CHAPTER 9


BISHOPS IN AFRICA & AUSTRALASIA



We now move on to later generations who left England and settled in other countries. First let us follow those descendants of Captain Robert Reuben Bishop who left our shores.


Amelia Bishop, born on 6 April 1864 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Northumber-land and baptised on 5 September at All Saints Church, the youngest daughter of Robert Reuben and Susan Bishop. Amelia married John Henry Mansfield on 3 October 1886, at St. Dunstan’s Church, Stepney. John was born 13 February 1858 at Brooksbys Walk, Homerton (about 1½ miles north of Mile End Old Town), the son of James Mansfield a lithographer and Eliza, née Marchment. Within a week John and Amelia had immigrated to New Zealand aboard the ARAWA leaving Plymouth on 9 October 1886 and landing at Napier (Hawkes Bay region) on the 12 April 1887 (John’s brother Henry Thomas had requested that they be allowed to come to New Zealand). At first they both took jobs as domestics at Kaikora sheep station in the district of Waipawa, Hawkes Bay. Soon after they arrived in New Zealand they had a daughter, Amelia Mansfield born in 1887, and later two more children, Susan Mansfield born on 22 May 1888 and Will Berts Mansfield born 10 October 1889 (here John gave his occupation as shoemaker), all three were born at Kaikora. In 1908 John and Amelia were listed as cooks on a farm called ‘Te Apiti’ but by 1914 had moved to Hastings and were running a boarding house. Amelia senior died aged 56 on 12 November 1920 and John Henry died 15 months later on 18 February 1922 aged 63 - both at Napier, New Zealand.


71. Napier, Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand

Napier is a port city of the Hawkes Bay region, on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is renowned for its 1930’s Art Deco architecture. We fell in love with it when we visited there in November 1994 and visited Cape Kidnappers, home to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony.


Sarah Isabella Ann Bishop, the eldest child of Robert Reuben and Sarah Isabella Bishop

Was born on 4 April 1873 at 47 Huddleston Street, Cullercoats, Northumberland. She was recorded as “Siby Beck Bishop” in the 1881 Census (sounds a proper Geordie name to me - maybe to do with her initials SIAB). The death certificate for her father gave the information that S.I.A. Surtees, daughter of the deceased was in attendance at the death and informant. She married at the age of eighteen to Edward Surtees on 5 March 1892 at the Parish Church, Cullercoats, Northumberland. Edward was a driller in the shipyard, and son of Edward Surtees, a stone-mason/builder and Isabella, née Douglas. Edward


Surtees and Sarah Isabella had the following children:-

Margaret Isabella Bishop Surtees born 17 April 1893 Cullercoats Northumberland

Robert Reuben Edward Surtees born 28 April 1894 Tynemouth Northumberland

William Alexander Surtees born 11 Jun 1896 South Shields County Durham

Edward Surtees born 9 Aug 1897 South Shields County Durham

Sarah Elizabeth Bishop Surtees born 11 May 1903 South Shields County Durham


In 1894 Edward was a driller working in the shipyard and residing at 109 Charlotte Street Tynemouth Northumberland. Two years later we find him recorded as a machinist in the Ordnance Works. In the 1901 Census Edward was a fitter residing at 40 Elizabeth Street, Westoe, County Durham and two years later a Journeyman Electrician at the same address. By 1906 Edward had his own electrical and power engineering business in South Shields and claimed to specialise in telephones.


The eldest two children were witnesses at the marriage of Sarah’s brother William Arthur in 1910 (see below), so sometime between 1910 and 1920 Edward and Sarah and family must have emigrated to Australia; most probably to Sydney New South Wales. I have very little information regarding this family except that:-

The eldest daughter Margaret Isabella, always known as Madge died aged 90 (I believe unmarried) in 1983 at Flint, Michigan, USA, whilst the other children all married with children remained in the Sydney area of Australia. A grandson, Bruce Venn Surtees, son of Edward married Vivienne Palmer on 20 May 1954 in Sydney and later moved to Toronto, Canada where they had two children. Sarah Isabella Ann wife of Edward Surtees died on 15 March 1941 at Randwick New South Wales and Edward Surtees a widower died on 19 February 1943 at Waverley N.S.W.


William Arthur Bishop, the eldest son of Robert Reuben and Sarah Isabella Bishop was born 5 August 1874 at Beverley Terrace Cullercoats. He was a sea-going marine engineer (an apprentice in 1891) who was married by Banns to Rosina Tampin on Boxing Day 1899 at St. Luke’s Church, Deptford. Rosina was the daughter of Tobias William and Caroline (née Standring) Tampin born on 1 March 1879 at 10 Rosemary Lane, Ipswich in Suffolk. Her father, Tobias William (usually known as William) had moved from Ipswich to Deptford and was a seaman in the Merchant Service and later in 1891 was a ship’s engineer. William Arthur and Rosina had one son, William Clement Charles Bishop, born 18 October 1900 at 213 Grove Street, Deptford but Rosina died 4 years later aged 25 on 20 October 1904 at 85 Lower Road, Rotherhithe of phthisis (consumption) 2 years; a miscarriage and hæmoptysis (spitting blood). Her mother Caroline Tampin of 213 Grove Street, Deptford was present at her daughter’s death.


Six years later William Arthur Bishop, a widower, married Clara Annie Sully on 16 October 1910 at the Parish Church of St. Aidan, South Shields. They had three children born in South Wales:-

Arthur Reuben John 3rd August 1912 Dunraven St, Tonypandy, Rhondda

Isabella Jane 17 July 1914 Cardiff, South Wales

Thomas Charles 7 January 1922 Cardiff, South Wales

William Arthur died aged 86 on 8 Feb 1961 at 1a Mortimer Road, Cardiff of carcinoma of the larynx. His widow, Clara Annie died 10 years later of broncho- pneumonia and influenza aged 88 on 29 Dec 1972 also at the same address. Their son Thomas Charles was the informant of both these deaths.


Alexander Bishop, the third child of Robert Reuben and Sarah Isabella was born at 23 Charlotte Street, Westoe in County Durham on 4 March 1876. Alexander’s siblings were all born at Cullercoats, Northumberland, on the northern side at the mouth of the River Tyne whereas he was born south of the Tyne.


72. Alexander Bishop

I have been very lucky indeed as Alexander’s granddaughter Heather Dwyer living in Adelaide, Australia made contact with me and supplied me with a great deal of information of this side of the Bishop family. Alexander was educated at Cullercoats Board School, Northumberland and later at Rutherford College, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Probably his first employment at the age of 18 was as a junior clerk, dealing with the shipping and invoicing of goods, customs work etc., in the Merchant’s office of W. Dixon, Printing Court Buildings, Newcastle.


