THE BROSTER FAMILY CONNECTION.

Sometime between 1871 and 1879, Charles Broster had purchased the farm called 'Vlakfontein, in the Molteno district, which had been owned by his brother-in-law, Hugh Collaghan and they renamed the property 'Broughton' which was traditionally a family name. The name Broster was originally spelt in the 15th. Century, 'Brewster'.

There were eight children of this marriage:

c.1. Lawrence Broster, born 25.6.1877 in Burgersdorp; died August 1942; married 1902 in Kingwilliamstown to Isabel Hope, born 24.10.1879 and died 1965. They had four children (i) Charles (1907- 20.9.1978, married Marjorie Newman a widow with two daughters and they had a son, John (b. 1949 who married Cheryl Pope in 1972 and had 2 daughters and a son) and daughter Michelle (b.1946); (ii) Hazel Mary Broster (1911-1931); (iii) Lois Joan Broster (1914-1951?) married Tommy Hayden and had one child; (iv) Ralph Broughton Broster (1909-1955; killed in a railway accident; he married Jean Proctor and they had one son, Broughton Broster who married Joan Clarke; he died in March, 1983 and she remarried to Laurie Cremer in East London.

c.2. Ernest Broster (1879 -1946) married Isobel Vice.

c.3. Ann May Broster born 13.2.1876 Burgersdorp and died 3.1.1942 in Cape Town. She was the second wife of Dr. William Archer Isaacs born 10.6.1864 in Croagh, Ireland and died 4.9.1949 in Cape Town. Their son Thornton married Aletta (Jill) Freemantle [refer to F3/5.[3][G] ]

c.4. Erilda Broster born 18.8.1884, Broughton, Molteno, died 1963?; married in London Harry Lyons, a veterinary surgeon.

c.5. Lennox Broster born 1885? Molteno and died 11.4.1965 in Wimbledon, England. He was Head Surgeon at St. Pancras Hospital in London and later a Harley Street Surgeon; he married Edith Thomas who was born 24.3.1887 in England and died 25.5.1975 in Oxford, U.K. They had three daughters; Cynthia (b. 19.2.1919 Southampton, married Charles Phillips); Joy (b.11.9.1923 Hamstead, London, married Denis Lacey in 1948 and Pamela (b.13.5.1925 Hamstead, London, married John Roberts in 1948.

Lennox Broster Edith Broster (about 18) Edith Broster
Click on the photo to enlarge.

c.6. Gwendoline Phyllis Broster born 23.12.1882 Molteno and died about 1966. She married David Gemmel who was killed in the First War - No issue

c.7. Broughton Broster born 1886 and died 30.11.1917. Unmarried

c.8. Cecil George Broster born 1872 at Broughton, Molteno and died there on 26.8.1892

 

Their eldest son, Lawrence, inherited the farm on his father's death, it then went to Lawrence's eldest son, Charles and from him to the only son of Charles and his wife, Margery nee Newman, John Broster (born 1949) who still farms there with his wife and children

Lois Emma Broster's second son, Ernest, married a cousin, Isobel Vice and their eldest daughter, the third child, Ann May Broster married in November, 1903 in London, Dr. William Archer Isaacs, who was born in Croagh, Ireland and became a farmer and Mine Production Manager. They both died in Cape Town;Ann May Broster on 3.1.1942 and William Archer Isaacs on 4.9.1949. It is interesting to note that their son, Thornton, married Lois Emma Broster's niece, Aletta (Jill) Freemantle.

Lois Emma and Charles Broster's fourth child, Lois Erilda Broster, carried on the family name of 'Lois' and she married a Veterinary Surgeon in London, named Harry Lyons, but there was no issue of this marriage.

Their fifth child, and the third son, Lennox, was remarkably clever. He was born in 1888 and he won a Rhodes Scholarship, which took him to Oxford University to study medicine. He became an extremely well known Harley Street Surgeon. He was always a favourite cousin among his generation. He married Edith Thomas (born 24.3.1887 in England and died 25.5.1975 in Oxford). They had three daughters, Cynthia, Joy and Pamela and he died on 11.4.1965 in Wimbledon.

Gwendoline Phyllis Broster, their sixth child, married David Gemmel, who was killed in the First World War. She lived at 'Broughton' and corresponded with many of her cousins, being particularly interested in the family and their history.

The last two children, both boys, Broughton and Cecil George, died aged 31 and 20 respectively, neither of them married.

Charles Broster died on 27.5.1906 and Lois Emma Broster died in 1926; she probably died in Queenstown, but both of them were buried on the farm near Molteno.

From: A letter written by May Cormack to Gwen Gemmell - 16.2.1939

I am arranging to have all the [family] photographs duplicated and shall then return yours. Among mine, I have found one of you and Erilda when you were children and one of May. I shall send you these later.

Note - unknown writer - to Gwen Gemmell.

Annie Gemmell 74, Tom lived in New York, New Brunswick and California Long Beach. His son, young David was in Japan during the War II - never will mention anything about it.

Letter written by Jill Thornton Archer - 7.12.71 re Emma Broster

Yes, I have been to the Broster's place at Molteno, but many years ago. I am now 74 (almost) and time seems to pass so quickly. Aunt Emma (Lois) was a real tartar! I went once to visit her (with my mother) when in my teens and I can hear her now, as we went in the front door, 'Let me make it clear from the start - everyone who enters my front door has to earn his or her keep. You start by filling my fountain pens!' - in the process of which I ruined my best blouse and never forgot it. When Thornton wrote and told her of our engagement (his step-mother was Emma's daughter - his own mother was thrown from a horse - he was only 4 years old), Emma replied, 'You do not deserve such a fine, clever and attractive girl (she didn't know me!!) and I hope you will manage to be worthy of her. Always remember to treat her as you would any other lady !! Over this, he always pulled my leg.
 

Some info on Lennox Broster taken from Bruce Deary’s Freemantle site on Geni (added 27th July 2009):

Lennox Broster (1888 - 1965) pioneering surgeon.
 
Broster was born in Molteno, South Africa and educated at Oxford University.

He became a well-known Harley Street surgeon. He did pioneer research and provided hormonal therapy and surgery for intersex patients, especially those with adreno-genital syndrome (now known as Congenital adrenal hyperplasia), at Charing Cross Hospital in the 1930s and 1940s.

In 1932 he devised an operation which provided heretofore impossible access to the adrenal gland for removal of tumours.

His work on intersex patients was reported in The News of the World, in 1943, which attracted patients who would now be regarded as transsexual. However there is no evidence that he operated on any such person, and Clifford Allen, the psychiatrist who worked with him, specifically rejected surgical treatment for ‘transvestites’ (the term then in use).   Unlike the other surgeons who operated on intersex and 'transvestite' patients in the 1930s and 1940s, e.g. Harold Gillies, Kurt Warnekros, Ludwig Levy-Lenz, Erwin Gohrbandt, Milosh Kilcka, he did not do just one or two as an experiment, but did several hundred operations over the years.

* * *

MR. L. R. BROSTER, O.B.E., M.D., F.R.C.S. 
On Wednesday night, 1 September 1948, Dr. A. W. S. Sichel, President of the Medical Association of South Africa, gave a farewell dinner in honour of Mr. L. R. Broster, who has been visiting South Africa as the official representative of the British Medical Association. In this capacity Mr. Broster attended the last meeting of Federal Council and the Pretoria Medical Congress. He brought with him letters of good wishes from the British Medical Association, and he leaves our shores carrying with him reciprocal messages of greetings and good· 
wilI from the Medical Association of South Africa to the 
British Medical Association.