Lieut-Col Andrew Gammell and his descendants

(1828-1870)

 

Andrew was, as stated above, the only son of Major William Gammell and his wife Maria Du Vernet. Born in Torquay on 13 August 1828, he chose, like his father and grandfather before him, the Army as a career, and was gazetted as a Cornet in the 76th Foot on 16 April 1846 at the age of 16 years and 8 months. He was obviously a dedicated soldier and served most of his time overseas. He commanded a detachment of the regiment during the insurrection in Cephalonia in 1849 and received the thanks of Colonel Trollope commanding the troops in that island, for his services in suppressing the insurrection and in carrying out martial law.   In 1851 he became a Lieutenant by purchase.  He transferred to the 12th Lancers, and with them served in the Crimea from 17 May 1855, including the capture of Tchorgaun, battle of Tchernaya, siege and fall of Sebastopol and various operations near Eupatoria (Medal with clasp; Turkish Medal).  In 1857 he entered the Senior Department of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was the second highest placed officer when he passed his final examinations in December 1859.  During his time at Sandhurst he had been promoted without purchase to be a Captain. He saw further active service in the Second China War, when he acted as Staff Officer to the Royal Artillery, 1st Division, during the campaign in north of China in 1860, from the landing at Pehtang, including the affair at Sinho, capture of Tangku, assault and capture of the Taku Forts, actions at Chankiawan and Palichow and the  advance upon and occupation of Pekin (Medal with two clasps).

He served as Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General during the latter ​​portion of the occupation of Tientsin in 1860-61, and in the operations against the Taepings in the vicinity of Shanghai in 1862, including the bombardment and storming of Kahding on 24 October (Mentioned in despatches and Brevet of Major).   He served during the Abyssinia expedition in 1868 as Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General at Zoulla (mentioned in despatches for “zeal, ability and general good service”, and a Brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel and Medal).

Andrew Gammell’s medals:  Crimea 1854-56, 1 clasp, Sebastopol (Lieut., 12th Lancers), China 1857-60, 2 clasps, Taku Forts 1860, Pekin 1860 (Capt., 31st Regt.); Abyssinia 1867 (Bt. Lieut. Col., 1st Bn. 5th Foot); Turkish Crimea 1855, Hunt & Roskill Sardinian type striking (Lieut., 12th Lancers). (From DNW auction 2005)

He also served in India during 1854/5, 1857/8, 1866/7 and finally in 1869 until he died of cholera in Calcutta on 15 April 1870 at the age of 41. He is buried in the Alipore cemetery near Calcutta. Among the various regiments in which he served were 12th Lancers, 31st and 46th Foot, and at the time of his death he was attached to the 5th Fusileers. 

The following obituary (in slightly different versions) was published in the newspapers.

 

The death of Lieut.-Col A Gammell took place after a few hours’ illness, on April 15, at the Officers’ quarters at Alipore.  This distinguished officer had gone to Calcutta for the purpose of passing the Honour examination in the vernacular languages.  Col Gammell was first employed in active military service two and twenty years ago in the suppression of an insurrection in the Ionian islands; after which he served with distinction through the Crimean Campaign.  During the Chinese Campaign in 1960 he served as Staff Officer of Royal Artillery,1st Division; and as Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General during the two succeeding campaigns against the Taepings in 1861 and 1862.  For these services he was mentioned in dispatches and received the Brevet rank of Major for his gallantry in the field on the occasion of the bombardment and storming of Kahding on Oct 24 1862.    Being selected for the staff again a few years afterwards, Maj. Gammell served with distinction during the Abyssinian campaign in his former appointment of Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General, and at the conclusion of the war was again mentioned in dispatches for “zeal, ability, and general good service”, and received the Brevet rank of Lieut. Colonel.  To the sterling qualities of a soldier (remarks the “Englishman”), Lieut.-Col. Gammell united the accomplishments of a scholar.  He was well versed in several European and Oriental languages, was an excellent engineer, possessed an extraordinary acquaintance with Military history, and passed first out of many competitors in the first examination held at the Staff College at Sandhurst.  There is every probability that he would shortly have been selected for the important post of Director-General of Instruction to British troops, and his untimely loss will be considered a public calamity by all those who have the welfare of the English soldier at heart.  A singular comment on the purchase system as at present existing in our Army may be found in the fact that, after a career so distinguished, Lieut.-Col. Gammell was still one of the junior Captains in an Infantry Regiment”.

