However, my father, Jack Howard, told me that he had planted a grapevine at the Malvern house just prior to his joining the army. While he was away, Granny had it pruned by an expert but it never bore fruit and when he returned he pruned it himself. When he was first in Rhodesia she sent him up a large box of grapes from the vine. This would suggest that she was in the Malvern house until the early 20's.
I was also under the impression that it was at this time that Granny and the younger sisters became Anglicans when the Anglican Minister was very good to them at the time of Harry's death."
A story has come down through the family concerning Harry's death, which is as follows:
My mother had a distant Warner cousin called Irene Elizabeth Toye Warner, who was born on 2nd. August, 1882 in Bristol, England. She was rather an excentric character and a great believer in Spiritualism. Shortly after Harry's death, but before the official notice was received, a letter arrived for my Grandmother in which Irene wrote, "Last night Harry passed over", followed by her condolences. Naturally, I never saw the letter but the family all seemed to be aware of this incident and recounted it as if it were authentic. My Mother had many other stories about Irene, too, and she was the person who was responsible for bringing both the earliest Warner family tree and a number of their possessions from Bristol and, eventually, lodging them at the Albany museum, including the original painting of Hester Warner nee Toye, the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Toye, sister of William Toye, who was a British judge at Gibraltar.
Hester was the first wife of Henry Warner, also of Bristol, whom she married on 7th.January, 1781. They were the parents of the 1820 Settler, from whom we are descended. The original painting still hangs in the Albany museum, Grahamstown and it was Helen Rose Relly nee Stanford [also a descendent] who commissioned an artist to paint in oils a copy of it. I saw this copy in their home near Somerset West, she kindly allowed me to borrow it so that we could obtain a photograph of it and this was printed onto canvas to make the portrait that hangs on the wall in our lounge. I sent small photographs of it to all the immediate family hoping it would be of interest to them, too.
Irene came out to South Africa to visit her many relatives who were living there and during her travels met and married, in 1920, one of her cousins, Albert Warner Staples, the son of William Staples and Margaret Eliza Staples nee Osmond.
Although I do not remember meeting Irene, I will always be grateful to her for all the help I got from the original Warner tree she prepared and for being able to view the Warner 'treasures' she donated to the museum.
H2/5.e Flossie Ruth Howard, was the fifth child and third daughter and she was born on 6.3.1895 in Cala, Transkei. (She never liked her name 'Flossie' and would have preferred, at least, the full name of "Florence", or better still just "Ruth" which she did like. The family usually called her "Floss" instead). She was married on 21.4.1921 in Salisbury, Rhodesia to George James Arthur Cleverly. He was born on 14.7.1893 at Walvis Bay, South West Africa where his father John Cleverly was a magistrate. George was educated at Dale College in King William's Town and he became a farmer, owning a farm near Lion's Head, Sinoia, Rhodesia, called 'Temperley'. He died while still residing there, on 27th.September, 1959. Floss remained on the farm for some time after that, running a trading store they had erected on the property and near to the road. When this became too difficult she moved into Salisbury to be close to her daughter, Helen and died there on 8.3.1981.
They had only one child:
6.ea Helen May Cleverly, born 11th October 1924 in Johannesburg and died 21st September 2011. She married Stanley Denis O'Donnell on 5th March, 1949 in Salisbury. He was born on 10.6.1913 in New South Wales, Australia and died 24th April, 1981 in Harare. They had three children all born in Southern Rhodesia.
Stanley worked in the Social Welfare Department and, later, became Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Smith Government after Rhodesia declared its independence from Britain. Unfortunately, during the war that followed their son, Dennis, was badly wounded when a grenade burst close to his head and he was paralysed down one side for quite a while before regaining the use of his limbs. His father was especially distressed when visiting Dennis in hospital and observing the other damaged patients there. Eventually, after a stroke, Stanley committed suicide in 1981 while Helen remained living in their house in Salisbury (afterwards Harare) before moving to a retirement complex at Chisipite, called 'Blue Kerry'
Floss was great friends with her sister, Phyllis, who was the sixth child born in the family and they remained close all their lives, corresponding regularly with each other, as most of the Howard family did through those years when they were separated by considerable distances.