The exceptional testimonial from W. Dixon reads as follows:-


“Alexander Bishop came into my office about three years ago strongly recommended by the Reverend C.F. Russell then Vicar of Cullercoats. He has been steady and industrious and perfectly sober so far as I know. He has seen a good deal of the work in a Merchant’s office such as the shipping and invoicing of goods, Customs work, etc. We do not work with many junior clerks so that he has had, I think, an exceptionally good training. I should be very pleased if he obtains the situation he is seeking and shall be glad to answer any further questions about him”


This testimonial, it would seem, was for the purpose of seeking employment in a business with African connections. The application was obviously successful, for in July 1897 an agreement was signed between Alexander Bishop and the AIF&T Co. (African International Flotilla and Transport Company Limited) in Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique). This was for a three year contract with a starting salary of £80 for the first year, rising to £100 in the second year and £120 in the third year, being entitled to draw only two thirds of his salary in service, the balance being paid only on satisfactory completion of his three years service. Passage out and home, together with quarters and rations to the value of £5 per month would be provided. This agreement stated that it may be renewed for a similar period if mutually agreeable.


This term of employment was followed by one more ending in 1905 at the salary of £240 a year for the entire period of three years. During these two contracts Alexander built the stations for the Flotilla Company at Fort Johnston (now Mangochi) and at Fife near the border in what is now Zambia. He finished up at Chiromo in what is described as a new house at the beginning of 1900, before proceeding on six months leave between contracts. A finely worded testimonial from the Manager in Chiromo to the effect that Mr. A. Bishop had completed his two contracts to their entire satisfaction, and had proved himself competent and trustworthy, his character and record being good. Judging from a letter by Alan Dredge, Manager of the Flotilla Company at Blantyre, it would appear that a third contract was requested by Alexander, but for no apparent reason nothing materialised, so in 1905 he proceeded on leave to England.


On 6 January 1906 Alexander Bishop married Lillian Atkinson at Holy Trinity Church, Tynemouth, Northumberland. Lillian was born 10 October 1883 at 5 Livingstone Street, Westoe (part of South Shields) County Durham the daughter of Thomas Atkinson, a publican and Mary Elizabeth, née Ellis. Lillian had at one time been engaged to a German living nearby, but broke it off before meeting her eventual husband. The ending of this earlier relationship she always asserted was due to a dream she had in which she saw trouble brewing between England and Germany.


Alexander was still keen to return to Africa, but as a stopgap he took employment with his brother-in-law, Edward Surtees who had married his eldest sister Sarah Isabella Ann in 1892. Edward Surtees had an Electrical and Power Engineering business specialising in telephones across the Tyne in South Shields (mentioned previously). Alexander was engaged as the accountant and assumed full charge of the business during Edward’s absences. His testimonial again testified to his diligence and trustworthiness and his ability generally as a business man.


73. Lillian Bishop née Atkinson


Alexander did not stay long in England and soon obtained a position with the British Central Africa Company as their accountant at Chinde on a three year contract at a salary of £250 for the first year and £275 each for the two successive years. Similar provisions in the contract for passage, suitable accommodation and re-engagement were made as before. Alexander Bishop must have set sail for Chinde soon after the contract was signed in October 1906, for he was employed at Chinde the following month, missing the birth of his first born on 27 November 1906 at 7 Moon Street, South Shields.


Mother and small son Alexander (“so much like his father that there could not possibly be any other name for him”) set sail for Chinde and the unknown in 1907 and her arrival there, together with later experiences, are recorded in a short article written for the publication “Women in Central Africa” sometime in the 1950s as follows:-


THE GATEWAY TO NYASALAND by Lillian Bishop (senior)

Today Chinde, in Portuguese East Africa, is almost an island for the strong equinox tides have washed away all but a narrow causeway joining it to the mainland. Nor is there any longer a British Concession there, for, with the building of the railway from Beira, Chinde has ceased to be the entrance to Nyasaland. But when I first went there in 1907 it was very important for it was the gateway through which all passengers and goods passed into Nyasaland.

I travelled out with my baby son from England to Beira in the SS INANDA, and from Beira to Chinde in a small German tug. My husband met me on arrival and took me to a double-storied building for refreshments. Then I begged him to take me to our house as I was anxious to settle in, and to rest, for I was very weary as I had not undressed for the 36 hours we had been on the tug. To my surprise, my husband told me that this six-roomed building, with its lovely view over Chinde harbour, was our home. I was delighted for I had been quite sure I would have to live in a mud hut in Africa!

The years at Chinde were very happy, though people passing through often asked “However do you live on this sand spit?” Granted, the heat and mosquitoes were pretty bad, and we had no fresh flowers, vegetables or milk. But we did have the beach and the sea and sufficient congenial company for a happy social life. We played a lot of bridge and tennis – there were three courts in the Concession – and we usually had a musical evening once a week. Occasionally there was a Sports Day at the Club at which there were always special events for the ladies.

One great boon, which many people today will envy, was the great variety of fish we got. Each householder had his own fisherman who was paid a fixed monthly wage to bring fish to the house daily. After the housewife had taken all she wanted, including crabs, and oysters and prawns, the fisherman was at liberty to do what he liked with the rest of the catch.

There were only a few grocer shops at Chinde, but occasionally, especially at Christmas time, we went out by tug to a big liner where we did our shopping in the ship’s barber shop.

There was no hospital at Chinde but the Portuguese government doctors were very good and the British women in Concession took turns in nursing the maternity cases. I had five babies born in Chinde and they all thrived happily.

During the 1914-1918 war, Chinde was a busy place as troops were passing through continually on their way to Nyasaland and German East Africa (now Tanzania). A very large rest hut was built at the Chinde Sports Club for the troops, many of whom camped out on the playing field. The ladies in the Concession were kept busy baking for the soldiers and helping to entertain them.

Today I am living in Blantyre and nearly all my ten children and 26 grandchildren are in Nyasaland too. Looking back on the days in Chinde I have no regrets. I am proud and happy that I was one of those privileged to share in the pioneering of Nyasaland.”


Alexander and Lillian Bishop had a large family of ten children:-

Alexander (Alex) born 27 Nov 1906 7 Moon St, South Shields

Hilda Ann born 10 Jul 1908 Chinde, Portuguese East Africa

Lillian Isabella Mary born 17 Sep 1909 Chinde, Portuguese East Africa

Gertrude Atkinson (Gerty) born 11 Apr 1911 Grosvenor Place, Tynemouth

Robert Reuben (Bob) born 15 Nov 1912 Chinde, Portuguese East Africa

Thomas Atkinson (Tots) born 2 Jan 1914 Chinde, Portuguese East Africa

Richard Arthur (Dick) born 20 Jun 1915 8 Ashfield Grove, Tynemouth

Sarah Uriel (Sally) born 23 Mar 1917 Chinde, Portuguese East Africa

James Charles (Jim) born 14 Sep 1918 Muizenburg, Cape Town, S. Africa

John Edward born 31 Jan 1927 Blantyre, Nyasaland, Central Africa


74. Alexander and Lillian Bishop with their 6 eldest children

Another agreement for a three year term was signed in January 1911 with the British Central Africa Company and with the same conditions as before but with a salary increase of £300 for the first year, £325 for the second and £350 for the third. Alexander proceeded alone to Chinde, leaving his wife in England expecting their fourth child Gertrude. Six weeks after the birth of Gertrude, Lillian followed on with the baby and her other three children. Soon after the start of this second contract Alexander was offered a more lucrative position with another company and sought his release from his position with the B.C.A. in consideration of a sum of £50.


