|Guiseppe Lorenzo||Frederick Robert||SS "Almora"||Oral History||Additional Notes|
|What is Known||May 1893||Suakin||Some Thoughts||Fred's other Family|
|Wills and Company||Mary Hill Hotel||Questions||William Federick|
This saga is not finished. I am discovering more and more as time goes by. Those who remember within living memory are rapidly disappearing from us – and unless the information is tapped now – it will be long gone – forgotten. Some is already irretrievable. Researcher: Walda Scholler (nee Fawcett) grand daughter of Cora Diacono.
Cora b 1878 UK d. in Australia 1937, was the daughter of Frederick Robert Diacono (which see), and the niece of William, Edgar, George. Robert and Corinne Diacono. Their stories start on page 31.
This research is © 2008 and may be used only for family research by giving research reference of said material to: Walda Scholler
17 Palm Meadows Place – Pialba 4655. Hervey Bay QUEENSLAND .
This material is presented for use by my own family and for others who may find the information of some help with their endeavour.
The writer/ researcher has used the English place names as provided by The National Archives, Kew, England, in accordance with Consular reports of the time.
There are at least two family trees at Ancestry.com on the Internet. One of these trees, should a researcher come upon it, has used the Egyptian names for birth places.
Ash Shatibi, Al Iskandariyah, Egypt - This is Arabic for area around Alexandria, Egypt.
El-Husseniyha, Ash Shaqriyah, Egypt - This is Arabic for the area around Port Said, Egypt
Al Qahirah, Egypt - This is Arabic for Cairo. ( refer to Robert Diacono’s family)
Al Gharblyah, in Arabic is Tanta, Egypt (ref Frederick’s son, Louis, 1884)
Another entry on that tree shows that Claudine Steinberg, the wife of Edgardo Diacono, died in Ash Shatibi, Al Iskandariyah, Egypt Archive overseas Consular death reports show Port Said or El-Husseniyha, Ash Shaqriyah,
One entry shows that Louisa Annie Philipine Diacono (nee Wiss) died in Almora, a town in Uttaranchai, India. This researcher believes the Tree Owner is making things up as he/she goes along.
Before denouncing any entry in this story, the reader must remember, the researcher was not there at the time.
Because one is a Diacono it does not mean all Diacono are related. Further, the name spelling has evolved over centuries. Diacon, Diaconara, or Diaconus. Around 1938 the name was changed to DEACON by two of Frederick ’s nephews living in the UK because of the Italian name-association when WW2 was looming. Another two of Frederick ’s nephews came to Australia and changed their name to DEAN. In 1945, Frederick’s nephew, Walter Diacono (b. Port Said 1900), also changed his name to Deacon.
Sometimes I have repeated research material and dates. This is to reinforce the origin of what happened; when and where it took place and to differentiate the persons involved. The sands of time are constantly shifting. More information may come to light. There are some minor errors, but without written confirmation what is chronicled here is a close factual account of our Diacono family history. My thoughts, questions and hypothesis are expressed to help the reader think.
Oral History is included because it is an integral part of an overview of the family story. Sometimes the memory is as sharp as a pin and the stories are factual. Oral History (OH) can be a blend of fact and clouded memories. It can also lead to error and misguided direction for research. There are too few of the older generation still alive to relate their stories.
It is my opinion that no two people who shared memories, can have an identical recollection of events. Logic also plays an important role too e.g. if there is a grave marked with a name and dates, then it is logical that the person, so inscribed, is in the grave. Our grandmother had addresses for her father, in her possession when she died in 1937 Logic would indicate that these addresses were factual and that she did indeed remain in contact with her father from her English home. I also believe she remained in contact with family in Cyprus and Ceylon .
Spelling: With the exception of obvious error, the spelling in quotations has been left as written.
Of the five family stories I have researched, this one is the most fascinating. It is a sad story too.
Documents, photographs and research material will be on the Family CD. This information is written for my family .
Through Anna Rozieres in France I received an old five page document which had apparently been kept by Aldo Diacono – Frederick ’s nephew.. It lists family names and BDMs covering some 50 years or so of the Diacono family. Imagine my surprise to find our Grandmother, Coral Louisa Carmela Diacono as first on the list. In month order, she was born on 1st January 1878 .
OH = Oral History.
NFI = No further Information.
CD = Compact Disk.
BDM = Births Deaths and Marriages.
TNA = The National Archives.
NSW = New South Wales , Australia .
SA = South Australia . WA = Western Australia
PNG = Papua New Guinea
C O E = Church of England.
Qld. = Queensland Australia .
FO or FOR = British Foreign Office Record.
GRO = Government Records Office.
IARO = Indian Army Reserve of Officers.
CLG -= Colombo Town Guard
ELC = Egyptian Labour Corps.
The CD is for Family Members.
1. Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono and his son, Frederick Robert Diacono, never voted nor were they registered to vote in Malta .
Their home was in Bacos, Ramleh, Alexandria - Egypt ..
2. The English Passport lists have been scoured for Giuseppe, Frederick, Louisa Annie and Cora. None exist.
3. The available documents and references to Frederick being in England are self-generated e.g. (a) His marriage to Louisa Annie Philipine Wiss (b) The birth of his daughter Cora Louisa Carmela, our Grandmother.
4. There are Foreign Office Records generated in Alexandria, Egypt, and lodged in the UK by the British Consulate General of that time e.g. 1892/1893, regarding two Court Cases. The first Court case seemingly phased out to nothing. The second Court case and existing material is a Committal Proceeding. The actual trial was to be on 17th May 1893 . Only one legal Document was lodged for that date. It was an acknowledgment of the receipt of certain documents. Read further on.
5. When Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono died in 1900, a death notice, written in French, was sent to Relatives and Friends. On the list of those to be notified of Giuseppe (Joseph) Lorenzo's death, I found the first confirmation that Frederick had married a second time to Virginie Lapierre. Cora was not on the notification.
6. Through an Internet Forum, there were entries for the Lapierre Family for the town of Kontea in Cyprus which, in 1974, was occupied by the Turkish Army and all residents were forcibly removed.
There are Diacono relatives living in Nicosia , Cyprus today. These are descendants of Frederick via his second marriage to Virginie Lapierre and subsequent three children. Edmee b. 1881 d. 1945, Louis b. 1882 d. 1965 and Joseph b. 1884 d. 1905. Those that I have found are descended from Louis Diacono one of which has no wish to have his correspondence recorded in our history.
Note: Kontea is the original name mentioned and I have decided to use this nomenclature for the town, frequently referred to in correspondence as Kondea.
The Kontea Heritage Association is in the process of preserving and restoring Kontea.
Details can be found by cutting and pasting the following into your search engine e.g. Google.
Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono's Death Notice in italics.
The list: V* indicates widow.
Madame V* Joseph Diacono (Giuseppe Lorenzo’s wife Carmela Anna Rosa nee Manche)
Mr et Mme William Diacono et leurs enfants, ( Frederick’s brother)
Mr et Mme Robert Diacono et leurs enfants,(Frederick’s brother)
Mr et Mme Edgard Diacono et fils (Frederick’s brother)
Mr et Mme Georges Diacono ( Frederick ’s brother)
Mr et Mme Michel G. Zacher et leurs enfants.(Corinne Diacono Frederick’s Sister.)
Mme V* Frederic Diacono et ses enfants. ( Frederick 's widow and children ).
These names represent Giuseppe Lorenzo's Widow, his children and their children and Frederick 's widow and children
Additional names of importance in the family were also notified..
Mr et Mme Hannibal Diacono
Mademoiselle Catherine Diacono
Mme V* Blache et famille,
Mme V* Bauerhorst et ses enfants
Mme V* Jean Diacono et fils (Raymond's Grandmother - see further along for details).
Mme V* Marie Louise Savignon ( Carmela’s sister, Maria who married Francesco Savingnon)
Mr R.L. Manche et fils
les familles Nani, Musso, Sakakini, Moriz Bey, Losco, Steinberg, Levi, Zacher et Testaferrata De Sain parents et allies, ont la douleur de vous faire part du deces de
MR GIUS L. DIACONO
Diacono passports were not issued in England - the issue was probably done via a Vice Consular Office in the City of application e.g. Alexandria .
These people were allowed to roam the Mediterranean , settle raise families and go for several generations under the protection of England . Diaconos never lost their identity no matter where in the Mediterranean they were born. Many spoke both Maltese and Italian they often spoke English, French and probably some Arabic. Our family was given to understand that Cora Louisa Carmela, our Grandmother, spoke Italian and English as a child. Italian being the family language up until she left Cyprus for England . The Diacono family were devout Catholics.
When William's daughter, Irima (Irma) married - the wedding certificate had/has the curious entry of "Naturalised English".
The following quotation is from a Newsletter A.M.C.O.E (The English based Association of Maltese Communities of Egypt) which was established in 1854 in Alexandria . Issue No. 88 September 2006. The area covered is, Alexandria , Suez , Cairo and Port Said .
When in 1956 the Maltese, as British subjects, were ejected from Egypt , they transferred their social and welfare activities to England .
Maltese, like all other Europeans living in Egypt, were not subject to Egyptian Laws. As British subjects they came under the Law of England , and therefore never lost their identity. As such, and by living now in England, we pride ourselves not only of being the oldest Maltese Association established overseas, but also by being the only one having continuously kept uninterrupted the link with the British Monarch following the pledge that our forefathers took of their own free will in the early 1800s.
In the Colonial era, one only had to roll up to the British Consulate of the time and say they were Maltese or born in Alexandria, Suez, Cairo, Port Said or even Constantinople, to apply for an English Passport to gain British protection . In doing so many changed their first names to an Anglicised version. Even going to a British Consulate in Constantinople ( Ottoman Empire ) and making an application could gain British protection. Raymond Diacono's grandfather, Jean Baptiste, did this to protect his grandmother Elvira and their son, Antoine Laurent Thomas Diacono, Raymond's father, in 1876. Raymond's Grandfather died of cholera a week or so after registering.
Who is Raymond Diacono? He is family, but not easily traced to our family. His roots started in Algiers yet he has a cousin Robert (Bob) Diacono, descended from Frederick 's brother, Roberto (Robert) Diacono through his son, Hector. Raymond has a famous brother, Henri who served with the British during WW11 as a Secret Agent in the SOE. (See CD files for information).
Raymond's mother was on the list to be notified of Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono's death. You will see further on, details of Raymond’s family. I will quote what he recently wrote and which I believe to be correct.
"With some uncertainty, the origin of my Diacono line is Lorenzo, born at Zabbar in 1805 - son of Giuseppe Diacono and Feliciana Zahra - He married Catarina Camilleri in 1825 at Cospicua - Probably Giuseppe L. (b. 1829) and Jean-Baptiste, my grand-father, born more later (ca. 1847), were both the sons of this same Lorenzo. Then Frederick was the son of Giuseppe L. and my father Antoine was the son of Jean-Baptiste. So Fred and Jean-Baptiste were 1st cousins and here is the link between us, for the paternal descendancy. It's interesting to note that when Fred was born (1854), his uncle J-B was only 7 (b.1847)".
For research purposes, the following is an outline of Raymond’s probable family.
Giuseppe Diacono and Feliciana Zahra
A son Lorenzo Diacono b. 1805, Malta,
Married on 26th April 1825 at Bormla (Cospicua); Caterina Camilieri b. 1805 (from Gio-Batta Diacono and Lorenza Mamo)
Their children, born at Cospicua
(i) Maria Anna Antonia Diacono 16.5.1826
(ii) Maria Josepha Concepta Diacono 29.11.1827
(iii) Joseph Fortunatus John-Baptist 2.7.1829
(iv) Joanna Maria Concepta Angela b. 28.9.1831
(v) John Baptist Salvatore Joseph 1.6. 1833
(vi) John Gaspare Joseph 25.9.1835
(vii) John-Baptist Anthony Paul 5.2.1839
Raymond’s Grand father was a John-Baptist, theoretically born in 1847 (probably in Egypt ). He died in Jeddah, ( Arabia ) in 1877 aged 30 years. He certainly had two brothers (and sisters?) living in Egypt .
When he died, a letter from a good friend to the widow’s family said he was the only one of the three brothers taking care of his mother. So…was his mother living in Constantinople or in Egypt ?
Here we pick up on Raymond’s Father, Laurent Diacono.
Antoine Laurent Diacono b. (?) d. 23.10.1962 m. (unknown) divorced 1918/19. Children of this marriage.
(i)Guido Diacono b. 1901 d. 27.3.1941. France
(ii)Nelly Diacono b. 1902 (in 2006 still alive age 104 years)
Jeanne Topuz b. 27.8.1893 Smyrna , Turkey d. 27.8.1987, Frejus France .
(iii) John Baptiste Diacono b. 7.12.1921 d. 30. 6.1940 - Awarded Posthumous French Resistance Medal
(iv) Henri /Henry Diacono b. 206.1923 Algiers – the Famous “Diacono of SOE”
(v) Raymond Diacono b. 11.3.1927 El-Biar, Algiers.
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One of my Research Contacts changed his name in at Alexandria in 1928.
He wrote: "I would like to point out something that every one always has the incorrect impression. I was born in Egypt and have never considered myself as Egyptian, but MALTESE, in spite of the fact that I was 3rd generation born in Egypt ; my great grandfather who was born in Malta migrated to Egypt somewhere between 1833 and 1861. It was under special agreements that all Europeans who migrated to Egypt for work could retain their own Nationality by simply registering with their respective Consulates; at the time Malta was part of the British Colony (although Maltese will not admit to it, in spite of the fact that their passports were British passports, with the additional description MALTA on the front page). I personally had to change the registration at the British Consulate from Gulio to Julius, this was done in front of me when I visited the Consulate for a new passport in Alexandria ".
Raymond has told me that these people were called "Black Maltese", he also informs me that the George Cross repaired that!
