...do YOUR families link back to first South Australian wheat growers?
 Christina and Donald McLEAN from Scotland 1837



Bertram Vivien (Viv or Trimmer) ASHBY

Bertram Vivien (Viv or Trimmer) ASHBY

Male 1925 - 2001  (76 years)

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  • Name Bertram Vivien (Viv or Trimmer) ASHBY  [1
    Nickname Viv or Trimmer 
    Born 12 Jun 1925  Mt Gambier SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Biography Notes Bertram Vivien (Viv) Ashby - b. 12/6/1925. Childhood nickname "Trimmefi

    Occupation: Dairy farmer of Allendale, S.A. 7th child of Mary and James Ashby of Kongorong. S.A.

    Married Betty (Jean) Kerr (b. 24/2/1925).

    Viv. entered the air force in September 1943. He turned 18 in the June and joined up straight away, but wasn't called until September. Although Viv entered the war towards the end he clocked up more flying hours than many who had been in since its beginning. His brothers ragged him that he was the only one who slept in a bed and between sheets during the war. He first went to Victor Harbor for 3 months training. His ambition was to be a pilot but he failed the eye test so became a very successful navigator.

    Viv. went to Ballarat and trained on wireless, which was when they changed it from wireless air gun to signals. He remained on wireless through the 1944 winter in Ballarat. The coldest place imaginable. Everything outside was frozen stiff on the line. He went from there to Rathmines (Newcastle) and that was training on Catalan Flying Boats. They operated in Darwin for a while mining Surabaya.

    They were sent to the Philippines and from there mined Hong Kong Harbour so the Japanese could not get out. They really mined the Harbour, not only their plane but many other Aussie planes. During this time they had the greatest scare of their lives. They in at two thousand feet and the mountains were seven thousand feet. There were lane ways to get out as long as you didn't go off course On one of their flights one of their mines wouldn't drop. They usually dropped electrically but this one didn't, they made a second run and the second pilot had to pull the emergency stick, he pulled it but nothing happened so they made a third run. The second pilot said, "l'm going to drop it this time". He put his feet on the aircraft and got hold of the lever. He released the mine all right but went fonuard and hit the control column and the plane dived.

    There was one hell of a roar as the skipper pulled the throttle and gave it all engines full bore. Viv. was on radar. The blokes out on the blister called. "You just put the lights out in Hong Kong " All the lights were on as they were silent coming in and at two hundred feet the radar couldn't pick them up because they were too low so no-one knew they were in the harbour. But when the roar was heard, blink, the lights went out. Viv's plane got out OK but it was terrifying - at two hundred feet it doesn't take long for a plane to go down.

    The most uncomfortable time Viv. ever had was dropping bombs over Borneo. The plane was up 8,000 feet and yet every time they dropped a bomb the blast of it would lift the plane up. The worst part for Viv was the cold. in Dan/vin the men were running around in shorts and shirt if indeed they had a shirt. They would fly out at 2,000 ft and go up to 8,000 ft in preparation to drop the bomb. It was like going into a frost it was so cold.

    At the end of the war Viv's unit had a lot of beef runs and caning people home. This was no circus as half to three quarters of their passengers got sick, the planes were not made to carry passengers and they were thrown around everywhere The worst thing was cleaning the plane afterwards. Viv. came home in November.

    Most of his was done over sea and so he never experienced hitting air pockets as you do flying over land. Flying from Melbourne to Mt Gambler on the way home was more terrifying for Viv. than the many hours flown in the war.
    When he came home he lived at Doman's and worked home, then he went to Parween working for the government looking after their heifers. Viv. and Jean married after his return and they went home to work the family farm and lived with the folks for five years before buying a place in Allendale in 1953.

    The property was bare when they bought it but after supering the year the next year it was covered with clover. Their farm is over the famous sinkhole "THE SHAFT" which has claimed many lives. Jean ensures that all divers sign her visitors book and although there is no charge the divers must be experienced and registered.

      [1
    • .
    Military Service 1943  [1
    Air Force 
    Occupation Allendale SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Dairy farmer 
    Died 27 Nov 2001  Mt Gambier SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • He might have died in Penola which is about 50 kms from Mt Gambier.
    Person ID I-4705  Christina and Donald McLean | Archibald McLean's descendants
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2018 

    Father James Edward ASHBY,   b. 30 Nov 1889, Tantanoola SA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Apr 1967, Port MacDonnell Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Relationship -1485 
    Mother Maria Mabel MCLEAN,   b. 27 Oct 1891, Beulah Vic Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 May 1981, Allendale SA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Relationship -1485 
    Married 2 Dec 1914  Kongorong SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F-1485  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family B K 
    Children 
     1. GR A
     2. TN A
    Last Modified 10 Dec 2013 05:57:00 
    Family ID F-1536  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
    At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

    Stories At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

  • Sources 
    1. [S-3] BRB - 'Donald & Christina McLean & Their Descendants', 1995, The BRB has a good index for each individual. Copies of the BRB available Strathalbyn National Trust Museum & Library, several libraries around Australia including State Library SA, and Western Australian Genealogical Society Bayswater WA Request assistance for locating a copy through 'Contact us' on this website. .

    2. [S-148] Dianne Facey - ID 4624 - further evidence welcome, Worksheet 29 on 3rd March 2018 - inputted by Don Gordon on 9th March 2018.
      Details provided by Dianne are held in the records of the C&D McLean Committee. These records are accessible via 'Contact us' on the homepage and will eventually be available at the Strathalbyn NTSA.

    3. [S-148] Dianne Facey - ID 4624 - further evidence welcome, Worksheet 25 & 29 on 3rd March 2018 - inputted by Don Gordon on 9th March 2018.
      Details provided by Dianne are held in the records of the C&D McLean Committee. These records are accessible via 'Contact us' on the homepage and will eventually be available at the Strathalbyn NTSA.