A few days ago, I suggested that a person of interest to Somerton Man researchers might well be Dr Malcolm Glen Sarre, simply because his name and 118 Jetty Road address appeared (admittedly crossed out) in the production notes for the 1978 Littlemore TV documentary on the Somerton Man:

It would seem that someone on the production team thought (for whatever reason) that Dr Malcolm Sarre was the “city businessman” (as the story told to the papers of the day went) was the person whose car the Rubaiyat was found in the back of, parked in Glenelg’s Jetty Road.

And yet it was also said to have been parked outside a chemist’s. “But did it matter” (wrote Gerry Feltus in “The Unknown Man”, p.105) “if the discoverer was a doctor, chemist, dentist, jeweller, business person or a male or a female?”

118 Jetty Road?

A advertisement in the Glenelg Guardian of 24th July 1919 attests to a Mr A. C. Turner – a “Registered Surgeon Dentist” – moving his practice at “118 Jetty Road, Near Miller’s Corner”.

Then, in 5th August 1926, we hear that “Mr. HAROLD V. FRAYNE, Surgeon Dentist, has removed to 118 Jetty Road, Glenelg (next Palais Theatre)”, where he was apparently joined by Frank Smerdon in 1927.

Yet at the same time, we can see a 1926 advertisement for Mai Lyne: “BEAUTY AND HAIR SPECIALIST, 118 JETTY ROAD. Phone—744. Only personal attention. Shingling, Hair Coloring, and Water Waving a speciality” (Mai moved there in April 1926 with “all the latest MODERN TOILET APPLIANCES”).

Moreover, there’s a 1924 small ad for “OVERLAND Car. E.L., starter. perfect condition; £95 cash.—C. Bradley. 118, Jetty Road, Glenelg”: and so it turns out that 118 Jetty Road in Glenelg comprised both shops and residential accommodation.

In 27th September 1944, we can see someone there trying to buy a car: “WANTED car any make 1935-36 model, must be good order. Apply 118 Jetty rd., Glenelg. upstairs.”

Around 20th December 1946, another Smerdon dentist started at 118 Jetty Road: “Mr. John R. Smerdon, B.D.S., who successfully completed his dental course, has commenced practice at 118 Jetty Road, Glenelg. Mr. Smerdon was educated at Dominican Convent and Sacred Heart College, Glenelg.”

Finally, Dr.E.J.Swann (who was, as Byron Deveson found [The Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough South Australia 7th November 1947 page 3], in partnership with Dr Malcolm Glen Sarre) seems to have moved out of 118 Jetty Road in 1953.

And so it turns out that 118 Jetty Road does link doctors and dentists together… but not a chemist.

25 Jetty Road?

If we turn to pharmacists now, can we say what chemists were on Jetty Road?

According to the 1948 business map of Jetty Road that Derek Abbott once reconstructed (“Taken from 1948 SANDS McDOUGALL”), we appear to have several to choose from:
* 14 – Pier Pharmacy prop LP Nunn [– Lionel Peter Nunn, Robert W Fox Pharmacist and chiropodist –]
* 24a – Freeman Chemist
* 25 – Fisks Pharmacy D’Arcy Cock Manager [– D’Arcy Kenneth Robert Cock (born Glenelg, 21st October 1907) –]
* 62 – Mrs Bilbey aptmts AND FSMA Chemists Lean,GA mger
* 118 – Paul HD Chemist / Smerdon F Dentist / Swann Dr EJ

Yet I’m reasonably sure that Paul’s Pharmacy was located not at 118 Jetty Road (as Byron Deveson thought he had read), but on Miller’s Corner – an entire block further down Jetty Road. And so I suspect that it wasn’t really close enough to where Dr Malcolm Glen Sarre at 118 to be properly “parkable”.

Frank Smerdon aside, there were also other dentists further down Jetty Road:
* 97 – Smerdon Jno R. Dentist AND Kenniham MJ Dentist
* 106 – Jones Miss L.O.M & Thompson Dental Surgeon [– J. V. CHRISTOPHERSEN B.D.S. also worked here –]

I know that Byron has long had an eye on Mr Nunn and Mr Fox 🙂 , but to me, the Pier Pharmacy and Freeman’s Chemists are simply not ambiguous enough to keep the story going. All of which would seem to leave Fisk’s Pharmacy at 25 Jetty Road. Though this had opened several decades before, it was still running in 1950. Interestingly, this was next door to a “dentist surgeon” called C.R.Stratford, as we can see from this 1930 article:

“A new form of vandalism was experienced at Glenelg during Saturday night. The brass plate of Dr. Milo Sprod was removed from the front of the premises of Mr. W. Fisk, chemist, of Jetty road. An effort was made also to take the plate of Mr. C. R. Stratford. dentist, from premises adjoining those of Mr Fisk.”

