Henry Kelly

Henry Kelly

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Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 1 Plot 10


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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Kit Sumner

Kit Sumner (nee Curtain) Roman catholic Section 1 Row 5 Plot 4

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3rd November 1932

Passing of Mrs. R. H Sumner


 With the passing of Mrs. Mary Katherine (‘Kit’) Sumner a life of Service has been, closed.  Sister Mary Katherine Curtain, was one of four sisters who enlisted for service with the Australian Army Nursing  Service overseas. She sailed from Tasmania early in 1915, and was attached to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt. Sister Curtain was later attached to the British Base Hospital at Rouon, France.

 Returning to Australia in. 1918, she was appointed Matron of the T.B. Soldiers’ Sanatorium, Launceston, Tasmania.


Shortly after taking up this appointment she successfully applied for a position in New Guinea, and from the end of 1918 to 1926 she was on the nursing staff at Namanula Hospital, Rabaul. Previous to her resignation to marry Mr. Ron. Sumner, she was acting Matron of that institution.

 Mrs. Sumner was ever ready to help in any movement that had for its object the advancement of the town and district where she resided,, or any charitable movement, and Gosford has lost one who can ill be spared.

The funeral, which was one of the largest seen in Gosford for a long while, was conducted by the Rev. Father Donovan, and moved from Our Lady of the Rosary Church to Point Clare cemetery. She was laid to rest, with the birds singing and the sun striking through the trees. Here she would have known  contentment and happiness in life. May it still be her lot in death.

Members of the Returned Soldiers’ League formed a Guard of Honor at the church, and followed the coffin to the grave. At the conclusion of the service Bugler Hitchcock sounded ‘The Last Post,’ With Mr. Ben Sumner at the graveside were Mrs. Sumner’s three sisters and her little niece Pam. The sisters are Mrs. Dr. Arnold (Mayfield, Newcastle), Mrs. J. Keith (Sydney), and Miss L. Curtain (Melbourne).

‘Kit’ Sumner has gone ‘West,’ but a sweet memory remains, and ever there will be many a friend to whisper ‘Welcome Sister, Rest in Peace.’ The mortuary arrangements were carried out by Mr. R. H. Creighton,

The pall-bearers were returned men in Messrs D. A. Prentice, J. P. Trim, G. Wood, and A. K. Jamieson.


8th March 1933


SYDNEY, March 7.

The Gosford district branch of the Country Women’s Association has obtained permission from the Erina Shire Council to plant a flowering gum near the Cenotaph in the Memorial Park, Gosford, in memory of the late Sister Kathleen Sumner, of the A.I.F. Sister Sumner, who was a native of Tasmania, served with the A.I.F., during the whole of the war, and she was for some time attached to the staff of the Base Hospital at Heliopolis and was later at Rouen. At the time of her death she was residing at Gosford.



23 March 1933

An Appreciation


One stood under the glory of a late summer’s sky, in the fullness of the Creator’s art, revealed in the circling hills, tree covered, stretching to the mirroring clearness of beautiful Brisbane Water. A gathering of people representing a. branch of that great organisation, the Country Women’s Association, which has bound so many women in all walks of life together in understanding and in readiness to help and solve problems regarding women; its influence goes to the nurturing and solidifying of happy home life.

Yet another band! An important one indeed! Men who came back from that great conflict stood calm and brave as the trees above them; and we thought with gratitude and thankfulness of their great sacrifice in preserving our wonderful  country from the ravages of war. Men of our great British Empire.

These two representative bodies, with others, gathered together to pay tribute to a noble army sister and a great woman. We heard the words of appreciation spoken with much sincerity and feeling by both Presidents concerning a woman whom they both knew as noble. The planting of a tree by her fellow members will inspire the hearts of men and women who read the inscription as they pass or linger there. — ‘Civis. ‘

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Point Clare Cemetery War Graves

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Point Clare Cemetery War Graves

Until the mid 1950’s all returning servicemen and women could if requested by the family, receive the honour of a beautiful white marble or brown granite headstone courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There are in total 23 Official War Grave Headstones that are the traditional headstones, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (They maintain, weed and clean them annually).  After sometime in the 1950’s they ceased to issue the stone headstone and reverted to a brass plaque to commemorate the War dead.

The stone headstones are made of the white marble from South Ulam in Queensland and is used for Australian war graves throughout the world. South Ulam marble is a metamorphic rock that is created from limestone after it has been subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The size of the calcite crystals in South Ulam marble has been determined by the amount of metamorphism it had been exposed to.

Marble that has been exposed to higher levels of heat and pressure generally have larger calcite crystals than it would have otherwise. These over sized crystals is what makes these war graves sparkle the way that they do.


There are also brown stone war graves at Point Clare Cemetery, they are made from a stone called Trachyte, which is a fine grained form of granite from the Southern Highlands near Bowral NSW.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission assures me that they do not make mistakes when it comes to the War Graves at this or any other cemetery and that their records are a true and correct reflection of what is at ground level at the site. I beg to differ. There are mistakes as to the number of stones/what they are made of, service numbers of the soldiers and the details on the stones (like the age when the soldier died).

