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Roy Heath JONES (1898-1979)

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Roy Heath Jones

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Roy Heath Jones

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Kathleen Mary (Sis) McNamara outside the Cabramatta house

Roy Heath JONES,1 son of Samuel Thomas JONES (1875-1903) and Mary ANDERSON (1877-1944), was born on 24 April 1898 in Blackheath, NSW.2 His relationship to Ellen is Father. On 5 June 1916 Roy was a follower of the Church of England faith . He gave this as his religion when he enlisted for WWI. He changed his religion and became a Catholic in order to marry Kath. He went to Mass for awhile but when the priest was transferred he stopped going. However, he still set the alarm so his daughters Ellen and Margaret would be up in time to go.1,3,4,5 He was educated at Bourke St in Surry Hills, NSW. Roy is known to have attended the Public School there and is on the Honour Roll at the school for his service in WWI.6 On 5 June 1916 he resided at 44 Coomber Rd in Paddington, NSW. He lived with his mother and siblings. He gave this as his address when he enlisted.3,7

On 5 June 1916 Roy was a leather beltmaker . Roy recorded this occupation when enlisting for the Great War.3 On 5 June 1916 he was described as having a fair complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. He had a mole on the top of his right buttock. He was 5ft 3¾inches tall and weighed 114 lb (8st 2lb). His chest was 29½ inches expanding to 33 inches . This was his enlistment information.8

between 5 June 1916 and 20 June 1919 when aged 18-21 he served in World War I in the AIF, 30th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement. His service number was 4064 and he attained the rank of Private. His unit embarked from Sydney, NSW on the (A40) HMAT "Ceramic" on 7 October 1916. He returned to Australia on the "Port Denison" which departed 25 March 1919.5,8,9

Roy married Unknown (F) JONES** before 1930 . It is not known if they really were married but it is unlikely. No record of a marriage in the NSW BDMs has been found and it is most unlikely that they were married interstate. Little is known of Roy's first partner except the story that Roy returned home from work to find her gone and the house completely stripped bare (i.e. everything : furniture, curtains, clothing, the lot). She is also believed to have had two daughters from a previous relationship. Evelyn Strachan (b. 11 Aug 1911) says she was about 14 for Roy's first marriage. i.e. 1925. However, Lil Holdstock (b. 11 Dec 1922) indicates she was about 7 (i.e. 1929) when she was told that she was to call Roy's wife Aunty but has no knowledge of whether he was actually married.10

In 1930 (approx.) Roy was a cab driver . He accidently ran over a young girl and unfortunately she died from her injuries. The accident happened around Central Railway Station in Sydney. He never drove again and always refused to buy a car. Only this basic detail is known but family stories indicate that it was from this time onwards that his personality changed quite dramatically and he was never the same person after that. In an interview, Roy's half-sister, Evelyn Strachan said she thought it occurred during the depression. Based on Lil Holdstock's knowledge, the accident occurred when she was about 6 or 7 years old, ie 1928 - 1929.11,12

On 4 November 1933 Roy resided at Pinkerford Rd in Waverley, NSW. He recorded this as his address at the time of his marriage.13 On 4 November 1933 he was a wood machinist . This was his stated occupation on his wedding certificate. In later life he is known to have referred to himself as a Carpenter and Joiner. It is not known whether he had any formal qualifications in this area but he was certainly very skilled. He made lots of furniture for the family and large numbers of toys for the children including a marvellous rocking horse.13,14 his interests included carpentry and anything practical with his hands.10

Roy married Kathleen Mary MCNAMARA on 4 November 1933 at St. Jerome's Church in Punchbowl, NSW. The following speculation assumes the truth of Roy's assertion that his first partner before he married Kathleen was his wife (i.e. he was married). No record of this earlier marriage appears to have been registered in NSW. One in other Australian states has not been researched but is most unlikely. No divorce record has been found. The possibility of a "poor man's divorce"* might also be a consideration.

Roy's correct name was Roy Heath JONES. However, he attested twice and signed twice to the name Roy Vincent JONES and the status of bachelor on the actual wedding certificate. If he was married previously, claiming the status of bachelor (which he does on line 2 of the back of the Marriage Certificate) would be incorrect although he may have believed that this was a true status if he had been divorced. To lie about his name raises the speculation as to why. The reason will probably never be known.

