Pratt Family History
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Cyril George was born on 26 October 1903, the first child to Henry George Pratt and Emily Maud Pratt (nee Child). The family were living at (49 Russell Rd Hendon??) London in the County of Middlesex, England.
Cyril had fair hair and blue eyes after his mother. He was taller than his brother Charles and they used to box together. He joined the boy scouts and also a bicycle club and Cyril and Charlie would often bike to Red Hill on a Sunday.
At the age of ?? years Cyril emigrated to Australia. He boarded with the Evans family in Perth WA. The Evans family were English from Bricton London, near Clapham Junction. It was here that he met their Daughter, Cecilla Maud Evans, his future wife.
By 19..., then aged 21 ?, they were married in Perth approx 1924??. Cyril and Cissie were aged 21?? years.
Cyril and Cissie had 4 Children, a Son and 3 Daughters. As Cissie was a Catholic, the family were raised in the Catholic religion.
A son, Dennis Henry was born at Beverley WA approx 14-10-1927. Dennis married Heather Margaret Brody on 16-8-1954 and had 6 Children, Sharron, Leon, Marion, Greame, Linda, Fiona.
Patricia was their next child, born approx 1931 in WA. She married Ray Conners and had 3 boys and 3 girls, Julie, Penney, Keven, Patrick,........
After the birth of Patricia, the family returned to ??? England, where they spent the next 16 years.
Joan was born in England, probably London, in February 1938. Joan married Bill Stevenson and had two girls, Aissa and Naomi. They now live in Lara, Victoria 3212, Australia.
Jeanne was also born in England on 26-9-1939 (2 days after WW2 started) at Harrow Middlesex. Jeanne married an Italian, Enzo Tion, and had 6 boys and 2 girls, Nard, Hans, Melissa, Adrian, Andre, Marcus, Carl, Bree. Jeannes' husband returned to Italy and she never heard from him again, leaving Jeanne to raise the family by herself. Jeanne now lives at 16 India St, Broomehill, WA 6318.
The Great Depression struck at Primary producing countries, like Australia, before Industrial Great Britain. In response to Cyril's tales of woe, his Father suggested they return to England as work was available there. During the period of time it took to gain passage and arrive in the "old country" the depression had taken hold there too, and the jobs had disappeared. The Great Depression was incredibly cruel. Family's would stand in a queue on a freezing corner, waiting for some sort of Welfare assistance. From then until the outbreak of WWII millions were out of work and new arrivals like Cyril Pratt and his family had no "fall back" position. At least, if they had remained in Australia, they could have slept out in the open, fished the streams, trapped rabbits, grown vegetables, collect eggs, steal oranges, shoot ducks, or work for a bag of Cockies wheat. In England that was not possible because of the climate and population. It was a bleak situation until Cyril was conscripted into the Royal Artillery. He was discharged medically unfit and sent south to work on the "Mulbury Harbour" for the invasion of Europe.
After the war the family returned to Australia on the "SS Austurius" in 1947. Cyril and Cissie aged 44, Dennis 20, Patricia 16, Joan 9 and Jeanne 8. Cyril had high hopes of a Soldiers Settlers farm in West Australia which it seems he was on the short list for. They spent a year in Perth living with Cissie's sister Bess, before moving to Beverly, 100 Km West of Perth WA, where eventually the impracticability of the Soldiers Settlers farm idea was driven home after a term of employment on a Beverley farm.
|Cyril drifted back into House Painting and Interior Decoration in his own business which was lucrative enough for a number of years. However, Cyril aspirations were not for making money, preferring to tinker about the home.|
Cyril and Cissie lived in Beverley until Cyril died in 1987, a number of months after he broke his hip, slipping on the wet kitchen floor. In late August 1987, Cyril was taken by his daughter Jeanne to Beverley Hospital after suffering acute abdominal pain for 2 days. He was kept under observation for three days and then taken to Northam Hospital where he was operated on for a bowel obstruction. Although he recovered well from the operation he passed away the following night, 5 September 1987, of heart failure, aged 83, one month short of his 84th birthday. Cissie then moved to live with her daughter Jeanne.
Dennis joined the Royal Air Force in England, just before returning to Australia. Against his wishes he was sent to gain Farm "experience" for the proposed Soldiers Settlers farm his Father was to take-up. When his Father gave the idea away, Dennis was left 'high' and 'dry' on a Wheat-belt farm with little other experience. Being very fair in complexion and of slight build he found being scorched by the sun lumping wheat and stooking hay far from his ambition in life. A break from the rural life came with a stint in a Motor Garage as a Mechanic. A taste of town life convinced Dennis that the isolation of the back blocks was his vocation and he was able to find employment loading and unloading trucks for the Government Railways. He retired 30 years later as a Station Master.
|Prior to working on the railway, he married Heather
Margaret BRODY at Beverley on 16-8-1954, and having had the experience of
bringing-up a family of 6 Children on casual work only, kept him at his permanent Railway job,
however it was not a career he enjoyed and in hind-sight he should not have
stuck with it and perused something more satisfying.
Photo taken 1997.
Dennis and Heather children are Sharron, Leon, Marion, Graeme, Linda, and Fiona.
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