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Daisy Poole, English Migrant, 1920s

Jervis Bay Booklet

Image: Jervis Bay Booklet

Source: Museum Victoria

Tom Poole immigrated to Western Australia from the village of Elberton in Gloucestershire, England under the Soldier Settlement Scheme in the early 1920s. Tom's fiancé Laura Daisy Stafford followed him shortly after, arriving in Albany on the S.S. Diogenes on the 22nd September 1922. The couple were married the following day at Victoria Park Parish Church in Perth. They had a son Leslie who died on 3rd January 1924 aged only a few months.

Tom's parents and twin brother, Frank, arrived in Western Australia from England on the ship Orsova in 1925. Shortly after their arrival Tom, Frank, his parent's and his sister Edith and her husband, Frank Long, purchased a block of land in Winchester, Western Australia. They built a temporary shack out of wooden boxes, kerosene tins and corrugated iron roof while they worked to clear the land and build permanent living accommodation. Frank and Tom worked in shifts clearing and ploughing the land so they could sow their first crop. The approximately 1400 acre property became known as Elberton.

In 1926 Tom and Laura's daughter Daisy was born in Perth. Daisy remembers home-made yeast made from flour, water and raisins 'working' on mantelpieces for break making, water being fetched from the well in a tank on a horse and cart and her parents driving to Carnamah once a month to purchase their groceries, many by the crate or sackful, were all a part of growing up on the farm.

Daisy was home schooled until she was almost seven years old. She would then walk the four miles to school in Billeroo, unless she was lucky enough to get a lift on a neighbour's cart horse. The school building at Billeroo was also used as a Church, and every Sunday Laura's organ would make the eight mile round trip on the back of a truck to be used for the morning and afternoon services.

In 1932 Daisy and her mother Laura returned to England on the Jervis Bay for the birth of Daisy's brother Geoffrey who was born in October that year. They returned to Winchester in 1933. The depression of the 1930s saw Tom and Laura leave Winchester in 1935, although Tom's brother Frank remained on the farm.

The family settled in South Perth for a few years while Tom worked in the building trade to earn enough money for their passage back to England. They departed Fremantle on 14th May 1938 travelling via the Suez Canal, on the SS Jervis Bay, the most famous of the five 'Bay' ships built for the Commonwealth Shipping Line.

On the journey to England Daisy was awarded the spoon and trophy for winning a fancy dress competion dressed as a daisy.

References
Poole, Daisy (n.d.), Memories of Early Days at Carnamah, Carnamah Historical Society

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