NOTE: The British will tell one that the recording/maintaining of British Consulate General Records in Alexandria did not start until 1873. Prior to that, records were maintained by Egyptian Authorities. However, I will qualify this as I have found English Consular Foreign Office records as far back as the death of Maria, Frederick 's eldest sister, in 1853. The oldest five year recording period I have, started in 1845. So, a British Presence was recording BDMs around that time in Alexandria , Algiers , Port Said - in Suez and in Cairo even Constantinople .
On November 30th 1854 the French engineer Ferdinand De-Lesseps managed to sign a concession with the Egyptian government to dig the Suez Canal .
On April 25th 1859 the digging of the Canal began and continued for ten years. More than 2.4 million Egyptian workers took part, of which more than 125,000 lost their lives.
On November 17th 1869 the Suez Canal was opened for navigation.
Even if a French Engineer instigated the concession with the Egyptian Government, and actually constructed the canal.. In 1875: The British Government bought the Egyptian stocks. Britain protected her interests with foresight.
Long before buying the Egyptian Stocks, there was a British presence for Trade and various purposes, throughout the Mediterranean .
Suakin (on the Red Sea ) was a slave trade port even after the repeal of slavery. (See further on regarding Frederick’s disposition ca 1885).
Many records regarding British Citizens, may have been lost or destroyed. Some however, found their way to the British Foreign Office Archives in the UK , via the five yearly British Consular reports from the cities where they were located e.g. Alexandria . None were found for Frederick .
THE SEARCH FOR
FREDRICO ROBERTO DIACONO aka FREDERICK ROBERT DIACONO -
MANCHE - NANI - DIACONO FAMILY DECENDANCY TO OUR FAMILY LINE. RESEARCHED BY WALDA SCHOLLER, GEOFFREY FAWCETT, PETRA MANCHE, RICHARD MANCHE ( Malta ) AND MARI NANI ( France ).
WITH ASSISTANCE FROM RAYMOND DIACONO ( France ) AND THE ZACHER GRAND DAUGHTERS IN FRANCE AND AMERICA . ALSO, via KEN COOMBS IN THE UK- A GREAT GRANDSON OF WILLIAM DIACONO. Also HUGH DEACON/DIACONO England . With thanks too, to CORINNE KLEINE nee DEAN. AUSTRALIA .
JULIUS BORG ( Australia ) RESEARCHER OF MALTESE IN EGYPT: From Information supplied by ANNA ROZIERES ( France ) NADIA GIRAUD (Lapierre family) and CHRISTINE STEWART ( Ireland ) and ANTONIOS KARPSAITIS ( Cyprus ).
Another cousin supplied a small amount information then with held the rest and became reluctant to enter into this research because of fixed opinions that were open to discussion but inalterable by his reasoning.
Frederick was the second child of 13 children. All that survived were five brothers and one sister.
The following is Frederico Roberto Diacono's Family which starts with his mother's maiden name, Manche. The Manche name is French in origin. The name was originally recorded as Manchin. Sometimes ethnic origin is a matter of Geography rather than History. e.g. Malta .
The first record is that of Salvatore Mangion who married Victoria (? )
It is known that they had a daughter, Margarita Mangion who married Giovanni Manche on 30/1/1776 . The following researched by Petra Manche.
Giovanni Manche was one of five children.
*Giovanni b.ca 1751
Maria b. ca 1752
Thomas b. 1753
Fra b. 1755
Salvatore b. 1759
*Giovanni Manche and Margarita Mangion are our 5th times Paternal GGrand parents.
They had twelve children
Victoria b (?) 1776
Giuseppe 1779 **
Peter Paul 1794
M(?) - this unusual entry is dated 1792
**Giuseppe Manche b. 1779 married Antonia Pace b. ca 1780
These are our 4th times Paternal GGrandparents.
They had ten children
1. Rosa b. 1801 Malta . d. 17th Jan 1880 . 11 Dsa Forni, Valetta Malta .
Rosa married Amabile Fabri at St. Pauls Church 10/2/1827 Death cert No 322.1880
2. Joseph Laurence b. 19th June 1803 ref: St. Pauls vol 1803 p. 257
3. Giovanna b. ca.1804 - d. 8th Feb 1886 at Birkikara Malta
4. Charles b. 29th Dec 1806 Attard Malta - d. at Attard , Malta July 27th Attard 1841
Married Rosa Grech 6/5/1827 ref: St. Pauls vol 1896 p. 569
5. Jos Francis Xavier Michael Manche b. 29th Dec 1806 Valetta Malta .
d. 6th Jan 1806 Floriana, ref: St Pauls Vol. 1806 p 568
6. Michael b. May 1806- d. 6th Jan 1807 - Ref: St. Pauls 1807 p. 232
7. Alexander Vincent b. 11th Dec 1807 - - ref: St. Pauls ref. No. p 689
8. Emanuel b. Jan 13 1807 Floriana Malta . d. 13th Jan 1807 Floriana Malta .
9. Carmela Jos Judith Michaela Manche b. 23rd June 1811 Valetta Malta- ref: St Pauls Arch Vol 1811 p 242
10. John Francesco known as John Francis b. 1809 - d. 1881 (?)
Francesco Manche (aka John Francis b. 1809) married Giuseppina (Josephine) Nani
b. 1806 d. 1875. The marriage was at St. Pauls 18th May 1828 Malta .
These are our 3rd times Paternal GGrandparents.
They had two daughters and one son.
1. Maria Louise Manche b. 1829 d. 1906 (she married Francesco Savingnon who d.1862?)
***2.Carmena (Carmela) Anna Rosa Manche b. 3rd March 1834 - Malta d. Alexandria 1901.
Carmena married Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono ca 1852/53 - date based on birth/death of their first child, Maria, in Alexandria in 1853. Maria's death was recorded in British Foreign Office Consular Records for the period 1845- 1854 Vol 1 Page 231. Also a record Vol 1 Page 163 Period 1849-1854
3. Luigi (Aloysio) Manche b 1841 d. 1915 married a Maria Nani b. 1849-d.1876
*** Carmena or as we know her through the family, was Carmela; and Giuseppe Lorenzo, or as we know him through research was Joseph Laurence. Our Paternal G-G-Grandparents.
Giuseppe Lorenzo has been as hard to find as his son, Frederick. The following is my best research information. Giuseppe Lorenzo was born in Alexandria on 24.2.1830 (Certificate found) as indicated later on in a letter to Raymond Diacono from the Consulate General, Alexandria , dated 14th March 1995 .
One paragraph reads as follows
Hector Diacono born Cairo 3 December 1896 . He was the son of Robert Octave Diacono born Alexandria 30 June 1863 and the grandson of Joseph, also born in Alexandria and the great grandson of Lorenzo born in Valetta( Malta ).
This was Hector Vincent and is the first indication of a place of birth for our Giuseppe Lorenzo aka Joseph Laurence and that his father before him was Lorenzo Diacono.
Raymond Diacono's G/Grandfather, Lorenzo, was born in Zabbar. Consulate letter says that our Lorenzo was born in Valetta.. In that era I believe both were born in Malta and that the naming of towns was incidental. Raymond is listed in Consular Births 1916-1930 Vol 21 Page 314 Algiers .
Raymond states that he has an 86 year old Cousin, Bob Diacono, living at Le Broc, near Nice (2010), in France . Consular Birth Record 1916-1920 Vol 14 page 1087 . Bob, or Robert, to use his right name, told Raymond he was descended from Robert Octave Diacono, Frederick 's brother. I will keep looking. Research shows that Robert Octave Diacono had two sons, Hector and Rene. Robert (Bob) Diacono is Hector’s son.
Fact: Our Diacono family were also Italian /Maltese and lived in Alexandria under British protection – hence English naming and Passports.
A matter of Geography!
Hypothesis: Raymond’s origin is Italian/Maltese. Whereas the naming of children would probably have been in accordance with the Country in which they lived. Algeria was French administered – hence French names.
What is Hypothesis? It is a theory – a premise – perhaps a suggestion in the absence of fact.
Raymond Diacono, now living in France (2010) has given me his G/Grandfather's information.
Lorenzo was born ca. 1802/ 1805 at Zabbar or Valetta, Malta. d. Zagazi Egypt, 10 feb 1866He married in Alexandria, Laurentia Azzopardi on24 July 1827. Shed died at Ramleh, Alexandria on 4 Jun 1878. Certificatea obtained. ..
They had seven children: All Certificates obtained.
Caterina Diacono who never married b. 5 Feb 1828
Guiseppe Lorenzo Diacono aka Joseph Laurence - b. 28 Feb 1830
Teresa Gabriela Clementina Diacoono b. 28 Jan 1832
Johanna Paola Diacono b. 21 Jan 1836
Ernesta Diacono baptised 16 Aug 1837
Hannibal Diacono aka Annibal b. 1843
John-Baptiste Philip Emmanuel Laurent Diacono b. 1847br /><back to top of page>
NOW FREDERICK 'S STORY BEGINS.
Frederico Roberto Diacono - aka Frederick Robert Diacono (our Great Grandfather)
Born 1854 - Alexandria , Egypt . No documents found. M. Nani information.
Died 22nd October 1898 - at Kontea , Cyprus . Cause of death: Pneumonia or a respiratory illness. He is buried in Kontea. Information from Nadia Giraud, a Lapierre descendant. (See Lapierre Family Tree on CD)
Frederick has been a mystery for a very long time. On 12/2/2007 , I received information from a distant relative living in France . Her name is Mari Nani who also provided information on Frederick’s children and their subsequent marriages, children and death. The Nani name appears in the family history several times. Frederick 's brother, William, married a Mary Nani. Also Frederick 's Mother's mother was Josephine (Giuseppina) Nani. .
What has been established, after many years of conjecture is the following:
Frederick 's parents were: (also their surviving children in big type as we go along)
Father: Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono b. ca 1829 d. 1900 - aka Joseph Laurence Diacono.
The certificate acquired from The National Archives (TNA) in the UK shows he died on 28th September, 1900 at Bacos Station, Ramleh, Alexandria . His death was reported by his son, Giorgio. (Gio). Note: His age on his death certificate is given as 73 years.
Personally, I believe this is incorrect he would have been 71 and born in 1829, according to the Nani information. Bacos Station was a Tram station and residential area in Ramleh.
Mother: Carmena (Carmela) Anna Rosa Manche b. Valetta, Malta 3/3/1834. Her birth name was Carmena. As explained above, her name was also anglicised. (Information: Petra Manche).
She too died at Bacos Station, Ramleh, Alexandria nine months after her husband, on 21st June, 1901 . She was 66 years old. Certificate also from TNA in UK
Our Giuseppe Lorenzo and Carmena (Carmela) lived most of their early married life in Alexandria and had 13 children, of which only six survived.
Giuseppe Lorenzo and Carmela/Carmena's children were:
(1) Maria (Mary) Diacono (deceased). b. ca 1853 d. ca 1854. Alexandria , Egypt . Her death was recorded in British Foreign Office Consular Records for the period 1845 -1854 Vol 1 Page 231. Also a record Vol 1 Page 163 Period 1849-1854
2) Frederick Robert Diacono - Frederico Roberto Diacono b. ca 9th May 1854 Alexandria (birth year provided by Mari Nani).. d. 22nd October, 1898 - Kontea , Cyprus
Marriage 1. on 11.10.1876 Louisa Annie Philipine Wiss in England , (on her 21st birthday) b. 11.10.1855 d. 30.8.1879 Reg No. 68055 In Marine Register. FO Records. UK . Deaths at Sea. Ship “Almora”. Certificates of both the Marriage and her death obtained from TNA in the UK . Here I will make a note: I have reservations about the death of Louisa Annie.
They had one child - Cora Louisa Carmela Diacono b. 1.1.1878 in Camberwell, Surrey , England . Birth Certificate obtained. d. 1.12.1937 at Coffs Harbour . NSW Australia . Death Certificate obtained.
Cora Louisa Carmela Diacono married 10.9.1905 Walter Robert Deller Fawcett ( 8 Worship Street , Shoreditch.) Born 7.5.1880 London UK . d. 6.11.1952 Hurstville NSW – Australia. Married at All Saints Church, Parish of All Saints Stoke Newington . County London . Parish Reg No. 469
Our Paternal Grand Parents:
Cora Louisa Carmela and Walter Robert Deller Fawcett's children:
1st Harold Granville Fawcett (Tim) b. 12.5.1906 London England . d. 25.4.1975, Brisbane , Australia m. Amy May Wear. b. 1.12.1908, Korora NSW Reg. No. 8916 - 1930 District. Coffs Harbour . NSW Amy (known as May) died 22.10.1972
1. Aileen Mary Fawcett b. 1931. Coffs Harbour . M. 1. Oliver Claude Brown, b. 1944 d. 17.8.1955 at Grafton. m. 3.11.1951 Grafton NSW
2nd. Byron Bartley.
2. John Harold Fawcett b.2.4.1934 m. 29.6.1963 Adelaide S.A. - m. Ann Irene Press b. 24.11.1942 Henley beach S.A.
(a)Karin Ann Fawcett, 1968 , Newcastle ; m. James McGuiness. Karyn is now divorced from James McGuiness.
(b )Lindy Joan Fawcett, b. 1966 , Nelson Bay .
(c) Steven John Fawcett, b. 1968 , Wagga Wagga.3. Stanley Earl Fawcett b. 15.2.1930. d. 2011
Guiseppe Lorenzo, as outlined previously, was apparently Italian in origin even if born in Alexandria . His father, Lorenzo, was born in Malta . From a Telegram sent in Court Case No.1, Diacono wrote the telegram from Suez to Alexandria , in Italian
There are British Foreign Office record in the GRO (Government Records Office) for a death of Guiseppe Lorenzo Diacono. This occurred in the five year recording period of 1896 to 1900.
The certificate was acquired and recorded him as Giuseppe Lorenzo Diacono ( Joseph Laurence) and he died on 28th September, 1900 at Bacos Station, Ramleh, Alexandria . His death was reported by his M.G. Zacher (Corinne's husband). His age was given as 73 years. I believe he was 71 years old, and he was and was probably born in 1829 (confirmed by Nani France ). Error most likely generated by lack of documentation at hand at the time of the death registration.
