Local Identities

Mrs. M. Waller Clifton (1850 – 1927) Obituary

A very old colonist passed away in the person of Mrs. Louise Clifton at her late residence, No. 6 Stone-street, South Perth, on May 28, at the age of 77. Mrs. Clifton was a member of one on the oldest families in Western Australia. She came to this state about the year 1859 with her father, William Carmault Clifton, who was for many years manager for the P. & O. Steamship Co. at Albany.

Mrs Clifton

Reg, Peggy and Louisa Clifton c. 1918

Mrs. Clifton married her cousin the late Marshall Waller Clifton, the second son of the late Robert William Clifton of Australind. After her marriage she lived in Wokalup, Harvey, until a few years ago when the property there was disposed of to the Repatriation Department.[1]

She then went to live in Bunbury,[2] afterwards moving to South Perth, where she resided with her two daughters, Nursing Sister Jessie Clifton and Miss Rosina.

Having come herself of a very large family, and marrying a member of another large family, Mrs. Clifton kept up the reputation by having a family of eleven, one of whom died in infancy, and another, the late Mrs. H. G. Palmer[3] of Harvey in 1922, while nine are still living.

In her early days in the bush, with no railway communications and twenty-five miles from the nearest township,[4] Mrs. Clifton like many other pioneers had many hardships to endure. Three brothers and three sisters survive her – Mrs. A. V. Hassell of Albany, Mrs. Albert Hassell of Saltash, Devonshire England, Miss K. Clifton, and Albert and Arthur Clifton in South Africa, and Mr. Gervase Clifton who for many years held the position of Curator of Intestate Estates in Perth, and now resides in Mandurah.

The following children survive: – Sister Jessie Clifton, who did valuable service during the Great War, as a nurse on transports and who later was in charge of one of the base hospitals at Fremantle; Gervase and Marshall Waller Clifton of Northampton; Reginald Clifton of Wokalup, who held a commission in the mounted infantry during the South African war and was mentioned in despatches;[5] Carmault Clifton, of Bunbury; Mrs. Christison, of Tammin; Mrs. Myatt, of Harvey; Mrs. Lindsay, of Armadale; Miss Rosina Clifton, of South Perth.

Mrs. Clifton was highly respected and loved by all who came in contact with her. The burial took place on Monday May 30, in the Church of England portion of the Karrakatta Cemetery, and was attended by a large number of friends and relatives.

The Rev. S.T. Lindsay, rector of Armadale, officiated. The pallbearers were Messrs. O. Burt, E. Cuthbertson, H. Minors, E. Dean, G. Philp and G. Winslade. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Bowra and O’Dea.

(Daily News, 3 June 1927, p. 2)

[1] Note from Peggy Clifton, granddaughter – ‘Not correct. My father, Reginald Clifton leased it from her from about 1915 and bought it about 1927 or 1928.’

[2] ibid., ‘At a house called ‘Theames Ditton’, on the way out from Bunbury to Picton.’

[3] ibid., ‘Her name was Grace, of ‘Meriden’. ‘

[4] ibid., ‘In Bunbury.’

[5] ibid., ‘By Lord Kitchener. Reginald served with the 6th Contingent 1901 – 1902 as a Lieutenant.’