Project Description

Edith Maude TORRENT (nee Bennett, known as Maude) was born in Busselton on 22 February 1914. Her father was Walter Bennett born in England on 30 March 1883. He arrived in Australia in 1910 looking for work to bring his wife out. Her mother, Ellen Hyde (nee Juppe), was born in Horsham, England in 1885. She brought out their two girls who got diphtheria on the ship. They arrived in Fremantle and farmed in Nannup.

Walter and Ellen had five girls and Maude names her sisters, their marriages and children. They moved to Group Settlement 34 by train to Wonnerup then a cart to the Settlement at Yalyalup. Maude recalls the terrible humpy. Her father used to break in horses for the Group. The girls had to help because there were no sons and their mother was homesick.

They schooled near the Settlement and Maude left at 15 because her mother was unwell. Maude talks about their social life. They had dances every fortnight at Yalyalup School, went to the Busselton Show once a year when they stayed in town to go to the pictures – silent movies. The Group held sporting days on one of the farms. Church services were held in the school hall.

Maude married Joseph Torrent (Joe), son of early Spanish settlers at Yoongarillup, in 1933 and they lived with his parents on Location 604 at Yoongarillup. At that time her father went to work on a sheep farm in Corrigin. She and Joe spent time in the Goldfields where he went mining.

They returned to Yoongarillup and their in-laws after Maude was hospitalised with appendicitis. They had five children, Ramona, Ronald, Maureen, Rhoda and Kevin and moved to their own house on another block. They raised pigs, grew potatoes and milked cows. They played tennis at the Yoongarillup Hall court and basketball in Busselton. They had a court on the farm, and teams used to come out from around the district. Maude was on the Yoongarillup Social Committee for years. Joe was on the Busselton Shire Council and had a term as President.