Humphreys / Lindley Store

Humphreys Family

Thomas Humphreys was born on the 7th February 1836 in Hounslow, Middlesex, England. He married Lucy Caroline Getting on 17th August 1858 in St. Stephens, Hammersmith, England. Lucy was born on 29th June 1832 in Leigh, Kent. England. She died in Melbourne, Australia, on 20th August 1894.
He died at his home “Hounslow” Lawrence Street, Bayswater on 11th December 1909 aged 73 years old.
They had five children:

Freda Louisa Humphreys

  • Born 10th May 1859 in Hampton Court, England.
  • Married 1886 in Yambuck, Victoria, Australia.
  • Died 1904 in Benalla, Victoria.

Frederick David Thomas Humphreys

  • Born 13th November 1861 in Shephards Bush, London, England.
  • Married Elizabeth Ann Taylor on 20th August 1889 in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia.
  • Died 17th August 1920 in Claremont, Western Australia.

They had two children:

  • Mabel Alice born 10th December 1890 in Victoria
  • Cassie Lucy born 27th December 1893 in Victoria

Louis Getting Humphreys

  • Born 13 February 1863 in Clerkenwell, England.
  • Died on 15th August 1865 in 9 Thomas Street, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England.

Florence Lucy Humphreys

  • Born on 1st October 1865 in 9 Thomas Street, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England.
  • Married George Henry Lindley on 13th December 1883 at Congregational Church, Albury,N.S.W.,Australia
  • Died on 13th February 1915 at Pickering Brook, Western Australia.


Lindley Family

George Henry Lindley was born on the 14th April 1846 in Camberwell, Surrey, England. His parents were Samuel Leventhorp & Lucy Ann Lindley. He arrived on board the ship “Kent” from England to Victoria in 1858 at the age of twelve years old.

George Henry Lindley aged 37, married Florence Lucy Humphreys aged 19, daughter of Thomas Humphreys, on the 13th December 1883 in Aubury, New South Wales. Florence was born on the 1st October 1865 at Thomas Street, Clerkewell, County of Middlesex, England. Florence is listed in the first register of Midwives in Western Australia and in 1901 her occupation in listed as home duties and her residence as Mundaring, Western Australia. She died on 13th February 1915 age 49 years old.

They had six children:
George “Grey” Thomas Lindley
Born 25th December 1884 in New South Wales. Died 5th August 1970 in Bunbury aged 85 years old. Ashes are in St. Mary’s Church of England, Kelmscott. Married Ethel Rose Buckingham on 15th October 1913. Ethel died on 2nd November 1984 in the Busselton Hospital aged 93 years old.

They had five Children:

  • George Grey born 8th August 1914. Died as P.O.W. on 21st August 1945. Married 4th Oct 1939 Catherine Ann McKinnon. Born 1915. Died 27th May 1990.
    Lynette born 8th February 1943 at Mandurah. Died 12th March 1978 aged 35 years old
  • Roy Frederick born 18th April 1916 Married ???? P.M.Stanley.
  • Ethel Joan born 21st December 1917 Married 18th June 1937 Francis Denis John Clark.
  • Lucy Florence born 8th October 1923 Married ???? A.E. Pearson.
  • Peggy Helen born 14th November 1928. Married William Matthew Odgers, (always called his wife “LUVY”)
    Dianne Shirley born 14th May 1950
    Raymond William born 6th February 1952

Frederick Thornton Lindley born 28th July 1886
Store keeper at Pickering Brook 1916. Was a Private in Unit 28th Battalion of the Australian Infrantry Service Army. Killed in action 20th September 1917 in Belgium. Buried at White House Cemetery, St. Jean-Les-Ypres, Belgium, Plot 1, Row D, Grave 32. Aged 31.

Lucy Florence Lindley
Born 16th April 1889 in Shepperton, VictoriaMarried Henry Joseph Weston in 1911 in Swan District, who was born about 1878 in Lockeville, Western Australia. Resided in Pickering Brook 1916. He died on 22nd April 1928 at Pickering Brook. Then in 1932 she married Dennis James Stanley Morrell who was born about 1884. Lucy died on 16th November 1970 in Subiaco aged 81.

Florence Louisa Caroline Lindley
Born 31st December 1890 in Collingwood, Victoria. Married Horace S. Penny in 1927 in Geraldton.

