Ellen 1870

Edward Davis (c1866-1925)
Ellen O’Neill (1870-1938)

Jump down to the list of their children

Ellen O’Neill was the ninth oldest of Patrick O’Neill & Elizabeth Lulham‘s twelve children, born on 07 Dec 1870 the Port Stephens district, possibly at Buladelah where the family lived at the time.

According to his cemetery record, Edward Davis was born about 1866, but we are uncertain about his lineage. He and Ellen married in Newtown in 1891. The births of Edward and Ellen’s children are registered in either Armidale or Hillgrove, an historic goldmining town approximately 30 km east of Armidale. Hillgrove and Metz (a small town on the opposite side of the gorge where Hillgrove was situated) were where Ellen’s oldest brother John O’Neill lived – he ran one of the hotels in Metz before moving to Georges Creek. There are some references in newspapers of the day to Edward Davis in Hillgrove: The Armidale Chronicle reported that Edward Davis and John O’Neill were two of the trustees appointed for the Hillgrove West temporary common (Fri 21 Jun 1895); when Edward gave evidence in a court case he was described as a tributor (a miner who was paid a percentage of the value of whatever ore he mined (Sat 17 Sep 1904). This is also the same person (Sat 10 Nov 1900):

The Centennial people, Hillgrove, are applying for suspension from the labour conditionus pending the outcome of negotiations with au English company for the purchase of the Hopetown, Cosmopolitan, Mountain Maid, Carrington, Centennial, and Brown’s blocks,comprising 160 acres. Mr. E. Davis, of Metz, who is acting as the local agent, gave a three months’ option of purchase, but this did not allow sufficient time to communicate with London, so fresh papers, allowing an extra month, have been prepared and forwarded, the intending purchasers agreeing to pay a deposit of £500 if any further extension of time is required.

In December 1922 Edward became the licensee of the Great Southern Hotel; from the South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus on Fri 15 Dec 1922:

Mr. W. Pryor, who has disposed of the Great Southern Hotel to Mr. Davis, and is leaving the district, was presented with a gold mounted fountain pen by the members of the Berry Bowling Club.

Edward’s untimely death on 13 Feb 1925 was reported in The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser on Tue 24 Feb 1925. Ellen as an executor to his will then applied to take over the license; from The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser on Sat 21 Mar 1925:

An application by [Helen] Davis for the transfer of the license of the Great Southern Hotel, Berry, was allowed to stand over until next Licensing Court. The S.M. advised applicant that she could carry on the business for three months under the provisions of the Licensing Act, pending the granting of probate of the will of her late husband. He also suggested that it would be well for Mrs. Davis as executrix to make application with her fellow executor for the transfer to be made to her.

A booth license was granted Mrs. Davis for the Berry Trotting Club’s meeting.

In 1928 Ellen went with her brother Herbert and sister Nora on a trip to China, Japan and the Malay States (The Maitland Weekly Mercury, Sat 02 Jun 1928).

She ran the Great Southern Hotel, Berry, until early 1933. There was some problem over an earlier potential sale of the hotel, as reported in The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser on Sat 15 Mar 1930:

Claim for Commission

At the District Court, on Thursday, before Judge Sheridan, Toohey and Hartell sued Mrs. Davis, of the Great Southern Hotel, Berry, claiming £137 commission on the sale of the hotel business.

