Ch.8 - 1900 to 1967
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THE ARDENS DURING THE 20TH CENTURY THROUGH 1966
(900 YEARS AFTER TURCHILL OF ARDEN).
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THE ARDENS DURING THE 20TH CENTURY THROUGH 1966
(900 YEARS AFTER TURCHILL OF ARDEN).
This chapter will be, necessarily, sketchy. With it we have substantially left the written word aid must now depend completely upon oral family tradition.
We will also forego here the usual introduction of historical background. The events of the first 66 years of the 20th century, covering World Wars I and II, and the revolutionary effect of the atomic bomb, are all too familiar to the reader and all too recent for evaluation in depth.
XXV Edward Cooper Arden (1868-1939) m. Sarah Foster (1868-1929) "Sladnor Park", Torquay, Devonshire
Edward was the eldest son of the Rev. Albert H. Arden. He was born in Madras, India, in 1868, the year following his parent's marriage.
He followed in his father's footsteps to Repton, and made a start in following the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather in attending Cambridge and in going into the church. But, apparently, he did not receive the "call", left the University, and headed out for the "wilds" of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He stayed there only a short time, and soon settled in the State of Minnesota, U.S.A. some time before 1890.
Minnesota was then in a period of substantial settlement, having had a population growth from 6,000 in 1850 to 1.4 million in 1890 - principally
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because of the final defeat of the marauding Sioux Indians in 1864. Edward acquired substantial acreage in Minnesota which he put into wheat, the principal crop of the prairies.
Somewhere along the line in these travels, Edward married Sarah Foster, the daughter of John Benwell Foster (1814-1901) and Isabelle Bunn 1/ (d. 1904).
John Foster was born in Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England, in 1814. He emigrated to Canada (perhaps in the vicinity of Hamilton) where he was a farmer. Either in England, or in Canada, he married Isabelle Bunn, an emigrant from Ireland. Their nine children, including Sarah, were born in Canada before he emigrated to the United States, sometime around 1860.
1/ This information comes from correspondence with Ethel Tullis Haselton of Grand Island, Nebraska. Mrs. Haselton's relationship to the Arden family is as (follows:
John Benwell Foster b. Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England, 1814 d. Richmond, Va.,
d. Virginia, U.S.A., 1904
Lottie Foster b. Farragut, Iowa, 1877 d. Osonto, Nebraska, 1903
Ethel Tullis b. Osonto, Nebraska, 1902 1. (1964) Grand Rapids, Nebraska.
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He settled for a short time in New York, and then moved on to Illinois where he remained for five years. As a British subject he could not participate in the American Civil War which dominated the national scene during this period.
After the Civil War, the Fosters joined a colony of people emigrating west. Their original intent was to settle in Nebraska, but when they reached the Missouri River, separating Nebraska and southwestern Iowa, they found a vast area recently burned out by one of the frequent devastating prairie fires. Accordingly they turned back and settled in Fremont County, the most extreme southwestern county of Iowa, bordering the Missouri River.
The Fosters lived about three miles southeast of Farragut, in Fremont County, a town which had just been settled (1866) on a branch of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad. Farragut was a typical mid-19th century, mid-west, American pioneer town. By 1876 it had a population of only 200 persons, but was the center for the cattle ranches and farms 1/ in the area. John Foster, however, was neither a cattleman nor a farmer.
He was a colorful "doctor" traveling about the countryside in a covered wagon pulling teeth and dispensing medicine. He was also the superintendent of the Methodist Church at Farragut for 20 years.
1/ Some idea of the nature of the economy of the area is seen from
the fact that in 1876 Farragut shipped out 83 carloads of cattle,
39 of hops, 62 of corn, 48 of wheat, and 18 of oats, barley and rye.
Edward Arden married Sarah Foster sometime before the birth of their first child in 1889 in Minnesota. His heart could hardly have been in the prairies of Minnesota because, it is said, upon learning of his father's death in 1897 and of his own substantial inheritance under his father's will, he simply turned over his properties to his overseer, packed his family up, and returned to England!
After service in the Boer War (see preceding chapter), he settled down to the life of a "gentleman". It is not recorded that he thereafter pursued any occupation, and his sole business activity was that of managing his investments which he apparently increased substantially by excellent transactions in London real estate. At first, he lived on an estate on the Carlisle River in Scotland - his London home being in Finchley - and later he purchased the magnificent estate of "Sladnor Park" near Torquay, in Devonshire, which had a sweeping view of the sea. The home on this estate was of great antiquity going back in part, it is said, to an ancient monastery. One unsolved mystery is a tower on the grounds about which swirl a number 1/ of legends, such as the inevitable secret tunnels used for mysterious purposes.
The "stories" about Edward Arden, "Pater", as he was known by his children, are legion. They add up to a character which partook, somewhat, of eccentricity. No respecter of his father's learning, for example, he used to burn the leather-bound volume of manuscripts wherein his father had laboriously
1/ After Edward's death "Sladnor Park" was sold. It is now a resort hotel. When the author visited it in 1958, it had deteriorated considerably.