 

On 7 December 1854, Andrew had married Mary Rybot (1835-1908), daughter of Francis Chancellor Rybot, at Holy Trinity Church, Bangalore.  Mary Rybot/Gammell was a great letter writer, and also something of an author. She wrote under the name of 'Arc-en-ciel', and we know she wrote a vivid description of a journey by bullock cart she made with her husband and baby daughter in 1867 across part of India.

 

Andrew and his wife Mary had a family of six as follows:

 

 

Born

Died

Andrew Francis Morley

20 September 1855

Unknown

William Gammell

13 April 1857

27 April 1906

Maria Gammell

24 June 1858

29 March 1867

Ernest Gammell

29 September 1859

late January 1878

Phoebe Constance Gammell

19 February 1867

1 February 1945

Florence Olive Gammell

14 April 1869

21 February 1946

 

After her husband Andrew's death in 1870, Mary Rybot/Gammell married in 1874 for the second time, to a man called Henry Montague-Bates (1849-1928), and they had a son, Francis Stewart Montague-Bates (1876-1954).

 

Mary Rybot/Gammell/Bates died on 26 November 1908.

 

- Children of Andrew Gammell (1828) & Mary Rybot -

 

Andrew Francis Morley Gammell (1855- ?)

Andrew was born in Devonport, England on 20 September 1855, and baptised at Stoke Chard near Devonport. We do not know how or where he was educated, but we do know that he was living in Bath in 1861 and, in 1871, in Tiverton, Devon. He was only fifteen when his father died, and about the time that his mother remarried in 1874, he evidently decided to strike out on his own, and joined the Army as a private. All we know of his army career is that he was serving, possibly as a sergeant in Bangalore in India in 1882, from where he wrote a letter to his stepfather. In 1883 he, like his brothers and sisters, was left £5000 by his great uncle Andrew Gammell of Drumtochty, and by inference used part of this sum to buy himself out of the army, as by 1885 he was back in London and between 1885 and 1888 was a member of the Chiswick Freemason's Lodge, describing himself as a "Gentleman".  However, he was evidently soon short of money. In an undated note to his step-father, who had evidently rebuked him for getting into debt, he wrote "if Uncle James (James Gammell of Ardiffery) or Cousin John (John H.H. Gammell of Lethendy) do anything for me, I shall immediately put everything right". Neither of these two relatives evidently came to the rescue, and what happened to him after this remains conjecture, though one of the notes mentions that he had applied to go to the Philippines.  An Andrew Gammell certainly went from Southampton to Buenos Aires in 1890 on the Trent and is recorded in the Argentine census of 1895, as living in Buenos Aires and working as a teacher; but was this him?  His age is given on the census form as 42, which would make that person’s birth year as 1853, so on balance this person was probably not Andrew F M Gammell?  An Andrew Gammell also appears on the electoral roll in Camberwell North in 1897, but again we don't know whether that was him? There is no record in the UK’s 1901 census of an Andrew Gammell who could have been him. 

 

William Gammell (1857-1906)

William Gammell was as noted above, the 2nd son of Andrew Gammell and his wife Mary Rybot, and as far as we know the only one to marry. He was born on 13 April 1857 and baptised at York Town Chapel at Sandhurst. In 1861 he was living in Bath and, in 1871, attending Weir Field House school in Taunton. In April 1872, aged 15, he enrolled for 4 years as an indentured apprentice in the Merchant Navy. Despite qualifying as a First Mate in January 1878, he evidently decided to emigrate to Australia, possibly planning to join his younger brother Ernest, though as fate would have it, he had died just before William arrived in Adelaide.  He joined the South Australian Marine Board in September 1878, transferring to the South Australian Customs Service in February 1882. 

 

On 5 November 1881 shortly after he arrived in Adelaide, it appears that he was the father of a daughter, Florance Gammell Fairweather. 

