Shep's Place Family Tree

Ralph Aubrey SKITCH
Ralph Skitch - 1918
Ralph Aubrey SKITCH  ‎(I4986)‎
Given Names: Ralph Aubrey
Surname: SKITCH

Gender: MaleMale
      

Birth: 7 July 1896 28 30 Whyte Yarcowie, South Australia, Australia
Death: 1959 ‎(Age 62)‎ Millicent, South Australia, Australia
Personal Facts and Details
Birth 7 July 1896 28 30 Whyte Yarcowie, South Australia, Australia

Marriage Magda Kachen Helena Katie HERMAN - circa 1920 ‎(Age 23)‎ Millicent, South Australia, Australia


Source: Stella Skitch

Marriage Clarissa Thelma Thel CHAPMAN - 21 December 1949 ‎(Age 53)‎ Methodist Manse, Millicent, South Australia, Australia

Divorce Magda Kachen Helena Katie HERMAN -

Biographical Notes


Hide Details Source: Stella Skitch

Citation Details:  Emails 2006-02-06, 2006-02-07


Hide Details Note: Briefly my father Ralph Aubrey Skitch met my mother Magda Katie Helena Herman in London during the first World War ‎(he was in the RFC)‎. She went out to Australia to marry him in ‎(about)‎ 1920. They lived in Millicent, South Australia. My elder bother Robert Ernest was born in 1923. and I was born in 1927 ‎(Jeffrey Ralph)‎.

My mother and two sons returned to England for a visit in 1929. She was booked to return on the RMS Jervis Bay ‎(which incidentally gallantly tried to protect an incoming Atlantic convoy in 1941 from a German pocket battleship - and got sunk!)‎. My father cabled her not to return - I have seen the cable - so she stayed in England. My father divorced her on grounds of desertion. My mother didn't think it worthwhile to contest it. My mother never remarried.

My brother served in the war as a RAF Pathfinder and was awarded the DFC. Subsequently he became a civil pilot and retired as Senior Captain with Singapore Airlines. He retired to Essex and died in 1999. He had no children.

I trained as an actor and singer and was principal baritone with D'Oyly Carte for 13 years.. I left the theatre and obtained a BSc in Biological Science from London University subsequently becoming a schoolmaster at Oakham School and Malver College. The last thirteen years was Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School in Camberley, Surrey. I met my American wife in Los Angeles while touring with D'Oyly Carte. ‎(She is Stella Maria - nee Hawley)‎ We have two sons - one is a schoolmaster and the other is an international hotel manager.

My wife especially takes a keen interest in ancestral matters and has a very fascinating lot of ancestors in the States. Her family were pioneers surviving Indian massacres as well as being active politically. ‎(President Harding is a relative.)‎ Her English ancestors came mostly from the west of England and began to emigrate to America as early as 1620.

We are in touch with the Skitches who live in Brisbane. I met my grandfather in Adelaide briefly back in 1938. I believe prior to his retirement that he was Director of Education in South Australia.

For obvious reasons I don't know very much about my mother's life in Millicent. She found it very difficult coming from London to a very small town like Millicent. She told me about cooking on a wood stove, tapping the water container outside to see how much was left...and of course the WC down the garden - which sometimes snakes also liked! My mother told me that my father had a good singing voice. In the 1950's he apparently got to hear some of my G&S recordings. My mother never really criticised him all that much to me. She did say that there was rather too much beer consumption....but I don't believe this was unique in those days!

My mother had a very good singing voice, and my grandmother trained at the Guildhall School in London and was a pianist of concert standard. Back in the 1880's women were not encouraged to play professionally. Grandmother ‎(nee Greaves)‎ eloped with a German to Berlin where my mother and two brothers were born. Grandfather Herrmann was a considerable ladies man and finally grandmother couldn't stand it any longer and returned to London with my mother. The boys stayed in Germany. I believe grandfather went off the Argentine with the younger boy. Grandfather got shot in a duel over a woman, and the son was thrown from a horse and broke his neck. At least that is the story we heard. The elder son went through the first world war in the Imperial German Navy. He took part in the 1918 mutiny and was wounded. He survived and married and had children. All I know about that is that in 1947 my mother got a letter from a girl in Germany who was about to marry a British soldier - I guess she must have been related to mothers brother. Back in 1947, and in fact for a number of years after the war, people in Britain were not terribly fond of the Germans. My mother wrote back to say that all things considered, my brother had been bombing the hell out of Germany - I have his flying logbooks recording all the cities he visited - and we ourselves had been bombed and machine gunned. She didn't think the time was ripe for Anglo-German friendships. ‎(Mother got a very terse and sarcastic letter in reply! )‎

Grandmother and my mother were back in London just prior to 1918 in time for the war - they were both classed as enemy aliens. Grandmother eventually was re naturalised. Mother of course became an Australian citizen when she married my father.