For the number of mistakes in this cemetery alone, Point Clare is by no means one of the largest cemeteries in the country, one can only imagine how many other mistakes there are on stones in other cemeteries around Australia.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s records reflect that there are seven white Marble stones and that the rest are of the brown trachyte granite. As you glance around Point Clare Cemetery you will see several of the white Ulam Marble  war grave stones and it will not take you long to count more than seven of the white ones. My estimate is there is thirteen of the white marble stones all up. But there is an even more curious mistake amongst these war graves but I will get to that a bit later. Including one that is not on their official list (P. J. Wells). It is to our benefit that there are more of the white marble stone than the brown trachyte one as the white stones just sparkle and gleam back at you.


Not all of the people in these graves made a name for themselves in the local paper, which is my primary source of information for all of this cemetery some of the following is information gleaned about these some returned soldiers from either the local paper or their war service records. I will in time add to this list and attempt to find information about all 23 of these returned service men. There is no particular reasoning as to why someone gets a white or a brown headstone, but there is an effort to conserve some of the white marble as it is a finite resource reserved for the Commonwealth War Graves in other countries.

There is only one stone that was erected during the wars (either WW1 or WW2) a brown trachyte stone. This is the grave of Reginald Thompson, a 16 year old Naval cadet who went AWOL and committed suicide in the bush up at Somesby in the summer of 1919.

Reginald Thomas enlisted 19 August, 1918, His service record is only 2 pages long, he had “Straw” coloured hair fair complexion and blue eyes. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall. He has a scar on his right  third finger on the inside. He died on or about 14 January, 1919. The navy approved an expenditure of £10 in respect for his funeral and that money was forwarded to the Next of Kin. That is the extent of his service record.

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Reginald Thompson       Aged 16                14/1/1919

Methodist Section 1       Row       1              Grave 9

Service number                6793                 Brown Trachyte Military Stone

20th February 1919

Sad Suicide Case.

Naval Trainee Strangles Himself.

About 6 p m. on Thursday last Ernest Gambling accidentally came across a body suspended from a dry tree limb at Somesby about 50 yards off the main road. His attention was drawn to the spot by a horse rug which was also hanging from the tree.

He immediately rang up the police, and Sergeant Morris proceeded to the spot. The body was dressed in a striped cotton shirt, dark tweed coat and black sailor trousers. A pair of heavy boots with cashmere socks was lying close by.

There was also a bundle of sailor clothes near the spot bearing the names ‘ H. M.  A..S. Tingara ” and  R. W. Thompson.

The body, which was badly decomposed, was suspended from the tree limb by a cord attached to the boy’s neck. It was not sufficiently long to permit of any drop, and the lower portion of the body was practically resting on the ground.

In the breast of the coat pocket the Sergeant found a leather purse containing 17s Id.

Subsequently the body was identified by Mr. Robert Parsons and Mr. Henry Clarke as that of a lad named Reginald William Thompson. Deceased spent a portion of his Christmas holidays at Mr. Parsons’ place, and towards the end of his stay Mr. Parsons stated that the lad became very despondent and did not wish to return to the H.M.A.S. Tingara, where he was a naval trainee.

On Saturday an inquest was held at the Courthouse by the District Coroner, Mr. R. J Baker.

Mr. John W. Thompson, of Camperdown, stated that deceased was his son, aged 16 years and 8 months, and had been a trainee on the Tingara about six months. The lad had been on a holiday, spent at Mr. Parsons’ place, Somersby, and returned home on the 5th January.

He was due to return to his ship on the 13th and left home that day with his kit all packed up, and the parents were under the impression that he had gone back to the boat. But instead, the boy took train to Gosford and walked to Somersby, where during the night he secured a couple of rugs and lantern from the residence of Mr. Parsons, and, going into the bush about 300 yards away, nailed one of the rugs (a horse rug) to a tree.

Later on, probably next day or night, he placed his sailor uniform cord around his neck, the end tied to the limb of a tree, and in this determined way strangled himself.

The body was not found till a month later. A verdict was returned that the deceased died fron suffocation wilfully caused by strangling himself on or about the 14th day of January, 1919.

The remains were interred in Point Clare cemetery

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Service record for Reginald Thompson


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Patrick Joseph Scanlon                  20th September, 1924,                   Aged 40 years

Service number                                3682                       Brown Trachyte Military Stone

Roman Catholic,                               Section 1             Row 3                    Plot 1

Enlisted in 1917, aged 33 years. Was 5 foot 6inches tall with a fair complexion and auburn/red hair. His record notes his above the knee amputation (right leg) that happened after his term of service. He had been wounded in action, shot in the heel (again right leg) whilst serving. That injury to his heel and any further medical attention required for that heel was under the auspices of Veteran Affairs. Veteran Affairs appear to have paid for the false leg even though the heel injury was no more.

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25th September, 1924


On Saturday morning last, the death, occurred at the residence of his mother, Mrs. McCarthy, Gertrude Street, Gosford, of Mr. Patrick Joseph Scanlon, aged 40. He was a native of Quirindi, but had resided for some time in this district, and enlisted from Gosford for the A.I.F.

He served in the 33rd Battalion, and was wounded at the front in the ankle, and also gassed.

After his return to Australia he was thrown from a train while in charge of some horses returning from Canterbury Races; and a train passing on the next line severed one leg. He was a well-known figure about Gosford of late years, and many friends regret death, and express sympathy with relatives.

 Mr. Scanlon (who was generally known as McCarthy, his mother having married a second time) leaves a widow and a son nine years of age. Another son died at the age of five months while Mr. Scanlon was away with the A.I.F. The deceased ex-soldier had been ill for some time, and during –last week became much worse. Medical attention was given, but death came from heart failure. The funeral moved to Point Clare Cemetery on Sunday and was very largely attended.

