Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Ancestor #11 – Alan Edenborough

In 1933, the light cruiser HMS Phaeton was meant for the British Royal Navy but was purchased by the Australian government prior to launching. It was renamed as HMAS Sydney (II), in memory of an earlier Sydney (I) that in 1914, had destroyed the German cruiser Emden.

Following her commissioning in 1935, the Sydney spent the early part of her operational history enforcing sanctions during the Abyssinian crisis prior to arriving in Australia in1936.

The Sydney then remained on local patrol duties after the outbreak of World War II before being assigned to the British Mediterranean Fleet for an eight-month deployment from April 1940 – during which time she encountered several engagements while receiving minimal damage and no casualties.

Following her return to Australian waters in 1941, her arrival in Fremantle on 5 February received a hero’s welcome. Upon arrival in Sydney, a few days later, her crew received a civic reception and school children were given a public holiday so they could watch her crew parade through the city’s streets.

On Armistice Day, 11 November 1941, the Sydney sailed from Fremantle to escort the troopship Zealandia to Sunda Strait where she was to be relieved by the British cruiser HMS Durban for the last leg of a voyage to Singapore. The voyage was without incident and Sydney was expected to arrive back in Fremantle on the afternoon of 20 November 1941. Having not returned to Fremantle by 23 November the Naval Board requested her to report by signal to which there was no reply.

Piecing together the events of Sydney’s disappearance, it was revealed that on the afternoon of 19 November the Sydney had come upon what was thought to be a merchant vessel but was, in fact, the German raider Kormoran. In an effort to establish the identity of the vessel, the Sydney closed the distance to a point where she no longer had any advantage of her superior armament.

When concealment of the Kormoran’s true identity was no longer possible, the German raider opened fire with all armament as well as dispensing two torpedoes striking the Sydney. In the heat of the battle the Sydney also managed to inflict severe damage to the Kormoran.

The result of the destructive engagement saw all 42 officers and 603 ratings on board the Sydney perish. The crippled Kormoran was eventually skuttled by her captain, with her German crew abandoning ship. Of her 399 crew, 318 were found following a large-scale sea and air search.

Despite the approximate position of Kormoran being known, multiple attempts to locate the two wrecks failed to find either ship until March 2008 when the wrecks of both Sydney and Kormoran were located by shipwreck investigator David Mearns who had directed a search on behalf of the Finding Sydney Foundation.

The discovery of the wrecks revealed much about the battle and lent support to the generally accepted version of events from the surviving German crew members of the Kormoran.

On board HMAS Sydney on that fateful day, was 21-year-old Ordinary Seaman, ALAN GROSVENOR EDENBOROUGH, the son of Grosvenor and Agnes Margaret Edenborough of Roseville, New South Wales and great-grandson of Arthur Edenborough, Ancestor #1.
He is remembered with honour at the Plymouth Naval Cemetery in Devonshire, United Kingdom as well as on the Honour Roll of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
Plymouth Naval Cemetery

Friday, 14 March 2014

Ancestor #10 – Alexandra Edenborough

Staying with the famous theme, the British jazz singer Alexandra Edenborough, was born in 1978 in Somerset, England and in 2008, married the British actor, Gary Oldman.

While there is an endless supply of articles and photographs of Alexandra (especially with her husband, Gary Oldman) on the internet, tracking down her parentage for my one name study is proving a little hard.

My best guess: that Alexandra is the daughter of Australian-born, Alan Edenborough and his wife, Elizabeth. If correct, Alan is one of the 2xgreat-grandchildren of Ancestor #1 – Arthur Edenborough.

Ancestor #9 – Duke of Edinburgh

When undertaking a one name study you naturally find variations and deviations to your study surname. And in my case, among the 124 variations of the surname Edenborough, is the variation Edinburgh – throwing up another problem: doing on-line searches for the surname Edinburgh resulting in endless records for the city of Edinburgh, SCOTLAND.

Then, of course, there is also the Duke of Edinburgh! So far I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the honorific title, but it does fall into the realm of a one name study.

Named after the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, it is a title that was created in 1726 for the British royal family. To date it has only been used 4 times.

It was first created by George I who bestowed it on his grandson, Prince Frederick, who would later become Prince of Wales. Following Frederick’s death, the title was inherited by Frederick’s son, Prince George, who became George III in 1760. At that time the title, Duke of Edinburgh, ceased to exist.