As mentioned in my last email, since leaving Australia in 1929 I saw my father only once for a few hours in Adelaide in 1938. Mother, grandmother my brother and I had all travelled to Australia ‎(RMS Orama)‎ with a view to living back in Australia. We went up as far as Brisbane with the ship - and came back to England still with the Orama! Grandmother and mother had done exactly the same thing in RMS Orontes in 1937. They tried to do it again in 1939 -the year the war started, but we got off the RMS Ormonde at Naples and returned to England. In 1934 we all went to South Africa, and again came back on the same ship - RMS Windsor Castle. It does sound pretty daft when I write this doesn't it? They certainly liked sea travel...

My father never wrote to us from 1929 onwards - I don't know why. Actually Stella wrote and told him about our first son's birth in 1956. He did write and sent a koala bear! Marie Skitch ‎(my father's brother Cecil's wife )‎ did call on us at our house in London. She had been managing an Australian cricket team touring the UK ‎(NOT the National team.....)‎ This must have been after my father died in 1959. She gave me my father's WW1 medals and some photographs - which presumably Thelma had given her.

Actually my mother died in 1959 a few months before our second son was born . I wrote this sad news to my father in Millicent and much to our shock received a letter - possibly from Thelma, but not sure, that my father died within a month of receiving my letter. We might have established some kind of connection had he lived. In those days Australia still seemed a long way away. Six weeks by sea and very expensive by air.

Death 1959 ‎(Age 62)‎ Millicent, South Australia, Australia

Cause of death: Intestinal haemorrhage, Cirrhosis of liver, Arteriosclerosis

Hide Details Source: Government Records

Citation Details:  Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Office Adelaide--Death certificate.


Hide Details Note: Ralph Aubrey Skitch died on 10 October 1959 at the Millicent Hospital in Millicent, South Australia, where he had lived for many years. He was 63 years old. The causes of death were 1) symptoms due to upper gastro intestinal tract giving massive intestinal haemorrhage 24 hrs; 2) cirrhosis of the liver, and 3) arteriosclerotic heart disease.

Ralph had been born in Whyte-Yarcowie, South Australia. He was a land agent, who had been re-married at the age of 53. He was buried at the Millicent Cemetery.

No children were acknowledged, although Ralph had two sons from his first marriage who lived in England.

Burial Millicent Cemetery, Millicent, South Australia, Australia

Last Change 11 March 2013 - 15:32:33 - by: Administrator
View Details for ...

Parents Family  (F2128)
Ernest William SKITCH
1868 - 1957
Alice Le Lievre LEE
1866 - 1939
Mary Mollie SKITCH
- 1990
Cecil Ernest Lee SKITCH
1894 - 1956
Ralph Aubrey SKITCH
1896 - 1959
Evelyn Margaret SKITCH
1902 - 1966
Edith Mary Lee Mollie SKITCH
1908 - 1990

Immediate Family  (F1741)
Clarissa Thelma Thel CHAPMAN
1901 - 1994

Immediate Family  (F3270)
Magda Kachen Helena Katie HERMAN
1897 - 1959
Robert Ernest SKITCH
1923 - 1999
Jeffrey Ralph SKITCH
1927 - 2013


Notes
Biographical Notes Briefly my father Ralph Aubrey Skitch met my mother Magda Katie Helena Herman in London during the first World War ‎(he was in the RFC)‎. She went out to Australia to marry him in ‎(about)‎ 1920. They lived in Millicent, South Australia. My elder bother Robert Ernest was born in 1923. and I was born in 1927 ‎(Jeffrey Ralph)‎.

My mother and two sons returned to England for a visit in 1929. She was booked to return on the RMS Jervis Bay ‎(which incidentally gallantly tried to protect an incoming Atlantic convoy in 1941 from a German pocket battleship - and got sunk!)‎. My father cabled her not to return - I have seen the cable - so she stayed in England. My father divorced her on grounds of desertion. My mother didn't think it worthwhile to contest it. My mother never remarried.

My brother served in the war as a RAF Pathfinder and was awarded the DFC. Subsequently he became a civil pilot and retired as Senior Captain with Singapore Airlines. He retired to Essex and died in 1999. He had no children.

