EWH Huxtable WW1

Ernest William Harry HUXTABLE


Date of Birth: 7 July 1895

Also Known As: Ern or Ernie

Birth Location: Perth, Western Australia.

Age at Burial: 63 years

Date of Death: 18 August 1958

Death Location: SJOG Hospital Bunbury.

Date of Burial: 20 August 1958

Denomination: Presbyterian/Uniting

Row/Grave: Row 2 Grave 20

Grave Transcription:


Loving Memory









DIED 18 TH AUG. 1958






Father: Ernest Forest Huxtable born: 15 July 1868 Berrynarbor, Devonshire, England. Died: 6 June 1914 Buried Old Rockingham Cemetery, Western Australia.

Mother: Gertrude Isabella Horsell (birth name Christen) born: 29 April 1862 Nairne, South Australia. Died: 23 September 1954 Collie, Cremated Fremantle, Western Australia. Gertrude was born out of wedlock to Mary Anne Watts and Hugo John Christen born 1840 – died 17 March 1898 Sydney. When Mary Anne married Robert James Horsell in 1864 he adopted 2 year old Gertrude.

Grandfather (Father): John Huxtable born: 1825 Berrynarbor, Devon, England. Died: Unknown.

Grandmother (Father): Harriet Perrin born: 1830 Berrynarbor, Devon, England. Died: 22 April 1905 Devon, England.

Grandfather (Mother): Robert James Horsell born: 21 May 1835 Bethnal Green, England. Died: 4 March 1892 Adelaide, South Australia.

Grandmother (Mother): Mary Anne Watts born: 3 August 1844 Hindmarsh, South Australia. Died: 29 May 1920 Forestville, South Australia.


  1. Gertrude was married twice. Her first marriage on November 3, 1879, in Adelaide, was to John Perrin Huxtable born: 1853 Berrynarbor, England. Died: 14 March 1893 Sydney, in a railway accident. This marriage produced 6 children, half siblings to Ernest William Harry Huxtable.

Edgar Ernest Huxtable born: 15 October 1880 North Adelaide, South Australia. Died: 10 October 1969, Perth.

Roger Turpie Huxtable born: 4 May 1882 Glanville, South Australia. Died: 8 February 1968 Kalgoorlie.

Adelaide Gertrude Davis Huxtable born: 1884 Redfern, South Australia. Died: 3 May 1968 New South Wales.

Sydney Horsell Huxtable born: 1886 St. Peters New South Wales. Died: 3 April 1947 Martin, New South Wales.

Victoria Perrin “Girlie” Huxtable born: 24 August 1887 St. Peters New South Wales. Died: 31 December 1965 Pinjarra.

Cecil John Brisbane Huxtable born: 1889 St Peters New South Wales. Died: 4 October 1917, KIA WW1, Passchendaele Ridge, Belgium.

  1. Gertrude then married Ernest Forrest Huxtable, brother of her first husband, on May 2, 1894, St Peters New South Wales. This marriage also produced 6 children, only 3 lived.

Ernest William Harry Huxtable born: 7 July 1895, Perth. Died: 18 August 1958, Bunbury.

Gertrude Isabel Huxtable born: 23 July 1897 Claremont. Died: 8 October 1979, Collie.

Mena Lillian Alice Huxtable born: 1898, Claremont. Died: 1899, Perth.

Redvers Henry Buller “Mick” Huxtable born: 17 December 1899, Claremont. Died: 10 May 1985, Mandurah.

May Huxtable born: 1903 Perth. Died: 4 days old – 13 March 1903, Perth.

Eva Huxtable born: 1903 Perth. Died: 5 days old – 14 March 1903, Perth.

  1. Ernest Forest Huxtable left Gertrude and the family in 1905. He then married on 23 May 1907, in Melbourne, to Selina Hymus born: 30 October 1879 Fremantle. Died: 1963, Perth.

This marriage produced 4 children, half siblings of Ernest William Harry Huxtable.

Edna May Huxtable born: 5 February 1908, Queensland. Died: 31 May 1988, Bunbury.

Ada Adeline Huxtable born: 1911, Rockingham. Died: 20 August 1998, Perth.

Leslie John Perrin Huxtable born: 8 August 1912, Rockingham. Died: 10 June 1986, Perth.

Howard Forrest Perrin Huxtable born: 1 April 1914, Rockingham. Died: 8 May 1961 Perth.