In the GRO period 1901 - 1906 I also found the death recorded as Carmela Diacono (see further on). She too died at Bacos Station, Ramleh, Alexandria nine months after her husband, on 21st June, 1901 . She was 66 years old. Her death was recorded as Widow of Joseph Diacono deceased. The record was placed by her son Gio ( George - Giorgio).
Naming of children inside these families were usually done by giving a boy a hereditary family name. In the case of girls, the first name was as chosen by the parents. The second and third names were taken from the mother’s mother and the father’s mother.
Cora was a name liked by both Frederick and Louisa Annie
Louisa was Louisa Annie's mother's name
Carmela was Frederick 's mother's name
Cora Louisa Carmela Diacono the daughter our Grandmother.
In 1882, Cora was 4 years old when her father sent a photo of Cora to her Grand Mother in England . It is curious to note that the inscription read. Louisa Cora Diacono to her beloved Grand Mama, Louisa Wiss, Malta 23rd Feb .82 It would appear that her father, Frederick, called her Louisa ( not Cora) and wrote the inscription.
Further there had to be correspondence between Frederick and Louisa Isabella Wiss for Cora to be accepted back into England and into the Wiss family home where she was reared.
We know from an old photograph of Frederick , ( which has ALEXANDRIA printed on the front of it) that his family was in Alexandria (also ref. Court Case 1892/3 further on). The back of the photo has Larnaca, 1879 Frederick mailed it to England from Larnaca , Cyprus . By 1880 he had married again, to Virginie Lapierre.
The Lapierre Family Tree provided by Nadia Giraud, shows that the Lapierre’s (having perhaps originated in France ) were based in Constantinople as far back as 1720. At some time they moved to Cyprus . It would seem from Lapierre records that Archbishop Joachim sold a property to Mme Louise Lapierre for 15,000 piastres in 1823. This then became the Lapierre Estate in Kontea. It covered over 600 acres and was called "The Mansion". This is where Cora lived when taken to Cyprus – I believe she called it a Castle.
Something interesting I did find: I checked British Middle East in FO Records in the 1113 series and came across a marriage of Marie Juliet Lapierre during the 5 year period 1896 1900 Folio 10 Page 695. I believe there is a record of a Marriage of Juliet Lapierre to Apostolis Xebnis at Kontea , Cyprus on 17th April 1890 . It was said (hearsay) that Frederick attended this wedding. <back to top>
Oral family history
About five years or so after his second marriage, Frederick shipped Cora off to live with her Grandmother Wiss in England I believe ca 1885. The reason being that Cora could not get along with her step-mother. Or vice versa. She was pushed down a flight of stairs and broke her ankle which was not properly repaired. There are no documents to prove date or year nor evidence of the Oral History regarding the injury. Personally, I believe it to be correct. My mother told me that Cora's ankle injury was still obvious up to her death. The foot turned inwards on itself.
Cora had no say in the matter regarding her return to England to live with her grandmother. It was an adult decision. A previously mentioned cousin, a descendant of Louis Diacono (Cora’s half brother), stated that Cora would have been better off staying in Cyprus with her father and step-mother. Who made the decision – Frederick ? Virginie?
Cora, who spoke only Italian at that time, could have no more fled the Lapierre Mansion; found her way from Kontea to Larnaca with a broken ankle; obtained documents and passage on a ship at the tender age of some seven/eight years to go to a strange country (England) to live with her even lesser known grandmother! Some folk have an odd way of looking at things don’t they? They like things in tidy packages – and when the package becomes untidy, they like to mould it to suit their ideas. This is not my way of doing research.
Many years ago, my brother, Gordon, saw a photo of a man with two women, probably from Cora's possessions. The man could have been Frederick . He was dressed in tropical khaki with a pith helmet; this may be construed as a uniform that of a soldier but I think not - such dress was standard in the tropics, especially in India , Ceylon , as well as Egypt and Cyprus .
The photograph has since disappeared.
From a comment to family, made by Cora, as having been reared on "Ass's Milk in Alexandria " . Her mother was ill and died in 1879. Cora was 18 months old. Frederick obviously wanted to obtain a mother for his daughter or so it would seem. Actually, I have reservations about Louisa Annie’s death but I can’t prove otherwise.
Where he met Virginie Lapierre is unknown but it would appear his search took him to Cyprus . Logic indicates that the “Ass's Milk” story means that Cora was indeed left with her Paternal grandparents in Alexandria who then left at the outbreak of the Orabi Revolution and linked up in Sliema, Malta, ca 1881 - the entire family (except Corinne) were in Malta - by then Cora was three years old. There is information that William was educated in Beirut …it is possible he was there at the time – I have no way of knowing this.
The Sliema Photo, dated 23rd February 1882 , was taken in Malta about 6 weeks after Cora’s 4th Birthday. By this time, Frederick had re-married and Cora's half sister, Edmee, was born on 11th March 1882 in Cyprus , <back to top>
We know that
Frederick was in England between 1876 and 1878 (Certificates).
Louisa Annie Philipine probably died on the Almora as recorded in Marine Deaths, UK - 30/8/1879 .
Frederick was in Alexandria in 1879 (Photo marked Alexandria )
Frederick was in Larnaca , Cyprus in 1879 (Photo, inscribed 1879)
Frederick was in Sliema , Malta , in 1882 with Cora (to take her back to Cyprus )
It is possible that Frederick took Cora to England about 1885.
Frederick was in Suakin, on the Red sea in 1885. Refer letterhead detail below.
Frederick was working with his father in Suez , Egypt pre - 1893
Frederick was in Alexandria for the Court Committal hearing in 1893.
Frederick died in 1898, aged 44 years - Kontea , Cyprus .
In February 2007, I received a typed version of a remnant of a letter - the letter was found in Cora's belongings at her death in 1937, and over the course of 116 years or so, has disintegrated leaving partial writing and on the reverse shows a letterhead. It would appear to have been written ca. 189? in Suez thus, Cora was corresponding with her father pre-trial/committal in 1893. Apparently, the remnant indicates that Cora had written to her father on some dreadful writing paper. This is described by Frederick :
These the respect you have for me. A grocer will be ashamed to wrap his Sardines and herrings is such a quality of paper. It is surprising, astonishing that in London you could not find a piece of writing paper and should be oblige to use Pieces of old books and all this to write a few words as if you were a child of 10 years old.
Now I have said enough and hope..t.ure You will be more Carefulin writing.n
This is a copy of the words as written. Obviously Frederick had a reasonable mastery of English even with the spelling and literary errors. Further - at this time in her life, Cora would have lost her Italian language in favour of English. The following, written on the reverse, is a letterhead. Fred. R. Diacono Commissions, Representations, Importation, Exportation, Donanes, Transit. Suez le 189 Sadly the year is missing.
In 1892, Frederick and his father were engaged in work with the Credit Lyonnaise Bank in Suez .
Frederick was chastising his daughter for the paper she used to write to him. One must not forget that, at this time she may have been 13 or so years old and may have been prohibited access to paper to write to her father. She would have had to find paper, an envelope and the postage fee, to write to her father. Her Grandmother Wiss, a widow since 1876, may not have been of means. It is known she took in lodgers. (Refer to Wiss Folder 1891 Census details on Family CD).
It also may answer a question. Did Cora know about her father’s Legal situation?
At this point in time I am of the opinion she did. It is very possible that this letter was the last she heard from him not unless they corresponded from Cyprus . Yet – here again, OH makes one think. Cora told our mother that Frederick died in Cyprus . She was corresponding with someone – she was living in England and 20 years old in 1898.
Our mother mentioned Frederick ’s death in an off-hand way that it was not followed up to the extent of what is known today.. <back to top>
THE 17th,May 1893
Frederick was in Alexandria (with his father) in 1893 for the committal hearing e.g.28/3/1893 a document was read in Alexandria in the presence and hearing of the said accused. .. prior to this, he was most certainly in Suez with his father.
Both were charged with Larceny: Full details of Court and Witness documents are on the family CD. The plea of both was “Not Guilty”.
<back to top> Towards the end of these documents you will find that Corinne Diacono ( Frederick ’s sister then aged 22 and not married to M. Zacher at the time) went surety (guarantor) to the tune of £400 (English Pounds) on 28/3/1893 with a final document dated. 10th May 1893 - that her Father, Giuseppe Diacono and brother, Frederick Robert Diacono, would present themselves at the Consular Cells, for Trial on 17th May 1893 – 7 days later. This was a considerable sum of money if one realises that one could live in the UK for a year on a stipend of £50!
There is one document: At the very end…dated 17th May 1893….If this is all there is, it would seem the Trial Day opened on 17th May 1893 . Documents were tended A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I. The documents were accepted, dated and then…..nothing.
About the non- trial:
It is my belief that Frederick was sending money to England to Louisa Isabella Wiss, for Cora's upkeep. By 1893, Frederick had a daughter in England and a wife and three children in Cyprus to support.
Further, the trial did not take place and that Documents 022 and 023 (see family CD) can be read as “get out of jail” documents whereby, Corinne had paid the 400 English Pounds.(£400) she put up a security for her brother and father to appear in court on 17th May 1893. Frederick probably left Alexandria for Cyprus pre-trial date where he died in 1898, five years after the event (he had seven days in which to organise his departure from Alexandria as the bail was posted 10th May 1893 ).
There is no record of what happened to his father until his reported death in 1900. It would be most interesting to find more information in family hands. To prove or disprove what has been uncovered.
I refer to Page 527 “Chapter Notes” of a book written by Martin Meredith “Diamonds Gold and War”. Where the author quotes the late Nineteenth Century value of £1 pound equal to 86 times that value in 2007. A calculation of Corinne’s payment to get her father and brother out of legal difficulty, if indeed that is what she did, would be approx. £34,400 in today’s UK currency.
Little was known about Frederick by any of the family until I started ferreting around the archives in Kew – UK . I started this search in the belief that Frederick was an only child! Descendants of William, Robert, George, Edgar and Corinne would have barely known of his existence because he was eight years older than his first surviving sibling, William – and at about the time of the Giuseppe Lorenzo photograph, Frederick would probably have been in England .
The passage quoted below was in the Court Documents. Originally written in French, it has been translated. Note “The Two British Subjects”. Yes – the Diacono’s considered themselves British Subjects and as far as I know, held passports to that effect and were subject to British Justice in the place where they lived. They could not be tried by a Foreign (Egyptian) Court.
The Chancellor of the French Consulate at Alexandria, Egypt, is pleased to recommend to the Honourable Chancellor of the Consulate General of England …Mr Escoffier, the Director of the Agency of the Credit Lyonnais in this town, who will make a formal protest against the two British Subjects, the Diaconos.
It would seem that the Court was told Frederick and Giuseppe had paid “an amount” twice, in error. The following interpretation of some of the documents is given by Christine Stewart in Ireland .
Frederick contacted the bank to say that they had acted in error by making a payment twice in the same day to a M Radken. They are in contact with M Petrovich the sub manager and ask for the bank’s assistance to recover the money. However they do not appear to be able to produce firm proof of the transaction and Ms Radken has left the country.
Giuseppe appears to try to make reparation however didn’t have sufficient funds.
It does seem hazy – but they were both sent to trial…which did not happen.
THE FINAL WORD ON THE COURT CASE: RECEIVED 29TH JULY 2007
Dear Mrs Scholler,
Thank you for your email of 24 July. This has been passed to Foreign and Commonwealth Office Historians for reply.
We note that you have already undertaken extensive research on this case.
Unfortunately, I have to advise that FCO Historians is only a small team and we do not have the resources to answer your questions in detail. We have, however, looked at The National Archives' catalogue and have noticed one other file, which although earlier, may be of some interest to you. It is in the same FO 847 Alexandria Consular Court series: FO 847/21 Wills and Co and Joseph Diacono, 1892
I have also browsed through the catalogue entries for later files in the FO 847 series but cannot find any further references to Diacono.
I am very sorry that I cannot be of greater assistance in this instance.
Dr Alastair Noble
Information Management Group Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Old Admiralty Building
London SW1A 2PA
Did Frederick go to jail? I think not.
There is, thus far, neither a form of exoneration, nor carte blanche that gave him freedom or allows him to find freedom for himself or his father. The Court Documents indicate that Corinne, Frederick 's sister, went surety for her father and brother to the amount of 400 English pounds, that they would appear for Trial on 17th May 1893 .
Conversely, the Lapierre family held Frederick in high esteem. It was also obvious they knew nothing of his Court problems. I personally believe that Virginie did know and said nothing. <back to top>
There is a note of an address, taken by Jeanette (Nette), Bill Richardson's wife, some 20 years ago. This would not have been in Cora's possession if it did not refer to her father. It is an address setting out who and where Frederick was as at 1 June 1885 . His son, Louis was born in 1884 in Tanta , Egypt . Is it so hard to believe that Frederick could have been in Business in Suakin at the height of the British campaign?
Fred Transport Travelling Agent, British H.T. Cargo 49 - Suakin Expedition - Suakin 1 June 1885 .
Suakin is in the Red Sea :
The Island is situated 58km south of Port Sudan and was once a major trading centre, particularly in the 19th century, during the boom years of slavery. In 1905 was superseded in importance by Port Sudan .
The island is linked to the mainland by means of a causeway.
The English Battle of Suakin 1885 used Egyptian irregulars, but this still does not mean that Frederick was an irregular - he was not Egyptian, nor was he a Soldier; but he could have been there as an agent as the address implies.
Cora married W.R.D. Fawcett in 1905. Frederick 's Occupation given: Egyptian Trader. This is a more realistic description of Frederick .
Also he was an agent, as written on the Letterhead on the back of the letter he wrote to Cora early in 189?. There is approximately 5 years difference between the Suakin address and the Suez address
However if Frederick was a travel Agent during the 1885 Suakin Expedition (by this date, 1885 Cora would have been about 7 - 8 years old) he was writing to Cora, who was already in England with her Wiss Grandmother. Frederick had ties with Egypt . . I will make a note here – Cora’s literary skills may have been limited by her age, but that would not have stopped Frederick from writing to her or her Grandmother. I also believe he was supporting Cora financially.
