George Hastings ELSON

Name: George Hastings Elson

Date of Birth: 23 April 1877

Birth Location: At Sea on board the ship “Hastings”

Age at Burial: 71 years

Date of Death: 25 February 1948

Death Location: Bunbury Hospital, Western Australia.

Date of Burial: 26 February 1948

Denomination: Anglican B

Row/Grave:     Row 10           Grave # 131

Grave Transcription:  Unmarked Grave (under tree)

CDCP Grave Marker: Grave Marker placed by CDCP Volunteers, 5 April 2023 (image below)

Father: George H Elson – born 1856 – died?

Mother: Elizabeth Squires – born 1857 – died 1890

Grandparents (father): Thomas Elson

Grandparents (mother): William Squires


Frederick James Elson – born 1879 Perth WA– died 26 September 1959.  Married Ellen Patricia Power

Mary or Marian Jane Elson – born 21.2.1881 Perth WA– died 8 December 1960.  Married William Henry Ratcliffe

Thomas George Elson – born 1883 Perth, WA – died -Unknown

Spouse: Sarah Ann O’Donoghue – born 1878 – died 1927 – Daughter of William O’Donoghue and Sarah Hines (possible first marriage in 1896? before GH Elson in 1911)


George William Elson – born 23 April 1913, London – died 26 November 1982.  Married Jean Mary Delaporte

Thomas Joseph Elson – born 27 May 1919, Subiaco, WA – died 31 October 1963.  Married Ruth Stella Delaporte

Occupation: Labourer/Blacksmith

Military Service:

Their Story

George Hastings Elson was born at Sea onboard the ship “Hastings” and his registered birth date is 23rd April 1877.  He was named after the ship on which he was born.  The ship “Hastings” left England with his parents George and Elizabeth their destination port was Fremantle, Western Australia.  They arrived in late May 1877. Also onboard the “Hastings” was James Elson aged 18 years, he travelled with George and Elizabeth (Eliza) – possibly a brother to George. Additional passengers were a George Squires aged 30 (possible relation to Elizabeth?)

Trove Newspaper Article – The Inquirer and Commercial News – Wed 23 May 1877 – Emigrants per Hastings

George Elson and Elizabeth Squires were married on the 3rd of August 1876 in the Parish Church of St Peter, Mile End Old Town, Tower Hamlets, Stepney, Middlesex, England.  George was listed as 21 years of age, Bachelor, living at 3A Albert Street and Occupation was a Boat Rivetter.  Elizabeth Squires was listed at 20 years of age, Spinster, living at 137 Glebe Road and no occupation.

Trove Newspaper Article – The Western Australian Times – Friday 15th June 1877 – Departures – J Elson and G Elson depart for Champion Bay. On the 15th of June 1877 both George and James depart Fremantle onboard the “Nautilus” for Champion Bay.

Between the years of 1879 and 1883 George and Elizabeth have three additonal children together, Frederick James Elson born 1879 in Perth, Mary Ann (Marion) Elson born 1881 in Perth and Thomas Elson born 1883 in Perth.

Trove Newspaper Article – Victorian Express (Geraldton) Saturday 24 Sept 1887 – Arrivals – shipping G.H Elson from Fremantle   (note: Mr Squires arrived 2 days prior)

Elizabeth Elson (Squires) died at the age of 35 years in the year 1890, in Bunbury, burial location is unknown.  George Hastings Elson would have been approximately 13 years old at the time.

Trove Newspaper Article – The West Australian – Thurs 27 August 1891 – Shipping Intelligence – Mr G. H Elson

Trove Newspaper Article – Kalgoorlie Miner – Tuesday 23 April 1901 – F. J Elliston (Elson) married Ellen Power

Trove Newspaper Article – Bunbury Herald – Monday 28 November 1904 – Marriage Marion Elson – William Ratcliffe.

According to the above newspaper article Marion Elson was the adopted daughter of Mr William Salter of Paradise House in Dardanup. George attended the wedding of his sister to William Ratcliffe

Trove Newspaper Article – Bunbury Herald – Saturday 4 July 1908 – George Hastings Elson – Drunk in Victoria Street

George Hastings Elson departed WA for England between 1908 and 1911.

George Hasting Elson married Sarah Anne O’Donoghue in April 1913, England. Their first son George William Elson was born 23 April 1913 in England.  The young family departed England on the 4th of October 1913 and arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia on the 8th  November 1913 on board the White Star ship “Zealandic”.