Spouse: Eleanor “Ella” Bryden born: 22 July 1913, East Perth. Died: 4 July 1982, Perth. Cremated Bunbury.

Children: Eleanor Bryden Huxtable born: May 1937, Kalgoorlie.

Brian Bryden Huxtable born: December 1942. Died: 26 December 1942, Katanning.

Ernest Bryden Huxtable born: 7 July 1944, Tambellup. Died: 9 August 2011 Geraldton.

Judith Bryden Huxtable born: January 1947, Tambellup.

Military Service:

WW1 Service No 3157 Enlisted 5 October1915 Blackboy Hill.

28 th Infantry Battalion 7 th Reinforcements – Transferred to Australian Army Postal Corps – Private Australian Signal Coy. Discharged 30 August 1919.

World War 1 – Records Link

WW2 Service No W438565 Enlisted Tambellup.

B884 Army Citizen Military Forces.

World War 2 – Records Link

Occupation: Postmaster.

Their Story

Gertrude Isabella Huxtable lost her first husband, John Perrin Huxtable, father of her six children on March 14, 1893, in Sydney. He was involved in a railway accident and died of his injuries. They had been married for just over 13 years.

Trove Article – John Perrin Huxtable Death Notice – link

Ernest Forest Huxtable had served 5 years in the British Army, Welsh Regiment, stationed in India, before coming to Australia to check on the welfare of his brothers’ widow and family. On May 2, 1894, Ernest Forrest Huxtable married Gertrude Isabella Huxtable at St Peters, New South Wales. In August the same year Ernest was a Probationary Constable, Service No 6723, with the New South Wales Police Force. Ernest, Gertrude and the six children, moved to Western Australia. Ernest has his first appointment, in March 1895, as a Police Constable in Perth. Edgar Ernest, Gertrude’s oldest child got a job as Junior Clerk with the West Australian Government Railways.

On July 7 1895, Ernest and Gertrude welcomed their first child, Ernest William Harry Huxtable. He was born at the Waterside Police Station that was situated in the grounds of Government House Perth. In 1896, Constable Ernest Huxtable was the first officer posted to the Claremont Police Station. The family moved and lived in the house at the Police Station.

In July 1897, 2year old, Ernest William Harry Huxtable became a big brother when his sister, Gertrude Isabel was born. The following year, around August 1898, Ernest and Gertrude welcomed another daughter, Mena Lilian Alice Huxtable, but sadly she died at 7 months old on March 23, 1899. She was buried at the Old East Perth Cemetery. Just before Christmas the same year, Redvers Henry Buller Huxtable arrived. The family were still living at the Claremont Police Station. Roger Turpie Huxtable, Gertrude’s second child, got a job at WAGR and then in 1900 Sydney Horsell Huxtable was also employed by WAGR, both were engine cleaners.

Early 1902, the family moved to the Central Perth, Roe Street, police station and First Class Constable Huxtable was promoted to Acting Sergeant Huxtable. The area had become a very desirable location for the genteel to reside and because of this it became necessary to provide extra police to oversee their protection. Ernest William Harry Huxtable was 7 years old when brother, Roger Turpie Huxtable married Martha Reed. This was the first of Gertrude’s children to marry.

Trove Article – Constable Ernest Forrest Huxtable – link

Trove Article – Roe Street Police -link

February 1903 the Huxtable Family were transferred to Rockingham Police Station and were living in Railway Street. Acting Sergeant Huxtable reverted to First Class Constable Huxtable. In March Gertrude gave birth to twin girls but sadly May died at 4 days old and Eva died at 5 days old.  Roger was now living in Albany and was still working for WAGR. In March 1904 Edgar married Elsie Piper in Perth. Edgar had been promoted to Accounts Clerk for WAGR.

The family once again moved and by May 1904, Constable Huxtable was in residence at the Pinjarra Police Station. We assume that the children went to the local schools in each of the towns that Ernest was stationed. Mother, Gertrude was a nurse and doing midwifery in Pinjarra. Apparently whilst stationed in Rockingham, Constable Huxtable had become friendly with the local publican’s daughter Selina. Sometime later, Gertrude became aware of the friendship and Constable Ernest Huxtable was transferred to Nullagine in August 1905. Gertrude and the younger family moved back to Perth. Gertrude continued nursing to support her family. Gertrude’s daughter, Adelaide married Alfred John Watts, a blacksmith. Constable Huxtable resigned from the Police Force in March 1907 because of his marital situation and in May he married Selina Hymus in Melbourne. Their first child was born in 1908, in Queensland shortly before they returned to WA. Ernest took over the running of the Chesterfield Inn, Rockingham and settled into his new life. Gertrude must have tried to claim some support from him for their three children. He stated that, he and Gertrude were not married, and the children were illegitimate, therefore he was not responsible for them. The case went to court and he did not get the outcome that he was hoping for.

