of having stolen wool of the value of some £30 from “Airlie,” the property of E. M. Perrott, and Co., Ltd., near Bendemeer. Each accused was convicted and fined £50; in default, 100 days’ gaol; and Burt and Bates ordered to enter into a recognisance of £50, with sureties of £50 to be of good behaviour for 12 months; in default, another three months.

Burt and Bates were also remanded to Scone on a charge of having stolen three bales of merino wool, valued at £40, from “Bundarraga,” the property of A. H. and J. Bell, near Scone.

When the cases came before M. W. Geikie, P.M., in Scone on Wednesday, Burt, a wool and skin dealer residing at Murrurundi; Bates, a young resident of Muswellbrook; and Archie Dove, also a young man and resident of Murrurundi, were conjointly charged with the theft of the wool, the date being fixed between 12th and 14th of September last.

Mr. R. J. O’Halloran (Tamworth) appeared for Burt and Dove, and Mr. E. N. Gaden, who was engaged at the eleventh hour, watched the interests of Bates. The prosecution was conducted by Sergt. Bentley.

By consent, the cases were heard together.

Then assisted Burt and the driver to load the lorry, and drove back to the road with them, Burt saying he would give me £12 for the lot. He did not give me any money then. Burt and the driver then left.” Witness next asked Bates whether he wished to make a statement (produced), which he did and signed it. About 11.30 a.m. on 24th ult., in compDetective Sidney Charles Williams, stationed at Newcastle, gave evidence to the effect that at 5 p.m. on 20th ult., accompanied by Constable Doughan, of Tamworth, he saw the defendant Bates at Tamworth Police Station. Having cautioned him in the usual way, questioned him about some wool said to have been stolen at “Bundarraga” between 12th and 14th September. Defendant admitted he had been employed as a shed hand on the place, saying that he wished to tell the truth about the matter, which he wished to get over. “I helped to get the wool,” he said. “About a fortnight before going to the station,” he went on “I saw Burt, a wool buyer, of Murrurundi, at the Railway Hotel, Muswellbrook. Burt asked me whether I was going to the “Bundarraga” shearing. I replied that I was. He then asked me if it was a good place to get wool away from. I told Burt I thought it a good place. Burt then said he would give me £5 for every bale I could get, and he would find a lorry and take all the risk. ‘You can send me a telegram or write a letter to Murrurundi when you have it ready.’ Told Burt I would see what I could get. Just before the shearing cut out. I sent a letter to Burt telling him I could get three bales, and to bring a lorry and I would meet him on the road between Bunnan and the shearing shed on Saturday night. Met as arranged on Saturday about midnight, about a mile along the road from the shed. He was in his lorry, which another man was driving. The man who was driving was a stranger. I stood on the running board of the lorry and gave directions to the driver, who drove to the creek; where the three bales of wool were ready.Then assisted Burt and the driver to load the lorry, and drove back to the road with them, Burt saying he would give me £12 for the lot. He did not give me any money then. Burt and the driver then left.” Witness next asked Bates whether he wished to make a statement (produced), which he did and signed it. About 11.30 a.m. on 24th ult., in company with Constable Doughan, saw Burt at Quirindi Police Station. Said to Burt that he (witness) was going to tell him something, show him something, and ask him certain questions. Warned him, and then asked whether he knew a lad of the name of Dal Bates. Receiving a reply in the affirmative, witness proceeded to apprise him that according to Bates, whilst employed at “Bundarraga ” shearing in September last, arrangements were made with him (Burt) in connection with stealing wool, and in a statement made had implicated him in the theft. Burt asked if he could see the statement, which was handed to him, and reading it, replied that the statement was correct. In reply to a further question, Burt said the second man on the lorry was Archie Dove, who was working for him at the time, but who had nothing to do with the matter, he merely assisting to load the wool and driving the lorry back to Murrurundi. Burt added that Dove did not receive anything out of it. Witness next asked Burt what became of the wool, he answering that he forwarded it to “Nenco,” Newcastle, on 14th. September, but was not quite certain of the date; adding that it realised 11⅟₄d per lb at auction in October. Then charged Burt with the theft of the wool. About 5.30 p.m. on the same day again saw Burt at Quirindi Police Station. Cautioned him before producing a wool book recovered, at his (Burt’s) Murrurundi premises that day. Asked him whether the three bales of wool from “Bundarraga” were recorded in the book, he replied that they were, and pointed to three entries among a number of others. They were numbered 11, 12, and I3, and were branded “H.M. over Qdi.” Witness next showed Burt weight slips received from “Nenco” under date 6/9/’31. Burt replied that the subject slips as well as the slips of account sales under date 3/11/’31 referred to the same wool. All slips were obtained at Burt’s store. Burt said he received £35/14/5 for the wool, the amount being paid through the Murrundi Bank when other wools were sold in October. About the same time on the same day also saw the defendant Dove, who in answer to questions, said he knew both Burt and Bates. Showed Dove the statement signed by Bates, and having read it, said it was correct. The statement referred to the subject theft of wool. Dove admitted he was the third man in the case, but said he had nothing to do with the theft, and did not receive one penny from the proceeds, explaining that Burt, after having done some business in Scone, asked him to drive him to “Bundarraga.” Then confronting Dove with Burt, and he identified Burt as the man with whom he had gone to “Bundarraga.” Burt then remarked that Dove did not get anything out of the transaction. When Dove and Burt were charged they made no reply.

To Mr. Gaden: Bates was quite open in the whole matter, and gave every assistance in our investigations.

To Mr. O’Halloran; Burt was likewise quite frank about the whole affair. As far as he could ascertain. Dove did not get anything out of the transaction, merely driving the lorry for Burt as he had done, according to Burt, on previous occasions.

Herbert N. Bell, grazier, of “Bundarraga,” Scone, and a member of the partnership “of A. H. and J. Bell, informed the Bench that he commenced shearing on 2nd September and cut out on the 14th of the same month. A tally was kept each day of the wool. On Saturday, 12th September, there were 19 bales left in the shed, but when the wool was baled on the Monday three bales were missing. Valued the wool at £43/15/ and the three packs at 12/. Bates was employed in the shed, and was there on 12th of September, leaving on 14th September. Did not give Bates or any other person authority to take his wool. Did not know accused Burt or Dove. A wire, signed “Jessie,” was received from Murrurundi on the Saturday and handed to Bates.

Mr. O ‘Halloran objected to the latter portion of evidence being used against the accused.

To the P.M.: The lowest price received for that particular type of wool was 13⅟₄d. Arrived at the valuation by striking an average. The stolen wool was not sold as part of his clip, but was included in the star lots when offered at Newcastle.

To Mr. Gaden: Bates had been at “Bundarraga” previously, his father being shearing contractor. Never had any previous complaints about him.

Mr. O’Halloran: I contend that no prima facie case has been made against Dove.

The P.M.: No case against him, and he is discharged. Dove immediately left the Court.

Burt and Bates pleaded guilty and elected to be summarily dealt with.

Mr. Gaden asked for leniency on behalf of Bates, saying that he was merely a lad whose parents were highly respected residents of Muswellbrook. Bates, he said, had not, up till 15th- September last, been in a Police Court in his life. He had been perfectly open in the whole matter and gave the police every assistance. He could not be classed as a criminal and if given a chance it would be to his advantage, for he had made up his mind to try and be a good citizen like his father.

Sergt. Bentley: There is the Uralla convictions against him.

Mr. Gaden: It is practically the same case.

The P.M.: It is not. It shows he has started on a career of crime. I will however, take into consideration the temptation put before him by one much older than himself. I will also take in to consideration the penalty already imposed and the fact that he has been in gaol. The sentence will be three months.

Mr. O’Halloran: I ask your Worship to impose a fine in Burt’s case.

The P.M.: No. I dealt with him leniently at Uralla.

Mr. O’Halloran: This was chapter No. 1. Up to the time of these cases he was a man of undoubted character, and I wish to tender references from Messrs. Dooley and Co. and the manager of the Rural Bank, Murrurundi. It seems a remarkable thing that Burt did not even know Bates up to a fortnight before the offences. Who is the real culprit? If you do not impose a fine, Mr. Bell will lose his money.

The P.M.: No, he will not. I intend to make an order.

Mr. O’Halloran: If the case were to come before a Supreme Court Judge

The P.M.: Well, withdraw your plea of not guilty and allow the case to go to a higher Court. I’ll grant you, that privilege. I cannot see why a man, just because he happened to have money, should escape punishment, by merely paying a fine, while a young accomplice in the crime is sent to gaol.

Mr. O ‘Halloran: Could you not treat him as a first offender? This offence was committed prior to that at Uralla.

The P.M.: I realise that this is the first of the two offences, but do not intend to treat it as a first offence in view of what happened subsequently.

Mr. O’Halloran: I would have taken it from your jurisdiction had I thought for one moment you did not purpose imposing a fine.

Accused then reserved his defence, and was committed to stand his trial at the Newcastle Court of Quarter Sessions to be held on 1st, February next. Bail was allowed self in £75, with one surety in £75, or two in £37/10/.   (Scone Advocate) [74]



At the Aberdeen police court on Thursday before Mr. Geikie, P.M., John DeGraves was charged with making a bet under the Totalisator Act. Sergeant Hungerford, of Newcastle, said the defendant accepted a 2/- bet on Irish Bard in the Tocal Handicap at Warwick Farm on April 17. Mr. Gaden, who appeared for the defence, pleaded guilty. It was the first offence, “and defendant bore an unblemished reputation. He was a particularly fine citizen.” Fined £5, with £7/9/6 expenses.[75]


SCONE TRAGEDY – Opening of Inquest.

At the opening of the coroner’s inquest, into the death of Ernest Bruce Fenwick, Detective-Sergeant Charters of Newcastle, appeared and conducted the case on behalf of the police.

Mr. E. N. Gaden appeared on behalf of the family of the deceased.

Henry Forbes Murray, 20, was present in custody.

Alan Charles Scarsbrook, a dairy farm hand, employed by T. H. West, said he had known the deceased for about six months. On Thursday morning, about 10.30 o’clock, he saw Vera Mavis Fenwick (deceased’s daughter) at West’s farm. She told him something, and he went over to Fenwick’s place, and walked down to the shed where they cut up the lucerne hay into chaff. He saw deceased there lying on his back, and noticed a hole in his forehead above the right eye. He next went up to the house and saw the widow of deceased. She asked him what was the best thing to do. He went home and got his father’s car, and Vera Fenwick asked if she might accompany him. He drove with her to the police station at Scone. He knew Henry Forbes Murray, at present in custody, just to speak to. He did not notice any firearms in the shed where the deceased lay. The deceased was in working clothes when he saw him.

The Coroner adjourned the inquest until Friday; April 12, at 10 a.m.[76]



Inquest Opens.

The inquest was opened to-day at the Scone Court House in connection with the circumstances surrounding the death of Ernest Fenwick at “Cliftlands,” Scone, on the morning of the 4th. instant. The District Coroner, Mr. W. T. Seaward, is conducting the inquest. The court was crowded.

Henry Forbes Murray (20) an employee for six months of the deceased man, was present in custody, a charge of having feloniously and maliciously killed Ernest Bruce Fenwick having previously been preferred against him.

Detective-Sergeant Charters conducted the police proceedings, and Mr. E. N. Gaden, of Scone, was present in the interests of the relatives of the deceased man.

Dr. Oswald Barton, who visited the farm of the deceased on the morning of the tragedy, said he there saw that the body, head and shoulders had been covered with bags. He was told it was the body of a man named Fenwick. He went on to say that an examination of the body disclosed two extensive wounds to the head. Witness described the shocking nature of the wounds and the condition of the shed in which the body was found, with the head and shoulders resting in a pool of blood. A hat, said to belong to the deceased, was found six feet away. In the hat he found two wads of a shot gun cartridge and 17 flattened pellets of shot. He came to the conclusion that deceased had met his death from a gunshot wound to the head, death being instantaneous.

Answering Detective-Sergeant Charters, witness said from the description of the skull and the fact of the cartridge wads being in the hat, together with pellets in evidence, he had come to the conclusion that the muzzle of the gun must have been a matter of a very few inches from the head when it was discharged. Deceased, no doubt, was in a stooping position at the time. In his opinion it would have been impossible for the wounds to have been self-inflicted. Witness saw the young man, Harry Forbes Murray, at the Scone Police Station that morning and also on the following morning, and formed the opinion that he saw no signs of insanity, but that his mentality was not of a high order. He would say he was slightly sub-normal. At the time Murray was emotional and upset.

In reply to Mr. Gaden, witness said, it was quite possible that the sub normality mentioned might not have been noticed by the others in the house.

Sergeant Henry Bentley, officer-in charge at Scone Police. Station, told the Coroner that on the morning in question Murray went to the office and said: “Sergeant, I want to give myself up.” Witness asked “What have you done?” and he replied “I have killed a man at “Cliftlands.” I have shot Ernie Fenwick.” In further questioning, Murray said he shot him with a shot gun, and he then commenced to cry. Asked why he did it he replied ”If I told you, you would not understand me, and you would think I was mad. It just came to me, and I shot him.” Asked whether the man was dead he said “I did not wait to see.” Asked where he got the gun Murray replied, “I took it down with me this morning to shoot rabbits.” Witness then cautioned Murray, at the same time asking just what happened. Murray replied: “After the milking this morning Mr. Fenwick and I went down to the hay shed to cut chaff. Mr. Fenwick went into the paddock to get a file, and when he came back again he started to fix the engine for chaff cutting. The gun was standing near a wall behind Mr. Fenwick. When I saw the gun I thought I would shoot him. I picked the gun up, aimed it at him and shot him in the head. I then went back to the house, about 200 yards away, and took the gun with me. I also took an axe with me. The handle of the axe was broken, and I tried to fix it up. Asked why he also took the axe he said “Just as an excuse, so that I could make up my mind to tell them. Mrs. Fenwick went outside. I remained at the house and then told the daughter I had killed her father. I then said I would go into Scone and give myself up. They promised me they would not tell mum I had done that.” Witness asked Mur ray if he had. had a quarrel with his employer that morning, and he re plied, “I don’t know what you would call it. Mr. Fenwick used to be sick. Sometimes he would speak to me, and sometimes he would not. He was sick this morning. About three weeks ago he caught me kissing his daughter outside the kitchen. He objected to me having anything to do with her, and after that he did not seem to trust me. The mother and father watched me every chance they got. I thought so much of her that I could not sleep for weeks, and after he said I was to have nothing to do with her, when he stooped this morning I thought I would shot him.”

Witness, continuing, said that ac companied by the Coroner, Dr. Barton and Constable Andrews, and also Mur ray, he visited the property. When he asked Murray to show him the body he merely pointed to a shed, and then said, “Don’t let me see him. You are making it hard for me,” at the same time placing an arm over his eyes. Murray showed witness the relative positions they were standing in, adding that Mr. Fenwick was leaning over the exhaust pipe of the engine at the time. Witness went on to say he later found the spent shell of a cartridge and then a shot gun in Murray’s room.

To Mr. Gaden: There was no suggestion of any impropriety between Murray and the girl Fenwick.

Vera Mavis Fenwick (15), said she knew Murray, who had been employed by her late father for about six months. On the morning of 4th. April last she went to the milking yards about 6.20. Her mother and Murray were already in the yard. Her father came later. That morning Murray asked her if she would kiss him, and she replied “No.” He then asked, “Am I not worth it?” and she replied, ” Something like that.” Murray then left to catch a horse in the cow-yard. She next went up to breakfast. Her mother was in the house. Her father and Murray later came up for breakfast. She did not see her father leaving the house, but saw Murray walking in the direction of the hay shed. Murray came back to the house about 10 ‘o’clock and said, “I have killed your dad.” At this stage witness broke down, and had to leave the court room. (Proceeding).[77]



Death of E. B. Fenwick.



Continuing her evidence at Friday’s inquest at Scone, Vera Mavis Fenwick, daughter of Ernest Bruce Fenwicke who died from a gunshot wound at “Cliftlands,” Scone, on the 4th inst. said Murray then added, “I killed him in the shed. I shot him in the head.” Asked whether her father was dead, he replied, “Yes, he’s dead.”

Witness said she walked to the kitchen and told her mother what Murray had said. Murray was standing near her at the time. He later begged her mother for the loan of the car, saying he wished to give himself up. Witness backed the car out of the shed for him, and saw him drive the car away in the direction of Scone. Her father and Murray were on very good terms.

About a month ago Murray had tried to kiss her and her father came to the door and told her to go inside, telling Murray he would speak to him in the morning. Murray had kissed her once previously. Murray had told her he loved her, and she had replied that she thought he was “fit for Watt-street,” meaning the Reception House. She did not encourage Murray, who said, “Your father is watching us like a cat watching a mouse.” She saw Murray carrying her father’s gun towards the shed on the morning of April 4 . She believed there were a few cartridges in the house at the time. She heard the shot fired, but took no notice of the incident, as Murray was in the habit of taking the gun with him to shoot rabbits. She had always been on friendly terms with Murray. The gun, which was produced, belonged to her late father.

Murray: Have you not been keeping company with me for three months?

Witness:, No.

Murray: Did you not tell me one afternoon that you loved me?

Witness:, Jokingly I said, ”Yes.”

Murray:. Did you not kiss me once daily during the last three months? ‘

Witness: No.

Murray: Did you not tell your mother that you had kissed me?

Witness: Certainly not. I told her that you had kissed me.

To Mr. Gaden:-She had been on no more than friendly terms with Murray, and had never been on affectionate terms with him.

Following the evidence of Vera Fenwick, her mother gave evidence that she was in a position to know that there was nothing between her daughter and Murray.

The rest of her evidence confirmed the conversation with Murray as detailed by her daughter.

The next witness was George Vick Pearce, an employee of T. J. Towns. He said that on the morning of the tragedy he accompanied Murray in a motor car towards Scone. On the way Murray told him what he had done, whereupon Pearce had asked Murray to stop the car, and had immediately got out of the vehicle.

C. Scarborough, who gave evidence at the first inquiry which was adjourned, recalled, gave evidence as to the exact position of the body when first discovered. This concluded the evidence.


The Coroner found that Ernest Bruce Fenwicke, at Fenwicke’s farm, Cliftlands, near Scone, had died from the effects of a gunshot wound in the head, feloniously and maliciously inflicted by Harry Forbes Murray.

He also found that Harry Forbes Murray had murdered Ernest Bruce Fenwicke and he committed him for trial at the Central Criminal Court, Sydney, on May 27, 1935, or such other court as the Attorney-General might appoint.

