Kellerberrin Western Australia ....
Visit the town website
Over the years while I have been running
the Mattishall village website I have been surprised by the fondness
and allegiance people have to our village. I have built up quite
a bank of contacts from all over the world. Many have sent their
memories and even old pictures of those early years.
Throughout history there is evidence of early pioneers naming their
new settlements after their hometowns. Often this was to give them
and their families a name they were familiar with and no doubt a
means of trying to fend off homesickness as often there was no means
or hope of ever returning. I am not aware of any other settlements
named after Mattishall but we do have properties. Let's start with
I first got an email from Scott Boyle who
lives in NSW Australia
Hi Ray - I found your contact on the Mattishall
webpage and thought as a long shot to touch base and possibly find
out some information. It relates to a farm my parents owned in the
Western Australian wheat belt town of Kellerberrin. They owned the
property from 1973 to 2003. Before that it was owned by a family
with the he surname ‘Doy’ for at least 36 years.
The farm was purchased by my family when I was six. During the time
we owned it we had a couple of stories about the farm's original
owners and how it got its name. The name it was given was ‘Mattishall’
and apparently it is named after your village in England. Originally
it was a wheat/sheep property of about 3000 acres. During the early
1980's we purchased two smaller 1000 acre properties next door.
The area has about 12" (275mm) annual rainfall and now the
average farm size in the area is about 10,000 acres to be viable.
We used to run a 2000 head self-replacing Merino sheep flock and
crop about 1000 acres a year.
Most of the salt country lake system which runs through the property
has been an old Salt River system for thousands of years. It is
Great County to run stock on. The 1000 acres of cropping would produce
600-800 tonnes of wheat and barley annually except in a drought.
Our worst year we stripped nothing in 1980 and next worst was 15
tonnes in 1985. The land of extremes!
Another part of the history we heard was that the original farm
owners were two British army sergeants after we guess was the First
World War. I think there may have been a name around earlier, but
I can't remember. While we lived there I found a few army uniform
and bullet casings from I think we're from a 303. A couple of the
items including a metal uniform button I still have.
My parents sold the property in about 2003 and it was broken up
a little. So I don't know if the farm name is still used.
I don't have any pictures of the farm baring the Mattishall name
but I do have the wool bale stencil hanging in my shed and the anvil
from the old work shop we used to call the "blacksmiths shop".
This was put on every bale of wool we sold off the farm to identify
it through the auction process. We added the type of wool, the grade
and the number of each bale. Regards Scott Boyle, NSW Australia
finally got some more information for you from our land titles office.
Below are the names of owners of my parent’s property from
1915 - Patrick Coffey
and Athol James Plunkett had the title - trading as Coffey
1919 - Harry Mahaney Adair and Edward
1923 - Leonard Hubert Fowler or Lowler
(hard to read the writing)
1937 - Sidney Doy
1954 - Jack Doy (son of Sidney) - Sidney
and Harriet retired and made a trip to the UK (Grange Farm Scotton,
1973 - R & N Boyle (my parents).
Incidentally if you google earth the farm location,
you can see the Woolundra South Rd that the farm house is on, but
there is a short road off the highway just back towards the town
of Kellerberrin that is actually called Doy Road. This was originally
supposed to go back through the land, but as farm sizes grew, it
basically became the driveway to the neighbour. So there is a gazetted
road named after the Doy family. Mission road is opposite. As a
side piece of information. Mission road was a spot about 3 to 5
km up the road near an intersection where in the early days the
local indigenous people lived out of town. Not one of our best historical
achievements. Regards Scott Boyle, NSW
The Postal Address is: Mattishall 6410 Kellerberrin
Google Map Click HERE
Intrigued I approached our local historian (Iris
Coe) and she informed me that a few year back she did some family
history research for a Graham Doy who lived in Western Australia.
A search of the internet turned up just one and thankfully he had
an email address which was still active. Within hours he got back
to me with the following
Yes, my grandfather was Sidney Doy born in Welbourne on 6th
December 1888. Before immigrating Australia in 1921 he worked at
Hewitt’s butchers in Mattishall. Yes the farm was named ‘Mattishall’
by my grandfather. Sidney and my father Jack traded
as 'Doy and Company' and bought a number of small titles eventually
holding a farm of some 3000 acres. My father sold 'Mattishall '
to the Boyle family in 1974. Regards Graham Doy. Western Australia
The Doy story:
- with thanks to Graham Doy
Sidney Doy was the youngest of nine children,
born on December 6th 1888 and baptised at All Saints church Welborne,
Norfolk on August 11 1889 – entry 542, the son of John
Doy (1851 - 1929) a Blacksmith of Welborne and his wife Annie.
