27 January 2013


So here I am, multi-tasking again.  Andy Murray playing in the Australian Open final on the TV and I'm researching something for today's blog entry.  Ordinarily I don't use a death date as a prompt but I see I have today.....

Percy Charles Walter Ongley, who died today in 1942, was my third cousin twice removed.  The son of Thomas & Laura Louisa (nee Bateman), he was born in Camberwell in 1879 and, in 1910, married his cousin Alice Maude Martin.  She was the daughter of Alice Caroline Ongley, Percy's aunt.  They had one child, Philip, and died in 1942 and 1956 respectively.

So far, so very ordinary.  And then I looked at young Philip.  His full moniker was Philip Percy Henry and he was born in West Ham in 1911.  In 1932 he married Hilda Hayter; in 1941 he married Ottilie Javurkova and in 1949 he married Margeritha Hauke.

Then, in 1949, he & Grete sailed on the "Stratheden" from London to Sydney, to live permanently in Australia.  And, just to complete the set, he married again in 1960.

Making it even more fascinating is the entry I've just found on an auction catalogue archive from 2011:  The Lot  includes medals, photograph & certificates; and the following narrative:

Philip Percy Henry Ongley was born in London on 24 November 1011.  Ongley enlisted into the Corps of Military Police (TA) on 16 May 1940 but was transferred to the Intelligence Corps in July 1940 and then to the Royal Army Service Corps in October 1940.  On 26 November 1942 he was posted to the Psychological Warfare Branch, being appointed a Local Staff Sergeant in August 1943, On 15 September 1944 he was discharged to a commission, being appointed to an Emergency Commission into the General List as 2nd Lieutenant permanently attached to the Psychological Warfare Branch.  Promoted to War Substantive Lieutenant in March 1945, Acting Captain in June 1945 and Temporary Captain in September 1945.  On 17 June 1946 he relinquished his commission being granted the honorary rank of Captain.  Ongley served in North Africa, 26 November 1942-15 September 1944 and with the Central Mediterranean Force, 16 November 1944-12 March 1946.  Ongley later settled in Australia, employed as a Company Director and married in Elizabeth Bay, NSW.  Latterly living at 14 Cliff Street, Watson's Bay, NSW, he died on 30 September 1973.

Philip was awarded the 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, clasp, 1st Army; Ital Star; Defence & War Medals; and was Mentioned in Despatches: "..... in recognition of gallant & distinguished services in the Mediterranean Theatre."

More soon.

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