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made some English-Telegu translations, during coal shortages of World
War I. He also had considerable respect for germs, and the length to which
he would go to avoid any contact with them were extreme, to say the least!
It seems, for example, that he never directly handled newspapers - for
fear of germs - and used tongs to turn the pages!
Edward Arden and his wife, Sarah, and one of their sons, Eustace (1896-1909) are buried beneath a magnificent monument in the graveyard of St. Andrew’s, a beautiful 13th century church in Stokeinterignhead, six miles North of Torquay in Devonshire.
Edward and Sarah had 4 sons and 2 daughters. They, their children and grandchildren are-set out on Chart VIII.
Maude, the eldest daughter, married Owen Tucker. They emigrated to West Australia where Mr. Tucker was Superintendent of a land development project on the Margaret River. A daughter, Phylis, married Bertram Whittle and had 5 children. She was tragically drowned in 1958 in an accident where she sacrificed her life in order that her children might live.
Albert was a Major in the British Forces in World War I. He is now retired, living in an ancient 12th century home on the moors near Torquay. Bert is an expert horseman. At one point he was 3rd in the Grand National Steeple Chase, and the family has pictures of him "riding to the hounds" with the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII). His wife, Betty (d. ca.
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1957) was also a renowned horsewoman. They had a son, John, and a
daughter, Betty, now married to N. E. Cockman and living with her three
children, in Devonshire.
Edward Turchill was born in Minnesota in 1891, and is the subject of the biography to follow.
Philip graduated from Sandhurst, and had a distinguished career
in the army. Prior to World War II he had assignments in Hong Kong and
in Jerusalem. During World War II he was in the retreat from Dunkirk from May 26 to June 3, 1940, when 233, 039 British and 112, 546 Allied troops were evacuated to Britain. Later, he was assigned to the Middle East but returned to England when his ship was torpedoed. He retired as a Brig. General and lived with his wife, Kitty, in Derbyshire. Their daughter, Jean, married Garford Lilley and lives, with her two children, Shawn and Tanya, in Derbyshire.
Eustace was born in 1896 and died as a young boy of 13 in 1909.
Ethel married Harold Carter. She now lives in Torquay with her daughter Heather who, although blind for many years, has achieved an admirable and remarkable accommodation to life. Her son, Philip, and his wife Mary also live in Torquay with their four children.
XXVI Edward Turchill Arden (1891-1965) m. Ivy Essie McNally (b. 1894) Julia Creek, Australia.
We now come to the last detailed biography which will be set forth in this history, that of Edward Turchill Arden, whose middle name was that of
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his great (23 times) grandfather Turchill of Arden (d. ca. 1100)!
Edward (Teddy, as he was subsequently called) was born in 1/ Minnesota, U.S.A. in 1891 while his father still had his properties there. Teddy returned with his father from America to England as a young boy of 6, and attended Repton, the school of his father and grandfather. From there he went to Bridgewater, in Somersetshire, in order to study stock raising and pastoral work.
In 1912 when 21 years old, he set out for Australia, armed with a letter of introduction from Mr. Livingston Kearmouth, whose father was then the managing director of Dagety & Co. , Ltd. of Longreach, in Queensland. He 2/ became a "jackaroo" at "Corono", a large sheep station near Longreach.
A year later he went to "Bandon Grove", another large station near Longreach, owned by John McNally, one of whose daughters he was soon to marry, as we shall see shortly.
Longreach, then a town of some 2,500 persons and located some 424 miles west of Rockhampton (on the Pacific Coast), was the business and social center of one of the wealthiest sheep-grazing areas in Australia. It was surrounded by large sheep stations, 20-40 thousand acres in extent, producing the wool which was (and is) the backbone of Australia's economy.
1 / By reason of his birth in America, Edward was entitled to American
citizenship, as well as British citizenship acquired from his parents. However, when in later years his request for a birth certificate to Minnesota authorities received the answer that the courthouse had burned down with all its records, he thereafter simply put Torquay down on all relevant documents as his place of birth! It was thus so listed on the birth certificates of all his children!
2/ A "jackaroo" is an apprentice on a sheep station looking to ultimate managership of a station. As a son of a "good family" he had privileges that ordinary hands do not have!
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It is almost impossible to verbalize a description of life on a sheep station. The owners, the aristocracy of Australia, worked the same dawn to sunset hours as their help. Subject always to the demands of nature, they suffered from devastating bush fires, from snake plagues in the wet seasons, from dry spells which saw their sheep die, from rains which flooded the bush and isolated them from all contact with the outside world for weeks on end. Contact with doctors was through radio transmission of "symptoms" and instructions as to medicines to be taken from the medicine box. Living most of their lives in isolation, they educated their young children at home before sending them off to boarding school (if the wool crop brought good prices that year).
Transportation, of course, was entirely by horse or horse and buggy. Teddy Arden, as the head of a crew of four, brought the first motor lorry into the Longreach District in 1912. This trip, from Duchess, 548 miles west of Townville, to "Austral Downs" was a real feat, when it is recognized that there were no repair stations with spare parts scattered along the route to be called upon in time of need!