The Rev. Father Donovan performed the last rites; and a number of wreaths were laid on the casket. Returned soldiers attended in uniform, and six of their number acted as pall-bearers.
25th September, 1924


SCANLON.— September 20th, 1924, at the residence of his mother, Gertrude Street, Gosford, Patrick Joseph Scanlon, aged 40 years.


Service record for Scanlon


Henry Doggrell

Henry Doggrell                 10/11/1949         Aged 60

Service number                4681                    White Marble Military Stone

C of E                                  Section 8             Row 7    Plot  M3

Henry Doggrell enlisted in July 1915, He was an Englishman born in Dorsett, near the town of Shaftsbury.  He was 26 years and 10 months. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. He was 5 foot seven inches tall. He was Church of England. He arrived in England by August 1916. He was wounded in action by March 1917 with a gunshot wound to the left leg/thigh. He returned to Australia by April1917. He was Medically Discharged August 1917. Awarded a pension of £3 per fortnight.

doggrell stone

11th November 1949

Man Collapses and Dies In Garden –
Henry Doggrell, 60, collapsed and died in his garden at his home at 75 Hill Street, Gosford, yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock. Brisbane Water Ambulance officials were told that Doggrell was chipping grass when he collapsed. Doggrell, who was a returned soldier, was a member of the Gosford Buffalo Lodge, of which he was a K.O.M. (Second highest rank)

Mr R. H. Creighton, of Gosford, will conduct the funeral to Point Clare Cemetery today.

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) is a fraternal organisation which assists members, their families and charities. It has a tiered structure, with a Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodges and Minor Lodges. Originating in Drury Lane, London, in 1822 when a group of actors set up various lodges as they toured the country, it is now active globally, particularly in former parts of the British Empire. In Sydney the first recorded meetings date from 1882.

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Service record for Henry Doggrell


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Haines and Kissell

Both Service Number 2624

Both these men are returned servicemen from the First World War. Both of these men survived the ordeals of what the war threw at them. Both of these men received the honour of receiving a beautiful white marble headstone courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

John Albert Haines                                         27/3/1947            Aged 75

Service number                2624                       White Marble Military Stone

 C of E    Section 5             Row 2    Plot 32

He enlisted in May 1916, aged 44 and 5 months… He was 5 foot 6 inches tall… 13 stone…Dark hair eyes grey with a dark complexion… He embarked August 1916 and served in France for 18 months…He caught the flu which turned into Bronchitis, was unable to train and was a medical discharge 23/12/19  He was a Bootmaker by trade… Ran the Blackwall Post Office he played cricket… was good friends of the Singleton and Buttwell Families… he took Gosford Council to court over the appointment of a staff member without applying the correct procedures… and was the first Secretary of the Woy Woy Branch of the RSL.

There are three mistakes about this stone, one is his age at death… if you do the maths based on his war service record he was 75 not 80 when he died. The cut off age for the Army Service was 45 years, maybe Haines shaved off 5 years when he joined and the family put forward the correct details (?).

The other two mistake are possibly his service number as stated on the stone and that the War graves Commission has it listed as a trachyte stone not white marble.

haines stone type

The following article from the local paper is about his son.

13th February 1930


Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Haines, of the Blackwall Post Office, have every reason to feel proud of their son John Haines junior, who is employed at the Standard Weighgoods Works at Clyde, was successful in the fitting and machinery section of the recent technical examinations, and shows good promise of making big strides in the engineering world.

Haines’ War Service Record


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George Henry Kissell     22/5/1951            Aged 60

Service number                2624                    White Marble Military Stone

 C of E    Section 8             Row 12               Plot 18

Enlisted 30 June, 1915… He was living in Bathurst NSW… He was aged 25 years 1 month… He was a labourer. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall… He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair… He was Church of England He embarked from Australia 9/8/15… He had trouble with his teeth that required medical intervention… He reported to the venereal diseases hospital four times… Was transferred to the cycle Corps and went AWOL four times… was sent to France in January 1916… Sent to London in October 1917 went AWOL again four times… was sent to France in November 1916… wounded in Action January 1917… He went AWOL five times… wounded in Action a second time in October 1917… he kept up his AWOL ways and was finally charged with desertion, he was court marshalled and sentenced to 3 years at Pentonville Prison in Greater London on the 4th November 1918 (one week before the war was declared over 11/11/1918.) he was released from gaol on 21/7/19 and deported to Australia on7/9/19… there is a big stamp on his war service record “Not Eligible For Medals”.

Kisssell’s War Service Record


This is where these two returned service men have a historical crossing over by having the same identical service numbers. Service numbers are to be allocated to each individual and are generally not supposed to be reused. But during WW1, this pre computer/non centralised data based era, it was common for multiple servicemen to have the same number.

These incidences of multiple men having the same service number happened once someone with the number died during the war, the service number was reissued. Usually they would add a ‘A’ before the number to denote that it was a reissued number however sometimes they did not.

two same numbers

In the case of Haines and Kissell, in this instance, it looks like a mistake of some sort of administrative type. Haines died in 1947 and Kissell in 1950 (or 1951), both servicemen well after the Wars (both of them WW1 and WW2). Also what are the odds of someone being buried within 50 meters of the other out of the 160,000 who enlisted in WW1, with the same service number.

