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Richard Edward Elford (1910 - 1940)

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Richard Edward Elford
Born in Chelmsford, Essexmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australiamap
Profile last modified 16 Dec 2018 | Created 19 May 2018
This page has been accessed 48 times.


New lives

Dick Elford [1] was an immigrant. Born in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1910, he arrived in Australia from England with his parents 10 years later. His father Archibald Sefton Elford, born near Exeter into a prosperous merchant family in 1878, was the last of a remarkable cluster of Elfords who studied chemistry at St John’s College in Oxford.
Percy Elford, Archibald’s oldest brother, had won an open scholarship to Christ Church, was awarded first-class honours in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) in 1889, was President of the Oxford Junior Scientific Club, and after a brief spell at University College, Reading, and lecturing for the Shropshire County Council, became a Fellow of St John’s in 1892 After their father, Edwin Elford, died in a railway accident at the age of 47, Percy assumed a special place in the lives of his six surviving siblings (three others had died in infancy). Their mother, born Ann Louisa Fell, had been bequeathed £5514 on Edwin’s death. With income from the Etna Fire Light Company founded by her husband, Ann Elford had sufficient means to move to Oxford. But there would no longer be a governess, cook, housemaid, and nurse to assist her.

To relieve the family’s burdens, oldest daughter Constance had become a governess, and Percy abandoned his chance of a rowing ‘Blue’, cutting short his studies in mathematics to work in the Christ Church chemistry laboratory as a demonstrator under the ingenious experimenter, Dr A. G. Vernon Harcourt, FRS. In an unprecedented record, Percy taught a succession of his brothers, Stanley, Bertram, and Archie, each of whom took additional classes at Magdalen College’s Daubeny Laboratory in the Oxford Botanical Gardens. Early in the new century, after a long association with local technical education, Percy was appointed Secretary to the Oxfordshire Education Committee. . . . more . .

Memorial Cairn.
Air Disaster Memorial and the Great War: [2]
On a hill near the NSW city of Queanbeyan, and not far from Canberra Airport, is a memorial dedicated to the memory of several distinguished Australians killed when an aeroplane carrying three Federal Ministers bound for a cabinet meeting – Sir Henry Gullet, James Fairburn and Geoffrey Street – crashed on approach to Canberra on 13 August 1940.
It was a time of new national crisis, and the disaster was a body-blow to the war effort. Australia could ill afford to lose such experienced and capable men. . . more . . . image


  1. 13. ‘A charming boy who would do big things’: Dick Elford : Ten Journeys to Cameron’s Farm . . with images .
  2. Air Disaster Memorial and the Great War: and photo of Cairn

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Categories: St John's College, Oxford | Rowing | Ten Journeys