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tamiwell

mystery marriage

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tamiwell

Hello, 

I'm trying to figure out the mystery of this marriage.  A soldier named Wilfred Edward Rix (1507) of the 10th Battalion (AIF) and later Flying Corps, I had thought was a life long bachelor.  There is no evidence of a marriage or any children here in Australia.  However, I recently found this document which suggests he had a wife named 'Martha' in England and was applying for free passage for her.  I can find no marriage for a Wilfred Rix with a Martha in England or Australia.  My next thought was that perhaps she had been French and they had married there....or perhaps they had never legally married....

I can't find any evidence that she actually arrived here in Australia.  

Can anyone help me crack this mystery or perhaps shed some light on any shady WW1 marriage situations that might have been common back then?? : )

Tam

wife document1.jpg

wife document2.jpg

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The Inspector

Hi Tam,

Searching for "Martha", 54 Mitre St., Waterloo, London........ It may be that Wilfrid met her whilst he was in hospital in UK bet 29.5.17 and 28.5.17 and his subsequent return from France to UK until  he returned to Aus. on 6.5.19...looking

Regards Barry

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Jim Strawbridge
Posted (edited)

Seems to be Wilfred Edward Rix of Clare, South Australia. He was aged 32 when he attested in 1914. A labourer. Discharged in England on the 13th August 1919. Seems to have received a gun shot wound to the face in 1915 and gun shot wound to leg in 1917. Recuperating in Mile End, London in 1917 so could easily have coupled up with a local lady. But no official marriage found in England/Wales. No Martha living at 54 Mitre Street in the 1911 census.

Edited by Jim Strawbridge

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johnboy

Can't find a Mitre Street , Waterloo. only Mitre Road. Maybe that is why she could not be traced?

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The Inspector

Hi All

Looks like Wilfred Edward Rix, b. 2.3.1882, Clare, S.Aus. served in WW2, S212577, gave his N of K as H. Burgoine.  His sister Reata Hilda Burgoyne. Wilfred d.4.8.1969. No wife on grave stone.  Here...https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=60528&h=2099874&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=1778

So probably Martha never went to Australia and they didn't marry... 

Regards Barry

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Perhaps he applied for free passage on the basis of a planned marriage, which then did not take place for some reason.  Maybe that’s why he went missing for a while, as it seems that according to the second document he could not be found.  Gone searching for her perhaps (all total conjecture I know).

Edited by FROGSMILE

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PRC

Coming at it from the other end, there is a picture of the veterans grave marker for 1507 Private W.E. Rix, 10th Battalion who died on the 5th August 1969, aged 88 years.

The only other wording on the memorial relates to "Loved brother of Cecil (Dec'd), Frank (Dec'd), Hilda and Arnold."

No mention of a wife but they may have separated or she may have pre-deceased.

The marker is located Centennial Park, Pasadena, Mitcham City, South Australia.

The initials are stated to be for Wilfred Edward on the website - the same forenames shown on his A.I.F. papers.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/152644368

 

As he was attached to a Training Squadron of the Australian Flying Service in the latter part of the war, I did have a look at his service papers to see if it might have been stationed in Scotland, (there were a number of training aerodromes there), but the only location I could see in his service file was Minchampton.

 

Going back to the headstone, a contemporary newspaper report of his death or a death notice in the BMD columns might refer to Martha.

 

A death certificate for Wilfred should also reference his martial status, although may not help if he subsequently remarried.

 

Tracing him through Australian electoral registers might also show if he was living with a wife or partner.

 

There is no obvious death for a Martha Rix in England & Wales in the ten years after 1918 - several candidates but all qute elderly.

 

Other than a 30 year old Mrs M. Rix who sailed from Southampton bound for Madeira in 1925, no other obvious candidates on the outbound passenger lists

 

Not sure how much that helps,

Peter

 

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johnboy

When applying for the passage ,would he not have to have furnished a marriage Cert?

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, johnboy said:

When applying for the passage ,would he not have to have furnished a marriage Cert?

 

That is a really good point!  In hindsight one imagines that would have been required.

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rolt968
Posted (edited)

I can't find a ... Rix marrying a Martha.. between 1910 and 1925 in Scotland.