Note: When Cora Louisa Carmela Fawcett (nee Diacono) died in Australia in 1937, The Death Certificate information was given by her daughter, Eva Louise Fawcett, and the entry for Cora's father, Frederick, was “Soldier”. I think not. I feel this was a mistake made by relying on a photograph of a khaki clad Frederick- the photo having now disappeared.
The letter from her father, or rather the remnant of same, would indicate she was in touch with Frederick probably up to the time he faced Court. Although the date is missing, I guess it to be either 1892 or 1893 <back to top>
My main candidate for telling Cora of her father's death would be her half-sister, Edmee. Edmee was 16 years old when her father died. She knew she had a sister in England and that sister was barely four years older than her. I am putting forward the theory that Edmee thought Cora should know. She could have obtained Cora's address from her father's belongings and written to her from Cyprus . I doubt very much if Virginie would have notified Cora or Isabella Wiss for that matter.
I have heard Alsace . Could this word have been misconstrued by the listener - could the word have really been Cyprus . The Wiss Family, Cora's maternal heritage, originated in Switzerland but they came from Geneva . Further, an investigation into the surname Zacher, gives rise to Corinne’s husband’s family coming from Alsace . Cannot confirm this yet.
It is my strong feeling that Cora remained in touch with the family until her death in 1937. Why? Because of oral history from her own children, especially Lily, the youngest. Cora may have been writing to her cousin, Irima (Irma), in Ceylon until Irima's death ca 1930 and possibly with Edmee who had married Benigno Carletti – in Cyprus . The third candidate for continued correspondence would have been her Aunt Corinne, Frederick ’s sister, living in Alexandria , Egypt ..
Again many sides of the story, and many views on how events unfolded. There are names and many dates – but a lot of information is missing. I would ask readers and family members that if they can fill in the gaps, to please let me know. Documents of seemingly no value, can be interpreted by a researcher who can see things the lay-person (relative) cannot see or deduce.
When Cora was shipped off to England , possibly around the age of seven or eight years, who took her to England ? Cora would not have travelled alone. Not on a Steamer and especially not in a Slave Trade region.
Did Frederick take time away from his family to travel with her? Was Frederick in England again some 7 - 8 years after his English marriage?. I have found no record but I believe Frederick would have escorted her.
Cora was on the 1891 English census with her Grandmother. She was 13 years of age. Also, Cora had an English Birth Certificate and her re-entry into the country would have been easy.
Grand Mama Louisa Isabella Wiss was a widow. What arrangements did Frederick make for the up-keep of his daughter? I believe he did send money to England . He did not abandon Cora. He wrote to her. <back to top>
Between the ages of say 7 - 8 and 13 years, a motherless child who had not seen her father for a long time nor were they likely meet again, probably conjured images of him as the person she would have liked him to be. If Frederick took Cora to England , they would have had at least 13 days together on the steamer. Sufficient for her father to tell her things about her mother
I do have it in writing from my mother, that it was Cora’s step-mother who pushed her down some stairs and broke her ankle. Cora described her step-mother as a “vicious woman”. It would seem that she would pull Cora’s hair which, as far a I can ascertain, flowed down her back. This letter was written in 1975 – many years before my research and findings. My mother had been dead some 14 years at the time my research began.
With little knowledge of the whom and the what I was dealing with, it would be apparent that there was no axe to grind with relatives over my mother’s report to me or Cora’s memory of what happened to her. It is obvious that Cora’s life was inalterably tied to, and was changed forever by, the “damaged ankle” incident. A child with no control over her life – decisions being made for her by Adults.
Frederick obviously saw that his daughter did not and would not fit in to the family in Kontea. The Cousin who objects to this element of my research is Alex Pugh. I never said the words, but he wrote that I had accused Virginie Lapierre of Child Abuse. It did not occur to him for one moment that he had accused Cora of being a liar. So Sad.
From initial correspondence, I have taken a view on subsequent happenings in Virginie’s life. When one is not a fly on the wall at the time, what ensued has to be deduced. Virginie confided information to her grand daughter, Mary, on what happened that day at the kitchen table in Kontea. The prelude to a broken ankle and Cora’s eventual return to England . Mary was about 20 years old when Virginie passed away in 1937. Why should Cora’s memory of the incident be different to that of Virginie’s grand daughter relating the incident in 2008!
From about 1885 to at least 1937, Virginie must have harboured the guilt. Logic dictates that if it has been anything other than an accident, Virginie would have long forgotten it! Her G/Grandson refuses to believe that his G/grandmother was anything but “sweetness and light”. All well and good in hind-sight but the incident destroyed Cora’s life. Took her away from her father and siblings. She had no other family other than her Maternal Great Grandmother in England . Others that see it differently may want to paint the wall of family history white – and heaven help anyone with graffiti!
Previously I have written that Frederick ’s 1st wife’s name was Louisa. In Malta , in 1882, he wrote on the reverse of a photograph of Cora the words “Louisa Cora”, which made it obvious he was calling his daughter Louisa..
On the death of her beloved Grand Mama, Louisa Isabella Wiss, in 1904, Cora was living with her at 97 Winston Rd. Hackney. She would have had access to documents and her grandmother's papers. This is how, I believe, Cora came to be in possession of what is called “The Family Seal”. Further, Louisa Isabella may have disposed of any letters received from Frederick in disgust! At this time, her Uncle, Alfred Edmond Augustus Wiss, would have attended to burial details. He and his wife, Eliza (Kay), were living in Harringay at the time.
Cora's address on her Marriage Certificate in 1905, was 97 Winston Rd. Hackney.
By the time she met WRD Fawcett, she was 26 years of age and he was 25. She had a damaged ankle which apparently turned inwards. Cora had looked after her Grandmother at the expense of her own personal life. Once free of the obligation, she married WRD.
At the time of the pre-Wilcannia photo of Cora, WRD Fawcett and two sons, Harold and Walter, Cora looked rather well. I never knew her, but from my research I believe she had a hard life in Australia . She also carried a lot of mental baggage which would have gone un-recognised in that era.
Nowhere in the records traced has there been any reference to Diacono Nobility. It is in oral history and is difficult to find. Thus far, nobility has not turned up in the Wiss family history either. There is a Diacono Castle in Malta but it is associated with a different Diacono and is now used by the Beland Band.
Too few of the immediate family know that there was a “Seal” for wax impression, in Cora’s possessions when she died. There is a chance that the “ Seal” is Scottish in origin, and may be either Scots Sinclair, or perhaps Irish/Scots Drummond on the Wiss side of the family. From Wiss family in England , I have found that Matthew Wiss had documents sealed with a wax impression.
Leslie William Fawcett, Cora’s son, held the seal until his death in 1996 – it has since disappeared.
The Seal Motto "Meilora Sequamua" is the Motto of several English Schools that much I have traced via Catholic Latin Historians in UK and Canada . A facsimile of the “seal” is on the family CD.
I often wonder at Cora's feelings, aboard the Wilcannia as she travelled a familiar route to Suez in 1908. In this area of the Mediterranean both her mother and her father died - also her Paternal Grandparents. She had only her uncle Alfred Wiss in England . Her Diacono uncles were nearby Edgar was in Cairo , Robert in Suez and George was in Alexandria . William was in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka ), and her Aunt Corinne was now Mrs. Zacher and living in Alexandria . And by 1908 Cora had a lot of 1st Cousins. Her second family was in Cyprus . How sad that she knew none of them personally.
A thought on letter writing: How did Cora stay in contact with her father? Writing letters was the way to go of course, but in the early years, Cora only spoke and wrote in Italian. If indeed she was sufficiently fluent and capable of writing a letter from England at such an early age.
We know that in later years, she wrote in English and that Frederick replied in English - but Cora would have had to learn English wouldn't she? If, as I suspect, Cora was writing to one or more of her cousins, she would have written in English, as all were educated in the language with the possible exception of her half sister Edmee.
This Journal of events has been written with the intention for those, in years to come, to relate to incidents which happened. They were not intended to denigrate – especially my own Great Grandfather, Frederick. The Court Case is a matter for Public Record at the National Archives in Kew UK and the documents are available to anyone who wishes to obtain them outside the family – inside the family the documents are on the family CD.
Research peels away the layers and eventually, we get the cold hard facts. No one likes a “skeleton in the closet” let alone “an elephant in the room” and from time immemorial, families have done their mortal best to cover scandals. Frederick and Giuseppe’s British Court difficulties were unheard of. I doubt that anyone would have thought to look for documents in The National Archives. This drama has remained buried and gathering dust since lodged by the British Consul in Alexandria during a five year reporting period ca 1895.
<back to top>
Now read further on for the rest of Frederick ’s Family – his surviving brothers and only sister.
(3) Maria Madalena Diacono (deceased) b. 1856 d. 1858. Alexandria Egypt . Her death was recorded in British Foreign Office Consular Records for the period 1855 - 1859 Vol 2 Page 414
(4) Aldolfo Diacono (deceased) b. 1857 d. 1857? Alexandria , Egypt . (Nani information. No FO Record)
(5) Irima Diacono (deceased) b. 1858 d. 1859? Alexandria , Egypt . (Nani information. No FO Record)
(6) Clotilde Diacono (deceased) b. 1860 d. 1861? Alexandria , Egypt . In the recording year of British Foreign Office Consular Records for 1860- 1865. Her death is recorded in Vol 3 page 492.
(7) William Frederick. b. 21st Feb 1862 , Alexandria , Egypt . d. 11th June 1920 ( Ceylon ).
Maria (Mary) Nani b. 15th Oct 1863 - d. Ceylon 2/3/1932 (information from Mari Nani, France) and a poem written for the Wedding Day probably 28th October 1885 by Arturo Fux (Poem and Family Grave photo on CD)
Hugh Deacon b. 1926 writes: "I do remember one rumour supported by my own involvement. I inherited a pair of solid gold Cufflinks from my father - these were purported to have been given to my Grandfather William by his close friend, Lord Kitchener, at Suez , for a wedding present"
Obituaries Ceylon Green Book 1932
Mrs Mary Diacono - Wife of the late Mr. W.F. Diacono of Maryhill Hotel, Nuwara Eliya. Died in Nuwara Eliya, 2nd March 1932
This “Green Book” entry is indicative of some Government affiliation. William held Consul Status for two countries. William and Mary’s children will be listed after this preamble. <back to top>
The following is an entry in the book Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon written by Arnold Wright and first published in 1907. The information is located on page 137, under the heading of Belgium .
Mr William Frederick Diacono, manager of the Krawehl Coal Company at Colombo, is the Consular Agent for Belgium . He comes of an Italian family which emigrated to Malta and he is a British subject, having been born in Alexandria , Egypt . He was educated at Beirut and has been with the firm of Messrs. Wills & Co., Ltd., for thirty years, first as their agent at Suez from 1879 to 1892, and since then at Colombo . He was been deputy Consul in Ceylon for four years, and whilst he was in Egypt , he was the Portuguese Consul and the agent of the Imperial Ottoman Bank.
A FURTHER EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK
Under the heading THE KRAWEHL COAL COMPANY LTD page 443 ...
(The Ceylon Branch of Wills & Co. Ltd.)
This important company was founded in Liverpool in the early sixties and a depot was established in Egypt in 1863; a considerable while before the opening of the Suez Canal .
The head office is still in the Great Lancastrian seaport, while the London offices are at 50 and 51 Lime Street . E.C. (1907)
A local branch was formed in Colombo in the year 1889 and the Ceylon offices are located in the Victoria Arcade where Mr. A Hedemann conjointly with Mr. W.F. Diacono, directs operations of the firm, the two alternately controlling the business, each during the others absence from the island.
The Principal line of business done is in the import of Cardiff steam coal in large quantities for the purpose of bunkering ships calling at Colombo, and the firm has standing contracts with Norddeutscher-Lloyd, the Hamburg-Amerika, and East Asiatic Company of Copenhagen, the Austrian-Lloyd, and other steamship companies for the supply of coal to all vessels of these respective lines touching at the port.
They are also contractors to the Governments of France and Italy for supplying coal to the warships of these two nations. The firm employ some 300 hands in the coaling department of their business and have a storage capacity in their coal-yards for over 60,000 tons. The firm also contract for lightering work, maintaining, for this purpose, two steam tugs and either small craft of their own. In addition to their other duties, Messrs. Hedemann and Diacono represent the Belgian Government as Consuls for Ceylon .
(I have created a file for book extracts and other insights from Oral History which will be on the family CD).
Wills and Company were in the Legal business also tea, coffee and coal.
Here I will point out something which Hugh Deacon (b. 1926), grandson of William, brought to my attention. Read this excerpt from the above. “…the two alternately controlling the business, each during the others absence from the island…” Hugh believes that his Grandfather William, lived in England for some time. Five sons attended St Joseph ’s College in Dumfries , Scotland . (refer photograph in PPS slide on family CD).
A search of WW1 records found records for Arno Diacono and Otto Diacono, two of William’s sons who survived the War – both of whom gave their enlistment address as
1 Montpellier Gardens , Harrogate ,
Perhaps this was the boy’s “home away from home” during their school years.
Although I cannot find an entry point into England for William’s family, I have found departures on a shipping list. Indeed there was a departure in 1913 but all the boys were not listed.
Further South on the coast is Birkenhead , the departure point for the 1916 passenger list. I believe the passenger departure lists are incomplete probably because children, (sons) under a certain age, were not listed.
It would seem that William’s affairs in Ceylon were conjointly shared with Mr A. Hedemann. “The head office is still in the Great Lancastrian seaport, while the London offices are at 50 and 51 Lime Street . E.C”. (1907) Christine Stewart in Ireland wrote: I would interpret this as meaning that William Diacono's business HQ was in Liverpool .