Trove Article – Twice Married – link

Ernest William Harry Huxtable was 10 years old when his father left, the family no longer had any contact with their father. This must have been a very hard time but thankfully his mother was able to work as a midwife, to support the remaining family. She had a maternity home, in Perth, where women came and had their babies. Sydney Horsell Huxtable moved back to New South Wales and worked as a Fireman for the Sydney Ferries. He married Sylvia Gertrude Needham on New Years Eve 1910. Victoria Perrin Huxtable married, in 1912, to Theodore Edward Wallis, in Pinjarra. He worked in the timber industry. Cecil John Brisbane Huxtable had moved to Broome and was employed in the Pearling Industry.

Around this time Ernest William Harry Huxtable got a job as a Postal Assistant in Pinjarra. He was living at home with his mother and younger siblings. His mother was running a Maternity Hospital in Pinjarra. They lived in a small house on the main highway in Central Pinjarra.

On June 13, 1914, Ernest Forest Huxtable, father of Ernest, Gertrude and Redvers was seriously injured when driving back to the Chesterfield Inn. He had been and picked up barrels of beer in his cart. His horse bolted and he was thrown out and received head injuries from which he died. His Grandchildren in later years asked their father Ern about his father but all he would tell them was he was killed when a barrel of beer fell on him. Of course, they thought this was a joke but later found it to be true! Ernest would not talk about his father.

Trove Article – Ernest Forrest Huxtable Death – link

World War 1 changed the lives of the Huxtable family. In September 1915 Ern enlisted at Blackboy Hill. On November 1, 1915, he was a Private in the 28 th Infantry Battalion 7 th Reinforcements and on January 18, 1916, he left Fremantle on HMAT Medic A7. Ern was transferred to the Australian Army Postal Corps on August 28, 1916, and was part of the Signalling Corp. He served in England, France, The Western Front and Egypt. He was shot in the leg and from then on walked with a limp. In December 1916, Ern’s older half-brother, Cecil enlisted at Broome and left Australia on December 29, arriving in Devonport, England, March 3, 1917. He was a Lance Corporal in the 28 th Battalion. In July he was fighting in France and on October 4, 1917, in the battle at Passchendaele Ridge in Belgium, Cecil was killed. Sadly, for the family, Adelaide’s husband Alfred Watts, who was in the 8 th Light Horse, was killed in Palestine the day before Cecil. Ernest was still fighting in France. Ern never spoke of his time in the war.

Ernest returned to Australia on June 1, 1919 and was discharged from the army on August 30, 1919. He went home to Pinjarra where his mother was still nursing. His younger sister, Gertrude Isabel Huxtable had married James Stephen White, a fireman, in 1918 and was still living in Pinjarra. Brother, Redvers Henry Buller Huxtable or “Mick” as he was known, was now working as a clerk at the mill in Dwellingup. He married in 1923, to Lillian Lakeman, and they moved to Banksiadale. Ernest enjoyed his work in the Post Office and was now a Postal Clerk at Pinjarra. Ernest’s mother Gertrude went to England in 1924, then travelled to see where her son, Cecil, had fought and was buried at Passchendaele Ridge. He was later reinterred at Tyne Cot Cemetery. His name is listed on the Broome War Memorial.

Ernest remained working in Pinjarra for several years. He transferred to Kellerberrin Post Office in about 1925, he was 30 years old. Since his return from the War, Ernest had suffered badly from nightmares. His mother worried about him and would go and stay, hoping this would help. Ernest remained in Kellerberrin for some years, joining in the community life. He was a member of the United Ancient Order of Druids, Grand Lodge of Western Australia. The people of the town thought highly of him.