His wife Kathleen in later years told her daughter Ellen that three days after they were married the police called at their home looking for him in connection with the theft of some boots. The policeman involved told Kathleen that she would be better off not to be involved with Roy. Apparently he was known to police which raises questions about his character at that time.

Lil HOLDSTOCK (his niece) tells how he was always distrusted within the JONES family. His marriage to Kathleen was kept quiet, to the extent that Lil only found out about it from her grandfather about four years after Lil's mother left her father (which therefore dates it as c.1948). She says that her Uncle Roy's marriage would have been something she would have expected to be told about by her mother.

If the above speculation (and note, it is only speculation) is correct, it also raises questions about the claims he made about his first wife stripping the house, etc. Did this actually happen or was it just a story?15

from 5 November 1933 they lived at 49 Shadforth St in Punchbowl. This was Kath's parents house. By about 1936 they had moved to Wiley Ave (now called King Georges Rd) Punchbowl, NSW and by 21 February 1939 (their daughter Margaret's birthdate) they were co-resident at 101 Ernest St Lakemba, NSW. This house burnt down about 1941. By c.1945 they were living in 29 LLewellyn St Enmore, NSW (which the family tended to call Marrickville rather than Enmore). This property was rented under the "protected tenancy" laws. Essentially tenants could not be evicted and no rent rises were permitted. After the war, the law was changed so that if a tenant left the premises the "protected" status was lost and the landlord could then rerent the place at its market value. Consequently it was not an unusual practice for landlords to offer tenants a cash incentive to move out. Roy and Kathleen accepted £600 to go and they used this as the deposit on their house at 170 Bloomfield St Cabramatta, NSW which they were living in by 1955. They owned this property. It was financed by the payment from the landlord and a War Service Home Loan.

Sometime after 1968 they moved to 3/20 McBurney Rd Cabramatta, NSW. This property was also owned. It was a unit in a block of units which required no lawn and garden maintenance on their behalf. They stayed there until Roy was hospitalised and then after he died, it was sold. Kath then moved in with her daughter Margaret in the Campbelltown area.16,17,18 In 1949 (estimated) he was involved in an accident when a length of timber went through his stomach. It is believed the accident happened at his place of employment.19

he died (aged 81) on 22 November 1979 at Camden District Hospital in Camden, NSW. .

1. (a) Right cerebrovascular accident (2 weeks)

(b) Vascular disease - atherosclerotic (years)

(c) Diabetes mellitus (years)

2. Chronic obstructive airways disease (years).20,21 He was buried on 26 November 1979 in Lot 32 Row 9 in the Catholic cemetery in Campbelltown, NSW.10,22

 

Clearly Roy was an individual who was tight with the family's money which no doubt he saw as his money (as was the custom if not law of the day). Maybe he became this way after his first partner cleaned out the house.

Before they were on the Old Age Pension, Roy never gave Kathleen housekeeping money. He paid all the accounts such as rent and electricity. While living at Enmore, he had instructed a local shop to supply all the groceries on account and he paid it weekly. He had also instructed that there were to be no lollies, biscuits, cakes or such luxuries sold to them. (The shopkeeper, Mr MCEVOY got around this by listing these items on the bill as something else e.g. bread).

Kathleen was given £1 or £2 (her daughter Ellen cannot remember which) for the purchase of the week's meat.

Clothes were obtained using the Child Endownment money. Generally the clothes came from second-hand shops. Shoes were bought at 1/- per week from a travelling door-to-door salesman.

When she was young, Ellen had Rheumatic Fever and as a consequence of the treatment lost all her teeth. Although he could afford it, Roy wouldn't buy her false teeth and she had to start her paid employment life without teeth.

Conversely, being a very skilled craftsman in wood, he made all the children's toys, such as dolls, cots, prams, table and chair sets and a large rocking horse for the girls with trucks, cars and tanks for his son. In his younger days he built his own banjo which he took everywhere with him. His step-sister Evelyn says he was the first person in their street to build a crystal radio.

John Owen tells how on one occasion before he married Ellen, he went over to her place at Cabramatta at night and found the whole house in darkness. Roy had taken the fuses out of the power box "to save on electricity". When John demanded the fuses from him, he offered no resistance and power was restored to the house.

On a second occasion, Kathleen and Ellen had very little food in the house as Roy had declined to give them any housekeeping money for the week, claiming there was no money.

John and his other son-in-law, Tony confronted him over this and forced him to produce the bankbook in which their pensions were banked. There was more than enough money in the account to cover the week's housekeeping. They made him sign a withdrawal form for the money and one of them went to the bank and withdrew the money and gave it to Kathleen.

