7.1.3 Katie Isabella Jillett    

Katherine Isabelle Jillett's story can be accessed from the following link to Trove.

2017, English, Book, Illustrated edition: Katherine Isabelle Jillett : a trilogy of her life : including a story of the Jillett Family, pioneering sheep graziers of Queensland / Kristine Herron. Herron, Kristine, (author.)

Published        Hervey Bay, Queensland Kristine Herron, 2017.

Language        English

It is a Trilogy of her life, the life of her uncles, the Jillett Brothers, her husband and her life partner Samuel Herron.


3. Katie Isabella Jillett                                                             


Katie was born in 1888, the second daughter of Alfred Charles Jillett and Catherine Isabella Phillips.

She had an older sister Eileen Mary and a younger brother Reginald George Augustus Jillett. Katie also had an older brother Frank.  There was never any mention about Frank to her children, but subsequent research has been able to link the families.

The family obviously placed importance on recognising their parents, as Catherine’s mother was named Isabella Phillips and her father George Augustus Phillips.

Not much is known about Katie's young life, other than she lived on the family properties near Tambo in Queensland.

Katie married Claude Harold Annesley in 1910. She had been living at Greendale at the time.   Claude was the son of an English peer, who had fought in the Boer War, and came to the outback in Australia.  Claude worked on the various sheep stations in Queensland.         


Claude was really Harold Jennings Sedgwick!!!!   His life has been discovered and is told in a series of stories on the above blog.


They had 3 children:

Dorothea Hazel Annesley           B  1911        d 1911                                         She is buried at the Bowen Cemetery

Valerie Iris Annesley                  B 1916         d    25/3/1980                             She was born at Palm Lodge, Bowen                
Claude Dalgleish Annesley          B 1921         d Nov 2005             

In 1916 Claude enlisted into the Army.  He was sent overseas, and it must have been rather difficult for Katie with a young baby, and her husband serving on the Western Front.  Around this time they were living in Rose Bay in Bowen, North Queensland.

When Claude returned from the war, they took up a soldier’s settlement near Roma, Queensland.

The marriage did not last, for whatever reasons, and Claude left when Katie was either expecting or after the birth of Dale around 1921.  Their older daughter was living with her mum after Dale was born.

Nothing more was heard from Claude Annesley, but he had daughter Valerie with him during the 1920's and when he was residing at Bowen, North Queensland, as the lighthouse keeper.

Claude moved away and a couple of months later was employed as Station Manager of "Scarwater", a large cattle station near Charters Towers, which was owned by the R.S.L. (Claude was also a founding member of the R.S.L.)

It was rumoured that he had gone to New Zealand around 1930, and he may have perished in the Napier earthquake, as at this time he left young Valerie with a droving family.

Dale lived the whole of his life trying to locate his father, and finally in November 2009, after searching for years, he was found, in New Zealand.  Sadly he died without ever being re-united with his family members.   He re-married (bigamously) in New Zealand, and died in 1962.


Katie then met Samuel Herron, and they had two children together. 


Dale was born Claude Dalgleish Annesley, he changed his name by deed poll in 1946.  He was 10 years old before he knew that his father was not Samuel Herron.


Katie, Valerie and Baby Dale circa 1921


At some in this period, young Valerie was sent to live with her aunt Eileen in Bulimba, where Eileen                                                                                                                                         was living with her husband Reginald Judd, and her daughter Eileen Mary.

It appears that Valerie went to school in Brisbane, and she often wrote letteres to her mother

A letter from Valerie Annesley to her mum

Dear mummy

I am getting on all right at school.  I am in first redbook.  I hope you and boy are getting on all right.  I would like to come home again to you.  Have you still got Black and the cats and have you still got my poney.  I liked those things you sent me for my birthday.  My hair grew long and aunty cut it off again.  When she cut it she put a saucepan over my head.  Aunty said that she was going to send my saddle back to you soon because it is getting spoilt down here.  When I come back home I can teach Dal his abc and I would like to know how old Dal is. Can he walk properly yet.  Bisy said that he would like to see Dal  Bisy asked me if Dal could rid a horse yet. I came top of the class last exam  Our teacher went away not very long ago and we got a new teacher I like the other teacher the best.  I am often wondering how Dal and you are getting on and if that old tree beside our hut is still there and if you have got a horse on those blocks beside the road in that paddock where we had a little garden, where we had the pumpkins and corn grew have you still got that little garden beside the cow-yard and have you still got the pigs.  Aunty has got a lovely yard down here and she has a lovely house and aunty had electric light.  Aunty says that I am a great help in the house she said that I could be a great help to you.  Edith is a real nice little baby and aunty made her a lovely little dress and it is real pretty when it is on her.  Not very long ago we went to the exhibition and I went on the merry-go-round and then we saw some monkeys and we gave them chocolate and then we had some thing to drink and then we went home.  I hope you are all well.  Your loving Val

The reply

Gunnurn Roma   27th May 1924

My dear Valerie

I am sending you a small present for your birthday, you will be 9 years old on Monday the 2nd of June, and mummie wishes you many happy returns for your birthday.  I hope you will learn all you can at school and then you can come back to boy and mummie, but I would like you to stay a little bit longer.  Your little taffey pony is very fat and fresh, I am keeping her for you.

With best love from Boy and Mother

(Katie wrote this letter to Valerie in 1924, and there is no mention that she has another child at that time, James was born in 1923)

The originals of these two letters are still in the possession of Valerie's grandchildren. 

From Dale Herron in his words

The backgrounds of both Claude and Katie were very different.  Claude was an English Blueblood and Katie was raised in an Australian farming family.  Claude was the son of Arthur and Ellen (nee Jennings) Annersley. He forsook a life of English luxury deciding that muster­ing cattle around the Australian countryside seemed so much more fun. 

Katie was the youngest daughter of Alfred Charles and Catherine Isa­bell (nee Phillips) Jillett.  Alfred was a grazier of "Broadmeadows", in Victoria and Catherine was the granddaughter of Captain Phillips, a respected and famous English ship builder and owner.  They were mar­ried in November 1878 in Hobart Town.  Several years later Alfred and Catherine decided on a change and moved to Western Queensland.  They took on the pioneering spirit when the call of the north came. Alfred and Catherine selected a property near Tambo which was to become known as "Greendale" station.  Because of the Jillets' love of the land, "Greendale" remained in the family for over 100 years before it was sold to a large company.  The Jillet family also owned two other out­back stations called "Mimidowns" and "Chattam".

Claude Harold Annesley and Katie Isabel Jillet were married at Tambo in 1910.   It is not known how Dale's parents met, but it was most probably in western Queensland when they were in their late teens.  At the time of their meeting, Claude was working for a gra­zier, and Katie was living with her parents at Greendale Station. Katie’s mother died when she was young and she did not get on with her stepmother.  Whether this had an influence on her rebelliousness and rambunctious nature is not known  - maybe she was always going to be a rebel.

After their marriage in 1910, Claude and Katie made a misguided attempt at sheep farming on Dunk Island (which they rented for £26 per year). Claude then joined the A.I.F.  His health suffered in the bad weather in France and has discharged as medically unfit in 1916. Claude and Katie selected a soldier settler's farm at Gunnewin between Roma and Injune.  The government gave sol­dier settlers 600 acres (roughly one square mile) and £600 to construct fences, dig a dam and build a hut. Unfortunately, the soldier settler's farms were not very economi­cal.  It was generally believed that you needed about three square miles.  Dale says the canny ones put in a bit of fencing, dug a dam and built a rough humpy, then took off for the city with the £600.

Katie took up with Samuel Herron around 1921/22.  Her life is well described in the words of her son Jim.


Katie Isabella Jillett & Claude Harold Annesley
Katie was a keen horsewoman
Katie in 1942  
Link to Valerie Annesley
Link to Dale Herron 
Her Grave in Alpha Central Queensland
Return to Alfred and Catherine Jillett

What hard decisions she made throughout her life!