Hugh Deacon wrote that his grandfather did enjoy the waters of Harrogate Spa
“The Spa is high up in the Yorkshire Moors. Harrogate is endowed with a natural supply of water with a very high mineral and sulphur content, and originally the town grew as people came to drink these waters and benefit from their health giving properties”.
Dumfries in Scotland and Harrogate in Yorkshire are in a reasonable proximity to each other.
Why would William maintain a residence in Harrogate ? Recent information received from Christine Stewart in Ireland (Irima’s family), indicated the following.
Harrogate would have been quite a big commercial centre in the early 1900s particularly for tea/coffee distribution. In fact one of the biggest sellers in the UK ground coffee sector today is a blend by Harrogate Coffee called 'Java Lava'.
1913 would have brought schooling to an abrupt halt because of the political situation and imminent outbreak of WW1. Obviously, William and his sons returned to Ceylon at that time. The youngest, Remo, would have been 10 years old. (See photo on family CD)
William and Mary Diacono lived in Colombo , Ceylon (now Sri Lanka ). But it is not known if William’s entire family lived in the UK during the boys schooling up to about ca 1913. However - when Arno Denis Diacono and his brother, Otto Hugo, joined the British Army at York in 1917, they were living at 1 Montpellier Gardens , Harrogate . On a “Next of Kin” document, they gave their father’s name as William Frederick Diacono. Otto’s enlistment was actually signed by William. It would seem that William maintained a second home in Harrogate . Mary was in England ca 1926-7, as there is a photograph of her with her son Hugo who was living in the UK at that time. <back to top>
From photographs, Oral History and documentation, I surmise that William kept the family home of Mary Hill Hotel at Nuwara Eliya, up in the mountains due east of Colombo . While in England , He maintained a home in Harrogate . When working in (a) Colombo and (b) Liverpool – he must have also had additional lodgings. Thinking of this, William may have maintained four residences of single or family calibre in… Nuwara Eliya, Harrogate , Colombo and Liverpool . He certainly appeared to be sufficiently moneyed to do so.
Hugo Diacono b. 1895 indicated in a Newspaper article (written about him after he changed his name to Hugh Deacon), that he went to Ceylon in 1912. I cannot confirm this. The photo of the boys ca 1913 may have been then end of Hugo’s schooling.
He most certainly was in Ceylon in 1917. Unlike his brothers, Arno and Otto, Hugo joined the British Indian Army. He was obviously in the IARO (Indian Army Reserve of Officers) pre-war.
It would seem at age 52, William left Southampton for Colombo , Ceylon , on 1st September 1913 . The ship was the Scharnhorst. He travelled with Angelo; I believe the “Angelo” is a mis-interpretation of spelling for Arno (See Angelo further on under Arno ) his son. William's occupation was given as Merchant.
At age 55 years, William travelled from London to Singapore on 18th Dec 1917 on the ship Kamo Maru. his occupation was given as Consul. By this date, William was the Consular agent for Belgium in Ceylon .
William died in Ceylon on 11th June 1920 aged 58. The 11th could have been construed as such by the use of “ditto” marks in hand writing. The date given could have been June 1920 without the day. <What happened to the hotel?> <back to top>
William and Mary had 10 children. Here I would like to point out that over the years, in conversation with my Aunt Lily (Cora's Daughter) she mentioned the following names, handed down - Hugo, Igo, Otto and Irima. As you read further along you will see how close she came to the names mentioned below. These could only have come from Cora and reinforces my theory that Cora was corresponding with family members. My first guess was Irima (Irma), William's 4th child as Lily mentioned the name Irima or Irma in the belief it was Frederick 's sister. These “names” were Cora’s first cousins.
Some of the following material is recorded from Oral History
1. Aida Maria Josephina Diacono The first born of William’s children. b. 4th February 1887 Suez, Egypt . d. 18th July 1958, Colombo , Ceylon ( Sri Lanka ). married 27th February 1911 Colombo Ceylon to Charles William Henry Duckworth b. Liverpool 10th March 1880 d. 1970s Victoria Australia)
(i). Winifred Maria Robinson Duckworth b. Colombo Ceylon 3rd March 1913 d. 6th March 1944 . Colombo Ceylon
m. in Colombo Ceylon 15th June1940, Andrew Vernon Coombs b. India 30th November 1907 d. 13th Dec 1988 Caterham, Surrey - UK .
Winifred was in the UK for a time, but was in Ceylon in 1935 as witness to the Christening of Edward Cecil Moakes whom Aldo Adopted.
Children:- one son
(a) Kenneth Cedric William Coombs b. Colombo Ceylon 6th December 1941 m. 12th November 1977 Janet Mary Gillard born Oldbury, West Midlands UK 28th September 1943
Timothy Andrew Nicolas Coombs - born Watford Hertfordshire UK 17th January 1979
Winifred bred Greyhounds and won many cups for her dogs at the Colombo Kennel Club. There is a photograph of Winifred and her champions on the family CD.
(ii). William Nicolas Robinson Duckworth Born: Nuwara Eliya , Ceylon 30th November 1917 d. Victoria , Australia early 1990s. He was better known as “ Sonny” or “Don”.
Married 3rd July 1943 Nellie ( Helen) Dixon b. Barrow in - Furness Lancaster 23rd August 1914
(1) Charles William Nicolas Duckworth b. Colombo Ceylon 24th July 1944 d. Australia late 1970s - m. Jill May Frost 19th December 1970 Belmont Victoria
(a) Joanna Maria b. 22nd November 1974 Armidale New South Wales
(b) Holly May b. 21st November 1976 Horsham, Victoria , Australia
(2) Brian Hugh Robinson Duckworth b. Isleworth, Middlesex UK 8th March 1951 . Photo of Christening on family CD. Married with children living in Australia .
2. Aldo Laurence Diacono The second born of William’s children. b. 18th Dec 1888 Suez , Egypt . He died 1st qtr. 1950 as indicated by a probate advertisement in the Ceylon Observer dated 15.4.1955. He was living in England at 33 Waverly Road , Exmouth, Devon, UK at the time of his death. (After William's death in 1920, Aldo became head of the family). He was an Engineer.
Maree Stuart, b. ca 1917 Nora’s daughter by her first marriage to Edward Arthur Pugh, said that her Uncle Aldo brought her up…she boarded in a convent in Ceylon then later in Hyderabad where she became a nurse and met her husband. She came to Australia in 1941. Maree was still alive in Perth , WA and in her 90s as at 2008.
Aldo's wife was Zoe Norah ( ? ) she was born in Ceylon on 23rd February 1896 . Aldo and Zoe seemingly married late in life – they had no children of their own. What happened to Zoe after Aldo’s death is unknown – she obviously continued to live in England, and probably in Exmouth. She died during the 2nd quarter of 1965. Registered in Devon.
In 1935 a woman called Bernice Moakes gave birth to a son, Edward Cecil Moakes on 14th June 1935. Information from Anna Rozieres, William's Great Grand daughter indicates that Aldo adopted the boy and he became Edward Cecil Diacono. From another photograph held by Ken Coombs, in England, his grandmother Aida, is photographed with a man in a Merchant Marine uniform. The caption mentions Cecil and Aida. It is thought that this man may have been Cecil Moakes, the father of Edward Cecil. Bernice could have been his wife, and the child, Edward, their son. There was also a daughter, Betty. No one knows what happened to Betty or her mother, Bernice. Edward was adopted by Aldo and Zoe Diacono, probably in the early 1940s, giving rise to the question, “Was Cecil Moakes killed in some Maritime - Wartime incident?” Enquiries regarding types of uniforms worn plus the photograph were posted on an Internet website which led to the observation that it belonged to the British India Steamship Company.
There are Photographs of Zoe, Bernice, Edward, and his sister Betty, on the Family CD.
I have found a death notice for Edward Cecil Diacono in English BDMs for the year 2000. (Ancestry.com) . Edward Cecil Diacono had a son Mark Diacono . Mark has a daughter….Nell Diacono. I have found a young Mark Diacono in the UK at a place called “Otter Farm” in Devon but contact was fleeting.)
No further information on these children as yet.
Working from a letters written by Hugh Deacon b. 1926, Hugo Diacono’s son, who is 81 years of age at the time of writing and living in Wiltshire UK , it would seem there has been animosity in the family for many years. The family consensus appears/or would seem to be, that Aldo miss-managed the Family Estate after (a) his father’s death and subsequently (b) after his Mother’s death. The following is hypothesis but it is worth thinking about as there are too few alive today who can authenticate what happened.
When William Diacono died in 1920, Aldo b. 1888 and then 32 years old, became head of the family in name – that was logical, he was the eldest son but I wonder if Mary Diacono, William’s wife, held the purse strings. Today, estates are usually left to the wife. When, Mary died at Mary Hill on 2.3.1932 there was 12 years between the two deaths. I would suggest that there would have been Government death Duties and Taxes etc to be paid. And twice over within the space of 12 years too!
Hugh Deacon b. 1926, describes Aldo’s English home in Exmouth as just an ordinary home. “He certainly had not gained anything material or financial by the way he must have lived. . I have seen his address where he lived and to say the least even in 1946 (I note 1948) when he came(to England ) one could not honestly call it ‘Middle class’. It is possible the family deduced there had to be a lot of money somewhere. Maybe there was nothing left after Taxes and Duty on two deaths in the one Estate. Perhaps Aldo did his best and was ostracised for it.
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 effected every business in the world, from Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Coal…even the Hotel business in Ceylon . Much of William’s wealth, even after his death in 1920, could have been in stocks and shares of the companies he worked for. The Wall Street crash was the precursor of the Great Depression – 1934. The Depression effected everyone rich and poor alike. This then was promptly followed by WW2 and then, Ceylon becoming Independent in 1948. <back to top>
What happened to the Mary Hill Hotel?
I have no paper confirmation but Maree Stuart indicated that Aldo “sold the Mary Hill Hotel to the Government”. When was the Hotel sold? This is a matter for conjecture. The History of Ceylon Tea has a website wherein can be found Ferguson’s Directory of Ceylon. In 1919 Mary Diacono ran the Hotel. By 1922 Mary had put in a Manager, a Mr Larsen. In 1923 The Hotel was run by a Mr Larsen, Director/Proprietor. By 1924, the Mary Hill Hotel had disappeared from the Directory.
The Mary Hill Hotel was the Diacono Home. Mary didn’t pass away until 1932. If the Hotel was sold, I am at a loss to know where the family would have lived! There are many family photographs taken in Nuwara Iliya up to and including Winifred (Duckworth) Coomb’s death in 1944. If the Hotel was gone – where did they live?
One can surmise that the hotel, as such, ceased to exist and actually became a “home” and that Aldo sold it much later on. During that time it would have been the Diacono family home rather than the Mary Hill Hotel. It is believed the family home became the Nuwara Iliya Police Station. With so many rooms, it is possible barracks were involved.
Hugh Deacon confirmed that after the Mary Hill Hotel was sold, it became a Police Station. These many years later, the Mary Hill Hotel/Police Station...as such...may no longer exist.
Why did it take Aldo so long to wind up the Estate and quit Ceylon forever?
The Depression years were followed promptly by WW2 - this would take matters to 1945. Ceylon became independent within the Commonwealth in 1948 – By 1948 Aldo and Zoe and Edward Cecil were in the UK . Perhaps the only thing that Diaconos left in Ceylon were the graves of the dearly departed - but I must add - remnants of the family could still be there even though I believe I have accounted for all of them, except Otto, at this point in time. Maree Stuart, living in Perth 2008, indicated Otto died sometime around WW2.
What happened to William’s family?
Aida (Duckworth) stayed in Ceylon , she frequently visited England ; Hugo (Hugh Deacon), Nora (1. Pugh 2. Fozard), Ezio (Billie Deacon) and Aldo Diacono went to England . Remo and Arno came to Australia and changed their name to Dean. Irima (Irma Garrett) died in Ceylon . Hugh Deacon says “I did meet and liked Billy Deacon nee Diacono who lived in London and was an Engineer of some kind”. Otto Diacono lived in Harrogate at the outbreak of WW1 and like his brother, Arno, went to war. Otto was repatriated to Ceylon after the war in 1919. It is known from OH that he may have been in Aden in ca 1930. What happened to Otto is unknown although OH indicates he died before WW2. His Service Record has been found in Archives for WW1. There is a 1928 Shipping record which shows he came to Australia for a very short time.
3. Ildo Gustavo K. Diacono The third born of William’s children. b. 12th Jan 1891 , Ceylon , probably died at birth. His death is registered in the 5 year Consular reporting period 1890-1895 folio 9 page 508. He died in Suez . This would have been shortly before William left Suez to live in Ceylon in 1892.
4. Irima (Irma )Marie Ezizia Diacono The fourth born of William’s children. b. 9th April 1892 , Ceylon . She died ca 1930. She was about 38 years old. Irima married Walter Douglas Garrett on 4th December 1915 . I have an OH notation that Irima died of Typhoid (unconfirmed).
OH. Christine Stewart (Ireland) related that Irima attended Loreto Convent School in Darjeeling sometime around 1907 (this would make Irima about 15 at the time) as she has a prayer book belonging to her with an inscription which places and dates this information - further - that Irima died and her children were sent “home” to be reared by their Paternal grandmother and educated there. Home being interpreted as the UK . Christine lives in Ireland (2008). Another source indicates that the children were reared by Paternal Aunts who owned a private school.
Children were -
a). William Walter Garrett b. 24th Oct 1916 . Christina's great Uncle, also known as Billy he was married to Christine Stewart’s great Aunt Helen (?) her paternal grandmother's sister. OH.
Christine indicates they had no children. So her family relationship is by marriage not by blood. Billy went to a school called St. Dunstan’s. He hated it and at the earliest opportunity, ran away to sea. He fetched up in Belfast , and Christina has documentation that he completed an engineering apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff, shipbuilders ( of Titanic fame). ca late 1930s. He served in the Navy during WW2.
