Lone Pine

The pine tree you see down by the front gateway.

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28 August 1915

Sydney Morning Hearald

LONESOME PINE.

HEROIC  FEAT.

FIRST BRIGADE’S WORK.

(FROM CAPTAIN C. E. W. BEAN, OFFICIAL PRESS

REPRESENTATIVE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN

FORCES.)

GABA TEPE, Aug. 18.

An inspection of the Turkish trenches captured at Lonesome Pine has shown what an extraordinarily formidable obstacle the First Australian Infantry Brigade was up against when ordered to take this position. For month upon month we had seen the Turks piling up colossal parapets, and could see that the place was a labyrinth. It was be-cause it was so strong and important, and because we desired to give the Turks a really heavy blow at the southern end of the line, that these trenches were chosen for attack.

The Third Brigade had made a famous assault on the landing; the Second made a wonderful charge at Helles. The First Brigade was therefore chosen to assault Lonesome Pine. It was a tremendous job to put before any brigade, but these Australasian infantry never from first to last showed the least concern about it. I was with them five minutes before the start behind the parapet over which five minutes hence they knew they would have to scramble in face of rifle fire, machine guns, and shrapnel. They did not know what might be awaiting them in the deadly space between the trenches, but not one man showed the slightest sign of uneasiness. A man would pass along the trench to find his platoon just as a belated spectator might hurry to a seat before the curtain rises. Passing he would recognise some friend.

“Good-bye, Bill,” he would say; “meet you over there.”

“So long, Tom,” was the reply. “See you again in half-hour.”

“Are you going to got a photograph of us?” they would ask me. “How do you work it on sandbags or through a periscope? What sort of camera is it? My word.  A great chance for a photographer.”

And then conversation was suddenly cut short by the voice of a little officer crouching just below a parapet: “Get ready to go over parapet.”

He glanced down at a wrist watch, and so did I, 5.27. The men crouched up a little higher on the recess, preparing to spring. Those in the trench below got a firmer foothold. The little officer unstrapped a whistle from his wrist, and held it between his teeth. He looked down at his watch again.

The man next me asked “What time is it?” I looked down. “Well, I make it 5.30,” I answered. The bombardment had apparently stopped. A few minutes’ breathless silence, then a whistle sounded. Within a second the little officer had blown his whistle, too.

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There was a scramble of feet over the parapet, the sound of falling earth, the knocking of accoutrements, the peck, peck of Mauser rifles from the trench opposite had already begun, and gradually swelled into a rattle. A man fell past me into the trench, bleeding from a wound in the mouth. Out in the scrub a line of our old pea soup Australian khaki was racing, jumping low bushes and wire, straight for the enemy’s trench. When they got there they experienced what in military phraseology is known as a check. That is to say, instead of an open trench into which they could jump and bayonet Turks they found themselves looking down on a solid roof of pine logs, covered with earth on which the bombardment had not made any perceptible impression. This surprise might well enough upset the nerves of some troops, but the behaviour of the First Brigade did not give the onlookers the least cause for anxiety. The men were clearly puzzled what to do, but did not show the least sign of ever thinking of retreat. Some ran on to the second and third trench till they found open trenches where they could fire down and jump in. Others strung out along the first trench, firing in to loopholes from which the Turks were still shooting.

lone pine 1919

Others jumped down into a few gaps left without head-cover; others noticed small manholes every here and therein the solid roof of the trench, and began to lower themselves into the trench feet fore-most through these, a feat of daring which, it had been a solitary example, would certainly have won the Victoria Cross in any previous war. Those who could not get in simply lay down outside on the parapet, firing down the communication trenches until they could think of something else to do. The first Australian infantry has made itself a wonderful name at Gallipoli.

Certainly no finer feat has been accomplished here than this taking of Lonesome Pine and holding it against a counter-attack-lasting six solid days. New South Wales cannot be too proud of her The Australian naval bridging train has landed with a British force at Suvla Bay.

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Henry Kelly

Henry Kelly

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Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 1 Plot 10

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Constable Henry Kelly was married to Therese May Kelly and had some children when he died in 1919.

Death of Constable Kelly.

The sudden death of First-CIass Constable Henry Kelly at Gosford on Saturday morning last cast a gloom over the community, for he was an exceptionally popular officer and a man highly esteemed and respected by all classes of the people. His illness hardly extended, over 24 hours, and the doctor’s certificate attributed heart failure as being the cause of death. Deceased was a native of Orange, and was 38 years of age.

He served three years with the Bushmen’s Contingent in the Boer War, and held the King and Queen’s medals with. 6 clasps. Joining the Police Force 16 years ago, he was stationed at Newcastle and Ourimbah, and three years ago came to Gosford as a permanent officer. He married Miss Boland, daughter of Mr. John Boland, of Allandale, near Cessnock, and leaves a widow and two children to mourn their irreparable loss. Miss . Boland is sister to Sergeant Boland, one time stationed at Gosford. The funeral on Sunday afternoon was one of the largest ever seen in the district.

Some 60 young men walked in front of the hearse, on either side of which marched members of the local Police Force. First-class Constables Noble (Gosford), Russell (Woy Woy), Cross and Moloney (Newcastle) acted as pall -bearers, and Sergeant Morris (Gosford), Sergeant O’Rourke and Constable Harding (Wyong), Sergeant Boland and Plain Clothes Constable Ryan (Newcastle; were also in attendance. Floral tributes smothered the silver-mounted cedar casket, and included those forwarded by the Newcastle and district police, Brisbane Water police, and Railway Station and Refreshment Room staffs.

There were over 50 vehicles in the procession. The graveside obsequies at Point Clare cemetery were conducted by the Rev. Father Kelly assisted by Rev. Father Hogan, of Sydney.

Mr. R. H. Creighton carried out the mortuary arrangements. We tender our heartfelt sympathy to the £bereaved family in the loss of a loving husband and father. The late ‘ Constable Kelly was a splendid fellow, most appreciated by those who knew him at best, and his untimely end touches the tender chord bespeaking the heart’s sorrow and regret at the passing of a man he could be rightly classed ‘one of Nature’s gentlemen.

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Bennett

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Alfred Bennett Church of England Section 8 Row 20 Plot 1

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18 August 1953

TRAGIC DEATH OF ORCHARDIST

 Late last Saturday afternoon, Alfred Hilton Bennett, 51 years, a well known Mangrove Mountain orchardist, was found dead, with a gunshot wound in the region of his heart.

 The tragedy occurred on his property, about half a mile from his home. There are no suspicious circumstances, state Gosford police.

 Detective Cox, who carried out an investigation, was told that at about 2.30 pm Mr Bennett informed his wife and elder son that he was going to take a walk down to the cauliflower patch and would take his dog and gun with him as he might get a rabbit on the way.

The son left half an hour later to play tennis and when he returned about 5.30, he found that his father was still away from home. The son went in search of his father and eventually found his body on a bush track with a double barrelled shotgun lying beside him.

From an investigation on the spot. Detective Cox believes that Mr Bennett tripped over a fallen tree across the track and in his fall one barrel of the gun was accidentally discharged.

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The subsequent Inquest found,

11 September 1953

ORCHARPIST SHOT NEAR HOME TRAGIC DISCOVERY OF BODY BY HIS SON

A son who went looking for his orchardist father at Mangrove Mt on August 15 found him dead, victim of the accidental discharge of a 12-gauge shotgun.

