Australian looking for Arbroath roots

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An Australian whose grandparents emigrated from Arbroath in 1952 is keen to find out more about them and surviving relatives in the town.

Craig Smith, who lives in Melbourne, has sent a picture taken at the railway station where his grandparents, Charles and Nora Smith (nee Edwards) and his father, Derek (13), were boarding a train for Liverpool to catch their boat which was to take them ‘Down Under’.

He added that Charles and Nora’s other son, Ronald, had emigrated in 1951 on his own as a 16-year-old.

The only other person on the picture Mr Smith knows the name of is the young woman in the headscarf, an Arbroath resident whose married name was Gladys Sherritt.

He wonders if readers can perhaps supply the names of the others in the photograph.

Mr Smith relates that his grandfather, Charles, was a farm worker in the Arbroath area.

His grandmother Nora Edwards was born at Seaton Smithy where her father John Edwards was the blacksmith. Her grandfather James Edwards had worked at Seaton Smithy as a blacksmith after being born and married there and his father John Edwards had also been blacksmith there.

Charles and Nora were married on August 18, 1934, at the Old Church manse, Arbroath. Charles was a farm servant at Westerton of Colliston and Nora was a domestic servant at Hatton House, Carnoustie.

Their first son, Ronald Edwards Smith, was born in 1935, and their second, Derek Charles Smith, arrived in 1939 at East Balmirmer, Arbirlot.

Charles was a ploughman and served as a Sergeant in the Home Guard during the Second World War.

Ron migrated to Australia in 1951 as a 16 year old, departing from the Port of London on the ‘Orion’. He worked as a shearer in New South Wales before settling in Launceston, Tasmania, and working at a local hospital. In the 1970s he had a daughter named Alisha. Ron did not maintain close contact with the family.

Charles, Nora and Derek arrived in Melbourne, Victoria, on November 2, 1952. Their address on their outward shipping record is listed as 3 Lunan Avenue, Inverkeilor.

In Australia, they initially lived and worked on a farming property near Deniliquin, New South Wales, before settling in Barooga, New South Wales, where Charles worked for the local council in the town of Cobram, Victoria.

Charles died in 1963 and Nora passed away in 1999.

Derek joined the state-owned Victorian Railways in 1955. He later worked at Wangaratta, Victoria, where he met Kathleen (Kathy) Everitt.

Derek and Kathy were married in Wangaratta in 1960, and had two children: Craig born in 1963 and Susan born in 1966.

Kathleen died in 1977 in Parkville, Victoria. In 1980, Derek married Dianne Tennant and they moved to Seymour, then Kyabram and eventually Badaginnie, near Benalla (all Victoria) where Derek held his final appointment as a Station Master. They had one daughter, Rachel born in 1985.

Derek died suddenly in 1990.

Craig lives in Melbourne with his wife and daughter and Susan lives in Brisbane, Queensland, near her two adult children and grandson.

Mr Smith can be contacted at craig.smith@goggo.com.au