Ian and Blanche


2.1.1 Charles Gittins (1863-1926) Youth (-1897)

Charles Gittins, about 1895Blanche’s father, Charles Gittins40  , emigrated to Western Australia from England in 1886, when he was 24. Charles was born and brought up in the north of England. He rarely spoke of his early life, recalling only that he was once chased by an angry bull and escaped by jumping up onto a thorny hedgerow. He never mentioned his family. He may have been an orphan or an unwanted child sent to live in an institution.

Albany and Vicinity Family LocationsBy 1888 Charles had joined the gold rush in the arid interior of Western Australia. He soon found, as so many others had before him, that the gold rush was "mainly rush and very little gold." The young Englishman endured the dust and heat of Coolgardie (near Kalgoorlie) for only a short time before a quest for a climate nearer to that of his birthplace led him to Albany. There, Charles took a job in a brick-yard41  near what is now the Albany Circle, a mile or two from the center of the town. He had been working there for a few years when he met his future bride, Mabel Murray.

Continue reading: 2.1.2 Mabel Murray (1875-1950) Background and Youth (-1897)

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2.1.2 Mabel Murray (1875-1950) Background and Youth (-1897)

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40. The portrait of Charles was provided by Geoff Gittins, 14 Bondi St., Milpara WA 6330, Australia.

41. Stokes Brick Works, still operating as the Albany Brick Company.