From Gertrude Atkinson Morrison, born 1911, daughter of Alexander and Lillian Bishop, writing “Gerty’s Memoirs” in 1989, we find what it must have been like for these children living in Africa.


As a very young child, aged about six weeks, I was taken to Africa, with two older sisters and a brother, where we lived in Chinde, housed within the British Consulate Compound.

When I was four, for education facilities, we were taken back to England (we being my eldest brother, 2 older sisters and myself) and stayed with grandparents until my parents came home at the end of the First World War.

Our family now being nine children, we then went to live in Cheltenham, the North of England being too cold for my mother, but we only lived there a couple of years as my father had made arrangements for us to go to boarding-school in Rhodesia. So off all nine of us set out to go back to Africa. We four eldest, (perhaps I should say that I’m one of ten, all of us still alive and between us 754 years) were dropped off at boarding school in Salisbury (now Harare) while the rest of the family travelled on to Chinde. Our first trip home on school holidays, we travelled as far as Dondo by rail, there we were shunted off onto a pump trolley in charge of a French teacher and it took us another four days to get to where they were building the Zambezi Bridge. There were about 12 of us, 2 boys being sons of one of the Bridge Construction crew. We were in school uniform, navy blue serge! There had been a storm the night before and as we next sat in the back of an open lorry one can guess what muddy little objects we looked.

The man at the camp (I’ve no idea what nationality, but name of Sunderam) was also a contractor to supplying firewood for the river steamers and the rail. He took care of us overnight, had our costumes cleaned and at dawn we crossed the Zambezi in canoes and on up the Shire as far as Chiromo in Nyasaland, from there after lunch we went to Limbe hoping to meet our parents. But they had been recalled to Chinde as there had been a severe cyclone which had just about wiped out Chinde. This might sound very short and brief but I can assure you that at the age of nine it was a great experience and when one realises that today children just get on a plane and one hour later they are at school, to take 5 to 6 days travelling backwards and forwards was a novelty for any child.

Prior to the bridge being built, we went from Chinde by coastal vessel to Beira and then rail to Salisbury to school.

My father was transferred when the bridge was in operation and we moved up as far as Muracca and for six months we lived on a paddle-steamer as there was no housing. The day we moved to that housing was a nightmare. 102F in the shade and we walked through thick deep sand. Our stay on the houseboat was in very restricted accommodation. We spent a few months there and then my father left the British Central Africa Company and worked for a transport company owned by a Colonel John Saunders. I think from there we used to travel backwards and forwards to Salisbury to school but it was always a great adventure. We would start off in very high spirits but after 2 or 3 days in a dirty, coal smoked atmosphere from steam trains we were glad to get to school.

I had a very happy childhood. We lived as I said in Chinde; this is part of the delta at the mouth of the Zambezi. Chinde had very few British families, a few of the shipping company staff, my father who worked for the British Central Africa Company and one or two others, a few naturally being children - [there were of course a number of Portuguese nationals living outside this Concession].

We had no other mode of transport except by “mashilla” – this being a long canvas seat slung from two thick bamboo poles and was carried by four mashilla boys – the entire seat being called a mashilla. We were taken every day out to the beaches, the most glorious beaches that anyone could wish to see. Our trips to the beach each day were a highlight of any child’s life; the beautiful, beautiful sands and bright blue Indian Ocean were lovely. We lived a quiet life and had very little fresh vegetables, fruit, meat or milk. We did have lots of lovely fresh fish.

Our home was a large bungalow with 12 foot glassed in verandahs on all four sides. For coolness our house was built up on 6 to 8 foot poles. We had great fun playing in this empty space.

Our father was very musical, we always had plenty of people around for musical evenings and we thoroughly enjoyed life. Later when we had to move from Chinde I thought my parents must have moved with very sad hearts. They had lived there for so many years, made so many wonderful friends. We moved as I said before, to Muracca, whether this still exists today or not, I have no idea but in my young days, the river Zambezi was planted up on either side with sugar cane. This seemed to be the main trade. Further on beyond the Zambezi Bridge was Tete, a coal mine station. All this has changed, of course, and it is no longer Portuguese East Africa. It is now Mozambique and like a lot of the Africa we grew up in it is entirely run by Africans.

On one of my trips to school from home, which was, as I have said before, a paddle-steamer at Muracca, we went down by rail as far as Beira. This trip became a nightmare as I developed enteric fever and was very ill by the time we reached Beira. My eldest brother decided to stay with me in the hotel and two older sisters carried on to school, leaving my brother to wait with me until my mother arrived to take me home. The Portuguese doctors were most adamant that I was not to be moved but my mother was also adamant that I would be much better off under her special care at home. I was put on a stretcher into the guards van and we travelled, I suppose, a quarter of the way when to our horror we noticed flames shooting through the roof of the guards van. After lots of shrieking and the brakes going on the train stopped. We found the driver was drunk and that somehow or other live coals had been allowed to filter along the roof of the train as far as the guards van where they caught fire. It was most horrifying, terrifying in fact; I couldn’t move so I was carried, once again, off the train until the fire was extinguished. Then we proceeded home to Muracca where I stayed for a little while and when my parents were transferred up to Limbe I went up there. I never returned to boarding school in Rhodesia as the enteric had affected my health rather badly and my mother and father were persuaded that I was much better to stay nearer home. I attended the convent in Limbe, La Sagesse, and thoroughly enjoyed my days there. The Mother Superior was a very talented woman who hand painted the little chapel.

On a return to this Limbe convent after very many years, in fact about 50 odd years, I was astounded to see it was still in good repair, still being used as a school and that one of the old Fathers, Father Basle, was still alive. He was confined to a wheelchair, but still did his little bit by visiting the lepers in the leper colony about 10 miles away.

Out life in Limbe where by this time our family now numbered nine, was also a great pleasure.

Our father by this time had bought our own home (in Blantyre) and nothing delighted him more than to have a crowd of young folk around the piano which he played, also the banjo, which he and my eldest brother played, and we would have a glorious sing-song. This was his big delight as he was very fond of young people and always did his best to keep us amused. Another delight was to summon as many of the young folk around Blantyre as possible and take us all out for a picnic at the nearby river at Lunzu.

My father, unfortunately, died a comparatively young man, as in his day there was no penicillin or drugs that one can get so easily today and he died of double pneumonia. My mother, brick that she was, in fact, was a very strong character, brought up the ten of us, my youngest brother then being only 4 years old. She took great care of us, my oldest brother worked on a tobacco farm which had originally been my father’s but had been sold, and then later worked for [Nelson] Mandala before joining the Customs Department. My two older sisters also were employed, so although we were not well off, we were comfortable.

Although we (my own family) now live in Australia, my heart will always be in Africa and I consider myself a white African having lived there for 50 years and it is God’s own country, a beautiful country.

I have been back three times, once with my youngest daughter and twice with my husband. My husband, by the way, is also much travelled. He was in the Colonial Police and spent nine years of his service in Palestine before coming to Nyasaland now called Malawi, to take up service there where we met and married.