Billy and Helen lived in London . Christine says that the family (Garrett) did not approve of the marriage as Helen was the daughter of a train driver. After a family upheaval. They returned to Northern Ireland and made their home there.
It would seem all William’s ties with the Garrett family were cut from that time onwards.
b). Yvonne Garrett b 1st Dec 1917 (from old document records.)
c) Alfred Garrett Alfred was b in UK in 1920
d). Pamela Garrett b. 22nd August 1922
OH indicates that Irima had a babe in arms at the time of her death.
5. Nora Diacono The fifth born of William’s children. b. 27th Dec 1893 , Ceylon . Remo, her brother wrote in 1980, that Nora was a happy person. She married Edward Arthur Pugh. Born probably around the same time as Nora ca 1893.
(a). Clifton (Cliff) Pugh b. ca 1914 (?) He married (?) and had children. He was in the British 8th Army and was a German POW. Family thought he was dead. He escaped. This cannot be confirmed. Some family members indicate the this information is “hogwash”. It would appear he spent more time in jail than in any Army. No records found.
(b). Maree Pugh b. ca 5th Dec 1917(?) at the time of writing this entry(2008) Maree Stuart was still alive and living in Perth , Western Australia
Nora m. secondly, Ernest Fozard b. Nuwara Iliya , Ceylon 26.5.1926. d. 5.6.1998
It was said that Ernest went to England in 1939. It places Nora in England too where she died in 1966
OH. Anna Rozieres, now living in France (2008) believes Nora (Fozard) came to the UK at the beginning of WW2 and died in Coventry, England in 1966 and is buried in her grandfather's (Hugo) grave in Coventry. Anna Rozieres states "I have seen the grave".
(c) Lucy Fozard b. 19/12/19 (?) m. Fred Stanley ca 1950. Anna also relates that Nora's daughter, Lucy, died a few years ago (observation 2007).
Children were Gail, Susan, and Paul – Gail married (?) Hibbert and lives in Melbourne.
(d) Ernest Fozard b. 26.5.1926 - d. sometime after 1997. Birth date on old family documents - married Mary Blamire b. UK . As at 2010, Mary was still alive and living in Victoria , Australia .
Three Children: Michael Stewart, Christopher John, Phillip Barry.
Nora’s 1st husband, Edward Arthur Pugh that died at sea (on the Suez Canal). Maree said her father was an Insurance Inspector and stamp collector. He had a stroke. He was 38 years old. It is believed that Otto Diacono made arrangements for her father to be buried in Aden . (ref: Maree Stuart ) I have no time-line for this information. If one suggests that Edward was born around 1893 and he was 38 when he died, that puts the year around 1930/31.. it would also suggest that Otto Diacono was still alive in 1930/31. Shipping records show Otto in Australia in 1928.
6. Hugo Victor Diacono The sixth born of William’s children. b.7th August 1895, Ceylon . d. 23rd March 1964 at Crompton Bassett, England . His Christian names were reversed ca 1918 during WW1 when he was serving in Iraq .
I have found a death record for that time of Victor H. Deacon aged 68 died 23rd March 1964 – the register appears to be Chippenham vol 1c page 493.Death was at Compton Bassett. I found Sybil Matilda Deacon (she was Sybil Lucy) b. 26th May 1906 d. May 1992 at Swindon , Wiltshire aged 86 Vol 23 Page 2168. See information further regarding Christian and Surname changes e.g. how Diacono became Deacon and Dean..
Sybil and Hugh’s Marriage Lines can be found for the Q1 Jan-Feb-Mar 1962. Cheltenham Vol 7b Page 779. Their Marriage was unique.
Maree Stuart b. 1917 stated that Hugo was her Godfather, so that too places Hugo in Ceylon in 1917. However, it is unusual for an Uncle blood relative to be a child’s Godparent.
OH: Hugo, it appears, joined the British Indian Army. OARO. Indian Army Reserve of Officers. This is borne out by a newspaper article…see further on. He had three medals inscribed Lt. V.H. Diacono - and served in Mesopotamia ( Iraq ) in 1918. Hugo apparently reversed his Christian names to Victor Hugo. British Gazette Entry 1918 and again 5.10.1920. I found his brother, Arno Diacono’s WW1 documents intact. Another brother, Otto – I found his documents partly incinerated. Sufficient remains of the documents to know who he was, his Army Number and so on …(see under Arno and also Otto.)
Hugo’s WW1 documents were found in July/Aug 2008.
Hugh Deacon continues: My father’s medals, I have in my possession, are inscribed on the back and on the front
1. Silver.1914‑19 and on the front GEORGIUS V BRITT. OMN.REX.ET IND .IMP. RIBBON :‑Blue‑/Black/White‑ Stripe with Major Yellow Centre
2. Gold inscribed on Back THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914‑1919. Ribbon of blended/merging colours Dark Blue/Green/Yellow/Pink.
3. Silver. The General Service Medal Overseas with IRAQ CLASP with same inscription on front as medal No. 1 Ribbon Dark Blue Sides with Green Centre.
4.1939‑45 DEFENCE MEDAL (Civil Award for AIR RAID PRECAUTION
IN ALL CASES 1.2. 3. ON THE EDGE OF EACH MEDAL THERE IS
PRINTED. Lt.V.H..DIACONO these are the official stamps of award.
The reader will be wondering why I have underlined the Lt. V.H.DIACONO – above.
During research Hugo’s Medal Card was found – he was IARO (Indian Army Reserve of Officers). Also found was his cousin’s Medal Card – Hector Vincent – he was ELC (Egyptian Labour Corps).
In the London Gazette of July 23rd 1918 – Hugo was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the IARO under his Christened name Hugo Victor Diacono. Further, a British Gazette entry for 5/10/1920 indicates that Hugo Victor of the IARO wanted to be known as Victor Hugo Diacono. So, in the Gazette of 5th October 1920 , his name was officially recognised as Victor Hugo Diacono. His War Medals for WW1 listed above….one for WW2 were not added to the card. Note: His WW1 medal 1.2.3. carried the Initials V.H.
Sadly, this reversal of initials has mixed him up with his cousin, Hector Vincent Diacono who was in the Egyptian Labour Corps.
From Research on the IARO the following was received from a fellow researcher:
Hugo Victor Diacono, IARO
Commissioned 15th January 1918
6th Class Supply & Transport Officer
Serving with 'F' Supply Depot Company from 5th June 1918.
Almost certainly left Indian Army no later than early 1922
The information in the Ceylon Roll of Honour reads as follows: “Diacono,V.H.; late of Messrs C.P.Hayley & Co, Matara; Com, I.A.R.O.”
War Office records found here: WO 374/19497 Diacono Lieut. H.V. 1917 - 1922.
These documents were ordered and received electronically from the National Archives in Kew , England . Nine pages of material all for Hector Vincent Diacono.
For whatever reason, Hugo Diacono no longer wanted to be Hugo. He wanted to be known as Victor. He appears to have gone to great lengths to change his name, even in Army Records.
In 1938 Hugo legally changed his name to Victor Hugo Deacon.
In 1939, something arose in Hugo’s life whereby he was obliged to provide an Original Birth Certificate. Hugo filled in the Application…he entered his correct christened name, date and place of birth. He obviously lodged the application; even paying the stamp duty…family cannot find the birth Certificate however, the application for same is still in existence.
His request for a Birth Certificate showed his signature as his christened name, Hugo Diacono, and his address at Jordan Well.
According to a newspaper clipping (undated), titled “The Man who Broke the Bank of Persia ” Hugh Deacon was using his Deed Poll English name for an interview... Part of the clipping has a small piece about another person who held office with Triumph Engineering Co. Ltd in 1955 - this dates the clipping between 1955 and Hugh’s death in Coventry in 1964, so there is a search parameter of 9 years. However, just a minor remark. He had been in the cinema industry for 40 years. Add this to his date of coming to the UK (1921) and playing in Cinema orchestras…places the newspaper article ca 1961.
In the interview he didn’t mention his previous name, but was speaking of what Hugo Diacono did, during the 1st World War. He was a Paymaster in Persia ( Iran today). His Army Paymaster’s cheque bounced (58 shillings a day to keep a soldier in Persia ). In the end, they had to send him fresh supplies money from Teheran – the article, at this point, is ambiguous.
He, and his brothers considered themselves English.
It is family understanding that Hugo Diacono left Ceylon for good in1921, to live in England . His Army service finished in 1921, and he was demobilised in India in that year - but at War’s end, Officers could have anything up to one year’s leave taken in advance of final service date.
An accomplished violinist, he played in Music Halls an Picture Theatre Orchestras. Hugh Deacon his son b. 1926, indicates that this was where Hugo met his mother, Sybil Lucy, who was an accomplished pianist.
When Sound Films came (1927/28), Hugo changed to Theatre Management and worked for the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. He lived at Gaumont Palace , Jacob Well, Coventry . Cinemascope was introduced in 1953 so this predates the newspaper article as well. It would appear that he continued this work throughout the whole of his working life.
Hugh Deacon (as Hugo Diacono b. 1926) and his sister, Irma Maureen, lived their early years in Theatre Homes which were flats or houses adjoining theatres.
At the age of eleven years, Hugh b. 1926, was sent to a Catholic Public School . St. Joseph 's College, Dumfries in Scotland . He wrote "I know for a fact that my Father (Hugo born 1895) together with five other brothers, went to the same school before WW1. Indeed, Grandfather William Frederick was well remembered for giving the school a 20ft National Flag which I actually saw when I was at the college. Grandfather was also in the habit of taking to the Spa Waters at Harrogate ".
Hugo and Sybil's children were:
(a). Victor Hugo Diacono b. 10.10.1926 now called Hugh Deacon, formerly Victor Hugo Diacono and living in England was born in Exeter, Devon. Left college at the end of 1940. He worked in the Aircraft industry until he joined the RAF in January 1944. From then on he served for the majority of 34 years
Hugh writes that: … served with the RAF in 1944, then seconded to the Army 1944-1950 and then back into the RAF in 1950 to 1978. He saw action in Palestine 1946 to 1948 then went to the Sudan 1948-1949. He then went to the Russian Border 1949-1950 then back in the RAF and graduated as a Pilot and Officer in Southern Rhodesia . He saw service in Germany , Hong Kong , Northern Ireland , Egypt , the Maldives and many others. He retired on a pension as a Squadron Leader and took up the post of Assistant Bursar at Marlborough College , one of the top Public Schools in the country.
Hugh’s retirement title: Sqn. Ldr. V.H. Deacon RAF – Retired.
Hugh Deacon b. 1926 married Peggy Hoey on 17.6.1952 Their four children were
(1). Mark Hugo Deacon b.10.11.1953 married Susan Thomas (?)
(i) Sophie Deacon b. 1987
(ii) Jack Deacon b. 1991
(2). Lucy Elizabeth Deacon b. 1957
(3). Luke Joseph Deacon b. 1963
(4). Anna Josephine b.1964 m. James Metcalf 1983
Anna gave her children the surname Diacono.
(i) Samuel Diacono b. 1984
(ii) Scarlet Diacono b. 1985
Anna Josephine married secondly, Darius Washbourne 1990
(iii)Lilly Diacono b. 1991
Anna Josephine married thirdly, to Michel Rozieres in 1994 – a French wine producer. She lives in France .
(b). Irma Maureen Deacon b. 19.11.1927. d. 2011.
m. (?) Koster
Two children: (i) Hilary Koster
(ii) Richard Koster b. ca 1947
7. Arno Denis Diacono The seventh born of William’s children. b. 27th Nov.1896 Ceylon (aka Arnold Dennis Dean) d. 2nd August 1971, Victoria, Australia. - Remo his brother, wrote in 1980, that Arno was also known as Denny. He travelled with his father, William, on the SHARNHORST 1st Sept. 1913. Listed as a Student. I have searched many documents and the key points are the name Diacono, the age of 18 years, compared with actual birth date and his destination, Ceylon . The list showing Angelo – could have been an error in naming but not the person involved. It was Arno with his father. As it will be later seen, he changed his name to Arnold !
He was referred to by Corinne Kleine as “Uncle Denny”, and noted that she last saw him in 1970-71 at the Greenslopes Nursing Home in Brisbane . Corinne and her sister Penny, Remo’s daughters, remember attending his funeral in Victoria at Springvale Crematorium in the 1970s. Arno joined the English Army at York in the UK . On 21 Sept 1917 , His Service No. was 54908 - his home given as 1 Montpellier Gardens , Harrogate . Aged 20 years and 10 months. He was unmarried.. His Occupation – Rubber and Tea Planter.
It would seem that Arno contracted an “ST” disease which saw him in and out of Military Hospitals. On 22.11.1918, as Private Diacono, he was recommended by the Medical Board for discharge as Permanently Medically unfit.
Arno became, Arnold Dennis DEAN when he enlisted. His Australian service No : VX13630. Arno had an Australian Army Record…this is highly unusual in consideration of his discharge from the British Army in 1918 as permanently unfit.
His date and place of birth given to the Australian Army is incorrect, He filled in documents as Born: Harrogate , England – incorrect he was born in Ceylon . Date of birth: 27th November 1905 – incorrect - it was 27th November 1896 .
It would seem that Arno lowered his age at the time of joining the Australian Army- he was actually 43 and 7/12ths years old. He had lowered his age by some 9 years.
He enlisted on 29th April 1940 at Collingwood in Victoria . He named his brother, Ray Dean as his next of kin. He was discharged from the Australian Army, 23rd July 1942 with the rank of Private. His posting at Discharge HQ 1 ADV ORD W/S : No medals for display. Never a Prisoner of War.
O.H. Corinne advised that “Uncle Denny” had a wife: Lorna b. ca 1894 Stawell d. 8th May 1960 in Melbourne, Victoria. She remembers Aunty Lorna and that she may have lived in Collingwood. It may also seem that Lorna had children from a previous marriage – confirmed. Marriage Certificate obtained.