Mr. E. N. Gaden, solicitor, of Scone, who appeared to watch the interests of the Fenwicke family, complimented Sergeant Bentley, of Scone, and Detective-Sergeant Charters, of Newcastle, and also the Coroner upon the considerate manner in which the inquiry had been conducted, from the point of view of the Fenwicke family. He wished especially to make reference to the kindness and consideration shown by Sergeant Bentley throughout.[78]


At his trial in Sydney, Murray was found ‘guilty’ and received the death penalty [79]which was subsequently commuted to ‘penal servitude for life’.[80]

Alleged Trespass Through Property.


At the Scone Police Court last week, Arthur Alexander Eather proceeded against Jack Marshall for failing to give the requisite notice in respect of a mob of sheep taken through ” Milgarra” on 21st March last, and for maliciously cutting a fence to the value of £1. Mr. A. B. Shaw (Singleton) appeared for complainant, and Mr. E. N. Gaden for defendant.

After lengthy evidence, the Police Magistrate said he found the charge proved, but as the evidence revealed extenuating circumstances he intended to give defendant the benefit of section 55CA of the Crimes Act, and would therefore dismiss the information under that section. He ordered the defendant to pay 10/- compensation, 8/- court costs, £3/2/- witnesses’ expenses, and £3/3/- professional costs, making a total of £7. He also ordered complainant to pay costs totalling £7/3/-.[81]



Death of Septimus James Clarke.


The District Coroner, Mr. W. T. Seaward, conducted an inquest touching on the death of Septimus James Clarke, aged 25, who met his death on 3rd June last, when a horse he was riding in the Royal Hotel yard, Scone, fell on top of him into a 15ft. deep sewerage trench in the hotel yard.

Mr. E. N. Gaden represented the Scone Municipal Council, and Mr. L. H Halliday (of Messrs. R. G. D. FitzGerald and Co.) watched the interests of Mr. Frank Bragg, who was the employer of the deceased, and Mr. Percy Ludington, licensee of the Royal Hotel. The interests of Monier Industries, Ltd., were watched by Mr O. Ellison (Sydney), and the relatives of the deceased were represented by Mr. Lieberman (of Messrs Lieberman and Touse, Sydney). Sergt. Conrick, of Scone, represented the police authorities.

More than usual interest was taken in the inquest before the Coroner, and the seating accommodation was taxed to its fullest during the two long days which it took to complete the hearing. In the court during both days were the relatives of the deceased, who came from Kempsey. Noticeable in the court were a number of ladies, other than relatives, who listened to the proceedings.


The Coroner’s verdict was as follows:—”In finding that the said Septimus James Clarke, in the yard of the Royal Hotel, Scone, in the police district of Scone, in the state of New South Wales, on the night of the third day of June, 1938, died as a result of injuries, to wit, fracture “of the skull and a broken neck, accidentally received by striking his head violently on the bottom of a sewerage pipe trench, into which a horse which he was then and there riding was falling backwards. I further find that the said trench was not adequately provided with safeguards to protect the public properly using the aforesaid hotel yard.[82]




At the Merriwa Police Court before the P.M. (Mr. Pickup)/Horace Walter White was charged with stealing a long-handled shovel, the property of John Robert Leggett, Merriwa.

Sergeant E. S. Fairlamb conducted the case for the police, and Mr. E. N. Gaden (Scone) appeared for defendant.

Sergeant Fairlamb gave evidence as to the arrest. He said he saw defend ant and asked him if he took the shovel and defendant said “Yes.” He took witness to a shed at the home of his father, A. H. White, Merriwa, and he (witness) found the shovel therein. He asked, “When did you take the shovel,” and defendant said, “Late on Saturday night, 4th February.” He said to defendant that the latter carried it about half a mile and put it in the shed. Defendant said, “I took it home.” Asked what he did that for the defendant said, “I thought someone might have dropped it.” He asked defendant if he enquired of Mr. Leggett or any other person, as to whether they had lost the shovel, and replied, “No,” and that he did not report the matter to the police. He said “No.” Asked how he expected to find the owner of the shovel by putting it in the shed, defendant said, “I thought someone might ask for it.” He saw defendant again on the 11th February and cautioned him. He told defendant that Mr. Leggett informed him he had asked defendant’s brother on Monday if he had seen anything of the shovel, and defendant replied, “That is nothing to do with me.”

To Mr. Gaden: I could not swear to there being other shovels being in the shed. Defendant said he put the shovel in the shed on Sunday morning. I do not know that defendant was away all day that Sunday. I do not know anything against his character other than the present charge.

John Robert Leggett, Blaxland street, Merriwa, said he remembered the 4th February. On that date he look a bucket and shovel out to the gutter in the front of his home. At night he took the bucket in and forgot the shovel and went out on Sunday morning to look for it, and it was gone. He reported the loss to the police, but made no other enquiries.

The defendant, Horace Walter White, said he remembered the night of the 4th February. He was going home about half-past twelve or one o ‘clock along Blaxland-street and saw the shovel (produced) lying just the other side of Jack Leggett’s house, about 20 or 30 yards away from the house. The shovel was lying in the street and had a car come along it would have run over it; it was lying at right angles to the gutter. He picked it and took it home, as he thought someone would ask for it. Arriving home, he left the shovel in the yard, where it was all day Sunday. He was away all day. He did not see the shovel when he returned or he would have done something with it. He did not intend to keep it. He went to work early on Monday morning about 5 o ‘clock at Glen Burnie. There would be about half-a-dozen shovels in the shed at home. He had never been in trouble before.

To Sergeant Fairlamb: I did not mention anything about the shovel to my mother. I thought I was doing someone a good turn picking the shovel up and taking it home. I do not use a shovel at my work, which is chiefly in connection with horses. Asked whether he used a shovel to fill in rabbit burrows, defendant said, “No; I use a hoe. “

Arthur Henry White, carrier, father of defendant, deposed that he had seen the shovel (produced) before in the sergeant’s car. He had four or five shovels at home; plenty to carry out any work he might have to do. His son (defendant) had always been a good son, and he had never had cause to complain of his conduct.

To Sergeant Fairlamb: I have always told my children not to take anything that did not belong to them.

The P.M.: It is hard for me to say that defendant intended to convert the shovel to his own use. I do not think he did. He, however, acted foolishly in not reporting the occurrence to the police. I have no doubt of defendants previous good character. The information is dismissed.[83]


Apparently Noel’s father Ted refused financial help for Noel to buy into an established Law practice. (Even in his Will, Ted Gaden provided little financial assistance for Noel but Jim was relieved of much of his mortgage on the property at Jindabyne, with the estate covering the thousands of pounds owing on the purchase to ensure Jim was able to keep the place.[84]) If Noel had been in partnership in an established practice he would not have had to worry about running the business side of things, a secretary would have seen to sending out accounts and dealing with receipts and banking. According to family folklore, speeches given at his farewell from Scone and his obituary, Noel seldom sent bills to his poorer clients as he was very soft hearted and there was the major financial depression of the time. However, also according to family legend, there was usually not enough money coming in to pay the bills of his own family, no doubt a major cause of friction for his wife!

He also found other reasons to stay out of the office. Although Noel was not able to practice medicine his interest did not diminish and he was often found scrubbed up in the operating theatre at the local hospital, eagerly watching the surgery in progress. His good friend and Best Man was local doctor Oswald ‘Toby’ Barton, son of Sir Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister who had set up practice in Scone after returning from serving with both the British Army and A.I.F. in the First World War.[85] Toby Barton was one of the first members of the Scone branch of the Returned Soldier League of NSW, formed shortly after the war. [86] (One of Toby’s sons was John Barton who went to school with Noel’s son Bill – the two boys were to meet again in Malaya during the Second World War. Another son was David Edmund Barton, who also commenced medical practice in Scone after the war in 1956.)

Noel was involved in many local clubs and organisations including the fundraising efforts to build an ambulance station and subsequent purchase of an ambulance wagon. [87]


The Scouting movement began in Australia in 1908 and it was in 1917 that the Scone Scouts pack was formed when a meeting was held in the Oddfellows’ Hall. The Scone Advocate of September 7 reported:

On Wednesday evening last a meeting was held at the Oddfellows’ Hall for the purpose of forming a troop of the National Boy Scouts in Scone. There was a good attendance of juveniles and several parents. Mr J.D. Stafford was voted to the chair and explained the object of the meeting. Mr Glanfield, District Scout Master at Middle Harbour and who has manifested great interest in the movement was present and delivered an address explaining the meaning of the Boy Scout movement which had been so enthusiastically taken up in England and Australia and had proved such a success. He spoke of the importance of the early training of the youth of a country in industry and thrift and good and ennobling deeds, however small and insignificant they may in themselves appear to be. The encouragement of habits of duty and usefulness, the instinct of resourcefulness, and training in such matters as the rendering of first aid, could not fail to have beneficial influence on the minds of the children who would be the men of tomorrow. Mr Glanfield also read and explained the rules of the Association.

It was decided that a troop of this Association should be formed. The following officers were then elected:-

Scout Master, Mr EN Gaden; Assistant Scout Master, Rev W Warr; Instructor, Trooper E Aurisch; Troop Leader, Master Geoffrey Smith; Secretary, Mr GA Stevenson; Treasurer, Mr HJ Martin. The troop will be known as Scone No. 1 Troop of National Boy Scouts. Arrangements for the meetings were left in the hands of the Rev Warr. The proceedings, which were of an enthusiastic character, concluded with a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Glanfield for his attendance and address.[88]

So Noel was elected as Scout Master, a postition he held for about 3 years,[89] and the Scouts met in the St Luke’s Sunday School Hall and the Drill Hall, eventually moving to their own hall in 1933.[90]

On 15th November 1917 the Scouts marched through town, the Mayor giving them permission a few days beforehand, and at the end of December the Scone Scouts joined those from Tamworth and Singleton at a special afternoon put on by the Muswellbrook pack where they prepared for badges, learned a fire-lighting drill and played games.[91] And Scone scouts were again in Muswellbrook to boost the ‘meagre numbers’ at the Queen of the Day Procession which would have been ‘rather tame’ without their presence.[92]

In the early days there was a variety entertainment night held in the Olympia Rink on 3 December 1917[93], camps were held at the local ‘horse paddock’ and concerts at the (now defunct) skating rink.

At one time a camp was held at Belltrees. Back in 1913 Vera’s brother Gordon had been Best Man at the wedding of Dr Hordern to Norah White of Belltrees [94] so Vera would have visited or heard stories of the place. At the Scout Camp Vera was involved as a chaperone. Here she met the lady of the house and was most impressed, saying she was the most beautiful person she had ever seen, but there was a sadness as she had only had daughters and her husband was so desperate for a son and so upset when the last child was another girl, that he did not speak to her for months after the child’s birth.[95]

At one point Noel’s name was on a notice in the newspaper calling for adult involvement with parents particularly asked to attend.[96] During the flu epidemic Scouts used their bicycles to take cans of soap to infected houses, they wore face masks to avoid the catching the infection themselves.

By the 1920s Noel had resigned his position from Scouts.[97] In 1934 a new scout Hall was officially opened and a photograph appeared in the Advocate.


Home of the Scouts 2013→IMG_9118


Noel enjoyed fishing, a love he shared with own father and brother and also his son Bill and daughter Elizabeth. He was a member of a local fishing group agitating for improvements to their local rivers:


The Hon. F. A. Chaffey is in receipt of the following letter from the State Fisheries’ Chief Secretary’s Department: “Dear Sir,-In reply to your representations of 4th. inst., on behalf of Mr. E. N. Gaden, of Scone, that this Department put in hand repairs to the Muswellbrook fish ladder, I have to advise that the Public Works Department has this day been asked to have the necessary repairs effected, the cost of same to be defrayed, from this Department’s votes.

Yours faithfully, E.E. Harkness, Under-Secretary. [98]


Family rumour had it that Noel, assisted by his retriever dogs, also enjoyed shooting which he would do on Sundays even though it was illegal![99]

He played cricket in the local district competition where he was noted for his sense of fair play. He was probably encouraged to play by “G Westgarth” also played in the local team. [100]In one of his early matches, in 1919 Noel didn’t bowl, batted well down the order for a score of 1 run,[101] but in a return match on 18 February 1920 he scored 26 runs and helped Scone to win the match by a mere 8 runs over rivals Muswellbrook [102] and in 1928 he was still playing, this time for the ‘Veterans’ Team in the ‘A’ Grade competition against Aberdeen.[103]

He was a Scone delegate for the regional competition and, as an example, he was listed as the delegate for B Grade in 1933. [104]


The annual meeting of the above association was held at Aberdeen. Delegates were present as follows:— Messrs: H. Douglass; E. N. Gaden, V. T. Hail (Scone); F. W, Kennedy and A. W. Brooker (Rouchel); K. Campbell and Cr. Dallah (Gundy); T. K. Abbott and E. Mansfield (Parkville); Rev. M. C. Brown and R. T. Douglass (Aberdeen). Mr. H. Douglass was voted to the chair. The secretary explained that the reason the representatives of the Muswellbrook Club were not present was that the letter containing notice of meeting had not been opened, owing to the absence of that club’s secretary from town. The annual report and balance sheet was read and confirmed on the  motion of Messrs. Gaden and Abbott, supported by Mr. Mansfield.[105]

Football was also on Noel’s list of activities and he was a delegate for the Upper Hunter Football Association.

AN ULTIMATUM – To Upper Hunter Football Association.

Muswellbrook will withdraw from Competition,


A special meeting of the Muswellbrook Rugby League Football Club was held on Tuesday evening, for the purpose of deciding what action should be taken in view of the Association’s decision in awarding three games against the club because a paid coach was played in the matches. After a long discussion a motion was passed by 8 to 6 to the effect that unless the Association recanted by 6 p.m. to-day Muswellbrook would withdraw from the competition.

DELEGATES’ REPORT. Mr. E. J. Harvey (president) occupied the chair, and said the time had arrived for plain speaking from the members and everyone interested in the game of football. Muswellbrook, he said, had nothing to hide, and let them speak plainly, to themselves and the executive body.

Mr. C. P. McCooe, one of the dele gates to the meeting of the Association held on Saturday night last, detailed at length what took place at the meeting. He had stressed the fact before the Association that the resolution debarring paid coaches from playing in competition matches was ultra vires, because the committee had no power to pass such a resolution. In submitting a resolution along these lines, he had contented himself with relying on the constitution, pointing out that the powers of the committee were either limited or unlimited. If they were unlimited the committee could do what it liked, even to disbanding the Association. If the powers were limited it was the duty of the committee to ascertain where the limit was. He had endeavored to enlighten the committee on this point, and to do so perused the rules and tabulated the powers of the committee. He had drawn the committee’s attention to the fact that not one of the rules gave the committee power to pass resolutions of the nature it had passed, and since the constitution did not confer the power to pass: the resolution he had contended that the committee had abused its powers. These contentions were upheld by his co-delegate, Mr. T. Delahunty, who argued that the fourth by-law provided that any person resident in the district for 28 days was entitled to play for that district. He (Mr. McCooe) contended that, since the by-laws made a provision as to who was to play in competition games the committee had no authority to upset its own constitution. Only two gentlemen, Messrs. E. N. Gaden and V. Hall (Scone) spoke against the motion, and the force of their arguments was conspicuous by its absence. They contended that the committee was the Association, and had considered itself as such for many years, and in doing so had passed resolutions, which, he remarked, according to the constitution, the committee had no power to pass. After he had pointed out what the Association really was, according to the constitution, there was profound silence. Mr. Gaden said the object of the Association was to foster football in the Upper Hunter and not to abide by the rules of the constitution.[106]

Noel was known to have a keen sense of humour, to order eggs he would flap his arms and crow “cock a doodle do”.

Vera was heavily involved in the social life of Scone and was very busy with charity work in the town. One family story recounts how she ruled the St Luke’s Church fete with an iron fist for many years but never attended a Church service, much to the chagrin of other members of the fete committee!! [107] She was a member of the local Red Cross which was started in Scone in 1915[108] and attended the local Scone Race meeting on 18 May 1923.[109] Noel was not listed as being present.


Vera was an inaugural member of the local branch of the Country Women’s Association which had their first meeting in Scone on 3 October 1925. [110] It was reported that both Mrs Gaden and Mrs Spicer attended a meeting of the CWA on 12 December that year [111] and she became a longstanding Vice President of the Scone CWA.


Mesdames S. G. Keene, E. J. Sherwood, E. N. Gaden, S. Holmes, J. D. MacCullum and E. C. Tucker were re-elected vice-presidents of the Scone branch of the C.W.A. at the annual meeting held on Friday last. Mrs. A. Welsh was re-elected hon. secretary, and Mrs. W. T. Seaward hon. treasurer. [112]


Vera remained a keen and talented golfer and no doubt enjoyed playing on the local golf course. Until the end of the Great War, the links were located on land now known as White Park. A new course was established on what became the location of the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission Cottages after the second World War. At some stage a Club House had to be built, so no doubt she was involved in fundraising events until it was completed in 1924.[113] She was still involved in competition golf as reported in the Muswellbrook Chronicle on 12 September 1930:-

BASSINGTHWAIGHTE CUP – Associates’ Tournament at Muswellbrook.


The Muswellbrook golf associates must have been in high favor with the clerk of the weather, for ideal conditions prevailed on Wednesday last when the annual tournament for the Bassingthwaighte Cup and other trophies took place.

Competitors were present from Singleton, Denman, Maitland, Scone and Murrurundi clubs. The tournament was the third held under the auspices of, the local club, and was a distinct success. The secretarial duties were carried out by Mrs. R. Roger, while the competition was carried out under the direction of Mr. P. Truscott.

Miss Weidmann, holder of the cup, retained the beautiful trophy, the Bassingthwaighte cup over 27 holes Miss Weidmann (Muswellbrook) 329 .1 Mrs. Scholes (Muswellbrook) 132 . 2 Miss Wilson (Murrurundi) 3. Other cards included Mrs. Gaden (Scone) 165

Morning stroke handicap-over 9 holes, Mrs Gaden scored 53-15-38 and in the

Afternoon stroke handicap over 18 Holes Mrs.Gaden’s score was 112-30-82. [114]




Weather conditions of the made to order variety favored the 120 players and visitors who attended the official opening of the golf season at Muswellbrook on Saturday last.