(Dr Milo Weeks Sprod died in last 1934). Note that there was also a naturopath practitioner called Norman Russell-Smith next door at 27 Jetty Road.

A little after the war (in 4th July 1949), we also see: “Dr JOHN L. STOKES has commenced practice in partnership with Drs. Donald M. Steele and D. C Dawkins, at 25 Jetty road. Glenelg. Telephone X2581.”

And so because of the close link between doctors and chemists, it would seem that 25 Jetty Road manages to join both of those to dentists: which are (perhaps not coincidentally) the first three professions Gerry Feltus listed.

Finally, putting it all together…?

If we are looking for somewhere in Jetty Road in 1948 that could easily mix up doctors, chemists, and dentists, the address we would seem to be looking for was not 118 Jetty Road (with only a weak link to a chemist) but instead 25 Jetty Road.

I don’t yet know what this means (and I can’t begin to say how frustrated I get that after nearly seven decades we still don’t know whose car it was), but please feel free to make what you will of all the above. 🙂

16 thoughts on “Where in Jetty Road was the Rubaiyat car parked?

  1. 25 Jetty Rd is right at the end of Moseley St…

  2. milongal on January 8, 2017 at 10:14 pm said:

    So it would appear that Dr Sarre was chosen based on a 1950s book – and with the apparent regular turnover at 118 Jetty Rd (on the corner of Byron St 😛 ) may not have been there in ’48 – which may be why the doco dismissed him – I had assumed “couldn’t find him”, but I suspect more likely spoke to him and found he’d only recently moved to Jetty Rd in 1950 (or perhaps found a 1949 phone book that didn’t have him there).

    I recall the car being described as being at either the “Pier Hotel” or the home of the discoverer (and also the finder being a Dr or a Chemist – and in some respects a naturopath might kind of be described as a doctor or chemist or something).

    I originally thought the “Pier Hotel” might have been what is now called the “Glenelg Jetty Hotel” at about 24-30 Jetty Rd, however I’ve found an old article which (consistent with Abbott’s map, I notice) suggests the pier hotel was knocked down to build the Stamford Grand (or back then, the Ramada Grand) . These days (I really can’t comment on how it would have looked in 1948 – presumably very different, although I’ve found 2 photos online one from 1920 the other from 1935 which suggest the layout was similar – even had a train at what is now the tram terminus), Jetty Rd finishes at Colley St, and the shops further west are only accessible by foot (ok, the pedants will point out the tram line runs into there too). The Esplanade at the front of it is inaccessible to traffic too, so “outside the pier hotel” would either be a very rough location along Jetty Rd/Colley St or would mean parked on St John’s Row (I suspect more likely the former).

  3. milongal: Trove has references to Dr Sarre in Adelaide from March 1946 onwards: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/48696226 [GREENHILL]

    He was certainly in Glenelg around November 1948: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/69198160

    PS: here’s a link to a description of his 1947 wedding that I missed first time around: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/219216857

  4. John sanders on May 12, 2017 at 9:37 am said:

    Do we have anything on D’Arcy Cock’s date of passing. He would seem to be a fair candidate for the now legendary Mr. Francis, that is if he had still been with us at the time of G.F.’s alleged interview. I was thinking that because of his name, Gerry might have assumed his origins were French and thus refered to him as the ‘Frenchman’ in his notes. Of course being a good Catholic and knowing that St. Francis of Assisis was known to his Italian family as ‘the Frenchman’, our old Fox (Gerrard le reynard), may have thought the name Mr. Francis was not only most appropriate, but quite a cleaver ploy to boot. Of course, as everyone knows, there is a Francis St. in nearby North Brighton which after a name change ends up at the beach just up from Somerton, so G.F.’s man could have just as easily come from there.