The District Coroner (Mr. C. J. Staples) returned this finding at a Magisterial inquiry at Gosford on Wednesday into the death of Alfred Hilton Bennett, 51, of Wiseman’s Ferry Road, Mangrove Mt. evidence at the inquiry disclosed that on August 15, Bennett left his home at 2.30 pm, accompanied by his dog.

He took the shot-gun with him, telling his wife he intended shooting a rabbit for the dog. When he did not return by 5 pm, his son, William, went to look for him.

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 TRIPPED ON LOG

The son found his father’s body about 300 yards from the house with a gunshot wound in the chest. Const. K. A. Rhodes, of Gosford police, said Bennett I had apparently tripped on a log, discharging the gun when he fell.

Bennett’s widow. Iris Melba Bennett, told the Coroner that Bennett had had no financial or domestic worries. ‘The home was as happy as could be wished for,’ she added.

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Riley

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Keith (aka Mickey) Riley Presbyterian Section 1 Row 7 Plot 21

10th January 1950

YOUTH NOT SENT TO HOSPITAL

Bed Shortage, Says Doctor At Inquiry.

Although ill enough, a young man injured in an accident had not been taken to hospital because of the shortage of beds, according to a doctor at a Magisterial Inquiry at Gosford Court House on Saturday.

The inquiry was into the death on December 17 of Keith William Riley, of Booker Bay, who was injured in a motor-cycle accident early the previous morning.

Dr. George Craig Duncan, of Gosford, said at the inquiry that he had seen Riley at his surgery at about midday on December 16. He then appeared to be suffering from concussion.

Dr. Duncan said that he treated Riley and had told him to return home, go to bed, and lie flat. He had also told him to report his condition to him in several hours.

Later that afternoon relatives had reported by telephone that Riley was vomiting.

Dr. Duncan said he had ordered Riley’s admission to the Gosford District Hospital.

SHORTAGE OF BEDS

In reply to questions by the District Coroner, Mr. C. J. Staples, Dr. Duncan said:

‘When I first saw Riley, I thought he was ill enough to require admission to hospital for observation, but owing to the acute shortage of hospital beds, it was necessary to observe him at his home for several hours. ‘His people were instructed by me direct to observe certain symptoms, if present, and report them, at once to me. ‘They did so. ‘In my opinion, the cause of death was due to extensive subdural haematoma. There would be a fracture of the skull, in all probability.

‘An X-ray examination would have disclosed the fracture of the skull. I did not at first consider that there was a fracture present.

‘I consider that this boy had all the treatment that could have been given to him in the circumstances.’ The Coroner found that Riley had died at the Gosford District Hospital on December 17 from injuries accidentally received when he fell from his motor-cycle on the Pacific Highway at Niagara Park about 12.30 am on December 16.

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Dillon

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John Dillon Presbyterian Section 1 Row 4 Plot 11

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John Dillon

23 August 1940

THREE KILLED IN TUNNEL

Whole Gang Struck by

Freight Train

Four Seriously Injured Three men were killed in an accident in the Woy Woy railway tunnel yesterday afternoon. Four others were seriously injured.

DEAD

John Dillon, 37, married, of South Woy Woy.

Michael Shelley, 47, married, of Punchbowl.

Leonard Munce, 44, married, of Paddington.

INJURED

Reginald L, Mason, 28, married, of Adamstown;

William Whitten, 31, married, of ‘ Cardiff;

 Andrew J. Blackie, 41, married, of West Maitland;

Angus Blakely, 43, married, of West Wallsend.

They were struck by a north bound freight train 30 chains (A chain is approx. the length of a cricket pitch) from the northern end of the tunnel.

Those killed received frightful injuries. The fireman and driver of the train did not know the

accident had occurred until they were informed by the stationmaster at Woy Woy who stopped the train following a telephone message from the tunnel.

Working

A cap and a hat were found on the front of the engine. For months now, two hundred maintenance employees have been camped near the northern entrance to the Woy Woy tunnel. They have been engaged on laying new rails through the tunnel, which is a mile and 10 chains in length.

The men have been working under dangerous conditions every day in the tunnel and the constant strain shows clearly on their faces. They’re poor men, with wives and children, and they get an extra 6d. each day to compensate them for the danger of the work they do.

Yesterday, the seven members of the ‘muck’ gang ate an early lunch, shouldered their picks and shovels, picked up their acetylene lanterns and marched off into the inky depths of the tunnel.

Ganger Shelley, who was one of the men killed, set the men to work near the middle of the tunnel. A drain was being repaired, cement being mixed on a board. No one knows exactly what happened after that.

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Shortly after 1 p.m. a gang under a man named Kennedy, entered the tunnel from the Woy Woy end. A flag-man stationed at the entrance blew his whistle to give warning of an approaching train, and the men hastened into the tiny alcoves that are spaced at about 2 -chain intervals along the walls of the tunnel. (First Train).

A train thundered by and they moved out. From the other end of the tunnel came another train. Again the men dived for their alcoves as it thundered by. (Second train).

Some minutes later the men again took to the alcoves as another train went thundering through. Thinking the way was clear, the men again emerged from the holes in the wall and followed on. (Third train).

Suddenly, from up ahead, they heard the rumble of another train. Someone yelled , ‘Go for your

lives! She’s broken in two and the end’s coming back towards us!’

Panic took -hold of the gang.

There was a terrific clatter of shovels and smashing wood and men’s cries.

One . man threw himself down in the slush of the gutter alongside the rails; another fought his way to an alcove; another dashed madly back towards the opening of the tunnel; another jumped across to the opposite set of rails only to be hurled clear as he was truck by the side of one of the trucks of the fourth train.

 

He fell back into the space between the rails, but was not injured.

As the roar of the receding train died away, the men heard moans and cries for help coming from further along the tunnel. Their lights had been smashed in the panic, with the exception of two small lanterns. In the beams of these they saw a gruesome scene.

Every member of the ‘muck’ gang had been struck by the engine of the fourth train. One of the

men was decapitated, another was  so dreadfully mangled as to be almost unrecognizable.

The injured men were lying about everywhere. One, with blood streaming down his face, was vainly attempting to claw his way along on his stomach; another 4 lay very still in the blue metal at the side of the. track; others were strewn around. None had escaped.

The Brisbane Water District Ambulance was summoned from Gosford by telephone. Two ambulance wagons raced to the nearest point to the tunnel. Woy Woy Police and Dr. Delepine, of Woy Woy, arrived at the same time.

Constable L. B. Browne, of the Woy Woy Police, led the rescuers into the tunnel where the four injured men’s mates were lifting the injured onto rail trolleys. They were quickly brought out and along the railway line to a point where the Woy Woy-Gosford Road crosses the creek. Here they were lifted on to stretchers and carried down the steep bank into a waiting ambulance which rushed them through to Gosford and thence to Newcastle Hospital.

The three bodies were recovered from the tunnel later and taken to the Woy Woy morgue where they were identified to the District Coroner by Thomas Abbotson, of Ryde, a member of one of the gangs.

Work in the tunnel was suspended for the day, with the exception of one small gang which went back to make sure that the permanent way was safe for other trains.

An inquest will be held when the injured men recover.

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Pryor

Bruce  Maitland Pryor Methodist Section 1 Row 5 Plot 8

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Newcastle Herald

28 January 1949

Murder Charge

At Bedside

SYDNEY, Thursday. – In a bedside court at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital late this afternoon, William Thomas, 19, who doctors say will never walk again, was charged with having murdered Bruce Maitland Pryor, 24, of Lisarow, near Gosford, on November 25.