Mr. Hardwick appeared for plaintiffs, and Mr. Moors for defendant

John Hartell, hotel broker, carrying on business in Sydney, deposed that on 19th December he was at the Great Southern Hotel, Berry, with Messrs. Cleary, father and son; Mrs. Davis and her son Len were in the bar; he asked her if she was ready to sell; she replied in the affirmative; he took particulars from her, writing them on a form (produced); he also got information re beer trade purchase form; the documents were signed by Mrs. Davis and her son; after he got the particulars he sent the latter form to the brewery; after the new year he got into touch with Mr. Jenkins, a hotel proprietor from the North Coast; he went with Mr. Jenkins to the Great Southern Hotel at Berry on 6th January; he introduced Mr. Jenkins to Len Davis, in the bar; he asked where his mother was, and Davis said up-stairs; Mrs. Davis appeared on the scene during the conversation between Mr. Jenkins, himself and Len Davis; he told her Mr. Jenkins had come to have a look over the house; Mrs. Davis apologised for not sending a wire, and did not expect them; she had intended sending a wire, but found the telegraph office closed; he said it did not matter, as they were there; Mrs. Davis showed them through the hotel after they had taken an inventory of trade, etc.; they examined the whole of the hotel, and afterwards had dinner; after that he said to Mrs. Davis the price she had asked was £2500 and a £250 loan to the brewery, and asked her if that was bed-rock price; she said yes, she could not take a penny less; he said that Jenkins would discuss the matter with his partner; Jenkins asked her if she could not take less; she replied she would get her son in Sydney to go through the list and see if .she could make a reduction; she gave him the address of the son; Jenkins went away, but he remained and discussed the proposed sale with Mrs. Davis; he told her it was a pity she did not stand firm as to price, as he was satisfied Jenkins was pleased with the place; a week afterwards he met Mrs. Davis ‘s son in Sydney, and later met Mr. Jenkins in Pitt-street, and asked him what about Berry; Jenkins asked him if he had heard anything; he replied not a word; he told him he did not think he would do anything better than Berry; Jenkins replied ‘All right, I’ll buy it; it will suit me; Jenkins agreed to come in on Wednesday and fix up the purchase; he went to see the son in Sydney, but he was not at home; he rang up Mrs. Davis, and told her he had been to see her son, but he was out; he informed her Mr. Jenkins had decided to buy the place, that he had told him so the previous evening, and was coming in a couple of days afterwards to sign the contract; he told her that Jenkins would pay the full price, that he was pleased to get the sale through; she asked him to go out and see her son that night, and tell him; he went out, but her son was not at home then, but he saw him the following day; he told him he had completed the sale to Jenkins, but Davis told him if that was his game the place wasn’t for sale; he told him it was too late to object then, as the business was completed, and he had phoned his mother; Davis ordered him off the premises; he afterwards went to Berry to see Mrs. Davis, but she would not go on with the sale; he claimed £137/10/- as commission.

To Mr. Moors: His terms were ‘no sale no commission;’ the vendor was supposed to add the commission to the purchase price; he was at the hotel on the 19th December for about twenty minutes; Mrs. Davis was present during the whole of the negotiations; he asked her if she was ready to sell, and she replied in the affirmative; she did not say if she could get her price; it was not usual in those transactions for a vendor to say that; Mrs. Davis gave him all the particulars he had written down on the form produced; he left, but returned to the hotel on New Year’s Eve, and told her he expected she would soon be out of .the hotel; she did not then tell him not to bring anyone down, that she would do no business without consulting her son in Sydney; she did not say that her son co-executor with her under her husband’s will; the son told him that on the 15th January; he did not know before that date; Mrs. Davis did not tell him not to come down unless she wired him; he telephoned her about securing a purchaser, and asked her to confirm the arrangement come to; he denied that it was a trick on his part to get a confirmation from Mrs. Davis of the arrangement; he denied that on 6th January Mrs. Davis told him the place was not for sale; at that time Jenkins had not decided to buy; Mr. Davis in Sydney did not tell him that he knew nothing about the proposed sale, as he had not heard anything from his mother; when Mrs. Davis told him that she would not sell he mentioned the matter of commission, and she said that she had not asked him to come down over the matter; he still said that Jenkins was willing to but it at £2500 cash.

James Joseph Clancy deposed he resided at Clovelly; at the end of last year he was in the Great Southern Hotel at Berry; his son was with him; he went down with Mr. Hartell; Mrs. Davis and her son were in the bar; Mr. Hartell asked her if she was prepared to sell; she replied in the affirmative, and Hartell took down certain particulars supplied by her and her son Len; he heard the conversation, and Mrs. Davis tell her son to sign the form; he afterwards read the particulars supplied; he was going down with Hartell to see a hotel at Milton.