William returned temporarily to England in 1883 after inheriting £5000 from his great uncle Andrew Gammell of Drumtochty, and while there, he married Annie Hay Campbell on 30 January 1884 at All Saints Church, Kensington.  Annie (1861-1949) was the daughter of General Thomas Hay Campbell. The marriage service was taken by The Revd. James Stewart Gammell the bridegroom's 2nd cousin.  William and his wife returned to Australia almost immediately after the wedding, and settled near Adelaide, where William resumed his employment with the Customs, eventually becoming Harbour Master at the port of Walleroo, South Australia.

Senior outdoor officers Her Majesty's Customs - South Australia in 1885 - William Gammell is third from the left in the middle row (South Australian Archives PRG 280/1/17/721)

William and Annie had a family of five, all born in Australia as follows:

 

 

Born

Died

Ernest Hay Gammell

8 November 1884

17 May 1900

Victoria Hay Gammell

15 January 1886

26 February 1973

Phoebe Gammell

24 December 1887

22 May 1973

Helen Mary Gammell

16 October 1889

December 1970

Elizabeth Rose Gammell

27 March 1892

7 May 1977

 

In 1894, Annie and her children left Australia for England, and went to live with her parents in Tavistock Road, Bayswater. The reason for this move has not been established, but it seems likely it was because William had started a relationship with another woman, Amelia Victoria Wayte (1868-1939), with whom he had three children (see below):

 

At about the same time, in September 1894, William was transferred from Walleroo to become tide surveyor at Port Pirie, whether there was any connection with the above events is unknown, but he evidently found it unsatisfactory, as in January 1895 he resigned. What he did from then until his death from consumption on 27 April 1906 is unknown, though in 1903 he was a clerk living in Norwood, Adelaide, and Norwood is also given as his abode on his death certificate.

 

Though they were never married (William was still married to Annie), Amelia styled herself as Amelia Gammell she clearly considered herself “married”, using the surname Gammell, for example when attending Adelaide hospital, or when, after William’s death, she married George Herbert Holt on 8 February 1913, after which of course she became Mrs Holt.  

 

William and Amelia had three children:

 

 

Born

Died

Ina Wayte Gammell

25 May 1895

12 July 1965

Rex Gammell

September 1897

3 or 4 October 1921

Kathleen Gammell

26 June 1901

Unknown (but after 1955)

 

Their relationship continued up until William’s death in Norwood, Adelaide in April 1906.  Amelia Holt died on 25 September 1939.  Annie Hay Gammell died in Wimbledon, UK on 9 February 1949.

Maria Gammell (1858-1867)

Maria was born in England on 24 June 1858, went out to India with her mother in 1866, and died at Lucknow on 29 March 1867 at the age of nine.

 

Ernest Gammell (1859-1878)

Ernest was born in England on 29 September 1859, and baptised at York Town Chapel, Sandhurst. He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire where he was a Foundationer, that is to say, as the son of a deceased Army officer, his family paid only £5 a year for his education, the rest being covered by the charitable Foundation by which the school had been established. He arrived at Wellington in April 1871 and was in the Hardinge Dormitory until he left in December 1876.  At Wellington he studied classics and languages, was an active sportsman, member of the debating society, and in 1876 was a member of the College’s rugby team.

Ernest Gammell 1876 (Wellington College Archive)

On leaving Wellington, he immediately went to Australia, where he arrived in August 1877.  In Adelaide he participated in a swimming competition, presumably to make some money, but died in late January/early February 1878 aged 17, having lost his horse, and missed his way in an extremely remote and inhospitable area about 700 miles north of Adelaide.

 

Phoebe Constance Gammell (1867-1945)

Phoebe was born in India on 19 February 1867, and baptised at All Saints Church in Lucknow. It is noticeable that there is a seven year gap in age between Phoebe and her elder brother Ernest. This can be explained by the fact that their father was absent on active service in China from 1860 to 1866. On 1 June 1889 she married James Arthur Forrest de Vine (1865-1916), a Captain in the Merchant Navy, at the Parish Church of Camberwell in Surrey.  They had two sons: John Oliver Ernest de Vine, who was born 14 May 1890, but died as a child on 23 April 1893; and James Chancellor de Vine who was born in Berkshire on 9 August 1898 and who on 27 September 1919, married his cousin Elizabeth Rose Gammell (see below).