Players and their friends attended from the Scone, Merriwa, Denman, Aberdeen and Singleton Clubs. The course took on an air of animation, when over 80 players were competing in the Canadian foursomes competition. The attendance was so much beyond the expectations of the club officials that it was little wonder that congestion occurred on many of the tees. For this state of things, Mr. W. R. Nowland, captain of the Muswellbrook Club, shifted the responsibility to the visitors, stating that their presence in such numbers was a testimony to the popularity of the game and their desire to help the Muswellbrook Club in its first official ceremony for the season. Mr. Nowland spoke of the great pleasure the club felt in having so many visitors at the opening, and asked them to overlook any inconvenience they had suffered by reason of the record number of players taking part in the competition.

Mr. E. J. Sherwood, President of the Scone Club, and always a welcome visitor to the Muswellbrook links, responded on behalf of the visitors, stating that the pleasure that had been derived because of the liberal hospitality had more than compensated for the congestion that was unavoidable with such numbers. Mr. Sherwood referred to the fact that he had been visiting the Muswellbrook links for many years, and remarked that he would be here again and again, as opportunity offered.

The greens were in admirable order, and bore tangible witness to the splendid work put in in preparation for Saturday’s event by Mr. B. White man. The visitors were delighted with the conditions. The only drawback on the day was the long grass on some of the fairways, but the responsibility for this is to be charged to the bountiful season which the district is experiencing. This disability will, however, soon disappear and as now, the Muswellbrook links will continue to be regarded as one of the best in the country districts of the State.

The secretarial duties were carried out by Mr. F. H. Nowlan.


Mr. M. H. Bower and Miss Teasdale were the winners of the Canadian mixed foursomes, played over 15 holes. Results:

Bower and Miss Teasdale (Muswellbrook) 75 gross, 16 handicap, 59 nett; A. A. Charity (Muswellbrook) and Mrs. Turner (Aberdeen), 80-20-60; E. J. Sherwood and Mrs. N. E. Gaden (Scone) 78-18-60 were 3rd[115]

Vera obviously enjoyed her golf and was an asset to the Scone Club in local matches


Associates’ match played at Scone, Scone players mentioned first:-Miss Sherwood v. Mrs. O’Hara 2 down; Mrs. Gaden v. Mrs. Mackenzie, 5 up and 4; …and… playing with DA Fowler, she was equal third in the Mixed Foursome handicap. [116]

In 1935 Vera would have been delighted to become the first Associate of the Scone Club to score a hole in one. From the score card it looks as if 15-year-old daughter Sue could also have been playing.


In the course of play to-day, Mrs. Gaden, president of the Scone Associate’s Golf Club, holed out at the short fourth hole in one. This was the first time any associate of the club had performed the feat.

Early scores in the 18 holes’ stroke handicap were: Miss M. Moxham, 95-32, 63; Miss J. Drew, 94-28, 66; Miss Weidmann (Muswellbrookt), 82-16, 66; Mrs. G. K. Lawrie (Muswellbrook), 92-25, 67; Miss B. French 84-16, 68; Mrs. W. B. Mackenzie (Muswellbrook), 90-20, 70; Miss M. Dobson 89-19, 70; Mrs. H. L. O’Hara (Muswellbrook), 94-22, 72;. Miss E. French, 90-17, 73; Mrs. Dobson, 105-36, 69; Miss Gaden, 97-26, 71.[117]

In 1936 Vera was again elected as President of the Associates.

At the annual meeting of the Scone Golf Club Associates, held on Thursday last, the election of officers for the ensuing season resulted:-Mrs. E. N. Gaden was re-elected president and Mrs. M. James re-elected hon. secretary, with Miss P. Aisbett, hon. treasurer (re-elected); vice-presidents, Mrs A. Dobson and Mrs. A. C. Lowe; captain, Miss M. Dobson; selection committee, Mrs. Gaden, Mrs. James and Miss E. French.[118]

In 1938 Vera was still playing in the Upper Hunter Associates Golf Championships at Muswellbrook.[119]

Despite all their sporting and charity commitments, Vera and Noel found the time to have three children. Apparently Vera did not like being on her own when the babies were due, so her sisters-in-law Essie and Nancy used to stay with her.[120]


Young Edward William Gaden was born at Scone on 5 October 1917. The Sydney Morning Herald of 10 October 1917 reporting that Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Gaden of Scone had a new son born at Nurse Cook’s private hospital on October 5th. (These days Nurse Cook’s hospital is a private residence on Park Street called Cooloombooka which is next door to another former private hospital, now called Brancaster, on the east side of Park Street, at the Muswellbrook end of town. It was here that Billy Balcombe’s wife gave birth to a son on 12 August 1925.)[122]

                                           Vera with Bill

  Edward William was always known as Bill and he was theBill infant & Vera only son.[123].

Was this Bill or even Elizabeth with Agnes, the family’s vital help?

Bill Infant Agnes

Two younger sisters, Gwynneth Mary, known as Susan (Sue) who was born two years after Bill, on 7 October 1919, and Elizabeth Balcombe, known as    Ginge, born 30 August 1921 also at Nurse Cook’s hospital.[123].

When Vera was pregnant with her first daughter, Noel’s grandfather Thomas Brocklebank Gaden died in 1919. Although Ted Gaden went to his father’s funeral, grandson Noel did not attend the funeral at Waverley Cemetery.[124] Nor does he appear to have attended that of his grandmother Rosalind a couple of years later when she was interred alongside her husband[125]. This was at a time when Vera was again pregnant.

GADEN.-June 12 1919 at Gilgarnie, Nelson-street, Woollahra. Thomas Brocklebank Gaden, aged 84 years. By request, no flowers  [126]

DEATH OF MR. T. B. GADEN Mr. Thomas Brocklebank Gaden, who for many years was chief inspector and assistant manager of the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney, died at his residence, Gilgarnle, Nelson-street, Woollahra, yesterday. Mr. Gaden was 84 years of age, and he is survived by a widow, two sons-Mr. E. A. Gaden, of Norton, Smith, and Co., and Mr. C. W. Gaden, at one time manager of the Haymarket branch of the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney, and now retired-and by two daughters-Mrs. Broome, of Sydney, and Mrs. J. T. Brown, of Nyngan. The funeral will leave the late residence of the deceased at 9.30 a.m. to-day for Waverley Cemetery.

The late Mr. Gaden was born at St. John’s Newfoundland, and came to Sydney when a boy. He first entered the service of the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney in 1857, leaving it shortly afterwards to join that of the Union Bank of Australia. In I860 he rejoined the Commercial Bank as manager of the Eden branch. He was appointed inspector in 1867 and chief Inspector and assistant manager in 1882. On two occasions during the absence in Europe of the general manager Mr. Gaden acted in that capacity. He was a very popular, as well as very capable, official of the bank, and on two occasions-when he celebrated his 70th birthday, and when he retired from the service of the bank in 1908-he received handsome presentations.[127]


The Sydney Morning Herald of 29 September 1920 reported the wedding of Vera’s younger brother William Gould [Billy] Balcombe, the First World War veteran who had been a driver in the 5 Field Artillery Brigade[128]. We know their mother Jessie attended but , as Vera does not appear on the guest list reported in the newspaper,[129] it may be that she was unable to travel to the wedding in the outback NSW town of Bourke as she had two small children at home, Sue being just on a year old.

In July 1920 H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, passed through Scone on the train.[130] Scone station had been opened nearly fifty years earlier, on 17 April 1871, and has a single long platform on one side of the track. It is 315 km from Sydney Central station and is the most northerly station on the current City Rail network. [131]


Scone Station 2013→IMG_9062


It is unlikely that young Bill glimpsed this very special visitor as the Prince had been late arriving at Muswellbrook where he disembarked for a mere four minutes, and his train headed north from there soon after 7.00pm[132] so it would have been dark. The hurried visit, at which he was indisposed and did not speak, would have been a disappointment to the visitors from Scone who travelled south just to see the Prince,[133] the 15 mile (24 km) journey back in a car at night would have been long and slow in those days.

Bill would have been a bit too young at this time to have laid pennies on the railway tracks so the engine wheels would flatten them but we know he and his friends did that in future years. We also have no doubt that Bill and the girls played in the Park, probably then a paddock, almost opposite their home. Known as the ‘Rotary Heritage Park’ it is now the location of several memorials to the past but none would have been there when the Gaden children were in Scone. However they would have known the fountain in a different location:-

The marble fountain now located here was donated to Scone in 1901 by Thomas Cook of the Turanville estate to mark Australia’s Federation.[134] It was originally located at the corner of Kelly and Liverpool streets but in 1927 was moved to the northern end of Kelly Street. [135]

Vera, like her grandfather surveyor Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, was a talented artist. Bill inherited this artistic ability too and many of his landscape paintings are possessed by family members. According to family tradition Noel also painted pictures but sadly none have been found … were they part of the memorabilia subsequently lost when the family departed from Scone?


Family stories suggest the children spent much time with nanny and housekeeper Agnes O’Donohoe. She arrived when Elizabeth was just three months old and left when she was 8 years old. Agnes was engaged for five years but wouldn’t leave until Elizabeth was old enough to look after herself.

In 1928 Elizabeth is listed as being a student at SCEGS, Moss Vale[136] and Agnes eventually married John Charles Court in 1929 in Muswellbrook[137] and had two children of her own, Jim and older brother Joseph Charles (Joe) born 1930 [138] who became editor of the Scone Advocate.[139]


Noel&familyNoel with Vera and baby Bill with Noel’s sisters, Essie at back, Nancy at front. The lady with the spectacles thought to be Kitty.

We gather Agnes used to take the children with her when she went on holidays and she did all the housework and cooking for the family. Elizabeth recalled that the children didn’t normally eat with their parents as a family, they were occasionally taken individually to have tea.[140]

Bill with wooden chook!→BillInfantChook


No doubt like most families of the time there would be a chicken run at the end of the garden and the family would enjoy eggs and the occasional old broiler chicken in exchange for the vegetable scraps. There were also three sheep called Bill, Sue and Liz. It was years before they realised that the sheep were actually removed to be eaten but were immediately replaced… they were not the same sheep who happened to live a long time![141]

The three children were quite a handful, Bill was always in mischief and when Elizabeth was being born Bill was found in the laundry covered in mud, so he was scrubbed in the tub before being put in a bath to get clean! The love of mud no doubt was useful in later war years when he was stationed in Malaya.

One time the children were in trouble for laughing at the misfortune of a neighbour when their goat ate her red flannelette nightdress. Another delightful story was how they hated to say goodnight to another friend because of her ample bosom.[142]

Sometime in 1926 Dengue fever swept through the town with many people being ill and meetings of various organisations had to be postponed. [143] This mosquito borne disease causes fever, rash and headaches with muscle and joint pains. [144]No wonder meetings had to be put on hold end the outbreak would have been devastating for such a small community.

Bill and Sue

 Bill and Sue

On 31 December 1926 it was reported in the newspaper that

Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Balcombe and their daughter, Mrs. Noel Gaden, of Sydney, have recently returned after an enjoyable holiday in Canberra. [145]

There was no mention of Noel or the children. Does this mean Vera had spent Christmas away from her husband and children? At the time Elizabeth was only five years old, Sue was seven and Bill would have been nine and we can only speculate that, if the children were not with their mother, Agnes was left in charge, or the children were staying with one of the grand-mothers.

At one time Agnes was very ill with mumps. Sue had a foot infection and was staying with the Spicer family. Vera and Noel went away leaving a sick Agnes to cope with the two children. Elizabeth recalled she and Bill lay on Agnes’ bed smoking cigarettes and never caught the mumps.[146] This is recounted in one of the letters that has survived from this early time of Bill’s life.

Many of these early letters have no date but they have been put in approximate chronological order depending on the maturity and neatness of the writing and his signature. Sister Elizabeth is referred to as Baby rather than Ginge in the earliest letters. Spelling has been left as per the original. These early letters are written in pencil.

my dear goran

i hope you are well and how is grandad

and how is miss nistten

and i have got a tl sit this iac??

from sue? bill?



My dear Grannie

thank you for that riting book

I caught an eel today

Mum and Sue are better now, they had the flu.

daddy catches us lots of fish

We are staying here another week

We can see the litehouse

I am coming to stay with you for the xmas hollardys.

I don’t mind letty Jane using my scooter

Give her my love

Lots of love to yow Grany


Billy Gaden xxxxx

+++ from Sue +++ and Baby


The first part of the next letter is written in ink, then it is finished in pencil

My dear Granny

hou are you getting on there now eye hope you are not sick in bed. Mum and Sue are sick in bed. they had the doctor this morning so Agnes and me have to do all the weark and its nasty having to do all the weark. and eye went to the borbar this morning eye have ninety marbles in my boig now

Goodbye Gran

Billy Gaden xxxxx




Billy Gaden

My dear granny

How are you and everybody. Baby and myself tidyed up the garden to-day. The island poppys wall flowers and roses are best of all.

Mummy has a lot of furnes. I had a cold in my eye and so i dident go to school at all that day.

Baby Sue and me went to the hospattle ball on fry-day. Baby went as a doll Sue went as a wildflour i went as a christmass stokking and none of us got a prize at all but wee injoyed our selves verry much and so did everybody i new. We have lots of marbles now with lots of love from Billy


This next letter is written in pencil




My dear Granny

How are you getting on and how is everybody. Baby said that she would have the biggest tool set and give Sue and me the smallest one so that she would have the best garden. [ Elizabeth loved gardening all her life and always had her own tools.[147]] Daddy gave us some seeds to plant in our gardens. We built a tent big enough for the whole three of us to get in at once. Mummy gave us some morning tea in it. Sue is going out to Mrs. Paynes place tomorrow. Mum reads the encyclopaedias to us every night

With lots of love from Billy

PS Thank you for the Building set you sent me. I built a lovely castle with it. I have painted your calendar all myself with lots of Billy


This letter is written in ink



Dear Granny and Grandfather

thank so much for my presents

I will be able to make anything with Meccano

I went to the river today and caught nothing

What do you think of me and my flathead

I am going to send you a photo of it

I hope you have a good holiday.

I am coming to Bowral soon

With love from Billy


This next letter was written by Bill from Bowral, on a visit to his grandparents. According to family legend his father Noel did not enjoy these visits to his own parent’s and avoided them if he could.

Vermont Bowral

My dear dad

I hope you are not feeling this heat too badly we have been out riding since you came up. Agnes sent me a postcard. curekerby isent home yet this morning we were tiging up our toys becos we got a big wastpaper bascet fool of rubbish and so we have had a good time

with lots of love from Billy




19th March 192?

My dear granny

How are you getting on these days? I went to a bazaar and got another fountain pen and book called The Boys’ Own Annual. The fountain pen isn’t as good as that one up there

With lots of love from Billy


At one time Bill received an undated letter from his sister Sue, written from Vermont. She hoped he was well after his trip from Scone to ‘Portmerguarry.’ She continued

A lady came to draw the garden I betcher it was very hard to we had nearly two inches of rain tell mum to read you and dad my letter I got three letters yesterday morning thank you for that card and the letter that you sent me I am just going to right a letter.

She continued that she had got nearly a draw of christmas presents but then remarked that she didn’t have much to tell him. Did this mean the children had spent Christmas apart?





My dear granny

it is a long time since I have written to yow we are quite well gain now.

Sue is coming home tonight now we are going to start school gain now.

Daddy gave me an air gun for birthday and mummy gave me some handkies. I got some money to put in the bank and a book and a tie and a pair of tan shoes.

I am sorry to hear about nigger and digger. I hope I will be able to see and digger at xmas time

Goodby granny

with lots of love from Billy


Where had Sue been staying?

The next two letters were sent from Scone by Bill and Sue to “Aunt Biddy”. It is likely that Biddy is Lilian’s sister Ida Brereton [the two Atherton sisters had married two Gaden brothers, Lilian to Ted in 1889 and Ida to Thomas in 1990].

Sue wrote to thank Aunt Biddy for the purse and hanky and hoped Biddy had enjoyed the trip on the boat. She asked how Biddy liked Vermont and the garden and hoped she would go to stay with them for a while. This must have been written around the time Elizabeth was getting closer to school age as Bill reported Elizabeth had been to school on ‘fryday afternoon’.

Marooan, Scone

My dear aunt Biddy

Thank you for that loverly pencle box you sent me for xmas. Baby is very proud of herself because she went to school. She goes on Friday afternoons for the singing class. We had a big hail storm on Sunday. I hope your coming up to see us soon

lots of love from billy



My dear granny

Johny Barton and I are going to Newcastle to school in June

When you come up we might go to Newcastle to see the school in the car thank you every much for having us in the holladays

with lots of love from Billy


Bill had attended Primary School in Scone before moving on to Broughton School, Church Street, Newcastle. It later became part of Newcastle Church of England Grammar School. He was at Broughton for five years. The Principal was Rev. Canon Bicton Wilson who had been awarded the Military Cross for ‘gallantry in the field’ with the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion in the First World War. He was at Broughton from 1926 to 1933.[148] As a boarder, Bill came into contact with Matron Connie Cay who later wrote many letters to ‘her boys’ when they went off to fight in the Second World War.

Bill pictured with his father Noel and “Mick” Badgery, godfather to Ginge and father of Brian. He gave both Sue and Ginge away when they married during the war. Brian served with Bill when they went to Malaya in 1941. Sadly he as to die as a POW.[149]

The fishermen→Bill Noel Badgery

Bill fisherman

Broughton School, Church Street,


31st July 192_

Dear Mummy and Dad

Thank you for the cake and ice. Will you please buy me a batry if you cant find the old one. I am getting on verry well so far. Would you please send me down my Scout Belt. We have got a gang as they call it it is made of four Boys. We have formed a stage coach which we run around the yard on sticks and if your not careful some body will jump out from behind a corner and take all your armour from your which are a few sticks.

With lots of love from billy

look on the other side …. I have no black eyes yet


Marooan, Scone, NSW

Dear Gran

Thank you for the little card you sent me wasn’t it funny I could not guess what was inside it. When you are coming home will you please save some foreign stamps for me. I forgot to ask you before.

Dad has a very sore foot I think he has had rheumatism in the foot. I am home for the weekend and I am going back to school on Tuesday morning.Yesterday we went out for a car trip we started at eleven and did not get home till seven o’clock last night. How is everybody. I hope they are well. I have got a couple of skinned legs from football.

Many happy returns of the day.

From Bill Gaden


Marooan, Scone

My dear Gran

I have just been down the street with Dad to get some clothes. We called in at the post office to see if there were any letters but the man gave us a parcel it was for me. We went back to the office and found it was a watch. It is a lovely watch just like Dads. Thank you very much for it. I hope Aunty Nancy is getting better. I am going by the twelve train today. I will have to hurry won’t I.