According to information provided by Marilyn Elson (granddaughter) Until George Hastings Elson departed from the UK, he worked as an Oiler on three hydraulic cranes in the Royal Albert Dock in London.  He Married Sarah Ann Brian (nee O’Donoghue) on 24th April, 1913 at the Church of St Margaret and All Saints, Barking Road, Canning Town, London.  Sarah was born around 1878 in Wapping, London to William and Sarah O’Donoghue.  They were married the day after their first son, George Williams was born.  George and Sarah left England in October on the White Star Line ship Zealandic, Landing in Fremantle.

Zealandic Passenger List: Elson George H – 36, Sarah Ann – 33, George William- Infant.

George and Sarah can be found on the electoral roles living in Kellerberrin, WA in 1914, George’s occupation is listed as labourer.  The next electoral role in 1916 and 1917 finds the family living in Kurrawang Woodline and George’s occupation is listed as Blacksmith.

State Library of WA – Photo of Blacksmith at Kurrawang

On the 27th ofMay 1919, Thomas Joseph Elson in born in Subiaco, Perth, WA.

1925 Electoral Role finds the family living in Margaret River and George is still making a living as a Blacksmith.

At the age of 49 years on the 17 October 1927 Sarah Ann Elson died at Kalamunda, Perth, and is buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery, Roman Catholic Section GC, Gravesite 0206.  There was a newspaper notice from her sister’s family and sister Barbara (Mrs Albert May).

Sarah’s sister Barbara O’Donoghue had arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia in 1914, she was married in England to William Thomas Nie in 1902 and travelled under the name Barbara Nie.  In 1916 she married Albert Ernest May. Sarah and Barbara’s parents were William O’Donoghue and Sarah Hines.

Trove Newspaper Article – West Australia – Tuesday 18th October 1927 – Death Notices

Marilyn Elson the granddaughter of George Hastings Elson has provided some further information about what happened to the family after Sarah died:  Sadly Sarah died on 17th October, 1927, which split the family for a while, with George staying with his father to work and Tom, being to young to work, spent some time in Clontarf Orphanage and then some years with his uncle in Kalamunda.  George and the 2 boys, after spending time working around the South West, including some time in Manjimup harvesting tobacco, then lived for a while in a tent on Calinup Road, cutting timber and delivering it to the Capel Diary Co.  The 2 boys ended up marrying 2 local sisters.

George William Elson married Jean Mary Delaporte in 1939.

Thomas Joseph Elson married Ruth Stella Delaporte in 1940.

Jean and Ruth were sisters and the daughters of Henry Thomas Delaporte and Emily Ada Harwood.

National Archives – World War 2 – Record for George William Elson

National Archives – World War 2 – Record for Thomas Joseph Elson

Court Martial for TJ Elson

The next Electoral Role where the family can be found is 1943:                                                                                                                        Record shows:

Elson George Hastings, Capel, Labourer

Elson George William, Stratham, Labourer                                                                                                                                                               Elson Jean Mary, Capel, Home Duties                                                                                                                                                                         Elson Ruth Stella, Capel, Home Duties                                                                                                                                                                       Elson Thomas Joseph, Capel, Labourer

George Hastings Elson died on 25th February 1948 at the Bunbury Hospital, his cause of death was Cardiac Failure and Senility.  He was buried at the Capel Cemetery on the 26th of February 1948 the ceremony was officiated by Reverend F. J Boxall after a private service at the Chapel of William Brittain & Sons, in Bunbury

Trove Newspaper Death Notice – The West Australian – Thursday 26th Feb 1948

Trove Newspaper Death Notice – George Hastings Elson

Marilyn Elson, granddaughter – provided some additional information about George Hastings Elson – George Hastings was what could be called “a man who liked to drink”. His exploits were many and varied.  Twice, while walking home over the railway bridge (not used anymore), he fell off, but did not hurt himself, probably because he was very relaxed.  Another episode was printed in the Bunbury Herald in 1908: “George Hastings Elson was charged with being drunk in Victoria Street on Thursday afternoon.  W.p.c. Lyons said that he saw the accused very drunk, knocking about with other men.  Had locked him up for his own protection.  The R.M . (to accused): Where do you come from? Elson: Worsley bush, sir.  There being no previous conviction, you are discharged with a caution”.  George died on 5th July, 1948 with both his sons with him and is buried in the Capel Cemetery.

Brother:  Frederick James Elson died 1959.

Sister: Mary Ann Ratcliffe died 1960 – buried at Bunbury Cemetery.


Information Compiled by Researcher PP  (CDCP Team Member)

Additional Information supplied to the CDCP volunteers on 11.09.2023, by Marilyn Elson the Granddaughter of George Hastings Elson.


If you are visiting this page and have further information that pertains to George Hastings Elson that you would like to add, can you please contact the Capel District Cemeteries Project via the CONTACT US section at the bottom of the main page.



© Capel District Cemeteries Project 21/02/2023 – updated information 11/09/2023