I remember one holiday when my Mother and I visited Aunt Floss and Uncle George in their charming thatched home. I was very nervous because I imagined that there were snakes hidden in the thatching which were certain to fall on me when I was asleep. It was my first encounter of sleeping under mosquito netting and found it very claustrophobic and stuffy. Aunt Floss was especially fond of white cats and there were a large number of them about the place. They looked really beautiful against the green lawns in the garden.
For some unexplained reason the farm was in a position that constantly seemed to miss out on the rains and, consequently, George had great difficulty in making a success of his farming.
Floss seemed to be strangely fated over accidents concerning fire. As a child she was badly burnt, especially on one arm and this was bandaged in a bent position for so long that eventually she was unable to straighten out that arm. My Gran insisted that she exercise it, which was very painful and they even bought exercising springs which had to be used daily. This was a miserable chore but, in the end, proved to have been worthwhile as the arm grew back to its natural position, but she carried the scars for the rest of her life. There were also other incidents that occurred relating to fire and I remember her telling us of how their house burnt down on one occasion and nearly did so on another. The second accident was when someone left a cigarette burning and an armchair caught alight. It smouldered all night and in the morning they found only a heap of ashes. As the chair was very close to the curtains it was providential that they did not catch alight, too, leading to the thatch and the house going up in smoke again.
Aunt Floss had eyes like no others I have seen, as they were very blue, but also rather pale as if the colour was diluted with milk. I was very fond of her and knew her better than my mother's other sisters, except for Gladys, whom I only got to know when she was elderly and living in Cape Town with Keith.
I remember one Christmas in particular when Aunt Floss visited 'Graystones' before the war. As was the custom, my mother had asked a large crowd (about 36in all, I think), to join us for the celebratory dinner and we had set out two large tables in the dining room to cater for this. After the meal most of the adults retired for a nap, while the rest decided to play 'parlour games' and it was suggested we should all dress up to represent the title of some film, book or so on. Aunt Floss and Aunt Iris were game enough to join in and they wrapped up in sheets, etc. and came as 'The Heavenly Twins', but the most amusing incident was when three of the young men dressed up in Mable's clothing [she was the twin's nanny/nurse] and as they were tripping up the drive in high heeled shoes, a car arrived carrying Jannie Hofmeyr (the Foreign Minister) and his very dour, though no doubt kind hearted, mother, just in time to see one of these 'ladies' pick up 'her' skirt in order to extract a handkerchief from the pocket of his khaki trousers.
In 1975 Aunt Floss came down to visit us at Gordons Bay and it was while she was with us that we went into Cape Town and bought the Datsun car on auction [we had this car for nearly eleven years, until we left on a round-the world trip in 1985/6]. One evening we asked our friend Syd Rushworth to join us for dinner and I made a French lamb stew, which went down well and they both complimented me because it was so tasty. The conversation continued on the subject of food, with both of them agreeing that they did not like garlic at all, but one look at my face gave away the fact that the stew was absolutely full of garlic, to their utter confusion. It was during this visit that Aunt Floss suggested I ask Aunt Winifred to complete the crochet cloth my Mother had started so many years before.
From a letter written on 18.10.2002 by Helen O'Donnell about her mother:
'you asked me for little anecdotes or personal news about my Mum ... though I'm not sure quite what it is you want, decided to do my best to give a small 'portrait'. There's always a lot one can say of any loved one, so it's hard to know what to highlight and what would be irrelevant to others. I think it is true that she was the most loved of all the younger family members - they all seemed to turn to her with their problems and she kept up a regular correspondence with each. As a child she was very close to Harry, so much so in fact, that he refused to go to school without her, so the Nuns allowed her to attend as well and just participate in what she could. It was a very close bond though and his death in the war was a hard blow - but Jack became a very good 'big brother', and they grew to depend on each other a lot in their later years, especially when she was in town and he at Marendallas, both alone. He quite often came up to spend the day with her in her little flat.