  5. John sanders on May 13, 2017 at 3:41 am said:

    Before anyone comes across with the old ‘grasping at straws’ cliche with regard to D’Arcy Cock or Francis St., I have just come across three more candidates, all related and each having strong connections to Glenelg In the form of families having had homes in Pier St., and Sth. Esplinade, Partridge St., Colley Terrace &c. The first of these is Wally an accountant businessman, who during the war was amongst other things, a Harbour-Master at Madang Port and O.C. of an Italian P.O.W. unit in South Australia. In later life he was an an Adelaide Councilor and Lord Mayor, also being highly decorated for his multitude of community activities. The second candidate, Alf a brother-in-law to the above and another military man of WW2, seems to have been a pharmacist though that is not conclusive. Born at about the same time as his b-in-law pre 1910, there is record of him passing a pharmacology exam in 1925, but alas details of his later life have not been fruitful to date. Our third and most likely suspect Rex, nephew of the precedents, a dentist and a decorated war hero lived in France post war and for his work as Honorary Consul was awarded a ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ and a ‘L’Officier Odre National du Merite’. The latter, being the youngest, and who only passed on recently, is considered most likely, of the trio to have been the one interviewed by Gerry Feltus, named Mr. Francis accordingly and most appropriately I feel.

  6. B Deveson on May 13, 2017 at 10:18 am said:

    D’Arcy Kenneth Robert Cock born is said to have been born at Glenelg, South Australia, 21st October 1907. Father: Alexander Charles Cock. Mother Cecilia Mary Cock. Birth details from MyHeritage “Cock family tree” Beverley Cock and Dennis Cock. Dennis can be contacted through MyHeritage. I note that the online SA birth records state that darcy (spelling) Keith Robert Cock was born in 1907 to Cecilia May Haddrick and Alexander Charles Cock and this marriage is recorded 1896 in Adelaide.
    It seems that D’Arcy Kenneth Robert Cock died 18th October 1985.
    He married Mary Bennett 1906-2001. Their children were Helen Rosemary Martin nee Cock 1934-1979. – Lunn nee Cock. A son married a Laver and then a Holdsworth, and a daughter married a Davis. D’Arcy Cock’s brother’s in law were Lionel Deucation Cowling and Lisle Julius “John” Darwin.

    Details regarding the various Jetty Road pharmacists can be found at: https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/2xlfdd/taman_shud_ongoing_discussion_thread/

    I note that the Christian name Francis was common in the wider South Australia Cock clan. William Francis Cock b 21st September at Thebarton, SA. Francis Humphry Cock born in the period 1907-1916 in South Australia. Francis Edward Cock born 21st February 1905 at Moonta Mines, SA. And there are several other Francis Cocks born in other parts of Australia in the period 1900-1910.
    I also note that the death of d’Arcy Cock in 1985 appears to have gone unnoticed in the newspapers. Why? Was his reputation under a cloud?

  7. John sanders on May 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm said:

    I guess it can be said that there were no shortage of Franks in Adelaide’s halcyon days, before the post war arrival of our Hellenic friends and others, certainly not amongst the Irish Catholic denizens at any rate. Even our old copper mate Gerry’s family had it’s share, not to mention the Wytkin mob, so I would be in agreement that my earlier proposition on that name was not a startling revelation. Fortunately that’s not the case with my other three lads who most assuredly would not have had such names in their families if you understand my meaning. Of course they being staunch advocates of the Genesis theory, would have been more familiar with names like Moss, Solomon, Ben etc. in their ancestral roots. Although Walter was not of the faith on his paternal side, he did later convert in order to marry his childhood sweetheart Betty. And whilst he was not a regular worshipper in later life, it has been asserted that during the war years, he carried a small book of Hebrew psalms with him in the field. Gets me to wondering if perhaps this handy edition might not have gone by another title which perhaps ended with the phrase Tamam Shud. Getting back the Cock mob, there were also a number of emergency doctors and better than average golfers in the family, so I guess they had wheels of some description, perhaps a little Hillman Minx. Don’t know about Alfred, but you can bet Dr. Rex would have had nothing less than an RR Silver Cloud with a nicely uniformed, and bemedaled veteran to open the door for him.

  8. John sanders: personally, if staff even got close to my 720S, I’d taser them in a heartbeat.

  9. milongal on May 13, 2017 at 11:34 pm said:

    The Catholic Cathedral in Adelaide (I think built in 1856?) is a Frank too: Frankie X (St Francis Xavier)….
    I wouldn’t really expect a church’s patron to have so much influence on kids’ names (or aliases), but who knows….

