Andrew Torning was born in London, England on 20 September 1814, son of Andrew Torning and Ann Dayton. He arrived in Sydney in 1842 with his wife and two children. Torning founded the NSW Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1857, however, he and his family left Sydney in 1858 for San Francisco where he took American citizenship and joined the local Fire Brigade. When he returned to Sydney in 1867 he was elected as superintendent of the Australian Volunteer Fire Company No 1. He was living in Elizabeth Street, Waterloo in the 1870s and 1880s and in Manly at the time of his death on 13 April 1900. He was buried in the Independent Old Ground Section of Rookwood Cemetery. He was married to Eliza Crew (1814-87) in 1832 in London, England and there was a son and a daughter.
Occupation & interests
Torning and his wife were actors, and the pair worked at the Victoria Theatre in Pitt Street. Andrew Torning, house decorator, was declared bankrupt in 1890.
In 1885 Waterloo Mayor Torning remarked that the police had very easy times. He said some steps should be taken to prevent roughs from congregating at the corners of streets or breaking people’s windows, as is often done. Torning was a member of the council’s Improvement Committee in 1876 and 1884.
Local government service
Andrew Torning was an alderman on Waterloo Council in 1876-81 and 1884-86. He was mayor in 1879.
‘Municipal and shire nominations’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 February 1876, p. 8, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13371058
‘Brevities’, Evening News, 28 March 1885, p.4, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/111181712
Andrew Torning, Corner of George and Hunter Streets, c1849, State Library of NSW, DG XV1A/11 https://collection.sl.nsw.gov.au/record/YEGmp2Vn
Andrew Torning, founder of Volunteer Fire companies of New South Wales, c1876, photographer unknown, State Library of NSW, P1/1791 https://collection.sl.nsw.gov.au/record/1xqZW2wY
‘Torning, Thomas Andrew (1833–1868)’, People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/torning-thomas-andrew-28279/text, accessed 16 February 2023.