Mum had a great gift of hospitality and would always make all ages feel welcome and at home. Her tennis parties were renowned in Concession. She was a very steady old fashioned player - served underhand and all her drives were underhand too, - would make today's coaches shudder - but they were hard and just skimmed the net. She was also very accurate in her placing, due largely to my father's encouragement - He would place a half-crown piece at odd points on the court and see how often she could hit it in 6 balls!! She took part in all the inter-district matches and generally participated in the highlight of the year - the Mazoe Valley championships held over the 4-day Rhodes & Founders holiday weekend in July at the Citrus Estate Courts - a great social as well as tennis event! - The other 'thing' for which she was noted was her pastry - and I've never met her equal yet! It was hard work though, especially in the early days before we had a fridge and she would get up at 4 in the morning to make it while the weather was still cool, and she'd work by hurricane lamplight. Her poor faithful cook would have to get up early on those days too to have the Dover stove HOT! Later, she'd still get up early and empty all the ice-trays, covering the cubes with thick brown paper on which the pastry would be laid to keep as cold as possible between the stages of rolling and folding. This she did at least 3 if not 4 times, dabbing small pats of butter on the rolled out dough, then folding meticulously over and over again, repeating the process with each 'lot', 3 or 4 times as mentioned. Finally, it could be rolled out again, cut and made into tarts, which then did rise to great heights - one could easily count the layers, the 'thousand leaves' in the French terminology. It was quite delicious, but watching her put me off pastry-making for ever!'
Helen and Stanley O'Donnell had three children:
7.aa Richard Cleverly O'Donnell, born 19.7.1950 in Gwelo, Rhodesia.
7.ab Denis John O'Donnell, born 28.1.1953 in Gwelo, Rhodesia.
7 ac Ruth Lynne O'Donnell, born 19.4.1955, Bulawayo, Rhodesia.
H3/5Phyllis Howard = Eric Freemantle
(1897 - 1953) (1896 - 1972)
(See under separate section called HF3 Phyllis Freemantle nee Howard)
H2/5g Doris Ethel Howard = Hilton Bekker
(1899 - 1948) ( ? - ? )
Doris Ethel Howard was born on 3rd. January, 1899 while the family were still living in Cala and although she married a man called Hilton Bekker in 1928 and they went to live in South West Africa, she was divorced from him early on and very little is known about their marriage. She had no children.
In fact, although I knew Aunt Doris somewhat better than many of my aunts and uncles because, not only was she one of my godmothers, but because she lived in Johannesburg and worked for my father in the accounting department of Max Pollak & Freemantle, I never felt that I knew her really well. In fact, as she had reverted to her maiden name, I was always under the impression that she was the only one of her generation who had not married and it came as somewhat of a surprise when tracing the tree to learn of her early marriage.
For many years Doris worked for Max Pollak and Freemantle, starting as a clerk and moving to the Accounts Department. Working with her was a very good friend, Mrs Thatcher, who was also a close friend to her sister, Phyllis and the three of them always enjoyed each others' company.
It was Mrs Thatcher, sometimes accompanied by Aunt Doris, who would shop around looking for special gifts for my Father to give to my Mother, as they knew her taste so well. He was always grateful for all their service to the firm and for this personal help as well.
She lived in an apartment in Bree Street, in the city and her Mother, who as they grew older travelled to visit her other daughters less, lived with her for longer and longer periods. They often visited 'Graystones' together but, after Doris became ill, she was moved there permanently and remained at the house until she died in 1948 and her Mother went back to Rhodesia to stay with her other daughters or son.