Frank David Lindley
Born 9th January 1893 in Collingwood, Victoria. Died also in 1893 in Collingwood, Victoria.

Ruby Helen Lindley
Born 26th March 1896 at Hotham East, Melbourne, Victoria. Married Henry John McCullagh on 6th April 1921 at Kalamunda, Western Australia. Died 6th March 1977 in Mount Lawley, Western Australia aged 81. Son born 19th January 1922


Gold discoveries in the early 1890’s had resulted in a rush to the arid interior and water was needed for the necessities of life and for developing mining operations on the gold fields. People died from dehydration and from diseases spread in the unsanitary conditions. Attempts to obtain water from local underground sources and dams proved unsustainable.

Finally a scheme was developed to build a storage dam and pump water along a pipeline to the gold fields. The dam was a major W.A. Government project at a time when a shortage of funds was curtailing other activities, and unemployed workmen flocked to the site in the hope of getting a job. By June 1898 nearly 300 men were camped at the site.

The project involved building a 21 million kilolitre storage reservoir at Mundaring and then pumping the water via eight large steam-driven pumping stations through a 557 km steel pipeline. The construction of the both the dam and the pipeline are two of the engineering wonders of Western Australia. They are great achievements in an age when earth moving equipment and tractors were not available. The genius behind the whole project was Charles Yelverton O’Connor who was born in Ireland in 1843. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1865 and moved to Western Australia, where he was employed as the Engineer-in-Chief, in 1891.

The men shown are workers who were employed to build the storage dam for the Coolgardie Water Supply Scheme, intended to overcome the problems associated with the storage of fresh water in W.A.’s eastern goldfields. By the time the photograph was taken the camp was organised, as indicated by the three framed canvas houses lined up in a row and the steps of another four houses can be seen lined up on the far left. At first the camp was nothing more than an untidy collection of makeshift shelters. The large house with the verandah in the centre of the photograph, housed the engineer-in-charge. Three men with surveying equipment can also be seen. Two are holding staffs and the third has a tripod.

Mundaring Weir Police Station 1898

The large number of men on the site created threats of law and order. During the early days of the camp, drunkenness and unruly behaviour were a problem. A police station under canvas was established in March 1898, about half-way between the school and the traffic bridge over the river. It consisted of the inevitable hessian and barrel staves and as there was no structure capable of holding prisoners, the latter were chained to a log! Most of the early charges were for fighting or obscene language. At the time a man could be sentenced to hard labour for swearing.

Cooks and Workers Outside Kitchen at Mundaring Weir c1898

Some of the different types of professionals and other workers needed to build the storage weir, ranging from cooks to surveyors, are represented in the photograph. Many of the workers were from the eastern states of Australia and had been attracted to the west by the gold discoveries. The area became a vast camp with men living in tents and families in hessian and barrel staves shanties.

THOMAS HUMPHREYS' STORE AT MUNDARING WEIR #10 When this photo was taken c1900, it was probably owned by his son, Frederick and partner George Blundell. (Note: Remains of Thomas Humphreys sign in the roof behind the "Post Office Cash Store" sign)
Thomas Humphreys' Store At Mundaring Weir When This Photo Was Taken C1900, It Was Probably Owned By His Son, Frederick And Partner George Blundell.

Thomas Humphreys came from Victoria with his daughter Florence and son Frederick and their families probably in early 1898. They settled at Mundaring Weir, which was a hive of activity, and became the local storekeepers.
Florence Lindley was now widowed with their five children. They were all born in Victoria except George who was born in Sydney, N.S.W.

  • George 14 years old
  • Frederick 12 years old
  • Lucy 9 years old
  • Florence 8 years old
  • Ruby 3 years old

Fred Humphreys with his two children. Both children were born in Victoria.

  • Mabel Alice 8 years old
  • Cassie Lucy 3 years old

Thomas also had some connections with a premises called The Oxford Cafe in Hay Street, Perth, where he had a manager. On the 7th June 1898 a Gallon License and a Spirit Merchant’s License was granted also 2 weeks later an application was made for the compulsory transfer of an eating-house license from Max Cohen to Thomas Humphreys in regard to the premises in Hay Street known as the Oxford Café. Decision postponed until all of Mr. Humphreys’ evidence was heard. But permission was given for Mr. Humphreys to carry on the business of an eating-house by his manager until such time as a decision could be given.

