Australian Dictionary of Biography

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Sir Edward Waterfield (Bill) Hayward (1903–1983)

by Rose Wilson

This article was published:

View Previous Version

Sir Edward Waterfield (Bill) Hayward (1903-1983), businessman and philanthropist, was born on 10 November 1903 at Kent Town, Adelaide, younger son of South Australian-born Arthur Dudley Hayward, draper, and his wife Mary Anne, née Pagan, from Scotland. Arthur was later chairman and managing director of John Martin & Co. Ltd, Adelaide. Educated at Westminster School, London, and the Collegiate School of St Peter, Adelaide, Edward, known as 'Bill', spent three years in New South Wales as a jackeroo on sheep stations, including Franc Falkiner’s Haddon Rig, Warren, and bought a pastoral property at Narrabri. To gain experience in retailing, he worked in 1930 for (Sir) Sydney Snow Ltd, Sydney. At his father’s request, he joined John Martin’s next year and soon became a director. In 1933 he initiated the store’s annual Christmas pageant, to give pleasure to children suffering from the effects of the Depression. The floats and costumes, and the 'magic cave', were designed and produced with the resources of John Martin’s.

On 12 February 1935 at St Peter’s College chapel, Hayward married with Anglican rites Ursula Barr Smith, daughter of Tom Elder Barr Smith. As a wedding gift Barr Smith gave the couple 100 acres (40 ha) of land at Springfield, on which they built a large 'Jacobethan'-style house, designed by (Sir) James Irwin. They named it Carrick Hill. It incorporated oak doors, windows and panelling, and the 'Waterloo' staircase, all purchased at the demolition sale of a 1546 mansion, Beaudesert, in Staffordshire, England. Eventually they developed extensive landscaped grounds around the house.

Commissioned in the Militia on 4 September 1939, Hayward performed intelligence duties at Keswick Barracks, Adelaide, before joining the Australian Imperial Force in July 1940. He arrived in the Middle East in February 1941 and served at Tobruk, Libya, with the 2/43rd Battalion. In August he transferred to the Australian Army Canteens Service as a major. Back in Australia, in June 1943 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed a deputy director in the AACS. His duties took him to Papua, New Guinea, Morotai and Labuan. He was twice mentioned in despatches and was awarded the American Bronze Star Medal for his work. On 20 November 1945 he transferred to the Reserve of Officers.

Hayward returned to Adelaide and in 1946 became joint managing director (with his brother) of John Martin’s. During the war he had noticed that American soldiers were willing to swap a bottle of whisky for three bottles of Coca-Cola; recognising that it was a profitable product, he acquired the franchise and in 1950 founded Coca-Cola Bottlers (Adelaide) Pty Ltd with the help of other local businessmen. He was to remain chairman of this company until 1983. The company was later sold to the Amatil group, which closed the Thebarton bottling plant in 2018 and sold the site for housing development the following year.

In 1947 Hayward had joined the South Australian Centre of the St John Ambulance Association committee; he served as inaugural chairman of the St John Council for South Australia in 1950-76 and as president in 1976-83. In 1951 he arranged for the council to take over the State’s ambulance services. He was appointed K.St.J. in 1959.

Knighted in 1961, Sir Edward was made chairman of John Martin’s in 1964; he oversaw the expansion of the business into the suburbs. He was also chairman of South Australian Telecasters Ltd (1966-70) and of South Australian Insurance Holdings Ltd (1972-75), deputy-chairman of the Finance Corporation of Australia Ltd (1963-78), and a board-member of the Bank of Adelaide (1970-78), and Bennett & Fisher Ltd (1962-83). Continuing to pursue his pastoral interests, he and his wife bred prize-winning Hereford cattle at their Silverton Park stud at Cape Jervis. He also bred and owned racehorses.

Keen on sport, Hayward played in the State polo team until middle-aged and was president of the South Australian Polo Association (1956-60) and the Adelaide Polo Club (1958-60). He also enjoyed swimming, golf and tennis. A founding governor (1960-66) of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, he loved music, especially jazz. He and his wife enjoyed travel. They filled their home with valuable collections of sculpture, antique furniture, objets d’art and paintings, mainly Australian, French and English. At John Martin’s main store there was a fine art gallery. Hayward was an ardent monarchist and from 1928 a member of the Adelaide Club.

Widowed in 1970, Sir Edward married Jean Katherine Bridges, née Folder, a widow, on 30 June 1972 at the register office, Westminster, London. In 1973, although he had no children, he was named South Australian Father of the Year in acknowledgment of his continuing commitment to the children’s Christmas pageant. Genial and, by then, silver-haired, 'Mr Bill', as he was always known at the store, blew a special gold whistle to start off the pageant. He retired as chairman of John Martin’s in 1980. Survived by his wife, he died suddenly on 13 August 1983 at Carrick Hill and was cremated. In 1970 he and his first wife had decided to bequeath the property and its contents, including their extensive art collection, to the South Australian government; it is now open to the public.

The John Martin’s group, however, gradually contracted, selling off its suburban stores to rival retailers and finally the Rundle Mall establishment to David Jones Ltd, which closed the art deco store despite public opposition in March 1998 and demolished it later that year to make way for a new store. The David Jones group did make provision, however, for a smaller Christmas magic cave within the new store, thus continuing a tradition which began in the late 19th century. The Christmas pageant was taken over by the State government, which passed on naming rights to five major credit unions.

Select Bibliography

  • I. Howie-Willis, South Australians and St. John Ambulance, 1885-1985 (1985)
  • J. Henley (ed), S.A.’s Greats (2001)
  • News (Adelaide), 8 Dec 1970, p 42
  • Advertiser (Adelaide), 15 July 1983, p 6, 15 Aug 1983, p 14
  • B883, item SX8887 (National Archives of Australia).

Citation details

Rose Wilson, 'Hayward, Sir Edward Waterfield (Bill) (1903–1983)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 18 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (Melbourne University Press), 2007

View the front pages for Volume 17

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


10 November, 1903
Kent Town, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


13 August, 1983 (aged 79)
Springfield, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.