They sailed for Sidney from Liverpool on the S.S. Balranald, one of 'P&O's secondary one-class services to Australia. This was not a successful class, all ships having been withdrawn within 15 years. They had accommodation for 500 passengers, whilst an additional 700 temporary berths could be rigged for the outbound emigrant voyages. They sailed to Australia via Cape Town, and offered departures every two weeks. By 1926, the third class emigrant trade was collapsing, and in 1929 the route via Capetown was abandoned. The ships were refitted in turn, the Balranald first, including conversion to oil firing, and returned to service with accommodation for 586 one-class passengers. They were used on the mail route to Australia via Suez, charging third class fares for much improved accommodation compared to their earlier history. However, their withdrawals started only seven years later, with its final voyage to Australia being on 23 May 1936,' after which she was scrapped at Troon, Ayrshire.
Nannie (Agnes) and Charles are listed on the passenger list as both being thirty years old and Charles' occupation is recorded as hairdresser. Grace, the eldest, was nine, John, eight and little Catherine (Rina) only two. They were amongst the first passengers to sail on The Balranald after it's re-fit and sailed via Suez rather than South Africa.
The family settled in Sidney and Charles built his own house in the suburbs. He opened a cobbler's shop in the heart of the city and during the war he made a pair of rugby boots from scratch and sent them to Scotland for my father.
Nannie sent many photos back home of their life in Australia and in 1947 she travelled back to Scotland with Charlie and Rina to visit her family and stayed for six months. Rina even got a job at Johnny Walkers in Kilmarnock during her stay and the family blames this for giving her a taste for whisky, which ultimately was her ruin. The visit didn't go as planned with different members of the Galloway falling out. Charlie, who wore a long leather coat down to his ankles, is said to have been taking some illegal substances during the visit - all adding to the intrigue of the Australian visitors.
Grace, their daughter, didn't survive long in Australia and died in her twenties. John (Jack) Stewart (nobody quite knows why he was Stewart and not Joyce), shot himself, leaving his wife Elsie and their young family. Hannah, my gran, sent Nannie the Kilmarnock Standard newspaper every week and during the war, Nannie sent parcels back to her family. In the mid 1970s Elsie Stewart, John's widow, travelled to Scotland to trace her husband's family. A great friendship was born with Elsie and she returned to Scotland many times and also hosted my parents and brother on their trips out to Australia before her death. Sadly, the families have lost touch again in the years since Elsie died.