V. Three Generations of the Joy Family Network on the NSWGR across NSW – North, South, East and West

Research Notes

Great Great Great Granddad Alfred George Joy (1840 – 1904), brother in law to NSWGR Boiler Inspector John Newlands (1838 – 1889) :  so far no one has been able to  reliably track his journey from Kensington London to his arrival in Australia.  There was a fascinating contribution to the local newspapers in 1905, now accessible in Trove, which suggested that in the 1860’s, he’d been a Digger on the Goldfields – Trove.. ” Only a few weeks ago I took train to Rookwood to attend the funeral of an old friend — the wife of ex-Sub-Inspector Fowler, whom I knew at Liverpool the first year of her husband’s service in the police force. When the funeral service concluded, I walked along the narrow pathway, and but a few paces farther on came upon the grave of an old digging chum, of the early sixties. Alfred George Joy was a Londoner (from Kensington), and I had discovered him at Stanmore two years ago, after a parting of 36, or 37 years. He died while I was travelling through the Nepean district last year. Upon the neat stone they have put at his head is graved this couplet : —

‘Tis but the casket that lies here,

The gem that fills it sparkles yet —

which I thought something out of the ordinary in a burial ground, where the trustees draw a line at secular poetry, face all the graves to the eastward — as if that will help the dead to rise quicker to greet the rising sun on that great Day of Judgment — and limit a ‘man’s choice of iron railings to the common cast-iron area pattern. Anyway, those two lines pleased me, quite irrespective of their conveying the idea of immortality.”

Could he have arrived as part of the crew on one of the many ships sailing into Australia during the Gold Rush Days, and then disappeared to seek his fortune on the Goldfields ? Many ships lost so many in such circumstances, that they were forced to advertise for replacement crew so they could leave port. It was also necessary to import labour from England to build the two big Railway projects in the 1850’s – Sydney to Parramatta and the Great Northern Hunter Valley Railway. After the Gold Rushes died down some of the Diggers drifted away and like Alfred, began to work on the Railways and the like.

Great great great granddad Alfred had a varied career – digger & investor on the goldfields, butcher, part time soldier, boilermaker driller/machinist/fitter  with NSWGR at Everleigh Railway Workshops – which were comprehensively described in 1891 – 1. Did he work at the old NSWGR Railway workshops at Redfern before the Eveleigh Workshops were established ? Those Redfern workshops were described in 1891 as “The railway workshops were removed from Redfern to Eveleigh in 1887. The old shops were on a very small scale, and proved utterly inadequate to the demands which were made upon them” – 1,

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Songs and stories of Eveleigh – 1,

Frustratingly, despite so many entries for him in the Sands Directory over the years, in some ways, significant parts of his life are still shrouded in mystery.