With lots of love from

Bill Gaden


Broughton School, Church Street, Newcastle

Dear Mum

So far we have only had two subjects for the examinations. I did not do very well in arithmetic but in Algebra I did farely well.The last subject we had was geometry he has not given us our marks for it yet I did a fairly good paper I think I will get a fairly good pass.

There are fourteen boys in this class so I have got a lot to beat nearly all the new boys are fairly good I wish I were as good as some of them. Yesterday we went to see a football match between Newcastle and Maitland, Joe and I were very lucky because we charged through the men at the gate and got in free, they knew it was no good trying to chase us because they knew they could never catch us. Mr. Wilson said they were frightened to tutch us because we were such burglars.

From Bill


Marooan, Scone

16 March 1928

Dear Gran

I am home now for midterm. We went fishing on Sunday and caught eight perch. I am going back to school at twelve today. Mum, Dad, Agnes and myself all entered for one of those find the ball compositions. The prize is 200£. John Abbott has started school now. So there are three of us from the same place. It is very hot here, what kind of weather are you having. I hope you have a nice trip to England. Agnes is back from Melbourne now. While I was in Newcastle I went to the show. I bought plenty of things there.

With lots of love from Bill


Marooan, Scone

Dear Gran

This morning I went to see a cricket match between Newcastle and the Upper Hunter district, they will not be finished till this afternoon. Sue has been out at Mrs. Spicers for a week, she has got a poisoned foot from bathing in the creek. Agnes is very sick with the mumps. I hope she will get better soon, don’t you.

Mum and Dad have been to Nelsons Bay for the weekend, they are coming back on Sunday night. It has been very hot here lately

Give my love to everyone

From Bill


Marooan, Scone, NSW

19th July 1928

Dear Gran

How are you and everybody I hope you are well, we are all well here.

Thank you very much for your post card. I am going back to school next Monday. I will write to you from school. I have had awfully decent holidays. I am sorry they are coming to an end. I have been to the picture a lot these holidays.

Have you seen a picture called the King of Kings, if you have not seen go to it if you can.

Give aunty Tommy aunty Biddy and uncle Norman my love

I hope you have a very happy birthday.



We think “Uncle Norman” was Norman Hayes, husband of Essie, so was Aunty Tommy the name they gave Essie?

Essie was named Essie Jenyns after a Shakespearean actress who was a close friend of her mother. At some point she wanted to travel to England… there is a delightful family story of her and a friend meeting Essie’s crusty, cantankerous father in a Coffee House. They told Mr. Gaden that they wanted to go to England and if he said ‘no’ they would slap his face and make a scene in public!

They did travel to England and it was there that Essie met and married Norman Hays, a man nearly thirteen years her senior.

The marriage was celebrated at St. Mary Abbott’s, Kensington, on January 15, of Mr. Norman Isitt Hays, seventh son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hays, to Miss Essie Jenyns Gaden, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Gaden, of Sydney.[150]

Essie and Norman spent time in South Africa where Norman was in some sort of trade agency type of work and he was involved with vegetable farming. They visited Australia in 1936 and stayed with Essie’s brother Noel and his family in Scone. It appears that the Hays had no children of their own.

Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hays, who reside in England, and are now on an extended holiday in Australia, are staying at present with Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Gaden, at Scone. Before her marriage, Mrs. Hays was Miss Essie Gaden. (Scone Advocate, 28 August 1936)

In his book A Very Fortunate, Challenging Life Michael Gaden told the story of Essie and Norman bringing him and his sister Valerie from England back to NSW.  After the outbreak of the Second World War, Essie’s first cousin Major Geoffrey Gaden was fighting in France. In May 1940 he was one of the last of the 338,000 troops evacuated from Dunkirk and it was then that he asked Essie and Norman to take on a very special task. After the Dunkirk disaster, Geoffrey realised that life in Britain would become very difficult under attack by German bombs, with invasion a real possibility. He begged his cousin Essie and Norman (who were two of the very few people with the necessary documentation to be allowed to leave the country) to save his children by taking them to his homeland of Australia. Thus Essie and Norman became surrogate parents to six year old Michael and Valerie.

They left England in July 1940 on a 12 passenger cargo ship the Port Fremantle in a convoy bound for New York. After they berthed the Italian waterside workers, in sympathy with their German counterparts, set fire to the ship’s cargo, forcing a very quick evacuation with young Michael clad only in a dressing gown. Norman and Essie continued on with their young charges, travelling to Australia via the Panama Canal and Auckland New Zealand. From there they boarded the American passenger ship Monteray which took them to Sydney.

Apparently Essie owned land in Glen Innes and the group travelled from Sydney to Glen Innes by train and initially stayed at the Royal Hotel until they moved into a timber framed house constructed from cedar on the southern end of Church Street, about one mile from the town centre. Here Norman reignited his love of gardening and it was here that Michael developed his love of carpentry. Did he learn this from cousin Essie? Is this where Essie’s chair was made?

Later Essie and Norman moved to Macquarie Street in Glen Innes for the rest of WWII. Michael and Valerie attended Glen Innes Public School, Michael recalling the Skinner twins, the McEwin and Menzies boys in his class, with teacher Miss Nivison. These were the Gaden children referred to by Bud Brown in her autobiography Coffee with Roses, Miss Brown’s story.

She wrote The Gaden children, evacuated to Glen Innes from England, have always claimed that I taught them to sing – my favourites, hence forcibly theirs, being “There is a tavern in the town” and “Coming in on a wing and a prayer”. I was about 12 then, and couldn’t sing a note.

 Subsequently the children’s father was medically evacuated from his posting in Iceland and he retired from the Army on 30 October 1943. Geoffrey and Barbara then embarked for Australia on a ship owned by James Waite of Adelaide. In May 1944 Michael and Valerie were reunited with their mother who traveled by train up to Glen Innes to collect them. They returned to Sydney where their father had arranged temporary accommodation at the Watson Bay Hotel. From the start of second term in 1944 Michael attended Cranbrook School as a boarder in Rawson House and from 1948 to 1952 Valerie was a student of SCEGS Darlinghurst.

Marooan Scone 21st July 1928

Dear Gran

Thank you for your nice long letter and post card. I think there must be a lot of beautiful gardens in England. It must be wonderful to walk through blue-bells a mile long. Mum is reading a book called daddy long-legs we started it tonight. Tonight Dad brought me home a new football. I am home for my June holidays now. Dad and myself are going to a picture called Metropolis tonight. Dad is going to take me next time out camping. Was’int it sad about Dr Orgers dying His son goes to our school. I am sorry I cannot write a longer letter. How are you and everybody.

Love from us all Bill


Marooan, Scone NSW

26th July 1928My

Dear Gran

How are you and everybody. I am going back to school in a few days. I wish I were going to London instead. Baby was writing to you but she has stopped now.

Thank you for writing to us all so often.

Mum Dad Sue and myself play cribbage every night except Sunday, sometimes we play euchre instead, last night Mum and I played Sue and Dad and we won easily. I have just been reading a book called (when a mans a man) it is a good book all about cow-boys. It has been raining for three days here, it has been raining very hard today. I think there is going to be a flood.

Love fromBill


Scone, NSW

Dear Gran

Thank you very much for your postcard and letter. I am home for my June holidays now. I am glad you had a good trip out to England. There must be beautiful gardens, it must have been beautiful walking through a mile of blue-bells. I came third this examination. The garden here is looking rather dull, it has been raining a lot here so some flowers should be flowering now. John Richards has got a new horse nearly everybody thinks he will break his neck on it soon.

Everybody here is all right. How are you

From Bill


Marooan, Scone

Dear Gran

I will be very pleased when you come home.

I brought a boy from school to stay with me for my Easter holidays, his name is Joe Abbott, he is not as tall as me but he is two years older than me.

Today we went fishing and only caught five fish because it was too cold for them.

Next Saturday Agnes is getting married worst luck. I don’t think we will ever get another girl as good as her do you.

We have had a very little rain here lately so the place is not too green.

We are all very well here I hope you are too.


Bill Gaden

PS Thank you for the postcard of the Victory

Agnes married in 1929 and the electoral roll for 1930 shows Agnes Olga Court of Kelly Street, Scone doing home duties and John Charles Court, c/- L Cheatle, Kelly Street, Scone, Cabinetmaker. [151] They were to have two sons Jim and Joe[152] and John died in 1959 at Scone.[153]

In September of 1929 there was a violent wind and rain storm in Scone, leading to the loss of 30,000 sheep. [154] Was Bill at home or back at school when this happened?

Bill was an excellent sportsman, he loved football and athletics and he was a good swimmer. In 1930 he was a member of Broughton School’s 2nd XV rugby team and the 2nd Athletics team and was promoted to the first rugby and the first cricket XI in 1931. He would have been around 14 years old.

Bill represented Scone in junior football.

On the same afternoon a very keenly contested game was played on the Aberdeen oval between Mooby (Scone) and the Dartbrook-Aberdeen juniors. The match was for the Dartbrook Cup, and the final score showed a difference of only one point; Dartbrook 11, Mooby 10. Mooby had an unlucky day, as their goal kicker, W. Gaden, injured his ankle in the first half, and was unable to resume after the interval. Scorers for the winners were W. Jeans (try), Pomeroy (try), K. Day (try) and J. Hoysted (a goal); for Mooby, Jim Sullivan (try), Jack Sullivan (try), Jim Sullivan (goal), and E. McGrath (goal). Mr, T. H. Jeans was referee.[155]

He also played in his Broughton school team

Bill 1931 rugby

Broughton Football team

Back Row: P. Smith, C.Tindal, G. Croudace, C.Cooke [Coach], A. Smith, W.Gaden, J.Tandy.

Middle Row: R. Bettington, P.Campbell, G.Tanner [Capt.], T. Hely, J. Candlism.

Front Row: J. Wostenholme, W. Thompson, J. Baker, H. Bettington, F.Coxon

Bill 1931 cricketCricket team, Bill on RHS at end of back row

In 1933 the principal of Broughton School, Bicton Wilson, left Newcastle.[156] This same year Bill moved from Broughton to Maitland High School for one year, to complete his Intermediate Certificate. Was this due to the change in Principal at the School or was it due to increasing financial worries?

It looks as if Sue was at Ravenswood School, leaving in 1932. When did she start there, why did she leave? Was it also due to a financial crisis within the family? Sue then moved to Abbotsleigh in Wahroonga, close to her grandparents at ‘The Briars’, from 19 September 1933 to December 1934. She was confirmed in St Paul’s church, Wahroonga on 7 August 1934. Sue sat for the Intermediate Certificate in 1934 and achieved passes in English, History, French and Botany. [157]

Elizabeth could have gone away to school when she was just 5 or 6 years old. She was listed as a student at SCEGGS Moss Vale School from 1926 to 1937.[158] She may have started, then left then returned, but this seems unlikely. Was she a day girl, living with her grandparents, or did she board? The SCEGGS records show lists of students, not the original enrolment details. [159]

Family rumour is that Sue’s final years of education were paid for by her Balcombe grand-mother, and Elizabeth’s final years at school were paid for by her Gaden grand-mother.

If it was important for the girls to be at private schools, why did someone not step in for Bill to stay at Broughton, as in those days the education of boys was considered more important than that of girls?

At Maitland High School Bill made his mark by breaking many of the school athletics records. In 1933 he was awarded a medal, still owned by the family, for being Junior Champion in the 100 yards, 220 yards, Hurdles and High Jump. He took his athletics seriously – in the sprints he was one of only a few boys wearing spikes.

Bill highjump Bill hurdles


One of his former Maitland School mates, Bart Richardson, caught up with him again in the 2/20 Battalion AIF and recalled his sporting prowess.

Whatever the situation concerning the family purse in 1933, Noel was an invited guest at the Regimental Dinner of the Hunter River Lancers in Musswellbrook. This was followed by the Regimental Dance in the Pavilion. There is no mention of Vera being with him to be a guest attending the Dance.


Officers Express Thanks.


Officers of the 16th. Light Horse, Hunter River Lancers, last night entertained a number of citizens at the officers’ mess at the show ground. During the evening the assistance rendered by the Muswellbrook citizens towards ensuring , the success of the camp was praised by the officers.

Major M. Brown (Maitland) was president of the mess, and after submitting the toast of the King, said he was pleased to see so many visitors present from the Hunter River districts. On behalf of the regiment and the brigade and divisional staff he desired to thank Mr. Jas. White, of “Edinglassie,” for having placed his property at the disposal of the staff, and without which it would have been impossible to bring the regiment to Muswellbrook to carry out its training operations. He also desired to refer to the services rendered by Mr. T. Brown, head stockman at ” Edinglassie, ” in removing and holding back for four days 600 bullocks while the exercises were taking place. He also thanked the Show Committee for al lowing the regiment the use of the showground, the Municipal and Shire authorities for their helpful assistance, the Returned Soldiers’ Club, which had thrown its club open to the officers and troops, and was doing its utmost to make their stay in Muswellbrook a most happy one. “This,” he went on, “is the only opportunity we have of expressing publicly our appreciation of the good people of Muswellbrook for their assistance in the carrying out of our regimental camp.” Major Brown also thanked the “Chronicle” for its interest in the activities of the regiment.

The health of all those mentioned by the mess president was duly honored.

The Mayor (Ald. D. Jordan), in responding on behalf of the Municipality, said he could assure the officers and troops that Muswellbrook had been very glad to have them here for their annual camp.

Major L. W. Davies, on behalf of the Show Committee, said the committee was pleased to have been of some help to the regiment.

Replying on behalf of the Soldiers’ Club, Mr. A. Bower (President) said the members of the club had been pleased to honor the troops and those returned men who were attached to the 16th. Light Horse. It had been a great pleasure to meet old friends again. He had met. Lieut. Cone for the first time since the day he had enlisted, and had also renewed acquaintance with Captain Mychael after a break of 23 years.

Mr. R. E. McClintock responded on behalf of the Press.

The toast of ” The Regiment” was submitted by the Mayor, who complimented Colonel Waddell on the conduct of the men while in Muswellbrook. No one, he said, could find fault with their conduct. Mr. Mc Clintock had expressed the hope that the regiment would be back in Muswellbrook next year. “I hope,” the Mayor added, “that you will come back. I am sure when you go back to your home towns you will be able to give Muswellbrook a good name. (Applause). If it is possible, I give you a cordial invitation to come back in 12 months’ time.” Ald. Jordan re marked that he believed it would be possible to form a Light Horse troop in Muswellbrook. Before the war Muswellbrook had its troop, and many of the personnel served abroad.

At the call of Major James, the officers gave the time-honored cavalry charge.

Lieut.-Colonel Waddell, in replying, said he was a very proud man when the brigade-major had informed him that Dungog and Denman troops had been selected to represent the brigade in the army finals for the Lord Forster and Prince of Wales’ Cups. The Denman troop was the baby troop of the regiment, having been formed only six or eight months, yet it had defeated 18 troops in the brigade. “I think,” he added, “that is a splendid achievement, and I am proud to have them as part of the 16th. Light Horse, I hope that at the end of next month Denman will carry off the honor of being the best sabre troop in the 1st. Cavalry Division. Lieut.-Colonel Wad dell said the regiment would be glad to return to Muswellbrook, and if he had any say as to the location of the next camp he would select Muswellbrook. “I must,” he said, “congratulate you on your picturesque town. I have always maintained Muswellbrook was one of the prettiest towns on the main northern line, and my stay here has more than confirmed that opinion.” Lieut.-Colonel Waddell also expressed his thanks to Mr. Jas. White and Mr. T. Brown for their valuable co-operation. He was glad to learn from the Mayor that the con duct of the troops had been excellent. He had also received an assurance from Sergeant Bath that such had been the case. They found they never had any trouble with men of the Light Horse. He regarded the 16th. Light Horse as the crack regiment in the division, and it was rather a happy omen that the two cups in the brigade finals had been won at their first camp at Muswellbrook.

Lieut.-Colonel Waddell proposed the health of Lieut.-Colonel Jack Davies (Scone), who had recently relinquished command of the regiment. The occasion was the first he had had, Lieut. Colonel Waddell remarked, of expressing appreciation of Lieut.-Colonel Davies’ splendid work while in command of the regiment. The high standard reached by the regiment was a result of Lieut.-Colonel Davies’ command. He regretted that Lieut.-Colonel Davies could not attend that day’s field operations, in order to give him (the speaker) an opportunity of ad dressing his remarks of appreciation in the presence of the whole regiment.

Lieut.-Colonel Davies, in acknowledging the toast, said he was sure his predecessor, Lieut.-Colonel White, ‘would join with him in expressing appreciation of the regiment, and would take upon themselves a little of the reflected glory which came to them because of the good work done by the officers and men, and their loyal devotion to their Colonel. He was pleased that the command had gone to Lieut. Colonel Waddell. He went on to congratulate the Denman and Dungog troop on their performance in winning the brigade finals. He took a certain amount of kudos for having selected the men for the winning troop. He always thought the role of a C.O. was to get the men who would give devoted and contented attention to their job. ” I congratulate you, Lieut-Colonel White and Lieut. Abbott, on the result of your efforts.” Lieut.-Colonel Davies concluded by saying it was a great pleasure for him to be with his old friends that night.

Lieut.-Colonel A. A. White, M.C., said he desired to endorse all that Lieut.-Colonel Davies had said regard ing the magnificent achievement of the Dungog and Denman troops. He had always regarded the regiment as one of the finest it had been his lot to command or had overseen. If not the top regiment of the division, it had always been close to that position. Before the war it was one of the crack regiments in the Common wealth, and sent its full quota to the war. Because there was no 16th. Light Horse on service the regiment did not have any A.I.F. traditions in an official sense. As a matter of fact it had in its ranks at different times men who had served with the 15th. Light Horse regiment in the war. He asked all officers to try and inculcate into the men the old traditions of the Lancers, that tradition of the men who even before the Boer War went to England and beat the pick of the British Army in military sports. “Inculcate into your men the traditions of the A.I.F. and those of the old Lancers, of which you are a part,” he remarked.