Phoebe Gammell/de Vine (Lin McGarry)

James A. F. de Vine evidently also had another relationship from 1907 onwards with a Mary Annie Goodenough and they set up home in Cardiff. With her, he had two sons, Arthur Leslie Devine (born 1908) and William Leonard Forrest Devine (born 1910), but of course neither of these sons were related to the Gammell family. 

 

James A. F. de Vine, who remained married to Phoebe, was killed at sea aboard S.S. Duckbridge, a merchant steamer on route from Cardiff to the Orkneys with Welsh steam-coal for the British fleet, which hit a mine off northern Scotland on 22 February 1916. He is remembered on the WW1 Mercantile Marine Memorial in Trinity Square, London EC3.

Phoebe died in Reading on 1 February 1945.

 

Florence Olive Gammell (1869-1946)

Florence was born in England on 14 April 1869, and was baptised at St. James Church, Bath.  She never married and died in Reading on 21 February 1946.

 

- Children of William Gammell (1857)

& Annie Hay Campbell -

 

Ernest Hay Gammell (1884-1900)

Ernest was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 8 November 1884, but returned to England with his mother at the age of ten. He presumably then started his education in London, but unfortunately contracted meningitis at the age of sixteen and died in St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, on 17 May 1900. He is buried in the Campbell grave in Kensal Rise Cemetery.

 

Victoria Hay Gammell (1886-1973)

Victoria, known as “Queenie”, was born in Port Germein, South Australia, on 15 January 1886 and with her mother, and brothers and sisters, returned to England in 1894. She was a nurse and during the first World War served with the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service.  Victoria remained unmarried and died at Storrington in Sussex on 26 February 1973.

 

Phoebe Gammell (1887-1973)

Phoebe, was born in Walleroo, South Australia on 24 December 1887 and with her mother, and brothers and sisters, returned to England in 1894.   Like her sister, Queenie, Phoebe also never married. She lived for a considerable time with her nephew, Captain A. D. de Vine in Cottenham Park Road in Wimbledon and died in Wimbledon Hospital on 22 May 1973.

 

 

Helen Mary Gammell (1890-1970) and her descendants

Helen was born in Walleroo, South Australia on 16 October 1889 and returned to England with her mother, and brothers and sisters at the age of five. She married Cecil Wakeham (1886-1968) on 3 December 1914 in London.  They had two children:

 

A daughter Phoebe Margaret Wakeham who was born on 8 April 1916.  Phoebe married Nerva Ernest Edgecombe Murch on 8 October 1938, Gerard Dacres Olivier on 16 August 1947 and finally Arne Bjorgung sometime before 1951, but she evidently divorced him at some time before her death in Cape Town, South Africa on 31 October 2002 as she is described as a divorcee in the death notice. She had no children.

 

A son, Ernest Cecil John Wakeham, who was born on 20 February 1921 at Totnes, Devon.  He joined 145 Squadron of the RAF, and in June 1940 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  He was a recognised fighter ace, downing 7 enemy aircraft before losing his own life on 8 August 1940 during a battle with Messerschmidts and Junkers which were attacking a convoy south of the Isle of Wight. He is commemorated on Panel 10 of the Runnymede Memorial and the WW2 memorial in Rattery church, Devon.

   

Helen M Gammell/Wakeham                      Phoebe M Wakeham                                      Ernest C J Wakeham (all Lin McGarry) 

Helen died on 9 December 1970 in Plymouth.

 

Elizabeth Rose Gammell (1891-1977) and her descendants

Elizabeth Rose was the youngest child of William Gammell (1857-1906) and his wife Annie Campbell and was born on 27 March 1892 and with her mother, and brothers and sisters, returned to England in 1894. On 27 September 1919 she married, at the British Consulate General in Paris, James Chancellor de Vine (1898-1991), younger son of James Arthur Forest de Vine, and his wife Phoebe Constance Gammell, and thus her first cousin (see above). 