Alfred James Clancy, licensee of the Star Hotel, Milton, corroborated his father’s evidence as to the conversation re sale of Great Southern Hotel.
George Jenkins, residing in Sydney, deposed he was in a position to purchase the hotel, and was prepared to do so now with an allowance for the time since run towards the expiration of the lease; he visited the Great Southern Hotel with Hartell on 6th January; he corroborated the evidence of Hartell as to what was said and done in regard to inspection of the hotel and its purchase; on the 13th January he again saw Hartell and informed him he was prepared to purchase at the price asked; later he signed the contract for purchase, but when he went down with Hartell to complete the transaction Mrs. Davis said the place was not for sale, as she thought she could get more for it.

For the defence

Reginald James Davis, accountant, residing at Coogee, deposed that he was an executor in his father’s estate; he first heard of the proposed sale of the hotel from his mother on the 6th January; he had a ring-up from Toohey and Hartell’s office about sale; Hartell said he had been down to Berry and discussed the sale of the hotel with his mother; he declined to discuss the matter by telephone, and Hartell then came to see him at his residence; Hartell told him about having definite instructions from his mother to sell the hotel, and he thought he had a purchaser; he replied that he had no word about the proposed sale from his mother, and that so far as he was concerned there was no sale, and that he should not go down to see his mother again unless he had word from her; Hartell asked him about seeing the owner of the property about an extension of the lease; he offered no objection to that, as he was willing to recompense him if an extension of lease could be obtained; he saw Hartell later, who again introduced the sale, but he then ordered him off the premises, as he had previously informed him there was nothing doing.

To Mr. Hardwick: His mother had told him about giving certain particulars about the hotel to Hartell and Jenkins; he discussed the matter with his mother in Sydney, but so far as Hartell was concerned he told him that there could be no sale and that no negotiations would he entertained; he denied that Hartell had told him that Jenkins was prepared to buy at the price asked by his mother; Hartell said something to him about commission, and he then ordered him off his premises; Hartell said he had carried the negotiations through to the point of securing Jenkins as a purchaser, and that he was willing to pay the amount agreed upon with his mother.

Ellen Davis, widow, licensee of the Great Southern Hotel, Berry, deposed that on the 19fh December Hartell and several others came into the hotel, and discussed with her the sale of the business; she said she would sell at a price; her son Len asked her if there was any harm in his supplying Hartell with particulars; she told him she did not think there was, and Len supplied certain information asked for; she was in and out of the bar, and did not know what information her son supplied; her son signed the paper; she had a phone message from Hartell afterwards, when he said he had a probable buyer; she informed him the business was not for sale, that she could not sell without consulting her son Reginald, who was an executor in the estate; on 6th January Hartell and Jenkins came down without any previous notice, and she told them then they should not have come down, as she had previously informed him the business was not for sale; she allowed them to have a look through the premises; on the 20th January Hartell and Jenkins again came to the hotel with a document which they wanted her to sign; she refused to have anything to do with them, and absolutely denied giving approval to a contract for sale.

To Mr. Hardwick: She had given particulars of the business to Marell and Co., brokers, for the sale of the hotel at the same price – £2500 and £250 loan; she thought that was done (by her son; she had never written to Murell since withdrawing the business from sale; a message had been sent to Murell and Co. to that effect; she did not give her son Len authority to sign a document giving information desired by Hartell; her son Len signed cheques on her behalf; she did not take up the attitude that her son Len had no right to offer the hotel business for sale; she admitted telling Hartell that some of the furniture would not go with a sale because it belonged to her son, and the wireless was her own personal property; she did not tell Hartell and Jenkins when they came to complete the purchase that she would not sell as she thought she should get a better price.

