Jack Dransfield Church of England Section 1 Row 2 Plot 39
22 March 1917
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.
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
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
(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.
3rd July 1919
(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
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.