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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Major Christopher Henry HOSKYNS-ABRAHALL

Born 23 July 1871 in Bayswater, Middlesex, England [20] [224]
Son of James HOSKYNS-ABRAHALL and Ellen MORESBY [20] [21]
     Resided with his parents at 5 Newton Villa in Lambeth, Surrey, England in the 1880s and 1890s [20]
     Attended Dulwich College in Dulwich, London, England from 1884 to 1889 [493]
Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1890 [224]
     Appointed to the rank of Captain on 1 April 1899 and to Major on 1 September 1910 [224]
     He retired after 23 years of service [10: 2-Jan-1914]
Married Alice Maud Mary ALLEN on 20 June 1897 in London, England [21] [224]
     They had three children - two sons James and Christopher Henry, and a daughter Ellen Morseby [224] [268]
     His wife passed away at the age of 23 years in 1904 [21]
Arranged in England to purchase a "Ready-Made Farm" in Winchester, Western Australia from the Midland Railway Company [34]
     Paid a 5% deposit of £178/1/- for the 742 acre farm on 23 October 1913, and also £149/19/- for the seeding of 120 acres of crop [34]
     Departed Liverpool, England with his son James on the steamship Suevic for Albany, Western Australia on 25 October 1913 [203]
     Signed the contract to proceed with purchasing the farm in Winchester from the Midland Railway Company on 13 December 1913 [27]
     The 742 acres were Lots M916 and M917 of Victoria Location 1936 and cost of £3,561, payable by instalments over 20 years [27]
Farmer in Winchester, Western Australia in 1914 [6] [10]
     Received a severe cut to his arm in an accident on his farm in Winchester on Tuesday morning 17 February 1914 [10: 20-Feb-1914]
     While cultivating he lent forward to touch up one of the horses when the cultivator hit a tree stump, which threw him off [10]
     Fortunately he still had hold of the reins and managed to stop the horses, escaping with only a severe cut to his right arm [10]
     Travelled to Moora the next day for medical attention to the cut, which had been made by a cultivator disc and went to the bone [10]
In September 1914 he was appointed to the 16th Western Australian Infantry, which was being raised in Perth [10: 18-Sep-1914]
Returned to England where he was appointed to the Portsmouth Battalion of the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 28 February 1915 [224]
     Major and 2nd in Command of the Portsmouth Battalion during the First World War [224]
     With four others led a gallant attack against Turkish trenches at Gabe Tepe on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on 3 May 1915 [224]
     The attack was credited with allowing many Australians, who'd been driven out of their trenches, to safely return to their trenches [224]
Died 4 May 1915 from wounds on the hospital ship Dongola and was buried at sea [224]
Memorialised on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England[17]
Both of his sons also served during the First World War [224]
     His elder son served with the Australian Imperial Force in France and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [30: item 3018330]
     His younger son served as a 2nd Lieutenant attached to the Royal Flying Corps and was accidentally killed while flying in 1917 [224]
The Midland Railway Company rescinded the sale on his farm in Winchester on 6 July 1915 [34]
     The Company re-sold Lot M917 of his farm later in 1915 to Mrs Edith G. HUNTER of Wylam Farm in Winchester [27]
     Edith and her husband James named his former Lot M917 Major Farm, presumably after his rank in the marines [80: 28-Oct-1925]
     In April 1918 the furniture from his farmhouse was sent to Moora and sold by auction and the proceeds sent to his solicitors [34]
     The Midland Railway Company re-sold Lot M916 of his former farm in 1920 to Edward W. BELL of Winchester [27]
Also known as Christopher Henry Hoskyns ABRAHALL [27]

From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Tuesday 6 January 1914:
"The Midland district has received a welcome addition to its population in the person of Major C. H. H. Abrahall, who has purchased one of the Midland Company's improved farms at Winchester. The Major, who arrived by the Suevic early in December is vastly pleased with his purchase. The pleasure has been enhanced by a tour of the neighbourhood and Moora under the guidance of Mr Woods, the company's forest ranger. Our new settler spent some 23 years in the Imperial Navy, and served mostly in the home waters and in the Mediterranean. We extend the hand of welcome to the Major, and trust that his residence in the district will be both happy and prosperous."

From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Tuesday 6 January 1914:
Social Notes
"The engagement is announced of Major Christopher Henry Hoskyns-Abrahall, R.N.R., of Winchester, Midlands, formerly of Winchester, England, to Miss Lily Waterworth, of Blackpool, Lancashire, England: The happy pair became engaged on their journey to Australia on board the s.s. Suevic. The marriage will take place in St. George's Cathedral Perth, next week, and His Lordship Bishop Riley will tie the nuptial knot. Out hearty congratulations go out to the Major and his bride."

From The Daily News newspaper, Wednesday 18 August 1915:
Mainly About People
"Mrs J. W. Colpitts, Winchester, Midland Railway, has received word from her husband, Lieut. Colpitts, 10th A.L.H., that Major Abrahall, who formerly was a farmer at Winchester, and was in charge of the 16th Battalion in the earlier stages of its inception, has been killed in action at the Dardanelles. By a curious coincidence he was leading his company of marines to support the 16th Battalion at the time of his death. Major Abrahall, who was an officer of the army reserve, could not take rank with a local contingent and left for England a few months after the outbreak of hostilities, and has seen considerable service with the Royal Marines in the Mediterranean and Africa. The late Major leaves a son of 15 years in this State, whose present whereabouts are unknown, but is believed to be working on a farm. Mrs Colpitts would be glad to hear of the lad's whereabouts, as it is desired to get into touch with the late officer's parents with regard to the boy's future."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Christopher Henry Hoskyns-Abrahall' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 May 2024 from [reference list]

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