Trove Article – Leaving Kellerberrin – link

Ern was transferred to his new position on the relieving staff and in 1936 he was working at the Geraldton Post Office. Here he met Eleanor Bryden, who was the daughter of James and Jemima Bryden, who had come from Scotland in 1911. Eleanor, or Ella as she was known, worked as a domestic at one of the hotels in Geraldton. On October 10, 1936, they were married at the Presbyterian Church in Geraldton. Ernest was 41 and Ella was 23. Not long after Ernest was sent to Fimiston Post Office, near Boulder. In May, 1937, Ernest and Ella welcomed their first child, Eleanor Bryden Huxtable, born at the Kalgoorlie Hospital. Later that year, Ernest, Ella and Baby Eleanor, were transferred to Fitzroy Crossing, in the Kimberley. They went by State Ship to Derby and then by road to Fitzroy Crossing. Here they lived in the Post Office house. It was built on stilts and had a verandah, to help keep it cool. The family became good friends of station owners, Mr and Mrs Ted Milard and went for picnics and outings to the station. The aboriginal women in Fitzroy Crossing helped look after Eleanor. Whilst Postmaster at Fitzroy Crossing, Ernest was appointed Justice of the Peace in February 1938, for the West Kimberley Magisterial District. It was about this time that Ernest’s mother Gertrude retired from nursing. She was 76 years old.

On July 31, 1940 Ernest received word that he had been transferred to take up the position of Postmaster at Tambellup. He was asked to provide quotes to pack and transport their belongings to the Derby wharf, plus an estimate of the weight and measurements of the belongings and the wharfage fees and also what accommodation to book for the family on the ship. In mid August he received confirmation that passage had been booked on the “Koolinda”, which was due into Derby on September 6, 1940 leaving Mr Reimann, who was replacing Ernest at Fitzroy Crossing. He was coming on the Mail Truck and should arrive at Fitzroy Crossing on September 9. The Huxtables, and belongings were returning to Derby in the Mail Truck. Ernest advised that he had sold the dining, bedroom and kitchen furniture, so there wouldn’t be any bulky items to transport. He also advised that the family would be disembarking at Geraldton. He was taking leave and they were staying with Ella’s parents for that time. The “Koolinda” was scheduled to leave Derby on September 15. New furniture was purchased in Perth and sent to the Post Office Stores to transport by rail from Perth to Tambellup with the rest of the Huxtable’s belongings.

The family took up residence in Tambellup in 1941 and soon became part of the community. Ernest enlisted June 1, 1942, in World War 2 in the Army Citizen Military Forces, Service No W43856. He travelled to Albany each weekend and taught Morse Code, then returned to be Postmaster at Tambellup during the week. As an enlisted man he was able to get small amounts of chocolate which was a real treat for the family. Ern was a member of the R.S.L in Tambellup. In December 1942, Ernest and Ella were delighted with the birth of a son. Brian Bryden Huxtable was born at Katanning. When he was about 10 days old, after a staff mishap, he was dropped and consequently died on December 26. He was buried at the Katanning Cemetery.

Eleanor started school at Tambellup and made many good friends. Ernest’s mother Gertrude came for short holidays and stayed with the family. In July 1944, on his father’s birthday, Ernest Bryden Huxtable was born at Tambellup to Ernest and Ella and then in January 1947, Judith Bryden Huxtable was born. Ernest was formally discharged from the Military Forces in February 1947. Also in April 1947, Sydney Horsell Huxtable died in New South Wales. He was Ernest’s half brother and just 61 years old.

Trove Article – Farewell Tambellup – link

In early 1948 Ernest was accepted for a transfer to Capel as Postmaster. He applied for this position because shortly Eleanor would be going to high school and if they stayed in Tambellup, she would either have to board in Albany or Katanning. The Postmaster at Capel, Mr C. Sykes, had died a few years previous. There had been relieving Postmasters since then. The family had been staying in Geraldton, with Ella’s parents for 6 months, Ern was on long service leave. Eleanor went to school in Geraldton for that time. In July 1948, the family arrived in Capel, having travelled by rail to Perth, then another train to Brunswick Junction, then by railway bus to Capel and then having to walk from the highway to the Post Office in the rain.

Ernest thought his post office to be very acceptable. It even had an automatic exchange. Ella on the other hand was not impressed with the very small, old post office house. It only had 2 bedrooms and a sleep out that wasn’t fully enclosed, the bathroom didn’t even have a handbasin and the linen was to be kept in open shelves, but she managed. The family settled into their new community. Ern became a member of the Capel R.S.L. and was very proud of his service in both wars. Anzac Day was very important in Ern’s life. He was secretary of the Capel branch and worked hard to get the R.S.L. hall built. This came about in 1956. Ern kept a good eye on the hall and would go and check on it after a function. Ella belonged to the “Kooka Club”. It consisted of some of the wives of the R.S.L. men, who would cater for various functions. They were very highly regarded for their cooking skills. Ern was also a member of the Druids Lodge in Capel and the Sports Ground Committee. He also audited the books for various groups.

