Explore your connections with a great man ......
 Sir Samuel WAY - his ancestors and descendants

Sir, Dr Alfred Edward Rowden (Sir Rowden) GOODING (WHITE)

Male 1874 - 1963  (88 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Alfred Edward Rowden (Sir Rowden) GOODING (WHITE) 
    Title Sir, Dr 
    Nickname Rowden WHITE 
    Born 5 Nov 1874  Hobart, Tas Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Education * Alexander Sutherland's Carlton College (dux in 1893??) (ref : Stephen James)
    * Geelong Grammar (assisted by Samuel)
    * University of Melbourne : He lived in Ormond College and obtained the degrees of MB in 1899, BS in 1900 and MD in 1906.
    Achievements & main events * Alfred became a well-known philanthropist in Melbourne and gave away many thousands of pounds for medical research, libraries and art. (ref : Emerson, p 27)
    * Knighted - Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George : CMG on 1st January 1953 - for public and philanthropic services. (ref : Canberra Times, 1st January 1953, p 1)
    * Knighted again 'Sir Rowden' Accolade of Knighthood on 2nd March 1961 (ref : Canberra Times, 2nd March 1961, p 2)
    Military service * Alfred service from 6th June 1917 to 6th December 1919.
    * Major in Australian Army Medical Corps, Australian Imperial Force
    * Served at 2nd Australian General Hospital at Boulogne, France
    Notes for biography * Liz Dorward made a commentary on Alfred's attitude to war service. She described how disconnected he was from the circumstances of the soldiers and from the war generally. ?His role within the class-based hierarchy of the military meant that he simply did not experience the same hardships as the enlisted men.? He displayed the racial and class prejudices of his time. (ref : L Dorward 'Major Rowden-White - A Gentleman's War', 1998, p115) Liz's commentary is not balanced as it is based only on Alfred's war-time diaries and does not attempt to describe his performance as medical officer with the rank of Major. She states that he had a 'well-to-do background', but tantalizingly, she does not describe this background and makes no reference to his mother (who certainly was not well-to-do) or father (who was not acknowledged). It is a pity that Liz did not indicate why she said that he had a well-to-do background - maybe she was simply relying on the fact that he had been at Geelong Grammar and then the University of Melbourne. It would have been handy to have had more information to fill some gaps in this family history.
    * See the notes about his death certificate. 
    Notes for biography Death :
    * 15th January 1963 (aged 88 yrs) in Toorak
    * Cause of death: Cerebral haemorrhage (10 hours
    * On the death certificate (ref : Vic BDM 1963/1550) the following was recorded :-
    > Place of death : 24 Balmerino Ave, Toorak
    > Age : 86
    > Father : John Rowden White, pastoralist
    > Mother : unknown White, maiden name unknown
    > Burial : 17th January 1963, cremation at Springvale Crematorium
    > Birth : Melbourne
    > Spouse : Gladys Mary Northcote
    > Issue : Not married
    > Cause of death : Cerebral haemorrhage (10 hours)
    > Informant : RA Chappell, 98 Collins St, Melbourne
    > Undertaker : W Coghill
    > Minister or witness of burial : W Burrell and L Watson
    * Comments :
    > It is a surprise that the father?s middle name is stated as ?Rowden? because it was thought that the name came from Alfred?s GG grandmother. If Rowden was the father?s name, this would imply that John was with Susannah before Alfred?s birth. However there are doubts about the reliability of the informant because he/she made several errors :-
    > His mother was stated as unknown whereas it should have been known that she was Susannah Gooding.
    > Age was stated as 86 which would have placed his birth at 1877 instead of 1874.
    > Place of birth was stated as Melbourne instead of Hobart.
    > These errors make it open for us to disregard the name Rowden in the father?s name.
    > These errors must have been communicated to the informant by the family - but who? His brother Edward had died in 1958 and Edward's wife, Gladys had died in 1955, and their son, James had died in 1942. So maybe Elisabeth (Edward & Gladys' only surviving child) gave the 'facts' as she thought them to be. Whoever RA Chappell got the information from, it is indicative of the mythology adopted within the family - the disregard for Susannah, the secret of Samuel, and the acceptance of John.
    > On the other hand, one indication of reliability is the consistency with the information on Edward's death certificate over 4 years previously - but this might be because the same officials were involved (minister Watson and undertaker Coghill).
    > There are many anomolies in all this : If this information correct we would need to reconsider Samuel Way's part in Rowden's life. If it is incorrect, was it filled out by someone who did know the correct information, or did someone deliberately provide false details (in which case, is this an offence?). It seems most likely that it was filled out by someone who thought they knew, but were mistaken - otherwise, why would anyone who was familiar with Rowden's life, not know his mother's name. It likely that the person who did not know the mother's name, could also be mistaken about the father. The other surprise is that it says that he was not married but gives names is wife as Gladys Mary Northcote which is the maiden name of Rowden's younger brother, Edward. (Gladys had died 8 years previously.) It seems that he took some of the secrets about his family life to his grave.
