Staples Church of England Section 5 row 1 Plot 28
Charles Jefferis Staples (ashes) shares the grave with Phillip Staples aged 27 died 1942, and wife Florence Millicent Staples (ashes).
C J Staples died in 1973 aged 88, and he lived a very full life. Born in 1885 he spent the first decades of his life as a real estate speculator working with his father sub dividing various parts of what are now well known suburbs of Sydney. His real Estate business was on the corner of Blackwall Rd and Railways street Woy Woy.
The first mentions of him in the local newspaper are in the early 1920’s he was a good mate of Robert James Baker, Proprietor of the local paper, (see previous posts). He was a part of the “Baker Team” on council and clearly learnt about the power of the press from Baker as he has 100’s of articles and snippets written of him and his exploits.
He kept close ties with the press and kept the journalists informed well after the death of Baker in 1925. He held the Editorship of the Gosford and Wyong Times for a short period.
He was a keen marker outer of roads, He had plans about how the Woy Woy Peninsula would be accessed by road, coupled with his team of V.J. Mackenzie and Charles Fenton the Council Engineer (up until 1927 when Fenton died).
He is best remembered these days as the name of a lookout as to drive along Woy Woy Road. This is the only place in the district that he is commemorated.
One has to remember that Gosford and the Brisbane water district started out as a waterside townships and was very reliant on boats for travelling about to Sydney and beyond. With the avent of motorised vehicles there was added pressure to develop link roads from Sydney to Newcastle and for roads to swing by Gosford and other towns on the way. Many of the roads to the Central Coast we take for granted and use today did not exist until the 1920’s.
In the below link to Trove newspapers, Staples is fighting for a road to join to the Newcastle Road via Patonga and Mullet Creek. This road did not eventuate.
The next link to Trove newspapers Staples is finding a route from Gosford to the Newcastle Rd this road did eventuate.
When plans for an appropriate World War 1 Memorial were underway Staple put forth for a Memorial District Hospital, but got voted down for the Gosford Swimming pool and cenotaph. He continued to pursue the development of a hospital and it finally came to pass.
He became the district Coroner after the retirement of William Kirkness (who was 75 years of by that time) and his first case was a murder suicide at Ourimbah, this incident became known as the “Ourimbah Tragedy” and here is the newspaper accounts of that incident. This incident became national headlines but strangely was not reported at all locally.
24th June 1937
Western Mail (Perth W.A.)
FAMILY WIPED OUT.
BODIES FOUND IN HOUSE
Theory of Murder and Suicide
SYDNEY, June 20.-A ghastly discovery was made in a small home on an orchard property at Ourimbah Creek, 13 miles from Gosford, this afternoon when a family of four was found dead. A woman and her two sons had their heads battered ia with an axe and their throats Were cut. The woman’s husband was lying dead in the kitchen with his throat cut.
The victims were:
HUMPHRIES, Leslie Hugh (43), temporary linesman.
HUMPHRIES, Martha Amelia (37), his wife.
HUMPHRIES, Owen Leslie (7).
HUMPHRIES, Clarence William (S).
When police and ambulance men from Gosford entered the house, they state, it resembled a shambles. The police are of the opinion that Humphries became suddenly demented, probably through financial worries, and smashed in the heads of his wife and two sons, then cutting their throats with a razor and before he killed himself with the razor.
It is believed that the tragedy occurred early this afternoon. When Miss Z. Lang, daughter of the postmaster at Palmdale, was cycling along the road to her home, she saw Humphries gesticulating wildly as he rushed about. When he saw Miss Lang, he shouted to her: “Will you call the sergeant. I have done it.”
Miss Lang hurried to her father and he, with two men, went to the home of Humphries. They were met with a ghastly sight The body of Mrs. Humphries was lying in the kitchen covered with a blanket and near her was the body of her husband. He apparently had been dead only a few minutes. The head of Mrs. Humphries was shockingly injured.
Soon afterwards, Sergeant Blackley and the Gosford ambulance arrived and in the bedroom they discovered the bodies of the two boys lying on a bed with their heads smashed in and then throats gashed so extensively that they appeared to have been almost decapitated.
Not all the cases were as dramatic as the Ourimbah Tragedy, he over saw many vehicle related deaths be they pedestrians, passengers or drivers many of these deaths were on the very roads he had marked out the decade before.
Staples observed that by 1937 vehicles had became faster by the year and that the grade of the hills and the number of curves and corners had remained the same, not changing with the speed of the vehicle speed leading to the increase of fatalities on the Central Coast roads.
He also noted that the Central Coast was approximately equidistant from both Sydney and Newcastle and was in what he called the sleep zone with many drivers dying asleep at the wheel. He dealt with x10 road fatalities in his first year.
He was a strong advocate for warning signage and speed limits and driving to the conditions.
Florence his wife was an active member of the CWA.
Staples only son Phillip, was a radio technician/repairman whilst in Gosford and one can not help but think he would have applied those skill when he join the armed forces during world War 2. The Australian War Memorial has not as yet digitised his war record but he died during that conflict in 1942. The Local newspapers did not report that death either.