Name: Brian Barnes Sanderson
Date of Birth: 7 June 1924
Birth Location: Collie, Western Australia
Age at Burial: 95 years
Date of Death: 11 January 2020
Death Location: Harvey Hospital, Harvey, Western Australia
Date of Burial: 21 January 2020
Denomination: Anglican C
Row/Grave: Row 8 Grave #69
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
CLARICE DAWN BRIAN
Nee WILLIAMS BARNES
5.2.1929 – 19.9.2018 7.6.1924 – 11.1.2020
BELOVED WIFE OF BELOVED HUSBAND OF
LOVED MOTHER & FATHER
OF LORRAINE, LINDSAY, PAUL & SHARON
Father: William Patrick Sanderson. Born 4 June 1871, Paumban Island, Tamil Nadu, India. Died 5 April 1965, Geraldton, Western Australia. Buried Geraldton Cemetery
Mother: Clara Elizabeth Taggart (Taghet, Best). Born 19 April 1887, Roebourne, Western Australia. Died 19 August 1958, Geraldton, Western Australia. Buried Geraldton Cemetery
John Barnes Sanderson. Born 25 Oct 1836, Bow, Middlesex England. Died 2 September 1917, Salvation Army Hospital, Guilford, Western Australia. Buried Anglican Cemetery, Middle Swan.
Mary Collins. Born 1845, India. Died 11 October 1918, Perth Public Hospital, Western Australia.
John Ernest Best. Born 1869, Fremantle, Western Australia. Died 23 June 1917, Diary Creek Station, Gascoyne, Western Australia. Buried at Dairy Creek Station.
Mary Jane Barker. Born 29 August 1868, Fremantle, Western Australia. Died 18 August 1961, Fremantle, Western Australia. Buried Fremantle Cemetery
STEP SIBLINGS FROM WILLIAM PATRICK SANDERSON’S FIRST MARRIAGE TO ASENATH GLOSSOP
Olive Sabina Sanderson. Born 8 April 1907, Bunbury, Western Australia. Died 27 June 2001, Nazareth House, Geraldton, Western Australia. Buried Geraldton, Western Australia. Married William Alexander Elliot in 1935.
Dorothy May Sanderson. Born 11 July 1909, Collie, Western Australia. Died 7 January 2005, Wanneroo, Western Australia. Memorial Plaque at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park. Married Hugh Cecil Lewis in 1936.
John Edwin (Jack) Sanderson. Born 9 May 1911, Collie, Western Australia. Died 29 October 2009, Westfield, Western Australia. Married Dorothy Jean Calder in 1940.
Ronald William Sanderson. Born 27 November 1913, Collie, Western Australia. Died 3 May 1994, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Buried Kalgoorlie Cemetery.
FULL SIBLINGS FROM WILLIAM PATRICK SANDERSON’S SECOND MARRIAGE TO CLARA TAGGART
Ian Sanderson. Born 13 April 1923, Collie, Western Australia. Died 13 April 1923, Collie, Western Australia. Buried Collie Cemetery
Leslie Marion Sanderson. Born 7 July 1926, Collie, Western Australia. Died 2 February 1990, Geraldton, Western Australia. Buried Geraldton Cemetery. Married Frank Henry Mead in 1949.
Spouse: Clarice Dawn Williams
Lorraine Merle Sanderson
Lindsay Brian Sanderson
Paul William Sanderson
Sharon Kaye Sanderson
Occupation: Railways (WAGR) Station Master
Military Service: W83647 – B884: Army Citizen Military Forces
Brian was born on the 7 June 1924 to Parents William Patrick Sanderson and Clara Elizabeth Taggart at their Hutton Street home in Collie. His father was 53 years of age when he was born, and mother was 37 years.
Clara was William’s second wife, it is believed she came to Collie to assist with the children after William’s First wife Asenath died, to help with the young children Olive, Dorothy, John and Ronald Sanderson. William and Clara were married on 21 May 1921 in Collie.
Brian was the second child to this couple, a child called Ian Sanderson had been born stillborn the year before, he his buried in Collie.