Milestones of Alfred George Joy’s Working Life

  • Early 1860’s – digger on the gold fields – but where – NSW or Victorian or both ?
  • 1864 – Butcher at Castlereagh St Sydney – Marriage Certificate
  • 1867 – 68 Butcher at 404 Kent St Sydney – Sands Directory entries
  • 1869 –  1870 – Occupation not given – 404 Kent St Sydney – Sands Directory entry
  • 1872 – Bathurst St Sydney – Shareholder in Great Mogul Gold Mining Company –1, 2, – perhaps the dream of making it rich with Gold had not faded
  • 1873 – Boilermaker – given on Son John Charles Joy’s Birth Certificate
  • 1877 – Occupation not given – Bullanaming St Redfern – Sands Directory
  • 1878 – Military Part Time Volunteer Private – Volunteer Land order relating to voluntary military service – South Sydney – Asystem intended to encourage Volunteering by providing Land Grants – Information – 1, 2, 3, 4,  5, 6, 7“a volunteer after three years’ service obtains a land order for 50 acres, to be selected wherever he likes. These orders are bought up by the pastoral occupiers to defend them selves against free selection, so that while the land is worth only £50 the order is worth £150. Such a use of the volunteer land-order system was never intended, and for some time volunteering has been checked, because it was understood that no more orders would be given. Mr. Dibbs proposes to buy up all orders due at £100, and abolish the system thence forth. Mr. Parkes intimated that the Government plan would correct existing abuses at once, and that their final measure would be ‘ based on the principles which entered into the construction
    of European armies, by which we should have an organized part of the people
    coming in rotation under military service.’ This statement was received with cheers,
    and whatever hostility may be provoked, when the plan comes into practice; our
    present military ardour is strong enough to give it a trial.
  • 1879 – Occupation not given – 2 Havelock St Redfern – Sands Directory
  • 1884  – 1886 – Occupation not given – Trafalgar Terrace Petersham – Sands Directory
  • 1888 – 1891 – Occupation not given – “Kensington” Aubrey St Petersham – Sands Directory – named for his home town Kensington in London 
  • 1891 – Fitter – Locomotive Engineers Branch, Eveleigh Railway Workshops
  • 1892 – 1898 – Occupation not given – “Kensington” 2 Aubrey St Petersham – Sands
  • 1894 – 1897 – Driller – Chief Mechanical Engineers Branch, Eveleigh Railway Workshops
  • post 1890’s – for how long did he keep working before his 1904 death ?

Perhaps he worked in one of the Bays 10- 12  that made up the Machine Shop at the Eveleigh Workshops ? – 1

More details of his life and family can be found at the Newlands Family web page.

From what we know so far, Great great great granddad Alfred George Joy certainly had an interesting and varied life.

Alfred George Joy’s Son in law – Arthur Henry Ball (1873 Redfern – 1958 Bendeena), husband of Annie Isabella Joy  – seems to have worked and lived all his life in Sydney.

  • 1891 – Junior Porter – NSW Government Gazettes
  • 1897 – 1935 – Ticket Examiner/Collector with NSW Government Railways – 21 Spencer St Dulwich Hill – Electoral Roll & NSW Government Gazettes
  • 1902 – 1903 – Railway Employee – 112 Abercrombie St – Electoral Roll


  • Kenneth Charles “Cocky” Joy, Alfred Joy’s grandson, a great nephew of NSWGR Boiler Inspector John Newlands, nephew of James Alexander Hicks, brother in law of Russ Callcott  – a Navy Sailor and then onto the NSWGR – a  South Coast Railway man –  Engine Driver who’d worked across much of NSW- my great uncle and Mum’s favourite uncle. More details of Ken’s life and family can be found at the Illawarra Joy Family Web page.


Milestones in Kenneth Charles Joy’s working career

  • 1917 – enlisted in the Navy and commenced as a Boy Sailor on the Tingira – in November 1917 he had sought to purchase a discharge under REGULATIONS UNDER THE NAVAL DEFENCE ACT 1910-1918. but this was not approved.

    (a) Seamen boys are entered between the ages of 14 and 16, and carry out twelve months training in H-M-A- ship “Tingira”| moored in Sydney Harbor). They
    are then sent to a seagoing ship to complete training.
    (b) Youths between the ages of 18 and 25 are entered as stokers and after a  preliminary training at the Naval Depot, Williamstown are sent to sea going ships,

