About Beresford Bardwell
Beresford Bardwelll was born in Elsternwick, Melbourne on the 21st October 1890 as the youngest son of Henry Everett & Fanny Bardwell. His father was a barrister and the family moved to Mosman, Western Australia when Beresford was seven years old.
Beresford’s older brother Bernard moved to Broome in the early 1900s to try his luck in the pearling industry. Beresford followed his brother to Broome and the pair brought the luggers Hebe & Phyllis (named for their sister) and began what was to become a prosperous pearling business.
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|Returned to Broome post WWI
Beresford enlisted in the war effort almost immediately after war was declared in August 1914. He joined the 11th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, which was one of the first raised in W.A. The 11th Battalion took part in the Gallipoli landing on April 25th 1915. Beresford joined as a private but quickly rose through the ranks to be a Lieutenant. He was wounded by a shrapnel wound in the thigh in Gallipoli but continued to serve until he was transferred to the 51st Battalion as Captain in February 1916 when it was formed in Egypt. The 51st travelled to France and Bardwell was again wounded in action in the leg and ankle during the campaign in July 1916.By July 1917 Captain Bardwell had been on active service for 32 continuous months. He was admitted to hospital at Boulogne, due to inflammation of the glands and was sent to England to convalesce.
He rejoined his unit in January 1918 and continued with the 51st Battalion’s fight at Dernacour and at Villers-Bretonneux. He was wounded in action a third time with a gun shot wound to his left knee and gas poisoning. He was again was sent to England to convalensce. Beresford was placed on the invalided list and returned to Australia on 21/12/1918 on the Thermistocles for special leave. He was finally discharged 25/05/1919.
Life after the Great War
Soon after his return from the war Beresford rejoined his brother in the pearling industry and landed a pearl shell that contained a pearl that sold for £4000 (which would equate to about $700,000 today), and remains one of the most valuable pearls ever discovered on the north west coast. Beresford proposed to Marjory (Biddy) Missingham of West Perth in 1921 and pair married the same year in Broome. By the mid 1920s the pearling industry was languishing and Beresford took a position as the harbour master at Broome and later was the Superintendent of Harbour & Lights. Beresford was an active member of the Broome community, as a Roads Board Member and a member of the Broome Rifle Club. Additionally he was the VDC drill sergeant who organised the evacuation of Broome’s women and children during WWII. Beresford, along with his brother Bernard and their sister Phyllis McDaniel were avid conchologists (shell collectors). Ther family remained pearling in Broome until the early 1960s.
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