    Notes for biography Entities named after Sir Rowden:-
    * Rowden White Library - at the University of Melbourne
    * Rowden White Travelling Fellowship
    * Rowden White Chair of Global Health & Burden of Disease Measurement - at the University of Melbourne
    * Alfred Edward Rowden White Prize in Clinical Obstetrics - at the University of Melbourne
    * Rowden White Trust
    * A E Rowden White and Edward R White Foundation for Medical Research - at the University of Melbourne
    * Edward Rowden White Award - to the operating suite nurse who demonstrates excellence and outstanding commitment to periperatine services - at the Royal Womens's Hospital, Melbourne
    * Façade of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons - constructed with funds donated by Sir Rowden.
    * Archibald Art Prize - 1937 finalist by Aileen R Dent  
    Notes for biography Paternity and names :
    * 'Rowden' was the surname of Samuel's paternal grandmother. Samuel must have suggested this name for his new son because Susannah would not have known unless Samuel told her.
    * When Edward married in 1917, his father's details were recorded as 'James White, Lawyer, deceased'. (ref : Parkinson, p 247, Melbourne Marriages 7405/1917) - we need to check this.
    * On the death certificates of Edward and Alfred, their father is given as John Rowden WHITE - we need to check this???) - Ref : Vic BDM 1958/3198 and 1963/1550. [Question : It is unlawful to record names which they knew were false (on marriage certificate and death certificate)]
    * He preferred to call himself Rowden rather than Alfred. So he styled himself as 'Sir Rowden'.
    * "For most of his early life, the boy's legal guardian was RC Norman, secretary to the Board of the Adelaide Children's Hospital from 1879 to 1884, of which Way was president from 1876 to 1915. .... Alfred's matriculation certificate notes his father's address as 58 Russell Street, Melbourne, which was the office of the Trained Nurses' Agency, run by Mrs Norman, and the office of the secretary of the Alfred Hospital, Mr RC Norman." (ref : Parkinson, p 245) [Question : What was the personal connection between Alfred and the Normans?]
    * One reference has him with a hyphenated surname (ref : Liz Dorward 'Major Rowden-White - a gentleman's war', in 'Melbourne University Mosiac, people and places', 1998)
    Notes for biography Relationship with Sir Samuel:-
    * What personal contact was there between Samuel and Alfred?
    * As Samuel's eldest surviving son, Alfred would have been the heir to Samuel's baronetcy (an hereditary title) IF Samuel had married Susannah. Alfred would then have been able to call himself Sir and so it is ironical that eventually he became knighted (non-hereditary) by his own efforts. We need to check that all this is correct.
    * At Samuel's funeral in 1916, there are no public indications that Alfred and Edward were part of the funeral proceedings. It was a huge event and many relatives (and of course civic leaders) were noted in newspaper reports. It must have been a strange experience for his two sons to be left on the fringes, unacknowledged, on such an occasion.
    * Samuel?s will : His own children were not mentioned in his will (signed in 1914). Of the 5 children he had with Susannah Gooding, 3 had already died (Florence, James and Frank) with only Alfred and Edward still living. However Samuel made separate provision for them with a thing called a 'post-orbit bond' which was 2,500 pounds (plus interest) to be paid to each of them on Samuel's death. I don't know what a post orbit bond is, but it would be handy to get a copy somehow. We are left wondering whether in fact Alfred and Edward knew about this and eventually got the money.  
    Notes for biography Spouse : Alfred never married nor had any children. 
    Occupation Medical Practitioner 
    Residence * 85 Spring St, Melbourne - with Edward (Electoral roll - 1914)
    * "He lived for many years with a couple named Kilburn; their daughter Doris, whom he treated as his niece, later kept house and cared for him." (ref : Australian Dictionary of Biography)[It would we useful to find more about Doris Kilburn who was an important part of Rowden's life.]
    * 24 Balmerino Ave, Toorak - this is where he died. It was Edward's address before he died, so maybe Rowen took over his house after his brother died, or might have been living with Edward and Gladys for quite a few years.
    Will Alfred's will directed that income from the bulk of his estate, sworn at probate at £835,639, be used to finance medical and scientific research at the University of Melbourne under the name of the A. E. Rowden White Foundation.
    Biography * Alfred White was dux of Alexander Sutherland's Carlton College in 1893.
    * After graduation from the University of Melbourne, he embarked on a long and varied career in medicine.
    * As a major in the Australian Army Medical Corps, he served in France with the 2nd Australian General Hospital in World War I.
    * He helped to found the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
    * He was knighted in 1961 - styling himself Sir Rowden.
    * Below average height and solidly built, he displayed a controlled and alert manner. He spoke in a modulated way that conveyed a reluctance to express emotion.
    * He never married.
    * He was a generous benefactor of medical, cultural and charitable organisations.
    * In 1955 he set up the A. E. Rowden White and Edward R. White Foundation for Medical Research.