As I’ve said before, I’ve had a wonderful life, I do not regret any of it and although today I do not enjoy the best of health I would not change one minute of the past.”


From the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia “LoveToKnow” (Online) is the following:-

CHINDE – a town of Portuguese East Africa, chief port for the Zambezi valley and British Central Africa, at the mouth of the Chinde branch of the Zambezi, in 18 40 S., 36 30 E. The population in 1907 was 2,790, of whom 218 were Europeans. Large steamers are unable to cross the bar, over which the depth of water varies from 10 to 18 feet. Chinde owes its existence to the discovery in 1889 that the branch of the river on the banks of which it is built is navigable from the ocean. The Portuguese in 1891 granted on lease for 99 years an area of 5 acres subsequently increased to 25 to the British government, on which goods in transit to British possessions could be stored duty free. This block of land is known as the British Concession, or British Chinde. The prosperity of the town largely depends on the transit trade with Nyasaland and North East Rhodesia. There is also a considerable export from Portuguese districts, sugar, cotton and ground nuts being largely cultivated in the Zambezi valley, and gold and copper mines worked.


Alexander’s next contract with the British Central Africa Company was signed in October 1914 with almost identical terms to the earlier ones but with a salary of £400 per year for the whole period. Lillian stayed on again in Tynemouth as she was expecting once again but once the baby, Richard Arthur, was old enough to travel, mother and the three youngest sons left for Chinde, while the four older children remained at school in England in the care of their grandparents. Alexander must have arrived at Chinde about the time that the First World War was declared.


This was a busy time for all those stationed at Chinde for, as the campaign in East Africa developed, this port became the entry for all materials and personnel required to fight the war against Germany and provide garrison troops for the British possessions in the region. Troops were taken care of by members of the British community in the Concession (as described earlier by Lillian Bishop). The men and equipment of General Northey’s forces passed through Chinde and up the Zambezi and Shire to Nyasaland; there they regrouped prior to moving on to the north and into German East Africa. The movement of materials and troops through this port is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that everything had to be offloaded from the ocean going vessels into lighters, which were the only craft capable of negotiating the passage across the sand bar to the jetties at Chinde. With tides and river flow affecting movement on almost a daily basis, the channel over the bar and through the river presented a tricky navigational situation. However, it was done and done to the complete satisfaction of all those concerned. Recognition of this in January 1917 from Claude Metcalf, BCA General Manager “Since May 1915 Alexander Bishop has been in sole charge of the station during which period he has had to deal with the transport of large quantities of railway material, troops and military stores as well as the usual imports and exports; this work he has carried out most satisfactorily and to my entire satisfaction, and I have much pleasure in giving him this testimonial before I leave the service of the Company.” Also on the 30th November 1917 the Board resolved that a bonus of one hundred guineas be granted to him for his excellent services in 1917, which they highly appreciated.


At the end of this contract Lillian’s health was deteriorating, and as it seemed that the end of the war might be in sight, Alexander and family set off to return to England for medical treatment for mother and a well deserved holiday for all. They arrived at Durban on 10th June 1918 where they stayed in a hotel for three weeks waiting for a possible passage to England. What was at first thought to be jaundice proved to be anaemia, the yellow appearance attributed to anti-malaria drugs she had been taking. With the beach for the children, theatre entertainment for the parents and a marked improvement of climate this helped the whole family who, along with Mrs. Bishop soon showed a marked improvement in their health.


Promises of possible berths in mid-July out of Cape Town, South Africa had the family take the train to the Cape on 30 June 1918. However this promised passage was not available and so here they had to stay, first in a hotel, later a rented house, “The Den” in Atlantic Road, Muizenberg where James Charles was born and then a place in Sea Point. Meanwhile the health of the children in England was not good but fortunately they did not succumb to the very serious influenza epidemic at the closing stages of the war and afterwards. It was not until February the following year that they eventually found berths on a Union Castle vessel after eight months from leaving Chinde.

After arriving back in Tynemouth it became apparent that this part of the country was not favourable for Lillian’s health being too cold and a change was recommended. A house was purchased; “The Strathmore”, Sandford Mill Road, Cheltenham, Gloucester-shire and the family duly moved in.


A further contract was signed with B.C.A. Co., in April 1919, to continue as Traffic Manager at Chinde on a salary of £650 per year with a 5% commission on the net profits on any wholesale trading done at Chinde. Alexander returned to Chinde on his own leaving wife and children in Cheltenham. He returned to England aboard the “Kenilworth Castle” in May 1921 before his tour of duty had finished, possibly recalled to discuss the winding-down of operations in Chinde with an offer of another posting. The family were delighted to see him expressed in a letter to a colleague “found my wife and family very well indeed and it was a joyful reunion, the happiness of which is as strong as ever.” There were visits to the theatre and to watch the Derby and Ascot.


In January 1921 Alexander and all the family returned to Africa, to Chinde for a few months and then on to Limbe where he was to function as the fleet Traffic Manager; this was in order to economise on costs for the transport business. The four older children were sent off to school to Salisbury and the younger ones were kept at home. The time in Limbe was not happy at all and both parents missed Chinde and all their friends there. The business at Limbe was an eye-opener to Alexander who was appalled at the inefficiencies there and thought it a scandal and a disgrace and was sorry to say he thought the Company was a laughing stock in the country.


From then until 1924 unfortunately there was no more correspondence. At that time he was Fleet Superintendent with the T.Z. Railways but left their employ due to breach of contract on the part of the Railways. After this there were a number of temporary engagements, including a few months with the British Cotton Growers Association, buying cotton from local farmers at Walkers Ferry in the Mwanza district which meant sleeping under canvas which did not daunt Lillian who spent some time there with her husband.


In 1925 the family were living in Blantyre Nyasaland in their own home and Alexander Bishop was working for the Central African Transport Company as accountant. At the same time he became a partner in a farming operation growing tobacco on Muonikera Estate in the Cholo (now spelt Thyolo) area. Later he took over the estate (though the family did not live there) and it was managed by Alexander junior, who by then had completed his schooling in Salisbury. The tobacco was sold to the ITC (Imperial Tobacco Company) in Limbe. The farm’s greatest profit was made in 1927 but when the depression came it was badly hit and so was sold in 1930.


75. The Muonikera tobacco estate


On 31 January 1927 John Edward Bishop was born. His mother often said she went to the doctor to enquire whether she was going through “the change of life”. He replied that he had good and bad news for her; she was not in that state at all, but she was pregnant. A great surprise to all!!!


In late 1928, Alexander Bishop applied for the position of Town Clerk with Blantyre Town Council. His application was successful, and he took up this post in December 1928. The remuneration was £500 per annum plus a housing allowance of £70 per annum. The farming venture was forced to come to an end about this time due to the collapse of the market for Nyasaland tobacco, which meant young Alec was out of work, but he was able to obtain employment with African Lakes Corporation in their clearing and forwarding department. Hilda was working for the Nyasaland Pharmacies, young Lilian for a firm of accountants, where Gerty later also worked and Bob was soon to get a position with the Public Works Department in road and bridge construction. The rest of the family, apart from John, were at school, some in Salisbury and some at the Convent in Limbe.


