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Bertha Laidlaw

Bertha Laidlaw in the centre with her niece Mary Blanche Lydia (Jesson) Hughes on the right. The older lady on the left is unknown atm. >

Bertha Agnes Laidlaw, née Jesson, b. c. 1879, d. 1961, was born in Hastings 5 November 1878, arriving in Fremantle aboard the SS Cornwall in 1898. She is listed as one of the Young Women Immigrants who were in the care of Surgeon-in-Charge Douglas E. Darbyshire during the voyage. Bertha was the eighth of ten living children (another five died) born to Frederick and Elizabeth Jesson. (Lydia, Frederick, Walter, Thomas, Clara, Clement, Blance, Bertha, Hubert, Herman).
A sister, Blanche Mary Hughes (Jesson) born 1875 in Battle, Sussex, arrived 1911 via Australind, and died 1937.
Bertha married James William Laidlaw in Fremantle 1900. Her daughter Ida Milne was born in 1901.
She is mentioned in the Govt Gazette for 20 April 1934 as having been appointed JP in 1929. (Margaret Green and Anne Clarke are in the same list as appointed 1926, so Bertha was not the first woman of Fremantle so appointed. Florence Jeffery, of Cottesloe, was appointed 1920.) She was a Friend of Fremantle Hospital, and a member of 'The Good Endeavour Tent' of the Rechabites.

Sunday Times, 29 October 1933

Bertha Laidlaw lived for a time in 7 King William Street (then Florence Street) South Fremantle. In 1929 she was living at 21 Florence Street.
The grave of Bertha's husband, J.W. Laidlaw, 1866-1929, in Fremantle Cemetery, includes a small stone memorialising Bertha Laidlaw, d. 12 March 1961.
Was Laidlaw Street Hilton named for Bertha? Laidlaw Street was gazetted 17 March 1961 (along with Chadwick, Doust, Bennewith and Cooke Streets, Holmes Place, Tonkin and Bromley Roads), which would be about the right date for Bertha, as it's also the date of her death.

The Frederick Jesson family in 1888 on the occasion of the funeral of Jane Jesson (1842-1888), wife of Frederick. From the left: Bertha Agnes, Hubert, Blanche Mary (standing behind), Walter (sitting next to Herbert), Thomas (standing behind Walter), Lydia (sitting next to Walter), Lydia’s husband (standing behind her …..Lawson, Frederick Elias Jesson (patriarch), Clarice (standing behind Frederick), Frederick Richard, Frederick Richard’s wife Mary, Harold (Frederick Richards’s son), Clement Victor, Herman (sitting in front of Frederick Elias Jesson).

References and links

Grateful acknowledgements to family member Margaret Bucknall.


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