Letters & Stories
TWO PIONEERS REMEMBERED IN STAINED GLASS IN ST BEDE’S
– WHO ARE THEY? – Aug/Sept 1996 Issue
On the left hand wall of the church is a window dedicated to the memory of Charles Henry Morits and John Bollard. Apart from being Anglicans and worshippers at St Bede’s they were also related, as Charles Henry married two of John’s daughters. Not much is known about John Bollard; he came here as a shepherd with his wife and seven children in 1858.
He eventually moved to South Rhine, near Williamstown and became a vigeron and was living at Richmond in 1869 when his wife died. He died in 1896. His son-in-law arrived in the colony in 1849 as a child of 4 years with his parents and older brother. They came from Lerback in East Germany. The Moritz family went to live at Kensington where the father, Gottlieb, bought property in Maesbury Street and worked as a comb maker. Young Johann Carl Friedrich, who later changed his names to Charles Henry, joined the Kensington Rifles. This was the start of a long army career. He was later a member of a Field Artillery Unit but this section was disbanded in 1878. In the meantime he was married.
First to Alice Bollard, aged 25, and they lived in Williamstown where four children were born but Alice died in 1872. He remarried Louisa Winch, the daughter of Richard and Sarah Winch of Adelaide.
The family had moved to Largs Bay where three more children were born. When Louisa died in 1890, remarried again to Sarah, a younger sister of his first wife. She outlived him, dying in 1910. His military career made him a distinguished member of the first professional unit in South Australia where his number was 1. He rose to the rank of Sergeant Major and in 1882 his military career gave him a unique role. In this year the citizens of Glenelg awoke one morning to find a Russian fleet anchored in Holdfast Bay. The alarm caused by this event gave rise to the making of Military Road and the construction of Fort Glanville. Guns were brought from England and Sergeant Major Moritz assumed charge of the Fort and mounted these weapons at what was called the Semaphore Battery. Sadly, no Russians ever appeared to test the defences of the local coast. Charles Henry Moritz died suddenly in 1901 and his flag draped the coffin, part of a full military funeral, and resting on a gun carriage, passed over the Jervois Bridge on its way to Cheltenham Cemetery. For interest, surnames of the marriage partners of Charles Henry’s seven children are Willcocks, Graves, Sawford, Cornell, Dale, Behncke and Porter. Many thanks to Mrs Pat May for the information that was given.