Again from the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia LoveToKnow (Online):-

BLANTYRE – the chief town of the Nyasaland protectorate, British Central Africa. It is situated about 3,000 feet above the sea in the Shire Highlands 300 miles by river and rail N.N.W. of the Chinde mouth of the Zambezi. Population about 6,000 natives and 100 whites. It is the headquarters of the principal trading firms and missionary societies in the protectorate. It is also a station on the African trans-continental telegraph line. The chief building is the Church of Scotland church, a fine red brick building, a mixture of Norman and Byzantine styles, with lofty turrets and white domes. It stands in a large open space and is approached by an avenue of cypresses and eucalyptus. The church was built entirely by native labour. Blantyre was founded in 1876 by Scottish missionaries, and is named after the birthplace of David Livingstone.


76. Jim, Bob, Gerty, Sally, Lilian, Alex; John and friend (sitting)


77. Hilda, Gerty and Lillian Bishop

78. Dick, friend Gerry Parham, Hilda, Lillian senior, Sally, Gerty,

Lilian junior squatting


Then on 26 May 1931 tragedy hit the family with the untimely death of Alexander Bishop at the age of 56. His passing was announced in the local paper (Land Times of Blantyre, Nyasaland) tells of his life in Africa.


A PIONEER PASSES - It is with deepest regret that we record the death on Tuesday evening (26 May 1931) of Mr. Alexander Bishop, one of the few remaining pioneers and popular Town Clerk of Blantyre.

The late Alexander Bishop was born on March 4 1876 at (Westoe) South Shields and was educated at Rutherford College, Newcastle-on-Tyne. He came to Nyasaland in 1897, and served the International Flotilla Company in various capacities in Chinde (Portuguese East Africa), Blantyre (Nyasaland) and the Tanganyika Plateau. In 1905 he returned to Britain and married Lillian Atkinson (born 16 Oct 1883 at Westoe, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth, née Ellis). Mr. and Mrs. Bishop celebrated their Silver Wedding this year.

On returning to Nyasaland, Mr. Bishop joined the British Central Africa Co. and held the post of accountant and manager (of their river fleet) at Chinde. During the Great War, he was transport superintendent at Chinde, and arranged and carried out the whole transport of General Northey’s forces. When Chinde closed down, he was marine superintendent for the railways, at Murracz and Chindio. In 1919 Mr. Bishop took up tobacco planting, was then with the C.A.T. Co. as accountant for four years and in 1928 was appointed Town Clerk of Blantyre.

Mr Bishop was a man of boundless energy and great personality. In addition to his onerous duties as Town Clerk and Secretary of the Water Board, he took a keen interest in the sporting and social activities of Blantyre. He was a Mason, member of Hadrian Lodge (South Shields) No. 1970, and at the time of his death was a Director of Blantyre Sports Club, and Chairman of the Sports and the Entertainment’s Committees. Furthermore, he was essentially a home lover, and the strongest bond of affection existed between Mr. and Mrs. Bishop and their ten children.

Mr. Bishop passed away on Tuesday evening, and was laid to rest at the Mission cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. If any sign was needed of the respect and affection with which he was held in Blantyre and Nyasaland, that sign was shown at the funeral. The interment followed so speedily upon the death, that the sad news could not have got much further afield than Limbe in the short time available, yet it may be said that there has never been a more fully attended funeral in the Protectorate, practically every male citizen of Blantyre and Limbe being present.

Padre Hands conducted a touching service at St. Paul’s, of which the deceased was a Church Warden, and thereafter the cortege left for the cemetery.

The pall-bearers, pioneers and close friends, included Messrs. John Scott, J.A. Brown, George Wright, E.G. Hayter, E. Carr, and G. Parham. There were dozens and dozens of beautiful floral tributes at the graveside, including wreaths from “Loving Wife and Family”, “Sally, Jim and John to Darling Daddy”, “Mayor and Town Council”, “Masonic Brethren”, and “Judge and Mrs. Haythorne Reed”.

The heartfelt sympathy of the whole Protectorate is extended to Mrs. Bishop and her children in their irreparable loss.


Alexander’s very old friend Ernest Alfred Carr who was one of the pall bearers at the funeral was taken suddenly ill a few days afterwards and died a few days later; both were Nyasaland pioneers. Alexander Bishop was buried at the Church of Scotland Blantyre as was his widow Lillian later. Alexander’s widow, Lillian, received letters of condolences from the Town Council and even Government House, Nyasaland. She lived on for almost another thirty years, when she died on 1 August 1960 at a hospital in Bulowayo, Rhodesia and was buried at the Church of Scotland in Blantyre, Nyasaland (Malawi), along with her husband.

79. Lillian Bishop, née Atkinson with their eldest son Alex

80. Map of Malawi, formerly Nyasaland


Malawi is landlocked and almost totally dependent upon Mozambique for access to the sea; with a population of only 6 million. The Great Rift Valley runs through the country from north to south with much of its eastern border formed by Lake Nyasa, the third largest lake in Africa. Formerly Nyasaland, it was a British protectorate from 1891 (following Livingstone’s exploration). It became an independent State within the Commonwealth under President Hastings Banda in 1964 and a republic in 1966. Blantyre and Limbe are within a few miles of each other in Southern Malawi. Chinde (just off this map) is in Mozambique (formerly Portuguese East Africa) on the coast at the mouth of the Zambezi River.


81. Bishop Family Reunion outside the CofE Church in Limbe – 13 Jun 1997

Celebrating 100 years in Malawi – left to right

Heather Lillian Dwyer, daughter of Gertrude Atkinson Bishop (Gerty), daughter of Alex and Lillian;

Harry Shirley husband of Sheena Bishop;

Alexander Carrall Bishop, son of Thomas Atkinson Bishop (Tots), son of Alex and Lillian;

Sheena Shirley, daughter of Robert Reuben Bishop (Bob), son of Alex and Lillian;

Marie Petronella Bishop, Widow of Richard Arthur Bishop (Dick), son of Alex and Lillian;

Lillian Isabella Mary Middleton née Bishop, daughter of Alex and Lillian;

Thomas Atkinson Bishop (Tots), son of Alex and Lillian;

William Henry Harvey, husband of Sarah Uriel Bishop (Sally);

Sarah Uriel Harvey née Bishop (Sally), daughter of Alex and Lillian;

John Edward Bishop, son of Alex and Lillian;

Phillip Pitt;

Joyce Bishop, wife of John Edward Bishop;


Robert Reuben Bishop, junior was born 20 November 1877 at 20 Eleanor Street, Cullercoats, Northumberland, the third son of Robert Reuben and Sarah Isabella Bishop. He followed his father and became a Master Mariner, with special qualifications in steamships (Certificate No. 003043, passed at Sunderland in 1909). He married Johanna Youart, daughter of Anthony Hedley Youart, a block and mast maker, at Holy Trinity Church, South Shields on 2nd April 1903. Robert and Johanna had five children:-


