F3/5.[D] Arthur William James Freemantle, was the fourth child and eldest son of William Roberts Freemantle and Martha Margaretha Freemantle nee Joubert. He was born in Burgersdorp on 8th.October, 1890 and was baptised in the Methodist Church there on 21st December, 1890. When his parents moved to Cala in 1897, Arthur remained with his grandparents, Jotham and Martha M.J.Joubert, at their farm 'Rietfontein' just outside Burgersdorp, presumably to ensure that he could continue his schooling in that town. He was confirmed in the Dutch Reformed Church in Burgersdorp, aged 16, in 1907.
'He started [work] as a lad with the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company (which later became ESCOM) and at first was mainly employed on the Witwatersrand and later at Witbank, where he met Frances Letty, whose father was employed on the power station there ...' 'In the 1914-18 War he served first in South West Africa with the Imperial Light Horse and at the end of hostilities there, joined Major Miller's contingent and went to England to join the R.A.F. (R.F.C.). He had just got his commission as a pilot when the war came to an end.'
On 11th.June, 1921 in Pretoria, he married Frances Josephine Letty. She was born in Standerton or Harrismith(?) on 27th.January, 1893, the daughter of Walter Edward Letty and Josina Letty nee Lindenberg. There were three children of this marriage and they were born in 1923 in Zeerust; in 1924 in Randfontein and in 1928 in Milnerton, so presumably they were living in these various places at those times, but this is not confirmed.
'After their marriage, Arthur was transferred to Colenso, where he remained for some years and he was then transferred to Cape Town on promotion and was Control Engineer at the Power Station there. He remained in the Cape until he left to join the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. [During their time] in Johannesburg, they lived in Birdhaven and Illovo'.'
The family had taken an overseas trip to France and England in 1931, and the letters he wrote to his mother while they were away remain in the possession of his youngest son; as also do other family letters, such as those from his grandmother written in High Dutch.
While Arthur's brother, Eric and his family were on an extended trip overseas in 1936/, Arthur and his family resided at 'Graystones', Dunkeld, the recently built home of Eric and Phyllis Freemantle.
In the Second World War, Arthur served as a Captain in the South African Air Force and went up north to the Western Desert.
'He was one of the few South Africans to get out of Tobruk before it was taken by Germans, who took many prisoners-of-war, my brothers among them' adds Gilda Goulding
From: 'The Time has Come' - The Memoirs of Denis Wheatley.- III -'Drink and Ink'
'There is one happening in the surrender of Tobruk by the South African General Klopper, that deserves the same immortality as Nelson's signal to the Fleet at Trafalgar. A Company of Coldstreamers was commanded by Major Sainthill. When he received the signal to surrender, he sent a signal back: 'Surrender is an exercise never practiced by the Guards in peacetime so they would not understand how to execute it in time of war!' Then with his men and some two hundred stout-hearted South Africans, he fought his way out through Rommel's encircling forces.
When Arthur retired from the Stock Exchange, they purchased a farm near Vereeniging and lived there for some years. Frances Josephine Freemantle nee Letty died in Durban on 17th. March, 1961 and Arthur William James Freemantle died in the Saalem Old Age Home in Bramley, Johannesburg on 3rd.September, 1970, 'where he had been for some months'.
There were three children of their marriage:
F3/6.[D]a Elinda Lois Freemantle, born on 8.1.1923 in Zeerust and she was married on 5.7.1947 in Johannesburg to John Edgar Dale Bramwell (Bill), the son of John Ernest and Bessie Augusta Bramwell. He was born on 3.9.1920 in Vryheid, Natal and became a Civil Engineer. They had five children, the first three born in Johannesburg and the last two in Durban:
7.c.1 Frances Elizabeth Bramwell, (born 22.4.1949) married Peter K. Cunningham in December, 1971 and they had a child 8.(i) Heather Jane Cunningham.
7.c.2 Susan Lois Bramwell, (born 18.11.1950) married in January, 1973.
7.c.3 Helen Margaret Bramwell (born 10.4.1952).
7.c.4 Donald Charles Bramwell (born 10.6.1956).
7.c.5 Penelope Bramwell (born April, 1971 and died in June, 1974 in Durban)
F3/6.[D]b Alric Joubert Freemantle, was born on 3.6.1924 in Randfontein and died 2.8.2000. He married Patricia Bennett on 3.3.1951 in Pretoria. She was born on 21.12.1925 in East London and they had 4 children:
F3/7.b[2a] Roderick John Freemantle, born 12.10.1951 in Johannesburg and he married Elizabeth Goodwin, the daughter of Allen E. and Joyce Goodwin. Their 3 children were:
F3/8.[2a](2a) Jonathan Paul Freemantle (born 16.6.1978);
F3/8.[2a](2b) Matthew Alric Freemantle (born 7.3.1980);
F3/8.[2a](2c) Simon Arthur Christopher Freemantle (born 3.12.1982)
F3/7.b[2b] Anthony Michael Freemantle, born 5.1.1954, in Johannesburg.
F3/8[2b] (3a) etc. for his children.
F3/7.b[2c] Jeremy Arthur Freemantle, born 14.12.1955, in Krugersdorp.
