Unfortunately, two years before mum passed away, I had just started taking an interest in my family history. I did talk to her once and jotted down a few notes, but there’s so much more I would like to have asked her. A lesson to learn there, do not put off until tomorrow, what you can do today!
Dulcie Patricia HERBERT is the third child and only daughter of James Harold HERBERT (1885-1943) and Constance Annie CADDY (1889 -1966), born in Claremont, Western Australia, 8 December 1928.
When mum was only a young girl, her parents moved to Geraldton. Grandfather Harold Herbert was a clerk in the railways and they made a home at one of the railway houses in Eleanor Street, (now Chapman Road) right opposite the “Old Gaol” and the Victoria District Hospital. She had 3 brothers, James and Newt who were quite a bit older and were away at school or working. Raymond, the youngest brother went on to join the navy. He often reminisces about his time in Geraldton and living opposite the gaol and can recall when the HMAS Sydney II was lost off the coast of Western Australian, 19 November 1941. He was only a boy of 10, but remembers clearly the POWs from the German ship, the HSK Kormoran staying at the gaol overnight and he and his mates threw his father’s vegetables over the fence at the German prisoners, calling them names. I believe the prisoners would have been very grateful for the fresh vegetables after their time at sea before being rescued.
Mum, or Patsy as she was called, went to the Geraldton Primary School on Fitzgerald Street, and later attended the Geraldton Senior High School. It’s interesting to note here that when I was reading old newspapers, I came across a Dulcie Patricia Herbert who played hockey and did quite well at it. That surprised me, as there’s no way my mother, My Mother, would have played hockey! As it turns out, there was another Dulcie Patricia Herbert at the high school, and was just one year older than mum. In May 2016, while playing bowls in a carnival at Leeman, I met the daughter of the ‘other’ Dulcie. Her mother had recently passed away and she was heading to Geraldton to scatter her ashes. There is no relationship between the two Herbert women. How uncanny is that!?
When grandfather Harold died in 1943, the family had to vacate the railway house, so nanna Herbert bought into a grocery shop, further west along Eleanor Street. On leaving school, mum worked for Geraldton Newspapers on Marine Terrace, before she met dad, Charlie Cripps, at a dance at the Yacht Club. They married on the 4 July 1949 at St Francis Xavier Cathedral and made their home at Mumby, Northampton.
Mum became very involved in the every day workings of farm life. Caring for the workmen and bringing up four children. She was a member of the Northampton Horticultural Society and a keen member of the patchwork club. Patsy made many quilts for her own bedroom and that of her children and grandchildren. She made many handy crafts, dolls, cushions, doorstops, covers for photo albums etc. before her untimely death at 59 in 1988.
Dulcie Patricia Cripps is buried in the lawn section of the Utakarra Cemetery, Geraldton.