There were no more repeats of these situations as he was aware that Kathleen had been advised to contact either of the son-in-laws if anything happened again.1,23

 

* a "poor man's divorce" is sometimes regarded as happening when no contact occurs between the parties for seven years. It probably has no standing in law but authorities have often turned a blind-eye, especially in earlier times.

 

Kathleen Mary MCNAMARA1 was the daughter of Thomas Patrick MCNAMARA (1872-1945) and Ellen Agnes GRADY (1883-1958). She and Roy Heath JONES had the following children:

 

John Clarence JONES (1934-2002)

David JONES (aft1934-bef1938)

Margaret Anne JONES

Ellen Mary JONES

Citations

1{S0105}, Verbal ( Personal Knowlege) : OWEN (nee JONES), Ellen Mary (0002). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
2{S0164}, Certificate - Birth : JONES, Roy Heath (0019) Extract. Custom Id: NSW 12848 / 1898. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Registration no : 12848 / 1898 (Extract only)
3{S0193}, War Records : Nominal Roll : World War I : JONES, Roy Heath (0019). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
4{S0008}, Interview : TINSON, nee MCNAMARA, Johanna "Nellie" (0113). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
5{S0199}, Internet : General. The AIF Project at http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/showPerson?pid=158092. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
6{S0245}, Researcher : HOLDSTOCK (nee JONES), Lily Beryl (0189) re JONES, VARNADOE. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Personal knowlege
7{S0192}, War Records : Embarkation Roll : World War I : JONES, Roy Heath (0019). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
8{S0031}, Military Discharge : JONES, Roy Heath (0019) (Dept of Defence Canberra ACT). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
9{S0192}, War Records : Embarkation Roll : World War I : JONES, Roy Heath (0019). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Return information obtained from his Military File
10{S0105}, Verbal ( Personal Knowlege) : OWEN (nee JONES), Ellen Mary (0002). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
11{S0008}, Interview : TINSON, nee MCNAMARA, Johanna "Nellie" (0113). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Suggest 1928 - 1931 for newspaper search
12{S0263}, Interview : STRACHAN, Evelyn (0000) (Step sister of JONES, Roy Heath (0019)). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Suggest 1928 - 1931 for newspaper search
13{S0045}, Certificate - Marriage : JONES, Roy Heath (0019) and MCNAMARA, Kathleen Mary (0020). Custom Id: NSW 14426 / 1933 (Original Cert. C 348669). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
14{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: 17 August 2011. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Personal knowledge about his carpentry skills
15{S0045}, Certificate - Marriage : JONES, Roy Heath (0019) and MCNAMARA, Kathleen Mary (0020). Custom Id: NSW 14426 / 1933 (Original Cert. C 348669). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Registration no : 14426 / 1933
16{S0105}, Verbal ( Personal Knowlege) : OWEN (nee JONES), Ellen Mary (0002). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Ellen says that she was a baby in the house when it burnt down. She was born in June 1940, so an estimate for the date of that event would be c.1941
17{S0138} 27 Sept 2005 and 17 February 2006, Interview : WESTBROOK (nee MCNAMARA), Johanna (0113). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
18{S0262}, Certificate - Birth : JONES, Margaret Anne (0077). Custom Id: Living. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
19{S0105}, Verbal ( Personal Knowlege) : OWEN (nee JONES), Ellen Mary (0002). Cit. Date: 23 December 2011. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Ellen recalls how when she was about nine years old, she and her siblings were taken to the hospital to see him as it was thought he was going to die
20{S0022}, Certificate - Death : JONES, Roy Heath (0019). Custom Id: NSW 27141 / 1979. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Registration no : 27141 / 1979
21{S0683}, Memorial Card : JONES, Roy Heath (0019). Cit. Date: 23 February 2013. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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The front of Roy's memorial card

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The inside of Roy's memorial card

22{S0772}, Headstone : JONES, Roy Heath (0019) and JONES (nee McNAMARA), Kathleen Mary (0020). Cit. Date: 14 December 2013. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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Roy and Kath's headstone in Campbelltown Catholic cemetery

23{S0263}, Interview : STRACHAN, Evelyn (0000) (Step sister of JONES, Roy Heath (0019)). At about the 25 Min mark of the Interview. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.

Compiler of this family history is : John Owen

              

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Ellen & John

Updated : 23 Mar 2014