The guests present were:-Lieut. Colonel J. R. C. Davies (Scone), Lieut Colonel A. A. White, M.C. (Scone); Lieut.-Colonel Don Cameron, D.S.O.; Colonel Loveridge (Scone); Major L. W. Davies (Aberdeen); Rev. Reay, Campbell, Dr. J. Macarthur, Dr. A. G. S. Cooper (Denman), Aid. D. Jordan (Mayor), Messrs. H. H. White (Den man), T. B. Haydon, G. F. B. Fitz hardinge, T. E. Whitton, H. E. Simpson, R. C. Turner, John Smith, A. D. Bower, D. H. Probert, N. Gaden (Scone), -Sneddon (Scone), A. Garbett, G. W. Scholes, F. K. Mackay, and R. E. McClintock.

At the conclusion of the mess, officers and guests attended the regimental dance in the pavilion.[160]


Bill left Scone to move to Sydney in 1934, when he was 16 years old.Initially he shared digs with friend John Newton who had also moved from Scone to the city. Bill would apparently return to Scone at weekends to play football.

Bill’s love of ships and sailing led to him working as a Shipping Clerk with Birt and Company, Shipping Agents at 4 Bridge Street, Sydney. He started with them on 11 June 1934, aged 16 years. This was a job which his grandfather managed to find for him, no doubt organised between putts on the Golf Course with Sir Thomas Gordon, Chairman of Birt and Co. At this time cargo ships sometimes took a small number of passengers and Bill worked in the passenger department of the company to arrange these trips.

From 1936 onwards, Bill and half a dozen friends including John Newton and David MacDougal used to catch the Mosman ferry to work. They also enjoyed sailing together, with Stan Spain on “Mischief” and the Harbour was a frequent meeting place for the young people growing up in an increasingly troubled world.

Bill was also planning ahead. He decided to study to be an accountant, in fact he paid for a course but never completed it, the war was to intervene.

Much of Bill’s spare time was taken with the 17th Battalion, a New South Wales Militia battalion holding training sessions in North Sydney and military camps in Liverpool.

Bill 17 Militia

A proud Bill in the garden of Valhalla, 8 Raymond Road, Neutral Bay

He enlisted on 11 August 1937 and his ‘Attestation Form for Persons voluntarily enlisted in the Militia Forces’ show that Edward William Gaden aged 19 years 9 months, was a single Shipping Clerk with Birt and Company of 4 Bridge Street, Sydney. The Place of Attestation was Balmoral, his army number was 262969. Bill was listed as being 6 feet tall with brown eyes, brown hair. He weighed 180 pounds, his chest was 39 inches minimum and 41 inches maximum. On enlistment he was placed as a Private in ‘A’ Company, under Capt. W.F.H. Master and Capt. R.H. Anderson. The Company training centre was at ‘The Astor’, The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach. [161]

Bill before sailingBill was honoured to be selected as one of the armed Sentries in the Trooping the Colour of the 17th Battalion, North Sydney Regiment in St Leonard’s Park, Ridge Street, on Sunday 6 March 1938. Bill was involved with the ceremony from the initial entry of soldiers onto the parade ground.

Sixteen files were marched onto the arena by the senior Warrant Officer of the Regiment [Reg. Sgt Major Warrant Officer J.J. Collins]. The Band and Drums entered the Oval.

The Colour was brought onto the Parade escorted by an armed party of a Sergeant and two Sentries. [Sgt S.C. Tinkler and Ptes J.B. Blundell and E.W. Gaden]. When the Sergeant and Sentries fixed bayonets, the Colour was handed over to the Sergeant and uncased by the Warrant Officer. The ceremony then continued with the Colours Trooped before the Battalion whose Commanding Officer was Lieut-Colonel Frederick G. Galleghan (who was to become the famous ‘Black Jack’ Galleghan in Changi POW camp, Singapore).

Fifty six years later Bill’s grandson Philip Gaden, as Senior Under Officer of The Armidale School Cadet Unit, was honoured to take part in a similar parade of the Sydney University Regimental Colours on 29th May 1994.

It was in the 17th Battalion, a Militia Unit, that Bill first met men such as Reg Newton, Ron Merrett, Rolfe Barker and Arch Ewart who subsequently joined him in the Australian Imperial Forces in wartime Malaya and Singapore.

Bill became a Corporal on 16 October 1938 and a Sergeant on 1 February 1939. It was under the recommendation of Lieut-Col. F. G. Galleghan that he was commissioned in 1939.[162]

In June 1939 Bill passed the Light Machine Gun [LMG] course and was both the best Rifle and best LMG shot in the Company. By 8 September 1939 Bill had attained the rank of Lieutenant [Probationary].[163]

There was a Gaden family get –together at Vermont, Bowral date unknown but before August 1938. A photo shows several men are wearing flowers in their buttonholes and the ladies have sprays too, suggesting it is the occasion of someone’s wedding. The old photograph has a pencil label suggesting the person we think is Lilian’s sister Biddy, in the centre front, as Biddy Ward. There is no record of a Ward-Gaden marriage in the NSW Registry if Ida had remarried after Thomas’ death in 1916. Another sister was Frances Cath Beate Atherton. There is also no record of a Ward-Atherton marriage in NSW.[164]

The Biddy in the photograph was too old to be family friend Barbara Ierne [known as Biddy] Goff who lived at 45 Holly Street, Bowral with her mother Margaret and sisters Moya and Helen. By then Helen Lyndon Goff lived in England and where she wrote the Mary Poppins series of books under the pen name of Pamela Lyndon Travers, a name chosen after her father who was called Travers Goff. [165] Moya Goff was a neighbour and good friend of Lilian Gaden in Bowral and was a companion to her in later years. Biddy (by then the widow of Boyd Moriarty) was involved with the Red Cross during the war and met Bill when he was a returning POW in Singapore in 1945. Bill refers to both Moya and Biddy in letters to the family from Singapore and Malaya during the war. [166]

Meanwhile family finances were not improving. Noel’s father Ted Gaden died in 1938.


Mr. Edward Ainsworth Gaden, whose death occurred yesterday, was one of Sydney’s best known solicitors. He was senior partner of Messrs. Norton, Smith and Co., and was a leading authority on shipping, insurance, and mercantile law.

A son of Mr. Thomas Brocklebank Gaden, former chief inspector and assistant manager of the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney, Ltd., Mr. Gaden was born at Albury in 1864. He was admitted to practice as a solicitor in 1887, and joined Messrs.Norton, Smith, Westgarth, and Co. (now Messrs. Norton. Smith, and Co.) in 1888.

Mr. Gaden was a keen oarsman in his youth, and on one occasion rowed in a New South Wales eight against Victoria. He was a member of the Royal Sydney Golf Club. and when in Sydney he lived at the club house. His home was at Bowral.

He is survived by Mrs. Gaden and seven children-Mr. E. N. Gaden, solicitor, of Scone: Mr. J. D. Gaden, pastoralist, of Cooma; Mrs A. J. Kitchen, of Rosemount Avenue, Edge- cliff; Mrs. E J. Hayes, at present in England; Mrs. C. G. Walker, wife of Dr. N Walker, of Gundagai; and Miss Nancy Gaden.

After a service at All Saints’, Woollahra, at 10 o’clock this morning, the funeral will leave for the Northern Suburbs Crematorium.


The Attorney-General, Mr. Manning, said last night that all members of the legal profession would deeply regret the death of Mr Gaden. “He was noted,” the Attorney-General said, “for his kindly disposition and the high standards which he set for himself during his long and honourable career.”[167]

Noel and his son Bill both attended the funeral of Ted Gaden along with many dignitaries within the world of ‘Law’.

The funeral of Mr E A Gaden solicitor, took place yesterday to the Northern Suburbs Crematorium after a service at All Saints’ Church Woollahra conducted by Archdeacon Langley. The chief mourners were the widow,  Messrs E N Gaden and J D Gaden (sons)

Mrs A J Kitchen, Mrs E J Hays and Miss Nancy Gaden (daughters) , Messrs E W Gaden and J Kitchen (grandsons) Messrs A J Kitchen, N Hays and Dr N Walker (sons-in-law) Alderman J D L Gaden (cousin) and Mr T K Gaden (nephew).[168]

Ted left a very complicated will which was not able to be finalised for close to five decades when youngest daughter Gwendoline Mackaen [Nancy] Gaden passed away in 1996. When he died Ted had shares worth over £22,200 and other assets so the total amount was around £40,000. He arranged for the care of his wife and daughter Nancy for the rest of their lives, he left £10 per month for life to his sister Eliza Burton Broome (but she had already died on 5 August 1937 [169]), he relieved son Jim of the burden of the mortgage on the farm at Jindabyne and also left him £400, daughters Essie, Kitty and Nancy received £400, Molly was given £100 and Noel received £200.

Molly and her husband Ambrose John [Jack] Kitchen had married on 1 June 1916[170], and lived with their 3 children at Grey Gunyah, Fox Valley Road, Warrawee. “Johnnie Soap and Candles” was what his father-in-law unkindly called Jack.[171]

Even in the early years there needed to be court rulings to sort out some of the complexity, as shown by the following passage from the Sydney Morning Herald of 1 November 1940.

IN EQUITY. (Before the Chief Judge, Mr. Justice Nicholas.)


Late Mr. Gaden’s Will.   Judgment which had been reserved was given on a question arising in administration of the trusts of the will of Mr. Edward Ainsworth Gaden who practiced as a solicitor in Sydney for many years. The question had relation to a release of interest on a mortgage.

Among the assets in the estate is a mortgage executed by Mr. James Gaden testator’s son over a pastoral property.  By clause 5 of his will Mr. Gaden directed his trustees to release the property and mortgagor from liability under the mortgage “to the extent of 50 per cent of the amount due at the time of my death together with all interest payable thereunder in the past or in the future, my intention being that by so reducing the liability on the mortgage he will be able to hold the property.”

Clause 11 of the will says- “Now I hereby remit and forgive to my said son all money which he shall owe to me or which shall be payable to me at the time of my death in respect of the interest secured by such a mortgage and also remit or forgive so much of the principal moneys secured as shall be in excess of 30 per cent of the sum due at, the time of my death for principal. It was argued for the beneficiary that under clause 5 the testatori intended to provide that he should be forgiven the whole amount owing for interest at the testator’s death, that the principal should   be cut down by half and that he should pay no interest in future on the remaining half. It was further argued that clause 11 did not have the effect of cutting down this gift.

His Honor said that although the relation of clause 5 to clause 11 was   puzzling, he thought that the object of clause 11 was to increase the benefit conferred by clause 5 and make the intention of the testator clear. He held that Mr. James Gaden had been released from one half of the principal and from all interest owing at the testator’s death but remained liable for half of the principal and for the interest on that half.

Mr. David Wilson appeared for the plaintiff trustee, Mr. H A Henry for Mrs. Kitchen a daughter of the testator, Mr. F W Kitto for the widow, Mr. A B Kerrigan for Miss Nancy Gaden (all the   foregoing separately instructed by Messrs Norton Smith and Co) and Mr. Ernest Street (instructed by Messrs Walker Gibbs and Cook of Cooma and Sydney) for Mr. James Gaden.  [172]

Noel was not represented at the court hearing and whatever they may have anticipated, there was very little in the way of bequests to help the struggling family finances of Noel and Vera [173]

By now daughter Sue was now playing competition tennis, reaching the semi-finals of the Ladies Singles Handicap in the Easter tennis tournament of 1935 [174] and an additional financial strain may have developed when, from 1937, Sue had become part of the ‘debutante social scene’ with reports and photographs of her activities in the local newspapers and Sydney Morning Herald.


Brilliant Spectacle.

MUSWELLBROOK’S 1937 MOVIE BALL, held at the Show ground Pavilion, constituted a triumph for the promoters and the committees associated with the function. The ball, judging by the representation from other district centres, may have been designated the ”Grand Movie Ball of the Upper Hunter, ” because in the beautifully-decorated pavilion a crowd of over 500 had gathered to join in the fun or to merely attend as spectators and to admire the splendour set up by the fancy costumes worn by many Maitland, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Denman, Aberdeen and Scone residents were there, and all went away feeling’ that it had been their good fortune to have had a share in the success of one of the most notable social functions held in the Upper Hunter.

The ball was held in aid of the funds of the Brentwood Hospital Women’s Auxiliary and Returned Soldiers’ Club. The task of organising the event had been carried on for; many weeks, the full strength of each committee, having been applied to the work, and it was most gratifying to all concerned to note the goodly measure of success which came as a fitting, reward for many weeks of zealous work.

The main attraction, of course, was provided by the fancy costumes, grouped in sets or as individual representations. The film world came to life, for there we saw our own folk in admirable characterisation as the figures so well-known to movie fans…The cast of “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” ” The Merry Widow,” the ballroom party from ” The Charge of the Light Brigade,’ or “Pop-Eye the Sailor Man,’

In the ‘pairs’ Miss Sue Gaden (Scone) and Mr Bill Birdsall (Scone) entered as Olive Oil and Popeye. [175]

In January 1938 it was noted that

Miss S. Gaden, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Noel Gaden, of Scone, will arrive in town to-morrow, and will be the guest of her aunt, Mrs. Hugh Grant, at Dalkeith, Edgecliff. One of the functions which Miss Gaden will attend during her stay in Sydney is the Queen’s Club Ball. [176]

At the ‘highlight of the festive week’, Sue made her debut at the Queen’s Club Ball. The Sydney Morning Herald carried a photograph of Sue wearing her beautiful ivory silk gown. The article advised that she was making her debut that evening at the Queen’s Club Ball and was a guest of her cousin Miss Barbara Grant who was a great-great-grand-daughter of the first Colonial Treasurer, Mr. William Balcombe. The fact that Sue was also a great-great-grand-daughter of the first Colonial Treasurer was omitted.[177]


Brilliant Spectacle at Queen’s Club Ball

The Town Hall was transformed into a lovely garden setting for the Queen’s Club Ball last night. A fountain of pink camellias, with water sprinkling into a pond surrounded by a grassy bank circled with pastel-coloured water lilies, was set in the foyer.

In the ballroom the floor was bordered with green grass, and the outdoor effect was heightened by the striped awnings on top of the pillars to shade the large green tubs of pink tiger lilies. A steep green bank sloped up to the organ, and was set with flowering fruit trees blossoming in shades of pink, while at the back gold rambler roses climbed over cream trellises.

Some of the most beautiful gowns seen this season were worn and many of the women added diamonds and pearls and other jewelled adornments. A noticeable feature of the dressing was the number of tiger lilies used in coiffures.

Lady Street, president of the Queen’s Club and members of the committee greeted the guests as they entered the ballroom. Lady Street wore a trained gown of pink and silver lame, with a band of darker chiffon across the bodice. She presented the debutantes to the Governor-General, Lord Gowrie, and Lady Gowrie, and the Governor, Lord Wakehurst and Lady Wakehurst. Lady Gowrie wore a trained gown of gold lame with a green velvet sash and a tiara of pearls and diamonds and Lady Wakehurst chose a frock of green matelasse with a matching jacket with fur cuffs to the short sleeves. Many girls from both the city and the country made their debut and included Misses   Deirdre Howse (Orange), Margot Body (Trangie), Honor McLeish, Mary Wishart, Helen Bruxner, Anne Packard, Lesley Curtis, Heather MacLeod, Sonia Kingsley Newell, Noel Stevenson, Judith Inglis, Helena Teece, Elizabeth Bottomley, Betsy Robertson, Elisabeth Rabett, Barbara Grant (Collarenebi), Phillipa Street, Elizabeth Thomson, Denise Owen, Susan Gaden, Jean Mackay Sim, Betty Moore, Helen Grant, Jean Evans, Beryl Somerville, Rosalind Harvey Sutton, Jeanette Walker, Dorothy Andrew, and Phillipa White (Muswellbrook)[178]

IMG_5016“MISS JEAN MUNRO, MR. BRIAN BADGERY, and MISS BARBARA GRANT at the dinner party given at the Hotel Australia by Mrs. Hugh Grant, in honour of her daughter who made her debut at the Queen’s Club Ball last night.[179]

Brian Badgery was   the friend of Bill’s from Scone, his father being a fishing friend of Noel. Brian was to lose his life in the soon-to-arrive war.

Vera was not mentioned as a guest at the dinner hosted by her sister Mrs. Hugh (Doris) Grant.

The local newspaper reported that

Among the debutantes at the Queen’s Club ball in Sydney on Thursday night were Miss Phillipa White, of ” Martindale,” Denman, and Miss Sue Gaden, of Scone. Mrs. Harold White was among the large number of dancers, wearing a Capri blue crepe frock, embroidered with silver spots. Miss Joan Higman wore her bridesmaid frock of bouffant green net, which she had worn for the Fairfax-Stogdale wedding. Lady McMaster, of “Dalkeith,” was in a frock of orchid blue crepe, with silk fringing in the same shade on the bodice.[180]

Amongst other photographs in the newspaper were:


“Miss SUSAN GADEN who made her debut, at the Queen’s Club Ball last night. MR. HERBERT HORDERN and MRS. HUGH GRANT, at the dinner party which Mrs. Grant gave in honour of her daughter, Miss Barbara Grant, at the Australia Hotel last night.”

Another friend from Scone, Elizabeth ‘Ponty’ Spicer, made her debut at a private function in Sydney in April and Sue was also a guest at this function.


One of the most delightful private Easter parties was the dance given by Mrs. Gordon Spicer, of Springfield, Boorowa, and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Cyril Spicer of Scone at Elizabeth Bay House last night in honour of their daughters Miss Margot Spicer and her cousin Miss Elisabeth Spicer.

Following the popular fashion of the moment of coming out at a private dance Miss Elisabeth Spicer took the opportunity to make her debut. She wore a lovely frock of white lomaine embroidered in a silver leaf design cut on tailored lines. Misty ice blue crepe cut with a cross over bodice and a gathered skirt was worn by Miss Margot Spicer. AUTUMN FLOWERS  Many of the guests were country visitors who are in Sydney for the Easter festivities. Clusters of autumn tinted gladioli and roses were mingled with silver leaves to form the decorations in the reception hall and in the ballroom were large standards of banked flowers.[181]



“TWO country visitors at the dance given at Elizabeth Bay House last night were MISS SUSAN GADEN (Scone) and MRS. FRANK BRAGG (Aberdeen).”[182]


The Muswellbrook newspaper reported that Miss Sue Gaden and Mr WW Birdsall attended the Scone races and then danced at the Ball associated with the running of the Scone Cup.

AMATEUR RACE BALL – Spectacular and Enjoyable Function.

