Note from Lesley
This is a copy of the original hand written pages
Note from Geoff
As Lesley wrote that these are "original
hand written" notes,
A few thoughts to remember in the Busy Life of George Watford Ward
Born at Walpole, England. March 3rd 1853, left home to earn his own living at the age of 11 as a farm servant, first years wages 12/-, left farm life at 16 year old in 1869.
Joined the Midland Railway at Derby England in Traffic Depot 1869 in 1870 transferred to Leeds Loco cleaning and went on my first trip firing with in 1870 with engineman J Rawling to Keithley on Engine 590 built at Kitsons, Leeds, shortly after and have been on the footplate ever since up to present time.
With five other men we started the Associated Loco Engineers & Firemens Society at Leeds, which now rules the railway workers in England. In 1883 transferred to Carnforth and at once took steps to form a Co-operative society on the Rockdale principle, which was so successful; the storekeepers secured my transfer back to Leeds.
In 1886 I was elected Chairman of the Leeds branch of the railways E & F society and held that position up to the time of the Big Strike 1887
I left England for Australia September 1887 per SS Hiberia. Arrived in Adelaide October went to see the Hon. T Playford, then Premier, he offered me work firing. with the first chance of driving at Quorn. I was transferred to Pt Pirie driving in May 1888.
Soon after my arrival the 3 Railway Commissioners took charge. Mr J Smith, Chairman. It fell to my lot to drive him over the Narrow Gauge Lines on his inspection tour and I had many interviews with him on the Enginemens & Firemens and Cleaners behalf, up to this time they had no security as to their standing or rating or increases, & the Association was practically extinct, still a few energetic spirits approached the Commissioner with great show of strength & secured the first real workable regulation (No10) which has been the backbone of all running Men ever since, although many concessions & new regulations have been gained since, Regulation (10) has been the foundation of all our successes.
I transferred from Pirie to Islington in 1893 where I have been driving on the North Line Passenger trains up to the present time.
The members of the E F & C elected me their President, an office I held for 4 years in succession and during my term of Office I saw the State Association federated in one Body; After the Federation was completed I was elected their first President, and the first full conference was held in Adelaide, and the Banquet was given by me; during my term of Office I traveled from one end of the Railway to the other advocating the railway Hospital Fund; & an Appeal Board for Railway Men, & had the satisfaction of seeing both established.
Married in Leeds on May 1874; result of marriage 12 children (6 boys & 6 girls) 20 grandchildren full family now living (32). I left Leeds for Australia in September 1887. My wife and children followed in S S Ormus June 1888. arrived in Adelaide July 17th, went to Pt Pirie, there made our first Aus. Home. There being no Baptist Church, we formed a Sunday School in our home, then with Mr. & Mrs. H Harris & Mrs. Prest set to work to get a church built. We soon had one erected with the help of other friends to seat 150 people, the Rev F Boiling being our first minister, and before I left Pt Pirie I 1893 had the contract signed for building the present Church. Before I was transferred to Islington. When we came to Islington I joined the North Adelaide Baptist Church, Railway Christian Mission & Literary Society. Also held offices in Orange Grand Lodge, & Rechabites Lodge and was elected Councillor for Prospect, after which I left for my world trip on April 14th 1914, Visited Ceylon Egypt Italy France Belgium, Germany Ireland Switzerland Alps America Canada, Salt Lake City, returned home by New Zealand, visiting all Australian States. On my travels I visited the Annual Demonstrations of the Orange Institution???.. of England Ireland at Belfast 12th July celebration, America and Canada at Niagara was the guest of the Landan County Council and brought back for the Prospect District Council many valuable reports on the latest methods of road making in England and America.