Historical information

Fred, Gwenda and Geoff Jones

1. Proud memory; Geoff Jones, Diamond Valley News, 21 Nov 1979
2. Sudden death of 'much loved man', Diamond Valley News, 13 Feb 1979

Gwendoline (Gwenda) Grace Watson Davies, only daughter of Mr. William Watson Davies and Mrs. Grace Davies (nee Hayes) of Arthur Street, Eltham was born in Newport, 18 February 1908.

Gwenda grew up in Arthur Street and when she left school she was employed as an officer at the State Bank of Victoria, Chief Accountants Department, Head Office, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. On October 20, 1937 after ten years of service, Gwenda submitted her letter of resignation effective November 26th as she was to be married in the near future to Fred Jones.

Frederick Geoffrey Jones, born 7 January 1911, third son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Jones of Napoleon Street, Eltham, married Gwenda at the Eltham Methodist Church on 27 November 1937. They made their home at ‘Llangollen’, Arthur Street, Eltham, a new house Fred had constructed earlier that year opposite the Shire Offices. Their residence was recorded in the Electoral Rolls from 1963-1980 as 6 Arthur Street, Eltham which was situated on the corner of Arthur Street and present-day Commercial Place. In the 1970s their home was sold and demolished to make way for the new shops. They built a new home at the top of the hill in Bible Street.

In the Electoral Rolls for 1943-1980, Frederick’s occupation was recorded as a Plumber’s Assistant.

Fred was also a long-standing member of the Eltham Cemetery Trust. He was first appointed 26 April 1944 and resigned 17 July 1957 to be appointed to the Warringal and Eltham Joint Trust where he served till February 1980. He then re-joined the Eltham Cemetery Trust and served a further 14 years till his resignation on 24 August 1994. In total, Fred represented the interests of Eltham Cemetery for 50 years (1944-1994).

Gwenda and Fred were blessed with a son, Frederick William Jones in March 1942. Sadly, Frederick only lived two days and was buried at Eltham Cemetery on March 11. It is not known whether his grave is marked.

A second son, Geoffrey Morris Jones arrived 25 November 1944 but he sadly contracted polio as a child. A fall down the front steps of Fred and Gwenda’s new home in Bible Street culminated in Geoff’s death from a heart attack whilst in transit to the Austin Hospital on February 6, 1979, at age 34. He was also interred in the Eltham Cemetery. Geoff was posthumously awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to fire safety at the CFA. A small man, handicapped from his childhood polio, he had figured prominently in the area as an active Apex member and as group officer for the 13 local brigades in the CFA Lower Yarra Group. His work for the CFA, all voluntary, included writing a fire-fighting manual and the innovation of aerial fire spotting and weekly fire reports. Gwendoline and Fred were presented with Geoff’s B.EM. award at Government House.

Four years later on the anniversary of Geoff’s death, Gwenda could not sleep and collapsed in the hallway at home from a heart attack, 6 February 1983 at age 74. She was interred with her son Geoff, at Eltham Cemetery on February 9th. Fred died 31 July 1997 at age 86 and was also interred at Eltham Cemetery. A memorial plaque to Gwenda, Fred and Geoff lies within the lawn cemetery at Eltham Cemetery.

Physical description

Newsprint clippings