  10. John sanders on May 14, 2017 at 3:42 am said:

    I just happened to be musing about your new set of wheels (book proceeds no doubt) , when it crossed my mind that Major Walter Bridgland, in his P.O.W. Camp Commandant days, frequently made inspection or supervisory visits to ‘Mclaren Vale’ winery, near Willunga South Australia, where he had a team of Italian internees on a work assignment. They were apparently staying in purpose built huts on the property, under the direction of attendant N.C.Os while he was billeted at the pub in town and a little away from the daily labour details. Being a doubtful Thomas, I tend to think it most unlikely the story told by Wally’s family about his Hebrew psalm book, hence my suspicion that it could well have been a 1941 copy of an 1859 translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat instead. Would it be such a stretch to have him pencil the surname initials of his 45 man work detail, line separated by their assigned hut allocation to keep him in the loop with the logistics. The X’d ‘O’ could refer to an absentee, whilst the last line G.A.B. ending seems different in that it could represent an N.C.O. overseer detachment; or else I could be loosing the plot completely.

  11. B Deveson on May 14, 2017 at 7:35 am said:

    D’Arcy Cock’s brother-in-law Lionel Deucation Cowling was a medical practitioner and Lisle Julius “John” Darwin was a mathematics lecturer at Canterbury University, New Zealand. So, we have a pharmacist with a doctor brother-in-law.

  12. John sanders on May 15, 2017 at 3:25 am said:

    BD: Your information on Dr. Cowling is noted with interest, though not only in his relationship with D’Arcy Cock. He was a long time respected denizen of the Mt. Pleasant Hills district, which, as you’ll recall was once a famous apple growing region of S.A. That also brings to mind one of your old posts concerning the apple loving codling moth, and its treatment using lead acetate (arsenate) spray. Like his brother in law D’Arcy, he was also a Keane golfer/bowler and appears to have been interested in green keeping technology, which we could reasonably extend towards horticultural pursuits…I wonder how he got saddled with a name like Deucation; could it be French perhaps?.

  13. B Deveson on May 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm said:

    John, yes apples at Mt Pleasant. Well spotted. Lead arsenate spray was universally used pre about 1975 to combat codlin moth in apples. Lead acetate was not used as a spray but was used in cider manufacture in England up until the 1950s. I don’t know if lead acetate was used to clarify cider in Australia.

  14. john sanders on November 7, 2017 at 6:37 am said:

    I’m aware that somewhere in the great Ciphermytry labrynth, Detective Sergeant Leane is said to be one of those who nominated Mr. Francis as doctor, dentist and chemist. In my scroll down the variousvthread comments and links, all I can find is his reference to a ‘city businessman’. Walter Bridgland had two shops in upmarket Gwaler Place which is located in Adelaide’s downtown area so I guess that, along with his then family residence 8 Pier St. Glenelg could fit the bill. As a bonus we have his chemist brother-in-law, Alfred Lewis Saunders who has been somewhat difficult to run to ground post 1945. We know that Wally passed on in the ’80s and we know that his cousin Rex did likewise in 2015, but we don’t have a termination date for Ernie which is frustrating. Having been born in ’08, the chance is slim of him being Gerry”s Minx book informant, but who knows, for he along with Wallly and Rex Lipman all seem to pass muster one must admit. As my very similar post of May 13th was not responded to, I guess this may suffer the same fate however, Leane’s inclusion might let it be looked upon in a better light…Wally Bridgeland’s shadowy other close relative, uncle Vaiben aka Vaibon aka Baiben Louis aka Louis Solomon also lived in the Bridgland household until the mid 1920’s, thereabouts and you’ll recall that I’ve told you most of his story.

  15. milongal on November 7, 2017 at 8:42 pm said:

    When you talk about ‘prominent City Businessman’ the first that springs to mind is ‘Con Polites’ – who owned much of Hindley St in the 1980s – but he died in 2001 (and I’m not sure how young his business’ interests would have started – he would have been about 30 at the time of SM).

  16. john sanders on November 7, 2017 at 11:50 pm said:

    No doubt about it; Polites fits the bill for PCB or CCB; he appears to have had connections with some of our players like Prosper and Grant (Jim) with his taxi business. Whilst his main residence at the time of his death was in Somerton, this was all many years after SM’s time as he did not come to prominence in Adelaide until the sixties. Mention of his name evokes memories of his farcical, though perhaps well intentioned involvement in the Beaumont missing children search. Although I personally subscribe to the one mystery at a time concept; perhaps others might disagree, in which case I’d be quite willing to join the discussions should they head in that direction.

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