As Postmaster Ern became known to everyone. He often helped people fill out forms. Regularly on a weekend farmers and locals came to pick up their mail but finding they had forgotten their mailbox key, they knocked on the house door and Ern would give them their mail. There wasn’t a town mail delivery at that time. When a phone was reported out of order Ern had to report this to the Technicians, they then came out and fixed it. As time went on, Ern, under the instruction of the Technician by phone, became quite good at fixing the problems and saving them a trip out. Ella also helped sort the mail at the Post Office and eventually was paid for her work.

Mr Charlie Sykes had been Postmaster for several years before the Huxtables came to Capel. He had sadly died whilst still serving in the position. When cars drove past, the door from the front room of the Old Post Office house would often open and close by itself, unless it was locked. This became a joke with the Huxtables and Mr Sykes comings and goings became part of their lives!

Trove Article – Relieving Postmaster – link

After attending Capel Primary School, Eleanor went to high school in Bunbury by bus each day. Ernest and Judith went to Capel Primary School. In 1951, Eleanor got a job at the Capel Roads Board. She was assistant to Mr Bill Wright, who was the Secretary of the Roads Board.

Ern decided Capel was the place he wanted to retire. He bought 4, half acre blocks on Barlee Road in Capel. These were Lots 203, 204, 205 and 206. Ern and Ella grew vegetables and ran chickens on the blocks and eventually sold eggs to the egg board. He applied for a War Service loan to build a very modest house for the family. In about 1955, Ella’s mother Jemima Bryden, came from Geraldton, to live with the family in Capel, her husband had died in 1951.

In September 1954, Gertrude Isabella Huxtable, Ern’s mother died, aged 92. She had been living in Collie with his sister Gertrude and family for several years. She had a fall at the age of 84 and could no longer move around. She kept herself occupied doing needlework, reading and crocheting. She was cremated at Fremantle.

Trove Article – Mothers Death – link

Ernest was 60 in 1955 but had decided that retirement was not for him at this stage. His family was still young, and he had a house to build and pay for. He postponed retirement until the age of 65. Much to the excitement of the family, Eleanor, 18, became engaged to local farmer, Geoff Roberts. The house was built by 1957. Eleanor and her Grandmother, Jemima went and lived at the new house as Ern and Ella had to stay at the Post Office.

Ern very proudly walked eldest daughter, Eleanor down the isle in April 1958. For about a month after the wedding, Eleanor and Geoff lived in the new Huxtable house, with Jemima until their new house on the farm was finished. Ella then used to go to the new house and stay with Jemima at night. She would go back to the Post Office in the morning to get Ernest and Judith off to school, sort the mail and do her housework.

On the morning of August 18, 1958, young Ernest came to the new house to get Ella as Ern had chest pains. Ella got Mr Frank Delaporte, who had a car, to take Ern into Bunbury to see a doctor. Ella stayed and sorted the mail ready for the Post Office to open. Mr Delaporte came back and reported to Ella, that Ern had been admitted to SJOG Hospital in Bunbury. He had walked into the hospital so didn’t appear to be too bad. She had got word to Eleanor and Geoff on the farm and they came into Capel to take Ella into Bunbury. As they prepared to leave, the Post Office phone rang, it was the Doctor at the hospital telling them that Ern had just had a massive heart attack and passed away at the age of 63. Ella was a widow at 45, Eleanor was 21 and pregnant with Ern’s first grandchild, Ernest was 14 and Judith 11. He was buried 2 days later in the Capel Cemetery.

After Ern died, the people of Capel wanted to show their great appreciation for his service to the town. Mr Gordon Farley took up a collection from the community and with the permission of the family, had the headstone, an open book, erected on Ern’s grave. The family inscription is on the left page and the community tribute is on the right page.


Compiled By DC (granddaughter & volunteer CDCP) helped by EBR (daughter)

Links to other websites and family members with additional information included in story.

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© Capel District Cemeteries Project 06/08/2021

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Huxtable Family Capel
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Ella Eleanor Ern