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By having a good look at the service records using the links provided Haines has some red pen adding as number 2624 on the front of his file, but my money is on Kissell being the true 2624 although in 1936 on page 7 of Kissell’s record it is noted in handwritten scrawl “No record of 2624 Kissell G. E., 4th Battalion – Is this the man?”. (Note the red pen on Haines records page 5…the service number looks like a later addition) So even at the time of the records being written there was some degree of confusion about these men.


James Lawrence Popplewell      23/11/1941         Aged 63

Service number                5760                       Brown Trachyte Military Stone

RC but buried C of E        Section 5             Row 1    Plot 18

James Lawrence Popplewell was born in New Zealand and Enlisted February 1916… He was 36 years and five months old and married… a cook and baker by trade… he was Roman Catholic, he has a vaccination scar and it is noted “that he is giving no trouble”. Embarked for Europe in June 1916, was in England with Bronchitis in Dec 1916. He was transferred to France, October 1917 and very quickley wounded in action in October 1917 by a shell wound to the Left shoulder and buttocks and repatriated to England. He was medically discharged in October, 1918.

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Popplewell’s War Service Record



C.E. McIntosh 16/7/1947            Aged 61

Service number                1639                       White Marble Military Stone

RC but buried C of E        Section 3             Row 3    Plot 75

C. E, McIntosh 29 years and 1 Months of age when he enlisted in June 1915… he was 5 foot 3 inches tall, ruddy complexion with blue eyes and dark brown hair… He had a scar below both knees and a mole between the shoulders… He was a Baker/ Cook by trade… There is a wife noted, but then a further note states that she is dead…Arrived December 1915 ANZAC… sent to VD Hospital in Suez January 1916… in September 1916 Invalided to Australia medically unfit due to VD… In 1957 his son and lost contact with his father and was in Callan Park Mental Institution. The army had to inform the son that his father had died some 5 years earlier.

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McIntosh’s War Service Record


And just when you think the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has made a further mistake there actually is another McIntosh C. in the graveyard.


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C. McIntosh                 16/7/1940            Aged 65

Service number                956                         Brown Trachyte Military Stone

Presbyterian                      Section 1             Row 4                    Plot 28

Charles McIntosh enlisted in February 1915 and has a very low service number with only three digits was 39 years and 7 months of age… he puts his trade as Steel Smithing… he had previously seen battle action with the South African Volunteers… he was 5 foot 10 inches tall, dark complexion, dark eyes and dark hair… He was Presbyterian… In September 1917 he had a gunshot wound to the chest… He was discharged in March 1918… In 1940 there seemed to be a hitch with his estate. There is a letter requesting  the locations of the witness’s to his Will, that he wrote whilst in the Army. The Army had to write back to inform them that both of the witness’s to his Will had been killed in Action.

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C.McIntosh’s War Service Record



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Alexander William Ellison                           28/6/1943            Aged 64

Service number                252                         White Marble Military Stone

Church of England                                           Section  5            Row 3    Plot  72

Alexander William Ellison enlisted just one month after the beginning of World War 1 in August 1914, hence is extra low, three figured service number.

He was born in Adelaide and was 36 years 3 months of age… He was 5 foot 5inches tall with brown hair brown eyes… He was a horse Groom… He was a Trooper with the 6th Light Horse He was Church of England… Enlisted august 1914… Went to Malta… Caught Dysentery at Gallipoli…  August 1915… December 1915… Medically discharged June 1916 Suffering from nervousness, very weak, loss of flesh, diarrhoea and recommended for further treatment. 2 months convalesce. He was married to Agnes Ellison who applied for a Widow’s badge in March 1945 to be told that they did not make them anymore.

Commonwealth War Graves commission has this stone in their records as a trachyte granite stone.  

ellison stone

Ellison’s War Service Record


12th July 1917
Language of the Trenches.
The following is a list of words or phrases used in the trenches in Flanders :—
Aussie ( “Ozzy”):                     An Australian soldier.
Tommy or Choom :                An English soldier.
Jock :                                           A Scotch soldier.
Zealand :                                   A New Zealand soldier. (Call him Pig Island if you would make him wild.)
Fritz :                                          A German soldier.
Savee :                                        Do you know.
Compree :                                  Do you understand.
Imshi :                                        Clear out.
Backshee :                                 Something for nothing.
Chatty :                                       Affected with trench vermin, known as chats.
Clink :                                         Gaol
Bird :                                           Prisoner.
Quack :                                       The army doctor.
Swinging the Lead :                Evading service ; malingering.
The Heads :                              Those in authority.
Dead Meat Tickets :               Identification
Tray Bong :                               Very good.
Hickory :                                    Be off.
Barometer                                Gas helmet.
Tin Hat :                                     Steel helmet.
Shooting Stick :                        Rifle.
Ham and Chicken :                 Ammunition.
Mills’ Pills :                               Mills’ hand grenades.
No. 9 :                                          Pills ordered by the army doctor.
Freak Villa :                              The cook-house.
Babbling Brook :                      The cook.
Iodine Villa :                             Where the doctor rests his patients.
Army Nervous Corps :           Service Corps. ,3V
Dinkum Oil :                             Straight information.
Napooh Mafeesh :                   The finish.
Dopey :                                       Silly.
One-star Artist :                      A second lieutenant.
Tanks or Oases :                      Army boots.
Mad Mick and Banjo:             Pick and shovel.
Knocked :                                  Wounded.
Skittled :                                    Killed.
To get a Blighty :                     To be wounded and sent back to England.
Home and Dried :                   Safe and sound.
Hop Over                                  To go over the trenches towards the enemy.
Iron Rations for Fritz :          Shells for the enemy
Comfort                                     Funds Shells.
Fags :                                           Cigarette.
Step the Gutter :                      Pass the butter.
Jack Scratch                             Got a match
Wandering Jew :                     Stew.
Dodger :                                     Bread.
Possie :                                       Position.
Digger :                                      A West Australian.
Jack, Charlie, Mac. :              A handy name for anyone.
Dag :                                           A character, a ‘ hard case.
Windbag :                                A talker out of his turn.