Main Business Area Mundaring Weir Camp Site

The whole family became involved in running the general store and later, Post Office. Thomas and Frederick Humphreys and George and Florence Lindley were all listed as shopkeepers. As well as their store and a post office, there were many other shanties, with one of the shanties dispensing home made hop beer. The latter was so popular that many of the workmen had difficulty negotiating the hill to their tents…As a result of their efforts the road up the hill between the dwellings was called “Struggle Street”.’

Next door was Hewitt’s Store ran by Mr. William George Hewitt. Their son worked on the weir. In June 1899 a serious accident injured Hewitt and an Italian named Lorenzo, when several Railway wagons, used in the excavation, broke away down a steep incline and struck the two workers. They were crushed by the wagons, seriously injuring them. Following a miraculous recovery under Dr. Ferguson Stewart’s treatment he received a compensation payout from the Government of 500 pounds. He then took over his parent’s store at Mundaring Weir

Mundaring Weir School also Known as Portagabra School

Children, along with the rest of their families, accompanied their fathers when they went to work on the wall for the Coolgardie Water Supply Scheme storage reservoir, later to become known as the Mundaring Weir, Families camping at the site campaigned for a school, claiming in letters they sent to the Education Department, that between 70 and 100 school-aged children lived in the vicinity. Mundaring Weir, early pioneer, Mr. Jacoby was concerned that all the children living at the weir were seriously disadvantaged because there was no school for them. So he built a school, gave the land to the Government, and handed over the school at cost price. The Mundaring Weir School (also known as Mundaring or Portagabra School in the earliest records) opened on the 7th November 1898, with Miss Tothill as teacher. Conditions were fairly primitive and a letter from the local schoolmaster to the Education Department complained that people from ‘the camp’ were using the school toilets on weekends and holidays…

Mundaring Weir School Admission Page

On 31st January 1899 Lucy and Florence Lindley along with Mabel and Cassie Humphreys, enrolled at the new Mundaring Weir School being pupils numbers 53 to 56. Frederick Lindley enrolled three days later, on 3rd February 1899 and was pupil number 56.

On Easter Monday in April that year, the first annual picnic of the Public School at Mundaring Weir, was held at the local reserve at Mundaing. Over 200 people attended the events. The children were conveyed to the ground by train. The Sports committee had arranged an excellent program and trophies were presented by Mr. and Mrs. M. Jacoby and Mr. L. Burke. The Boy’s Handicap Race was won by Frederick Lindley. Hearty cheers were given for the Committee, Mr. Leslie the resident engineer, and Mr. E.E.A. Willis, head teacher, for their efforts towards making the picnic a success.


Charles Yelverton O’Connor initiated the plan to build the pipeline in 1895 but it was violently opposed in Parliament and the approval to start work wasn’t granted until 1898. Even when the project was underway its critics, believing it to be impractical, did not relent. O’Connor was subjected to a particularly vicious press campaign. He committed suicide (partly as a result of the pressures – his suicide note included detailed instructions on the construction of the pipeline) in March 1902. The pipeline was completed the following year and the result was that vast areas of the wheatbelt and the goldfields, which had been relying on unreliable wells and waterholes, suddenly found that they had regular supplies of water. The scheme changed the face of the central Western Australia forever. From a situation where water was being transported 500 km by train to a daily output of 5 million gallons being delivered along 557 km of pipes was little short of a miracle. Unfortunately CY O’Connor was never able to enjoy his success, because the pumping trials began just weeks after his death in 1902. In January 1903, the Mundaring water flowed into Kalgoorlie

In December 1898 and January 1899, serious concerns were raised about the unhealthy sanitary position around the many workers camps at the Weir. A meeting of the local board of health was held where Thomas Humphreys was elected as chairman of the board. A decision was made to make an inspection at an early date. Mr. William George Hewitt was also elected to be a member of the local board of health at Mundaring Weir.

The large numbers on the site created health hazards. A sanitary inspector was appointed to enforce health regulations and a contractor carted away the “Nightsoil” (human excrement).