Pryor, returning from a visit to his fiancee on the night of November 25, saw an intruder on the verandah of his father’s house. Pryor challenged – the man and pursued him when he ran. The man turned and shot Pryor in the chest.

Pryor died in hospital three days later-the day before he was to have been married.

The morning after the shooting, Thomas was found lying under the railway bridge at Ourimbah.. His back was broken and a rifle was lying nearby. He has been in Prince Alfred Hospital under police guard since. Doctors say he will never walk again. He is paralysed from the waist down.

Thomas was remanded till February 23rd 1943, when the inquest will be held. To-night he was taken to the infirmary at Long Bay Gaol.

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Newcastle Herald

31 May, 1949

Fettler Unfit to Plead!

SYDNEY, Monday. -. Charged with murder, a l9-year-old fettler, whose spine was fractured, was ordered by Mr. Justice Dwyer, in the Central Criminal Court to-day, to be kept in strict custody till he had been dealt with under the      Lunacy Act. : Without leaving the box the jury found that the prisoner, Robert Mathew Thomas, was insane and not fit to plead.

Thomas was carried into Court on a stretcher.

A male nurse sat by him throughout the proceedings. Thomas been bedridden since his arrest: on November 26. Thomas was charged with having murdered Bruce ‘Maitland Pryor. The Crown said Pryor was shot at his home at Lisarow, near Gosford, on November 25, anti died in hospital on December 1; A few hours after Prior was found wounded, Thomas, according to. the Crown, was discovered some distance away, having apparently fallen from a railway viaduct, and had broken his back.

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25th  February 1949

 Lisarow Murder: Youth Committed For Trial

 At Sydney Criminal Court Sessions

 Swathed In Plaster He Is Brought Into Court On A Stretcher

 Women Weep As Details Of ‘Felonious And Malicious’ Slaying Are Revealed By Witnesses

 Robert Matthew Thomas, a 19-year-old railway construction worker, will stand trial on March 7 at the Sydney Criminal Court on a charge of murdering Bruce Maitland Pryor, 24-year-old Wyong Shire Council employee and returned soldier, of Lisarow, who was found shot outside his father’s home on November 25 last.

 The City Coroner (Mr M. J. D. Austin) committed Thomas for trial at the conclusion of an inquiry on Wednesday when he found that Pryor had died from a wound1 in the abdomen arid that Thomas’ had ‘feloniously and  maliciously murdered him’.

 Thomas, swathed from head to foot in*plaster, was brought to the court in an ambulance from hospital where he has been since he was found with a broken back under a railway bridge the day after Pryor was shot.

 He listened to evidence from a special bed in court. When Thomas was being carried into court an elderly woman became hysterical and was led away by police officers. Throughout the hearing two women who sat beside Thomas wept frequently.

 Frank Maitland Pryor, store keeper, of Lisarow, father of the dead man, said that his son left home about 9.50 pm on November 25 to take his fiancee, Miss Gladys May Peck, home.

 Pryor said he went to bed and was reading when he heard his son cry out, ‘I have been shot’.

‘I jumped out of bed (and ran to the part of the house where the cry came from’ said Pryor.

He said he found his son lying on the front lawn with both bands across his chest. He was bleeding from a bullet wound in the chest, witness said.

 When he asked hid son who shot him ho replied ‘1 don’t know, dad, but ho went the station way. I’ve had it, dad’. In the hospital his son said, ‘You always look after Glad, won’t you, dad?’

Pryor said his son and Miss Peck were to have been married on Saturday, November 27.

In the ambulance on November 26 Pryor said to his son, ‘They have got the bird. Do you know a chap named Bobbie Thomas?’

His son said, ‘No’.

Pryor said he told his son Thomas was one of the men camped at the Ourimbah (Railway Construction camp but his son said he did not know any one from the camp.

Sgt Brownette (Police Prosecuting staff assisting the coroner) :

‘Do you know Thomas, the man  in court?’

 Pryor: ‘I have never seen him in my life and do not want to see him again’.

Gladys May Peck, machinist, of Pacific Highway, Niagara Park, said she had known the dead man all his life and had been keeping company with him since 1947.

She said she was engaged to him and they were to have been married two days after he was shot.

She said that her fiancée had never spoken to her about a fight with a footballer, or anyone. He was not of a quarrelsome nature.

 He was in good spirits when he left her the night he was shot. Glenda Merle Pryor, trainee nurse, at the Royal Alexander Hospital, Sydney, sister of the dead man, said she saw her brother when he was about to enter the operating theatre on November 26. She was present when he died at 4.25 am on December 1.

 John Henry Cooper, fettler, of Bailey’s Road, Ourimbah, said that at 7.10 am on November 26

he was walking alongside the railway line about half a mile from Ourimbah.

‘I heard a cry for help. I I looked down through the railway bridge but couldn’t see anyone so I sang out ‘Where are you?’

‘I heard another faint cry for help. I looked over the edge of the bridge and saw a rifle’, said Cooper.

 A man (Thomas) was lying  about 6ft away from the rifle, witness said.

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‘When I asked him if he was hurt, he said,  Yes, both my legs are broken and my back’ Cooper said. Thomas told him he had been there all night.

Det-Cons table William Allen  (Gosford I said that, at the Gosford District Hospital on November 25, Bruce Maitland Pryor told him, ‘I was coming home from Gladys’s place when I saw a man standing on the verandah in the darkness.  I thought it was dad but when he saw me he jumped over the verandah on to the lawn.

 ‘I realised then that it was not dad and I ran to the gate to cut him off. Then he let me have it’. Constable Allen said the dead man told him he saw the barrel of a rifle. He thought it was a .22 rifle.

Pryor had said he was shot at a couple of yards range and that he did not have a chance, Allen told the coroner. When asked if he could describe the man, Pryor said, ‘All I know is that he was the same build as dad. He was a stranger to me.

I don’t think I know him. I am feeling tired’.

 Constable Allen said that Pryor said he knew of no reason why any person would want to shoot him. About 7.20 am, Constable Allen said, he went to a railway viaduct about hall a mile south of the Ourimbah railway construction camp.

There he saw Thomas lying on his stomach with his right arm extended at right angles to his body. About 2ft from his out stretched arm was a .32 Winchester repeating rifle. Constable Allen said Thomas had a handkerchief tied around his neck and folded diagonally with the flap under his chin.

 Witness said that when he asked Thomas what he was doing under the bridge, Thomas said. ‘I shot a bloke at Lisarow last night He picked a fight with me a month ago and hit me. ‘I had a couple of plonks in me last night and I went to town to see if I could find him. I don’t know his name. I was out of my mind last night after a drink or two of wine.

 I shot him once. This is the rifle’. Thomas allegedly volunteered.

Allen said Thomas told him his name and said -he was 19 on October 26, 1948.

Thomas said ‘I can’t move my legs and I am stiff,I think they are broken.”

 He said he was wearing motor cycle gauntlets so as not to leave fingerprints on the rifle if he dropped it. Witness said, ‘What is the handkerchief around your neck for?’

Thomas replied, ‘I was using it or a mask’.

 Coroner: ‘Did you ask him how he came to be under the viaduct?’

Allen: ‘No’

Coroner: ‘Apparently no one asked him’.

Sgt E. A. Albury (Gosford) corroborated Constable Allen’s evidence.

  Ralph Anthony Walker, railway fettler stationed at Mount Colah, said that he lived with Thomas in a railway camp at Ourimbah at ‘the time of the shooting.

