Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Rushden Echo, 11th October 1912
Mrs. Benning

Presentation—On Friday evening last at the factory of Messrs. Robinson Bros., Robert-street, Mrs. Benning, who has worked for some considerable time in the girls’ closing room, and will shortly be leaving for Australia, was the recipient of a brush, comb, and mirror, enclosed in a leather case. A few appropriate words were said by Miss Lizzie Linnitt. The girls then wished Mrs. Benning good health, prosperity and success in Australia, and a safe voyage across the sea. The present was handed to Mrs. Benning by Miss Amelia Bird, who hoped that Mrs. Benning would find the present very useful in every way. Mrs. Benning very feelingly replied, and thanked each of the girls in the room. It will be well remembered that Mr. Benning left Rushden for Australia about ten months ago, and he has been doing well. Mrs. Benning will leave Rushden on Oct. 15, and her two little sons will accompany her. They will join Mr. Benning in Melbourne, Australia.

Genealogical Notes on The Benning Family, kindly loaned

This is the story of William and Lorie Benning, and their descendants in Australia.

We have pieced together as much information as we can get, but as is usual in these things, left it too late to start asking questions of those who would know.

We all are very fortunate that our Grandparents had the intestinal fortitude to strike out for new life in far-away Australia.

What caused them to move away from their families will probably never be known, but we do know that they never returned for a visit and probably never saw any of their family again.  It’s interesting to note that as far as we know, none of their relations ever followed them out to Australia.

The only contact they would have had was post (snail-mail), which would have taken 6 weeks  or more to arrive.  Overseas phone calls would have been impossible as this was only introduced in 1930, and then only for the wealthy.

William Benning (Grandad), was born on 11 November, 1883 to Thomas Benning and Jane King, at Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England.

They lived at 52 Alexander Street, Chesham (1891 census)

His family lived at 52 Crabb Street, Rushden (1901 census)

His father was Thomas who was born November 5, 1858 in Waterside, Chesham.

In 1861 he lived in Town Field Yard, Chesham.

He worked as a shoe riveter.

He died January 11, 1932, in Rushden, aged 73 and is buried in Rushden cemetery, section F plot 264.

His mother was Jane King, born 1858 (her father was William King, 1821-1873;

Mother was Sophia Riddle 1834-1866)

She died June 1894 aged 35 in Chesham.  She is buried in section 3a plot 421.

Thomas’ second wife was Elizabeth Lacey, born c1851.  She was the mother of Frederick.

She died June 1924 aged 72, and is buried in Rushden Cemetery, section E plot 916.

Sister Kate was born September 8, 1888.  She was enrolled at the Alfred Street School on August 31, 1896, transferring from Newton Road.  She left on May 1, 1899.

She worked as a shoe machinist.  She married Ernest Sidney Cox, a currier, of 17 North End, Higham Ferrers, on December 26, 1912.  He died in July 1944, aged 57 and she died in July 1965, aged 77. Both are buried in the same grave – section F plot 664 in Rushden Cemetery.

Brother Henry Arthur born November 3, 1886.  He was enrolled at the Alfred Street School on June 15, 1896, and left on October 11, 1898.  He became a shoe finisher.  He married in 1907 at Wellingborough.  He died April 4, 1964 in Wellingborough, and was cremated on April 8.

Sister- Mary Ann, born c1882 at Chesham.  She married George Frederick Partridge in 1901 at Wellingborough.  She died in April 1973, aged 91 and is buried in Rushden Cemetery, section F plot 550.

Sister- Sarah, born 1879 at Chesham.  She married Alfred W Harvey in 1920 at Amersham.  She died in 1970 in Rushden.  Buried section 3a, plot 489.

Sister- Elizabeth born 1877 at Chesham.  It’s not known if she ever married.  She died August 16, 1966 aged 90.  She is buried in section 3a plot 482.

Brother- John Thomas was born c1876 at Chesham.  He married Elizabeth …….. in 1895 in Chesham.  She was born in 1876 and died August 16, 1966.

He died February 26, 1949 in Rushden.

Both are buried in the same grave – section f plot 374 (or section 3a plot 473?) in Rushden Cemetery.

Brother- Frederick was born 1895, d. November 1976.

He enlisted in the First World War; Number 20657 Pte., 4th V. Hos., A.V.C.

He married Ethel M Clark in 1919 at Amersham.  He died 1976 at Wellingborough.

Buried in Rushden section 3a plot 675.

Lorie Annie Baldrey (Nana), was born on March 26, 1884 at Perkins Row, Irthlingborough.

In the 1891 Census, they are listed as living at Sargent’s Yard, Rushden.  This area is apparently no longer in existence.

The family also lived at 12 Beaconsfield Place, Rushden.

She was enrolled on August 24, 1891 at the Alfred Street School.  She transferred from the Rushden National School.  She left the school on May 21, 1897.

In the 1918 Electoral Roll, her mother and father were living at Succoth Place, Rushden.