 

James C. de Vine was born and brought up in Berkshire and on his 18th birthday, joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment and after training, sent to the front in what is today’s southern North Macedonia. In May 1918 he was recommended for a commission and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Berkshire Regiment in March 1919.  After a brief period at the British Consulate in Paris, he joined the 90th Punjabi Regiment.  He transferred to the Imperial Police in Burma in 1921, becoming a District Superintendent in 1927, finally retiring from the Imperial Police Service in 1939. He served in the Intelligence Service in​ the 1939/45 war in the UK, India and immediately after the war, in Germany, and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  Between 1946 and 1962 he worked in Personnel management and safety and between 1963 and 1972 he was clerk to the East Leake, in Nottinghamshire.

 

James de Vine and his wife Elizabeth Rose had a large family as follows:

Elizabeth Rose (above) and Elizabeth Rose and James Chancellor in about 1930 (below)(both Lin McGarry)

 

 

Born

Died

James Montague Vernet de Vine 

1 August 1920

30 November 1993

Phoebe Ninette de Vine

4 April 1922

2 December 2009

Ann Yvonne de Vine

21 April 1923

1 July 2005

Arthur Douglas de Vine

4 July 1924

17 June 1991

John de Vine

25 June 1928

21 June 2012

Robert Charles de Vine

23 November 1929

7 August 2001

Sophie Elizabeth de Vine

31 March 1933

1 January 1991

 

Elizabeth Rose and her husband were divorced in 1949, and James C de Vine subsequently married Bessie Winifred Gaunt on 30 April 1949.  At that time, he had retired from the Army and was a Personnel Manager. James died 26 September 1991 at East Leake in Nottinghamshire and Bessie died in March 1994.

 

Elizabeth Rose died on 7 May 1977 in Plymouth.

 

James Montague Vernet de Vine was born in Devon on 1 August 1920. He was an Executive Officer with the Metropolitan Police.  On 24 January 1942 he married Nina Jessie Emptage (1920-1973) and they had 4 children, Lyn Julie, born in 1943; Anthony J, born in 1947; Lee C C, born in 1950; and Paul E, born in 1958. After Nina’s death, he married June Helen Harrison in 1976. James died in in Exeter on 30 November 1993.

 

Phoebe Ninette de Vine was born in Burma on 4 April 1922, had a child, Elizabeth Rosemary, with Thomas Andrew Gwyn Hughes (1918-1955).  With a second partner, she had her second child, David Patrick de Vine (1944-1949), , but again that relationship came to an end.  On 16 November 1947 she married Hugh Norman Harvey (1923-1975), with whom she had three children, Rita Anne, born in 1948; Richard David, born in 1949; and Jeanne, born in 1953. The family emigrated to Australia in June 1958 and Phoebe died in Lismore, New South Wales on 2 December 2009.

 

Ann Yvonne was born in on 21 April 1923 in Burma, she was a nurse and on 26 August 1944 married Robert Arthur Hill (1918-2012).  They had two daughters, Pamela Ann, born in 1945 and Elizabeth Jane, born in 1948.  Ann died on 1 July 2005 in Newport, Wales.

 

Arthur Douglas was born on 4 July 1924 in Burma and died on 17 June 1991 in London.  He never married and had no children.

 

John was born in London on 25 June 1928. He was adopted by family friends after his parents’ separation. On 9 September 1950 he married Stella May Newton, but their marriage ended in a divorce in the late 1950s.  They had no children and John died on 21 June 2012 in Croydon.

 

Robert Charles was born on 23 November 1929 in Burma. On 2 May 1951, he married Doreen H M Harvey (1931-).  They had 5 children, one of whom, Susan Elizabeth, died in infancy in 1955.  Robert died on 7 August 2001 in Arborfield, Berkshire.

 

Sophie Elizabeth was born on 31 March 1933 in Reading. In 1965 she married Wilfred E Smith, but appears to have had no children. Sophie died on 1 January 1991 in Newport, South Wales.