George Lamb Fagan


Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 2 Plot 26 and 27

George Fagan’s father Peter Fagan (born 1793, died 1876 aged 83 years) was one of the early residents and pioneers of the district. Peter Fagan arrived in the area in about 1836. Peter Fagan had financial interests, timber getting and property interests in Sydney.

George was the eighth of Peter Fagan’s nine children. Peter Fagan had the mail contract for the mail from Sydney to Gosford and also Kincumber with George being the rider who picked up the mail. George married Agnes Baptist in 1885 and Agnes is buried in the plot next to George. Also contained in this plot is there married Daughter, Edith Compton, (nee Fagan).

The Fagan family did well over time with the exception of the following disaster to which most families would want the following episode expunged from the history books.

9th December 1865,

(from the Sydney Morning Herald, page 3)


Mournful Occurrence Three Women Poisoned at Brisbane Water;

And two others persons not expected to survive – Intelligence of a most distressing disaster reached Sydney on Thursday, to the effect that three women Miss Gilligan, Mrs Fagan, and Miss Margaret Fagan died at Gosford, Brisbane Water, on Wednesday, as the result of their having taken poison. – It is also stated, that another daughter and a son of Mr and Mrs Fagan are likewise suffering from the effects of poison, and that no hope is to be entertained of their recovery.

The particulars’ relating to the cause of this dreadful catastrophe have not as yet been definitely ascertained but, – it is understood there is some reason to suppose that it is the result of accident. It is considered probable that a quantity of strychnine used on the station for poisoning native dogs had, by some mischance, become mixed with the, flour, and that thus, in the form of bread or of, pastry, it has been consumed by the deceased. However this may be the facts of .this painful incident will, no doubt be disclosed at the investigation, which will, have to take place before the Coroner’s court.

It may be mentioned that Mr Fagan, in riding from Brisbane Water to fetch a doctor was thrown from his horse, arid his arm was broken. Miss Gilligan and Mrs Fagan were the sisters of Mr Michael and Mr Edward Gilligan, butchers, carrying on business in George Street, near the Haymarket, and the former went on a visit to her sister (Mrs Fagan) about a fortnight ago.

Coffins were dispatched yesterday in which to bring up the remains of the deceased, and arrangements have been made with Mr Manning for one of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company’s vessels to call in at Brisbane Water this morning, The bodies when brought to Sydney, will be conveyed to the church to St. Joseph (within St Mary’s Cathedral). The family to which the deceased all belonged have long been resident in Sydney, and it is believed are widely known and respected. The news of their terrible bereavement will awaken the sincerest sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, and all must deeply deplore the untimely death of the unfortunate sufferers.

The following are the sworn statements from the Coronial enquiry, you will note that the paper got some of the first reports totally incorrect.


Inquiry held at Cooranbean near Gosford on view of the bodies of Mrs Margaret Fagan, Bridget Gilligan and Margaret Fagan there lying dead on the 6th 7th 8th days of December 1865.

Peter Fagan on oath States I am a Farmer and reside a Cooranbean, Brisbane Waters this morning the deceased Bridget Gilligan sister of my wife who had been staying here for the last 14 days for the benefit of her health, said to me that she did not feel very well and that she would like a glass of wine and quinine if i would mix it for her.

I went and got the quinine bottle as i then thought and brought it with a bottle of port wine into the sitting room where my wife was. I then gave the deceased Bridget a small dose which she drank. After which my daughter said she would have some, I mixed another dose for her which she drank, she said it was very bitter and nasty, at which we all laughed and my son Joseph said he would take some too, and I gave him some. But I don’t think that he got as much as the other two. My wife the deceased Margaret Fagan, then asked to have some also and i put some more into the glass, she then said you must take a little with us and i said I would but as the wine was nearly done remarked that I would try how it tasted in a nobbler of rum and then I put some into the glass but not so much as the others had.

My Daughter Mary got a glass as well as the rest, but did not take so much after we had our doses I got upon my horse to go as far as Town which is about one and a half miles from my place. When i went to get off the horse I found that I had no use of my limbs and felt quite faint I was afraid that i was going to have a fit and went into Crause’s Public where I spoke to John Smith a butcher living in Gosford, he advised me to try some hot grog and i went and got a hot nobbler of brandy and water. I then went up to the Post Office and spoke to Mr Battley still feeling ill.

I got upon my horse to ride home when I got as far as the Punt, (there was no bridge at Narrara Creek at this stage) I met one of my men on horseback who told me that they were all dying and that he was going for the Priest and that I was to go for the Doctor. I told him that I lost the use of my limbs and could not move. I endeavoured to reach home as quick as I could but when I was getting out of the Punt I fell and put my shoulder out joint and had great difficulty reaching home and when I did I found that my wife Margaret Fagan and her sister Bridget Gilligan and my daughter Margaret Fagan were dead and that my son Joseph and daughter Mary were in a dying state.