Social life in the Australia bush centered about the "race meeting", frequently held on the stations followed by a ball in the wool shed, but often held in Longreach itself. The Longreach Jockey Club (of which Teddy Arden was one of the few life members), the Longreach Amateur Racing Club, and after World War II, the Longreach "Diggers" Club, all sponsored race meetings. It was during these meetings that, in a lively manner, well lubricated with excellent Australian beer, the long periods of isolation were forgotten!
On July 17, 1915, Teddy married Ivy Essie McNally, the eldest daughter of John McNally, the owner of "Bandon Grove". They left the next day for an extensive honeymoon trip which crossed the Pacific, Canada, the Atlantic, and ended at "Sladnor Park" in Torquay, Devonshire.
World War I was then in full swing and Teddy promptly enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps as a 2nd Lt. He served for a time in France as the Officer in Charge of "C" Section of the 77th Auxiliary Patrol Co. , following his brother who was Deputy Director of Transportation.
While in England, Teddy continued his remarkable career as an all-around athlete, perhaps unique in this family history. At Repton, he had been on the "eleven" and won the boxing championship his last year. While in England, before going to France, he played on the British Army's ice hockey team against France, and frequently played at Lord's Cricket Ground. He was also 3rd in one of the motorcycle races on the Isle of Man.
Following World War I, Teddy returned to Australia with his wife, and their first child, John, born in England. He purchased "Bauhinia Downs" a sheep station of 20,000 acres near Julia Creek in a new district just opening for settlement in the vast, almost treeless, prairies of northern Queensland. Indeed, Teddy's wife was only the second white woman in the District, the first one having arrived the week before!
Life at Bauhinia Downs was substantially like that at Longreach, described above, except that in the beginning years there was considerably more of a pioneering aspect to life than existed in the more established Longreach district. The family remained at Bauhinia Downs until shortly
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after the commencement of World War II. Teddy was concerned over the possibility of a Japanese invasion and thrust through central Queensland. Accordingly, he sold Bauhinia Downs and moved to Brisbane. He retired to Caloundra on the Queensland coast.
Teddy and his wife had four children.
John Philip Humphrey, the eldest, was born in Torquay, England, while his father was in the services during World War I. John attended the Church of England Boys Grammar School ("Churchees") in Brisbane, and then returned to Bauhinia Downs to help his father during a difficult period. During World War II he was a Commando in New Guinea, operating with units behind the Japanese lines and disrupting enemy communication and transport. After the War, he managed a series of sheep stations before, in 1961, drawing a large block of 29,700 acres - 46 square miles - some 87 miles from Charleville in central Queensland. (The early huge landholdings in Australia were 99-year leases which are now expiring. It is Government policy to break these holdings up into "smaller units" and to hold a "drawing" with all entrants required to show financial capacity to develop the land and a special preference to veterans.) John called the property "Akuray" which is Yaruka, spelled backwards, the locale of the last station which he managed before drawing his block. Akuray presently has 5, 000 sheep, 50 head of cattle and 25 horses. John is now engaged in the massive pioneering labor, with the help of his wife, the former Joy Hawken, of bringing this property, heavily timbered with gigee, and in others infested with the
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barbers pole worm, into an economic unit. John and Joy have two children, Roger, 28th in male descent from Turchill of Arden, and Heather, who was married to Brian Leonard McGrath of Brisbane on January 10, 1968.
Anne attended both St. Gabriel's in Charters Towers, Queensland, and, for about two years, the University of Brisbane. During World War II she was a WRAN (Women's Royal Australian Navy) stationed in Brisbane and Perth. An extremely talented girl who wrote striking poetry; she died in 1950.
Mary Babette attended St. Margaret's, a church of England school, a boarding school in Brisbane. In 1956 she came to America to visit her sister Jill in Washington, D. C. In 1967 she married Commander Douglas Tuel of San Diego, California. Mary has a daughter, Amanda Arden Preston, by a former marriage.
Jill Cooper attended St. Gabriel’s, in Charters Towers, Queensland, and later St. Margaret's, in Brisbane. During World War II she was a WNEL (Women's National Emergency League - a voluntary organization) in which capacity she drove staff cars, and was stationed at two U. S. Air Force bases near and in Brisbane: Amberly and Eagle Farms. Later, after spending two years with her mother at Surfers Paradise, the famous Queensland surfside resort, she came to America to visit a close friend, who had married an American colonel. There she met and married (1951) James Frederick Bell, a lawyer in Washington, D. C. James Bell (the author of this history) is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. While in the Navy,
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he served as an officer on PT boats completing 77 patrols. Jill and her husband have 3 children: Bradley Cushing, Sarah Perry and Ashley Arden.
Here we stop in 1968 -- 968 years after the death of Turchill of Arden. My hope is that the reader has secured as much enjoyment from reading this history of a remarkable family for almost a millennium, as the author has had in writing it! And may those with Arden blood whose lives yet stretch before them, find added strength in their unique heritage.
James F. Bell