 

- Other children of William Gammell (1857) -

 

In addition to the children that William had with his wife Annie Hay Campbell/Gammell, he appears to have fathered four further children.  Whilst it is not absolutely beyond any doubt that he was the father of these children, there is strong circumstantial evidence that he was.

 

Florance Gammell Fairweather (1881-?)

Florance was born on 5 November 1881 in Adelaide.  Her mother, Celia Sarah Fairweather (1864-1932), was only 16 at the time of Florance’s birth and the birth was registered by Celia’s mother, Hannah Fairweather. William Gammell is named as the father, though no further details are given other than that he worked at Port Adelaide. 

 

William had arrived in Adelaide about 4 years earlier, was working in Adelaide for the Marine Board and would have been about 24 at the time, so it seems likely that he was Florance’s father. 

 

Celia later married and became Celia Cilento (or Gellento), but what became of Florance is unknown, however given the age of her mother and the conventions of the time, she may have been given up for adoption?

 

- Children of William Gammell (1857) & Amelia Wayte -

 

As has been remarked above, in about 1894 it appears that William become involved with Amelia Victoria Wayte (1868-1939). Though they were not married, Amelia styled herself as Amelia Gammell and it appears the relationship continued up until William’s death on 1906.  Amelia married George Herbert Holt on 8 February 1913.  She died on 25 September 1939.  William had three children with Amelia as follows:

 

Ina Wayte Gammell (1895-1965)

Ina was born in Adelaide on 25 May 1895, only just over a year after William’s wife had returned to England with their children.  On her birth certificate, her father is named as William Gammell, his profession as Mariner and the signature of the father on the certificate looks as if it was William’s.

 

Ina grew up in South Australia, but was married at Wimbledon Church, Surrey, UK on 12 May 1920 to Alfred Bennett Pennington (1893-1963), who she had probably met when he had visited Australia whilst serving with the Royal Navy. He was an electrician/engineer and they spent most of their life in India, visiting both the UK and Australia from time to time.  It appears that they had no children.  Alfred died in South Australia on 7 July 1993 and Ina on 12 July 1965.

 

Rex Gammell (1897-1921)

Rex’s exact birthdate is unknown, but from his military records, must have been about September 1897.  He enlisted in the Australian Army in January 1915 and served in France, where he was wounded in 1916 (shot in the thigh) but returned to the front after treatment.  In 1918 he was promoted to be a Sergeant and in 1919 he returned to Australia and was discharged.

 

On his return, he was obviously not entirely well and was an inmate of the Red Cross Hospital when on 4 October 1921 he met with an untimely death jumping from a moving train.  He was buried at Wentworth Falls Cemetery, New South Wales.

 

Rex Gammell (S Australian Archives)

Kathleen Gammell (1901-?)

Kathleen (sometimes Kathryn) was born on 26 June 1901.  She married Maurice Edwin Hecker (1893-1972) on 14 June 1924, but they had separated by 1928 and were formally divorced in 1934.  On the same day, Alfred George Parker was divorced from his wife on the grounds of his adultery with Kathleen and she married Alfred on 14 December 1935. He was a tailor and she a frock specialist in Adelaide. Alfred and Kathlyn were divorced on 22 Feb 1949. She was obviously a very successful business woman, running a leading Australian fashion business (Kathryn Hecker) in Rundle Street, Adelaide, right up into at least the mid 1950s.

 

Alfred had a child by his first wife (also called Kathleen).  Maxwell George Parker was born on 12 May 1918 and after his parents’ divorce, he evidently stayed with his mother.  Maxwell was killed in Malta on 12 September 1943 and his parents were recorded as Alfred George and Kathleen Parker, but this of course referred to the first Mrs Parker, not Kathlyn, who appears to have had no children.

 

We have no record of her death, but it was certainly after 1955.

 

As will be seen above, this, the most senior branch of the Gammells, founded by William Gammell (1789-1853) died out in the male line with the death of Ernest Gammell in 1900 and Rex Gammell in 1921. The de Vine family however continue the branch through William Gammell and his sister Phoebe Constance Gammell, both being grand-children of the original William Gammell. There are no other descendants of the original William, other than those descended from this de Vine family.