Her father, Edward, was born 1852 in Cambridge.  His father was Joseph D. Baldrey of Cambridge and his mother was Phoebe Schowen of Cambridge. He became a Shoe Maker. He died on December 1, 1934, aged 82, and is buried in Rushden Cemetery – section DA plot 86.

Her mother was Harriet Houghton. She was born 1854 in Irthlingborough.

Her father was Richard Houghton of Irthlingborough and her mother was Lucy Petit Palmer of Irthlingborough. She died November 28, 1935, aged 81, and is buried in Rushden Cemetery – section DA plot 87.

They married December 11, 1873 at Irthlingborough.

Brother- Ernest Alfred was born c1874.  He was a Shoe Maker.  He married Florence Emily Dickens in 1897 in Wellingborough.  She was born in 1877 and died December 16, 1957. He died June 9 1955 aged 81 and is buried in Rushden Cemetery – section F plot 1681.

Brother- David Henry was born c1876 in Irthlingborough.  He was a Shoe Fiinisher. 

He married Laura……….. in 1905 at Wellingborough. He died 1957 in Northampton.

Sister-Rose Harriet was born August 12, 1887 in Northants.  She was enrolled at the Alfred Street School on June 10, 1885.  She was transferred there from the Alfred Street Infants. She married Arthur William Willmer in 1910 at Wellingborough. She died in 1966 in………………… Both are buried in Rushden Cemetery.

Grandad and Nana married at Wellingborough Registry Office on February 13, 1904. They lived at 52 Crabb Street, Rushden.

Percy George was born May 18, 1904 in Rushden.  He was enrolled at the South End School on May 1, 1912 and left on October 11, 1912.  School register is marked ‘to London,’ but that is when they emigrated to Australia.

Twins, Clarence and Walter, born premature on June 6, 1905. Buried in Rushden Section A, plot 1131.

Twins, Charles and John, born premature on September 17, 1906.  John lived for 6 hours; Charles lifespan is unknown. Both buried in Rushden Section A, plot 1198.

Rose, born premature on February 14, 1908.  She lived for 12 hours.  Buried in Rushden Section B, plot 40.

Lewis William was born August 27, 1910 in Rushden.

Grandad emigrated to Melbourne aboard S.S. Geelong, arriving in Melbourne in February 1912. The ship carried 661 immigrants.

Nana emigrated to Melbourne aboard Paparoa, arriving on December 29, 1912 with their two children (Percy and Bill).

Annie Victoria was born October 28, 1913, at……………….

Leslie Ernest was born 20 June, 1915, at………………….

William and Lorrie lived at 3 Gooch Street, Northcote (1914 Electoral Roll), where grandad was listed as working in the Boot and Shoe Trade.

Later they lived at 67 Gooch Street, Northcote (1919 Electoral Roll), where he was listed as being a Tram Conductor.

In 1924 they were at 164 Noone Street, Clifton Hill.

The 1931 Roll showed William at 28 Kellett Grove, Kew (see below).


Annie Childs, widow, aged about 35 years, of Kellett Grove, Kew, was drowned in the Yarra River near her home yesterday.

She went swimming about 1 o’clock with a friend William Benning also of Kellett Grove, who went to her aid when she got into difficulties, but was forced by her struggles to let her go.  The body was recovered later.

From ‘The Argus’ Friday March 4, 1932, Page 8

The drowning took place near Peel Street Kew.  The Yarra River was only a short distance from the back of the house in Kellett Grove.

At the inquest, Grandad stated that at about 12.15pm, he went for a swim in the Yarra.  About 20 minutes later, the deceased, who was a friend, joined him for a swim.  They both crossed the river to the north bank.  They rested there for a few minutes then commenced to swim back.  When about 50 feet (16metres) from the south bank, he warned her not to go low down, but to come nearer the bank.  As the current was taking her downstream, she came in a little distance, then stopped, as if trying to find the bottom for a rest.  ‘I had my back turned to her, I heard her say “I am going.”  I looked around, she began to swim, I went to her assistance and she caught hold of me, before I could do anything, and dragged me under.  I was compelled to let her go.  I struck out for the south bank.  I looked round and saw the top of her head under water.  I then called out at the top of my voice for help.  I then ran for assistance, but it was some time before anyone came, and then it was too late.  Deceased was also a nurse by occupation.  She had been used to swimming in the river.’

To the Coroner:- ‘She had previously swum in the river with me on an average of twice a week.  It was the first time she swum in that part of the river and we used to swim with others.  Deceased left 2 other relatives, two aunts.  Her aunts knew of her death.  I was living in the same house as deceased.  We were not living as man and wife.  She had 2 sons living in the house with her.  One of the sons was at school.  The eldest 16 years and the other 13 years.’

The finding of the Coroner was asphyxia by drowning.

We believe this may be Wm Benning - born 11th Nov 1883, died 12th Aug 1961.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the People & Families index
Click here to e-mail us