Thomas Humphreys had a conversation in Perth on 15th February 1899, with Isidore Herman who was a grocer carrying on a business in Hay Street, Perth. He said he was anxious to sell his store at Mundaring Weir. They agreed to a deal and wrote up an offer.
About 4 or 5 days later Mr. Herman went to Mundaring Weir to inspect the store. It was estimated that the profit from the store was between 350 to 375 pounds per year.
On returning the Perth on the 21st February he handed Mr. Humphreys a written acceptance of the offer. Mr. Humphreys wanted 200 pounds for his store however the buyer asked for a reduction. Mr. Humphreys offered both Mr. Herman and his friend, a five guinea suit of clothes and all parties were happy.
However it turned out that Mr. Humphreys was in financial trouble at the time and had parted with his assets and could not pay his creditors. It also transpired that he could remember nothing of the deal to sell the shop as he was extremely drunk at the time.
Isidore Herman took the matter to court.

A month later a new Post Office opened in Mundaring, and the leading storekeeper at Mundaring Weir, Thomas Humphreys, offered to pick up and deliver daily the mail for the residents at the Weir.

Thomas Humphreys was declared himself bankrupt on the 7th June 1899, just 2 days before the court case with Isidore Herman started.

On the 9th June 1899, the court case between Isidore Herman and Thomas Humphreys, over their ill-fated deal to purchase Humphreys shop at Mundaring Weir commenced. Where Thomas Humphreys denied knowing anything about the deal as he was drunk at the time and had since sold the shop to his son Fred Humphreys a few days ago for 684 pounds, adding that he wanted to get away from Mundaring Weir. The Judge accepted the fact that Thomas was drunk and did not realise what he had done, damages of 50 pounds plus costs were awarded to the plaintiff.

Fred Humphreys carried on the business until in June 1990 he declared himself bankrupt but a then formed a very short lived partnership with George Robert Blundell.


George Robert & Florence Maud Blundell arrived at Mundaring Weir with their two children, Mary born in Sydney on 14th September 1889 and Margaret born in Sydney on 17th September 1886, both enrolled at the Mundaring Weir School in July 1900 and August 1900 respectively.

William George Hewitt, who had a shop next door to the Humphreys Store, applied for a Gallon License for his shop and rooms situated on Block 9, Railway Township, Mundaring Weir. It was refused.

George Blunbell and Frederick Humphreys went into partnership with the shop at Mundaring Weir. however this arrangement only lasted a few years and on the 30th November 1900 the partnership between George Robert Blundell and Frederick Humphreys trading as Storekeepers and Butchers at Mundaring Weir was dissolved. The business of storekeeper will be carried on by George Robert Blundell and the business of butcher will be carried on by Frederick Humphreys.

Eight months later, in July 1901, a meeting of the Bankruptcy creditors of George Robert Blundell former storekeeper at Mundaring Weir was held and the Post Office and General Store at Mundaring Weir was advertised for sale in December of the same year.

Fred Humphreys was agent at Mundaring Weir for The Western Mail newspaper from 1901 till March 1903.

With the Weir having now been completed in 1900, the population was moving on, so many changes had to happen to the existing families that owned businesses in the settlement. The decision was made by the Humphrey and the Lindley families to move elsewhere. Both Fred Humphreys’ daughters, Mabel and Cassie, left the Mundaring Weir School in 1903 to attend school in Midland Junction. .

The Move to Pickering Brook

Following the completion of Mundaring Weir, and the exiting of the population that was there for the construction, Thomas Humphreys realised the need to re-locate himself and his family elsewhere.

Just across the hills at Pickering Brook there was a lot of activity with two very busy sawmills. Both the Canning Mills and Barton’s Mill were thriving with a railway line down the zigzag to the city. This was the main railway line out to Canning Mills which juntioned at Pickering Brook with the line out to Barton’s Mill. This proved to be an ideal spot to open a general store and Thomas Humphreys jumped at the opportunity. Thomas Humphreys built and opened a small store at Pickering Brook at around 1903.
Florence (Thomas’s daughter) arrived and joined him with her five children;

  • George 19 years old
  • Frederick 17 years old
  • Lucy 14 years old
  • Ruby 7 years old

And also his son Frederick arrived but his two daughters were now attending school at Midland Junction.

Thomas Humphreys Pickering Brook Post Office Store c1903

Thomas Humphreys was helped in the store by his two grandsons, George and Frederick Lindley. A year later, their widowed mother, Florence moved to “Hounslow Cottage”, Lawrence Street, Bayswater with her three younger daughters. This arrangement continued for about six years. She also cared for Fred Humphreys’ two Daughters. She worked as a nurse in 1909 and 1910.

