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Colin's Diary
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Who Are They?
Dad on his way out to Australia
1948
At Portland Beach
Mum, me, Stephen and Gillian
26 July, 1949
Just before leaving the UK
Who Are They?
These photographs were taken on board the Asturias in November 1948, by Pat Piggott. His wife Irene (Rene) and son Michael are pictured with other passengers. If you can identify them, please let us know.

Our family is from Nottingham.  My father, George Vincent Daly was born in 1916, the same year as mum. His parents were Rose Flint and Malachy Daly. They owned at least two pubs in Nottingham. My mother was Ida Beaudricourte Rowlson, always known as Beau. Her father was a window cleaner, Her mother was Lucy Anne Linthwaite/ Tudor. Dad joined the Navy in WWII and married Mum in 1943.

Apparently he came in contact with Australian servicemen and liked what they told him about Australia. After the war he saw an advertisement recruiting ex-navy personnel to join the RAN giving free passage to the family. So we are not 10 pound poms.

Dad left in 1948 on a navy ship and we should have followed shortly, but Mum was pregnant with my younger brother Stephen, and they would not let her sail until he was 3 months old.

We stayed with friends Norman and Redgate who took us down to Southampton where on the 26th July, 1949, Mum, me aged 1, my sister Gillian (Gill) aged 3, and Stephen sailed on the Asturias. 

My only memory of the trip is stumbling about a dark cabin from one person to another. Someone was holding a candle. I was only 18 months old when we reached Sydney on 28th August. I do recall mum saying that women were advised not to go ashore at Aden because the sight of the beggars; the maimed and poor could be upsetting to English women.

My sister Gillian remembers seeing people riding on camels as we passed through the Suez Canal. At Colombo mum was buying from traders, not sure if they came on board. She thought she was being over-charged, but then the man pointed to an ebony elephant my sister was clutching, so a little extra money bought it. Gill still has it. Gill recalls the fancy-dress party dressed as a gypsy, and getting hosed as we went through the tropics.

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Our passenger ticket

When we landed in Darling Harbour, Sydney, Dad met us. He gave mum a gold Locket. This was passed on to Gill and later to my daughter Belinda who lives in England with her husband and son.

A photographer from 'The Argus' was there and took our photos - I am the little boy with his legs over the railing on the right (below) and Gill is on my right.

We shared our cabin with the Thomas Family, Muriel and her daughters Joan and June. Tom Thomas would have been in another cabin. They settled in Picnic Point, N.S.W. and we later visited them there

Dad had been living in Woy Woy with a couple named Bonnie and Ike. We settled at Phegans Bay but soon moved to Woy Woy as the only way across the bay was by rowboat. In 1957 we moved to North Ryde. Stephen joined the Army and went off to Vietnam.  I finished my trade of shipwright and got drafted but was not sent over to Vietnam.  In1969 I married Margo.  Six months later Gill married John.  Stephen married about ten years later and lives in Adelaide, Has three children and one grandchild. I have two children, Belinda and Craig and four grandchildren.  Gill has two boys. Both Gill and I live in Nowra N.S.W.

Do we regret coming to Australia? No, it was the best thing that Dad ever did.  I have a newspaper clip that Mum wrote of her fond memories in Nottingham so a good part of her heart was there. She passed away in 1999 aged 83. Dad went much earlier in 1971 aged 55. Gill and Mum travelled back to England. I've been over five times to see my daughter and have met two cousins and a cousin of Dadís. Nostalgia must have gotten me as I am the only one who feels an attachment to Nottingham.

We have mum's family album, many old postcards of Nottingham, also a collection of old newspaper clippings of old Nottingham. I keep in touch with Dad's cousin, Sheila and two couples who I've made friends with over there. I even have a soft spot for Asturias.

Philip Daly
April, 2015

Asturias at Darling Harbour, Sydney
Mum and Gill at Darling Harbour, Sydney
Visiting the Thomas Family at Picnic Point, Sydney
Vietnam - reunion on board the HMAS Sydney. Dad and Stephen on the left, friends Allan and his father, Ces - Army and Navy
Last get-together before Mum passed away. Stephen, Gill and me (rear right)
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Fancy dress party - Gill dressed as a gypsy
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Gill on deck
Young Passengers on the Asturias
'The Argus'