Thomas Arndell was appointed as an assistant surgeon to the settlement of NSW on 25 October 1786 and made the voyage aboard Friendship. Through an apprenticeship at a young age, Thomas would late practice apothecary in St Martin’s Le Grand. He had five legitimate child with his wife Susanna but neglected her for Isabella Francesca Foscari, a Jewish Italian singer. By this time he had qualified at the Royal College of Surgeons on 6 September 1781 he abandoned both women and signed on the East India Company ship Major. Returning to England and his wife he had another daughter before the First Fleet voyage.
When the settlement at Rose Hill (later Parramatta) was established in 1788 Thomas was given the charge of the hospital there. In July 1792 he received a land grant but was still working as a surgeon. Over the following years he increased his land holdings which were cultivated in wheat, maize and barley. He owned livestock and was employing convict and free labour. Thomas became attracted to
Elizabeth Dalton (alias Burley) who was indicated for feloniously stealing on the 15 September 1785, fourteen linen handkerchiefs, value 14s, the property of Joseph Earle, privily in his shop. Elizabeth received a sentence of 7 years transportation and arrived aboard Lady Penrhyn. By 1790 Elizabeth, who previously had a child, had attracted the attention of Thomas Arndell. Believed to be married by the Reverend Thomas Marsden in 1807, they had six children together. Thomas died in 1821 and was buried at St Matthew’s Windsor. Elizabeth survived until 1843 and was buried beside him.
Honouring their WW1 descendant
1568 Leslie Reading Arndell
Private Light Trench Mortar Battery – 1 to 5 Reinforcements (September-December 1916)
Bomber 12 October 1916 53rd Battalion from 13 March to 4 April 1917 19th Battalion 5 April to 3 May 1917 (KIA)
Born Sydney NSW to Andrew Johnston and Amelia Hannah Arndell
Occupation Dairy Farmer
Previously served in AIF Warwick Farm No.9 Coy, 73 days
Discharged parent consent
Enlisted 9 October 1916 Show Ground Camp Sydney NSW aged 25
Next-of-kin father Andrew J Arndell Verona Mendath Street Homebush NSW
Embarked Sydney NSW 9 November 1916 aboard HMAT Benalla A24
Disembarked 9 January 1917 Devonport England
Proceeded overseas to France
Missing in Action 3 May 1917 France – Killed in Action 3 May 1917
Remembered with Honour Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Killed in Action Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 26 October 1917
Mr and Mrs AJ Arndell, of “Verona” Meredith Street Homebush, have received information from the Red Cross confirming that previously received privately, that their younger son, Leslie Reading (who had been officially reported missing since May 3 last), was killed in action on that date. He originally enlisted in August 1915, but in consequence of a serious illness, contracted whilst in camp, he was discharged a few months later. On his health becoming sufficiently restored, he re-enlisted, and as a bomber in the Light Trench Mortar Battery, and left with reinforcements in November last. After a short training in England, he was transferred to the 19th Battalion, and arrived in France early in March. The company to which he was attached participated in the fighting at Bullecourt, where he was killed by a shell just as he had reached the German wire. Private Arndell was a descendant of one of the earliest settlers on the Hawkesbury River – the late Dr Thomas Arndell, Assistant Surgeon of the First Fleet, and for a time resided in this district, opposite Ebenezer Church (the oldest in Australia) with which many other members of succeeding generation have been connected since its foundation early in this last century.