Thelma Irene (Rene) 9 Sep 1903 58 Hedley Street, South Shields

Sarah Isabella 1 Aug 1905 58 Hedley Street, South Shields

Olive 29 May 1914 8 George Scott Street, South Shields

Johanna (Joan) 2 Apr 1916 South Shields

Robert (Bob) 8 Mar 1918 South Shields

Johanna died at 90 Baring Street, South Shields on 27 November 1918 of influenza and pleurisy. Eight months later Robert Reuben remarried to Elizabeth Ann Lyon on the 26 July 1919 at the Parish Church, Hendon, Bishopwearmouth (near Sunderland). Elizabeth Ann was 14 years younger than Robert; born on the 1 November 1893 at 12 Gardner Street, Westoe, County Durham the daughter of Louisa Lyon, a domestic servant. On Elizabeth Ann’s marriage certificate she stated that her father was Thomas Jones, a butcher deceased. Robert Reuben and Elizabeth Ann Bishop had three children:-

Elizabeth Ann (Ann) 17 Jun 1920 South Shields

Alexander 7 Sep 1921 64 Denmark Street, South Shields

William Arthur (Bill) 26 Nov 1923 90 Baring Street, South Shields


Robert Reuben junior was captain of the following steamships from 1910 - 1928:-

BRID, ALTO, IVYDENE, ALTO, RELENTLESS (late Alto), PRIMO, MUTO, PRESTO, LESTO, AZIRA, SPERO, CITY, HYLAND, SCANDIA, EUOPEAN, HAUXLEY, WOTAN, WILLIAM BALLS, GATERSIDE.

(Those ships ending in “O” belonged to the Pelton Steamship Company.)


The PRESTO was in collision in the River Tyne on 31 July 1914. The LESTO, a British vessel of 1,940 gross tonnage, defensively armed, was torpedoed without warning and sunk by a submarine on 23 May 1917, 8 miles west of Le Blanc Lighthouse (Ile de Pillier) whilst on a voyage from Bilbao, Spain bound for Garston, Merseyside, with iron ore. Four lives were lost and the Master, Robert Reuben Bishop, made prisoner.

In the month of May 1917 a total of 122 British merchant ships were lost at sea due to enemy action. Ile de Pillier is a small island close to Ile de Noirmoutier and off St. Nazaire in France, the site on 12 December 1999 where the Maltese tanker ERIKA broke in two and her cargo of heavy fuel oil heavily polluted much of this area.


The AZIRA, a British vessel of 1,144 gross tonnage, was torpedoed without warning and sunk by a submarine on 4 August 1917, 4½ miles from Tyne Pier (though another record gives 6 miles SE of Seaham harbour), whilst on a voyage from the Tyne for Cherbourg, France with a cargo of coal. One life was lost. In the month of August 1917, 91 British merchant vessels were lost at sea due to enemy action. The HYLAND was in collision in Cardiff Roads on 20 December 1919.


Robert Reuben Bishop of 11 Poplar Grove South Shields a retired Master Mariner died at the age of 80 at South Shields General Hospital on 7 July 1958. His son Alexander, a librarian, who was single at that time and living with his parents, was the informant of his father’s death. Robert’s widow Elizabeth Ann Bishop died aged 70 at 22 Allendale Drive South Shields on 7 May 1964. Alexander, the son of the same address was then married and again the informant.


Alice Maud Mary Bishop, always known as Polly, was born 7 November 1880 at 20 Eleanor Street, Cullercoats, Northumberland the daughter of Robert Reuben and Sarah Isabella Bishop. She married Robert Augustus Kelly at St. Michael’s Church, South Westoe County Durham on 22 October 1902. Robert Augustus was a “motor-man” in 1902, born at Douglas I.O.M. about 1877, the son of Thomas Kelly, a shoemaker, and Sarah Jane, née Morrison. Polly and Robert had one son, Robert C. Kelly. Robert came to London to work on the trams. Polly was expecting, when she had a nasty fall whilst dismounting from a tram and miscarried. Whilst recuperating she was advised to apply for a job and started work in the Stewards Department of Buckingham Palace in 1910, initially covering for just three weeks. When presented with the George Medal by King George he said “This young lady came to us for three weeks but stayed on for 43 years”; unfortunately she never received a pension.


Samuel James Bishop junior was born 13 June 1856 at Orange Terrace, Rochester, Kent the son of Captain Samuel James Bishop (See page 74) and Helen Brown, his first wife. He was baptised on 17 August following, at St. Margaret’s Church Rochester.


In the Census taken on 2 April 1871 Samuel James was an apprentice mariner who was residing with his sister Helen Gridgeman at 48 Woodbine Street, Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland, County Durham. Two years later in 1873 he left Sunderland as an apprentice mariner and member of the crew aboard the JOHN GEORGE. On 30 July 1873 he deserted his ship with two other mariners at Port Adelaide, the port for Adelaide South Australia and a warrant was issued for their arrest with a reward of £3 for each of them.


82. From the South Australian Police Gazette 1873


Samuel James was apprehended by Constable Bird (fate unknown from this arrest); he eventually made his way north finding employment on a farm for a time at Tothill Belt near Burra. Burra is about 100 miles north-east of Adelaide in what I would imagine was then “the Australian outback”. He returned to the sea and found employment under Captain James Crammer aboard the ketch LASS OF GAWLER and other vessels trading between Brisbane and Newcastle in Australia and New Zealand.


Then on 13 August 1876 Samuel James Bishop married Priscilla Maria Deer in a service conducted by the Reverend Allen at Clarendon, Happy Valley (the district of Morphett Vale about 12 miles south of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Range). Priscilla Maria was the daughter of James Deer an agricultural labourer, and Sarah his wife (née Trudgett), who arrived in Australia aboard the notorious emigrant ship SHACKAMAXON in 1853. This was an American ship of 1,090 tons under the command of Captain West which sailed from Liverpool, England on 4 October 1852 with almost 700 passengers and arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 19 January 1853. During the passage there were nineteen births and sixty-four deaths aboard, mostly children who died from scarlet fever. There was a Court of Enquiry held behind closed doors in Port Adelaide into the competence of the surgeon-superintendent of the Shackamaxon, but it appears that the results were never published. Luckily the three children who came with James and Sarah; George aged 5, Alice aged 3 and baby James did not contact this acute contagious disease.


Samuel James and Priscilla had the four sons:-

Samuel James born 26 Oct 1877 Lefevre Peninsula, South Australia

Walter born 12 Oct 1879 Glanville, South Australia

Reuben born 4 Dec 1881 Port Adelaide, South Australia

Herbert born 3 Oct 1883 Glanville, South Australia

(Lefevre Peninsula is in the Port Adelaide district as is Glanville, which is on the west side of the Port Adelaide River and opposite Port Adelaide). Herbert died aged nineteen months on 12 May 1885.


