This article appeared in the October 19, 1951 edition of The (Melbourne, Australia) Argus.
“Mr. W. A. Casben” is Wilfred Arthur Ackerman Casben, eldest son of Arthur Casben (1886–1961). We were briefly introduced to Wilfred in “Australia Bound,” an earlier post describing Arthur’s origins in England and his emigration to Australia. I’ve had little to say about this branch of the family, as there is relatively little information available online (and I don’t have any plans to make the trek “down under” anytime soon!), but I will continue to post as information becomes available to me. Wilfred is my fourth cousin, twice removed, based on our common ancestor, Thomas Casbon (1743–1799).
Here’s what I know about Wilfred Arthur.
He was born in England March 2, 1911 and baptized at Christ Church, Mitcham, Surrey on June 4th of that year.
He was only 3 years old when he boarded the steam ship Themistocles in London, April, 1914, with his mother Leonora and 1-year old brother Noel, bound for Australia. Wilfred’s father Arthur had preceded them six months earlier, working as a crew member aboard the ship Miltiades.
In 1935, Wilfred was listed on electoral rolls, living in Bankstown North (a suburb of Sydney), and employed as a shop assistant. In 1939, about the time he decided to start his own sportswear company, he became engaged to Florence Still. They were married a year later.
Florence and Wilfred went by the nicknames “Phipp” and “Cas.” They had at least four children that I know of (names withheld out of respect for privacy), and have living grandchildren today. I have not located records of Wilfred’s or Florence’s deaths; however, they would be well over 100 years old if still living.
I don’t have much more information about Wilfred or the company that he founded. It’s clear that he had a vision, and was able to turn it into a highly successful venture. It must have taken a good deal of courage and a lot of hard work to make it happen.
Based on what’s available on Google, the clothing company’s heyday was from the late 1940s through at least the 1960s (see “Friday Fun: 1968 Casben Shorts Ad”). Here is another colorful advertisement, from 1954.
I have not made contact with any of the Australia Casbens. However, this blog gets occasional visits from Australia, so I suspect someone in the family is reading it. I welcome comments, either through the comments section below this post, or through the Contacts link.