F3/5.[H] Ronald Roberts Freemantle, was the eighth and youngest child of William Roberts Freemantle and Martha Margaretha Freemantle nee Joubert. He was born in Indwe on 3rd.May, 1900 and baptised in the Presbyterian Church there, later he joined the Church of England and in 1948 became a convert to the Roman Catholic Church.
With his mother and the other children (except his brother, Arthur who remained in Burgersdorp in the care of their grandparents and his brother, Allen who had died before Ronald's birth), he moved to Johannesburg in 1904, aged 4, and they lived in what is now the city centre, then moved to a large double storey house standing on the ground on which the present ESCOM House is built in Braamfontein, and thence to Malvern and, afterwards, to Gardens. His father did not accompany the family to Johannesburg, but lived in Potchefstroom and then Kroonstad, in both of these towns he practiced as an auctioneer and an agent, then he eventually died in the Marico district in 1923.
Ronald Roberts Freemantle was married in Johannesburg on 4th. August, 1928 in the Yeoville Catholic Church, to Constance Pauline Harrison, the daughter of George Washington Harrison and Pauline Harrison nee Emmerich. Constance (Connie) was born in Johannesburg on 13th. April, 1904 and baptised in the Roman Catholic Church there.
During 1916/1917 Ronald served in the German East African forces with the South African Service Corps. - Mechanical Transport - and drove a car on the narrow gauge railway between Kilwa and Lundi. He spent a considerable time in hospital suffering from sunstroke and malaria.
Before enlisting he was first employed by J. S. Hancock & Co., Sanitary engineers, who fitted out the then new Johannesburg Town Hall with all its toilet requirements. He then worked at the Boy Scout Headquarters and later on the Crown Mines in the Native Time Office, from where he enlisted. On his discharge, he worked in a brewery in Booysens for a couple of months and then went to a firm of stockbrokers called A. C. Allen & Co.. He left them after six or seven years and went to another stockbroking firm, E. Hesselberger, with whom he stayed for about four years, moving on to the firm M. Kneen & Co. for a couple of years. After that he became a Member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and started a business on his own.
By this time he and his family had moved from their home in Illovo and Connie was occupied in building up their small farm at Olivedale, Johannesburg, where she concentrated on her registered dairy herd, pigs and strawberries. During the war years they supplemented their work force with a number of Italian prisoners-of-war, who assisted in the building of some excellent outbuildings, pig sties and terraced strawberry beds.
In 1948, owing to financial problems, Ronald left the Stock Exchange and they went farming in the Lydenberg district. This farm was well timbered and very pretty, having a solid old farmhouse with a most welcoming atmosphere. However, that district is notorious for the cattle diseases which are prevalent there, and which destroyed a large part of Connie's herd of cattle, taken with them from Olivedale, an area that is relatively free from such problems.
With the assistance of their three sons, Con and Ron farmed there for about 15 years and then returned to Johannesburg, where Ron went to work for the firm, Max Pollak & Freemantle. He retired in 1969.
Their son, Joseph (Joe) had built onto his home in Bryanston a 'granny-flat' in which his parents lived until their deaths. Ronald died on 20.5.1981 and Constance died during a visit to the home of her son, Paul, in Kloof, Natal, on 21.4.1988.
The children of Ronald Roberts Freemantle and Constance Pauline Freemantle nee Harrison's were:
F3/6.[H]aa Pamela Mary Freemantle, who was born on 16th December, 1933 in Johannesburg. She was married on 23rd April, 1960 to William Henry Morton Bradley, the son of Ernest Henry Bradley and Ailenn Clair Bradley nee Shannon. She became a domestic Science teacher and he became an R.A.F. Electronics engineer. They had five children:
7.c.1 Mark Richard Bradley, born 10.2.1962, Aden.
7.c.2 Michael John Bradley, born 7.9.1963, Epping, Essex.
7.c.3 Martin David Bradley, born 8.1.1965, Cambridgeshire.
7.c.4 Karen Louise Bradley, born 5.12.1967, London.
7.c.5 Anne Marie Bradley, born 10.11.1968, Saffron Weldon.
F3/6.[H]ba Paul Roberts Freemantle. (1935-) See individual section to follow.
F3/6.[H]ca Owen George Freemantle. (1937-) See individual section to follow.
F3/6.[H]d Ronald Joseph Freemantle. (1939-) See individual section to follow.
Written by Ruth May:
We always enjoyed visiting Aunt Con and Uncle Ron, both when they lived at 'Olivedale' and, especially afterwards, on the farm at Lydenberg, where the welcome was consistently warm and all embracing. Even when we arrived with friends and extra children, all were included into the homely family atmosphere, so that this farm became one of our favourite spots to visit when we wanted to take a few days break. Another admirable aspect was that they both invariably did all they could to maintain family ties, keeping in touch with their many relatives and, when compiling the family tree, gave unstintingly, much needed information. Not many of the family visited us at Gordon's Bay, but we thoroughly enjoyed the couple of weeks they spent with us not very long before Ron's death.
From the days when we visited the Lydenberg farm, we had a little private joke with Con, instigated by a competitive puzzle then appearing in the newspaper, called 'Spot the Ball' - showing an athlete playing some type of sport, but without printing the ball in the picture - this being left for the reader to guess where the ball was.
Even on the last occasion on which we saw Con, when she was feeling her age and starting to loose her memory, our reference to this game still provoked her jolly laugh and allowed us to have another happy time together.