Charles Henry Rich
|First name||Charles Henry|
|Country of Origin||Canada|
|Date of Birth||26/03/10|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1927|
|Submitted by||Anne Marie Rich|
Charles was born in Canada but his family returned to England because his mother, Eleanor (Nellie) found Toronto too cold. Nellie died in 1919 from The Spanish Flu and was pregnant at the time when Dad was 9. Charles’ father, Arthur Frederick tried to keep the family of 5 boys together but the housekeeper kept the housekeeping money for herself so Charles and two of his brothers, George and Arthur went into Dr Bernardos Orphanage. His 2 younger brothers, Frank and Tom, went into foster care. Their father remarried in 1921 to Mabel Annie Oaks and the 5 boys were taken home. Arthur and Mabel had 2 more children, Albert (Len) and Doreen. The family decided to migrate to Australia and Charles was sent in 1927 on the SS Ballarat, to join his brother George in Macksville. An uncle gave Dad five pounds and that was all he owned on his arrival. Their brother Arthur followed.
He was not too impressed with Australia at first as he was very homesick, and tried to save his fare to return to England, without any degree of success. Nor was he impressed with the bush, having arrived directly from London. Dad arrived in December and started working on a farm immediately. When Dad had a nose bleed due to the heat he sat under a tree and the farmer told him to stop being a lazy sod and get back to work. However, once the rest of his family arrived in 1929 they also went to Macksville. Charles then settled happily in Australia and never returned to England.
He did many different jobs, including farming, timber logging and share farming with his brother George at Taylor’s Arms near Macksville.
In the early 1930s the family moved to Sydney. At that point Charles went to North Queensland cane cutting, sending his wages back to Sydney to help his family during the depression. His brother Arthur decided Australia was not for him and returned to England by stowing away on a ship. Smallpox broke out on the ship and Arthur was discovered. He was taken off the ship at Vancouver and as Canada was his birthplace he was left there. He made his way across Canada to the east coast and returned to England.
In 1937 Charles met Edith Brook and when they decided to marry he sent his wages to her for banking. They married in 1939 and had one daughter, Anne Marie in 1944.
When Charles and Edith married Edith’s father, Joseph, gave Charles his medal to work on the wharves. He worked under the name of Joe Brook for many years until he could acquire his own medal. Charles was one of the many who walked “The Hungry Mile”. Later he worked under his own name but was always known as Joe. When containers became the way of things on the wharves he learned to operate the machinery to load the containers. As there were not enough men with the knowledge to operate that machinery he was kept on for 2 or 3 years after retirement age until enough operators had been trained.
Ancestors – England
Father – Arthur Frederick Rich, DOB 14/3/1883, London
Arthur Ramsdale Rich – DOB 23/9/1852, London
George Rich – DOB 1/6/1809, Surrey
Solomon Rich – DOB Abt 1781, Kent
John Rich – DOB Abt 1753, Kent
Thomas Rich the Elder – DOD 7/4/1791, Kent
Nicholas Rich – DOD 1727, Kent