8. Otto Hugo Diacono The eighth born of William’s children. b. 29th June 1899 Ceylon . He said he was a Tea and Rubber Planter . Otto was listed as “O” on a passenger list.. Birkenhead to Ceylon , a student aged 17 years. He also travelled to Ceylon with his father, William, on the "Worchestershire" on 20th September 1916 . Maree Stuart knew Otto and indicated that he had died early on - e.g. around WW2. I cannot verify date and place.
The bulk of the forms which recorded Army service up to 1939 were destroyed in September 1940, when the War Office Record Office in Arnside Street , London , was damaged by enemy bombing. The archives very recently released some of the Salvaged documents wherein I found that Otto Diacono had joined the British Army at the age of 18 years 3/12 months on 21st September 1917 ; his second name was confirmed as Hugo.
His address was given as 1 Montpellier Gardens , Harrogate . His father, William, signed his enlistment papers. Unusual - given the dates of travel to and from Ceylon .
Otto’s Service No. was 59168. The last Unit he served with was the 15th West Yorkshires . He was a Volunteer on one document. On another, for his return to Ceylon , the word “drafted” is used. His place of birth was then described as Ceylon and occupation given as Tea Planter.
Otto may not have taken to discipline too readily as he was charged with striking an Officer. For this effort on 18.3.1918 he received 21 days detention.. An unburnt portion of one document indicates he may have been in France 14.10 19?? His ID paper showed a Birthday of 1899 and the theatre of war, France – the document was raised at the Crystal Palace 13th March 1919 . It was called a “dispersal” document and had to be produced if he was seeking unemployment benefit.
All these records have charred edges from the fire. There was a Casualty Record and an application for a Pension. At the time of his Repatriation he was living at 160 High Street , Redcar UK. The Documents were filed at the Repatriation Office in Winchester . He obviously didn’t think that Harrogate was his home because he asked to be repatriated to Ceylon . It took from date of application 18th March1919 (on Nominal role for repatriation) to 14th August 1919 . According to the documents he may have travelled from England to Ceylon on the “SS Dombia” probably in September 1919.
France during WW1 was the epitome of horrible warfare. If Otto suffered War wounds as indicated on the document, he may never have recovered fully. An observation of two photographs, one shortly after his father’s death and another, probably taken in the mid 1930s or earlier, indicate that Otto did not display his hands. Otto, as previously mentioned, came to Australia in 1928. It is thought that he returned to Ceylon in 1929/30.
9. Ezio Diacono The ninth born of William’s children b. 21st Aug 1901 , Ceylon . He was called Billie/Billy which is the diminutive form of William. Ezio was on a shipping list aged 19 years from London to Ceylon . He travelled alone on the “ORSOVA” on 22nd July 1921 his occupation is given as Engineering. His father, William had died in 1920.
Ezio travelled again at age 25 in 1926 with his wife, Winifred - London to Ceylon . They left London Port on 21st August 1926 on the “NANKIN” bound for Ceylon . In later years he too went to England and changed his name to William E. Deacon.
I have found a death entry for Q2 Apl/May/Jun 1961 For William E. Deacon. Aged 60. Vol 5f page 5 Middlesex. The age is right. Ezio was killed in an accident. It is believed he fell off a roof. (OH), He was a Construction Electrical Engineer. I have placed Ezio, his wife and other family members, and with his brother Hugo in a photograph which I believe was taken at Christmas 1959 shortly before his death.
Regarding Winifred (?) ( b. ca 1893) - I have found a death entry for the Q4 Oct/Nov/Dec 1968 for Winifred M. Deacon age 75 – Plymouth, Vol 7A page 725. There is no Guarantee it is Ezio’s wife. There is a slight anomaly. Ezio, using both Diacono and Deacon for Government records, married Amy L. Bushnell-Morris in 1944. If the foregoing is correct, it is possible Winifred and Ezio divorced. There were no children of either marriage. The Christmas 1959 photo was notated as “Winifred Ezio’s wife”, I believe the lady is Amy L. Bushnell/Morris Deacon, not Winifred.
To keep things straight, Ezio may not have changed his name by Deed Poll as did his brother, Hugo, and may have been obliged to put his birth name and his aka name on the document. This would be exactly as Remo did when he married as Remo P. Diacono aka Ray Dean, in Australia. The Dual names for Amy L Bushnell/Morris may have arisen from a divorce or from a (wartime) death of a former husband.
10. Remo Peter Diacono The tenth born of William’s children. b. 26th June 1903, Ceylon. Remo, the last born changed his name to Ray Dean, in Australia, about 1935. Like his brothers, he lived in Harrogate, UK, so that he could attend school in St. Josephs, Dumfries, in Scotland.
Remo arrived in Australia to reconnoitre the Wide Brown Land...Shipping lists often give only stop over points – they can be confusing, but I found Remo Peter Diacono leaving London for Australia on the SS Mooltan, arriving on 10 June 1924
He may have gone back to Ceylon and returned to Australia 4th April 1925 on the SS Ville de Mertz. The shipping list for the 1925 journey is vague. He didn’t return to Ceylon again until about 1930 after his marriage to Stella Grant. The next time he left the country was ca 1940 as Ray Dean, in The Australian Army. He served in Alexandria and the Middle East and seized the opportunity to catch up with his aunt Corinne and some of his Zacher cousins who were living in Alexandria. Somewhere in the Middle East, he hurt his knee and went to England for knee surgery
According to Australian BDMs research, Remo Peter Diacono married in 1930, to Stella V. Grant. He was divorced on 10th July 1940. In the early days of this particular marriage, Corinne (born 1945), his daughter, indicated that Remo visited Ceylon to introduce his new wife to his mother, Mary. Some old photographs have been identified and a timeline set (approximately) , as Mary died in 1932.
As Ray Dean, Remo joined the Australian Army in Victoria, in 1935. His Army No. was 321255. He signed up for three years but was discharged 38 days later under AMR&O 253. He gives his wife a S.V. Dean, living in Sydney and Arnold Dean, his brother, as next of kin in these documents. Remo also noted that from 1916 to 1918, he served in the O-T-C- attached to the 15 West Yorks while in College in Harrogate, England. The College was, in fact, St. Josephs, Dumfries, Scotland. He gave Ceylon as his place of birth and the correct birth date.
Haydiee(Dean)is given as his next of kin on his WW11 Army enlistment papers. Other than her name on the back of a photo, there is no indication that she and Remo ever married.
Remo was living in East Sydney, NSW, at the time of the 1930 Australian Census.
Further, one of the photographs identified by his daughter, Corinne, shows Remo in England. He is leaning on a walking stick – It would seem that he had surgery on a knee in the UK.
On 21st August 1943, Remo (aged 39) married Mavis Lillian Lewcock (aged 25) b. Chelsea, Victoria ca 1918. The marriage took place at the Office of the Government Statist, Queen Street, Melbourne, Regist No. 551.
Remo/Ray died in Frankston Victoria in 1981 – Registration No. 02657
(i) Ray (Diacono) Dean b. April 1944 married Lorraine Clark
Two children, (a) Raymond married, Robyn. Three children:(a) Emily, (b) Isabella, (c)?
(b) Nicole married Shane (?) Two Girls: (a) Tahlia (b)Serena.
(ii) Corinne ( Diacono) Dean b. 1945 m. Ian Peter Kleine (aka Peter) b. 1946 d. June 2003 in Victoria. : dau. (a) Zanthe, sons : (b) Christopher, (c) Alastair and (d) Stuart. –
Zanthe married Rick Bohan in 2005 1 son, Mitchell.
(iii) Penelope aka Penny (Diacono) Dean. April 1947 married Desmond Hocking
two children: (a) Rebecca (one daughter) (b) Mark. (now 4 children )
(iv) Peter ( Diacono) Dean b.1948 Reg. No. 5041 No. 20227 Victoria. District of Mansfield. m. Janine Lyn Harris b. 1951 in Melbourne on 1971 at Olinda Vic.
Children (a) Laura G. Dean B 1982 Dandenong Vic
(b) Bodie B. Dean b. 1986 Dandenong. Vic.
(vi) Ernest( Diacono) Dean
children: Danny, Katy, Sally, Nathan, Nicholas and Amy.
Amy and partner had a son, William on 2009.
(vii) Daniel (Diacono) Dean (passed away in 2003)
(8) Clotilde Diacono (deceased) b. 1865 d. 1865 (?) the second child to have the name Clotilde. Her name is recorded with her sister of the same name, as above, in the British Foreign Office Consular death records for 1860 to 1865 Vol. 3 Page 459.
For researchers: I have come across a derivative of the name Clotilde it is Grotide.
(9) Roberto Octave Diacono b. Alexandria 30th June 1863 may have died in Cairo ca 1941. . There is an entry for Robert Diacono, Cairo age 77 years, during the Consular reporting period 1941-1945 page 35.
In the MBE division of The National Archives, there is a record of Robert Diacono Esq, President of the Maltese Community Cairo .
Robert married Mary Losco b. 1877 d. 1920 . ( Mary had a sister, Georgette Losco who married (?) Bogan. A son, Guy Bogan, lives in Port Macquarie MSW Australia)
Where noted: British Foreign Office Consular Records available for periods listed.
Not all records ended up in The National Archives in the UK however, Robert was in a Court Case too, which can be found in the Foreign Office Records at The National Archives in the UK .
This was FO 841/103 Alfred Rizzo v Robert Diacono Liquidator of Egyptian Directory & Advertising Co Ltd. 1909. As with his brother Edgar's Court Case (which see below) I have not followed this material because it was not pertinent to finding Frederick .
He also found himself in Court in Cairo, against his brother, Edgardo (Edgar) ca 1908 – the matter was over the non-payment of a commission. After this Court Case, Edgar quit Egypt and went to Malta to live.
Robert and Mary had six surviving children.
1. Aida Diacono b. 7th Aug 1895 d. 26th April1952, in Darlinghurst, Sydney. She married an Australian Surgeon; Major Hugh Raymond Guy Poate at the British Consulate in Cairo on 30.3.1916. British FO Records Vol 14 Page 769. Wedding Photo and details can be found at Australian War Museum/Memorial. ID PO3088.007. Details were lodged by his son William James. Poate, probably in May 2008.
HRG Poate b. 16.1.1884 d. 26.1.1961. He died at his Bellevue Hill home in Sydney . His portrait, by Joshua Smith, hangs in the HQ of St. John Ambulance Australia – Canberra . Sir Hugh was previously married to Beatrice Louise Ellis at St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney on 14/10/1910 . She died in childbirth the next year. A daughter, Betty, survived.
Aida died in 1952 leaving three sons and two daughters. She died two years before her husband was knighted as Sir Hugh Raymond Guy Poate. I would have liked to think of Aida as “Lady Poate”.
(i) Robert Fred Poate b. 1918, Drummoyne NSW. d. 1981 Tumut.
(ii) Marcelle Mary Poate b. 29 Dec 1920, d. 24th Sept. 1991 Sydney.
(iii) John Hugh Poate, b. 11th October 1922 d. 26th March 2004, Sydney.
(iv) Jeannette Poate. b. 20th June 1925. d....... She married Gordon King who d. 30th Sept. 2009.
(v) William James (Jim) Poate b. 1930, Alive and well, Living in Seaforth, Sydney in 2010. He married Rosemarie Gruber in 1960. Three sons, Martin, Nicholas and Antony.
Sadly, Cora Louisa Carmela Fawcett (nee Diacono) was unaware that her Cousin, Aida, was living in Australia as there is no Oral History nor written word that indicates this. Aida was living just 400 miles away. Curious to note that in a world so large, with oceans crossed and thousands of miles between family and friends, one could be so close and yet so far away.
For those who wish to pursue further information on this famous Surgeon can do so on the Internet or can read:
Title: Poate - Sir Hugh Raymond Guy (1884 – 1961)
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol 11. pp 250-251
By Ian Howie-Willis. Melbourne University Press. 1988.
2. Hector Vincent Diacono b. 3/12/1896 British FO Records Cairo Vol 10 Page 672
Information supplied by the British Consulate General, Alexandria to Raymond Diacono 14 March 1995. Heavy print details my research of records.
Hector married Antoinette Moussalli in Cairo between 1916-1920. British FO Records Vol 14 Page 934 also Vol 4 Page 904 for the 5 year reporting period 1916-1920.
There were two sons :
Charles R. Diacono, born ca. 1916 or a little later in Port Said . Volume 14 Page 1115. Charles married Cornelia Dunning and had twin boys.
(i) Philip Diacono b. 1962
(ii) Anthony Diacono b. 1962
Robert B. Diacono born ca 1920 in Cairo Volume 14 Page 1087 ( this Robert is Raymond's cousin, living in Le Broc, near Nice , France ).
Hector and Antoinette were divorced on 16 August 1940 . Hector then married Nelly Affifi , the daughter of
Rene Diacono b. 1898 British FO Records. Cairo 1896-1900 Vol 10 Page 685 married Dolly (?)
1. Vincenzo Diacono. In the FO Recording period 1916-1920 Born Port Said Reference page 1126
I have found a Memorial Notice in the London Times dated April 23 1969 for Rene Diacono.
Vincenzo Diacono MIA during WW2 is believed to have been killed aboard the HMS “Glorious”, sunk in the Mediterranean Sea .
According to shipping records Rene travelled from Liverpool to Egypt . . He was 16 when he left England with his parents in 1914.
4. Eveline Kathy Diacono b. 1902 British FO Records Cairo 1901- 1905 Vol 11 Page 1003. She married (?) Johnston in Cairo between 1916-1920 registered in British FO Records Vol 14 Page 934.
Eveline was alive in 1940/41 as she met up with Remo in Egypt during his War stint in that country.
5. Christine Diacono b. 1903. Known as “Titine”. She married Gaston Chiostri. They had a daughter, Silvana. Christine was alive in 1967 when visited by her nephew, Wm. J. Poate, in 1967. She was were living in Florence, Italy.
