The Smith-Bullas Collection

The Daylesford Advocate's report (Saturday, 22nd August, 1914) of the enlistment of the second batch of local volunteers for World War One

Reginald Smith is one of the volunteers. 

It is highly likely that this is Reginald Tresise Smith, who was brought up by William John and Jane Ann Smith, nee Tresise.  (See excerpt from William and Anne's FF2001 webpage for details.)

Certainly, the name and the age match.  Additionally, only one 'R. Smith' appears on the Daylesford District Roll of Honour currently displayed in the Daylesford Museum and that name is recorded as "R. T. Smith".


Daylesford volunteers enlist for WW1

Links to the rest of the collection are below this excerpt.
Reginald Tresise Smith : excerpt from FF2001 page

"William John and Jane Ann are recorded on their death certificates as having had no children.  However, Reginald Tresise SMITH (born c1893) names them as his parents on his 1921 marriage certificate recording his marriage to Florence Cecily OLVER, from whom he divorced in c1925.

Also, Reginald received a pecuniary legacy from the estate of William John.  In his will, however, William John denotes each executor and all beneficiaries, except Reginald, by blood relationship to himself.

Additionally, one of the two notices of William John's death that appeared in 'The Daylesford Advocate' on 18th June, 1940 described William John as Reginald's "kind foster-father".

For some time it was thought that Reginald may have been the son of one of Jane Ann's siblings (cf 'Tresise' in his name), but was brought up by William John and Jane.  However, recent research (May, 2000) has revealed that Reginald may have been born on 7th March, 1894, at Villiers Street, Hotham, the son of 20 years old Eva HANLEY.  Eva gave her baby the name "William Forbes".  No father's name is recorded in the Victorian Birth Register.

In 1894, Jane Ann SMITH's sister, Ellen Maude HANLEY (nee TRESISE), and her husband Joseph were living at 2 Vale Street, Hotham, just around the corner of Villiers and Vale Streets.

Whilst research has found no other details of Eva HANLEY save the record of the birth of her son, she may have been a relative (niece? cousin?) of Joseph HANLEY.

This highly circumstantial evidence is supported by the fact that the plaque on Reginald's grave at the Springvale Cemetery, where he was buried in 1962, names him as "Reginald Tresise Smith k/a Forbes".  Other evidence suggests that Reginald had adopted the surname 'Forbes' from as early as 1930 although he never changed his name officially. 

Also, it is clear from a number of official documents, eg his Will, that Reginald also was known as 'Rex'.

Could it be that baby William Forbes was taken to Smith's Creek to be fostered by the childless William and Jane SMITH?  Was his name changed in order to ensure his inclusion in the family?  Did Ellen and Joseph HANLEY's eldest child, Ella Mabel, accompany him to Daylesford as a help for Jane?  (Ella, aged seventeen, certainly was in Smith's Creek caring for Jane's mother, Dinah TRESISE, in 1899.)  Did Ella tell Reginald of his birth mother and his father's surname (likely 'Forbes')?  Certainly there appears to have been an ongoing relationship between Reginald and Ella - the William John SMITH death notice mentioned above appears to have been placed by them together and calls William John Ella's "loved uncle".  Did Reginald decide to honour his birth mother and father by adopting the surname 'Forbes'?  Evidence suggests that nobody, save Ella Mabel HANLEY possibly and his lawyer, knew Reginald's legal name from about 1930 till after his death in 1962 when his will was discovered.  Indeed, it is likely that he was known as 'Rex Forbes' during the last three decades of his life."

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Links to the rest of this collection

(Note:  Viewing the maps in the listed order will give you a 'zoom out' effect.)

   Portion of a Railways Department 1885 map showing the location of the Smith farm and buildings, Smith's Creek, the route of the planned Daylesford to Ballarat line and the home of son William's future wife, Jane Tresise.

   Portion of a modern Daylesford tourist map showing the location of the Smith farm in East Street relative to the town centre.

   Section of William and Anne's 1858 marriage registration showing William's signature and Anne's mark.

   Section of William and Anne's son William's 1890 marriage registration showing father's and son's signatures and mother Anne's or sister Anne's signature also.

   Reginald's departure from Daylesford for WW1 service.

    William and Anne's grave, Daylesford Cemetery.

   The inscriptions on William and Anne Smith's grave in the Daylesford Cemetery.  (There are two images on this page.)

   Son William's grave, Daylesford Cemetery.

   The Egerton Cemetery grave of Anne's nieces, Rosa and Elsie Bullas.

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