The Amateur Race Club Ball was held in the showground pavilion on Thursday night last when, visitors who. were in town for the races attended. Gaily colored- paper chandeliers added to the gaiety of the scene made by the dancers in their prettily colored frocks. Palms were an added feature of the decorations. Hammered satin was a very popular choice among the fair sex for their gowns. Jack Fraser’s Elizabeth Bay House Band dispensed the music, whilst extras were cared for by Mr. Griffiths, who had charge of a panatrope. A buffet- supper was served by Mrs. Arnott. Trophies won during the races were on view during the evening. Mr. Clifford Parkinson attended to the secretarial duties.

THE FROCKS. Among the list of dancers was Miss Sue Gaden (Scone), magnolia satin, orchid spray.[183]

And it was only a few short months later, in August 1938, that Sue announced her engagement. a few weeks before her nineteenth birthday..


MISS SUSAN GADEN, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. Noel Gaden, of Marooan, Scone, who announces her engagement to Mr. William Winston Birdsall, of Springvale, Wingen, second son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Birdsall, of St. Mervyn’s, Double Bay, and Cliftlands, Scone.  [184]

The engagement photograph in the Sydney Morning Herald showed Sue wearing her beautiful ivory silk debutante gown. William, from a property near Wingen which is close to Scone, was nearly four years her senior, his birth date being 12 April 1915. [185]

SueKeeling engageNow Sue was engaged a wedding would have to be planned, a wedding fit for a debutante, a wedding which could be expensive. How would the family manage to pay for this with Noel’s chaotic accountancy practices? And Elizabeth would soon arrive at debutante age. She would also anticipate joining the social rounds just as her older sister had done.

We know the engagement between Sue and William Birdsall was subsequently broken off, we don’t know who called it off nor do we know when or why it happened. We know Sue was a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Friend at Kelburn, Goulburn in July 1939. There was no mention of her fiancé and, in the photograph, there appears to be no engagement ring on her finger. [186] (Jim Bell went on to become Chairman of the Australian Jockey Club in the early 1980s.)

Six months after Sue’s engagement, on 21st February 1939, Noel Gaden disposed of his Solicitors practice to Messrs RDG Fitzgerald and Co of Scone and Muswellbrook.[187] The local newspaper reported that

Mr Gaden had resided in Scone for the past 23 years during which time he has been closely associated with many aspects of the life of the community and both he and Mrs. Gaden will be very much missed when they leave the district. [188]

In March he resigned as solicitor to the Shire Council, forwarding his resignation as solicitor to the shire and also expressing his appreciation of the consideration and help extended to him by the Councilors and staff of the council during his long association.

The President said he would move that Mr. Gaden’s resignation be accepted with regret. As they all knew Mr. Gaden had been an officer of Council for a great many years and had shown a thorough grip on the Local Government Acts and his knowledge had been of great assistance. On a few occasions Council had thought Mr. Gaden was making a mistake in the advice tendered, but when the advice of counsel had been sought, it every case it was the same as that given by Mr. Gaden. I would like on behalf of Council to wish Mr. and Mrs. Gaden the best of luck and happiness in their new surroundings. [189]

The Country Women’s Association and Golf Club both farewelled Vera. The CWA President Mrs. J.R.C Davis advised at their AGM that the branch was losing 4 of its members

Mrs. McCallum, Mrs. Barnes, Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Gaden who have all been a tower of strength in all directions of our work and we are going to miss their help very much. We wish them well in their new surroundings and hope they will join CWA wherever they might be.

However Vera was still there in April. She ran a class for the CWA in Somerset Rug making[190] (This prompts the question “What is a Somerset Rug?” Well basically a piece of hessian is pulled tight over a frame and a large brass needle threaded with wool is used to go back and forth through the material. Different colours may be used and a pattern could be pre-printed onto the material. Eventually you cut the pile, so it is a type of hook rug with a hook used to pull material pieces, or in this case wool, through hessian.[191]) In 1935 advertisements were appearing for the patterned hessian


It is with pleasure that we are able to announce having made arrangements with THE SOMERSET Wool Craft management whereby the Free Services of one of their experts are available all this week to those anxious to learn this fascinating new work. SOMERSET   WOOL CRAFT is at present absolutely the rage in Sydney and is certain to become equally popular in Goulburn almost immediately.  In the first place, its economy will appeal to all, for despite the attractive nature of the work performed, Somerset Rug Making is quite an inexpensive hobby. The stencilled background is Hessian, while Somerset Wool is available in fifty colours and costs only 4d a skein and the tubular needle 2/. Those of artistic temperament can soon create most  beautiful and individual designs and colourings. Yet children can make the prettiest Rugs, Tea Cosies and Table Mats with the aid of stencilled designs and colour charts. A peculiar feature of the work is that in Sydney at the moment there are said to be almost as many men as women taking up this fascinating hobby. See local agent Knowlman’s Corner , the right store on the wrong side.[192]

As an interesting side-note, Vera’s grandson Bob and his wife used to live in Goulburn in the 1970s and 1980s and shopped in Knowlman’s ‘the right store on the wrong side‘, and the author can also remember her father made this type of rug in the 1950’s in England, but she doesn’t recall the name of ‘Somerset’.

At the AGM of the local Golf Club Associates, on 24 March, President Vera Gaden was presented with a shoulder spray of red roses by Secretary Mrs. Kelf. [193] Another gift from a local group who farewelled her ‘with regret’ was a leather writing compact.

The Sydney Morning Herald Country Social notes of 30 March 1939 reported a get-together

At the Rectory, Scone, lent by Mrs. Bickton Wilson for the occasion, a number of friends gathered to say farewell to Mrs. E. Noel Gaden, who was about to leave for Sydney, after more than 20 years’ residence in Scone, during which she has taken an active part in the public and social life of the district. During the afternoon a gold wristlet watch was presented to her on behalf of friends by Mrs. J. R. C. Davies. Among those present were Mesdames Seaward, W. Badgery, A. White, Frank Crane, Abbott, C. Throsby, Lysaght, Frank Bragg, H. R. Cowdery, S. Payne, J. Fleming, A. P. Parbury, O. Barton, G. Westgarth, Linsley, A. Hall, B. Haydon, J. Newton, Millard, Croaker, Keif, Finlay, Roger, L. Davies, and the Misses Hall.

Bicton Wilson, Bill’s former headmaster from Broughton, and his wife moved to Scone in 1935 when he took office at St. Luke’s Church.[194] They gave this farewell party at the Rectory for Vera when the family moved from Scone. [195] Bicton Wilson died on 27 February 1945, the only incumbent to die at St Luke’s parish and Connie Cay wrote a moving letter to tell Bill who was then still a Prisoner of the Japanese in Thailand.[196]

Aldermen J.W. Joughlin and D.J. MacLachlan were behind the movement sponsored by the public meeting which aimed at giving a fitting farewell and presentation to Mr. E.N. Gaden in recognition of his long period of citizenship in Scone. [197]

The public farewell was scheduled for Monday 3rd April and reported three days later. [198]


Departure of Mr. and Mrs. E.N. Gaden

The M. U. Hall was tastefully adorned with streamers and flowers on Monday evening last, upon the occasion of a civic and public farewell accorded to Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Gaden, who have since take their departure, after 23 years’ residence in Scone. There was a large attendance, whilst apologies were received for the absence of many well-wishers.

The Mayor, Ald. W. J. O’Brien, presided, while all arrangements were in the hands of Ald. D. J. McLachlan. Their organization was good, and a very pleasant function then resulted.

The ladies provided a dainty supper, and this was partaken of following the presentation made by the Mayor.

The Mayor, in opening the formal proceedings, said they had assembled to do honour to a couple, Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Gaden, who had acted in public and in private as to earn the good-will of all. For many years Mr. Gaden had been the legal representative of the Scone Municipal Council, and that body had much to thank him for. His advice had been always sound and most helpful to the Council. Mrs Gaden had been President of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Scott Memorial Hospital, and also of the associates of the Scone Golf Club, and he felt that both these organisations had much to thank her for, and both would miss her. He had personally not met Mrs. Gaden very often, but that was his loss. He felt sure the public would miss both Mr. and Mrs. Gaden very much, and “we are here to-night to say farewell to them, to wish them well, and to honour them, because they are deserving of it.”

Mr. G. M. Westgarth said he had a special interest in Mr. Gaden, for the reason that their fathers had been for some time members of the same legal firm. For many years Mr. Gaden had been his only opposition in the legal profession in Scone, and in years gone by they had had many a set-to in the courts. Mr. Gaden was a fair fighter and a good sportsman. He never “hit below the belt.” He felt that his departure would be at a loss to the district, and this also applied to Mrs.Gaden, who had proved herself to be a good wife and a good mother, and no woman could earn higher praise than to have that said of her.

Sergeant Conrick, speaking on behalf of the police, said that he had come into contact a good deal with Mr. Gaden in his professional capacity and had found him, both in his private life and his professional duty, to be a gentleman in every way. Proceeding, the Sergeant said that his colleagues in the Force, who had been much longer in Scone, fully endorsed his opinion.

Mr. E. J. Sherwood, M.B.E., said that the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Gaden would mean a break for many people. “I was Mayor at the time of their arrival in Scone”, continued the speaker, “and in those strenuous days of the war, there was much to do. Mr. and Mrs. Gaden were quickly got into harness, and had played their parts well.” In the twenty odd years that had since passed they had never put off that harness, in so far as the public and private functions and activities for the benefit of the town and district were concerned. Mr. Gaden had acted as hon. solicitor for the Soldiers’ Memorial School of Arts, and that Institution had much to thank him for, both in advice and cash. His work had always been purely voluntary, and any stamp duty, etc., required he had paid out of his own pocket. He was a man who had many kindnesses of which no one knew, and had always helped “a lame dog over the stile.” Mrs. Gaden had done splendid work both as President of the golf associates and of the Women’s Auxiliary and both of these would miss her. Mr. and Mrs. Gaden had been worthy citizens fully taking their part. The people of Scone and its surrounding district had accomplished much good work, and at least a part of that had been due to the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Gaden during their residence over the past 23 years.

The Rev. F. D. Kilgallin said that parting had been described as a “sweet sorrow,” and that applied to Mr. and Mrs. Gaden. The sorrow of parting was tempered with the joy of having known them. He counted them both and their children amongst his friends. Mr. Gaden had always been very helpful to him , Father Kilgallin, and having a good knowledge of men and of things his advice was always sound. He was pleased to have the opportunity of testifying to the many good qualities of both Mr. and Mrs. Gaden, and of wishing them and their children happiness in every inch of the way they travelled in life’s journey.

Dr. O. Barton, after jocularly remarking that he was glad to learn Mr. Gaden had been the means of keeping Father Kilgallin out of gaol, said he had known Mr. and Mrs. Gaden for very many years, and thought Scone was losing two good people who would be greatly missed. He wished them every happiness.

Mr. R. Kersley endorsed the remarks of the previous speakers. He said that he had come into contact with Mr. Gaden a good deal in his professional capacity, and he wished to personally thank him for the help he had always given the courts. He desired also to thank him on behalf of the Police Magistrate, who had asked that his good wishes and thanks be conveyed to Mr. Gaden.

Mr. E. A. Dobson said that he did not intend to make a long speech. The old residents of the town knew what Mr. and Mrs. Gaden had done, and he could undertake to tell the newcomers, because it would take all night. He wished Mr. and Mrs. Gaden the best of good luck and happiness on behalf of Mrs. Dobson and himself.

Mr. W. T. Seaward said, as ladies should come first, he would speak of Mrs. Gaden first. She was one who had taken her part, in the life of the community, and her place would be hard to fill. He hoped her new neighbours would soon find her out so that she could carry on the good work she had done at Scone, which she was so well qualified to do. And now, continued Mr. Seaward, for our old friend, Noel Gaden. To begin with, he was the one to start the Scout movement in Scone and carried it one for a long time without getting any support. “This, I thought, was a very fine thing for a young man just starting in the town to do,” added the speaker.

“There is another thing I feel I must tell you of on this occasion,” proceeded Mr. Seaward, “Because a man broke his word, I was placed in a very awkward positions, I was right up against it, and I shall never forget what Mr. Gaden did for me then, or how splendidly he stuck by me. Finally he induced this man to carry out the promise made and everything was fixed up.” After detailing several other matters in which Mr. Gaden had taken a leading part to his credit. Mr. Seaward went on to say that Mr. Gaden had always played the game in the courts. “As Coroner, I always felt he would never mislead one, and I am satisfied that if the Police Magistrate, Mr. Johnston, were here he would fully bear me out in what I say,” concluded Mr. Seaward.

Mr. H. A. Barlow, speaking on behalf of the banking community, said he had come into contact a good deal with Mr. Gaden, and their relationship, both private and professional, had been most cordial. He wished Mr.and Mrs. Gaden every happiness and “good fishing in the future.”

Mr. H. R. Rowland said they had been told of Mr. Gaden’s association with the Shire, the Municipal Council, and the Pastures Protection Board, but there were a great body of men who had no money but needed legal advice. Mr. Gaden had acted as their legal adviser for many years without reward. “There should be a lot of people here tonight to speak of Mr. Gaden as I am speaking, and to thank him from the bottom of their hearts, as I do, for what he has done for them. I know what I am talking about, for I am one of the people I have spoken of, and I am not ashamed to come here publicly and thank Mr. Gaden for his goodness to me,” added the speaker.

Colonel A. A. White spoke on behalf of the Scone sub-branch of the R. S. and S. I. League. He said Mr. Gaden had acted as honorary solicitor to the branch for many years and had done a lot for the League. He wished to thank him on behalf of the branch, and to also thank Mrs. Gaden for many little acts of kindness. Personally, he ‘was losing two good friends,’ and much regretted their departure from Scone.

Ald. D. J. McLachlan said he could fully support the remarks of Mr. Rowland. In his official capacity, he came into contact with many old people, invalids and others who required assistance in signing forms, and in other ways. Mr. Gaden had always been very good to them. “In fact,” added Ald. McLachlan, “of my own knowledge I can say that if Mr. Gaden had received the professional fees he was entitled to for the work he has done for nothing, since I have known him, he would be leaving Scone to-night a wealthy man.”

Ald. J. W. Joughin supported the remarks of the other speakers. In the course of his remarks, he thought Mr. Rowland had hit the nail on the head better than anyone that night. As one who had had a good deal of experience in raising money for different objects and individuals, he could say there was no-one you could meet from whom you would get a better reception than Mr. Gaden.


The Mayor then read an address from the citizens of Scone to Mr. and Mrs. Gaden, which he then presented to them. He handed Mr. Gaden a cheque and expressed the good wishes of all for the future happiness of the guests of the evening. At the request of the Mayor, Mrs. J. N. Newton handed a cheque to Mrs. Gaden on behalf of those assembled. In making the presentation, Mrs. Newton said: “I have been asked to hand you a cheque, as a small token of our affection and gratitude for what you have done during your residence in the district. We wish you and Mr. Gaden all happiness and good fortune in the future. I am sure you will be missed terribly.”

Mr. Gaden in reply

Upon rising to respond, Mr. Gaden was warmly greeted with applause. He said: “I think this is the hardest think I have ever had to do. When I look round this room to-night I say to myself, these are not only my friends, they are my pals, every single one of them, and pals spelt with a capital “P” at that. I have heard some very nice things said to-night, and I don’t deserve one quarter of them. There was one thing said in particular that got very close to me, and that was what Mr. Rowland said. But I would like to say that there is not a solicitor, or a professional man in this town who would not be prepared to do what I have done – and more.”

Proceeding, Mr. Gaden said: “Throughout my 23 years in Scone I have had the happiest relations with every P. M. who has sat on the Bench, with the coroners, and with the officers of the court, which, of course, includes the police. No man could have had a better or more helpful treatment at their hands than I have. In his remarks to-night Mr. Seaward paid me a compliment, but I would like to say this, that I am quite unable to express my appreciation of the way Mr. Seaward has conducted the coronial inquiries. They differ in aspect from an ordinary court, in as much as they are frequently surrounded by recent bereavement, and no words of mine can express the kindliness and sympathy with which he arrives at his findings. He has to do his duty, of course, and establish the truth, but he has always tempered justice with mercy.

“As my relations with the officers of the various courts have been happy, so the various courts have been with the officers of the Shire Council, the P.P. Board, and the Municipal Council. In all these I have had the fullest co-operation and help I have done my best for them all, but I could not have done as well as I have without the help they have given me. In regard to the Municipal Council, I should like to mention that it is not only of the present Town Clerk I have spoken, but also of Mr. James Young, with whom I worked for many years, always receiving the same measure of help and co-operation.”

Speaking of his wife, Mr. Gaden said that she had done a tremendous amount of work for the Hospital and other organisations, and this was he felt a labour of love to her.

In conclusion, Mr. Gaden thanked the gathering for their presents made, and his friends for what had been said, and on behalf of Mrs. Gaden, thanked them all most sincerely for the opportunity they had given them of saying good-bye.

Mrs. Gaden also thanked the gathering for the present they had given her and for the nice things said. She added; “It makes me proud if you think I have helped the town.”

This concluded the formal part of the proceedings, and supper was served.

Before dispersing, “Auld Lang Syne” was sung, Mrs. F. A. Tierney playing the accompaniment.[199]

The newspaper articles recording the public farewells have no indication that Vera and Noel were moving in different directions. A search of the 1939 Law Almanac lists him as still being at Scone and there is no mention of him working for or with another solicitor.[200]

But by then Noel had moved to Belmont on Lake Macquarie from where he was advertising his premises in March 1939 and he wrote a new Will on 28 March 1939.

E. N. GADEN has commenced practice as a SOLICITOR at premises situate near corner of Macquarie St. and Pacific Highway, BELMONT. [201]

Why would he choose to go to Belmont which in those days was quite an ‘out of the way’ place? Had he enjoyed holidays there in the past? Did he intend to spend time fishing in the Lake? The Court House had been opened there for about three years, from 2 June 1936 and the Police Court was initially held on Thursdays, [202] but it was not going to be a particularly busy law practice. Was it far enough away from, but close enough to Scone where friends were and to Sydney, where his children would be living.

By this time he also had a new relationship, meeting with his lady in Sydney just the day after Vera was bid farewell by the Golf Club. We know he visited her in Sydney, but was Belmont a more affordable place to live than Sydney or did he expect her to move north to join him?

During the farewell functions Vera already knew that Noel was being unfaithful to her as she knew he had met with another woman on 11th February and again on 26th February 1938, a whole year earlier. There were even whispers of local affairs.[203]

If he had already decided to go to Belmont and she had decided to go to Sydney, did she attend all the farewell functions as if they were moving from town together? When did her friends know they were separating? The ladies at Mrs. Bicton’s farewell knew she was going to Sydney. He appeared to have moved to Belmont in March, but Vera was still in Scone in April.

