Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trove Tuesday – A Soldier of Ku-ring-gai

We have an enthusiastic team of members who are undertaking a project to research, write and publish biographies of the WWI Killed in Action soldiers, decorated soldiers and nurses who are named on memorials in the Ku-ring-gai area.

Here is how Trove helped us link one of our soldiers back to Ku-ring-gai.
Nowell Johnstone SIEVERS didn’t appear on the Australian War Memorial website or the NAA Mapping Our Anzacs website.
Research revealed he was a Captain in the 9th Essex Regiment.

So, how to link him back to Ku-ring-gai?

A search on Trove revealed his death notice and his parents residence as ‘Sydney’.

A search of the BDMs revealed siblings born in NSW but didn't include Nowell. 
He was born in the UK in Dec 1890.
The birth notice of one of these siblings showed a local address in 1896: 
Craigmyle in Wahroonga.

Then the death notice of the father in 1932 showed an address of: Garth, Kuring-gai Chase avenue, Turramurra. 
Nowell’s father Edward was a Valuer General of NSW and his obituary reads like a who’s who of old Ku-ring-gai names.

Another article from Trove, and one from New Zealand’s Papers Past revealed some more details of his life.

Evening Post, Volume XCIV, Issue 153, 27 December 1917, Page 7


  1. Nowell Sievers was my first cousin twice removed; his mother was the younger sister of my great grandfather Professor Sir Algernon Thomas. Incidentally he was also a first cousin twice removed to the former Australian astronaut Andy Thomas. I obviously never met him but I did meet his sisters Erica (Jimmy) and Daintre in 1981 when they were living at Mowll Village in Castle Hill having moved there from Turramurra via Pearl Beach. I have a posthumously painted miniature portrait of Nowell which they gave me. The British political theorist and economist Harold Laski who knew Nowell at both Manchester Grammar School and Oxford (where he obtained a first in history) considered his death to be one of the great losses of the war. I understand that he was mentioned in dispatches.

  2. Hi Christopher, Nowell Sievers will be in Volume III of our WWI commemoration books to be launched sometime in 2016. We would love any further information you could supply and perhaps a copy of the portrait to include in the book if that is OK with you. We have some information we could share with you too. Please email us at khs@khs.org.au and attention Jackie.