In October 1904, Gordon & Gotch seized goods under a judgment summons from Florence Lindley. Thomas Humphreys, her father, disputed this authority and took it to court. Stating that; “The fowls, forming part of the seized goods, were bought by him and lent to her in September. He had also bought the mangle and lent it to her. The other goods, chairs, stretchers, tables, etc, had all been bought by him at various times and loaned to his daughter.” An order was given that the goods be returned.

For the next few years the little shop at Pickering Brook was run by Thomas Humphreys still assisted by his two grandsons, George and Frederick Lindley. Thomas’ son, Frederick Humphreys was also residing at Pickering Brook but appeared to not have been involved in the shop at all.

Both Lucy and Ruby Lindley attended the Bayswater Sunshine Ball in aid of the Children’s Hospital on Wednesday 7th October 1908. Lucy was dressed in pink muslin over pink silk with roses and her younger sister, Ruby was dressed as a “Gypsy” in white blouse, red skirt and yellow sash, with red cap, vest and tambourine.

Martha Albrecht with Her 3 Children

Frederick Humphreys’ youngest daughter, at the age of 18, Mabel Alice Humphreys married Alfred Sexton in 1908. He was worked as a teamster at the Canning Mills 1909 – 1912 and as a timber contractor at Barton’s Mill 1916 – 1922.

In July 1909 there appears to have been a major falling out between Thomas
Humphreys and his son Frederick

Notices were advertised in local newspapers stating that Thomas Humphreys was not answerable to any debts incurred in his name by Frederick Humphreys. They also stated that the Power of Attorney granted by Thomas to his son Frederick, had been revoked.

The downhill spiral seems to have continued for Frederick Humphreys, as on the 13th August 1909 he was arrested at the Helena Vale races for cashing a valueless cheque. He also had in his possession a considerable sum of cash, a gold ring set with opal and rubies, and various other trinkets of more or less value.
There was also a warrant out for his arrest on a charge of stealing 30 pounds from Martha Albrecht of Perth on July 3rd. The charge was later withdrawn but no reason was given.

In 1909 Thomas Humphreys became very ill and moved from Pickering Brook to be
nursed by his daughter at her Bayswater home. Unfortunately Thomas died on
11th December that year, aged 73.

Two months later, on 11th February 1910, probate was granted in the Supreme Court for Thomas Humphreys, late of Bayswater and Pickering Brook, storekeeper to Andrew and Francis Wilson the sum of 346 pounds 6 shillings and 5 pence.
Ruby Lindley attended a Bayswater Ball in October 1910

George & Ruby Lindley

The National Mutual Life advertises the world’s first Non-forfeiture Principle Life Assurance Policies featuring Thomas Humphreys in July 1910.

Shop at Pickering Brook was referred to as Lindley’s Store in December 1911. Also at this time the Supreme Court of Western Australia advertised asking for any claims or demands against the Estate of Thomas Humphreys late of Bayswater and Pickering Brook, shopkeeper, to be sent to them.

1913 31st January
Miss Ruby Lindley of Pickering Brook, won a prize in a chocolate competition run by Nestle.

1913 9th June
F. (Fred?) Lindley advertised in the Pingelly Leader Newspaper as a Mutton Butcher with his cart visiting the town regularly.

The annual Bachelor’s Ball was held at the Kalamunda Agricultural Hall on the 25th July 1913, and was attended by a large crowd with two of the Lindley daughters taking part. Florence (Jnr) was on the organising Committee and Ruby attended the function dressed in pale pink voile spangled fringe trimmings.