Frederick Leonard Davis corroborated the evidence of his mother; Hartell asked him if the hotel business was for sale; he told them he did not know; when his mother came into the bar he introduced her to Hartell and the Clancys, and Hartell asked her about the sale of the business; his mother said she would sell at a price; he gave certain information asked for by Hartell, and signed the paper; later Hartell came down with Jenkins, and Hartell said he was a probable buyer, and asked if they could have a look through; he agreed to that; later his mother came on the scene, and told Hartell she could do nothing until she discussed the matter with her son Reg; Hartell said he would get into touch with his brother Reg; a fortnight later Hartell and Jenkins came down to complete the purchase; his mother refused to dis cuss the matter with them; Hartell said something about commission; his mother said she would have to see about that.

To Mr. Hardwick: His mother never said anything to Hartell and Jenkins when they came down to complete the purchase that she expected a bigger price for the business; he knew nothing about any negotiations for sale being carried on with Murell and Co.; he could not say that he filled in the form produced; he filled in one similar to that form; he had no authority from his mother to fill in the form; he offered the books of stock and takings to Hartell.

His Honor said that in his opinion Hartell’s evidence was perfectly true, but on the evidence of Reg. Davis it appeared to him that the offer of sale of the hotel business was withdrawn prior to any notification of a purchase being effected. Reg. Davis was an executor under the will of his late father, and he had acted quite in accordance with the powers vested in him. That being so, he must give a verdict for defendant.

From The Shoalhaven Telegraph on Wed 11 Jan 1933:

Mrs. Davis, who for some years successfully ran the Great Southern Hotel at Berry, is now the licensee of the Crown Hotel, Wollongong, the license of which was transferred to her on Thursday last.

Ellen was clearly competent as a licensee and very well like. However, as was typical for the laws at the time, she sailed close on at least three occasions. Firstly, from the South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus on Fri 19 Jan 1934:


Three defendants were charged with being on licensed premises, Crown Hotel, on Xmas Day. They pleaded guilty.

Sergeant Pye stated he saw the three men standing at the bar. They had been served with liquor.

Each was fined 10/- with 8/ costs or two days.

The licensee, Mrs. Ellen Davis, was charged with failing to close and keep closed every bar of the hotel from 6 p.m. on Dec. 23rd till 6 a.m. on Dec. 26th. She pleaded guilty.

Sergeant Pye explained the saloon bar door was open and the licensee and the barmaid behind the bar. The three defendants were in front of the bar. When questioned Mrs. Davis she did not know the men were there as she had just come in to get some sherry for the cook. The girl said when she opened the door they just walked in. She admitted having served the men.

Sergeant Pye admitted to Mrs. Davis that she had always done her best to keep the law. She kept a good house.

Fined £2, with 8/- costs or five days. In answer to defendants request the conviction not to be recorded, the S.M. said lie could not make such an order under that section.

Another defendant was found on the premises the same day by Sergeant Cahill. This man pleaded guilty and was fined 10/- with 8/ costs.

Then from the Illawarra Mercury on Fri 9 Oct 1936:


Ten persons were charged with being found on licensed premises (Crown Hotel) during unlawful hours, on Sept. 12, and each pleaded guilty.
Segts. Breeze and Hawkey gave evidence of visits to the premises at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., when defendants were found on the premises.

The defendants were each fined 10/-, and 8/- costs.

Ellen Davis, licensee of the Crown Hotel, Wollongong, was charged with not closing and keeping closed, every bar on the premises during prohibited hours.

Mr. Duncan pleaded guilty for defendant.

Segt. Breeze stated the licensee had told him she had no excuse to offer for men who were on the premises of the hotel at 7.30 p.m. Of the 13 men some were bona fide travelers, and she understood the others to be travellers also.

Mr. Duncan said there was a rush that night booking in members of visiting hockey and football teams, and the local men had entered the premises without her knowledge. Mrs. Davis had been in the hotel business for 15 years, 11 of which she had been a licensee. The defendant was discharged on entering into a £10 bond to be of good behaviour for six months, and to appear for conviction and sentence if called upon in that time.

Next, from the Illawarra Mercury on Fri 9 Oct 1936:


Ellen Davis, licensee of the Crown Hotel, Wollongong, was charged with allowing a person on licensed premises after hours.