Between 8 pm and 10 pm on November 25, said Walker, he saw Thomas appearing to fix up his rifle and putting shells in it.

 Thomas went out at 10.50 pm and he went to sleep, said Walker. Walker said he was awakened next morning by a police officer. They went to Thomas’s tent, but he was missing.

Walker said he had been talking to Thomas between 6 and 7 pm. Thomas was then ‘perfectly sober’, said Walker.

 To Mr P. W. Vizzard (Public Defender’ for Thomas, Walker said that Thomas went out frequently at night for rabbits. He had brought some home, he said.

 Detective Sergeant George James Barnes, No. 1 Division of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said that he took possession of Thomas’s clothing at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown on November 26, at 4 pm. He told Thomas he wanted to ask him some questions and Thomas said he would help all he could.

 Thomas said: ‘Where is the other chap now?’

Detective Barnes said he told him Pryor was in the Mater Hospital with a bullet wound in the stomach. Thomas then said to him: ‘I am sorry about that. I am sorry I shot him’.

 When questioned, Thomas said, ‘I had a row with him at a dance some months ago and I went to his house to get square. I hope he gets all right!’

 On January 27, Barnes said, he told Thomas he was to be charged with the murder of Pryor, who died on December 1. When he asked him if he wanted to say anything Thomas said. ‘I can’t remember anything’.

Barnes said he told Thomas that the bail magistrate -Mr McMullen, JP- would be there in a few minutes and he intended  to ask him for a remand until February 23, the date of the coronial inquiry.

 Thomas replied: ‘I will not be there. I can’t walk’. Witness said he told him that the doctors said he was fit enough to attend and that he would be taken to court on a stretcher.

 When charged he again said he could not remember anything about it and burst into tears.

Detective Constable Leslie Arthur Monk, of North Sydney, said that on November 26 at 7.20 am he saw- Pryor being wheeled on a hospital trolley to the operating theatre. A nurse was giving him a blood transfusion.

 Pryor told him he understood that he might die and Monk asked him questions.

Monk said: ‘Thomas stated he I had an argument with you some months ago and he was going  to get even with you’. Pryor replied: ‘No, that is !not right. I do not know him I at all, I have not quarrelled with anyone’.

 Coroner : ‘Robert Matthew Thomas may give evidence if he desires. Mr Vizzard: ‘He does not wish to give evidence. On my advice he declines to answer any questions which may incriminate him. I have no evidence to offer’.

Coroner: ‘This inquiry is to ascertain how, when, where and by what means Bruce Maitland Pryor met his death. ‘It is clear that he received this bullet wound at Lisarow on November 25 and that he died in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital on December 1.

 ‘There is the evidence of the Government Medical Officer, Dr Percy, and Dr Joseph, superintendent of the hospital. They state that the cause of death was a bullet wound in the abdomen.

‘On the evidence before me there is only one finding I can come to, that the deceased met his death from a bullet wound inflicted by Thomas’.

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And two years later Glays married someone else.

17 October 1950

Cessnock Eagle and Maitland Recorder

Wedding

CARR-PECK

A very pretty wedding took place at St, John’s Church of England, Cessnock, between Gladys May, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peck of Gosford, to Andrew, second youngest of Mrs. E. Carr and: the late Mr. A. Carr of Cessnock on September 30.

The bride entered the church on the. arm of her father. She was frocked in a satin dress trimmed with lace bodice /peplums and panels on skirt and train. She was attended , by Mrs. Nell Carr as Matron of Honour, and Miss Betty Grant arc bridesmaids. Their frocks were lace over taffeta in apple green and rose pink respectively, with matching picture hats.

The groom was attended by Mr. Carr’s best man and Mr. Allan Peck was the groomsman.

The bride wore a blue crepe beaded velvet the guests at the South Cessnock Hall, where a lovely supper was served. Dancing and singing went on till 10’o’clock when the happy, couple left. for Katoomba, where the honey moon was spent.

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Frederick Cox

Fred Cox Methodist Section 1 Row 1 Plot 1

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First Burial at Point Clare Cemetery 1916 and Auctioneer and Trader Extraordinaire 

Methodist Section 1 Row 1 plot 1

Frederick Cox arrived in 1909 and bought a pre existing business from William Burns. It was a mixed business with branches in Gosford and Woy Woy. He traded in some land deals and was a licensed Auctioneer.

In 1911 we have Fred Cox proposing land sites with the council for a new cemetery. He was the President of the Progress Association and was one of the stronger voices of opposition when another proposed site on Presidents Hill was put forward.

15th September, 1911

New Cemetery Sites.

Mr. T W Connelly, District Surveyor, visited Gosford on Tuesday last and, accompanied by Mr. F. Cox, President of the Progress Association, inspected two proposed sites for the new cemetery, both  situated on the western side of Narara Creek — one on Crown land, and the other on land the property of Mr Fagan. We understand that Mr. Connelly favoured the latter site, and intends sending an officer to make further inquiries.

1915 funer scene

29 September 1911

Proposed New Cemetery For Gosford.

For a considerable time there has been a growing dissatisfaction with the site of the present cemetery, owing to the lower portion being so swampy that people object to burying their relatives and friends in graves that fill with water as soon as they are dug, with the result that the dryer portion, known as the general portion, is mostly used, and will in a few years become crowded. During last year the District Surveyor, Mr. T. W. Conolly, paid a visit to the cemetery at the invitation of some of the residents, and at once decided that something should be done in the  way of securing a fresh site and closing the present one.

He recommended a position on the western slope of President’s Hill suitable as to dryness and elevation, but strongly objected to by the townspeople, for the reason that the locality was too valuable for residential purposes and was within the population area. The Progress Association then offered to submit to Mr. Conolly several sites more suitable for the purpose, and recommendations were accordingly made of several areas which were inspected by the Surveyor, the best in his opinion being selected, and the Assistant Surveyor sent to test the site for depth of soil and drainage. The Secretary of the Progress Association, Mr. W. E. Kirkness, is now in receipt of a letter from the District Surveyor, requesting that the public be asked to signify their approval or rejection of the proposed site, which is about 24 acres in area, being Government Subdivision Nos. 133, 134 and 142, adjoining Messrs. Fagan’s property on Cooranbene Creek, West Gosford.

Little did Fred Cox know that he would be the first to buried at Point Clare Cemetery in January 1916. There is a stone in the Catholic Section, RC 1,1,1 that mentions a death in 1915 (Cecil Morris at the battle of Lone Pine) but there was no body buried in that Grave at that time.

cox 2

25th January 1917

IN MEMORIAM.

COX. — In loving remembrance of our dear father, Frederick Cox, who died January 25th, 1916. Inserted by his loving sons, Gunner R. K. Cox and Driver C. A. Cox, A.I.F.

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31 August 1922

MRS COX

OBITUARY.

MRS. FREDERICK COX

The community of Gosford were deeply Shocked on learning yesterday that Mrs. Susie Cox, relict of the late Mr. Frederick Cox, had passed away at her home, ‘Cora Lynn,’ East Gosford, about 9 a.m. The deceased lady complained of not feeling well last I Sunday, and later on Dr. Paul was called in unexpectedy — caused her relatives anxiety, serious symptoms being manifest, and, despite all that could be done by medical skill and expert nursing, she passed away* as above stated, at 9 o ‘clock on Wednesday morning, the cause of death owing to heart failure.