    1918 – 1920 Then after a stint at a Depot, Ken served on the Sydney, (which had sunk the Emden in 1914) over the period April 1918 – January 1920. This included an engagement in Helgoland Bight in June 1918, in WW1, earning the Sydney its  North Sea 1917 – 1918 WW1 Battle Honours. In August 1919 he was one of those welcomed home from WW1 at Thirroul.
  • 1920 – 1926 – postings on various Australian Naval ships, Warrego, Cerberus, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and finally back to the Tingira –  the longest being nearly 4 years on the Adelaide,
  • 1927 – 1929 – he had left the Navy – did he commence working with the NSWGR then? Though, he was in the Illawarra to give his sister away at her 19129 wedding. Perhaps he worked for his Aunt Ida’s husband, Uncle Arthur Webb of AF Webb. Arthur had taken on another of Ida’s nephews, as his business grew beginning to take on bigger projects like West Wollongong Technical College, then Murwillumbah High School, hospitals ? We may?
  • 1930 – 1931 – Various residential locations around Sydney – Annandale – Enfield – Leichhardt – NSWGR employee
  • 1932 – 1933 – Cootamundra on the Main South Line, – NSWGR employee
  • 1934 – Majors Bay Road, Concord  – Shopkeeper with his mother Edith Florence Joy, also a Shopkeeper
  • 1935 – 1936 – Penshurst – Hoist Driver – doesn’t mention NSWGR
  • 1937 – Casino on the North Coast Line – NSWGR employee
  • 1943 – Parkes on the Broken Hill Line, (which branched off the Main Western line ) and was the junction point for the Broken Hill, Stockingbingal-Parkes and Parkes-Narromine lines, – NSWGR employee
  • 1949 – Resident at Thirroul –  working on the South Coast Line as NSWGR Railway Fireman
  • 1952 – Resident at Thirroul – working on the South Coast Line as Locomotive Engine Driver with NSWGR at Unanderra at time of his death … “A loco driver halted a goods train at the Unanderra railway station yesday about 1.30 p.m., climbed from his cabin, collapsed and died. He was Kenneth Joy, of King Street, Thirroul. He had driven the train, loaded with coal, from Wollongong to Unanderra. He complained of feeling ill nearing Unanderra.” –1, 2, 3. It had taken him 15 years or so to make it to Locomotive Engine Driver and then he seemed to be struck down by what could be called The Newlands Mens Curse – so many of them lucky to make it past 40 years of age, let alone 50 year old Great Uncle Ken Joy.

From reading Chapter 4 of David Day’s biography of Ben Chifley, “Chifley, A Life” (2001), becoming a railway locomotive engineer driver would in some ways, be the pinnacle of career expectations for young men of limited education, who had joined the Railways.  He described how the starting point would be a Shop Boy or Shop Labourer in a Locomotive Shed, keeping everything clean in the Shed,  and then onto Oiler, and maybe Cleaner of the Locomotives who needed to have a working knowledge of the machines. Sometimes they might be acting Fireman and on occasions drive an engine to move it around the Shed. From there the path lay to Fireman finally Locomotive Engine Driver. There was a lot of study, examinations and tests for hearing and vision along the way. It took Ben Chifley 11 years to make it to Engine Driver.

Did Ken work at the Railway Marshalling Yards at Enfield ?


Enfield – date unknown from SRNSW

Great Uncle Ken Joy certainly around a lot of Country NSW on the railways and that must have been a big difference after all those years in the Navy  :

  • Main South LineCootamundra Station dates from 1877 and had Railway Barracks and Turntable  – 1, 2, 3, . Maintaining an adequate water supply for locomotives was a key challenge during the Steam era.


    A derailment at Salt Pan Creek near Cootamundra 1885 – from SRNSW

  • North Coast Line opened in 1930 and as it was a single gauge rail from Sydney to Brisbane it drew traffic from the Great Northern Line except during WW2 years. Its major purpose was to transport rural products in the region to a safe shipping port on the coast. Casino Railway Station actually predated the North Coast Line, as it was part of the earlier Murwillumbah to Grafton Line, which subsequently became a branch line. Casino, was the principal railway centre in the region, eclipsing Lismore, and has had a locomotive depot, barracks building and with roundhouse, one of the 7 remaining in NSW. References – 1,


    Opening of Casino Railway 13.5.1903 from SRNSW

  • Broken Hill  – a junction point for the Broken Hill, Stockingbingal-Parkes and Parkes-Narromine lines
  • South Coast Line – fully opened Sydney to Wollongong from 1888

Back to 2017 -2018 – 130 Years of the South Coast Railway and My Own Railway History Journey


About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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