The BRAY Name
See Neville Bray's BRAY FAMILIES website for the Origin of the Bray Name.
Our most likely first known forebears are Robert Bray and Martha Fuller who were married at Salisbury, Wiltshire on 5 April 1761. They later moved to Portsea, Hampshire.
The next three generations of Brays were born in Portsea / Portsmouth, Hampshire. The narrow Southampton Row, Portsea was where the family lived for many years. The children of Robert Bray and Martha Fuller were:
- Charles Bray (b 1779)
- Jenny Bray (b 1782)
- Martha Bray (b 1784)
- John Bray (b 1789)
Charles BRAY married Maria BUCKLAND and their children were:
- Maria BRAY (1805 - 29/8/1823)
- Amelia Martha BRAY(1808 - 20/4/1831)
- Charles BRAY (b 1810)
- Jane BRAY (1812 - 2/1/1831)
- Cornelius BRAY(1814 - 29/12/1864)
- Ann BRAY (b 1821)
- Emma Yetman BRAY (b 1823)
- Caroline Elizabeth BRAY (b 1824)
- Emily Maria BRAY (b 1828)
- William Horatio Benjamin BRAY (b 1831)
Cornelius Bray married Mary Ann HAYLES on 20/1/1840. Their children were:
- Mary Ann BRAY (b 1845)
- Harry Cornelius BRAY(b 2/7/1847)
- Robert BRAY (b 1850)
- Fanny BRAY (b 12/1851)
- Alfred BRAY
- Caroline Elizabeth BRAY (b 11/12/1859)
Neville Bray of Nowra shares a common ancestor in Harry Cornelius. For more details of Bray families in Australia and especially those with Hampshire ancestors, visit Neville's website at Bray Families.
Brays in Australia
Cornelius Bray emigrated with his family to Australia about 1852 and Harry Cornelius was about 5 years old when the family settling in Sydney. In 1878 he married Mary Bannatyne Armitage and their children were:
- Alfred Charles Bray
- Edith Rhoda Bray
- Hilda Martha Bray
- Harry David Bray
- Percy William Bray
- Essie M Bray
- Joseph Cornelius Bray
- Robert Ernest Bray
Joseph and Martha Armitage emigrated to Australia on the ship Mary Bannatyne and their daughter Mary who was born on the voyage was named after the ship.
Apparently Joseph (a special constable) and Martha weren't exactly willing emigrants but were implicated in the 1848 Chartists rebellion at Ashton-under-Lyne and were "removed" and resettled in New South Wales.
Alfred Charles Bray (1871-1914)
The short tragic life of Alfred Charles Bray
Alfred Ernest Cornelius Bray (1897-1968)
Alfred was born at Hurstville, NSW on 3 March 1897.
Alf was only 18 years old when he enlisted on 16 August 1915. After initial training at Holsworthy, near Liverpool, and transferring to the 7th Reinforcements of the 18th Battalion he sailed 2 days before Christmas on the S.S. Suevic for Europe. He trained in Egypt and joined A Company 3rd Battalion before sailing for France on the S.S. Grampian on 22 March 1916.
He served in France and Belgium, at the Somme and Flanders,in many theatres including Fleur Blaix, Pozieres, Fleurs, Geudecourt, Maize, Hermies, Dernicourt, Wytschaste Ridge, and attained the rank of sergeant.
On 20 June 1918, he suffered a poisonous gas attack at Strazelle. After convalescing in England, he returned home via Egypt and Ceylon arriving in Sydney on 13 February 1919 on the S.S. Somali.
Alf married Clarice Belle BRYANT on 16 October 1919. Norma Beryl BRAY was born on 28 November 1920 and in October 1921 they moved to the new Soldiers Settlement in Restwell Street, Bankstown.
Following the war, Alf joined the Railways as a clerk at Punchbowl railway sheds.
A brother for Norma, Douglas Arthur was born at home on 31 October 1924.
On 28 October 1928, the Bankstown Sub-Branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia was established with Alf as the first president. He remained in the role until 1933 and was a member of the State Executive of NSW in 1932-3. A Women's Auxiliary was also formed with Belle as the first Secretary.
The RSL assisted many out-of-work men during the Depression. Working out of the Bray garage, scrap pieces of timber from timber yards were made into toys for Christmas presents such as wheel barrows, school cases, chairs,etc.
Alf was always interested in sport. He encouraged Norma in competitive diving and Doug in cycling. He also became involved in rugby league and in 1937-38 became Secretary of the Canterbury-Bankstown Rugby League Football Club.
Alf enlisted soon after the outbreak of WW2 and belle was very upset. Because of his WWI experience he was ranked Warrant Officer Class II, instructor being posted to Dorrigo, Uralla and Armidale camps. He was discharged "medically unfit" in December 1944 when he developed stomach ulcers.
Norma Beryl Bray (1920-2005)
Norma married Alfred Ernest MORRISON on 13 July 1946.