Edwin Hubert Henderson Architect

This site is dedicated to the life and work of Edwin Hubert Henderson, architect (1885-1939). Henderson was Chief Architect of the Commonwealth of Australia from 1929-1939.

Winifred Julia Henderson (nee Smith)

Henderson’s first marriage was to Winifred Julia Smith.  They married on 31 March 1914 at Christ Church, St Kilda.  He was 28, she was 26.  They were divorced in 1923.

Their first marital residence was in Warragal Road, Oakleigh in Melbourne.

On 6 October 1922, Edwin Henderson sued for divorce from Winifred in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, citing desertion as grounds.    By 1919, Winifred was listed, still under her married name, in Chadwick Mansions, Alexandra Ave, South Yarra, occupation home duties.

The court documents indicate that Winifred has left Edwin on 24 February 1917, after less than 3 years of marriage.  They had no children.

Henderson was living at Astoria Flats, Kirribilli, North Sydney at the time of the divorce.

James Orwin, who would rise to be works director for New South Wales, gave evidence on behalf of Henderson in his suit for divorce.  Orwin was evidently a close friend (he was very emotional giving evidence to the Royal Commission after Henderson’s death).

The divorce papers were served on Winifred on 9 October 1922 by the managing clerk of Henderson’s solicitors.  According to the affidavit of the service, Henderson spoke to Winifred prior to service.  One can only imagine the conversation.

The divorce was granted on 2 October 1923.

Winifred was born in London in 1888.

Her parents were William Arthur Smith (born 1864) and Julia Anne McLean (born 1871), who were married on 30 May 1891 at St Stephen’s Church Spitalfields.  He was a cabinet-maker and she as book-maker.  William was the son of Job Smith.  Julia was the daughter of Denis McLean.  It appears that Winifred probably arrived in Australia in 1911 on the Orsova.  Her occupation was listed as domestic, and in 1914 the electoral roll recorded her occupation as ‘lady’s help”.

Curiously, though Henderson was a Methodist, they were married within the Church of England.  She was an Anglican.


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