Mr. T. Maguire appeared for the defendant, who pleaded not guilty.

Constable Bleechmore deposed:- At about 10 p.m. on May 7th, I saw J. Leveridge coming out of the front door of the Crown Hotel in Station Street. He made towards the railway station. I had a conversation with him, and he accompanied me back to the hotel, where I saw Mrs. Davis. I said to her “I just saw this man coming out of the hotel with, a quart of beer. He states he bought the beer at 5.30 and just called for it.” She replied “He hasn’t been here tonight.” I said to her, “I just saw him coming out of the front door,” and turning to Leverage said “Is that correct?” Her said “Yes.”. I said can you see the man who gave you the beer?” and Leveridge replied “No.”

Defendant stated the man was not on the premises that night. She was sitting inside the door all the evening, and was positive no one had entered the premises.

By Sergt. Breeze:- it was the porter’s day off, and I took his place at the door

Edward Martin, night watchman, of 17 McKenzie-ave, Wollongong, stated that just before 10 p.m. he opened the; front door of the hotel. Five men followed in behind him and went to the bar. They were each questioned whether they were travelers, and all replied they were. Witness then heard Mrs. Davis say that two of the men were not travellers, and they went out. Witness then paid some money to Mrs. Davis, and examined the back doors. On the way out of the front door, witness saw Leveridge for the the first time, standing on the kerb in Station-st. He appeared to be standing on the step. When witness went into the street he saw Constable Bleechmore bringing Leveridge towards the front door and into the hotel

J. Leyeridge, Wollongong, stated he was working that night (Friday) until about 9.40 p.m. He had bought the beer in the afternoon, and had arranged with a man to give it to him later. After work he went to the hotel and stood outside on the kerb, and the man gave him the beer. He first saw the constable near the back gate of the hotel in Station-st. He had left the beer at the hotel because he did not want to carry it about with him or leave it at where he worked.

Inspector Roser stated that the hotel was one of the leading guest houses in town and was well conducted.

Fined £3, costs 8/-, or seven days.

Leveridge was charged with carrying away liquor from the Crown Hotel, and pleaded guilty.

Fined £2, costs 8/-, or five days. /

Ellen successfully appealed this decision; from the Illawarra Mercury on Fri 22 Oct 1937:

Ellen Davis, licensee of the Crown Hotel, appealed against a conviction in the Wollongong Police Court, when she was fined £3, and 8/- costs, for breach of Liquor Act.

Mr. J. W. Shand, instructed by Maguire and Mclnerney, appeared for appellant.

The police court depositions were taken as evidence.

Inspector Roser said there were three previous convictions under the Liquor Act against defendant, who had a good record, and conducted the hotel well. It is one of the leading hotels in Wollongong.

In allowing the appeal, His Honor said that quality of the evidence called for the defence, and the evidence that it was a well conducted hotel had enabled him to make up his mind.

In early 1937 her brother Alfred O’Neill, a well-known sportsman who had worked in two hotels in Wingham for much of his life, retired to move to Wollongong to assist Ellen with the running of the Crown Hotel. However, Ellen died unexpectedly on Fri 30 Sep 1938; her death was reported in The Nowra Leader on Fri 7 Oct 1938:


Mrs. Ellen Davis, licensee of the Crown Hotel, Wollongong, passed away at midnight on Friday, after a comparatively short illness. Her death removed one of the best loved personalities of the Wollongong and Berry districts. She had resided at Berry over a number of years as licensee of the Great Southern Hotel, prior to removal to the Illawarra district, some six years ago. Her funeral on Saturday afternoon was representative of all sections of the community, an eloquent tribute to her popularity. “She was a grand old lady,” said one who had known her well. “I have never known her to do a bad turn, but the good that she has done over the last six years and before she came to Wollongong will never be fully known.” The late Mrs. Davis could be said to be one of the vanishing race – the old style country hotelkeeper who showed a real personal interest in the public. With a spontaneous cheerfulness and a sincerity that appealed to all, she conducted her house in a manner that made it famed along the coast for its hospitality. Her first duty was always to her friends and guests. Before proceeding to the Roman Catholic cemetery at Wollongong on Saturday afternoon, the Rev. Father Gallagher, parish priest, conducted a service in St. Francis Xavier Church, Wollongong. Chief mourners were: R. E., R. J. and F. L. Davis (sons), who were accompanied by Mesdames Davis (daughters-in-law); Mrs. Brigstocke (daughter) and Mr. Brigstocke (son-in-law); Messrs. P. J., H. T., and A. E. O’Neil, of Kempsey, Port Macquarie and Wollongong (brothers); Mrs. Minch and Mrs. O’Shannessy (Sydney), and Mr. O’Shannessy (brother-in-law). Others were Ald. Lang (Mayor of Wollongong), Dr. J. P. Storman (nephew), Mr. O. Lulham (cousin) and Mrs. Lulham; Mrs. J. Lynch (niece) and Mr. J. Lynch, former superintendent of police; Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Walsh and family, of Wollongong and Mr. and Mrs. Barling.

The Taree’s The Northern Champion copied the notice and in its edition on Sat 15 Oct 1938 added:

Coming from Berry six years ago, the late Mrs. Davis took charge of the Crown Hotel, and in that comparatively short period won her way into the hearts of all who know her.

From the Illawarra Mercury on Fri 07 Oct 1938:


The sudden death of Mrs. Ellen Davis, at midnight last Friday night, came as a great shock to the community. The deceased was 68 years of age, and was born at Bulladelah, North Coast. Her husband predeceased her in 1925. The late Mrs. Davis held the license of the Crown Hotel, Wollongong, for the past six years, and during that time made a host of friends and endeared herself in the hearts of all she came in contact with. Prior to coming to Wollongong, the deceased had been licensee of the Great Southern Hotel, at Berry, for ten years. Three sons, Raymond Edward (Sydney), Reginald James (Sydney) and Frederick Leonard (Wollongong) and a daughter, Mrs. Brigstocke (Wollongong) are left to mourn their loss.

The funeral oh Saturday was a very impressive one. Besides the chief mourners were three brothers, Messrs. P. J. O’Neill (Kempsey), H. T. O’Neill (Port Macquarie) and A. E. O’Neill (Wollongong), Ald. Lang (Mayor); Dr. J. P. Storman (nephew), Mr. O. Lulham (cousin) and Mrs. Lulham, Mr. and Mrs. Barling, Mr. J. Lynch (ex Superintendent of Police) and Mrs. Lynch, Mr. and Mrs. P. Walsh, Sergeant Breeze (rep. police), S. McCauley (Tattersall’s Hotel, president S.C. branch U.L.V.A.), Mr. Cohen (Royal Hotel); Mr. Trail (Commercial Hotel), Mr. Lett (Hotel Wollongong); Mr. Taylor (Commercial Hotel, Port Kembla).

The interment took place in the R.C. portion of the Wollongong cemetery. The Rev. Fr. Callaghan conducted a service at St. Francis Xavier’s’ Church prior to the funeral.

Edward & Ellen’s family:

01. Raymond Edward (b. 1892 in Metz, NSW, d. 24 Jul 1975)

02. Ada Laura (b. 04 Apr 1894, d. 1987, record 202056)

03. Reginald James (b. 08 Nov 1895, d. 16 Oct 1958) birth register 1132/1896

04. Alfred J. (b. 1898, d, 1898)

05. Frederick Leonard (b. 22 Aug 1900, d. 07 Jan 1954)

Generation 2

01. Raymond Edward Davis enlisted on 08 May 1916; his service record can be viewed here. He married Annie Margaret Patterson at Blayney in 1919.

The electoral rolls from 1930 to at least 1937 show that Raymond and Annie ran a hotel (the Royal) in Yeoval, about half way between Molong and Dubbo in NSW. From sometime before 1943 to at least 1949 they ran the Royal Hotel, 283 Bondi Rd Bondi. Then in the 1954 and 1958 rolls they had the Empire Hotel, 103A Parramatta Rd Annandale. A Rita Susan Davis lived in the hotel as well, she was described as a stenographer.