In 1866, Queen Victoria re-created the title for her second son, Prince Alfred. Alfred’s only son committed suicide in 1899 and, so again, the title Duke of Edinburgh was to become extinct.

Then in 1947 the title was created for a fourth time. King George VI, bestowed it upon his son-in-law, Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, upon his marriage to the Princess Elizabeth. Until Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, the princess was known as HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is now the longest-serving and oldest-ever spouse of a British monarch. He is also currently the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family.
Frederick – Duke of Edinburgh 1
 George III – Duke of Edinburgh 2
 Prince Alfred - Duke of Edinburgh 3
 Prince Philip – Duke of Edinburgh 4

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Ancestor #8 – Daisy Edenborough

The following newspaper item appeared in The Daily Inter Ocean of 17 November 1888.

I am pretty sure that the young Daisy EDENBOROUGH named in the article, is the same Daisy Frances EDENBOROUGH who was born 6 September 1872 in Hagar, Berrien, Michigan, USA
the daughter of F Thomas EDENBOROUGH and his wife Olive Angeline YERINGTON.
And while it is not as yet known whether she managed to marry her “rough character”, what is known, is that she was married at least twice: first to George LEAVER in 1892, and then to Edward Colin ALLEN in 1898.

Ancestor #7 – Edward Edinborough

Staying with a criminal theme, the following article titled “assaulting a young woman” appeared in The Illustrated Police News of 7 November 1885:  


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ancestor #6 – Francis Edenborough

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Ancestor #5 is the following story of Francis Edenborough as reported in The Morning Chronicle of 6 October 1859 under the heading


Francis Edenborough and his partners in crime were subsequently brought before the Central Criminal Court on 25 October 1859 whereby the jury returned a verdict of guilty against Alfred Grantham Snr, William Bland and Thomas Mead, recommending Bland and Grantham to mercy, and acquitted Alfred Grantham Jnr and Francis Edenborough.

Ancestor #5 – Alfred Thomas Edenborough

The son of a railway guard, Alfred Thomas Edenborough was born 12 January 1857 at Paddington, London, MDX. The 1871 census shows the then 14-year-old Alfred Thomas working as a telegraph messenger in the postal service. Alfred Thomas remained with the postal service until joining the London Metropolitan Police at Great Scotland Yard on 3 June 1878 where he was subsequently posted to K Division (Stepney) as a constable.

The Metropolitan Police was established in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel, the then Home Secretary, by an Act of Parliament. It must have seemed to be a worthy occupation, as within a year of establishment the force numbered 3000 men from an initial recruitment of 895 constables, 88 sergeants, 20 inspectors, eight superintendents and two commissioners of police.

By the 1881 census, Alfred Thomas had been posted to Y Division (Highgate) where he was to remain for two years before being moved on to A Division (Whitehall) for eight months.

Following his eight-month stint as a constable at A Division, Alfred Thomas was then transferred to T Division (Kensington). He would remain at T Division until his retirement on 29 April 1901 at the age of 44 years following 22 years, 10 months and 25 days of service.

Attached to his service number were the letters TR which means that Alfred Thomas was part of the Reserve Force.  The Reserve was the top class to which a constable could aspire without taking promotion.  Many older officers achieved this and they would be used on all the prestigious London events and had to maintain a higher standard of dress, conduct and turn out than other officers.

His pension record provides the following physical description of Alfred Thomas:

Height: 6 feet 0 inches
Hair: Fair turning grey – bald on top
Eyes: Grey
Complexion: Fresh
Never injured

Alfred Thomas married Mary Ann Smith, the daughter of a butcher, at St Peter’s Church, Paddington, MDX, on 24 May 1882.  Over the next 15 years they were to have seven children: Alfred E, Annie M, Lizzie J, Matilda G, Daisy, Rosa A and Harold T.

Among the many cases that Alfred Thomas was no doubt involved in, was the following murder/suicide reported in The Times of 5 February 18791:


Alfred Thomas Edenborough died at 26 Perrymead Street, Fulham, on 19 September 1923 aged 66 years and was buried at North Sheen Cemetery five days later.

1 "Murder And Suicide", Times, [London, England], 5 Feb 1879, p11.