Violet May’s adult life -as told to me by my Aunty Gwen today.

DOB: Feb 22 1905 – (possibly St Vincent’s or Queen Vic.. hospitals?)
Died July 18 1982 at Frankston Hospital.

In 1921 at the age of 16, Violet worked for a time in the highly sought after Boot making trade in Collingwood.  It is likely that she met Francis Samuel Mountney through her work, as he was also in this trade.

Marriage to Francis Mountney, 22nd (possibly Feb) 1922, when Violet was 17.

Around the period when Violet began work and was married, her mother, Mabel Edith (ex Neale, nee CANAVAN) was living in Bastings Street Northcote with her new husband, (unknown first name) HYDE.  Mabel and HYDE went on to have 2 children together, Winnie and ? (George??)(is there a possible connection between her starting work and marrying, and her mother’s remarriage to HYDE just before this.??..)
?? DOB and death for Mabel?
DOB for and death HYDE?
DOB for and death Neale?

Violet and Mountney were poor, and the marriage was troubled from the outset. Francis was often away from home for extended periods, is believed to have been a drinker and womaniser, possibly a gambler, not providing well for Violet and the children.  (how did Violet make money to feed and clothe the children during Mountney’s absences??)


The family moved a number of times; family memory suggests this may have been related to difficulty keeping up rentals, and that on more than one occasion a ‘sudden’ escape may have been made to avoid outstanding rental debt.  This period in Victoria was a time of economic hardship generally, the “Great Depression” is identified as being from 1929 – 1932, but was likely being felt by the poor in the years prior.


Excerpt from http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/great-depression
People were forced into all sorts of tricks and expediencies to survive, all sorts of shabby and humiliating compromises. In thousands and thousands of homes fathers deserted the family and went on the track (became itinerant workers), or perhaps took to drink. Grown sons sat in the kitchen day after day, playing cards, studying the horses [betting on horse racing] and trying to scrounge enough for a threepenny bet, or engaged in petty crime, mothers cohabited with male boarders who were in work and who might support the family, daughters attempted some amateur prostitution and children were in trouble with the police.
Lowenstein, Wendy. Weevils in the Flour: an oral record of the 1930s depression in Australia , 20th anniversary edition, Scribe, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, p.2, 1998.

VIOLETS CHILDREN:
Violet’s first child, Francis Leyland Mountney, was born in 1927 (DOB) when Violet was aged 22 years, and was living at Scotchmer Street, North Fitzroy.
The second child, Samuel Francis Mountney, was born in 1929, (DOB), Violet was 24 and the family lived in Islington Street Collingwood.
The third child, Gwenda (middle name) Mountney, was born on 7 Feb (year).  Violet was then (age)  and the family lived in a house in Campbell Street Collingwood.
Still born child (date) (name – Isobell??)
Still born child 2 (date, name??)






Sometime after Gwenda’s birth, Violet met Lance Parker, who developed a deep affection for Violet over the years, and who may have helped out the family financially from time to time, particularly after he enlisted in WW2.  There is a postcard from Parker during WW2 expressing his devotion to Vi, asking her to divorce Mountney and marry him, which she eventually did some years after the end of WW2.




At the age of (age) Violet gave birth to Heather Joan Mountney on 24th Feb (year) when the family lived at a house on Rathmines Street, Northcote, near the corner of Queens Pde.
The last child, Raymond Keith Mountney, was born in (year) when the family lived at 6 George St, Clifton Hill. Violet was then (age)

The family was stable for a period at this address, and the children attended Spencer Street State Primary School.

A BIG MOVE FROM FITZROY TO LANGWARRIN:
The family made a major move when Francis Leyland (Vi’s first son) was 14/15. Through friends that Vi had in North Fitzroy, Vi’s good friend Bob Dickie connected her with his friends who had a property opposite his in North Road Langwarrin which was available for Vi and the kids…
(? did dickie support her during this period?? rental in langwarrin??  Was Mountney violent?  Did he also gamble, were there debtors other than landlords??)

“it became too much for nan(Vi) with Mountney’s comings and goings, one night she just packed up the kids and left. Sam can tell the story, I was too young I don’t remember, they came and we moved furniture and everything in a horse and cart all the way from Fitzroy to Langwarrin.” 
Gwen Waddingham nee Mountney, 26/7/2011.



ANOTHER BIG MOVE TO SEAFORD:
Violet and the children were in Langwarrin during the bushfires of 1939.

(note: this date is 3 years earlier than possible if story about age of oldest son is correct)

Violet was frightened by this, and took up a rental of a flat “owned by Egyptians” on the corner of Seaford Road in Seaford.  How and why she came to move there is unknown, but it is believed that she was looking for somewhere on a train line, near the beach, near Frankston as a larger town.  It is also likely that as a ‘city girl’ the farm life of Langwarrin may have been a difficult adjustment.
(what date moved to seaford? Ages of children? Was there any estrangement from Bob Dickie during this period? how did Vi come to own the land at 2 Austins Rd, Seaford? How did she make her way?)

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