I trained as an actor and singer and was principal baritone with D'Oyly Carte for 13 years.. I left the theatre and obtained a BSc in Biological Science from London University subsequently becoming a schoolmaster at Oakham School and Malver College. The last thirteen years was Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School in Camberley, Surrey. I met my American wife in Los Angeles while touring with D'Oyly Carte. ‎(She is Stella Maria - nee Hawley)‎ We have two sons - one is a schoolmaster and the other is an international hotel manager.

My wife especially takes a keen interest in ancestral matters and has a very fascinating lot of ancestors in the States. Her family were pioneers surviving Indian massacres as well as being active politically. ‎(President Harding is a relative.)‎ Her English ancestors came mostly from the west of England and began to emigrate to America as early as 1620.

We are in touch with the Skitches who live in Brisbane. I met my grandfather in Adelaide briefly back in 1938. I believe prior to his retirement that he was Director of Education in South Australia.

For obvious reasons I don't know very much about my mother's life in Millicent. She found it very difficult coming from London to a very small town like Millicent. She told me about cooking on a wood stove, tapping the water container outside to see how much was left...and of course the WC down the garden - which sometimes snakes also liked! My mother told me that my father had a good singing voice. In the 1950's he apparently got to hear some of my G&S recordings. My mother never really criticised him all that much to me. She did say that there was rather too much beer consumption....but I don't believe this was unique in those days!

My mother had a very good singing voice, and my grandmother trained at the Guildhall School in London and was a pianist of concert standard. Back in the 1880's women were not encouraged to play professionally. Grandmother ‎(nee Greaves)‎ eloped with a German to Berlin where my mother and two brothers were born. Grandfather Herrmann was a considerable ladies man and finally grandmother couldn't stand it any longer and returned to London with my mother. The boys stayed in Germany. I believe grandfather went off the Argentine with the younger boy. Grandfather got shot in a duel over a woman, and the son was thrown from a horse and broke his neck. At least that is the story we heard. The elder son went through the first world war in the Imperial German Navy. He took part in the 1918 mutiny and was wounded. He survived and married and had children. All I know about that is that in 1947 my mother got a letter from a girl in Germany who was about to marry a British soldier - I guess she must have been related to mothers brother. Back in 1947, and in fact for a number of years after the war, people in Britain were not terribly fond of the Germans. My mother wrote back to say that all things considered, my brother had been bombing the hell out of Germany - I have his flying logbooks recording all the cities he visited - and we ourselves had been bombed and machine gunned. She didn't think the time was ripe for Anglo-German friendships. ‎(Mother got a very terse and sarcastic letter in reply! )‎

Grandmother and my mother were back in London just prior to 1918 in time for the war - they were both classed as enemy aliens. Grandmother eventually was re naturalised. Mother of course became an Australian citizen when she married my father.

As mentioned in my last email, since leaving Australia in 1929 I saw my father only once for a few hours in Adelaide in 1938. Mother, grandmother my brother and I had all travelled to Australia ‎(RMS Orama)‎ with a view to living back in Australia. We went up as far as Brisbane with the ship - and came back to England still with the Orama! Grandmother and mother had done exactly the same thing in RMS Orontes in 1937. They tried to do it again in 1939 -the year the war started, but we got off the RMS Ormonde at Naples and returned to England. In 1934 we all went to South Africa, and again came back on the same ship - RMS Windsor Castle. It does sound pretty daft when I write this doesn't it? They certainly liked sea travel...

My father never wrote to us from 1929 onwards - I don't know why. Actually Stella wrote and told him about our first son's birth in 1956. He did write and sent a koala bear! Marie Skitch ‎(my father's brother Cecil's wife )‎ did call on us at our house in London. She had been managing an Australian cricket team touring the UK ‎(NOT the National team.....)‎ This must have been after my father died in 1959. She gave me my father's WW1 medals and some photographs - which presumably Thelma had given her.

Actually my mother died in 1959 a few months before our second son was born . I wrote this sad news to my father in Millicent and much to our shock received a letter - possibly from Thelma, but not sure, that my father died within a month of receiving my letter. We might have established some kind of connection had he lived. In those days Australia still seemed a long way away. Six weeks by sea and very expensive by air.
Death Ralph Aubrey Skitch died on 10 October 1959 at the Millicent Hospital in Millicent, South Australia, where he had lived for many years. He was 63 years old. The causes of death were 1) symptoms due to upper gastro intestinal tract giving massive intestinal haemorrhage 24 hrs; 2) cirrhosis of the liver, and 3) arteriosclerotic heart disease.