I feel satisfied that i must have taken the wrong bottle and gave them Strychnine by mistake i kept the medicines in a box and had the strychnine along with the rest. I was aware that the bottle containing the Quinine was a different shape from the one that had the strychnine in it but it was so long since I had used them that I forgot which was in which. Before I gave the mixture I put it to my lips and tasted it and it seemed all right being quite bitter.

I have often given Quinine when they were ill and used it greatly for ague. I have had the strychnine in the house for above nine years there was no direction on either of the bottles.

I made the mistake where I said Bridget Gilligan had the first glass it was my daughter Margaret who first got it, and i did not give her so much as the others.

My wife and I drank out of the same glass. I drank first and only took a little while my wife finished the glass.

I did not think that I had given anyone a dose of quinine for the last four years, neither have I used the strychnine for that time. i got the strychnine for the purpose of destroying the native dogs and have poisoned numbers of them. I am now very ill and owing to my shoulder being out cannot sign this deposition.

Signed with an X, dated 7th December 1865

William Fagan on oath states I am the sixth son of Peter Fagan and reside at Cooranbean. Yesterday I was at work driving bullocks across the creek, my brother Joseph who was behind me called out to me that he was ill, and when I went up to him  he was lying on the ground. I asked him what was the matter and he told father had given him something out of a bottle and that he did not think father knew what it was. he complained of cramps all over his body which he seemed to take in starts. I assisted him upon his horse and brought him as far as the punt. Where his brother Michael  brought  the Punt over and took him home. Whilst we were near the Punt our servant Richard Houston came down and said that mother was ill upon which I ran home and the first thing I saw – my Aunt Bridget Gilligan lying dead on the floor and my mother  dead in the verandah – also my sister the deceased Margaret Fagan was also lying in the verandah and my sister Mary along with her- they were both alive and the deceased Margaret Fagan complained of great pain and asked me to let her lie easy I was then holding her in my arms, she had her eyes closed and could scarcely speak , as I  had heard that they had taken poison, i got some whites of egg and forced it into her mouth, when I was giving it to her she said don’t but after swallowing it she asked for more and then vomited. She then asked for a drink of water and i gave her some in a cup with a little brandy in it. After drinking it my brother Charles took care of her and I went to my sister.

My sister Mary was not so bad she was able to speak and said she must have taken strychnine, my brother Joseph had told me the names of all of those who had taken the mixture from father

I then went for the Doctor and on my return found that my sister Margaret was dead. On my way for the Doctor I met father coming home and told him mother was dead he began to cry and said something but I could not tell what it was, being in such a state of excitement he told me that his shoulder was out and I helped him for about 20 yards on the road home.

My Father mother and all of us lived happily and quietly together. I heard my father speaking about quinine a few days previous and my aunt and all of them said it was good for some complaints.

Sworn on the 7th December 1865, William Fagan.


The above picture is of Joseseph Fagan standing next to the Henry Kendall Rock.

Joseph Fagan on oath states i am  the youngest son of Peter Fagan and reside at Cooranbean, yesterday about 12 at noon , i rode  u p from the Punt and asked father if he was ready ti go to town, as i would put him across he was then in the sitting room and had a small bottle in his hand. My sister Margaret one of the deceased had complained of a pain in her head and father said he would give her some wine and quinine which would do her good and he mixed some powder in wine which she drank after which mother said I had better have some also. So father gave her some in a glass after which the deceased Bridget Gilligan had a glass then my sister Mary after which father mixed some more in a glass of rum part of which he drank and the deceased Margret Fagan my mother finished what was left in the glass.    a few minutes later father and i got upon our horses and after a  going across the punt father rode in the direction of town and I continued on the road to the sawyers pit all at once I felt quite giddy  and then fell down feeling very ill I managed to coo ee to my brother William heard it and came to me he got me upon my horse and brought me home when I saw mother lying dead and heard my sister and aunt were dying I then became insensible and know nothing more that took place.

My father kept medicines locked up in a box I would know the bottle that father had in his hand of the two bottles now produced I recognise the round one as that out of which father took the powder.

After I had drank my glass I noticed a good deal of sediment left in the bottom of the glass.

My sister Mary did not finish all she had in her glass I heard my mother ask father if he was sure he had the right bottle and he then asked me if it tasted bitter which i said it did when he said it was all right. My sister Margaret had taken her glass before I had come in it was my aunt that was taking it when i came in. Father did not press any of us to take the medicine.

Father, mother and all of us have lived happily together.

Sworn 7th December 1865 Joseph Fagan

Robert Thomas auld of Sarahville having been duly sworn, I am a qualified medical practitioner of NSW Medical board, I was called to see a Family who were said to be poisoned, I found Mrs Fagan, Bridget Gilligan and Margaret Fagan lying dead – on examination they presented a rigid appearance presenting to all appearance a very sudden death arising as if it were from poison, the jaws and bodies were quite stiff and rigid more than that of a deceased body under other circumstances.

I then saw Mary Fagan and Joseph Fagan reaching and vomiting violently complaining  of general spasms and twitching in different parts of the body.

 I then saw Peter Fagan the father who complained of merely squeamishness with similar spasmodic twitches but in a much slighter degree. He had also suffered a dislocation of the right shoulder.

Two bottles were handed to me which i now produce, one containing about 6 grains of strychnine and the other about 12 grains of quinine, from what Peter Fagan informed I should say he had given nearly or about 6 grains amongst the whole.

It is my opinion that the deaths occurred as a result and effects of the poison.