From March 1939, Noel started to appear in Court cases usually appearing on behalf of the accused. From the cases he took on he was not going to make his fortune by representing these people. How was he going to pay the rent for both his office and accommodation?

FINED £20 FOR STARTING FIRE In North Belmont Paddock


This was a despicable attempt to fire country, and there could have been disastrous consequences if the fire had got out of hand. I can impose imprisonment; but I think a substantial penalty will have a deterrent effect” said the Magistrate (Mr. C. G. Carr-Boyd) at Belmont Police Court, yesterday, when he imposed a fine of £20, with 8/ costs, in default 14 days’ imprisonment, on Oswald Archibald Milliss, of Belmont, an honorary ranger. “It is a case in which a substantial penalty must be imposed, notwithstanding the fact that no damage was done,” added the Magistrate. Constable W. G. Wallace conducted the prosecution. Milliss, who was represented by Mr. E. N. Gaden, was convicted on a charge of having left in a paddock leased by Elijah Thorley, at North Belmont, on December 24, a fire which he had lighted in the open air, before it was thoroughly extinguished. He was allowed three months to pay. Sergeant A. Griffiths, of Belmont, gave evidence of a conversation he had with Milliss on December 26. Milliss said he did not know why Thorley should make an allegation against him. He admitted having been in Thorley’s paddock, but declined to disclose what he was doing there. Griffiths said he went to Thorley’s pad dock and saw where there had been a fire in dead leaves. It was a fairly large paddock adjoining bushland: it was fronted by the Pacific Highway and houses were in the vicinity. The grass was dry Replying to Mr. Gaden, Griffiths said there had been fires in the locality since. He did not know if Milliss owned a fairly large area of land nearby. SAW A SMALL FLAME.   Elijah Thorley, retired, of William street, Belmont, said that he leased a   property of about 13 acres. On December 24 he was on the property and saw Milliss in a stooping position. He was about 24 yards away. He walked quickly towards Milliss and saw a small flame rising from the ground. Milliss walked   away and took no notice when called upon to stop. After stamping out the flame, he hurried after Milliss, who was getting through the wire fence. Witness said he accused Milliss of lighting the fire. Milliss said he lit a small cigarette and threw it down. Asked why he had been in the paddock, Millis said he went to look at the dam. Thorley said he remarked to Milliss, “You are a nice sort of man, lighting a fire in the grass.” Milliss told him that a fire would do the place good. Replying to Mr. Gaden, Thorley said that the fire was about the size of a hat.


Milliss, a farmer, said he had been looking for a cow and went through Thorley’s paddock: While proceeding towards his home, he heard a shout. Turning, he saw Thorley hitting at something with a stick. He asked Thorley what was the matter. Thorley said, “Did you start this fire ?” He replied, ‘I did not. I do not know how the fire began. I might have thrown a cigarette down. You might have done the same. I carry safety matches.” He denied having said he went to see the dam. His property was nearby. If a fire started on Thorley’s property and the wind continued blowing from the north-east, his place would be endangered. He was an honorary ranger under the Native Birds and Animals’ Protection. Act. ‘” Answering Constable Wallace Milliss denied having had a quarrel with Thorley. He had to go through other people’s land to enter Thorley’s property. He found the cow between his and Thorley’s place. It was a great shock to him to be accused of such an offence, and that was why he did not reply to Sergeant Griffiths. He was not smoking in Thorley’s paddock. Arthur Croft, labourer, Robert-street, Belmont, also gave evidence.[204]


CHARGE AGAINST CONTRACTOR. “The ordinance was designed to ensure that buildings are erected properly” said the Magistrate in the case in which W. B. Cobbin, builder and contractor, of Belmont, was charged with having done   work on a building without approval from Lake Macquarie Shire Council. Cobbin was fined £5, with 8/ costs. and £2/2 professional costs, in default 15 days’ imprisonment. Mr. N. Cragg (Messrs. Braye, Cragg and Cohen) appeared for the prosecution. Mr E. N. Gaden represented the defence. Mr. Crag said that Cobbin was engaged in the erection of a building without having obtained consent from the council. Mr. Cragg asked that a penalty he imposed as a warning to others. Mr. Gaden said that Cobbin had contracted for the erection of a boatshed cottage which was required before Easter. There was a break of 14 days between meetings of the council. It was customary in the district for the ground work to be started. The only work that Cobbin had done was in connection with the foundations. Shortly after the inspector had seen him. Cobbin lodged an application and approval was given. Cobbin bore al excellent character, and was a reputable builder. [205]


INDUSTRIAL COURT ADJOURNMENT GRANTED. An adjournment to May 4 was granted in the case in which Edwin Russell. Macquarie – street, Belmont, claimed £22/12/0, alleged due for work done as a carpenter, for William Maughan, Main road. Whitebridge. Mr. E. Gaden appeared for the plaintiff. Mr. J. A. Wood represented the defence. [206]


INDUSTRIAL COURT A claim for £22/12/9, alleged due for work done a carpenter, was made by Edwin Russell, Macquarie-street Belmont, against William Maughan, slain-road, Whitebridge. Mr. E. N. Gaden appeared for the plaintiff. Mr. J. A. Wood represented the respondent. An award for the full amount, less £4 allowed by plaintiff for meals supplied by defendant, was returned in favour of the plaintif, with 10/ costs. and £3/3. professional costs. “Irrespective of how sympathetic I am with the defendant, the law must be obeyed.” said the Magistrate whose marked that the plaintiff had been a pensioner for years and could not be expected to do the same amount of work as a younger man. “Perhaps the people at Belmont, on hearing of this case, will be a bit chary engaging plaintiff to do work for them, observed the Magistrate, who warned him that he was liable to a heavy penalty for working for less than the award wage Russell said he arranged with Maughan to build the outside only of a cottage on contract. He gave particulars of the hours worked. Maughan agreed to pay him wages for work done on the interior. Maughan and his brother-in-law assisted to do portion of tile exterior and to nail the floors. He did not allow Maughan anything for meals supplied. He denied having been abusive to Mrs. Maughan or that he was under the influence of liquor when he went there Replying to the Magistrate, Russell said that he and his wife drew the old-age pension of £1 a week. The Magistrate: Do not forget to supply the department with particulars of all the money you earn. Maughan, a water-bailer, said he assisted Russell to do odd jobs. Russell spent more time “boozing” than he did on the job. and became abusive, on re turning to the building. He paid Russell £10. Evidence was also given by Mrs. Maughan. [207]


REMANDED. Joseph Robert Henney, 32, was remanded to July 12 on a charge of having caused grievous bodily harm to Joseph Thomas Ryan, at Belmont, on May 20. Bail was fixed at £40. ” Mr. E. N. Gaden appeared for the defence.[208]


BELMONT (BEFORE MR C.G. CARR-BOYD, P.M)  ILLEGAL BETTING. A fine of £25; in default 50 days’ imprisonment, was imposed on Robert Logan Cherry for having used a place, Gill’s residence, Catherine Hill Bay, for bet ting on June 3. Mr. E. N; Gaden appeared for the defence. Constable A. E. Semler said that at 8. 25 p.m. on June 3, Cherry was seen accepting, bets on horses and dogs. His records showed that he had made 1523 bets, ranging from 6d to 10/. He was betting on commission for another man     who had five or six agencies. The defendant was certainly acting on a big scale. remarked the Magistrate. A remand to July 12 was granted in the case in which Alfred Gill was charged with having knowingly allowed his premises at Catherine Hill Bay to be used for betting on June 3. [209]


Congested Belmont Court – In an endeavour to dispose of the cases set down for hearing at Belmont Court house yesterday, the Magistrate (Mr. C. G. Carr-Boyd) started shortly after 9.30 a.m. Despite the fact that several cases were adjourned, and the Court did not rise until 4.30 p.m., it was impossible to complete the list. When a contested Small Debts Court matter was mentioned prior to the rising. Mr. E. N. Gaden, a solicitor, said his experience was that the list was generally congested. It appeared that more time was required to deal with the increasing number of cases at Belmont. The Magistrate said that since he had been presiding at Belmont only once had all the day’s business been completed in the time. [210]


TENANCY MATTER. A warrant was ordered to be issued on August 12 in the case between Robert R Arthur, of Weston, a male, Clare street, South Belmont; Respondent was ordered to pay £3/10/ costs Mr. E.N. Gaden   appeared to support the application.  [211]


SMALL DEBTS COURT CLAIM FOR BOARD. Annie Carter of Maude-Street, Belmont , sued Alfred J. Teece, of Devil’s Elbow, near Belmont, for the recovery of £13/10/ for board and lodging.   A verdict for the amount was returned in favour of the plaintiff. -Mr. E. Rosendahl appeared for the plaintiff. Mr. E. N. Gaden represented the defence. [212]

Vera had set up residence in Neutral Bay by July or August this year. How hard it must have been to keep up appearances when the separation and subsequent move loomed so large. However things soon took a turn for the worse.

On 1st August 1939 Vera Lydia Gaden, of 64 Aubin Street, Neutral Bay, submitted a Supreme Court Petition that stated:

That on or about the Eleventh Day of February one thousand nine hundred and thirty eight, the Twenty sixth day of February one thousand nine hundred and thirty eight, the Twenty fifth day of March one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine and the Twenty seventh day of June one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine, your Petitioner’s husband committed adultery with a woman whose name is unknown to your Petitioner at the “Hotel Sydney” in the State of NSW. [213]

The hotel was located at the corner of Hay and Pitt Street,[214] close to Central railway station.

Vera obviously had had suspicions that Noel was cheating on her. She had arranged with a railway porter to follow Noel and see who he was meeting.[215] She knew from the dates that the affair had been going on for over a year.

The stigma of divorce was perhaps overcome by the need to become free and financially independent. Vera asked the Court for her marriage to be dissolved, for custody of children Sue aged 19 and Elizabeth aged 17 (at that time it was not till the age of 21 years that you ‘reached your majority’) and Vera asked that she was given further and other relief in the premises as your Honour may seem to meet. [216]

A copy of the petition was served to Noel, as respondent, on 15th day of August at the office of his solicitor, Abbott, Tout, Creer and Wilkinson, 3 Spring Street, Sydney by Macartney Abbott and he was given fourteen days notice to appear in Court. He was reminded that if he did not appear in Court, the charge would still proceed.

The Articled Clerk, Dominic Brady, noted on 6th September that no appearance has been entered into this suit by or on behalf of the respondent. The time for such an appearance had then lapsed.

But no appearance was ever going to take place. On 3rd September 1939 Britain and France announced they were at war with Germany [217] By default Australia, a country of the British Empire, was also at war with Germany. The world was plunged into crisis.

And just two days later the Gaden family were plunged into a crisis of their own when the body of Edward Noel Gaden was found at Pelican Nest, Belmont. The divorce Proceedings would not continue.

At 6.30 a.m. on Wednesday September 6th Noel was discovered with a bullet wound to the head, there was a revolver in his right hand. He had died the previous afternoon. The news was broken to Vera by family friend Dr Barton.

An inquest was held over two days, the first day being on seventh and the second being on the fourteenth of September. [218] The Acting Government Medical Officer was Dr. J.W. Smith, who advised death was caused by injury to the brain as a result of the bullet wound.

Local girl Elizabeth Hadlow, aged 14, reported she saw the car pass about 3.30 pm and heard a shot about an hour later, the car was still there on the next morning. We are not sure of the exact location but in early August 2013 we went to the place “Near the Pelican turnoff between Belmont and Swansea” (close to Belmont airport) and now called Soldiers Road.

On a visit to the area Bob took a photograph in this area where we think his grandfather Noel was most likely found. It was thick with bush, so if he was only a few metres from the road he would not have been easily seen. He must have spent a very stressful hour as he contemplated what he was going to do.

William Butterworth a drainer had seen the car parked that morning in the same position as it had been the previous day. He and William Weimer checked the car, then the locality, and they found the body on the ground.

According to the police officer Sgt A.A. Griffith, Noel was found about twenty one yards from the road. There was a note at the scene saying he was going to commit suicide.[219]

Bill had to give evidence at the inquest and indicated that when he had last seen his father, two months earlier, his father had admitted to some financial worries. Mr. Norman Cragg of Messers Bray, Cragg and Cohen, who had often appeared on the opposite side of the Court Room to Noel in the past, was this time appearing for his relatives. He said Noel was temperamental and upset.[220] He wrote to Bill that he had wanted the Coroner to say Noel was ‘temporarily insane’ but had had to settle for ‘temperamentally upset.’[221]

Noel was buried on Thursday, just the day after his body was discovered. The notice in the Sydney Morning Herald did not appear until the following Saturday, 9th September.

GADEN.-September 6. 1939, at Newcastle. Edward Noel, beloved husband of Mrs. Vera L. Gaden and dearly loved father of Edward, Gweneth, and Elisabeth. Privately interred, Sandgate Cemetery, Thursday. September 7, 1939. [222]

There would have been so little time to make arrangements or tell many friends and no member of the Law profession would have been advised or likely to be present.

The Scone Advocate of Friday 8th September 1939 had a story on the front page reporting the:


The news of the death of Mr. E.N. Gaden on Wednesday last, in tragic circumstances, was received in Scone and the district generally, with profound regret, and by many personal friends with deep feelings of sadness. His body was found a short distance from his car between Belmont and Swansea, and there was a bullet wound in the head.

The late Mr. Gaden resided in Scone for more than twenty years, where he practiced his profession as a solicitor. Throughout his long residence he fully identified himself with practically every phase of the life of the community, and the largely attended public farewell which was accorded to him upon his departure, a few months ago, clearly showed that his many acts of genuine kindness, and his useful work as a citizen, were acknowledged and appreciated. In his profession he displayed an ability well above the average, particularly in his conduct of cases before the courts, and here again the innate kindness of the man showed itself. He frequently proffered his services gratuitously to those unable to pay for legal advice. As a sportsman many old cricketers will recall his cheeriness and absolute sense of fairness in the field, and, with others, will regret the tragic closing of a career and a life, that should have been filled with usefulness and distinction. The funeral took place yesterday afternoon at the Sandgate cemetery, at which his son Mr. W. Gaden and brother Mr. J. Gaden of Cooma, NSW were chief mourners, and a number of Scone friends were present.

Noel is buried in Sandgate Cemetery, Church of England Section 138, grave 3. It is a modest gravestone now in need of some repair.

The inscription reads

To the memory of  Edward Noel Gaden  Died 4th Sep 1939 Aged 49 years
Noel’s grave May 2013→IMG_4936

The newspaper report says his body was found on 6th but he had died the previous afternoon, the 5th. His stone says ‘died the 4th’ September but the burial notice has the ‘6th’.

The Coroner A.G. Chiplin remarked ‘It is quite clear from the evidence he was in financial difficulty and very temperamental. In all probability he was overwrought.’ [223] The Coroner’s report showed the death was due to ‘the effect of a bullet wound in his head wilfully inflicted by himself.’

The inquest is noted in the 1939 list of NSW Coronial inquests, page 307. It was Number 1401;

Date proceedings received at Department, 18 September 1939;

Name of deceased, Gaden, Edward Noel;

Dates when held, 7 September 1939 and 14 September 1939;

Where held, Newcastle;

Verdict, the effect of a bullet wound in his head wilfully inflicted by himself;

Coroner, AG Chilpin;

Locality of death, Pelican’s Nest, Belmont;

Age, 49;

Where deceased was born, Neutral Bay, Sydney;

Cash or property possessed by deceased, Unknown;

Medical, JW Smith;

Whether Post Mortem held, No;

Remarks, None.[224]

Certain letters had been written by Noel and pinned above the steering wheel of his car, but the Coroner refused to disclose their contents, even to the family. The Coroner could have been trying to spare the family from additional anguish by with-holding what were probably very distressing notes.

[A search of the NSW State Records showed the specific Inquest papers had all been destroyed in a cull of records in about 1965, so the family will never know what was written in those letters, sadly their questions will never be answered.]

The inquest was reported in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate and Maitland Mercury [225] and other local newspapers and a cutting was sent to the family by their solicitor Norman Cragg.

Perhaps the family did not realize until the Will was read, but in March 1939 Noel had written a new one and the family were not to be his sole beneficiaries. He wrote it when in Belmont and the witnesses were the local postmaster and postal assistant but his specific address is not given.

Noel’s will, written 28 March 1939, left half his estate to his wife and three children in equal parts and the other half of his estate, including all picture books, photographs, watches and other personal effects including any packets marked “Private” or “Personal” to Patricia Louise Todd [or more often known as Lawson] of 2A Robert Street, Marrickville. He left his fishing rods, reels and lines to his friend Norman John Mould of Scone and to his son “all tents, flies, and other camping gear and articles used by me for camping.” [226]

How sad that all the photographs and what could be called ‘family memorabilia’ was, in effect, lost to the family.

The Public Trustee of NSW took charge of Noel’s affairs. Probate was applied for in November:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES-Probate Jurisdiction- In the Will of   EDWARD NOEL GADEN late of Belmont in the State of New South Wales Solicitor deceased – Application will be made after fourteen days from the publication hereof that Probate of the last Will and Testament dated the twenty eighth day of March one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine of the above named deceased may be granted to the PUBLIC TRUSTEE one of the Executors named in the said Will EDWARD WILLIAM GADEN the other Executor therein named having renounced Probate thereof And all notices may be served at the undermentioned address. All creditors in the Estate of the deceased are hereby required to send in particulars of their claims to   the undersigned P F IRVINE Solicitor, Scottish House 10 Bridge Street Sydney, Proctor for the Executor.[227]

His assets were listed as a 1927 model Gray Motor car valued at £10, office furniture and fittings at £20, Bank of NSW Scone 13/-, Bank of NSW Newcastle, £68..19s. and an earthenware tobacco container valued at 1/- (this earthenware tobacco container is one of the very few things which came to his son’s family.)

Noel was owed £74 by clients and his main asset was £2429 from his father’s will, but he had taken out a loan of £666 against the interest of this. He owed £389 of client’s money and he owed for text books. He owed the Estate of J H McAlpine of Belmont £4 for rent, which we suspect was for the office where he had set up his practice. He had advertised for business in the local newspaper and had organised a telephone number which had a continuous service, Belmont 14, for ‘EN Gaden, solicitor’.[228]

He also owed Mrs FW Laughton of ‘Marks Point, Newcastle’ the sum of £8..13s..4d also for rent. The 1937 electoral roll has Frederick William Laughton, bread carter, with his wife Edith Clary, home duties, and son Vivian Frederick, storeman, living at The Hill, Marks Point.[229] Perhaps this is our best clue as to where Noel was boarding at the time of his death (he was not on the Electoral Roll) as Marks Point is situated between Belmont and Swansea, just north of Pelican Flat [230] on the edge of Lake Macquarie.

