The story of: Gordon F. Springett, 20 yrs (N ticket 2638, second cabin)
Admin note: I have not yet been contacted by any Springett descendants. I have added to this page some news articles mentioning his bravery, being one of the men that accompanied Parry in the small boat from King Island to Victoria to seek rescue.
Update: June 2021: Contacted by descendant via an uncle line, Thomas Stamp with some interesting information about Mr Springett which I have added below.
Note - still no confirmation whether he is the jockey in the news snippet!
You may recall the name Gordon F Springett, one of the brave men who accompanied Mr Parry to the mainland. He was an uncle some generations back.
Gordon Freeman Springett, born 8th January 1844 at Funçhal, Madeira, the 2nd son of William Samuel Pitt Springett, and Matilda Penfold. His family were Anglicans with Catholic leanings, and he became a Catholic himself. He went to Australia in 1866, shipwreck, then went on to Queensland. He settled on a farm at Walloon, near Ipswich. On 19th September 1867, he married Marion Kerrich (1848-1925) at St Mary’s (Catholic) Church, Ipswich. They lived at Walloon for a few years, with Marion’s widowed mother, then went back to England in 1870. They set up in Notting Hill, then went to Tenby, in Wales, to join his mother and siblings.
They later went back to London. Gordon at one time worked as a butler, but spent most of his life as a ‘gentleman’. Marion eventually became quite independent. She sent up her own typewriting business in the 1890s, later joined by three of her daughters. She was from a very rich family, but enjoyed the independence of paid work. I think she and Gordon didn’t always live together.
Marion died at her flat in Kensington, London in 1925. Gordon died in West Ham, near London, in 1927, aged 83. Sadly, their last living descendant (Miss Marion Stranger) died in 1980.
Again, thank you for all the work on the Netherby website. I have previously seen a few of the newspaper clippings that you uploaded copies of, but the one about the London jockey was very interesting to read! How do you know it was Gordon? He certainly was an interesting fellow.
Further added (after Karina suggested UK Jockey registers might help us narrow down who the jockey was).
I was curious about Gordon’s decision to come to Australia. His marriage seems to have been arranged, as his wife was from a Catholic family he had known on the Isle of Jersey before coming to Aus. 'Why not just stay on Jersey?’, I thought. Still, it is interesting for me to think that one of my relatives was in QLD for a few years in the mid-late 19th century.
He was quite an interesting fellow, and seems to have been comfortable with his wife and daughters leading independent lives (rare at the time!)
I was not even aware the jockey registers existed! However, it seems that it will probably be Attwood who was the jockey. Gordon was a gentleman most of his life, and probably would have preferred to bet on the horses rather than race on them. However, his younger siblings all were excellent riders, so the mystery remains a puzzle. His sister, Mabel Dorothy (my ancestor) excelled in equestrian/riding, and apparently that was how she caught the eye of her first husband!