From The Sydney Morning Herald on Thu 6 Feb 1941:

Raymond Edward Davies, of the Royal Hotel, Bondi Road and Denham Street, Bondi, was fined £3, it being alleged that he had supplied beer three fluid ounces short of the pint ordered.

The Western Champion published the transfer of the Royal Hotel license in Yeoval to Raymond on Thu 25 Apr 1925.

He had relinquished this license by 1938 as The Wellington Times reported on a visit he and Annie, Raymond’s brother and his wife made to Yeoval; from Thu 28 Jul 1938:

Mr. R. E. Davis, late of the local Royal Hotel, with Mr. and Mrs. L. Davis, and Mr. Shaunessey, of Wollongong, spent a few days in Yeoval last week.

The Truth on the following Sunday was more expansive (and carried Raymond’s photo to the left):

Inspectors Visit E. Suburbs Hotel

BEER, or the lack of it, cost three Eastern Suburbs publicans £1 per ounce at Paddington Court last week, where Inspectors Joyce and Westbury, of the Weights and Measures Department, continued their campaign against licensees who exploit the public by serving short measure beer at increased prices. …

Similarly charged was Raymond Edward Davies, of the Royal Hotel, Bondl road, Bondi. He also pleaded guilty.

Inspector Martin Joyce, said that on December 16, in the saloon bar, he ordered a pint and paid 11d. Measured, the beer was found to be 17 fluid ozs, 3 ozs. or 15% deficient.

The measure, a tankard, was found to be correct.

Inspector Joyce added that when interviewed, Davis said that it was difficult to measure beer in a tankard. Joyce said he told him that he wouldn’t accept that explanation as a milkman, who used a similar container, was expected to give correct measure.

Mr. Farrington: I’m too hard to accept it. too.


Mr. Malor (for Davies) submitted that it was not the ordinary case of serving a schooner instead of a pint. The measure was correct, but the beer was fresh, which made a certain amount of froth. It was not easy to see how far from the top of the vessel the beer was.

A fine of £3, with 8s costs was inflicted. …

Raymond passed away on 24 Jul 1975 and is buried in Mattraville; Margaret pre-deceased him, passing away in Sydney on 17 Oct 1961. These dates appear on their headstone. It appears they had at least one daughter but we know nothing more about this family.

02. Ada Laura Davis married Douglas Ayde Ferdinand Brigstocke in Sydney in 1926. Douglas was born in 1886 to Ferdinand Phelps Brigstocke and Evelyn Julia Flower, who had married on 06 Nov 1884 (The Sydney Mail, Sat 29 Nov 1884).

Douglas was a mining engineer; in the 1913 electoral rolls he is listed as an engineer, living with his parents in Argyle St, Camden. When WWI broke out he joined the No 2 Co Mining Engineers, enlisting on 11 Oct 1915. aged 28 (his service record can be viewed here), so his birth year would have been c.1887. For some years after the war he continued working as a mining engineer; in the 1934 and 1935 electoral rolls resided in the Centennial Hotel, Gulgong. During those years Ada lived with her mother in the Crown Hotel in Wollongong (see also the war history below which states that Douglas was in New Guinea during this period). On Fri 9 Feb 1934 the South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus reported on a case of fraud in which Ada gave evidence:

Mrs. Ada Brigstocke, residing with her mother, Mrs. Davis, licensee of the Crown hotel, stated defendant came to the office on Feb 2nd. He said he wanted accommodation and handed witness the cheque for £10 16/- signed by L. E. King. Witness asked her brother about cashing the cheque and on her return she pointed out that it was wrongly dated. About a quarter of an hour later defendant returned with the cheque with the date altered. The cheque was handed to witness’ brother. Defendant gave the name of King.

