10th December 2021: Today, we commemorate the 120th anniversary of the death of my GGF Aimable Ciril Dupérouzel, a pioneer of York, Western Australia. 

Eastern Districts’ Chronicle newspaper, dated Saturday 14 December 1901, published his death notice stating he passed away at his residence, South Street, York on Tuesday, December 10, 1901, aged 74 years. 

 During his lifetime numerous recordings of Aimable’s birth names and surname were mis-spelt and mis-pronounced. Thankfully he didn’t adopt an alias to simplify life after his arrival in Western Australia. Aimable was proud to be French for his surname linked him to the country of his birth and to his childhood family memories of growing up in the small hamlet of St. Aubin-du-Perron, Manche.     

My late Auntie Ollie Munchton (née Olive Ovens), Aimable’s grand-daughter once told me that the York locals affectionately called Aimable ‘John, the Frenchman’. 

Auntie Ollie believed Aimable’s red handkerchief, pictured here, came from France. Another handkerchief shows his embroidered initials A.D. A third handkerchief belonging to his wife, Julia, has her name, J. Duperouzel, written on the edge. These handkerchiefs’ are still in the possession of the family today. It is more likely Aimable’s red handkerchief came from the drapery shop of Dumaresq & Turner’s in St. Port, Guernsey given Aimable was transported to Western Australia for having been found guilty of stealing a vast range of merchandise,  including handkerchiefs, from this shop in 1856. 

 Aimable is buried in the historic York Cemetery, Western Australia. It is not entirely surprising GGF’s Christian names and age on his headstone are at odds for they are inscribed as Amiable Sierl and 74 years instead of Aimable Ciril and 70 years. The Eastern Districts’ Chronicle newspaper also mis-spelt his names when publishing his death notice. However, the spelling of his surname on his headstone is correct and is accompanied with this lovely verse:

“We cannot clasp thy hand dear Father
Thy face we cannot see
But let this little token tell
We still remember thee.”

 Aimable’s wife, and my GGM, Julia Neagle, from Tipperary, Ireland (1844-1926) is buried in the same grave as Aimable having settled in York from the late 1850s. The headstone includes the following inscription for Julia and this lovely verse:

Beloved wife of above
Died 8th Jan.1926
Aged 82 years.
“As the ivy clings to the oak. Dear Mother,
So our memory clings to thee.”

Aimable’s older brother, Denis-Jacques Dupérouzel (1826-1896), also died at the age 70 years having passed away in St. Peter Port, Guernsey in 1896. The age recorded on his Death Certificate shows as 64 years. 

I highly recommend The York Society’s Historical Trail of pioneer graves in the York Cemetery. Aimable and Julia’s grave is at location 16 of 27. The York Society’s booklet ‘York Cemetery Historical Walk Trail’ provides a write-up on the history for each pioneer grave to enhance the readers historical understanding.