Aunt Doris was a rather reserved adult as far as I observed, but she was very kind to me and I recall that one year she asked me what I would like for my birthday. It was soon after I had 'purchased' the pink Dresden lady (first espied in a shop by Mrs. Thatcher and really purchased by my Father) as a gift for my mother and, although I needed persuading to speak of my wish, eventually I told her I would like a china figurine. She gave me a very pretty Dalton child, dressed in green, called "Little Bridesmaid" which I have treasured it ever since.
When my Aunt Doris was ill and in fact dying of cancer, slowly fading over two years, she spent most of her waking hours in the breakfast room at 'Graystones' on the couch, but after she died my father insisted that all the furniture should be replaced and the old things disposed of as best they may. He did not want them remaining in the house, whether to assist my mother in putting behind her the sadness of the time Doris spent with them or whether it was a reaction to his intense antipathy to the cancer itself, I was never quite sure but probably something of both. One of the stories retold of this period concerned a house servant we had called, Elliot, who was very concerned over my aunt and he and another African would place her on a chair to carry her up to her bedroom towards evening and bring her down in the morning again. One day she said to him, "Elliot please make sure you do not drop me." And he replied, "No Ma'am, I would never drop you, but Phineas [the other African helper] will!" Rather small comfort for a nervous patient.
Before she became ill Doris, with a group of ladies, formed 'The Sunshine Club', the purpose of which was to encourage and cheer those who were incapacitated or ill by taking them for a drive around the suburban gardens or into the countryside, giving them some cheerful company and a change of scenery. [I think it was] during her illness that she read a book by Murrough Nesbitt called 'The Road to Avalon', which was his autobiography and told of how he overcame the many problems caused by the fact that as a child he lost his legs above the knees, after fallen from the top of a train so that the wheels ran over both legs and of his dream to build a place of rehabilitation, high in the mountains, for similar amputees.
As a family, but in particular my father and Doris, tried to assist him in making this dream a reality. He was an exceptional man, to be admired for all he accomplished in spite of his disability and he firmly believed that he could persuade others to make the most of their lives because he did. For instance, he claimed that they would not be able to say they could not do certain things, such as bath themselves, without a limb when he managed to do these tasks without both legs. Unfortunately, although he was never lacking in spirit or determination, he was not proficient when it came to the management of money or the accounting required over funds collected on his behalf. However, he did pursue his dream successfully, building a settlement in the mountains not far from Ceres and when we visited the place we found him sitting high on top of one of the houses, all by himself, putting the roof in place! Aunt Doris was inspired by him and decided that she would like to be buried at 'Avalon', so that is where her ashes lie, next to a large rock marked with a plaque and small verse that I suggested. On the surrounding mountains grew many buchu bushes, the leaves of which when brewed, produce a medicinal 'tea' which is very good for 'cleaning the kidneys' and bags of this herbal tea were sold from 'Avalon' among other money-making enterprises but, unfortunately the sponsors of this charity were unable to keep it going and clashed with Nesbitt over money matters, so that in the end, sadly, all his and their efforts came to naught. I often think of that lonely grave lying high in the beautiful Cape mountains where such a promising undertaking was lost for lack of more understanding over the capabilities of a remarkably able man versus the constraints of money which he did not understand.
H2/5.h Muriel Alys Howard = Lennox Marillier
(1901-1954) (1905 - 1983 )
Muriel Alys Howard was the eighth child and sixth daughter of H.B.M. Howard and Emmeline May Howard nee Warner and she was born on 14.3.1901 in Cala, Transkei like all the younger children of Harry and May. Her early history would probably have followed much the same path as her older sister, Doris. However, Muriel was never very strong and, unfortunately, she suffered from asthma during most of her life. She was married on 2.11.1927 to Lennox Aylward Marillier (this was probably in Salisbury as all the family other than Gladys and Phyllis had moved north to Rhodesia by then and it is believed that she would have met him in Rhodesia, where most of the family were than living). Lennox Marillier was born on 31st. October, 1905 at 'Izeki' King William's Town and he became a farmer, starting with Ronald Marillier at 'Montrose' and eventually owning a farm not far from Sinoia called 'Kenilworth'. He seemed to have been more successful in his farming enterprises than other members of the family. After Muriel's death, he married on 14.11.1959 (2nd) Dorothy Lillian Gould nee Dalton in Gwelo.
