Thomas and Rose Sibley with children William and Lily at Cawte Road, Freemantle c1905

From Fruit Store to Hauliers: The Sibleys of Freemantle

Many thanks to John Sibley of Sibley Material Movements Limited ( for kindly allowing us to use the photographs featured here.

Thomas Sibley was born in 1873 to William and Ellen Kearley, who had married in 1868. He was their second son, the first, William, having been born 3 years earlier. William Snr had been born in London in about 1845. In 1871 the census has him at 38 Belle Vue Street, St. Marys, with wife Ellen and 6 month old son William.

In 1881 the family are at 'Mount Pleasant', Paynes Road, Freemantle. Thomas' father is listed as a labourer in the iron works. A younger brother, John, aged 1, is listed. He doesn't appear in 1891 so may well have died. Also listed in the house is a Walter Barrett, house painter, of Newport on the Isle of Wight. He is still lodging with the family a decade later.

The 1891 census lists them at 22 Paynes Road, Freemantle, together with long-term lodger, Walter Barrett. Thomas, like his father William, is listed as a labourer in the Shipyard.

In 1893 Thomas married Rose Hannah M Meadus. Rose had been born in Freemantle in 1872 to Wiliam and Sarah. In 1881 they are at 5 Lisbon Road. One of at least six children, Rose was sister of Charles Henry Meadus who was killed in action in France during the First World War and who is commemorated on the war memorial in Christ Church, Freemantle.

In the 1901 census Thomas Sibley is listed at 102 Park Road with his wife Rose and his children William, aged 7, and Lilian, aged 5. He is listed as 'Coal Dealer'.