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George Hodges

George [Bell] Hodges Snr was a soldier in the 63rd Regiment who arrived with his commandant, Captain Irwin, on the HMS Sulphur in June 1829 with his wife Mary and two children; Jean Mary and George Bell b. 1822. The father's birthday is given in DoWA as 1812, but this likely to be a typo for 1802, as he would otherwise have been only 12 years old when his son (his second child) was born.

George Hodges's wife Mary was the first woman to own a town lot in the colony (Adams), having acquired it two years before her husband was discharged from the army. The United Services Hotel was on lot L3, on the south side of St George's Terrace, three lots from the corner of Barrack Street, and therefore diagonally south-west just across from the Barracks itself and the power centre of the inchoate town. "George Hodges' parents were the owners of Perth's principal bakery and inn. George Hodges. Sr., who originally came to the colony with the military detachment, ostensibly ran the business, but is was an open secret that his business prosperity was largely due 'to the good management of his wife'." (Adams, quoting E. Stone, Some Old-Time Memories, Prahran, Victoria, 1918).

The son, George Bell Hodges, was a sailor (chief headsman) who died at sea of an unknown cause in 1854 on board Mr Ronayne's unnamed cargo boat en route for Port Champion. (Inquirer, 31 May 1854) His headstone (incorrectly?) states that he was 42, which would mean that he was born about 1812. His date of birth was more likely 1822, as in DoWA, making him 32 at death.
The ship returned to Fremantle and he was interred in the Skinner Street Cemetery. His headstone was removed from the older cemetery in 1933 and taken to Fremantle Cemetery. Most such stones were set up on the Heritage Trail, but his was one of seven that was placed in 2001 in an insecure 'Heritage Garden' in the grounds of Fremantle Primary School. It should be returned to the cemetery.

Statham:
HODGES George, b. 1812. Soldier in the 63rd Regiment. Arrived per "Sulphur" in June 1829 with his wife Mary and two children; Jean Mary and George Bell b. 1822. In 1832 his wife Mary applied for the fee simple title to Perth lot L3. He was discharged from the army in 1834, and took over the "United Services Inn", and his wife ran a bakery, where her skill earned them money and a good reputation. They also owned a general store. On 9.8.1834 Hodges charged William Hill with stealing bread (P.G.). On 28.4.1841 he announced his intention of leaving the colony with his family at the first opportunity, and they left on 19.2.1845 per "Emma Sherratt" for Mauritius.
HODGES George Bell, jnr. b. 1822 (d. 1854). (Son of George Hodges).Arrived in 1829 with his parents. He left with them in 1845, but returned to the colony in 1846, and in May that year married Mary Withnall. A son, William was born in May 1850. In 1847 he was a mariner in a whaling team, and in October he issued a challenge to a race (Inquirer).

Erickson:
HODGES, George Bell, arr. 8.6.1829 per Sulphur with wife Mary & 2 chd. inc. George Bell b. 1822 d. 1854. Soldier of 63rd. His wife in 1832 had title to Perth Lot L.3. She ran a bakery. He was discharged 1834 & took over the "United Services Hotel" as well as a general store with James Dobbins 1835. The family left 19.2.1845 per Emma Sherratt for Mauritius with James Dobbins & family.
HODGES, George Bell, b. 1822, d. 29.5.1854 (at sea), son of George & Mary, arr. 8.6.1829 per Sulphur, left 19.2.1845 per Emma Sherratt, returned 1846. m. 5.1846 Mary Ann W1THNELL, dtr. of William & Martha, she m. 2nd 1860 John CHESTER. Chd. William George b. 1850 d. 1872 (drowned), Sarah. Fremantle 1847 in whaling team.

I'm told that - despite the attestation of the DoWA that the son of the soldier George Hodges was called George - he was actually called John, and that the George of the gravestone shown was someone else's son. I'll leave the above as it is unless and until alternative evidence is published. I suppose the discrepancy in the dates I refer to above does tend to suggest that George was not George's son.

References and Links

Adams, David 1981, '"Superior" boys schools in a pioneering community: the Swan River Settlement, 1829 to 1855'Early Days, vol. 8 part 5: 75-93.

Statham, Pamela ed. 1979, Dictionary of Western Australians, 1829-1914, vol. 1: Early Settlers, 1829-1850, UWAP (DoWA)

Erickson, ibid. (DoWA online)


Garry Gillard | New: 3 November, 2022 | Now: 24 November, 2022