Lennox and Muriel had two sons:
H2/6(ha) Michael Aylward Marillier, the eldest was born 25th.September, 1929, who married Beryl Birch on 9th.August, 1952, in Salisbury She was born on 15th. July, 1931 in Liverpool, U.K. and they had three daughters and a son:
7.(aa) Cheryl Ann Marillier, born 26.8.1953 in Sinoia
7.(ab) Beverley Lyn Marillier, born 22.5.1955 in Sinoia
7.(ac) Pamela Alys Marillier, born 19.9.1957 in Sinoia
7.(ad) Norman Aylward Marillier, born 1.6.1960 in Sinoia.
H2/6(hb)Lennox John Dallas Marillier who was born on 15th. March, 1932 in Sinoia and he married Shenagh Maucauly Whitelaw on 29th.September, 1960 in Salisbury. She was born 10th.November, 1933 in Bedford, U.K. and they had two daughters. Lex took over the farm on his father's death on 9.8.1983 and Michael and family joined him, the latter attending to the machinery, while Lex ran the farming side of the enterprise. He possibly married (2nd) Maureen Cable ??? In 1999 Lex was brutally murdered by his past employees from the Marillier Estates. His third wife, Mvorna, was also attacked in their bedroom on the farm and hospitalised, but she survived this terrible trauma. There were two daughters of the first marriage:
7.(ba) Diana Jean Marillier, born 2.5.1963 in Sinoia
7. (bb) Sara Scott Marillier, born 21.11.1964 in Sinoia.
Muriel was never very strong and the asthma she suffered from all her life eventually affected her heart and these two health problems were the cause of her early death on 6th. June, 1954, aged 53.
Some four years later, Lennox was remarried on 14th.November, 1959 to Dorothy Gould, nee Dalton in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia and he died on 9/8/1983
In 1936 when Michael was due to go to school, his parents did not want to send him to boarding school as he was a rather quiet, shy and nervous child. So, they sent him to live with my parents for a year. He was almost exactly a year younger than I was as we were both born in September. While I attended the girl's school, Kingsmead, he went as a day scholar to the boys Junior school, Pridwin, which was just up the road from us, two blocks away. He was never very happy as he missed his home and parents greatly, so they returned him to Rhodesia at the end of the year and made some other arrangements for his schooling.
Message from Adrienne Rudland on 17th.August, 2001:
"Lex's wife Mvorna or Voo as we call her took [the murder] very badly and needed counselling in London. With the help of adjustment by her parents who reside in Zim for 6 months and England for 6 months, Voo now works hard to keep the transport company viable and running successfully. They have avoided these latest troubles as the property lies on the western area of Chinhoyi. Renata [Dolly Rudland's granddaughter] flies to Italy tomorrow, to join the other members of the family for their holiday. Half of Jen's [Dolly's daughter] farm was burnt yesterday by the squatters. Nice thing to return to!"
Extract from an e-mail letter from Adrienne Rudland , 23rd.October, 2001.
"I printed out your letter and gave it to Sheryl, who is Mike and Beryl's daughter... I hope that the Marillier family and Voo might contact you as well. I might add that Voo has done so well, standing on her own feet and running the transport business to be highly successful, considering what traumas she endured with the brutal death of Lex."
THE MARILLIER FAMILY CONNECTION
The children of Jean Frederic Marillier who married Sarah, the daughter of Thomas Rosamund were: Frederic Jean Marillier = Elizabeth King; (2) Louisa Henrietta Marillier; (3) Philip Richard Marillier = Frances Ford (4)Jacques Gillaume Marillier; and (5) Jacob Francis Marillier
[Details will be found in HF2 HOWARD FAMILY (part one) under the section concerning Winifred May Howard.H2/5b]