Ralph had been born in Whyte-Yarcowie, South Australia. He was a land agent, who had been re-married at the age of 53. He was buried at the Millicent Cemetery.

No children were acknowledged, although Ralph had two sons from his first marriage who lived in England.

View Notes for ...


Sources

Source
Stella Skitch
Citation Details:  Emails 2005-06-27, 2006-02-06, 2006-02-07

Source
Robert Francis Skitch

Source
Kaye Skitch Milne
Marriage Stella Skitch
Marriage Stella Skitch
Marriage Stella Skitch
Biographical Notes Stella Skitch
Citation Details:  Emails 2006-02-06, 2006-02-07
Death Government Records
Citation Details:  Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Office Adelaide--Death certificate.

View Sources for ...


Media

Multimedia Object
Ralph Skitch - 1918Ralph Skitch - 1918  ‎(M332)‎
Type: Photo


Multimedia Object
Ralph Skitch - 1920Ralph Skitch - 1920  ‎(M683)‎
Type: Photo


Multimedia Object
Skitch Brass Quartet - 1935Skitch Brass Quartet - 1935  ‎(M684)‎
Type: Photo

View Media for ...


Family with Parents
Father
Ernest William SKITCH ‎(I7306)‎
Birth 1868 30 27 Kangaroo Flat, Victoria, Australia
Death 19 February 1957 ‎(Age 89)‎ Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia, Australia
-2 years
Mother
 
Alice Le Lievre LEE ‎(I6900)‎
Birth 1866 Tonga
Death 19 January 1939 ‎(Age 73)‎ Tranmere, South Australia, Australia

Marriage: 6 April 1893 -- Norwood, South Australia, Australia
#1
Sister
Mary Mollie SKITCH ‎(I6936)‎
Birth Yes
Death circa 1990 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
#2
Brother
Cecil Ernest Lee SKITCH ‎(I6938)‎
Birth 6 March 1894 26 28 Stockport, South Australia, Australia
Death 23 March 1956 ‎(Age 62)‎ London, England
2 years
#3
Ralph Aubrey SKITCH ‎(I4986)‎
Birth 7 July 1896 28 30 Whyte Yarcowie, South Australia, Australia
Death 1959 ‎(Age 62)‎ Millicent, South Australia, Australia
6 years
#4
Sister
Evelyn Margaret SKITCH ‎(I6935)‎
Birth 20 February 1902 34 36 South Australia, Australia
Death 20 March 1966 ‎(Age 64)‎ South Australia, Australia
6 years
#5
Sister
Edith Mary Lee Mollie SKITCH ‎(I18807)‎
Birth 19 July 1908 40 42 Millicent, South Australia, Australia
Death circa 1990 ‎(Age 81)‎ Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Family with Clarissa Thelma Thel CHAPMAN
Ralph Aubrey SKITCH ‎(I4986)‎
Birth 7 July 1896 28 30 Whyte Yarcowie, South Australia, Australia
Death 1959 ‎(Age 62)‎ Millicent, South Australia, Australia
5 years
Wife
 
Clarissa Thelma Thel CHAPMAN ‎(I118)‎
Birth 28 June 1901 43 41 Nairne, South Australia, Australia
Death 18 July 1994 ‎(Age 93)‎ Lutheran Nursing Home, Glynde, South Australia, Australia

Marriage: 21 December 1949 -- Methodist Manse, Millicent, South Australia, Australia
Family with Magda Kachen Helena Katie HERMAN
Ralph Aubrey SKITCH ‎(I4986)‎
Birth 7 July 1896 28 30 Whyte Yarcowie, South Australia, Australia
Death 1959 ‎(Age 62)‎ Millicent, South Australia, Australia
6 months
Ex-Wife
 
Magda Kachen Helena Katie HERMAN ‎(I9422)‎
Birth 1897 Berlin, Germany
Death 1959 ‎(Age 62)‎ England

Marriage: circa 1920 -- Millicent, South Australia, Australia
4 years
#1
Son
Robert Ernest SKITCH ‎(I9425)‎
Birth 8 July 1923 27 26 Millicent, South Australia, Australia
Death 1999 ‎(Age 75)‎ Essex, England
4 years
#2
Son
Jeffrey Ralph SKITCH ‎(I9426)‎
Birth 16 September 1927 31 30 Millicent, South Australia, Australia
Death 7 March 2013 ‎(Age 85)‎ Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, Hampshire, England