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Obituaries Australia

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Scratchley, Lady Laura Lilias (1844–1917)

A private cable message was received in Sydney on Saturday announcing the death on the 5th instant at Dover (England) of Lady Laura Lilias Scratchley, widow of Sir Peter Scratchley, R.E., K.C.M.G., who for many years was military adviser to the Australian Governments, and who was the first Governor of New Guinea.

Lady Scratchley was the youngest daughter of the late Mr. Sylvester Browne, of Hartlands, Victoria, and sister of the late Mr. T. A. Browne (Rolf Boldrewood), and of the late Mrs Molesworth Greene, of Melbourne; the late Mrs. Robert Massie, of Sydney; the late Lady Darley, the late Sylvester Browne, of Minembah, Singleton; and Mrs. Cockshott, of Sydney. Her only son is Colonel Victor Scratchley, D.S.O. Her eldest daughter is the wife of Captain Howard, R.N., D.S.O., and her youngest daughter of Captain Adams-Connor, chief constable in the Isle of Wight. In 1876 Sir Peter Scratchley, who was then Lieutenant-Colonel, was selected by Lord Carnarvon to act in conjunction with Sir William Jervois in the important work of advising the Australasian Governments upon the best means of defending the colonies against foreign aggression. In 1878 Sir Wm. Jervois became Governor of South Australia, whereupon Colonel Scratchley was appointed Commissioner of Defences and remained in Australia until the beginning of 1883, in which year he was appointed Adviser on Defences. In 1879 he was awarded a C.M.G., and in 1885 was made K.C.M.G. for services in Australia.

Original publication

Citation details

'Scratchley, Lady Laura Lilias (1844–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 September 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Browne, Laura Lilias

Victoria, Australia


5 January 1917
Dover, Kent, England

Cultural Heritage