The late Mrs. Cox, who was 60 years of age, was a native of Kelso, Singleton, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bailey, one of the district ‘s best known families. Mr. Bailey died some years ago, but Mrs. Bailey still resides at Dunolly, Singleton, in her 80th year. Miss Bailey married Mr. Frederick Cox at Singleton, and her husband passed away at Gosford in January, 1916, his death being a great loss to residents of town and district. The late Mr. Cox was a splendid townsman, and his memory will be treasured by relatives and friends for many years to come. Mr. and Mrs. Cox came to Gosford about 15 years ago.

Mr. Cox purchasing the storekeeping business then carried on, by Mr. William Burns. Some years later, Mr. Cox retired from active business life, and built a beautiful home, ‘Cora Lynn,’ at East Gosford. During the war period Mrs. Cox and her daughter, Miss Ivy Cox, took a prominent part in Red Cross work, and many a kindly and unostentatious deed stands to the memory of a kind arid charitable woman. Two of her sons served in the big war, and returned after the Armistice had been signed. Of the marriage there were three sons and one ‘daughter, all of whom survive their  parents — Messrs Milton Cox (Parkes), Ray Cox (Gosford), Clare Cox (Sydney), and Miss Ivy Cox (Gosford). To them we offer our deepest sympathy in their irreparable loss, the funeral takes place this afternoon, in Point Clare cemetery, where the remains of Mr. *Cox were laid to rest some years ago.

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Jack Dransfield

Jack Dransfield Church of England Section 1 Row 2 Plot 39

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22 March 1917

A “Something.”

The following is an extract from a letter received by Master Joe Dransfield, Ourimbah, from Gunner Edmund Duffy, written from Somewhere in France : — ” I received your welcome letters. We are not allowed to send any souvenirs from the front to Australia. If I had the chance I would enlist a dozen times over, which every self-thinking young man should do in this war of all-nations. There are hundreds of young single men in Australia who shiver at the thought of enlistment. I consider that a young fellow with no responsibilities who will not attempt to enlist is not worthy of the name of “man,” but is a “something” that only thinks of his own skin. It will be the shirker on whom the worry of this will fall.

This young man Joe Dransfield, received this letter a year before he enlisted for World War 1 from his mate, Gunner Edmond Duffy.

Joe I am not certain is he was a cousin, a nephew (?) was somehow connected to the Dransfield Family from Ourimbah.  Gosford and the surrounding districts was a very active ground for local patriot volunteer organizations (Red Cross) and returned servicemen organizations.  A letter like the above was stirring the war effort and Joe joined up in 1918. Social events with parades and floats were common place. Even the provision of a house to one war widow to live in, show the support and popularity of these events.

The Dransfield family of Ourimbah was headed by Mr. Dransfield who was the Head Teacher of Ourimbah Public School and turns up in the local paper from time to time. The Grave we are visiting is the grave of the Headmasters son Jack Dransfield, 1919.

From his war record, Joseph Dransfield, we find that he is 22 years of age, 5 foot 11 inches tall, had a mole on his right shoulder, he enlisted the day after Anzac Day 1918. For a young man, He was married, yet widowed. His next of kin is listed as James Adams, step father and his belongings willed to Eileen M Bell. Religion is listed as Congregational. He has worked around locomotives, and has been accepted into the Railways Company. There is a letter from a higher ranking officer describing him as brainy.

Joe Dransfields War Record.

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3521454

Jacks father had a hand in the Australia day celebrations of 1916 at Gosford, and organised these costumes.

Joe Dransfield’s next of kin was notified just under a year from the enrollment date, that he was to return to Australia on the 19th April, 1919. He moved to the Eastern suburbs of Sydney by 1928.

With the Returning Soldiers they brought with them a deadly strain of Flu, a version of the Global Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1919.

Meanwhile in Ourimbah The Headmaster was having some fun with the kids, I reckon Little Jack (aged 12) Dransfield saw some of the following event that his father seemed to have something to do with.

12th June, 1919

Ourimbah.

Our Public School now has four teachers as well as the capable head master, Mr. Dransfieid  The “Kiddies” of the town had the time of their lives on Tuesday afternoon, when a man dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, paraded the main road and portrayed ‘Charlie’ in almost lifelike style.

Very soon nearly the whole of the school children followed up the caricaturist, and it was pleasing to hear the well-behaved — with a few exception? — hilarity of the girls and boys. This was advertising a picture show held in the School of Arts last  night, and the result was advantageous, for from 7 p.m children in crowds with their parents or friends were to be seen streaming to the show.

Then 3 weeks later, this happens to Young master Jack Dransfield.

3rd July 1919

LISAROW.

(From Our Correspondent.)

Bleak westerly winds and heavy frosts are being experienced this week, and after the pleasant weather we have bad for the last few months, the change is not altogether agreeable, but as we are past the  shortest day we can look forward to soon having warmer days.

The flu is still with us, but fortunately most of the Lisarow cases have been rather a mild type, and all have escaped having a relapse. Deep sympathy is felt here for Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield in the death of their little son Jack, and we hope to soon hear that their other son, who is also suffering from influenza, has fully recovered.

The many friends of Miss Fenn will be pleased to hear that she is now recovering from an attack of influenza.  Noticed your par in last week’s issue re reports from correspondents.

As your Lisarow correspondent was in bed with ‘flu I think he might be easily excused Lance-Corporal Reg Harrison arrived home on Saturday evening and received a warm welcome from his relatives and friends. We trust that the ‘flu epidemic will soon pass away so that we can give him a public welcome.

Big consignments of citrus fruits are now being forwarded to Sydney and Melbourne from Lisarow station, and good prices are being realised.

our jack

3rd July 1919

OURIMBAH.

(From our Correspondent.)

Owing to the influenza epidemic the Red Cross Society have decided to postpone for a month the benefit social organised for the widow of the late Private Nancarrow.

The district is gradually emerging from an attack of the ‘flu, and the Gosford Doctors have had a busy time.

There have been a number of bad cases, but thank God there was only due fatality. That was Master Jack Dransfield, son of the headmaster of the State School here. The lad was a smart and intelligent, and a general favourite .Double pneumonia set in, and in 48 hours he was dead General sympathy is felt for the bereaved parents and family, in which I join.

The remains were interred in Point Clare cemetery.

3rd July, 1919

Dransfield

Return Thanks.

MRS. DRANSFIELD & FAMILY, of Ourimbah, gratefully thank Mr. Ingram and son, also Mr. Ern Hawkins, for their kind help on the death of our dear son, Jack; also Mrs. Murtagh and Mrs. Ingram, for their kindness. Mr. and Mrs.  Dransfield and Family thank all kind friends for their sympathy, wreaths, cards, and letters of condolence in their sad bereavement.

7th August, 1919

Ourimbah Public School.

Mr. Dransfield, headmaster of the Ourimbah State School, has received the appended official letter from Mr. A. Edden, MP. ‘ Department of Education, Sydney, 26th July. — I have to advise you that the Minister for Education has approved of the preparation of plans and specifications for the remodelling and extension of the school building at Ourimbah. The matter has been referred to the architect of this Department with a view to the necessary action being taken. — Yours, P. Board, Under Secretary.’

 

21 April 1921

VALEDICTORY TO MR. & MRS. A. J. DRANSFIELD & FAMILY.

Residents of town and district were surprised to hear of the sudden departure of Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield and grimily from our midst. Mr. Dransfield has been headmaster of our Public School during the last 17 years, and it is regretted by all that his transfer to Patterson came so unexpectedly. Much credit is due to the Misses Zelma Morris, Margaret Young, and Lola Russell in making a hurried collection, with the limited time at their disposal, to fittingly convey the feelings of respect and esteem from all residents of the district. At 3 p.m. on Friday a representative gathering assembled at the Public School to bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield and family.