I have no experience of poisoning  by strychnine but the suddenness of the deaths from what I have related and from the contents of the bottle, death has been the result. When the bottles were handed to me there were no labels upon them and i now hand them over to the Sergeant of Police in the same state I got them.

In colour and taste they much resemble each other and might be easily mistaken by an ignorant or careless person. The strychnine in the bottle is partly in crystals and partly in powder.

Sworn 7th December 1865, R. T. Auld.

The inquiry was adjourned for the day as Charles Fagan was not sufficiently calm and collected to give evidence.

Richard Houston on oath, states that i am a servant of Peter Fagan and reside at Cooranbean. Yesterday i was at work outside when I heard the deceased Mrs Fagan calling for me when I came she told me to go for her son Charles as she was very ill. I at once went to the creek where he was at work and told him to come home and got there before me.

I should say I was about an hour before I got back and when I did Mrs Fagan was dead.

8th December 1865 Richard Houston.

Charles Fagan on Oath states I am the eldest son of Peter Fagan and reside at Cooranbean. Last Wednesday about 11 a.m. I was at work on the other side of the creek about half a mile from home when I heard our servant Richard Houston calling me and he told me Mrs Fagan had sent him for me, as my sister had fallen down and had the cramp badly.

I put my horse into the punt and galloped home, where the first person I saw was my aunt, the deceased Bridget Gilligan, lying on the floor in great agony. I next saw my mother the deceased Margaret Fagan  lying dead on the verandah and my sister the deceased Margaret Fagan almost dead in the same place.

My sister Mary close to her my brother Peter then came to me I asked my Aunt what could I do for her and she asked me to lift her head which I did. My sister Mary told me that they had taken poison, having strychnine in place of Quinine which father had mixed up for them.

My brother Peter then gave our sister Mary some egg whites and i tried to do the same to my sister Margaret but she could not swallow it and asked me to hold her in my arms, I did so and in a few moments she died.

My brother William had started  for the punt and the Doctor but before the doctor arrived they were all gone. That is Mother, aunt and sister, after I has raised my aunts head I ran into the verandah an on my return she was dead.

I know that my father kept medicines in a box and also that he had strychnine. A few days back my sister complained of being unwell and my father said that a little quinine would be good for her.

I heard my sister Margaret say in the morning that she had not been able to sleep all night

Father mother and all of us lived happily together.

Sworn 8th December 1865 Charles Fagan

I find that the deceased Mrs Margaret Fagan  aged 50, Bridget Gilligan Aged 38, and Margaret Fagan aged 24, died from the effects of strychnine poisoning  accidentally administered to them instead of quinine by Peter Fagan of Cooranbean. Signed Boyd Horsburgh J.P.



Sydney Morning Herald

9th December 1865


GILLIGAN-FAGAN.-On the 6th instant, at Gosford, Brisbane Water, Bridget Frances Gilligan, the beloved sister of Michael Edward Gilligan, of George-street, Haymarket.

Also, at same place, Margaret, the beloved wife of Peter Fagan, of Gosford, and sister of Michael and Edward Gilligan, of Haymarket, Sydney. Also, at same place, Margaret Terese, the beloved daughter of Peter and Margaret Fagan, and niece of Messrs. M. and E. Gilligan, Haymarket.


21st February, 1924

Death of Mr. G. L. Fagan.

We regret to announce the death of Mr. George Lamb Fagan, which took place at his residence, ‘Oak Haven,’ West Gosford, on Friday last, at the age of 85 years. The deceased gentle man was a member of the Fagan family settled in Brisbane Water in 1836, and he ‘was born at the Old Farm (Point Clare) in 1838.

The family moved to Coorambene Creek a few years later. The Old Farm was known in the early days as ‘Willy Willy,’ so called by the blacks who at that time existed in great numbers. Mr. Fagan, senior., had the mail contract between Gosford and Sydney (and in later years to Kincumber), and as a youth, George had the job on the Sydney side of the Hawkesbury River, and when the mail was brought –across Peat’s Ferry his brother Joe brought it over the ridges to Gosford. Even as a boy, George Fagan had a passion for racehorses, and many a winner he rode in the days of Victoria Park.

In later years he became an owner on the Metropolitan courses, and his first mare of note was Mabel, who won many races and was the idol of the stable boy, Teddy Keys, who later on blossomed out as a trainer, and is the same Teddy Keys that racing people know so well to-day.

Mabel ‘s best race was that in which she won the Mayor ‘s Cup at Randwick in the days when C. J. Roberts was Mayor of Sydney, and the prize of £300 and the Cup (which is at ‘Oak Haven’) was considered an extra big race at the time.

Mr. Fagan owned another mare of which he was very proud, named Phyllis, and she won a great number of races. She was backed by the stable to win five thousand in the Hawkesbury Autumn Handicap at Clarendon, and had the race well won when the boy began to pull her up, and something came with a late run; before the boy could get Phyllis going again they passed the post, and the five thousand was lost by a head. Mr. Fagan was a member of the firm of Fagan Bros., who had timber mills at Camden, Haven, and a wharf at Market Street, in Sydney, where they carried on business as timber merchants for many years.

Tie was married to Miss Agnes Baptist in 1885, and his widow and one daughter (Mrs. Frank Compton, of Gosford), survive him. He was a great admirer and ardent friend of Henry Kendall, and is one of those whose initials are cut on the famous Kendall ‘s Rock, near Coorambene, mentioned in the immortal poem, ‘Names Upon a Stone.’


