F3/5.[A] Phyllis Ida Freemantle, was the eldest child of William Roberts Freemantle and Martha Margaretha Freemantle nee Joubert. She was born on 18th.September, 1886 and was baptised in the Methodist church there. Her parents lived in Burgersdorp until 1897, so it is probable that she received some schooling there. The family then moved to Cala and, thence, to Indwe in 1900 for four years. There was both a convent and a village school in Cala at the time the family were living there. In the early years her father earned a living transport riding and, consequently, he was frequently away from home and the family moved to fit in with this work. Later he was an auctioneer and agent. In 1904 the family went to live in Johannesburg, but her father left them and moved to Potchefstroom and, eventually to the Marico district where he died in 1923.
The family lived in what is now the centre of town and then moved to Braamfontein and Malvern. They probably only went to Gardens after her marriage.
Phyllis married (1st) Alec Powell in Johannesburg in 1908 or 1909. He was born and died in that city, but the dates are unknown at this time. He worked in a factory in Johannesburg and there were six children of this marriage, all born in Johannesburg. They were:
6.c.1 Garfield Powell, born 10.5.1910, married Kathleen; there were children of this marriage, but names not traced.
6.c.2.Virginia Powell, born 1912, married (1st.) Tommy Matthys, a Royal Exchange Insurance Agent. They were divorced and she married (2nd.) Alexander Stalker, a Police and Security Officer. They had two children: 7.(i) Joan married John Pike and 7.(ii) a son.
6.c.3. Dorien Powell (Doreen), born 29.4.1914 and married in Bulawayo to Walter Townsend
6.c.4. Cleveland Powell, born on 20.3.1916. He became a Geologist at Union Corp., in Springs. He married and divorced his first wife and there were children from his second marriage, names untraced.
6.c.5. Dorothy Powell, born 18.4.1918 and married on 1.9.1945 in Johannesburg to George William Burridge (1914-1959) and they had four daughters 7.(i) Heather, (ii) 7.Megan, 7.(iii) Maureen and 7.(iv) Theresa.
6c.6. Thelma Powell, born 15.4.1920 and she married Ralph Clokie, who was a Bank Manager and they had two children.(i) Clifford and (ii) John.
Phyllis married (2nd) William Newnham in Durban in 1951. He was born in England and died in Durban in 1968. He was a farmer.
'His sister who kept all of Phyllis' family papers while they went overseas, unfortunately, wanted to use the case in which they were stored, so that they were all lost.' This sister eventually sold her house in South Africa and went to live in Canada, where most of their [the Newhams] family were living and William Newnham's parents died there. William had been in South Africa for many years prior to his marriage, living on his own, with just his farm manager.'
Phyllis visited her cousin, Lennox Broster in London shortly before he purchased a property in 1937, Chelmscote Manor, near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, which was described as in 'the heart of Freemantle Country' because the country estate of Sir Thomas Fremantle was in the vicinity. Her brother, Eric, met an old local yokel in the lane near Lennox's home who told him there had always been Fremantles 'there abouts'.
In 1972, Phyllis was residing at Jafta House, Prince Street, Durban and she died there in December, 1973.
From Ruth May: One of my Father's earliest recollections was of being left in the care of his older sisters, Phyllis and Ethel. In order to ensure that he did not get into trouble, Phyllis tied a length of string around his waist and attached him to the leg of the table. Although he must have been extremely young at the time, this made an indelible impression, because the memory of the incident, and the frustration caused, never quite faded away.