Lurline

Lurline went to school as a boarder at Kambala in Rose Bay and at weekends went by taxi to her uncle’s house in Dulwich Hill to be picked up by her father. Frank was creative in providing for the family – he tapped water from the Sydney Water Supply canal which was located some 3kms to the east and drew electricity from the supply some 500 metres away on Bringelly Road. Lurline spent a year at Liverpool High when the family lived at Rossmore but the transport was too difficult and she finished her schooling at Kambala.

Frank went to Darwin early in World War II to work in developing the water supply. Coincidentally his brother-in-law Claude Ryan was also there as part of the Sparrow Force preparing to move to Timor. Claude Ryan was captured in Timor early in 1942 and was imprisoned by the Japanese for two years. In May 1944 they were moved to Singapore and a month later a group that included 267 Australians and a similar number of Dutch together with nearly 200 English and 23 Americans were shipped to Formosa on a bauxite vessel. The party were split up and put on board three vessels to make the next journey to Nagasaki. On June 23 whilst in the East China Sea the vessels were sunk by the USS submarine Tang of the original group of 770 men only 212 survived. Almost 200 Australian including Claude Ryan drowned. When Lurline left school at the end of 1941 she and Win prepared to go by ship to Darwin. However the bombing of the town in February 1942 and the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in May of that year halted their plans. Frank was evacuated he returned to Win and Lurline at Rossmore. Frank was badly affected by the bombing in Darwin and they leased the market garden and moved briefly to Cross St. Double Bay before returning to Rossmore.

On 7 Nov 1942 Lurline married Neville Dawes. The two had been friends from their school days. Neville’s father then operated a bus service at Rossmore. After a short honeymoon at Bowral Neville was posted to near Deniliquin and the newly weds set up home nearby. His next posting was in Melbourne where Lurline worked as a secretary for Ansett at Essensdon Airpoprt. Neville was then sent to Darwin as part of the Air Force Group 670 and Lurline went home to Sydney.

She enrolled in Stott’s Business College to improve her skills as a secretary. Neville formed a new relationship in Darwin and word got back to Sydney. Lurline promptly terminated their relationship and she leapt into life in wartime Sydney. She first worked for Wynn’s in Oxford Street and then for the pharmaceutical company May and Baker. In June 1945 she joined the Army and was sent to Concord Military Hospital. Lurline was discharged in April 1946 and divorced Neville in 1948. In June 1949 she married
Leonard Morgan at St Stephens Presbyterian Church in Macquarie St Sydney. She was then 23 and gave her address as ‘The Gunyah’, Leppington, New South Wales he was a 21 year old Supply Assistant on HMAS Australia.

Len was born in Queensland, the second son of Alfred Morgan III and Dorothy. Dorothy, who was a witness at the marriage, was born in Townsville on 5 Feb 1903 to Bridget O’Donoghue. She was also known as Dorothy Laufer and it is said that she was brought up by a family of that name. Len’s father was born in Walthamstow, Essex in 1906 but his family had lived in central London for at least 100 years. So both Lurline and Len had grandparents from London. Her mother’s family had lived in Hornsey about three miles from the Morgans in
Walthamstow.

Lurline 1942Lurline 1946