Brian also had a younger sister born 7 July 1926 called Leslie Marion Sanderson also in Collie. He was very close to his younger sister as a child and young man.
Brain’s father William Patrick Sanderson was born in India in 1871 and arrived in Western Australia in 1892 the first of his family to migrate, this was due to contracting malaria, and when he had recovered enough his family sent him to Western Australia before he could finish his Engineering exams. When William arrived in Perth the country was screaming out for train (engine) drivers, so he applied for the job.
William’s father and mother migrated to Western Australia in 1894 due to many of the family members being stricken with illness. They had already lost two daughters in infancy to the plaque and a son to consumption. The Honourable Lieutenant John Barnes Sanderson was an engineer in India and had married Mary Collins in 1863 at St Mary’s Church, Fort St George, Madras. Mary Collins, born in India and orphaned at a young age with her brother was raised in an orphanage before going to live with their grandparents.
The family arrived in WA and decided to settle in Harvey, Western Australia onto an orange orchard called “Pine Ridge”. The original family property had pine trees around the perimeter. John Barnes new nothing about farming but decided the oranges would do better if he drained the soil, so the first two years in Australia his son William spent digging drains deep enough to stand in. Their oranges improved due to this exercise. The farming cost him a great financial loss. He thought his sons would become farmers, but they had other ideas. After many years on the farm John Barnes sold it and retired to Midland.
William Patrick Sanderson was an engine driver when he met Joseph Glossop, an internationally renowned train driver, who decided that William would be a suitable husband for his daughter, Aseneth. They were married in 1906 and had four children before Aseneth died in 1913 just two weeks after the birth of their last child in Collie, Western Australia.
Clara Taggart, Brian’s mother was working in Bunbury, Western Australia between the years of 1913/14 and living with the Andrews family on Victoria Street. Francis (Frank) Luther Andrews and his wife Hilda had three daughters Thelma, Doreen and Betty, they owned or managed a shop on Victoria Street, and Clara helped as a domestic aid and looked after the children. Francis (Frank) later worked as a ticket collection on the WAGR railways. It can only be surmised that this local connection is how Clara came to live and work as a house maid for William Patrick Sanderson in Collie in 1916 and helped care for the younger children.
Clara was born in Roebourne, Western Australia in 1887. She was the illegitimate daughter of Mary Jane Barker and John Ernest Best. It is not known what happened to Clara in her youth and where she grew up, though she can be found in 1910 living at 36 Milligan Street in Perth as a spinster. Brian told a story, that when his mother died, he and his sister Leslie applied for her birth certificate, it came as a great shock to them both that their mother was illegitimate, as she had never said anything. Brian said he had never met his grandfather, but after much searching, Petrina his granddaughter, found that he had died at Dairy Creek Cattle Station in the Gascoyne while digging a well, a bucket had fallen on him, and ruptured his bladder, he was taken to the homestead, but died soon afterwards. John Best had spent his adult life living on Cattle Stations in the Pilbara and Gascoyne area. He was the son of Henry Best and Georgina Brown. They had moved to Cossack in the North West when John was only one years old, and his father Henry and blown himself up on the Cossack beach in July 1873, when trying to signal a ship with a cannon. His mother Georgina then remarried to Charles William Paterson in Cossack in 1873. John Best was living in Roebourne most likely with his mother’s sister’s family the Eaton’s when he had a child with Mary Jane Barker in 1887 named Clara Elizabeth.
Mary Jane Barker was the daughter of convict George Barker and his defacto wife Elizabeth Taggett. Mary Jane’s father died when she was only one years old. George Barker arrived in Fremantle in 1850 aboard the first convict ship to arrive in Western Australia called the “Scindian” he was convicted of pick pocketing, the lesser charge as the two people he had pick pocketed he had also killed when he threw them off a bridge, though he was not convicted of that crime. “Barnard Castle Murders Aug 1845”. He arrived in Fremantle with his mate Thomas Routledge Raine who had also been with him on the night of the offence. In Fremantle he was given his TOL and worked as a sandalwood carter and had purchased a lot of property in Fremantle, he had married in 1852 to Elizabeth McInerney and they had three sons, but unfortunely she died in 1865. George then had a defacto relationship with Elizabeth Taggett (Taggart) and they had one daughter Mary Jane Barker in August 1868, they lived on Essex Street which was the same street as Georgina Brown’s family lived on as her father was John Brown the Baker, in Fremantle. George Barker died shortly after his daughters birth and it is not known how Mary Jane Barker got to Roebourne, but it can be certain that the two families would have known each other. After giving birth to Clara, Mary travelled to Albany and Married George Reeves in December 1891. George and Mary moved to Fremantle where they built a house together and this is where they remained. Brian was glad to know about his grandfather. He had met his grandmother when he had visited her with his mother in Fremantle in a house called “Rose Cottage” along with his Step Grandfather George Reeves. George had made little sailing boats and took him to the local pond to sail them with him when he was a child.
On the 21 May 1921, William Patrick Sanderson and Clara Elizabeth Taggart were married at the All-Saints Church in Collie. Clara was 34 years of age and William was 49 years old. Brian often commented that his dad was an old man when he was a child and had lived a life before his arrival. He also told a story that his father had told him, that when his father was a child a Shaman (medicine man) took him aside an pushed his thumb nail into his forehead and left a crescent shaped mark, he told him if he ever left India, he would meet with disappointment for the remainder of his life. The same prophet stated that, if he married his first love, she would die, and this came to pass. This encounter obviously left its mark with Brian’s father as much and the mark on his forehead.
The family of eight moved to Geraldton in around 1927 to a home on Chapman Road. Brian talked often of breaking his arm as a young child and being taken to hospital on a cart and had a great deal of freedom and spent it, roaming around Geraldton with his younger sister Lesley.
Brian attended Geraldton State School and then progressed to the Geraldton District High School. Brian completed his Junior Certificate Examinations in November 1939. His report states that he is a good hard worker with an excellent general knowledge and capable of doing independent work. He has a quiet retiring personality and a pleasing disposition. The Postmaster in Geraldton also gave him a job reference stating that Master Brian Sanderson is a strictly honest, industrious, and careful young man, and could recommend him to anyone requiring his services.
On 4 October 1940 Brian aged 16 years, started work as a Junior Clerk for the Western Australian Government Railways in Geraldton, his father and many other family members also worked for the Railways at the time, other family members worked in the crayfish industry, all the family had a keen interest in fishing. His Dad was an engine driver in Geraldton, he didn’t want Brian to join the railways, but jobs were scarce. Brian put in for junior clerks’ job and was one of only 5 taken on in the state. This was around the time that WW2 started, and Brain remembers people starting to prepare in Geraldton in case war came to Australia.
On 8 July 1942 Brian was issued a Certificate of Exemption from Service in the Defence Force, due to being required personnel being employed by the WAGR, instead Brian joined the No 1 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps in Geraldton on 7 September 1942. After the fall of Singapore and the Bombing of Broome, Geraldton was in the grip of panic, the Battalion in which Brian belonged set up the 75lb gun in the sandhills where the Mariner Hotel now stands.
On 18 December 1943 Brian left Geraldton and transferred as a Junior Railway Clerk to Rob’s Jetty in Fremantle. Brian went to live with his mother’s stepsister Aunty Eunice and cousins during his stay in Fremantle on Malcolm Street, he slept on the outside lean-to because the girls slept inside the house. During his stay here is also visited his grandmother and step grandfather who lived nearby in Rose Cottage. Brian said he sometimes got let off his railway work to go and sit on the end of Rob’s jetty to fish and bring back a catch for the other’s. Obviously, he was well known an able fisherman even in his younger years. He also sometimes helped his Uncle Fred Sumpton who had a business in Fremantle driving the vehicles.
It was during this time that Brian met a young lady called Frances at the Dance Hall in Fremantle, she was his first girlfriend. Francis’s father was a great fisherman and from Malta. Brian became engaged to this young lady of 18, and after announcing this to his sister Leslie he received a scathing letter from her which started with:
I notice you didn’t ask my opinion about you getting engaged – well weather you like it or not I’m giving it.
She was not impressed at an engagement at such a young age.
Brian said that after he was posted to a remote location (Merredin) in June 1945 the relationship ended and that he had kept the letter from Leslie to remind him to be good.
Brian stayed in Merredin with WAGR until September 1946 he was then stationed to Picton Junction as Station Relief Officer (class 6). This was a big promotion, he had to learn a lot and it was a busy station with trains coming in all the time. Not only did bulk wheat come in via the trains but also perishables such as fruit and carcasses, these had to be transferred across the platform to freezer truck on train to Perth. Brian said he keep an old pair of overalls for this work as you ended up with blood all over you.
As part of his duties, he was often sent as relief to other stations such as Collie, Boyanup, Greenbushes, Bunbury and Capel and on one occasion he met Clarice Dawn Williams who worked at the Capel Tavern. A relationship began and Brian often sent his washing via the train in a suitcase to Capel as Clarice’s mother, would do his washing and send it back via the train to were Brain was stationed. Obviously, Clarice’s parents Frederick David Williams or Dave as he was known and Martha her mother approved of this young man and the couple were married at the St John’s Church in Capel on 24TH April 1948. Brian was 23 years old, and Clarice was 19. They spent their honeymoon in Perth visiting the sites and spent a day in Queens Gardens and took a picture near Peter Pan’s statue. During these early years Brain rode a motorbike and Clarice rode on the back with him, Clarice never got her licence, and Brian was always the driver in the family. They would often go fishing together, and Clarice made the home while Brian provided.
The couple lived at Picton and during those times money was tight but Brian due to his handy nature and ability to make things, made most of their furniture for the house which they took with them on their travels with WAGR. Brian also fished and kept a vegetable garden. On 14 Aug 1951 Brian was appointed Assistant Station Master at Picton, which would have assisted slightly with finances, he was also entitled to his first railway house. The timing was fortuitous as Clarice was pregnant.
They were living in Picton when on the 6 March 1952 their first child Lorraine Meryl Sanderson was born.
Lindsay Brian Sanderson was born on 21 Oct 1955
Lorraine remembers a little about living in Picton with her dad, such as running beside him when she was little because he always walked with such a long stride and walking in the bush with her dog Trixie the black cocker spaniel near their Picton home.
They stayed in Picton until 26 February 1956 when the family moved to Talbot Road in Brunswick and Brian was appointed the position Goods and Coaching Clerk (5).
On 19 August 1958, Brian’s mother Clara died in Geraldton, she had a fall and broken her right femur, and been ill for about five weeks, until finally succumbing to a cerebral thrombosis shortly before her death. Her grave is located in the Church of England portion of the Utakarra Cemetery and she was buried on the 21 August.
Their third child Paul William Sanderson was born on 12 July 1959 in Brunswick.
Lorraine remembers that her dad made her a cubby house at the Brunswick home all decked with furniture that her dad had made. They made a regular Sunday trip to Capel for a roast lunch at nanna’s house (Williams) and home baked goodies. Dad would take her on the back of his bike to school every morning before he went to work at the railway station, and she would help the teacher dust the boards after school while she waited for him to pick her up. They would holiday in Busselton and Dunsborough on the waters edge in a caravan or a chalet.
On 18 Feb 1963 Brian was given the position of Station Relief Officer in Bunbury because it was a relief position, he often travelled across the southwest, so Brian and Clarice purchased a house and the family moved to Capel to be closer to Clarice’s family, as she could not drive, this provided some assurance that there were relatives close by, so close in fact that most lived in the same street.
On the 5 April 1965, Brian’s father passed away, aged 93 years. In Geraldton, he had lived in historical two storey home in Geraldton with his daughter, who cared for him at the end of his life. A man who was also enjoyed tinkering and even had a few patents to his name, he called them inventions and had a large, shed bursting with tools and various models, he produced plans for refrigeration long before this technical advance was thought of. He also invented a device that sharpened lawn mowers which proved payable. He was laid to rest at the Cemetery in Geraldton. One might say like father like son.
On the 7 June 1965 Sharon Kaye Sanderson was born on the same birth date as her dad.
Lorraine, Lindsay, and Paul were now 13, 10 and 6 and remember picking fruit with dad in the nanna’s orchard (Williams) and taking them to a fruit shop in Busselton, feeding and plucking the ducks for a Sunday roast, setting rabbit traps, and checking them the next day and mum making rabbit stew. Walking with their father as he pointed out wildflowers and little things of interest. Staying with their parents on Christmas holidays in a little caravan on the beach at Siesta Park, riding in the steam engines. While in Capel, Brian made his first boat, and Lindsay remembers him using what seemed like a million rivets to hold the sheets of metal together. He taught the kids how to catch shrimp in the drains in Busselton or the worms in the estuary which always proved to be the best bait to catch fish.
On 12 May 1969 Brian was given his last posting and given the title of Station Master at Boyanup – here he remained and lived with the family in the Station Master’s house on Bridge Street, where he established a magical shed, thanks to many trips to “Woolies” which was code for the local tip, Clarice always said he was to take stuff not bring stuff back, I don’t think she minded to much as long as it stayed in the shed, as the house was always well maintained and tidy without fault. Brian also maintained a vegetable garden, fruit trees. The “shed” was also where Brian enjoyed a quiet moment painting, something he would enjoy for the rest of his life. Brian could be seen riding his push bike along the back fence as this is where the railway tracks were, he would ride down to change the signals, the wood chip trains were too big, and Brian had to ride down and wave them into the station. He tells a story about changing the signals one night. The Hotel had peacocks, one night in the dark a peacock jumped out and screeched, good thing he didn’t’ have a bad heart. Of course, the annual holiday to Busselton still happened and Clarice and Brian both so enjoyed staying at the beach in their caravan.
It wasn’t long before each child soon left the nest and Lorraine married John at the Capel Church, Lindsay married Evelyn and Paul married Beverley, until only Sharon remained, but the family continued to arrive for Sunday lunches and soon grandchildren accompanied them. Once again Brian was able to make his wooden toys to entertain the grandchildren. Petrina their first grandchild, remembers that grandad made her a cubby house also, complete with table and chairs, a kitchenette and little bed he also made her dolls house with lino, red roof and curtains, inside was doll furniture, nanna had knitted all the doll outfits and they came in lined box which was kept for years, she still has the doll house which her own daughters played with. She remembers when cyclone Alby hit in 1978, she was visiting her grandparents in Boyanup with her mum and dad, when the wind became a howl, she remembers grandad on the roof with Uncle Paul, hammering as something had blown loose in the wind, and nanna being worried about them (with good reason). Grandad would also take her up to the Boyanup Railway station which held large tubs full of flowers and she would get to sit on his lap and hand the visitors tickets through the window, and when the train arrived, he would take her out to sit in the engine of the train. This was the pattern of life until his retirement on 7 June 1984 after 43 years of service. Brian was the longest and last serving Station Master in Boyanup.
After retirement Brian, Clarice and Sharon then moved to Clifton Park in 1985. Brain and Sharon shared a keen interest in collecting seashells and Brian made two wonderful shelves that sat in their living room to hold their collection. Sharon soon after met her husband John and married, and so there was only the two once more.
Brian was never idle, he was always tinkering in his shed, which had been relocated from Boyanup to the shed in the back yard of his Clifton Park house. It was full to the brim with everything you could imagine, but not just one of everything, sometimes 20-30 and boxes of bits that might just come in handy one day. Brian was from a generation where you didn’t throw things out, but it was a virtual Aladdin’s cave for children, in-laws, and grandchildren alike, and if you needed anything fixed it came back twice as good. There was always a toy or game to play with for the grandkids, but never take home, and a box of comics, magazines near where you could sit on the outdoor lounge and read, and relax. His time was spent in the garden and his beautiful orchids which bloomed every year, days spent fishing where he caught enough to feed everyone and each fish was filleted to perfection, there was never a bone to be found in fish filleted by Brian, and there was always a fish for the cat. Clarice would cook them just with a little butter and flour, they were the best fish to be eaten by far. All the grandchildren would only eat grandad’s fish. There was also a lolly jar, which Brian always made sure was filled, much to the delight of the grandchildren who would sit with him quietly telling him about their day while enjoying a lolly or two. Petrina, Susan, Leah, Todd, Emma, Tristan, Charlotte and Verity, Brian always had a limitless amount of time for the grandchildren, who he adored. Brian and Clarice were a quite couple who keep to themselves but loved when family visited. The now extended and growing family still got together often for family events, Easter, Christmas, and family dinners. Brain and Clarice still went down to Busselton in the caravan and the family would visit them there and walk and fish along the beach. Brian taught all the grandchildren how to fish, as skill never lost once learnt.
Brain and Clarice moved to Australind. Year mid 90’s. Clarice enjoyed decorating and purchasing some new furniture to fill the home. Brian had a hard time downsizing; this home was a much smaller, retirement unit with only a garden shed, nothing in comparison to the large workspaces in his past homes. Undeterred, Brain still managed to pack a lot into a small space. As he got older and was no longer able to drive, the carport became his art studio, where he continued to paint an amazing number of pictures. The family still visited and were welcomed with the best cup of tea ever made and usually a sandwich on the side.
A highlight for the couple was when they were invited to the Government House Ballroom on Friday 18 August 2000 for the Swearing in of Lieutenant General John Sanderson AC to the Office of Governor of Western Australia. Brian had always been very proud of his nephew’s achievements and had keep a scrap book of newspaper clippings as years went by. A few years later 10 th January 2004, they were invited once again to celebrate the 65 TH Wedding Anniversary of his brother Jack and wife Jean at Government House in Perth and enjoyed the afternoon immensely.
On the 6 June 2004 Brian celebrated his 80 TH Birthday, family and friends were invited to the Ex-tensions Café at the Bunbury back beach on Ocean Drive for lunch and a lovely day was had by all.
Brian and Clarice were to celebrate their own 60TH Wedding anniversary in 2008.
In around 2009 Clarice’s health deteriorated, she had had a stroke and Brian even though doing his best and caring for his wife was unable to care for Clarice in their home. Clarice eventually moved to Ocean Star Nursing home in Bunbury, and Brian made the trip in to see her at least twice a week, with the help of careers and family. He still decorated her room with homemade furniture and filled the walls with his art pieces and photos of the grandchildren. Clarice lived at the nursing home for almost 10 years and died 19 September 2018 at Ocean Star Nursing Home aged 89 years.
Brian continued living in his home on Mardo Ave in Australind occupying himself with his hobbies, still making wooden trucks and swings for the great grandchildren and painting which he loved. He had acquired a motorized scooter which was known to race down the local supermarket isle’s and he was still prone to diving into the local hardware store outside skip bin, on the hunt for scrap wood to make his toys. He maintained his independence, with some help and still cooked and cared for himself, though it had become more difficult as his eyesight was failing. He caught a chest cold and went to Harvey Hospital in the last few weeks of his life, where he died on 11 January 2020 aged 95 years.
Olive Elliott nee Sanderson who was Brian’s older sister described “The Sanderson’s”, as far as I can see are very individual people: ‘the cats that walk by themselves and all places are alike to them’ I quote ‘Kipling” for it seems to fit most of the members of my side of the family. We are survivors.
This quote sums up Brain Barnes Sanderson, he was a quite man, who enjoyed his own company but gave all to his family to provide them with a home that came from the heart.
This story was compiled, researched, and written by Brain Sanderson’s eldest granddaughter Petrina Prowse (nee Olsthoorn). In memory of a wonderful man, my grandad, who spent so much time with me as a little girl and I am so grateful that he was in my life.
Descendants of John Sanderson 1800 by Joyce Voigt
Bunbury-Boyanup Pioneer Railway The Last Station Master Boyanup Museum
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