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Folland Charles French

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Memoirs of Charles French Folland – 3rd (FRENCH) Descendent of the Follands and the Frenchs of Barnstable Devonshire, England

Charles French Folland 1st - Great Great Grand father of French, migrated to South Australia in the ship Resource, Landing at Holdfast Bay January 1839 and settled on a block of land in Walkerville.

Charles French Folland - 3rd (French) was born in Thomas Terrace Gawler on 23-1-1906 to Parents, Harry Gilbert and Maryanne Frances Folland (need Atyeo), he was one of two boys – five girls.

French said that the family shifted to Kensington at an early age where my father worked for his brother in a Drapers Shop, later shifting to Moonta to work with in his other brothers Drapers Shop. I started school at Moonta Primary School and learnt to swim at Moonta Bay. The mines closed at Moonta so our family packed up the horse and dray and started back to Gawler; got to Lower Light, where we stayed at a cousins house, and then onto Grandfathers house at Kangaroo Flat the next day.

Father got a house to rent in Willaston opposite the Lime Kilns (now Lime Kiln Park) then bought a house on the corner of Jane Street and Redbanks Road. I had to walk to Gawler Primary School. I left school at the age of fourteen and was to start work for Mr Gwynne in his Plant Nursery, but my brother Cliff was working for Mr Tape, driving the Bakers Horse and Cart delivering bread to Gawler River, Wards Belt. Cliff was knocked off his bike on the corner of Lyndoch Road and Murray Street; the car dragged him and his bike up to the Open Air Picture Theatre and he was then hospitalized in Dr Dawes Hospital , so I took over the bread rounds (as I knew where to go as I often went with Cliff in the school holidays.) I drove for nearly 12 months and was paid 15/- per week ($1.50).

I was offered a job at Mr Payne’s Liquorice Factory, on Kangaroo Flat Road, at 30/- per week so I left Tapes and went to Payne’s Flora Co at Kangaroo Flat, growing and making Medical Liquorice; but the Depression was setting in so it closed after about 12 months.

I was wanting to get into doing woodwork so I got a job at May Bros Gawler South, in the Tin Smith Shop, until there was a vacancy in the Woodwork Shop, which was not too long. They made Hay Trolleys, Harvesters, Winnowers, Boilers and a lot of Iron Work. I got on very well there but they started to feel the Depression. Mr Roy Urlwin offered me a Carpenters job on houses and repairs in a workshop in Cowan Street (about where She’s Apples is now) which was started in early days to make some of the Joinery for Gawler Civic Buildings. I worked there for over 18 years doing work in most of the shops in Murray Street; there was very little new work in those times.

When war broke out, I went to work on the 2nd building at Finsbury Munitions Factory, then to Salisbury Munitions, then to Gawler Airport with Contractor Reg Nurse. I then went to Mallala to build two huts on the Air Field and so with Mr L Carmody; a Carpenter we spent a month in a tent building huts. From here it was firstly back to Gawler Airport then back to Finsbury to build a large shed facing Rosewater Road then came the end of the war.I then came home to Gawler and went to work for Carrie Alying (Carpenter and Builder). His Work Shop was just over the Bridge at Willaston (Gawler Canvas) is there now, where I worked for about 10 years until he retired.

My son Lionel had just finished his Apprenticeship with Clarrie as a Carpenter and Joiner so together we built a large shed in 19th Street, Gawler South and installed Woodwork Machinery purchased from Mr J Noack who had had a bad accident on the machine, and proceeded to start a business as F Folland and Sons in 1955.

I retired at the age of seventy to catch up on some home jobs and to travel to Tasmania, New Zealand and Darwin.

I married Dulcie Barker at Penfield Methodist Church on the 26th of November 1932. We purchased an old house on 2 ½ acres on Boundary Road, Willaston (now Haines Road and Folland Avenue). After renovations, we lived there for about 12 years raising three children; Lionel, Beth and Gordon. We later purchased a large home in 20th Street Gawler South where we lived for 47 years.

I built one of the first houses at Middle Beach and later built three more. I loved fishing and crabbing and spent most of my spare time at the beach with my family.

After selling my last house, in the back row at Middle Beach, I spent later years with Lionel and Family in a Beach House at James Well, Yorke Peninsula and with Gordon and his family at Goolwa. I always had a large garden and loved growing flowers and fresh fruit. I was a life member of the Gawler Show Society, was Treasurer of the Senior Citizens Club, member of Gawler Para Probus Club and a member of Gawler West Uniting Church.

In my younger days I played football for Willaston B Grade (1926 Premiers), Willaston A Grade (1928 & 1930 Premiers), Virginia A Grade (1929 Premiers) and Willaston at Adelaide Oval in 1931.

Dulcie Passed away on the 8th of September 1981 and French Passed away on the 27th of July 1996 aged 90 years.

Please click here for photos of French Folland.

Related Articles


French Folland c1927
French Folland c1927
French Folland c1930
French Folland c1930
French Folland c1945
French Folland c1945
French Folland, Willaston & Virginia footballer
French Folland, Willaston & Virginia footballer
French Folland with Lionel, Brenton & John c1992
French Folland with Lionel, Brenton & John c1992
French Folland with son Lionel 1994
French Folland with son Lionel 1994
French Folland
French Folland
French Folland's first car 1931 T model 1915 Ford
French Folland's first car 1931 T model 1915 Ford
French Folland's 2nd car 1923 Dodge
French Folland's 2nd car 1923 Dodge
French Folland @ James Well shack with Peter Rowland
French Folland @ James Well shack with Peter Rowland


Memories of Folland Charles French

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