Saturday, 11 October 2014

Gean Bunston and Percy Nash

Gean Bunston and Percy Nash

Georgina (Gean) was born on January 6th 1886 at Skipton. Gean grew up with her family in Skipton and like the other children in her family, she attended Skipton Common School.

A young Gean with her mother
Gean worked as a domestic servant at “Langi Willi” near Skipton. Her future husband also worked her, as a gardener. On March 31st 1920 Gean married Percy Victor Nash at the Skipton Presbyterian Church.

Percy was the fifth of eight children of James William Nash and Matilda Whatley. He was born in Freshford, Somerset on March 15th 1894. He came to Australia in 1912. The first news Percy heard when he landed at Port Philip Bay was that of the “Titanic” disaster. Percy had a job arranged for him at “Langi Willi”. Here he became friends with his future brother in law, Sandy Perry.

Percy played cornet in the Skipton Brass Band and in 1915, joined the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF). He served in Egypt, Belgium and France as a member of the 9/21st battalion. On April 21st 1918 Percy was serving in France. This was the date the “Red Baron” was shot down. He crashed near the trench Percy and his mates were in and some of them were able to pick up a few souvenirs. Some of the men brought there’s home, but it’s not known what Percy did with his pieces.
Percy and Gean took over part of the Bunston family property and called it "Mayfield". Here they farmed mainly sheep, cattle and crops. Gean's parents, George and Elizabeth Bunston, lived with them until they died in 1923 and 1926 respectively.

Together, Gean and Percy had four children: Percival (1921); Muriel (1923); Wilfred (1925) and John (1927).

Gean and Percy were both very active with the Presbyterian Church and other local organisations, including the RSL, where Percy held office for some time.

It was very difficult to take any long holidays while running a farm, but in 1951 Percy and Gean managed to travel to England. They sailed on the SS Strathmore and some of the places they visited included Croydon, London, Scotland, Marseille, Algiers, Aden, Bombay and Limpley Stoke where Percy’s family lived. Their eldest son, Percy, looked after the property in their absence. This was the first time Percy had returned to England since WWI and the first time Gean met her in laws, including Percy’s mother.

Percy and Gean on their 50th anniversary
Percy died in Skipton May 2nd 1974 aged 80. Gean died in Melbourne at her son Wilf's home on August 15th 1975 aged 89. They are both buried in Skipton Cemetery. They were married 54 years.

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