From the outbreak of WWII until 1968 the couple were at 4 Bessell St Wollongong; Douglas was listed as a clerk throughout that period. Douglas passed away in Wollongong on 10 Jul 1969 (see also the Anglican Parish Registers). However, the Anzacs of Macarthur website gives more detailed information about Douglas’ war history and work history:

Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 2nd Tunnelling Company
Suburb: Camden

…Douglas landed in Marseilles in early May, and then boarded the train to Hazebrouck. The following month, he was promoted Lieutenant on the 15th of June in the field. Tunnelling warfare was essential to strategy in the First World War. The mines that were blown before the Battle of Messines in June 1917, were evident of this. Douglas began working under the ground in No Man’s Land, digging towards the enemy’s lines and searching for German tunnellers. It was a laborious and dangerous task. One false move and tunnels collapsed and the threat of being discovered by counter-miners was ever present. For most of January 1917, he was detached to the 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company, until he returned to his unit in early February. However, the conditions of working in the trenches and in the tunnels began to take affect on Douglas. In late July, he reported sick to hospital with dysentery. In August, he was then transported from the 12th Casualty Clearing Station, to hospital in Rouen. He was then evacuated to England for treatment. By the beginning of October, he was feeling better. He left Wandsworth to go back to France, travelling from Rouelles to the Australian General Base Depot in Havre. From here, he rejoined the 2nd Tunnelling Company in mid November, four days after the Armistice was signed. At the beginning of February 1919, he was made adjutant and Quartermaster for the 2nd Tunnelling Company. He was then granted leave in England from the beginning of July for six weeks. During this period, he gained non-military employment with East Pool & Agar Ltd, a mining company in Cornwall. He was then stationed to Sutton Veny Camp, until he returned to Australia and his appointment was terminated in January 1920.

Douglas then returned to his family in Camden and his civie life. In 1920, he commenced working for the Mount Boppy Gold Mining Company in Carbeligo. In 1926, he married Ada L. Davis in Sydney. They started a new life together, and by 1934, Douglas was working in New Guinea in Bulolo.

03. Reginald James Davis, known as Reg, married Elsie Maria Hewit on 25 Apr 1925 (The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 13 Jun 1925). Elsie born in 1893 in Newcastle (record 25506), the youngest daughter of George Hewit & Marion West.

Reg was listed as a company secretary in every electoral roll he appeared in. From 1930 to 1936 the couple lived at 106 Forest Rd, Arncliffe. In 1937 they were listed in Martin Court, George St, Randwick East. From 1943 to 1958 they appear at 237 Ernest St Cameray. Reg died there on 16 Oct 1958 and Elsie on 19 Apr 1971 (record 48530).

05. Frederick Leonard Davis, known as Len, married Ellen Winifred Walsh in Berry in 1928 (record 3854). She was born in 1902 and died in Wollongong on 26 June 1994, aged 92. Len assisted his mother in running the Crown Hotel in Wollongong, and following her death in 1938 became the hotel licensee.

On Fri 28 Jan 1938 the South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus reported on the death of their daughter Annie Therese:


Mr. and Mrs. Len Davis, of the Crown Hotel, Wollongong, had the misfortune to lose by death yesterday their infant daughter – Annie Therese, aged 5 months.

Two sons and three daughters survived him and were listed in Len’s obituary; from the Illawarra Daily Mercury on Sat 09 Jan 1954:


The death occurred on Thursday night of Mr. Frederick Leonard Davis of Harbour St. Mr. Davis was proprietor of the Crown Hotel.

He was the husband of Mrs. Ellen Davis and the father of John, Edward, Margaret, Mary and Claire.

Mr. Davis came to Wollongong from Berry 21 years ago to take over the Crown Hotel from his mother.

He also had two sons in the hotel business.

Mr. Davis generously supported a number of charities and was a keen follower of district football.

His funeral will leave St. Francis Xavier’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Wollongong, this morning after a Requiem Mass, for the Wollongong Roman Catholic Cemetery. Mr. H. Parsons is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

We know very little about the Davis family, if anyone can provide new information please email mick@oneillfamily.id.au.

%d bloggers like this: