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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Brown, Walter Henry

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1873
Place of birth Willunga
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1924
Place of decease Willunga

Born in 1873, Walter Brown was the youngest son of Sarah Jane and John Stacy Brown, the original owners of Springbrook farm, on Section 706 near the corner of Binney Road and Edwards Road.

In 1892, ten years after the death of his father, he joined his two brothers in the management of the Springbrook estate.

In 1904, he married Alice Emily Strout, who was born on 3 August 1879, the eldest daughter of Samuel Strout, a farmer of McLaren Vale, and his wife Eliza (nee Elliott).

Walter and Alice lived at Springbrook all their lives. A low stone wall is all that now remains of the original home.

Walter and Alice Brown had three daughters:

  • Gwen (Gwyneth Hazel), born 1905, married L Elliott.
  • Joyce (Wilfred Joyce), born 1907, married Arnold Sherriff.
  • Rita (Jessie Rita), born 1912, married Frank Bertram Bald.

Daughter, Joyce’s, school shoes were donated many years later to the Willunga Courthouse Museum, to be displayed as an interesting example of the skill of local boot-maker, Ted Hockney. Their youngest daughter, Rita Bald, kept diaries of her daily life on Springbrook farm from 1930 to 1978. They were donated to Willunga Courthouse Museum in 2020. Rita's husband Frank was a horse breeder who rode in many local races and gymkhanas. Rita died on 26 April 1984, aged 71, and is buried in Strout Cemetery. Frank died at Quorn on 9 September 2008, aged 85.

Walter Brown was a member of the Willunga Agricultural Bureau. He was also a founding member of the Willunga Rifle Club, formed in 1899 under the leadership of Captain Charles Lipson. He was interested in local affairs and nominated several times as Councillor for the McLaren Vale Ward of the District Council of Willunga, without success.

Walter Henry Brown died at his residence Springbrook, McLaren Vale, on 5 September 1924, aged 50 years. He was buried in the Strout Road Cemetery. Probate was granted on an estate of £3,250.

Alice Emily Brown died at her home Springbrook in 1940, aged 61 years. Her funeral left her home at 11.45am for Strout Road Cemetery, arriving at 12 noon on Monday 29th July 1940.


  • The Advertiser Tue 9 Sep 1924 Page 16
  • The Advertiser 29 July 1940 page 6.
Brown, Walter and Alice (nee Strout), 1904
Brown, Walter and Alice (nee Strout), 1904
Alice Brown with daughters from left: Rita, Joyce and Gwen.
Alice Brown with daughters from left: Rita, Joyce and Gwen.
Frank Bald riding at the Crystal Brook Show, date unknown.
Frank Bald riding at the Crystal Brook Show, date unknown.

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