Edited by rolt968

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johnboy
3 hours ago, The Inspector said:

Hi Tam,

Searching for "Martha", 54 Mitre St., Waterloo, London........ It may be that Wilfrid met her whilst he was in hospital in UK bet 29.5.17 and 28.5.17 and his subsequent return from France to UK until  he returned to Aus. on 6.5.19...looking

Regards Barry

Can you give a link to his Hospital info?

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corisande
1 hour ago, rolt968 said:

I can't find a ... Rix marrying a Martha.. between 1910 and 1925 in Scotland.

 

Not in Ireland either

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johnboy

Thanks Barry. I only have access to uk records.

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johnboy

thanks Dai

Seems he was in hospital in  Clapton East London.The adress given for Martha may have been a hotel or lodging house in Waterloo for preparation for train journey to Southampton?

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David26

Is it possible that Martha may have been from Waterloo, NSW, Australia?  I can't though find a Mitre Street or Mitre Road there.

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PRC

It looks like the only direct reference to it being the wife of Wilfred Edward is in the final document - before that it is just the wife of a W.E. Rix.

 

Isn't it possible that the paperwork has got mixed up. Might be worth checking the records for other men with those initials to see if they have a wife called Martha.

May not be applicable in this case but over the years I've come across instances where two first generation settlers have married in Australia, (or Canada & America), and the wife has travelled back to the UK after her husband enlists, presumably to lodge with relatives, while her husband is serving.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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tamiwell

Hmmm thank you all for your replies and thoughts, I really appreciate it.  There are two documents the National Archives of Australia have available regarding the passage.  One of them I ordered and so it's available for viewing (the one I attached sheets from in this post).  The other might just be an index but I've emailed them to confirm that before I try to order it.  Both of these definitely give the name W E Rix with the correct service number.  I just found a Mrs M Rix travelling to Australia using Government, 2nd Class passage, but the problem with that was it was in 1919 (departing 18th October on the Morea to Melbourne) and according to the other records, she didn't have approval for passage until January 1920...also a Mrs 'M' Rix suggests her husband was M Rix doesn't it....

It might just have to remain one of those mysteries!  

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IPT

He appears to have been a soldier settler in Monash from 1924/25 - 1928.  There may be records.

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Bryn

A W E Rixon appears to have been successful in being allocated land in the 'Monash Blocks' along the Murray River in South Australia, southwest of Renmark, part of the Soldier Settlement Scheme after the war. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article258576715

There were 52 blocks in the settlement. According to a 1928 article Rixon left the block: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109373819

Photos of Monash: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87447785

 

According to this, he was secretary of the Monash Lodge of the RAOB (Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes) http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109372201

It's also possible that he was serving in the militia in SA between the wars; a W E Rix is mentioned as being in the 'Semaphore' (SA) team in a shooting competition: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58862669

 

Sorry, so far no mention of a wife.

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tamiwell

Yes that's right, it's actually for the town of Monash that I am researching Wilfred, along with 14 other soldier settlers allocated to me.  They're celebrating a centenary next year so we are gathering as much info as we can on each soldier settler.  The only thing left to figure out with Wilfred is this mystery wife, but I'm content to let it remain a mystery as it seems it likely will!  The rest of his life is a bit easier to follow and thankfully I've been able to get in touch with some of his family through his sister which has been great.  I really appreciate all your efforts to help me track 'Martha' down and I also wasn't aware about the shooting article you mentioned Bryn, perhaps he learnt how to shoot well in the trenches at Gallipoli!  Thanks so much for all your input and the time you spent hunting for me!

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
9 hours ago, tamiwell said:

..also a Mrs 'M' Rix suggests her husband was M Rix doesn't it....

Not necessarily.

Although convention used to be that Martha, the wife of Mr. Wilfred Rix should be addressed as 'Mrs. Wilfred Rix', rather than 'Mrs. Martha Rix, that wasn't always the case. So you have to include that possibility in your research.

There are plenty of service records out there that give the names of wives as Mrs. [wife's forename] [husband's surname].

Nowadays, even 'Mrs. Martha Rix'  would be considered old fashioned and something-ist.

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