83. Captain Samuel James and Priscilla Maria Bishop with their 3 sons - Walter, Reuben and Samuel James (Jim) - all 3 sons became Master Mariners

After 13 years service at sea, Samuel James Bishop obtained his Master’s Ticket, which was issued 22 May 1883 for the South Australian Coastal Trade for vessels under 80 tons. He was Captain of several coastal ketches and owner of the “Percy”, “Active”, “Victory”, “One and All”, “Cecelia” and “Priscilla”, the latter being named after his wife. A replica of the ketch “Active” is on display in the foyer of the South Australian Maritime Museum at Lipson Street, Port Adelaide. His regular run was across the Gulf St. Vincent, between the Yorke Peninsula and Port Adelaide (a distance of about 40 nautical miles) mostly in the salt trade.


84. The Ketch Priscilla under full sail


Port Adelaide is on an estuarine-tidal inlet of the Gulf of St. Vincent, South Australia. It was visited in 1831 by Captain Collet Barker (Dorsetshire 39th Regiment of Foot) who was sent by Governor Darling to explore the coastal and overland area of Gulf St. Vincent, Mount Lofty and the mouth of the Murray River. The authorities were anxious to determine whether the entrance to the River Murray was into the Gulf, a matter which was then so far undiscovered and of pressing importance. The harbour was sheltered by a long sand spit to the west and was made a port for Adelaide in 1837, later to be incorporated as a town in 1855 and a city in 1901. The Inner Harbour has extensive wharves with a minimum depth of 33 feet and today is the principal port of the state of South Australia, exporting wool, wheat and flour.


An article about the ketches, their captains and crews, known as the Mosquito Fleet, who traded from Port Adelaide in the late 1880’s and early 1900’s said that they were a significant fleet gainfully employed in the vital shipping industry of the State of South Australia, rendering invaluable service to the early settlers on the Yorke Peninsula. These little boats carried cargoes for whoever sought their services, shipping supplies out, and for cargo back to Port Adelaide there were “mallee stumps”, wool, and in season grain, the production of which increased when the scrub was cleared. The settlers had no weighbridge so they had to take Port Adelaide weights and were paid between 2s 6d and 5s 6d (12½p - 27½p) per ton for mallee roots. Grain was shipped in 4 bushel sacks and the capacity of the ketches was between 30 to 40 tons. Their cargoes were loaded and unloaded under extreme difficulties as wharves and jetties at that time were non existent. Often venturing to parts of the coast that were little more than beaches and where shelter from adverse weather was almost non-existent, horse drawn drays were used at low tide. Later a landing was improvised at Pine Point which enabled craft to berth while loading facilities were speeded up by adding a slide for the sacks of grain to slide from cliff top to ketch. As many as 14 ketches would lie at anchor waiting to load; the Cecelia being able to carry approximately 1,000 sacks. The pioneers carted their mallee stumps and grain for long distances to the ketches on roads grubbed through the desert scrub, being heavy in winter and dusty in summer. Names of some of the families who pioneered these ketches included the Bishop family.


85. Harbour view of Port Adelaide 1879


During the 19th century and most of the 20th century much of the firewood that was commercially available in South Australia was “mallee”; both mallee stumps (roots) and stems were extensively used. Mallee is one of various multi-stemmed dwarf species of eucalyptus growing in the deserts of South Australia and Victoria, and mallee stumps were largely a by-product of extensive broad-acre clearance in order to grow grain. Vegetation was generally not cleared for the specific purpose of obtaining mallee stumps but harvesting for firewood was a major industry.


                  

86. Mallee stump (root)                  87. Cultivated mallee re-growth

At the time when few people owned a motor car, on retirement in 1910 at the age of 55 Samuel and his wife Priscilla were avid motoring enthusiasts, travelling four times to Melbourne and once to Sydney. They owned an “Oakland” sedan, as did both their sons Walter and Reuben (three identical navy blue automobiles). The “Oakland” was produced until 1931 and was a truly luxury automobile. At that time the average car was being sold for US$575 whereas the price-tag of the Oakland was US$1295.


88. Samuel James and wife Priscilla outside Walter’s home at 65 Fletcher Road in 1930

The other lady is Beatrice Bishop, wife of son Walter, with their identical Oakland


Priscilla Maria Bishop died at their home at 57 Fletcher Road, Sandwell, Birkenhead in the district of Port Adelaide on 2 September 1931; she had been an active member of the Birkenhead Methodist Church. Samuel James Bishop died three years later at their home in Fletcher Road on 6 December 1934.


89. The Bishop obelisk, Cheltenham Cemetery Adelaide


Samuel James Bishop junior (always known as Jim), the eldest son of Samuel James and Priscilla Maria was born 26 October 1877. On 30 March 1896 he qualified as Master Mariner in fore and aft vessels of under 50 tons in the St. Vincent and Spencer Gulf areas of South Australia (Certificate 659). At the residence of the Reverend Joseph Coles Kirby in Semaphore on 29 August 1900 Jim married Elizabeth Barton, born circa 1878, the daughter of George Barton. They had no issue.


90. Captain Jim Bishop


The OSPREY was a ketch owned by Samuel James Bishop senior but later transferred to his eldest son, also named S. J. Bishop, generally known as Captain Jim Bishop.

91. The ketch OSPREY at Port Adelaide circa 1900

The OSPREY was lost with all hands, including two passengers, on a voyage from Port Julia in the Gulf of St. Vincent to Port Adelaide with a cargo of wheat and firewood. The vessel left Port Julia on 11 September 1902 and on the 18 September there was a report in the newspaper, the South Australian Register, that the OSPREY was overdue. On the following day there was a report that some wreckage from the vessel had been washed ashore. Those who were missing following the loss of the vessel were the Master, Captain S. J. Bishop, crew members George Durham, aged 20 of Port Adelaide and Albert Lloyd, aged 18 of Semaphore, along with passengers Frederick Sawley and E. Plattern, both of Yorke Peninsula. Captain Bishop was described as a careful and skilful navigator and competent mariner capable of handling a vessel as well as anyone on the coast and the OSPREY was a tight and well found craft.


Walter Bishop, second son of Samuel James and Priscilla Maria was born 12 October 1879 at Glanville and baptised at St. Bede’s Anglican Church, Semaphore on 14 December following. As a young boy he once ran away from home (probably because his mother Priscilla was very strict), but the police caught him at Gladstone (about 140 miles to the north) and put him in the cells overnight. Every time he passed this place with his family in later years he regaled them with stories of being locked up. Like his brother he also qualified as Master Mariner less than 50 tons in the St. Vincent and Spencer Gulfs – Certificate 861 dated 21 August 1903. Walter was married at the residence of the Reverend J. W. Bamber at Semaphore to Beatrice Margaret Reubenicht on 24 December 1902. He had been writing to Beatrice Margaret’s older sister Catherine Annie Reubenicht at Port Clinton on Yorke Peninsula but Beatrice stepped in and wrote to him as well, “stealing” Walter away. Walter and Beatrice eloped as Beatrice was a Roman Catholic, her mother-in-law Priscilla Maria Bishop, being a staunch Methodist, disapproved strongly. Beatrice was the daughter of Captain Gasper Reubenicht and Mary Eliza, née Brown born at Port Clinton, Yorke Peninsula on 18 December 1883.


