William Robson Johnson,
the son of William Shields and Ann Isabella (née Robson)
Johnson, was born on 3 December 1850 in South Shields,
Durham, England, and died in Brisbane on 19 July 1938.
He married Helen Wallace Bains (b. South Shileds,
Durham, 12 July 1852), the daughter of Robert Watson and
Mary (née Robertson) Bains, in Tynemouth, Northumberland
on 18 April 1874. He and Helen and their infant son
William Robson Jr emigrated to Australia as assisted
passengers on the 1293-ton Orient Line vessel
Dilharree (Captain R McNeilly). The ship left London
on 12 May 1876 and anchored in the Brisbane Roadstead on
12 August 1876. With the other emigrants—‘evidently a
very suitable lot of colonists’—they were brought up the
River by the Settler and landed at Queen’s Wharf
on 14 August at 3 p.m.
In addition to William Robson Jr (b. June quarter 1875),
their children (all born in Queensland) were: John (b.
14 March 1878), James Bains (b. 7 July 1880), Percy
Augustus (b. 7 August 1882), Helen (b. 23 May 1885; d.
24 May 1885), Robert Watson Bains (b. 21 March 1886),
Annie Olive (b. 14 August 1889), and Clement Robson (b.
25 March 1894).
Of special interest to us among these children is
Percy Augustus Johnson, a plumber and tinsmith, who
was born in Yeerongpilly on 7 August 1882. He married
Annie Elizabeth Silcock, the daughter of William and
Annie Elizabeth (née Bunn) Silcock, in Brisbane on 15
October 1910. They became the parents of Lillian Edna
Wallace (b. 10 June 1911; m. Vernon Franz Jacobi 22
December 1934), William Robson (b. 8 January 1914),
Percy Augustus Jr (b. 7 November 1916), Hazel Enid (b.
about 1920), Dorothy Annie Ellen (b. about 1922) and
Millicent Joyce (b. about 1926, known as Joyce).
Percy Augustus Johnson Sr died on 17 July 1941. His wife
Annie was living in Elmes Street, Rocklea, when she
passed away on 9 January 1946. Both were laid to rest in
the monumental section of the Mount Gravatt Cemetery (3A
After a short life of ‘two years, seven months and seven
days’ according to an extract from his death
certificate, Percy Augustus Johnson Jr passed
away on 14 June 1919. His mortal remains were interred
in God’s Acre on the following day. At the time of his
death the family lived in Beaudesert Road, Coopers
Plains. Assisting at the interment were: Tom Foley
(undertaker), the Reverend Frederick North of the
Congregational Church, and James B Johnson (the boy’s
uncle) and WA Wright who acted as witnesses.
Our account would be incomplete without some reference
to another Johnson family. Euphemia Bains, the sister of
the above-mentioned Helen Wallace Bains, married Joseph
Johnson (b. 10 December 1830), the son of Clark and
Catherine (née Dee) Johnson, on 4 March 1861. Euphemia
and Joseph travelled to Brisbane on the same voyage of
the Dilharree as William Robson and Helen.