Mr. A. Pitt, who occupied the chair, said he had not been in the district very long, still it afforded him very great pleasure to say a few words on behalf of the citizens of Ourimbah and district, in recognition of the splendid teaching qualities of Mr. Dransfield. He has carried out his duties to the entire satisfaction of the public, being ably assisted by an energetic staff of assist ants, in the bringing up of a young generation, who will have to face the world, to encounter many trials, hard ships and temptations, and he sincerely trusted that they would benefit by the tuition of their late headmaster.

Mrs. Luxford, wife of our local station master, in a few well-spoken words, then presented Mr. Dransfield with a hand some pocket wallet, Mrs. Dransfield being the recipient of a beautiful earthenware nickel moulded salad bowl.

The Misses May and Joy Dransfield were presented with a silver purse and a Nellie Stewart bangle, respectively. Mr. Dransfield very feelingly responded on behalf of himself and family. He said he was very much taken by surprise, and offered his sincerest thanks for the gifts they had received.

All the children were assembled in a classroom, and were addressed by their departing master. He gave them good advice, and instructed them in the path they should follow to become worthy citizens of our Great Empire. The gathering then dispersed with three cheers for Mr. Dransfield, which were heartily given by the children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foster

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Alexandra Foster Church of England Section 1 Row 4  Plot 93

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4 September 1924

Page 1

Mrs. Harold  Foster aged 22 years, died at Gosford on Friday last under pathetic circumstances.

Same edition but now on Page 11,

4 September 1924

MRS. H. H. FOSTER.

The death occurred last Friday night of Mrs. Alexandra Lillian Foster, wife of Mr. Harold H. Foster, at Hill Street, North Gosford, following the birth of their first child. Mrs. Foster had been away from Gosford, and was on her way home when she was taken violently ill.

 The death of this lady, who was only 22  years of age, and was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles Weaver, and well-known to Gosford residents, is a very sad one, and is a great blow to her husband and other relatives and friends.

The interment took place at the Church of England portion of Point Clare Cemetery on Saturday, the last rites being performed by the Rev. Thomas, of Epping, who had married Mr. and Mrs. Foster, and the Rev. A. Renwick.

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Victor J. Mackenzie

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Methodist Section 1 Row 1 Plot 22

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Victor J. Mackenzie

Victor Joseph Mackenzie was a Man about this Town. He mixed in elite circles and was a go to guy for many of the upcoming Council politicians. He was a big strong man , an ordardist and would have known the Adcock’s He participated as a strike breaking action to load oranges onto ships. He knew Robert Baker, he went to Robert Baker’s men’s gathering just before his wedding in 1920 and Baker to his wedding in 1922. He had a wife Thyra and many children. The Train accident would have had a lasting impact on Victor. His mate Robert Baker would normally have been the Coroner, I note that W. E. Kirkness is in his place.

mast head

Gosford Times and  Wyong Advocate

Dated 13 January 1921.

WOY WOY BRIDGE DISASTER.

 Coroner’s Inquests Accidental Deaths

Railway Officials Exonerated.

On Monday morning last, at Gosford Courthouse, the District Coroner, Mr. W. E. Kirkness, J.P., held an inquest regarding the recent Woy Woy Bridge  disaster, which resulted in the deaths of Mrs. Victor McKenzie and her two children, and Mr. C. W. Roughley. The  following evidence was adduced: —    

James Lewis Russell deposed: I am  a police constable stationed at Woy  Woy; I remember the 3rd instant; at about 6.30 p.m. I received a message by telephone from Mr. P. Gillan ; I hurried to the Railway Bridge, Woy Woy; Constable Young, of Newcastle, was also  present; I there saw on the Railway  Bridge the body of a man apparently  the age of 36 years, a boy of about 9years; I also saw the mangled remains of a woman; from inquiries I made I believe that train No. E74 Gosford to Sydney, had just previously run them down and killed them; I also believe  that there was a baby 2 and a half years missing from the party; with the assistance of persons present, I conveyed the bodies to one of Mr. W. J. Parks ‘ cottages close by; next day, about 10 a.m., the body of a female child about 2 and a half  years was found at Mt. Pleasant washed  up on the shore; this was conveyed by  the police and placed with the other bodies in Mr. Parks’ cottage; Mt. Pleasant is about two miles away from the scene of the accident; I have reason  to believe that the body of the child found was one of the party; I have reason to believe that it fell through the  [sleepers of the Bridge into the water below.      

By Inspector Haslam: I believe that there are notices at both ends of the Bridge warning persons against crossing.

Victor Joseph McKenzie deposed: I  am a property owner and reside at Gosford; I remember 3rd instant; the members of my family left home on that date to join Mr. Roughley and his family at Woy Woy; they consisted of my wife, Thyra McKenzie, 42,Edna May, 15 years, Harold John, 8 years, Bruce, 4 years, and Gladys Jean, 2 and a half years; they were all in good health; that was the last time I saw my wife, Thyra, my son Harold, and my daughter  Gladys; their lives were not insured; they did not leave any property.

William Rudland Hawkins deposed :I am an orchardist and reside at Dural; I remember the 3rd day of January ;the deceased, Clifton Wilmott  Roughley was my son-in-law; I last saw  him alive about a fortnight previously;  he went to Woy Woy in company with  his wife and family for a holiday; they  rented a cottage from Mr. W. J. Parks; they were joined by Mrs. McKenzie and  her children; I went to Woy Woy on  the 3rd, and to the cottage occupied by Mr. Roughley; I there saw the bodies of Clifton Wilmott  Roughley, Thyra  McKenzie, Harold McKenzie, and later  the body of Gladys McKenzie; I identfied the bodies of the four persons mentioned; I understand the reason the  party proceeded to Woy Woy by foot  along the line instead of going by boat was the rough weather conditions.

I know that they were run down by the  train while crossing the Bridge; Mr.  Roughley ‘s life was insured in the Colonial Mutual Insurance Office for| about £900; He left a will leaving his wife executrix, and Reginald Roughley  trustee; he was a total abstainer.  Alfred Harold Wilcockson deposed.

train 

I am an engine driver, and employed by the Railway Commissioners; I remember  the 3rd January; I was in charge of train No. E74; I took up duty at Gosford at 4.15 p.m.; I left Gosford at 6.35;  we stopped at Point Clare, Tascott, and Koolewong; we were travelling at about 30 miles an hour; the first intimation I had of anything wrong was the fireman blowing his whistle; the train was then just coming out of the cutting; we were  then about 75 yards from the Woy Woy Bridge;

I immediately cut off steam  when the whistle was sounded as I felt there was danger ahead when the fireman blew the whistle; the fireman said there is someone on the Bridge ; I    looked ahead and saw several people on the Bridge; I at once applied the air    brakes with full force, and reversed the engine; this had the effect of bringing he train to a standstill at about three  cars past the bridge; from the time of applying the brakes the train pulled up within its own length ; I met the guard  coming toward me; he said “we have killed three people”; he said that they were all dead; I then went back to the  engine, and got my detonators and gave  them to the fireman and told him to go and protect the down line by placing detonators on the line; I told him then to proceed to Woy, Woy Station and in form the Station Master of what had occurred; I then got on the engine and moved the trains to allow the guard to take the remains from under the train .