The Trustee advised the personal and professional records were inadequate to assess the assets and liabilities. There was no ledger relating to professional costs and fees, no ledger relating to client’s monies in an adequate state of completion. There was no trust account for client’s monies. [231]

The principal asset was his interest in the estate of his late father and he had an interest in the remainder but it was complicated by the complexity of the legal Will of Edward Ainsworth Gaden who had left assets worth over £40,000 but it was all tied up to care for Noel’s sister Nancy. That Will was not finalised until her death in 1996.

The solicitor advised Bill that there were debts for purchase of law books, rent, fees, and such mundane things as milk and eggs. The Stamp Duties office shows there was an amount of Death duties to be paid, the full percentage rate on £515. [232] And there were a couple of other items in “your father’s papers but there were ….two or three matters outstanding some of which would probably result in litigation.” [233] That was serious stuff!

It seemed the family only inherited half the assets but all of the debt and Noel left his family debts amounting to nearly £1600. What a dreadful shock this would have been to them all. Susan and Elizabeth knew of their father’s infidelities, they had even seen him with the new lady, but the trauma of a suicide and the presence of debts to be paid off would have been horrendous at that time for a young lady on the debutante circuit and her younger sister waiting in the wings for next year. No wonder the girls were stunned and upset with their father.[234]

Did the children blame their mother for prompting the suicide because she had filed for divorce? Did they even know she had done so? It could be that a divorce would have required Noel to be open about his assets and debts and his chaotic accountancy practices would have been revealed, perhaps that is what encouraged him to take such an extreme step. Why was he living in the Newcastle area when his new lady was from the Sydney suburb of Marrickville? Had they split up and he was distressed about that? Did he regret leaving his family but knew that reconciliation would not be possible? Did the declaration of war trigger the action? So many questions but sadly we will never know the answers now those precious papers were destroyed by the Archives.

A month after Noel died his mother Lilian made a new Will and she left everything else to daughter Kitty (CG Walker) who was married to Dr Norman Walker. (She subsequently died on 17 March 1942, during the second World War, while Bill was POW of the Japanese. An amount of £1698 was payable for death duties.[235] )

Bill had confirmed at the inquest that he knew his father had financial worries but he was also dreadfully shocked by his father’s death. The inherited debts meant that Bill, aged not quite twenty two, had to forego some of the joys of youth and grow up very quickly. He undertook to repay the all the money owed to the various tradesmen, shops and, very importantly, the money which needed to be returned to his father’s clients. What a burden for Bill to bear, not only repaying the debts but also being financially responsible for the welfare of his mother and two sisters, their rent, food and clothing.

Bill Ginge Vera←Vera [Doukie] walking along a Sydney CBD street with daughter Elizabeth [Ginge] and son Bill before he sailed overseas to war.

The former family home, Marooan in Scone, was placed on the market but an initial sale fell through in early 1941.[236] When it finally was sold sometime later, the price received did not cover the mortgage,[237] but Noel’s executors, the Public Trustees would be the ones to sort that out.

Vera would have been eligible for a small widow’s pension as they had been introduced by the Government over a decade earlier in 1926.[238] When they left school, Bill’s two sisters would most likely have been encouraged to look for work to contribute to the family finances. For all three of Noel’s children the gaining of qualifications or more education would have probably been out of the question, an income would have been so much more important.

What a huge financial and emotional burden for Bill to cope with in an era of depression and the ever worsening war. In 1939 it would have been very difficult on a shipping clerk’s wages and, from 1 June 1940, a soldier’s pay, but somehow he managed to settle all the accounts and discharge his father’s debts as well as become the main breadwinner to support both his widowed mother and his two younger sisters.

Throughout the war when Bill was serving in the 2/20 Battalion AIF, he arranged for an allowance from his Army pay to meet the rent and support his mother and both his sisters until their marriages. His time as a Prisoner of the Japanese in both Changi and on the Burma to Thailand railway would have been particularly worrying for the family. The family’s fortunes during the Second World War are fully chronicled in the book “Pounding Along to Singapore, a history of the 2/20 Battalion AIF.” [239]

Once the war was over Vera took in boarders to supplement her pension, (one being James Denny who decades later became neighbour to Bill’s son Bob in the Goulburn area.). However Bill paid her rent for the remainder of her life, a huge financial burden during a time when he was then struggling to pay off a mortgage and raise a family of four children of his own.[240]

But that was all in the future. In one of his letters home from the 2/20 Battalion’s Army Camp in Bathurst, early in January 1941, Bill refers to the fact that all of Noel’s outstanding debts had been cleared and both he and his mother were finally debt free and should congratulate themselves.[241]

They certainly should.



Link to the Opening of Balcombe Park, Sydney is


[1] NSW Birth Death and Marriage index 1733/1890 and SMH, 6 May 1890, Family notices.

[2] NSW BDM 1148/1889 and SMH, 21 August 1889

[3] Defence Housing <>

[4] Sydney Morning Herald, Family notices and NSW Birth Death and Marriage index for the appropriate births.

[5] Norton Smith & Co 1818-1988, published by the Company (no author listed) in October 1988.

[6] Norton Smith & Co 1818-1988, p. 68.

[7] SMH, 31 May 1912.

[8] Reminiscences of stories by Elizabeth Gaden/MacDougal from Gwyn Patterson

[9] SMH, 22 April 1920.

[10] SMH, 22 April 1920

[11] The Times, 7 May 1863.

[12] NSW Birth Death and Marriage index, 7687/1905.

[13] Anecdotes collected by the author over many years from Nancy Gaden, Judy Gaden and Elizabeth MacDougal

[14] SMH, 5 March 1890.

[15] The Musswellbrook Chronicle 8 September 1939.

[16] Family anecdote Nancy Gaden.

[17]Commonwealth War Graves casualty list


[18] SMH, 8 April 1916

[19] SMH, 7 April 1916

[20] SMH, 12 August 1916.

[21]Commonwealth War Graves cemetery location


[22] Photo AWM P08624.049 from

[23] SMH, 19 June 1913

[24] SMH, 18 June 1913.

[25]Caroline Gaden,

[26] SMH, 6 November 1906.

[27] Caroline Gaden, Balcombe family research

[28] SMH, 7 November 1906.

[29] Caroline Gaden, Balcombe family research

[30] SMH, 28 September 1907.

[31] NSW Birth Death and Marriage index, 15995/1915 and Supreme Court papers.

[32] SMH , 4 July 1923

[33] SMH, 28 March 1916.

[34] SMH, 1 July 1916.

[35] NSW Birth Death and Marriage Index, 11649/1916 and Supreme Court papers.


[37] Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Newsletter (August 1972): 7

[38] Wikipedia search for ‘Scone NSW’ accessed 20 may 2013

[39] Scone Heritage Walk, pamphlet produced by Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society, accessed May 2013.

[40] A.A.McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone 1839-1989, p 13.


[42] A.A.McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone 1839-1989, p. 89.

[43] Plan of Municipality of Scone, 1916, Scone Historical Society Reading Room.

[44] Scone Council land records.

[45] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 93.

[46] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 94-6.

[47] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 99.

[48] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 99.

[49] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 104.

[50] The Scone Advocate, Friday 12 January 1917.

[51] NSW Birth Death and Marriage index, search for Westgarth.

[52] NSW Law Almanac Country Solicitor lists, 1916-1931.

[53] SMH, 4 November 1921.

[54] SMH, 22 January 1937.

[55] NSW Law Almanac Country Solicitor list, 1922.

[56] Information cards, Scone Historical Society research rooms, newspaper advertisement, 1931.

[57] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p 80.

[58] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 17 April 1920.

[59] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 8 September 1939

[60] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p.88.

[61] <>

[62] AA Ashford, Stock and Station Agents and Auctioneers of Scone, Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Journal, 1975, Volume 4 Part 3, pp 15-18.

[63] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p.99.

[64] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 23 November 1937.

[65] Taken from microfilm of the newspaper by Denise Bell of Scone Historical Society.

[66] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 16 April 1935.


[68] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 23 July 1926.

[69] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 26 November 1926

[70] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 18 March 1927.

[71] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 30 November 1928 and 7 December 1928.

[72] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 18 June 1929.

[73] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 16 July 1929.

[74] The Musswellbrook Chronicle, 22 Dec 1931

[75] The Musswellbrook Chronicle 16 May 1933

[76] The Musswellbrook Chronicle 9 April 1935

[77] The Muswellbrook Chronicle 12 April 1935

[78] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 16 April 1935.

[79] SMH, 5 June 1935

[80] SMH, 11 July 1935.

[81] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 18 June 1935.

[82] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 28 June 1938.

[83] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 17 March 1939.

[84] Will of Edward Ainsworth Gaden and SMH 1 November 1940.

[85] Denise Bell, Scone Historical Society, personal communication.

[86] Cupit, Memoirs of Scone 70 years ago, Scone RSL, Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Newsletter, Number 144, June 2007, p. 2171.

[87] Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, 1961, page 183.

[88] The Scone Advocate, 7 September 1917.

[89] Greg Morris, Scone Scout Master, personal communication September 2013.

[90] Morris, Scouts turn 100, Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society Newsletter, Number 145, Sept 2007, p. 2178

[91] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 10 November 1917 and 29 December 1917.

[92] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 11 June 1921.

[93] The Scone Advocate, 3 December 1917

[94] Daily News, Perth, 9 May 1913

[95] Reminiscences of stories by Elizabeth Gaden/MacDougal from Gwyn Patterson

[96] The Scone Advocate, 7 December 1917, in both the Local news and Advetisements

[97] Greg Morris, Scone Scout Master, personal communication September 2013.

[98] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 12 April 1927.

[99] Family story collected by Caroline Gaden and Reminiscences of stories by Elizabeth Gaden/MacDougal from Gwyn Patterson

[100] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 3 December 1919.

[101] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 26 November 1919.

[102] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 18 February 1920.

[103] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 30 October 1928.

[104] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 19 September 1933

[105] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 17 October 1924.

[106] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 9 July 1926.

[107] Elizabeth MacDougal, personal recollection as told to the author.

[108] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 89.

[109] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 18 May 1923.

[110] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 96.

[111] Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, 1961, page 347.

[112] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 14 December 1934.

[113] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 95.

[114] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 12 September 1930

[115] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 31 March 1931.

[116] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 2 August 1932

[117] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 24 September 1935.

[118] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 13 March 1936.

[119] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 5 August 1938.

[120] Elizabeth MacDougall, personal communication

[121] Photograph supplied by Denise Bell, Treasurer, Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society.

[122] Information from Denise Bell, Treasurer, Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society, and SMH 2 September 1925.

[123] SMH, 10 September 1921.

[124] SMH, 14 June 1919.

[125] SMH, 12 July 1921.

[126] SMH, 13 June 1919

[127] SMH, 13 June 1919.

[128] Australian War Memorial, Nominal Roll WWI.

[129] SMH, 29 September 1920.

[130] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 96.


[132] Daily Observer, Tamworth , 28 July 1920.

[133] The Muswellbrook Chroniccle 27 July 1920.

[134] < Birth Death and Marriage index, 8455/1929

[134] Elizabeth MacDougal, Personal communication

[134] McLennan Scone/2005/02/17/1108500198920.html>

[135] Inscription on the fountain photographed Sept 2013 by C Gaden.

[136] SCEGS Moss Vale Alumni Office

[137] NSW Birth Death and Marriage index, 8455/1929

[138] Letter written by Agnes Court to Bill Gaden dated 4 Sept 1945, in possession of the author.


[140] Elizabeth MacDougal, Personal communication

[141] Reminiscences of stories by Elizabeth Gaden/MacDougal from Gwyn Patterson

[142] Reminiscences of stories by Elizabeth Gaden/MacDougal from Gwyn Patterson

[143] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 96.


[145] The Canberra Times, 31 December 1926.

[146] Elizabeth MacDougal, personal communication.

[147] Reminiscences of stories by Elizabeth Gaden/MacDougal from Gwyn Patterson

[148] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 103.

[149] Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, and DVA Nominal Roll

[150] The Australasian [Melbourne], 27 February 1926

[151] Commonwealth Electorate of New England, State Electorate Liverpool Plains, Subdivision Scone, 1930.

[152] Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, 2012, p. 15.

[153] NSW BDM 16966/1959, <;

[154] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 99.

[155] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 1 September 1933.

[156] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 103.

[157] Correspondence from the Archivist and Alumni office of Abbotsleigh school.

[158] School Roll for SCEGGS Bowral and Moss Vale covering 1906-1945 held by SCEGGS Darlinghurst.

[159] Correspondence from the Archivist and Alumni office of Abbotsleigh school.

[160] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 21 April 1933

[161] Souvenir Brochure of Trooping the Colour, 6 March 1938

[162] Reference written from Bill by F.G. Galleghan, 1966, in possession of the author.

[163] < >

[164] NSW Birth, Death and Marriage register online at <http://www.Birth Death and >

[165] Mary Poppins Birthplace < and movie Saving Mr.Banks.

[166] Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, 2012, many pages, see index.

[167] SMH , 30 August 1938

[168] SMH, 31 August 1938.

[169] SMH, 7 August 1937.

[170] SMH, 16 August 1916

[171] Recollection of Nancy Gaden and Judy Gaden

[172] SMH, 1 November 1940.

[173] Will of Edward Ainsworth Gaden, copy in possession of the author.

[174] The Muswellbrrok Chronicle, 26 April 1935.

[175] The Muswellbrrok Chronicle, 19 October 1937.

[176] SMH, 25 January1938.

[177] SMH, 3 February 1938, p.19.

[178] SMH, 4 February 1938, p.4.

[179] SMH, 4 February 1938.

[180] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 8 February 1938.

[181] SMH, 19 April 1938, p.3.

[182] SMH, 19 April 1938.

[183] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 13 May 1938 and 17 May 1938.

[184] SMH, 13 August 1938.

[185] D.V.A. Nominal Roll WWII, Service number 420522. <;

[186] SMH, 20 July 1939, Country Social Notes,

[187] The Muswellbrook Chronicle, 24 February 1939.

[188] Scone Advocate, 21 February 1939, p.1.

[189] Scone Advocate, 14 March 1939, p.2.

[190] Scone Advocate, 14 March 1939, p.4

[191] Queries by the author on the Rootsweb Somerset and Yorksgen genealogical mailing lists, May 2013

[192] Goulburn Evening Penny Post , 7 October 1935.

[193] Scone Advocate, 24 March 1939.

[194] McLennan, History of the Parish of St Luke’s, Scone, p. 103.

[195] SMH, 30 March 1939, Country Social Notes.

[196] Letter from Connie Cay in possession of the author.

[197] Scone Advocate, 21 March 1939, p.1.

[198] Scone Advocate, 14 March, 17 March, 24 March, and 6 April 1939.

[199] The Scone Advocate, Thursday, 6th April 1939

[200] <;

[201] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 11 March, 15 March, 18 March, 22 March 1939

[202] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 27 May 1936 and 7 June 1936.

[203] Member of the Local Historical Society who would not elaborate!

[204] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 16 March 1939

[205] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 13 April 1939

[206] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 24 April 1939

[207] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 5 May 1939

[208] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 15 June 1939

[209] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 15 June 1939

[210] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 15 June 1939

[211] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 13 July 1939

[212] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 17 Aug 1939

[213] NSW Family Law Courts, Decree nisi application Gaden v Gaden, Number 1514 of 1939.

[214] <;

[215] Family friend, personal communication to author.

[216] Supreme Court of NSW Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction No. 1514 of 1939 dated 1 August 1939.

[217] Chronology of Second World War, < >

[218] NSW State Archives, Coroners Inquests 1834-1942, Reel 2768, Number 1401, 18/9/1939.

[219] Muswellbrook Chronicle 19 September 1939.

[220] Clipping from Newcastle Morning Herald, date unknown as yet.

[221] Letter from solicitor Norman Cragg to Bill Gaden written 15 September 1939, in possession of the author.

[222] SMH, 9 September 1939, Death notice.

[223] Letter from Braye, Cragg & Cohen, Solicitors, Newcastle, to Bill Gaden

[224] Coroners List of inquests for 1939, available from Judy Messiter, Community History Officer, Lake Macquarie City Library and Speers Point Library, 139 Main Road, Speers Point.

[225] Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate, 15 Sept 1939, and Maitland Mercury, 14 Sept 1939.

[226] Will of E.N. Gaden, in the possession of the author.

[227] Probate Notice, SMH, 16 November 1939, page 2, Legal Notices, and Probate 245809 NSW Archives.

[228] NSW Telephone Directory Country Exchanges, May 1939, Microfiche 132 at Newcastle Public Library, Catalogue Number LH384.6058?NEW

[229] Electoral Roll from 1937, available from Judy Messiter, Community History Officer, Lake Macquarie City Library and Speers Point Library, 139 Main Road, Speers Point.

[230] Map of Lake Macquarie City, from Lake Macquarie Visitor Centre, August 2013.

[231] State Records NSW, Item number 245089, Edward Noel Gaden.

[232] Stamp Duties Office, Reel 3258 of the Index to deceased estate files, C1939, Fluge E to Gilby S, A Series 19/10709-10, Death 5 Sept 1939, Grant 11 Jan 1940, viewed at State Records Office

[233] Letter from Norman Cragg to Bill Gaden written 15 September 1939, in possession of the author.

[234] Elizabeth Gaden and Penny Fussell, personal communication.

[235] Lilian Gaden’s Will, copy in family and Index to deceased estate files, Stamp duties office, reel 3258, A series 19/10709-10, viewed at State Records Office.

[236] Letter from Bill Gaden to his mother Vera dated 2 February 1941, see Pounding Along to Singapore, p. 18 .

[237] Letter from Vera Gaden to her son Bill, received in POW camp sometime in February 1943 see Pounding Along to Singapore, p. 181 .

[238] Department of Social Security, History of pensions and other benefits in Australia available from <!OpenDocument >

[239] Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, a history of the 2/20 Battalion AIF, Copyright, Brisbane, 2012.

[240] Bill Gaden’s letters home during the war and members of the Gaden family, personal communication

[241] Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, page 13.