Notes for Frederick Trevor DANIEL

General Note

Trevor's birth was registered in Hendon, March quarter, 1903, volume 3a, p. 354. He was always known by his middle name. On his registration, he was described as 'Boy', father William Daniel and mother Annie Amelia Daniel, formerly Andrews. His father registered him from their home address where Trevor was born: 14 Canfield Parade, Edgware Road, West Hendon.

The family moved to Penang in Malaysia when Trevor was a young child. His father went first, and Trevor was sent out with an uncle at the age of four-and-a-half. His little sister Christine was also with him in Penang, while the two older children and their mother remained in England. His mother sailed out to join them later, and there are many photographs from that period of William and Annie with Trevor and Christine. Trevor went to school there but was returned to England to complete his education at the age of 11 or 12, a journey he made entirely alone. He described his terror of railway trains when his uncle met him and took him to London on the railway.

Once back in Essex, he went to Chalkwell Hall School, London Road, Leigh on Sea. He conceived the ambition of being an engineering factory manager when quite young, although he also nursed the ambition of being a pilot. His astigmatism and long-sightedness ruled this out, so he aimed for engineering and gained an apprenticeship at Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, won three of the major prizes for outstanding work, a scholarship to Northampton Polytechnical College, part of the University of London, and completed a 'sandwich' course there combining academic work with practical experience. He qualified in Electrical, Mechanical and Production Engineering and gained an almost perfect First-class degree with such high marks that he did not bother even to sit one of his finals papers: he was already in with a First.

During his student days, he told his children that he was often so hungry he had to beg food from relatives. His father's business had failed and the family were in dire trouble. Trevor cycled 17 miles each way to college each day.

In 1921, he wrote a diary while at Farnborough, giving his address as 23 London Road, Enfield.

Along with his cousin Roy Andrews, Trevor took to cycling with a vengeance, his particular pride being long-distance continuous rides. He was the all-Britain uphill champion at Herne Hill and won a number of silver medals for his racing with the Enfield Cycling Club and Mercury Wheelers. After one twenty-four-hour ride, he arrived home to an empty house so hungry that he tucked into a pot of peanut butter. It set up an acute irritation in his appendix and he lost consciousness while still alone in the house. A neighbour spotted him through the window and he was rushed to hospital, saving his life. The surgery was swift and butcher-like, leaving him with a troublesome scar that eventually broke into a hernia which required attention when he was in his seventies.

Aged 22, he was admitted to the Freedom by Patrimony of The Drapers' Company, an ancient Guild, in London on 22nd April 1925. He then left England in December 1925, sailing for Melbourne where he stayed with his uncle in Carrington Roaad, Boxhill, then moving around to find work during the depression of the late 1920s and 1930s. He survived by giving lectures on engineering subjects. He also worked in New South Wales where he met Eleanora (Nell) Lello, a half-English woman. His place of work in Arncliffe, at the Engineering Works 14, Henman Street, has now been demolished. The lodging house where he and his future wife Nell Lello (and for a short time his actual wife before they left for England) was demolished to make way for a car showroom.

Their meeting came about after the all-girls boarding house in which Nell was lodging with a group of other independent-minded teachers was burgled. Nell lost the family heirloom jewellery that had been sent out from the Lello family in Ludlow in England, all but a small necklace and a solid silver bracelet that she happened to be wearing at the time. The first she left to her youngest daughter, only to be itself stolen in a burglary, and the latter to her oldest daughter. The landlord's response to the burglary was to bring in two male lodgers to act as a deterrent. One of these was Trevor Daniel. He wrote to his mother in England saying he had met a beautiful girl he intended to marry. He bought a plot of land on the coast of NSW, swearing to return and build there. In the 1960s it was purchased to form part of the site of a new power station, bringing him a small amount of useful cash.

After concealing their November 1932 marriage so as to avoid Nell being sacked for breaking her 'single woman's contract', Nell and Trevor left NSW in 1933, winning a Singer treadle sewing machine on board when they crossed the equator. Trevor enjoyed eating strong curry again at one stop-over in India, and was almost turned off the boat in Port Said, so dark was he by then, when he bought and donned a fez from an Arab trader.

They saw Stromboli erupt on their way through the Mediterranean. On their arrival in England at Southampton Nell was astonished by the green of the English countryside and stood in the corridor all the way to London so as to admire it. Their oldest child was born in Somerset, in England, at the home of Trevor's mother, Annie Amelia nee Andrews, while Trevor was working in London and living at Westcliff in Southend with his family. Trevor was informed of his first child's birth by post-card.

After gaining a senior management position at Her Master's Voice in Uxbridge, Middlesex, Trevor moved Nell there. Their next two children were born in Hillingdon. He changed jobs, went to Birmingham Small Arms, and settled his family in Birmingham where his last two children were born, one just before the second World War began and the last not long after. He was called up to act as Deputy Superintendant of the Royal Ordnance Factory at Radway Green and moved his family to Kidsgrove in Staffordshire where they stayed through the war.

In between, he arranged to ship the last member of his own family of origin to Australia, his younger sister Christine. Billy, his older brother, had been the first to go, while Kathleen went with Trevor. Annie Amelia followed. Trevor's intention had always been to return to Australia, but the World War and the children's schooling made this unrealistic. The three oldest children were invited to emigrate to join Daniel cousins, but when the enemy began to target 'soft' shipping such as passenger liners, Nell and Trevor decided not to risk it.

At the end of the war, because the older children were by now in secondary education Trevor stalled again on returning to Australia. Instead he became a production manager of FW Harmer, clothing manufacturers in Norwich, finally achieving a Directorship (of Production) before he retired. He believed he was related to the Harmers through his mother's line, but it appears that Godfrey Wohlmann's wife Elizabeth changed the spelling of her middle name from 'Armour' to Harmer, perhaps for convenience.

Trevor's death was the tragic consequence of a car accident years earlier. He nearly died from erysipelas at the time through a bodged repair to his broken arm, then from pneumonia and bronchitis. The bone in his arm was ruined, numerous skin grafts were taken from his legs to cover the cavernous wound, and he never really recovered. He could no longer fly his beloved glider, and his health slowly failed. It was suggested at the time by doctors that his cause of death, multiple myeloma, stemmed from the damage to his bone marrow after his road accident.

His death certificate states that he was living at 9 Woodfield Gardens, Highcliffe, that he died at Christchurch Hospital, and the causes of death were Bronchopneumonia, Hyperviscosity Syndrome and Multiple Myeloma. His death was registered the next day.

He and Eleanora had five children, including twin girls, one of whom, Brenda Christine, died at the age of 43 years of breast cancer. This happened at 9 Woodfield Gardens, Christchurch, Dorset, England. The remaining four as at 2016/2017 were living with their families in the USA, Australia and England. Three of them were as at 2003, grandparents.

His youngest daughter by 2017 had 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His oldest daughter was Rhyllis Eleanor Daniel.  She was born at Southend Municipal hospital on the 3rd of August 1933.. Her parents' address at the time was: 3 Holyrood Drive, Southend.. She was a keen sailor and completed a sole voyage, accompanied only by her cat, from the UK to the Caribbean. Musical, literary, poetic, she was a woman of unusual courage and colourful achievements, with a strong personality. A keen painter who had contributed to exhibitions, she moved on to photography. Her death on the 17th May 2017 was heart breaking. She had suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, then, after falling and breaking her arm, died of heart failure while asleep. Her Cremation was attended by her considerable number of descendants, and her siblings who were heart broken.

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