The weather was stormy and raining ;the whistle is a deep toned and strong one, and should have been heard at the Bridge; part of the train was still on the Bridge when I pulled up; the mileage is 45 miles 65 chains; the time of the accident was 6.46 p.m.; when I saw the people on the Bridge. They seemed too confused to get out of the way.

William Thomas Wallace deposed: I am employed by the Railway Commissioners; I remember the 3rd day of January; I was fireman on Train E 74 on that day; the No. of the engine is909; we left Koolewong about 6.42 p.m. the next stop would be Woy Woy; before reaching the Woy Woy Bridge there is a long cutting and a curve; I had a clear view ahead after leaving the cutting; it is about 75 yards from the end of the cutting to the Bridge; I saw several people walking on the Bridge; I at once blew the engine whistle, and thought the people would get off the Bridge;  I called to the driver and told him, and he at once applied the brakes and reversed the engine; this brought the train to a standstill suddenly about three cars past the Bridge; there were also several cars on the bridge; the driver got off the engine and went back the left me in charge of the engine while he did so; he came back and informed me that the train had run over three people and killed them; I was sent to Woy Woy to report the matter; the train was travelling about 30 miles an hour; the driver used every means possible to avert the accident.

Robert Alexander Lindsay deposed: I am employed by the Railway Commissioners as a guard; I remember the 3rdday of January; I was guard on TrainE74 on that day; the train left Koolewong at 6.45 p.m.; when in the cutting before reaching Woy Woy Bridge I heard a blast from the engine; I had no clear view of the line; I heard another whistle, and a few seconds afterwards the brakes were applied with full force; I immediately applied the hand brakes; the train pulled up; I jumped on to the Bridge; I heard a boy calling out “Dadda, Dadda” on the Bridge; I also saw Mr. Roughley ‘s body lying on the down line, also the body of a boy and the body of a woman; the body of the boy was between the two lines and the body of the woman was under the train about the 4th or 5thcar from the engine; I then went forward and informed the driver that three persons had been killed, and to send the fireman to report the matter to Woy Woy and to protect the opposite line on his way; I do not know the span of the Bridge; it is possible for a child to fall between the sleepers into the water below; I satisfied myself that life was extinct when I saw the bodies; I set the train back a few yards to allow the bodies to be removed.

The Coroner returned the following verdict : — “I find that the said Clifton Wilmott Roughley,  Thyra McKenzie, Harold John McKenzie, Gladys Jean McKenzie, at Woy Woy, Police District of Brisbane Water, N.S.W., on January 3rd,1921, died from injuries accidentally received on that date through being struck by a passing train, no blame being attachable to the train officials.”

thyra

Victor remarried in about a years time.
16th February 1922
McKENZIE— WHITE.
A wedding was celebrated at St. Anne’s Church of England, Strathfield, on Saturday afternoon last, when the Rector, Rev. Rose, joined together in holy wedlock, Mr. Victor J. McKenzie and Miss Lydia White, daughter of Mr
and Mrs. R. J. White, of ‘Khandallah,’ Strathfield. Both were former residents of
Gosford, and the ceremony was witnessed by a number of Gosford friends and relatives. The bride, who was given away by her father, Mr. R. J. White, was attired in a grey tailored costume, hat to match, and carried a lovely bouquet of white carnations, cactus dahlias and asparagus fern, the gift of the bridegroom.
Mr. E. K. White acted as groomsman. The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was
a diamond and torquoise ring, whilst the bride’s gift to the bridegroom was
an inscribed gold watch. After the ceremony, an adjournment was made
to ‘Khandallah,’ the residence of the bride’s parents, where the reception was held, and the health of the bride and bridegroom, proposed by Mr. Baker, President of Erina Shire, was enthusiastically honored, and acknowledged by the bridegroom. Among the wedding guests were Mr. and Mrs. William Burns, of Homebush, old time residents of Gosford, Mr. Burns driving the bridal party to and from St. Anne’s in his motor car. Later in the afternoon the newly-wedded couple motored to the Mountains on the honey moon trip. The wedding presents were numerous and costly, including a handsome case of cutlery, the gift of Gosford friends. The future home of Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie will be in Burwood.

buick type

So fast forward a couple of years and Victor is back in the Gosford area and  has become an action man and He is attempting to drive his Buick Six over the ridgeline to Woy Woy the first bloke to do so. Adverts in the local paper have him as a real estate agent and car salesman.

15 March 1923

PRACTICAL ROUTE ROUND THE HILLS DISCOVERED.

Woy Woy’s isolation by road was ended on Saturday last, when Mr. V. J. McKenzie, of Gosford, drove his Buick Six, with the Shire President and Engineer, from Gosford to Woy Woy by a route along the western hills. The bridle track which had previously been used by Cr. Staples on horseback was round to lead through country ,the nature of which would permit of a trafficable road being made at comparatively little cost; and as at last Council meeting £250 was voted for the work from the  Government endowment, to be supplemented by a like amount from the rates, it is hoped that it will not be long before it can be announced to the North, and to the State at large, that motor and other vehicles can come right into Woy Woy.

The approximate distances are in miles:—

From Gosford via Main Road to Boys’ Home                        3 miles

From Main Road along cleared road past Parry’s                 1 mile and half miles

From cleared road over hills to Woy Woy Tunnel                3 and half miles

From  Tunnel over hills to Dillon ‘s Gap at formed road    1 mile

From top of hill down Dillon ‘s Road to bottom of hill       1 mile

From bottom of hill to Woy Woy                                               1 and half miles

‘Pilot’ writes: — When a Buick six cylinder car, driven by Mr. V. J.  McKenzie, of Gosford, and carrying two passengers, Cr. C. J. Staples (Shire President) and Mr. C. J. Fenton (Shire ‘ Engineer) rolled into- Woy Woy on Saturday afternoon, the locals could not for some time be convinced that this car had travelled under its own power and on its own four wheels from Gosford to Woy Woy. Yet this was the  simple- truth. It was all the more surprising because of the fact that, as any Woy Woyan will tell you, the town is isolated so far as road communication is concerned, and even a horse-drawn vehicle has not yet negotiated the rough bridle track running from the Woy Woy Tunnel to the road near the Boys ;  Home, about 3 miles from Gosford.

The news soon got around and caused considerable excitement when Mr. McKenzie’s accomplishment became known. Many were, at first, frankly sceptical, and those who were most inclined to doubt the truth of the report were those who know the track best — for they know from first-hand experience the difficulties of the mountain route.

It was known only to a few — and they had beforehand been sworn to secrecy — that the trip from. Gosford to Woy Woy by motor car was to be at tempted. And here it should be noted that the trip was undertaken without any preliminary examination of the route or any beforehand preparation of the track to be traversed. The ‘overlanders’ did not wish the attempt to be known for fear it might not be successful. When one particularly rough and apparently impassable natural obstruction was met with near the Woy Woy Tunnel, ‘ ‘ Mae. ‘ ‘ remarked, ‘I hope no one has got wind of this stunt in Woy Woy!’ And at this point the venturesome three feared that they would be classed as lunatics if they were to fail and the thing they had attempted became known.

But thanks to V.J. ‘s truly remarkable driving, the car was got through without mishap.

 The Shire Councillors have recently conducted a series of inspection by motor car all over the Shire, and on these trips ‘Mac’s’ skill in negotiating rough and awkward country that most road difficulties can be overcome by a daring and skilful driver.