A very pretty wedding was solemnised at St. Mary’s Church, Kelmscott, on October 15th, by the Rev. William A. B. Haynes. The contracting parties were Mr. George Lindley, elder son of Mrs. F. Lindley, of Pickering Brook, and Miss Ethel Rose Buckingham, the sixth daughter of Mr. W. J. Buckingham, of “Greenwood”, Roleystone. The day was perfect and the church was very prettily decorated with lilies, bridal creeper, and ferns by the lady friends of the bride. The bridal couple stood under an arch of foliage and flowers, from which a wedding bell, with the initials of the bride and bridegroom worked on either side was suspended. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked very pretty in a beautifully trimmed gown of silk voile trimmed with silk insertions and fringe, the customary wreath and veil being worn. She also carried a bouquet of exquisite cream roses and fern. The bride was attended by four bridesmaids. The first two (Miss Flo Lindley and Miss Hilda Buckingham) wore pretty frocks of pale blue crepe-de-chine trimmed with insertions and buttons. They also carried bouquets of red roses and asparagus fern with streamers of cream ribbon. The second two bridesmaids were Miss Alma Buckingham and Miss Ruby Lindley who wore dainty gowns of rose pink crepe-de-chine and carried silver crooks with cream streamers and pink roses. The best man was Mr. Fred Lindley, brother of the bridegroom, and the groomsman was Mr. Lawrence Buckingham, brother of the bride.


The bridal group in the middle of the picture are:Ruby Lindley (Bridesmaid with Crook), Flo Lindley (Bridesmaid), George Lindley (Groom), Ethel Buckingham (Bride), Hilda Buckingham (Bridesmaid), Alma Buckingham (Bridesmaid with Crook) The best man was Mr. Fred Lindley, brother of the bridegroom (standing behind Hilda Buckingham) and the groomsman was Mr. Lawrence Buckingham, brother of the bride (last on the right back row).

The reception was held in the Kelmscott Hall, where the guests were received by the bride’s mother, who was dressed in black silk. The breakfast table was decorated by Mrs. Harmer and looked very pretty indeed, and the cake, which was in five tiers, was made by Mrs. Lloyd. After the reception, the happy couple left by train for Bunbury where their honeymoon was spent, she bride traveling in a smart coat and skirt of blue silk poplin and hat of cream crinoline straw, trimmed with pink roses. They were the recipients of a large number of beautiful and useful presents. The bride’s present to the bridegroom was a drowsing case; the bridegroom’s to the bride a diamond brooch; the bridegroom’s to the first bridesmaid a wristlet watch; to the second and third chain and medallion, and to the fourth a gold necklace

Ethel & George Lindley with Baby George Grey Lindley

George and Ethel’s first child, George Grey, was born on 8th August 1914. About this time it appears the George opened a shop in Kelmscott operating as Lindley Brothers, while the younger brother, Fred Lindley now 28 years old, was assisted by his two sisters Florrie (24) and Ruby (18), were operating the Pickering Brook shop.

FLORENCE LINDLEY (nee Humphreys) #31

George Lindley became involved in a lot of community events in and around the Kelmscott, Rolystone, Karragullen, Pickering Brook areas. He was appointed handicapper for the log chops held in aid of the Children’s Hospital Fair, at Kelmscott.

Unfortunately their mother, Florence Lucy Lindley, died on 13th February 1915, after a long and painful illness, aged 49 years old.

Helen & William Hewison

In late 1915, Frederick volunteered to join the war effort and signed up with the Australian Infantry Service Army, as did a lot of other local lads also.

Mrs. Helen Hewison, from Barton’s Mill, was asked to manage the business while Fred was away. Unfortunately Fred Lindley was killed in action on the 20th September 1917, in the big offensive in the historic battle of Possieurs, France. Mrs. Hewison assisted by her husband, William, then purchased the store and Post Office and remained the proprietor of the business until 1943. Her daughter Alice Beard (nee Hewison) and son-in-law Bert Beard then took over the business and operated it until 1959.


On Saturday evening, the 20th October 1915, a farewell social and dance was held to farewell about a dozen volunteers who will be departing shortly for active service. Those men who managed to be present were Privates Louis Weston, Hugh Halleen, Fred Lindley, Bert Wall and J. McCaskill. Those who were unable to be present included Privates H. Farrant, Laurence, Dickenson, Farmer, Coward and others. During the evening several addresses were given, and the attendance was much more than sufficient to fill the hall, which was kindly lent for the occasion by Mr. Hewison. This was the old timber frame hall building that was on the north side of the old shop. This was later moved and rebuild on Weston’s property.

Lindley Brothers Store at Kelmscott was advertising as agent for “Greenside” fruit fly bait in December 1915. This was specially prepared for the industry by W. F. Green, an orchardist of Gosnells.

Ruby, Lucy & Florence Lindley with Ethel Lindley

In January 1916 it was decided to sell the previous family home in Bayswater. It was advertised for sale as a six room Weather-board house with wash-house and stable in Bayswater. Small deposit, no agent. Contact Lindley Bros Store, Kelmscott.

