Wilcox, Sidney George - I1030

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First Class Passenger 
Sidney George Wilcox
Born 25 Aug 1866
Other names Jimmy
Nationality  Australian
Born 25 Aug 1866
Gawler, South Australia
Genealogy Data
Person ID I1030
Birth Family
Wilcox Family - F43
Father George Wilcox 
(03 Oct 1838 – 1908)
Nationality  English
Mother Annie Caldicot Fuller 
(Abt May 1840 – 13 Apr 1897)
Nationality  English
Voyage Data
Voyage to London in 1873
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Sidney George Wilcox
Travel Family Wilcox Family - F43
Age on voyage Abt 7
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1874
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Child Wilcox
Travel Family Wilcox Family - F43
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide

As a six year old, travelling with his parents and siblings, Sidney George Wilcox was a passenger on the City of Adelaide on it's 1873 voyage to London and on the return voyage to Adelaide in 1874. His mother gave birth to, George Seaborne,a brother for Sidney, on the voyage to London. The return voyage was tumultuous with many deaths amongst the passengers from Scarlet Fever, and culminating with a stranding just hours after arriving in South Australia, and on the day before Sidney's 8th birthday.

Parents

Sidney's parents were George Wilcox (1838-1908) and Annie (Fuller) Wilcox who, a few weeks after marrying in 1864, first boarded the City of Adelaide on its maiden voyage in August 1864. They were then sailing for South Australia to set up home in Gawler.

Travels

The success of George Wilcox’s first business was based on his acumen in buying and importing goods from Britain and Europe, and selling them in South Australia. He made no less than thirteen trips back to England to closely supervise each end of his intercontinental trade.

As a consequence, Annie had many opportunities to return with the children to Eynesbury/St Neots, and even give birth in England. She and/or the children may have spent months at a time there before returning on another ship, with or without George. At least two of these voyages were on the City of Adelaide, in addition to the maiden voyage on which Annie migrated with her new husband. These two voyages also proved to be very eventful for the Wilcox family as described below.

Narrative

In 1938, Sidney related the 1873 and 1874 voyages to his nephew, Alan Wilcox:

Narrative

Cabin No. 2 at aft was occupied by Geo. and Annie Wilcox with children, Edith, Sidney and Nellie, on voyage to England which began September 1872, round Cape Horn. The passage taking 140 days to Plymouth.

The ship was to have gone by way of Good Hope, but the winds would not allow of it, and the ship having drifted so far South, the Captain decided to go by Cape Horn.

George Wilcox, the second son, was born in Cabin No.2 on 30th January, 1873, just off the Scilly Isles.

On this voyage Geo. Wilcox had hired Cabins 4 and 6, which he had fitted with cages for thousands of Shell Parrotts, Spotted Love Birds, Blue and Red Finches, Galahs and White and Yellow Crested Cockatoos. Two tons of seeds were loaded to feed them on, and special provision had to be made for drinking water for them.

I do remember, though I was only 6-1/4 - 6-1/2 years old, helping to feed and water the birds, and clean the cages. A quantity of sand had also been placed on board to keep the cages decently clean.

When we arrived off Land's End father decided, with others, to leave the ship and land at Penzance in Cornwall, by the Pilot boat, taking train to London in order to sell his birds before the ship arrived at the Dock - he took me with him.

In those days it was 48 hours to London and another 6 or 7 hours to St. Neots, where his family lived - anyway about 3 nights on the way - and little "Jimmy" was pretty grimed and black by the time he got to grandmother in St. Neots. She shoved him into a hot bath and soaped him - in a moment or two she rushed out calling "Joe, Joe, the child is as white as our own - not the little native we expected".

That saved the other kids, Ede, Nell and George, from being dubbed the same - "Australian natives".

Well, carrying the story along, father had very few friends left in England it was too cold to him, ugly cold and dreary to us children, all crying out for sunshine.

It was decided mother and the four children should return to Adelaide in the ship 'City of Adelaide' at the end of May 1874. The ship was stranded on the coast at Kirkaldy Beach, now called Henley Beach, on the night of 24th August, 1874. Passengers were taken off after 48 hours by tender.

Father had earlier arrived by P&O Mail and was on the beach at 10 a.m. 25th August 1874, but of course could not help.

~ Sidney George Wilcox, 1938


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