Making their Mark

The Fourth Generation
1903 Ė 1988

Last updated: 02/08/2008

 WT Bednall had been a well-known and much loved character.  He had had three sons, two of whom had had two sons each.  Remarkably, all four of WTís grandsons achieved prominence in their respective fields

 Maurice and Brian were the sons of William Kendall Bednall.  Maurice stayed in South Australia and founded the law firm M.W.Bednall and Co. with offices in Burra and Adelaide.  Brian began his forestry career in Western Australia, but later returned to Adelaide where for 22 years he headed the South Australian Forestry Department as Conservator of Forests.

 Warren and Colin were the Sons of Edward Blore Bednall.  Warren, journalist and author, worked with the Herald and Weekly Times in Australia and London, and later was for many years the Managing Director of Southdown Press.  He was also the author of the book ďStrange Sea RoadĒ.  Colin, also a journalist, moved to Melbourne and was associated with the Murdoch family and their media interests, for many years heading Channel nine in Melbourne.  

 (1) Children of William Kendall Bednall

  Maurice William Bednall

 Maurice was born in Hyde Park in 1903, and during his childhood lived in Kalangadoo and Riverton, before completing his education at St Peterís College in Adelaide.

 Maurice attended Adelaide University, graduating in Law in 1924.  He was a keen sportsman, and excelled at cricket (Governorís cricket team, 1921), golf, tennis, and baseball

 After completing articles with the Adelaide law firm Wilson Genders, Maurice commenced practice in Burra in 1925, establishing the law firm M W Bednall and Co., and in 1940 he also established offices in Adelaide.  The firm is still run by Mauriceís son David, from offices in the Epworth Building in Pirie Street, Adelaide.

 Maurice married Thelma Leaver in 1925, and in the next 8 years they had 5 children, John, Mary, David, Philip, and Peter

 After moving back to Adelaide, Maurice and his family lived in his former childhood home at 42 Northcote Terrace Gilberton, which had been home to his parents, and grandparents.

 Maurice was an active member of the Adelaide Lionís club since its inception in 1961, and an active supporter of the Crippled Childrenís association.  He was a member and president of the Adelaide Commerce Club, and a Freemason.

 He was awarded the Order of Australia for services to the community in the 1979 Australian Honours list.

 Maurice died in 1985, aged 81.    

  Brian Herbert Bednall

 Brian was born at Semaphore in July 1904.Brian Herbert Bednall 1940s/ 1950s

 During Brianís childhood the family lived in various places, including Kalangadoo from 1908 to 1914, in Riverton from 1914 to 1917.  Brian completed his schooling at St Peterís College (1918 to 1921).  Brian was a keen sportsman, and he and his brother Maurice were both chosen for the Governorís cricket team in 1921.

  He attended Adelaide University from 1922 to 1925, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree. 

 After his graduation in 1925 Brian moved to WA to work with the WA forestry department.  In 1926 he married Jean Gordon at St Maryís Anglican Church, Collins Street, Perth, and spent the first years of their married life at Dwellingup.  Their first child (William) died at birth.  Their daughter Barbara was born in April 1934, and in November 1935 their son Ian was born.  During World War II the family moved to nearby Harvey, where they stayed until 1947.  Brian was for many years organist and choir Master at the local Church of England in Harvey.

 In 1947 Brian returned to Adelaide with his family to take up the appointment of Conservator of Forests (head of the South Australian Forestry Department), a position he subsequently held for 22 years.  In 1964 Brian was named in the Queens Birthday Honours list, being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

 Brian retired in 1969, and became the chairman of the Forestry Board, a position he held from 1969 to 1978.

 Brian died in 1988, aged 83

 (2) Children of Edward Blore Bednall

 Warren (Bill) Hazelwood Blore Bednall

 Warren Blore Bednall (known as Bill) was born in Adelaide in 1906 and was educated at St. Peter's College. His first job was in a bank at Port Lincoln, before he began his career as a journalist on the Adelaide Register, serving next on the Adelaide Advertiser before joining the Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne.


Warren was an active member of the scouting movement as both a youth and an adult.


In 1935 he took an epic voyage on a steel-hulled windjammer (the Petersen) from Australia to Europe, which became the subject of his book Strange Sea Road: the story of a sea venture (1936). He reported the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936, attended one of Hitlerís press conferences at around that time, and served with the Herald and Weekly Times in London.


He married Janet Harvey, and they had 5 children: Robina, Jennifer, David, Timothy (who died an infant) and Amanda.


Straight after the war, he returned to the UK as the London correspondent for the Melbourne Herald, and returned to Melbourne in 1947, where he worked for Sir Keith Murdoch at the Sun news paper until the mid 1950ís. when he became the Managing Director of Southdown Press (part of News Limited).  He continued in that role until 1969 when, as a result of ill health, he took on the role of chairman of that organisation.

 Warren died in 1970, at 63 years of age[1].    

Colin Blore Bednall

 Colin Married Marion (Cherub) Abbott, in London.  She was the daughter of the then Administrator of the Northern Territory.  They had 3 children, Susan, Theresa and John.

 Colin was a journalist and for many years the General Manager of Channel Nine, Melbourne.  He stood for parliamentary elections in 1972 and 1974 as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) candidate for the seat of Flinders in Victoria.  He was unsuccessful on both occasions, twice achieving 47.1% of the vote after the distribution of preferences.

 In recognition of his significant involvement in the Television industry, The Colin Bednall Media Award was created, which was awarded to individuals who had made an Outstanding Contribution to Television    

See Colin's entry in the Australian Dictionary of National Biography

Shirley Dawson (nee Bednall)

Married Allan (Pete) Dawson

Two children, Jonathan and Kate

 [1] A collection of Warren Bednallís papers are now at the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

© R. Bednall,  2004