6. Marcelle Kathy Diacono b. 1905 Cairo British FOR 1901 -1905 Vol 11 page 1034. Marcella married an Armenian, Joseph Motassian - a Tobacco manufacturer – divorced. They may have had several Children, but one is mentioned, Sonia. Marcelle was living in Paris and died some time after 1967.
Sonia married into French Nobility in 1950 to the 14th Duke of Rochefoucauld, 8th Duke of Liancourt one of the most famous names in French Nobility (and divorced in 1961). They had 4 children, three daughters and a son. The son, Francois-Alexandre, born in 1958 is the 15th Duke of La Rochefoucauld, 9th Duke of Liancourt. The son then married Michele Etter in 1984, their son, and heir, Francois-Xavier is the future 16th Duke
7. Marie (Mary) Diacono b. 1915 d. 1916 Cairo British FOR 1911 - 1915 Vol 13 Page 889
8. May Diacono b 1920 d. 1921 (Nani Information. No FO record.)
The Great War which was declared in England on 4.8.1914 saw the exodus of Robert's family from England on 3rd September 1914 . The entire family, as it existed then, probably had been living in England .
The passenger list for the ship Worcestershire shows names and descriptions of British passengers embarked at the port of Liverpool . So Robert's family was travelling under British protection, as outlined above. E.g. British Passports..
Their destination was Port Said - Egypt .
Mr. Robert Diacono ( Frederick 's brother)
Mrs. Mary Diacono (nee Losco)
Miss Aida Diacono
Mr. Hector Diacono ( Hector Vincent).
Mr. Rene Diacono
Miss Evaline Diacono
Miss Christine Diacono
Miss Marcelle Diacono
(10) Edgardo William Diacono aka Edgar b. 26th Aug 1866 d. 23 Jul 1934 Birkikara Malta. He is buried in a grave with the only marking 54. His grandson believes he was buried in a pauper’s grave. Of all the children, Edgar appeared to be the only one to maintain an affinity with Malta. His brother, Robert, was head of the Maltese Community in Cairo, Egypt, but...Edgar went to Malta and lived there. Further, apart from his second marriage (see below), no one knew him in Malta.
Edgar married (1) Claudine Steinberg b. 1876 d. 1902 The marriage was in Port Said and is recorded in British FO Consular records Vol 10 Page 364 for the reporting period 1896 to 1900. Year of marriage probably 1899. Sadly, Claudine died in 1902 aged 25 years. Port Said – British FOR Vol 11 Page 765
According to details provided by Anthony Deacon, Edgar's Grandson, Edgar Diacono's death certificate reads: the death certificate for Edgardo Diacono....widower of Claudia nee Camilleri. age 66... place of birth Alexandria: parents Guiseppe Diacono/Carmela Diacono nee Manche. place and date of death...Birkirkara. Malta. Mon 23 July 1934.
Edgar married (2) a second time to Claudia Camilleri who predeceased him. Both women Claudine/Claudia. The marriage to Claudine Steinberg was in Port Said, Egypt. It then must follow that the marriage to Claudia Camilleri took place in Malta. Thus, that is where one must find the records.
Edgar and Claudine (Steinberg) Diacono had two sons:
(1) Walter Edgar Diacono b. 25th Jan 1900 Port Said - British FOR Vol 10 Page 718 ( was born in the same reporting period as Hector and Rene see above). He died on the same day of the same month of his father's death...23rd July 1976. Although he had changed his name to Deacon, he was buried as a Diacono.
Walter grew up in Malta ( unlike his other cousins who were reared in Alexandria, Cairo, Cyprus, Ceylon and England). He went Manchester University in 1920.
Marriage (1)In 1920 he married Claudia Winifred Pigott - Chorlton Q3 vol 8 c Page 2601 He was 26 and Claudie 10 years older. They divorced in 1939.
Marriage (2) He married Gabrielle Hortense Haeck 1939 Q4 vol 6b page 297. The marriage was under the name of Diacono. Gabrielle died in July 2001.
Walter and Gabrielle had one son.
( 1). Anthony Andrew Deacon.(Diacono) b. 1939 under the name Andrew T.A. Haeck Q3 1939 Reg Vol. 8e page 847
Like other Diaconos in England at that time, e.g. Hugo Diacono, Ezio Diacono, Walter followed suit by changing his name to Deacon but...not until July 1945. This name change, to the writer, seemed unwarranted. The fear of WW2 internment had passed. This is also a good indication that the first cousins, living in England at the time, were in contact with each other.
(2) Herbert Joseph Diacono b. 1901 Port Said British FOR Vol 11 Page 1050. I have found a death record in 1962 UK - District of Romford for Herbert Diacono aged 61 British FOR Vol. 5 page 468 . ( He to used the name Deacon but was buried as Diacono) ( Herbert apparently died in Dagenham). He married Winifred Tipton in 1928.
It would also seem that Edgar took his brother Robert to Court in 1908. As this was not pertinent to the finding of Frederick I have not pursued this material. It can be found in Foreign Office Records at the National Archive in the UK as - British FO 841/98 Edgar Diacono v Robert Diacono 1908. With the exception of Frederick I can't help but think there was always some sort of ill-feeling in the family regarding Edgar. Haven't been able to put my finger on it, but the Court Case above may have been a symptom or the cure.
Shipping lists show that Edgar William Diacono, age 59 years, departed London Port, for Malta, on 12th February 1927 no occupation was given. The ship was the MANELA. Edgar travelled alone. The year, age and destination was the clue to Edgar's final years. He lived and died in Malta. He is buried in Birkikara with no headstone. His grave No. is 54.
(11) Riccardo Diacono(deceased) b. 1868 d. 1869 (?) (Nani Information. No FO Record)
(12) Giorgio Diacono. b. 1870 d. 1935 aka George(s) or abbreviated to Gio. There is a record that shows a George born 6/10/1873 (?) in a Consular letter I don't think the letter is accurate as I have discovered two discrepancies in the information thus far - Giorgio was older than Corinne who was born 1871/72).
Married 1. Olga Levi b 1871 d. 1919.
This marriage in Alexandria was recorded in British FO Consular records for 1891-1895 Vol 9 page. 281.
Olga Diacono died in Cairo ca. 1919 and is recorded in British FO Records 1916 to 1920 Her Estate went to probate in British FO 841/180 Probate: Estate Olga Diacono 1919
They had three children
(a) Yvette Diacono b. 1901- d.1902
(b) Yvan (Ivan) Diacono b. 8 July1904 Alexandria British FOR Vol 11 Page 288
(c) Sidney Diacono 1906 British FOR Vol 12 page 288
The aforementioned shipping lists include :
Ivan Diacono, age 17 years, student, departing Liverpool for Port Said , Egypt , on 5th August 1921 . The ship was the YORKSHIRE . He travelled alone.
Sidney Diacono aged 17 years, scholar, departing London for Port Said , Egypt on 31st January 1924 . The ship was the DUMANA. He travelled alone.
I have found a Consular Record sent to England : The recording period is dated 1921 - 1925. In this 5 year reporting period I find an Ivan Diacono born in Alexandria Vol 16 page 288 and a Sidney Diacono born in Alexandria Vol 16 Page 288
Married 2. Margaret Violet Pearse b. 1/1/1893 Dartford Reg. District. England . d . 1935 aged 65 years British FO Records Overseas Marriages 1916-1920. Alexandria British FOR Vol 14 Page 701 (Surname spelling as Diancono)
They had a son, George Lawrence born in Alexandria on 17th August 1920 . British FOR Vol 14 Page 980
London Times announcement: 24th August 1920
Diacono on 17th August at Glymenopolo Alexandria, the wife of George Diacono (nee Pearse), of a son.
Consulate records show that Giorgio and Margaret left Alexandria in 1927. The following is the English Entry for Margaret and family in 1901 when Margaret was about 8 years old.
There is a marriage in British FO Record for years 1891/1895 Vol 9 page 281 Alexandria .
English 1901 Census (Pearse Household)
RG13/694 68 54 Foots Cray, Kent
William E Pearse, head, 47, Chartered Accountant, employer, b. Surrey Richmond
Annie, wife, 46, b. Suffolk Beccles
Dorothy G, dau, s, 17, b. Kent Lee
Margaret V, dau, 8, b. Kent – Sidcup
England ; Times: Marriages:
Diacono - Marshall . April 17 - 1943 (India) at St Barnabas Church, Manmad, India, Captain G. Lawrence Diacono, Royal Sussex Regiment. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Diacono of Hastings to Olive-Sybil, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs. E.N.C. Marshall of Manmad.
They had a daughter: Pricilla Jane, born. Southborough , b. UK 1946
(13) Corinne Diacono (Born Corina) b. 1971/72 d. 25.5.1959 Corinne had her first child in 1895 I have a firm birth date of her last child, May. It is known she visited Cyprus in 1938 with one of her daughters.
Married ca 1894-95 Michel Zacher b. 1864 d. 1925(?) - they had seven children
Georgina Zacher 14th July 1896 . Never Married.
Edgard Zacher b. 24th Jan. 1898 married Vren Schtol in Germany
Two children: -
(i). daughter Anne Marie who married Robert Mouchbahani and had three children, Ralph, Bernard and Christian.
(ii). Bruno who died in a tragic car accident aged 20 Yrs.
3. George Zacher: b. 19th Aug 1899 (Maybe the “George” in a family wartime photo) - 2 or 3 wives no children
4. William Zacher b. Alexandria 12th May 1902 - d. Nice ( France ) 1986 married 18/6/1930 Clairette Foulde. b. Alexandria 1912 d. 1990 Nice ( France )
1 child. Martine b. 1934, Alexandria - never married and in 2010, lives in France .
5. Maxim Zacher b. 20th June 1905 (also have a date of 1.7.1905) was married and divorced. He then married Isabelle Bureau in 1941 when he was 36.
2 children : (i) son Yves who never married - born in 1940 at Argentan (France) and
(ii)Nicole born 30 August 1945 in Paris - she is now Nicole Furlan and lives in France - 2008
6. Jane Zacher b. 24th June 1908 m. Jean Padovani
(i)Antoine married Marguerite Hanna both deceased. No children
(ii) Marylise married Michel Loakim 2 children. They live Bondi, NSW - Australia
7. May Zacher b. 16th Jan 1911- married Emil Cossery
(i) Michelle Cossery Married Andre Farah 2 children
(a) Chantal Farah - married Jerome Morin…1 daughter, Alexa
(b) Robert Farah – has two daughters but not married.
(ii) George Cossery – he married Kiki Singapoulou. 2 children George passed away.
(iii)Henny Cossery married Naguib Orfaly, and had 2 children. They are retired to Ft. Lauderdale Fl. USA
(a) Karen – not married.
(b)George married Sharon Goldstein 2 Children: Andrew (4 yo) and Jason ( 16 months) as at January 2007.
Folk providing information are sometimes not Family History oriented. They have the names in their head, but perhaps believe that the author should know the exact way they fall into place.
The following Diacono Names are recorded in 1916-1920 for the 5 year recording period for Births at the National Archives in Kew , UK . Our Family names are located in Cairo , Suez , Port Said and Alexandria . Ceylon and Cyprus appear to be mostly Church Records. Those Diacono families of Tunisia , e.g. Biserta, Sfa or Sousse are not our family. These above/below births are the descendants of the original family, e.g. Frederick ’s Diacono family, his brothers and sister - as near as I can tell.
Anyone wanting to continue research may do so by mail or via The National Archives website. Any Documents can be purchased over the Internet. One pays by Credit Card. The certificates can be sent via e-mail. This goes for any Volumes, Folios and Page Numbers quoted in this Text.
The National Archives
Kew Richmond Surrey TW9-4DU
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk One must remember, that each of these Documents can be expensive
Some descendants of the following Diacono – may live in Australia …does the reader know them? I would be pleased to hear from you.
Births 1916-1920 Found in the National Archives British Foreign Office Records.
Antonio P. Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1110
Charles R. Diacono. Port Said Vol 14 Page 1115 Hector’s eldest
Edmund Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1126
George L. Diacono Alexandria Vol 14 Page 980 This George is the son of Giorgio in his second marriage to Margaret Violet Pearse.
Guido S.A Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1125.
Olga Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1126
Oscar Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1120
Paul Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1120
Robert B. Diacono Cairo Vol 14 Page 1087 Hector's youngest and Raymond's Cousin. Bob Diacono.
Vincent Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1126
Walter Diacono Port Said Vol 14 Page 1126
Wilfred Diacono Port Said. Vol 14 Page 1126
A curious thing about these names, Volumes and Page numbers – they are all located in Volume 14 and some of the pages are the same.
Note: Diacono Information supplied to Raymond Diacono ( France ) via the British Consulate General, Alexandria in 1995 and Raymond’s personal information.
Pearse Information from English Archives for Census Recording
Zacher Information provided by Martine Zacher - France . Nicole Furlan - France and Henny Orfaly USA
Corroborating information and documentation on the family provided by Mari Nani - France taken from a Nani Family tree. Also Anna Rozieres (nee Diacono/Deacon) France, a descendant of William Diacono . Ken Coombs, Grandson of Aida Diacono. From Hugh Deacon (UK), son of Hugo Diacono. Corinne Klein and Mary Fozard.
Genealogy forum for Lapierre family from Nadia Giraud.
Additional Manche information from Petra Manche and her father, Richard Manche, Malta .
The National Archives in Kew , UK – also Ancestry.com.au Australia
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As mentioned before, Oral History can be embroidered. It is noted that there were three Diacono brothers in Australia leading up to the 1930s. Remo Peter arrived 10th June 1924 on the SS Mootan, Remo may have returned to Ceylon and come back arriving 4th April 1925 on the SS Ville de Mertz. Arno Denis arrived 8th August 1924 on the SS Largs Bay and Otto arrived 8th February 1928 on the SS Largs Bay. If the 4th of April arrival came from Colombo and there is no initial to identify the passenger. It was not Ezio...he was in the UK ca 1925 and left England for Ceylon with his wife Winifred in 1926. Aldo was in Ceylon running the family business. He didn’t leave until 1948 and Hugo was in the UK with Sybil Lucy.