Frederick Humphreys was seriously injured in an accident near Greenbushes in February, that same year. At 9.00 p.m. an accident occurred on the railway line, near the second crossing not far from Greenbushes, which resulted in the instantaneous death of Mr. Frank Wenn, a well-known employee of the Bunbury Municipal Council.

It was alleged that a railway employee named W. Crewes was returning from Greenbushes on a railway motor tricycle and was running at the rate of about 25 miles an hour in order to keep ahead of a freight train, when suddenly the vehicle struck something and Crewes was thrown off and was temporarily stunned. On recovering consciousness he found that two men had been knocked down by the machine. It appeared that Wenn had been killed instantaneously, and that Frederick Humphreys had been badly injured.

Once at the hospital, Dr. Flynn found him to be suffering from compound fractures of his right leg. Crewes, who was attended to by Dr. Joel, was found to have received injuries to his head and arm, and was suffering from shock.

Sergeant Tehan collected information and it appeared that Humphreys and Wenn were proceeding home together when the accident happened.

George Lindley's First Truck

George and Ethel’s second son, Roy Frederick, was born on 18th April, 1916.
A week later, on the 25th April 1916 (ANZAC Day), Fred Lindley, on service in France wrote this letter home to his younger sister Ruby.


1916 May

George Lindley listed as Storekeeper in Kelmscott. Lindley Bros storekeepers of Kelmscott advertised in the South Western Advertiser.

In mid 1916, George and Ethel with their young family decided to move to Westonia. The area was booming with gold having been found in the area. George could see the potential of moving his general store business to the town. An indication of the growth in the Westonia area was supported by Lindley Brothers, late of Kelmscott when they opened an up-to-date grocery shop next to Mr. G. Mewburn’s Fruit Palace.

Westonia Historic Main Street

Westonia came into existence with the discovery in 1910 of gold in the area, by a sandalwood cutter named Alfred Weston (May 17, 1876 – September 26, 1924). Initially the area was known as Weston’s Reward and later as Westons. By 1915 there were two major mines in the area, and the population was in excess of 500. By 1917 the area, by then known as Westonia, had a population of more than 2,000. In 1919, low gold prices forced the closure of the mines, and many people left the area. Westonia was gazetted as a town in February 1926.

It is hard to imagine a more unusual town than Westonia. Although it did not come into existence until 1910 it actually looks like a 1920’s town which was built last week … which is basically what it is. As a result of the “Wolfram Street Facades” project the town’s original bank, cafe, hotel, fire station, boarding house and green grocer’s store have new facades and new buildings have been constructed in the style of the 1920’s. It would be easy to see this as a kind of Historic Disneyland but the town is an operational modern entity with a 1920’s pub, a 1920’s Shire of Westonia office building and an exceptional museum. It represents the eastern limit of the wheatbelt before the traveler enters the Goldfields.


An interesting article appeared in the Westonian Newspaper in November of 1916 .

It stated that Alf Weston, after which the town was named, is supplying fresh rabbits weekly. They are trapped in the district and is a luxury for local people. Send orders in early to avoid disappointment. Orders will be left at Lindley Brothers Store, Westonia for pick up.

Later that year George Mewburn sold his produce round to Messrs Lindley Bros.
In March 1918, Lindley Bros., moved their premises to opposite Millar’s Timber & Trading Company.
Lindley Brothers are listed as shopkeepers at Westonia up until 1922.

Soldiers of the 28th Battalion at Renescure, France 8th August 1917 Private Frederick Lindley is Shown by Arrow.

Private Fred Lindley, aged 31 and unmarried, was a Private in Unit 28th Battalion of the Australian Infantry Service Army. He was killed in action on the 20th September 1917, in the big offensive in the historic battle of Possieurs, France. He is buried at White House Cemetery, St. Jean-Les-Ypres, Belgium, Plot 1, Row D, Grave 32.

George and Ethel’s third child, Ethel Joan, was born on 21st December 1917.

Fred Humphreys died 17th August 1920 in Claremont, Western Australia.
In 1921,Frederick Humphreys’ eldest daughter, Lucy Caroline Humphreys married Thomas L. C. Broad.