    Died 15 Jan 1963  Toorak, Vic Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I16  Samuel WAY
    Last Modified 27 Jul 2018 

    Father Samuel James WAY,   b. 11 Apr 1836, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jan 1916, North Adelaide Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Mother Susannah Mary GOODING (WHITE),   b. 4 Dec 1842, Campbelltown, Tas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Sep 1888, Carlton, Vic Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Family ID F1  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    Alfred Edward Gooding born on 5th Nov 1874 in Hobart
    Alfred Edward Gooding born on 5th Nov 1874 in Hobart
    * Father: Not stated
    * Mother: Susannah Mary Gooding of Fitzroy Street
    * Registered: 15th December 1874
    Alfred Edward Rowden White - died 15th Jan 1963 in Toorak.jpg
    Alfred Edward Rowden White - died 15th Jan 1963 in Toorak.jpg
    * Person: Alfred Edward Rowden White, male, aged 86 yrs, born Tasmania, in Tasmania for 11 years & 75 years in Victoria, residence 24 Balmerino Ave Toorak, physician, not married
    * Date: 15th January 1963
    * Place: 24 Balmerino Ave, Toorak
    * Cause: Cerebral haemorrhage for 10 hours
    * Medical attendant: J Gallent, last seen on 14th January 1963
    * Parents: John Rowden White, pastoralist and mother unknown White
    * Cremation: 17th January 1963 at Springvale Crematorium by W Coghill
    * Minister or witness: W Burrell & L Watson
    * Informant: RA Chappell, 98 Collins Street, Melbourne
    * Registrant: M Staples, 21st January 1963, Melbourne
    * Reference: 1550/63
    WW - Alfred Edward Gooding - born 5th Nov 1874, baptised 17th March 1875 in Buckingam
    WW - Alfred Edward Gooding - born 5th Nov 1874, baptised 17th March 1875 in Buckingam
    * Mother: Susanna Mary Gooding, servant
    * Adode: Murray Street
    * Registered: 2141, Parish of St George in the County of Buckingham

    2.21 - Paternity
    2.21 - Paternity
    Why we are confident that Samuel Way was the father of five of Susannah Gooding’s children? - v2

  • Sources 
    1. [S12] Registrar General's Dept, Tasmania, Hobart Births, 866/1874.

    2. [S40] Tasmanian Names Index, Facsimile attached to this profile.

    3. [S33] Phil Robins.