This prompted Cr. Staples to suggest to Mr. McKenzie that it might be possible for him to negotiate the bridle track over the mountains between the Boys’ Home at Gosford and the Woy Woy Tunnel.

Always ready to tackle a difficult proposition, “ Mac” promptly promised ‘ ‘ to give it a fly.”

It was at first thought advisable to go over the route on foot to make a preliminary examination of the route. But last Friday night it was decided to ‘the attempt the next morning by dispense with the usual preliminaries  in a trip of this kind.

At 9.30 on Saturday morning a start was made from the Gosford Railway station. Three miles by road to the top of thee hill near the Gosford Boys Home was speedily negotiated and the journey really commenced from this point. Where a  cleared track leads off to the south right at the top of the hill. For a mile and a half the going was good, as the road has been cleared for this distance, ending near Mr. Parry ‘s holding.

From here it was found that the bridle track could not be negotiated by car on account of its many windings between rocks and up and down steep places.

A route was chosen over the hills which necessitated much hard work in the way of clearing trees,  grass-tree roots, and sometimes ‘rock chopping,”’ as well as roughly forming steep activities and declivities, and filling in dry water-courses to allow the car to pass. The only accident of the trip was met with about a mile from the Woy Woy Tunnel, one of the rear mud-guards of the car being badly buckled through striking a fallen tree as the car swerved to avoid an obstruction just ahead.

The telegraph line on top of the Woy Woy Tunnel was’ reached at 12.30 — just three hours from the starting time. And, considering the roughness of the country, as well as the fact that at many points the car had to be left while the route ahead was surveyed on foot, this was making good time. At this point it began to be feared that the attempt would prove a failure.

After casting around for threes hours to find a possible’ ascent of the high hills on the south eastern side of the Tunnel a way out was eventually discovered. A little over a mile of exceedingly rough going. in which several sharp, steep climbs had to be made by the car. brought the party on to the formed road at the top of Dillon’s Gap, leading from Woy Woy to Mr. George Dillon’s.

Here the party at last realised that the journey was practically accomplished, and that a few minutes later they would be the proud claimants of the distinction to be the first to enter Woy Woy from the outside by motor car.

At a spring on the roadside the success of the trip was drunk in good, clear water — the first good water that was found during the journey, though the travellers had perforce to drink from many stagnant pools along the route.

 It may be mentioned that no food or drink was carried on the trip — certainly a great over sight! The road down from Dillon’s to the railway line was found to be rough and steep, and its many awkward turns — it is only about 8ft wide with a precipice on one side — necessitated careful driving. But it was easy for ‘Mac.’ compared with the country he had been driving over all day, and the level land was gained without mishap.

Three-quarters of a mile of sandy track brought the car to the metalled road (Railway Street) near the Woy Woy South railway gates, and the car raced from here into Woy Woy with the ‘hooter’ in full blast. ‘The arrival,’ at 4.30p.m., seven hours after leaving Gosford, was celebrated at Hadley ‘s with a bottle of champagne, the cork of which ‘Mac.’ annexed as a souvenir’ of the great occasion.

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alfred vic

Then this happens his 25 year old son gets sick and dies.

7th June 1928

OBITUARY

ALFRED VICTOR McKENZIE.

The sad death, occurred in Quirindi Hospital on Monday evening, May 28, at 9. 15 p.m., of Mr. Alfred Victor McKenzie, aged 25. Deceased took suddenly ill a fortnight prior to his death, and was taken to Quirindi Hospital, suffering from enteric fever. Despite all  efforts by the three doctors and two nurses (one of whom, Sister McKenzie, was his sister), the patient gradually grew worse, and succumbed) on the Monday night.

Mr. McKenzie was operated upon on Monday afternoon, as a last resource. He rallied after the operation, but only temporarily. His father, Mr. V. J. McKenzie, of Gosford, Sister G. McKenzie, and sisters-in-law from Mosman were with him at the end.

The news of deceased’s serious illness, and then of his death, was very distressing to a large circle of friends and relatives in the Gosford district, all of whom held him in high esteem.

Mr. A. V. McKenzie, who was in the service of the Government Savings Bank of N.S.W., had been stationed at Quirindi for the past six years, and held the position of teller at the time of his death. Joining the Bank at Gosford (after a short term on the Railway staff at Gosford) he was attached to the local Branch for a number of years, after which he was transferred to Edgecliffe, and later to Quirindi. The late Mr. McKenzie was married in February last to Miss Dorothy Ferguson, at Mosman. Many friends sympathise deeply with the young widow, and with the other bereaved relatives in the sad loss they have suffered by his untimely passing. The mourners include Mrs. A. V. McKenzie (widow), Mr. V. J. McKenzie (father), Mrs. T. H. Pryor (sister), Mrs. Ray Fagan (sister), Nurse G.  McKenzie (sister), and Master Bruce McKenzie (brother). A shocking tragedy at the Woy Woy railway bridge on January 3, 1921, was responsible for the death of three members of the family — the late Mrs. V. J. McKenzie, and a daughter and son, aged 8 and 2.5 years. The Funeral On the arrival of the Brisbane Mail at Gosford on Wednesday morning, May 30, the cortege moved to Point Clare Cemetery. The hearse was followed by over 30 cars. At the cemetery the coffin was borne to the Methodist portion, and laid at rest beside the graves of deceased’s mother and little brother and sister. The Rev. G. A. Baily, Gosford Methodist Minister, officiated at the graveside, which was surrounded by a host of family friends.

Mr. Baily delivered a very impressive address. Among the relatives at the graveside were Mr. and Mrs. V. J. McKenzie, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Pryor, Mr. and Mrs. B. Fagan, Bruce McKenzie, Mr. and Mrs. Alf. Sterland, (sister and brother-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson (mother and father-in-law), Mr. A. Wane (brother-in-law), Messrs. McQueen and Reichendah, of Quirindi, near friends of deceased, were also at the funeral.

Among the wreaths, the following cards were noticed: — From Daddy, Mummy, and your Sisters; Florrie and Tom; Marj, and Arthur; Ray and Edna; Lal. and Norm; Sterland Bros. And Arthur Wane; Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Moore; Mr. and Mrs. V. F. Fagan; Mr. and Mrs. Bert Moore; Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Pryor; Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Sterland; Syd and N. Gregory; Members of Quirindi Golf Club; G. And F. May; Mr. and Mrs. Creighton and Family; Lodge Rising Sun, Gosford; Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Stephenson, Daphne, and Duncan; Mr. and Mrs. F. G. McPherson; A. and L. Tetsell; Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Black; Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Gollan and Family; Mr. Breakspear, Inspector, Bank; Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Hill and Family; Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Murrell and Family; Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Croal, Mr. and Mrs. Galloway, Mrs. Merchant; Edith and Lyal Sutton; Mr. and Mrs. Macqueen; Mr. and Mrs. F. Wheeler and Family; Charles T. Hills; Thomas Bros.; Dr. and Mrs. Howell, Quirindi; Mr. and Mrs. Parr, and Staff, Govt. Savings Bank; Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Nyall; Gosford Agricultural Association; Mr. and Mrs. H. Benson and Family; Mr. and Mrs. B. L. Campbell, Quirindi; Mr. and Mrs. G. Stephens; the Anderson Family; Mr. and Mrs. B. Hill; Dr. and Mrs. Magill; Commissioners, Govt. Savings Bank of N. S.W.; Mr. and Mrs. Bathgate; Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Mason; the Margin Family.

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The last mention of Victor J Mckenzie was in 1938 when he lived in Manly. He died in 1957 aged 81.