From humble beginnings, Herbert Jory became a longstanding partner in the leading South Australian architectural firm of Woods, Bagot, Jory and Laybourne Smith before establishing his own practice. In addition, he gave many years of service to the profession through the South Australian Institute of Architects (SAIA) and the Architects’ Board of South Australia.
Born at Mile End on 20 March 1888, Harrold Herbert Jory was one of several children born to William and Mary Ann (née Allen) Jory (South Australian births index 2004). William was a skilled pattern maker of Welsh extraction who joined Forwood Down and Co, an ironworks company at Kilkenny. The family was educated at the Church of England School run by St James’ Church at Mile End (‘Herbert Harrold Jory’ 1966; Fenton c.1974).
In 1906, William Jory arranged for Herbert to be indentured to the architectural firm Woods & Bagot. This agreement coincided with the development of an Associate and Fellowship Diploma Course in Architecture at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries. Bagot lectured in the new course and Jory was one of the first students to enrol. He learnt drawing from Harry P. Gill, the principal of the School of Arts. Gill had brought the South Kensington system of art education, which required copying of maximum exactitude, with him from Britain (‘Herbert Harrold Jory’ 1966; Collins, 2004). Jory later taught at the School of Mines in the subjects in which he had qualified. On completion of his articles he continued as a draughtsman with Woods & Bagot until 1913 when he was admitted as a partner on 9 September. The firm then became known as Woods, Bagot & Jory. (Although Woods had died in 1913 his name was retained.) At that time its offices were located at 41-43 Steamship Buildings, Currie Street, Adelaide but later it moved to 93-94 Richards Building, 17 Currie Street. In 1916, with the addition of a fourth partner, it became Woods, Bagot, Jory & Laybourne Smith (Extract from Ledger of E.J. Woods nd: 7; ‘Notice’ 1914; Page 1986; Sands & McDougall’s Directories 1915-1928).
According to Page (1986: 144-145), members of Woods, Bagot, Jory & Laybourne Smith were ‘impenitent traditionalists’ and Jory’s designs were ‘all in the traditional style which reflect[ed] his training under Woods and Bagot’. The firm was engaged in numerous ecclesiastical, educational and commercial projects. In 1914 Jory designed the Gartrell Memorial (former Methodist) Church, Rose Park, which is listed on the State Heritage Register (13988), and the Gartrell Memorial Schoolroom. Gartrell church was named for its philanthropic founder, James Gartrell, for whom Jory designed a bungalow near Meadows, South Australia, in 1916 (Extract from Ledger of E.J. Woods, nd: 7).
Jory also designed the Church of Sacred Heart in 1914. Although its location is unclear, the client was Father Hanrahan and the builder was C. Warland (Extract from Ledger of E.J. Woods, nd: 7). In 1922, Bagot prepared drawings for St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Wakefield Street, Adelaide, based on the design of English architect Peter Paul Pugin, for an enlarged font and proposed enlargement of the sanctuary, chapels and sacristies (Bagot 1954). Jory, however, designed the pulpit, which is considered one of the most important examples of his church furniture. He also designed furniture as part of the firm’s work for St Patrick’s, Grote Street, Adelaide and the Chapel of the Convent of Mercy on Angas Street (Page 1986).
Jory retired from Woods, Bagot & Jory in 1930 to conduct his own practice initially from 41-43 Steamship Buildings, Currie Street and then from Eagle Chambers, 7 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Willis (1998) lists S.T. Pointer as an employee from 1934 to 1938, although Pointer only appears at the same address as Jory in the Sands & McDougall’s Directory of 1937. Jory took on T.A. McAdam as a partner from 1940 (Willis 1998) until 1953 (Sands & McDougall). From 1959 until his death in 1966 Jory listed only his home address, 6 Victoria Avenue, Unley Park, in the Architects section of the Sands & McDougall’s Directory.
Upon commencing his own practice, Jory continued to undertake numerous commissions for the Catholic Church. These included a large school building for the St John the Baptist Brothers (later run by the Marist Brothers) at George Street, Thebarton (c.1933), additions and extensions to the Archbishop’s residence on West Terrace, Adelaide (c.1934, c.1935), the memorial pulpit for the Church of St Joan of Arc, Victor Harbor (c.1933) and a school at Murray Bridge (c.1934). Works listed for Jory and Pointer in Willis (1998) include residential and ecclesiastical projects with associated educational buildings in Adelaide and country areas. Among them are plans for the Church of St Canice, Snowtown (1935), churches at Prospect, Morgan, Kadina and Naracoorte, all in c.1936, Kapunda (1937) and renovations for the interior of St Ignatius Church, Norwood (1935). A report on the opening of Our Lady of the Rosary Church at Prospect on 28 November 1937 states that ‘The Architect, Mr H. Jory, who designed not only the church but also the High Altar (in marble), was given great praise’ (‘Three Great Occasions’).
A substantial commission was Fennescey House (1940) at 31-33 Wakefield Street, Adelaide. Designed in Gothic Revival style, it was built for the Catholic Church as its Education Offices thanks to the generous patronage of Mary and John Fennescey who donated £20,000 to the project (Marsden et al 1996). Fennescey House is on the State Heritage Register (13413).
During World War Two, Jory was engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Works to supervise the construction of the Salisbury explosives factory which was built to guarantee supplies, given Australia’s distance from its traditional sources overseas and the uncertain conditions of war. The site was chosen because of ‘its strategic position and its proximity to rail transport, and to a water supply and labour’ (Donovan 1994: 6). Construction began in November 1940 and at the height of the project 3000 labourers and tradesmen were on site seven days a week. The complex was operational within 12 months, ‘a prodigious effort’ (Australian Construction Services 1994: 6-7). ‘Devotion to the supervision of this project, the attention to detail and long hours of labour seriously affected [Jory’s] health although he never failed to be constantly on the job from the beginning to the end of construction work’ (‘Herbert Harrold Jory’ 1966: 9).
Jory was elected a Fellow of the South Australian Institute of Architects in 1920 and was also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1930 he became a councillor of the SAIA and was elected President in September 1941, holding office until August 1943 (‘South Australian Chapter’ 1954). He then took on the position of SAIA Treasurer until June 1954 when ‘failing health compelled him to relinquish the position’ (‘Herbert Harrorld Jory’1966: 9). Jory also contributed to his profession as a member of the Architects’ Board in 1940 when he administered the Architects’ Registration Act that allowed ‘any person practising architecture, whether they held formal qualifications or not, to apply for registration’ (Page 1986: 191).
Herbert Jory’s death on 16 May 1966 was noted with deep regret in an RAIA (SA Chapter) obituary. He was survived by his widow Mabel and two daughters, Elyse and Bethany. His funeral was privately conducted by Canon C.W.E. Swan on 17 May at the North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth (Advertiser 1966).
McDougall, Alison, 'Jory, Harrold, Herbert', Architecture Museum, University of South Australia, 2008, Architects of South Australia: [http://www.architectsdatabase.unisa.edu.au/arch_full.asp?Arch_ID=82]