He had four surviving brothers and two sisters. Twins Sidney and
Edwin, born 1882 died a few weeks after birth.
In the 1911 census Sidney was recorded as
a 21 year old butcher living with his parents and sister Florence
a 23 year old Assistant School Teacher. Soon after the census Sydney/Sidney
married Harriet Grant Saunders in the December quarter of
1911 at the district of Mitford. At this time it is unclear if they
married at Welborne or Mattishall Church. It is thought Sidney worked
for Hewitt’s butchers on Church plain. Harriett Gant Saunders
was born in the December quarter of 1891 at Calton Rode she was
the daughter of George Saunders a Farmer of Brake Farm Gavestone,
Norfolk and before that Carlton Rode and his wife Emma.
Sidney and Harriet had children:
 Stanley Sidney Doy
born Jun quarter 1912 (at Welborne)
 Frederick John Doy born Dec quarter
1913 (August 23 1913 at Welborne)
Frederick was a Butcher/Farmer/Horse Trainer. He died April 05,
2006 in Greenmount Gardens Nursing Home, Western Australia.
 Kenneth Alexanda Doy born Mar quarter
1915 (February 7 1915 at Mattishall)
Kenneth was a Butcher. He died 12 August 2006 in Perth, Western
 Murial G Doy born Sep quarter 1916
 Jack Ernest Doy conceived in Mattishall
and born in Kellerberrin.
Sidney's First World War Service: from Graham
I searched the National Archives Gallery in London for Sidney’s
war service record in 2008 but it seems it was destroyed during
the bombing of London in WW2. Recollections from family members
suggest Sidney was wounded in Bayeux, a northern France village.
The Germans shelled Bayeux during the night and hit the hall in
which Sidney was billeted causing the wall to collapse. He was caught
beneath a collapsing wall and his leg was broken. A postmark on
a postcard he sent to Harriet was from Wimereux, also a northern
France village where there was a major stationary hospital in WW1.
Sidney didn't get to the front line, once he was released from hospital
he found himself in the army service corp supervising 'coolies'
unloading supplies for the war effort, most likely in the port of
Sidney once said that the 'coolies' were making it very difficult
for him to check off the supplies and he became very frustrated
with their lack of co-operation. He gave one of them a 'bloody good
whack under the ear' and the others quickly decided to seek retribution.
Waving bale hooks they chased Sidney who fled to the protection
of the officers quarters.
Demobilistaion was accomplished quickly and easily
but Great Britain faced enormous problems placing so many men in
civil employment. With a young wife and four young children to support
Sidney decided that life in Australia provided the best opportunities
for him and his family.
Sidney and Harriet immigrated to Australia to join
Harriet's father George Saunders who was having a great deal
of success farming in Kellerberrin (Strathalbyn) was the name of
his farm. From all accounts Harriets father George Saunders
a Farmer and widower had trevelled to Freemantle from Liverpool
on October 4th 1913 on the ship Zealandic.
Sidney Doy and his all his family above depart
Sidney Doy a Farmer Age 31 departed London on January 29th
1921 on the Omar for Fremantle Western Australia
Harriett G Doy (Wife) age 29 together with their children
Stanley, Frederick, Kenneth and Murial .
Sidney, Harriet and children Stanley (8), Frederick
(7), Kenneth (5) and Muriel (4) arrived in Fremantle
from England at 5:30am on a Saturday morning. Fred remembers it
being a very hot day (it was 81.6 degrees) and they all felt the
heat terribly. Granddad (George) Saunders was there to meet them
and it was very late when the train eventually arrived at Kellerberrin.
It had been a very hot day in Kellerberrin with the temperature
recorded at 103 degrees. They were packed into a buggy and taken
out to the Saunders farm 'Strathalbyn'. Ken's only recollection
of the voyage to Australia was losing a half-penny off the top rail
of the Omar.