92. Captain Walter Bishop in Port Adelaide

Walter and Beatrice Margaret Bishop had the following eight children all born in the district of Port Adelaide:-


Samuel James Walter (Jim) 19 Apr 1904 died 8 Apr 1989

Priscilla Harriet Matson 6 Jun 1906 died 24 Jul 1966

Morris Clinton 29 Jan 1908 died 29 Oct 1973

Walter Vincent (Wally) 18 Jul 1910 died 22 Oct 1965

Beatrice Margaret (Beat) 19 Jun 1913 still living in 2005

Elizabeth Rachel 8 Sep 1915 died 14 Nov 1972

Cecelia 27 Dec 1918 died 21 May 1992

Amelia 1 Aug 1923 died 8 Aug 1923


Walter Bishop followed his father to become a Master Mariner and took over from his father as Captain of the ketch CECELIA. This ketch was built in 1873 by McFarlanes at Port Adelaide and her official number was 64222. Her original dimensions were 47 ft. 1 ins. x 16 ft. 7 ins. x 5 ft. 5 ins. of 32 tons but later she was lengthened to 64 ft. 4 ins. and 17 ft. breadth with a tonnage of 40 tons being increased to 42 tons in the 1920s by the fitting of an auxiliary engine. The Cecelia was well known at all ports round the Gulf of St. Vincent and frequently called at Port Wakefield and Kangaroo Island (Australia’s third largest island after Tasmania and Melville). Today Kangaroo Island overlooking the Southern Ocean is popular with visitors; fishing, exploring the scenery and observing the wildlife are the main activities. Seals, sealions, penguins, echidnas, kangaroos, emus, and koalas all live here, along with many seabirds and at the large Flinders Chase National Park in the west of the island the only enclosures are to keep the persistent wildlife away from picnickers.


During the slack ketch season Walter would pile his family and a couple of friends aboard the Cecelia and take them for holidays over on the picturesque Yorke Peninsula; he loved this part of South Australia. Barley and fishing still play important parts in the peninsula’s modest economy, but mineral wealth contributed a colourful chapter in the area’s history. The discovery of copper led to the mass migration of Cornish miners and their families from southwest England, but although the boom period has long passed, solid Cornish communities with strong Methodist influences remain as part of the peninsula’s heritage.


      

93. The ketch Cecelia lying off Black Point       94. Walter and Beatrice Margaret Bishop

After her trading days were over the Cecelia was converted for shark fishing but in September 1946 she dragged her anchors and was blown ashore at Port Sinclair. The wreck just barely visible today is a perch for resting seabirds.


Walter and Beatrice kept a kangaroo named Josephine and a magpie as pets at their Fletcher Road home. They were well-travelled as this newspaper cutting shows.


95. Motor coach tourist trip to Cairns


TOURISTS FOR CAIRNS

SOUTH AUSTRALIANS LEAVE ON LUXURY TOUR

5,000 MILES IN FOUR STATES

The Luxury car, “Miss Travalia”, is leaving Adelaide today with a large party of Tourists for Cairns, Northern Queensland. This Tour of 5,500 odd miles is one of the longest all-inclusive Motor Tours undertaken in Australia, and the itinery and arrangements throughout reflect great credit on the organisation of Bastin’s Australian Scenic Tours. The route will include Tamworth, Glen Innes, Warwick, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Townsville, Magnetic Island, the Barrier Reef, Coral Gardens, Cairns, Kurunda, Barron Falls, Fairyland, The Maze, and many other places of scenic wonder on the tropic coast, returning via the Pacific Highway, Ballina, Tweed Heads, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

The Tour will occupy 44 days, and the itinery is so arranged to give the maximum time for rest and sightseeing with accommodation each night at first-class hotels.

The Luxury Car, “Miss Travalia”, is specially equipped for this great overland Tour. The seats are the popular individual aeroplane type and give a real lounge comfort to the traveller.

At Brisbane the party will embark on the SS “Orungal” for the sea cruise to Cairns. This gives opportunity to visit the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef as well as a change of travelling.

The party includes Mr. and Miss Dalby of Cambelltown; Miss Edmonds of Unley; Mr. and Mrs. Bishop of Birkenhead; Mrs. Starr of Thebarton; Misses A. and M. Mosely of Toorak.

Mr. and Mrs. Bishop and Mrs. Starr have recently returned from Sydney on a Bastin Luxury Tour, and so pleased were they with the organisation of that Tour that they decided to take this one.

Similar Tours will leave Adelaide on June 13th, July 20th August 24th and September 28th and the cost is £77 for 44 days to Cairns; or £50 for 30 days to Brisbane inclusive of motor travel, first-class steamer fare, hotel accommodation, rail fare, sightseeing trips, tips and every expense.


Walter died on 2 August 1950 at the home of his eldest daughter Priscilla Harriet Matson Harvey at Pine Point, Yorke Peninsula. His widow Beatrice Margaret Bishop remarried to Alfred Gordon on 20 September 1952 and they settled at Goolwa, but Alfred died five years later in 1957. After his death Beatrice retired to Pine Point, Yorke Peninsula, where she lived on until her death on 1 August 1966.


96. A lovely photo of the ketch ONE AND ALL under sail

(briefly owned by the Bishops but reportedly difficult to handle)

Reuben Bishop the third and youngest surviving son of Samuel James and Priscilla Maria Bishop was born on 4 December 1881 at Port Adelaide. He, like his father and other two brothers became a Master Mariner and was Captain of the ketch EVA. Reuben married Ethel May Sawford at the residence of the Reverend E. B. Turner at Queenstown on the 9 December 1903.


Reuben and Ethel May Bishop had five children:-

Ellen Sarah 10 May 1904 Birkenhead, Port Adelaide

Reuben John (Jack) 29 Feb 1908 Birkenhead, Port Adelaide

Priscilla Ethel May 13 Aug 1910 Birkenhead, Port Adelaide

Ethel Irene 14 Jan 1913 Birkenhead, Port Adelaide

James (Jim) 29 Mar 1915 Birkenhead, Port Adelaide


97. The ketch EVA


The ketch “Eva” of 55 tons was built in 1904 at Birkenhead, South Australia by Thomas Beauchamp and registered at Port Adelaide in that year by D. Dineen. Her official number was 117417 and her dimensions were L. 76 ft. 5 ins. x B. 18 ft. 8 ins x D. 6 ft. 6 ins. The “Eva” was probably best known when owned by the Bishop family, first by Samuel James Bishop in partnership with his son Reuben Bishop who took over the sole ownership of the vessel in 1921, and in the late 1920s Reuben took his son Jim into partnership. The “Eva” was well known in many ports of South Australia. In 1943 the “Eva” was acquired by the American Army for service with their small ships unit in New Guinea waters during World War II. While operating in these waters she was sunk by gunfire from American forces for being in a prohibited area, although it was alleged that she was instructed to proceed there.


98. Reuben Bishop 3rd from left and son James Bishop far right


Reuben Bishop died 23 June 1956 and his widow Ethel May Bishop died 24 September 1962, both being buried in Cheltenham Cemetery Port Adelaide.


99. The ketch EVA with Reuben’s eldest son Jack Bishop at the helm

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