This history is focused around the life of Frank H. Jones and Elsie M. Knight who married and migrated to Australia in 1912. The content of this story is derived from letters, publications, and accounts of their lives as passed down through the generations.
Frank Howard Jones was born 25 June 1881 to parents Zachariah and Ruth Jones, at Keynsham in the County of Somerset, England.
Elsie Marion Knight was born 1 July 1883 to parents James and Helen Knight, at Great Crosby in the County of Lancaster, England.
Elsie Knight, later known as “Sister Beth”, trained as a nurse and in the year 1900 attended the Children’s Convalescence Hospital for two years. After which was Sister of the boys wards for 18 months.
Elsie went on to do her general hospital training at the Bristol Royal Hospital for 4 years, finishing her training by doing Midwifery, and later massage in London. By the time Elsie arrived in Australia, she held five certificates. This was considered the highest qualified Sister in Australia at that time (1912).
Frank Jones was a Jockey, and later became a Horse trainer. Little is known about Frank’s early career, but was injured with a fractured skull from a Horse kick, and was admitted at Bristol Hospital and nursed by Elsie.
Marriage and immigration to Australia
Frank and Elsie met while Frank was being treated for his injury at the Bristol Royal Hospital, where nurse and patient fell in love. They later married on 19 October 1911 in the Parish Church (Church of England) at St John’s, Clifton in the county of Bristol, England.
As the story goes, Elsie wanted to migrate to the United States and work with Physician and Missionary Dr Albert Schweitzer. However, upon attempting to purchase tickets on the ill-fated RMS Titanic they learned the ship at sold out.
Therefore, after six months of marriage, Frank and Elsie chose to migrate to Australia, arriving on the White Star Line “S.S. Irishman” on 11 June 1912.
Prior to their departure from England Frank and Elsie chose to take the surname Howard-Jones (hyphenating Frank’s middle name Howard with his surname Jones). This was to prevent confusion over the number of Jones’ and avoid mix up with their luggage for their forthcoming trip to Australia.
Thus the name Howard-Jones was born in Australia.
Author(s): Written by Alan Howard-Jones Sources: General Register Office, England; Hand-written letter by Elsie Howard-Jones; “The Howard-Jones Family” (unpublished) by Norma Howard-Jones