SOLDIERS OF THE 28th BATTALION AT RENESCURE, FRANCE 8th AUGUST 1917 #40 Private Frederick Lindley is shown by arrow.

On Wednesday 13th April Lucy Humphreys, who was a nurse at the Government Hospital, gave evidence in an inquest as to the identification of a six year old boy, Prince Arthur Rowsell, who was killed in a motor accident on Perth Road the previous Thursday.

George Lindley

In 1923 George & Ethel returned from Westonia with their family. Sleeper cutters were in demand and George worked for Bunnings Timber Industries hiring such workers from February 1923 till July 1924. Later that year George and Ethel’s fourth child, Lucy Florence, was born on the 8th October.

The family became almost “gypsy like”, having moved again, this time to Marine Terrace, Rockingham, where their fifth child, Peggy Helen, was born on 14th November in 1928. There they operated a Greengrocers shop from 1928 till 1931.

George Lindley’s eldest son, Grey, operated a fruit and vegie shop at Mandurah from about 1941 until he was killed during World War 11, in 1945.

Grey Lindley

Flight Sergeant No.427712 R.A.A.F. 21st Squadron George Grey Lindley was reported as missing whilst on air operations in Northern Celebes on July 27th 1945. They were attacked by Japanese anti-aircraft fire and shot down. He was later reported as having been killed by the Japanese while a Prisoner of War on August 21st 1945, in Netherlands East India, Celebes, Indonesia. He was originally buried at the Makassar Cemetery, then later re-buried at the Ambon War Cemetery, Ambon, Maluka, Indonesia.

Grey Lindley's Grave

Informal group portrait which includes 10 of the 12 crew members of Liberator (B-24L) A72-92 which crashed after being attacked by Japanese anti-aircraft fire over the Celebes, East Indies, on 27 July 1945. Nine of the 12 were killed. Three survived the crash but were later captured by the Japanese and executed. Identified in the back row seated on verandah, from left to right: 440787 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) Brendan Michael Heslin, Air Gunner, No 21 Squadron from Wagga Wagga, NSW; 419295 Flt Sgt Alfred Cook, Navigator, No 21 Squadron; 437421 Flt Sgt Frank Grainger Vincent Hutton, Air Gunner, No 23 Squadron; 441469 Flt Sgt John Victor Orgill, Wireless Operator, No 21 Squadron from North Beach Western Australia (executed 28 July 1945); and 441014 Flt Sgt Stephen Patrick Cloake, Air Gunner, No 21 Squadron from Brisbane, Queensland. Middle Row from left to right: 403585 Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Kenneth John Hanson, Pilot, No 21 Squadron from Killara, NSW (holding object and with leg over bicycle); 427095 Flying Officer (FO) John James Oliver Hume, Co-Pilot, No 21 Squadron; and A36363 Flight Sergeant Robert Hamilton Percy, Engineer, who was not onboard A72-92 when it crashed. Front Row 440381 Flt Sgt Charles Neville Nichol, Bomb Aimer, No 21 Squadron (leaning against bicycle); 427712 Flt Sgt George Grey Lindley, Wireless Operator, No 21 Squadron (executed 21 August 1945); 435994 Flt Sgt William James Maxwell, Air Gunner, No 21 Squadron, of Brisbane. The two other crew members who are not in the photograph were 80471 Flt Sgt Arnold Alexander Lockyer, Flight Engineer, No 24 Squadron (executed on 21 August 1945) and 36404344 Corporal Waite, United States Army Air Corp who joined the flight as a weather observer.


The Humphreys/Lindley family’s were pioneers in the early history of Pickering Brook.
Hopefully now that this piece of history has been preserved, on our website, everyone will recognise their achievement in establishing the first store in Pickering Brook.

References: Article: Pickering Brook Heritage Group
The Stanley Low Legacy
Elayne Elleny

Images: 1 Unknown
2, 3, 23, 27, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44 Elayne Elleny
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 19, 20, 22 Mundaring Historical Society
10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 47 State Library of Western Australia
24 Malcolm Beard
25 Peter Skehan
26 Margaret Cullity
28 City of Armadale Birtwistle Local Studies Library
29 Kalamunda & District Historical Society
32, 33 Pickering Brook Heritage Group
38, 40 Bayswater Historical Society
39 Shire of Westonia
45, 46 Australia War Memorial

Photo Enhancing: John Linton