I'm looking for anybody who knows anything about the St Leone family originally from Edmonton Alberta, Canada. My fathers name was William Sheppard St Leone, his father Peter William St leone and his mother Ellen Sheppard. Apparently they were married in England. I believe Ellen Sheppard was born in Sydney Australia. Any one with any info would be appreciated. Also William (Bill) St Leone was in world war 2 and was a Rat of Trobuk.  

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Comment by Debra on September 5, 2013 at 16:34

Hi Shirley,

Do you have your father's service record?  He is on the nominal roll here http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?ServiceId=A&VeteranId=37... but his record is not coming up here on RecordSearch.  Did he continue in the Army after the war?  If so there are instructions on this post in Tonia's reply about how to obtain service records for those who also served post-war . http://forum.naa.gov.au/forum/topics/raaf-records

There is no marriage showing in the UK between an Ellen SHEPPARD and Peter William ST LEONE or any variations of those names. William was born in NSW.

Do you know or suspect that your father changed his surname prior to enlisting?  Is there anyone still living that you could ask? I have found some information which appears to be leaning in that direction, but difficult to prove conclusively.



Comment by shirley lorraine stleone on October 6, 2013 at 10:30

Hi Debra, I do have my fathers service record, I know he was born in Canada he said on his army records that he was born in NSW so could enlist in the army. I do not have anybody to ask as no one seems to know to much about him. I have suspected change of name but I do not know where to go from here. All I know is he was a Rat of Tobruk. I think he was in the reserves after the war but I not entirely sure if this is the truth.

Comment by Debra on October 8, 2013 at 12:13

Hi Shirley,

Canada and Australia are both Commonwealth countries; we were all British subjects and many Canadians enlisted here during the war.  I believe your father was definititely born in NSW.

Your father's newspaper death notice is indexed here with his full compliment of first names   http://www.genealogysa.org.au/resources/online-databases.html

His mother Ellen died in 1962 and her death notice mentions both her sons and their wives, so he must have been in contact with her.   http://tinyurl.com/kogzm6e  (page on far left, bottom of first column, use + - at the top to zoom)  She was buried at Rookwood cemetery.

Ellen SHEPPARD was born at Walcha, NSW in 1882, the daughter of Wyndham SHEPPARD and Hannah who had immigrated into Queensland in 1874.  Ellen married in 1918 to Peter William HOLLANDS in Sydney and they had three sons, one of which I believe was your father:

The youngest son, Franklin George HOLLANDS,  was born c1923 and died in 2008 aged 85,  “late of Hillgrove House, Bega”.  http://www.ryersonindex.org/ 

He enlisted for service in WW2  http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=A&veteranId=22...  and it appears that his uniform has been donated to the Kokoda Historical Collection:

(bottom of page) “A pair of gaiters similar to this (but with brass tabs on the end of the straps) were issued to NX115723 Corporal Franklin George HOLLANDS who served with the Lae Fortress Workshops AIF. These are in the Kokoda Historical Collection with his uniform”. http://www.medalsgonemissing.com/Uniform-Kit-issued-to-the-AIF-Duri...

Franklin married firstly to Beryl Olive GEDGE in 1951 (she died 1956), secondly to Rachel Mary GARRETT in 1959, and there was also a third marriage.  He became a Presbyterian Minister later in life and may not have had any children of his own, or they predeceased him.  http://www.begadistrictnews.com.au/story/1074643/district-death/

The middle son, Peter Joseph HOLLANDS, was born c1922 and died when he was accidentally drowned in the Parramatta River in 1930.  The full story is here: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/103867782

The eldest son was your father (William) Wyndham Sheppard HOLLANDS born 27 December 1918 or 1919.  He enlisted in the NSW Militia Forces in 1938 when he was just 18 years old and gave his mother Ellen as next of kin.  http://dhistory.org/archives/naa/items/9287931/

Peter HOLLANDS and Ellen SHEPPARD divorced in 1933 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17031137  and in 1940 Peter was looking for his two sons (second last column headed 'Personal and Missing Friends') http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17667773

Perhaps William changed his name and moved to SA to avoid contact with his father.

It may be that William's father was from Canada, you would need to purchase Peter and Ellen's 1918 marriage certificate to obtain a place of birth and parents' names.  His mother was in Australia as in 1916 Peter applied for exemption from enlistment, being his mother's only son and sole source of support. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/118103765

Perhaps if you contact the Presbyterian church at Bega they might be able to put you in touch with someone in Franklin George Hollands' family.  Hillgrove House may also be able to pass your contact details on to his next of kin.


Comment by shirley lorraine stleone on October 8, 2013 at 16:08

Hi Debra, OMG Thank you very much. My daughter and I did track down a Peter Holland's but with no info from anyone we did not know if he was related..I can't believe my father lied to all of us all those years even though we suspected something, we asked questions and he just stuck by what he said. Thanks again it has been many years to try to find this out. My daughter and I will follow up on this.. Thanking you once again. 

Comment by Debra on October 8, 2013 at 23:43

Hi Shirley,

No worries, and hopefully if you can make contact with family you may get some answers.  I would imagine that the death of his brother was very traumatic and it may have contributed to his parents' separation.  It would be interesting to find out why he chose the name he did when he could have just used his mother's maiden name.



Comment by shirley lorraine stleone on October 9, 2013 at 11:18

Hi Debra, That is the question, about the name I guess I will never know, but I will chase up his brothers family if possible. Maybe they might be able to give me an answer on the name.


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