F3/8[2c](4a) etc. for his children
F3/7.b[d] Patricia Ann Freemantle, born 25.6.1960, in Johannesburg.
F3/6.[D]c Arthur Walther (Bob) Freemantle, who was born on 27.11.1928 in Milnerton, Cape and died 10.9.1999 Strand, Cape He became a Civil Engineer. He married (1st) Diedreka Venemans (born 3.1.1932). They were married in Johannesburg on 4.7.1953. They were divorced in 1978. They had 3 children:
F3/7.c[3a] Richard Joubert Freemantle, Born 19.8.1956, in Johannesburg, married Sheila Gallied on 27.5.1979. She was born on 25.7.1952.
F3/8.[3a(5a) etc. for Richard's children
F4/7.c[3b] Diana Helen Freemantle, born 23.1.1959, in Johannesburg, married Peter Weibel on 19.9.1981. He was born on 10.6.1956 and they had three children:
Justin Paul Weibel 14.2.1987
Genevieve Joy Weibel 25.9.1989
Angelique Machal Weibel 11.8.1993
F3/7.c[3c] Barbara Joan Freemantle, born 7.2.1964, in Johannesburg.
Arthur Walther (Bob) Freemantle married (2nd) Joan Yensen. Joan died 26.7.2002 at Elgin, Cape.
Reminiscences from Noel Wild nee Shirley, formerly Manship:
Arthur Freemantle and my husband, Alec Manship, had become firm friends while they were serving together in England during the latter part of the First World War in the R.F.C. While there they became acquainted with Ryder Haggard and his wife, who offered hospitality to servicemen. In after years both the A.W. Freemantles and the Manships visited the daughter, Lilias Ryder Haggard, and stayed with her, when touring the United Kingdom.
Extract from a letter from Phyllis Newnham in Durban - 15.2.1972:
'I sent all cuttings and news for years to Arthur, my brother. He said he was writing a book about the family. I often saw him when he was staying with his daughter. We used to run Megan to hospital once a week. She was a sister there and on our way back called to see him. The last time I saw him, I asked him to show me the book, he said it wasn't in book form only pages. He could not let me have them as Bobby, his son, had them. I sent a cutting to him I saw in our paper about a Mr. Freemantle [Mr. & Mrs. Freemantle of Edenvale]. Mr. Freemantle looks like Uncle Jack Freemantle. Some months after the name Freemantle appeared in our papers again, [they were] down the street. They had gone on a holiday [he] (caught a cold on a very cold night, which led to his death.) I can't say if they were the same [people] ... I sent it to Arthur.'
Written by Ruth May:
As far as Aunt Bud and Uncle Arthur are concerned, my most vivid memories of them are of Bud's predilection for spiral staircases and her very attractive floral paintings; [as a wedding present she gave Margaret Deane nee Goulding a very pretty painting of small arum lilies and at the time of our marriage, they gave us a cushion embroidered by Bud in a Jacobean design. When the cushion finally wore out, I copied the design and made a tapestry seat cover for a small armchair, with the same stylised flowers and I stitched the animals in petit point]. Also, I recall Arthur's amusing accounts of his experiences, such as the time when my father had a long running problem with the Johannesburg municipality, in the days before proper sewerage was obtainable in Dunkeld and the 'night cart' was required to call periodically. The driver of this vehicle was refusing to come down the drive to perform the necessary service in spite of all my father's efforts and he was getting desperate. Arthur was confident that he could fix this difficulty and offered to do so. Apparently his solution was to walk straight into the main foyer of the [old] municipal office, a large chamber with all the counters lining each side and a clerk in attendance behind each section. Without approaching any of these, he called out in his loudest voice, 'Alright then, who do I have to bribe and how much?' That did the trick. He was quickly ushered in to see the appropriate manager, who promised immediate attention to the problem and so, without any money changing hands that brought about the conclusion of a difficult situation. In those days bribery was very uncommon and simply not acceptable in South Africa.
I also recall a train journey when Phillip, I, and our two small sons, unexpectedly found Aunt Bud and Uncle Arthur were also aboard. We enjoyed an entertaining evening together over dinner and drinks. Strangely, one remark Uncle Arthur made that evening stands out quite clearly in my memory - in assessing his own character, he said, 'The problem with me is that I can never accept anything as it is presented, always having to examine it from all sides, especially upside-down and inside-out, then challenging it if I feel that is necessary - this seems to be a characteristic commonly found among the Freemantles.' I tend to agree with him, recognising this trait in myself; one that I not always welcomed by other people.
When driving the car somewhat belatedly through the traffic lights, he would joke - 'That was a rather bloodshot green!' To this day we always use this expression and think of him.
Extract from a letter from Bob Freemantle - 30.8.1988:
'I have passed the buck to Joan. She has made copies of my father's letters to his mother, which he wrote from Europe. The background was that my Grandfather Letty, with whom my father had a very healthy and mutual dislike, had invited my mother and us three kids to France, pointedly omitting my father. He, of course, was then determined to go and to pay his own way.
'Another very interesting letter is from his Grandmother, our common great-grandmother, picking him out for writing to her in English. He told me that she could speak no English except 'Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the boers are on the kopjie'. When he was a child of about nine years the English took all the livestock from their farm in Burgersdorp. This coloured his political outlook for the rest of his Life.'