Mr. Fagan continued his racing right to the end and his horses, Teo and Icango, were well known at local meetings. He was very largely interested in Ascot Racecourse, and had many investments in the Metropolis.

He loved his home by Sweet Narara Creek, and often the writer had a chat with him about the days of Kendall and the shingle splitters. Of the fine old family of Fagans, known to all the pioneering families of Brisbane Water, only our much respected Joseph (The Colonel) remains, and to him, and to Mrs. Fagan and Mr. and Mrs. Compton we extend our hearty sympathy in their bereavement. The funeral took place at Point Clare Cemetery on Saturday and the remains of George Lamb Fagan lie between the home in which he was born ‘Willy Willy,’ and that in which he was reared, Coorambene,’ and he is within half a mile of Kendall’s Rock on the west, and his beloved Narara Creek on the east; and only a little distance from ‘Coorambene’ Creek. We who knew him best reverently say:

‘May the turf rest lightly on him. ‘

The Rev. Father Donovan officiated at the graveside, and Mr. R. H. Creighton carried, out the mortuary arrangements in his usual dignified and reverent manner.


13th May 1926


Thus a Sydney daily paper: —

What lover of the poetry of Henry Kendall does not know his charming poem, ‘Names Upon a Stone,’ written when he was living with his friend, George Fagan, in a delightful nook on Coorumbine Creek, near Gosford?

But probably very few of Kendall’s devotees know that the stone which literally formed the basis for the poem is to be seen still — standing in quiet majesty above the ‘many fluted frills of the creek, and canopied by the whispering trees that stand as they stood when the poet lingered there, with ‘a beauty like the light of song’ in his thoughts.

‘H.K.; G.F.; X, 74’ (October., 1874) — these initials and figures were carved deeply into the rugged sandstone boulder, and, though moss grown, -are almost as plain as they were when the poet carved them over …fifty years ago.

What a place for a pilgrimage to Kendall ‘s memory! Alas, the vandals have been there. Although the stone is on the property of the Jusfrute Company, the managing director of which (Captain Adcock) does – his best to safeguard the hallowed spot, casual visitors have found it out- and x chipped their nondescript names above, below, and all about the famous inscription. This on picturesque old stone that ought to be regarded as a national treasure.


15th March 1928

Top of Form

Death of Mrs. Fagan

News to-day of the sudden decease of Mrs. Agnes I. Fagan, a well-known and highly respected resident of West Gosford, came as a great shock among her large circle of friends,:- Deceased was a fine old lady who had passed the allotted span; she died in the early hours of this (Thursday) morning, at the ripe age of 83. After a short illness, Mrs. Fagan had entered St. Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney, three weeks ago, intending to rest, when a further and more serious illness overtook her, and proved fatal. Deceased had been a resident of Gosford for the past 15 years, and lived on the banks of Narara Creek in a fine house near Fagan ‘s Bridge, with her husband, the late George Fagan, who predeceased her three years ago. She was born in Sydney, and was a daughter of the late Thomas Baptist, and was perhaps one of the oldest living native-born citizens of New South Wales. Mrs. Fagan was widely known for her philanthropic works, and was a willing helper of anyone in need. She leaves a daughter and son-in-law (Mr. and Mrs. Frank Compton, of West Gosford), two sisters, one (Miss Baptist, of Sydney), aged 81, and the other (a resident of Mosman), aged 94; and one grandchild. The interment takes place at noon to-morrow (Friday), in the Roman Catholic portion of Pt. Clare Cemetery.


William Short Moase

Roman Catholic section 1 Row 1 Plot 14

map template

William Short Moase was the township’s  blacksmith wheelwright and farrier there are many advertisements for Moase and Sons in the local paper. The family had three sons and four daughters. The eldest William Mark Moase had a distinguished career in World War One attaining the rank of Sergeant and awards.

war rec

Upon return William junior became the Secretary of the newly formed Gosford branch of the RSL. Ern another brother was active in the local theatre scene and Victor was a keen football and cricket player.

Only two of the Moase daughters regularly turn up in the local papers and were very active amongst the community with both Eileen and Lucy being mentioned often in the social pages.  

William senior was 65 years of age in 1924, when his business moved further north along Mann street from its original site of just off the corner of Mann and Erina Streets.

I think he could see the writing on the wall as the horse and cart was making way for the advent of the automobile. William senior died a couple of years later aged 69.


Unless otherwise stated all excerpts are from the Gosford Advocate and Wyong Times

27th October 1911

Whilst engaged shoeing a draught horse last Friday, Mr. W. S. Moase, local blacksmith, received a bump on one side, resulting in the fracture of two ribs. We are glad to say he is getting on well.

20th March 1924


The well-known site in Mann Street at present occupied by Mr. W. Moase, blacksmith, and Moane ‘s garage, has been purchased, we are informed, for the purpose of erecting a large residential hotel, built on the latest continental style. This building will be a great acquisition to the town of Gosford, as the position at the corner of Mann and Erina Streets will be a central one. We are given to
understand that the purchasers of the property are contemplating spending up to. £30,000 on the establishment to be erected on it. Mr. Bert Dalton is applying to the next Licensing Court for a license for the premises. The plan of the proposed building will be on view in Mann Street within a few days.

And in the next edition of the paper a poem was entered, note the poem makes mention of Mr Jack Weir the Butcher, and Father of the boys in the previous post. They were neighbours in life and 3 plots away from each other for eternity.

3rd April 1924


For years and years in passing, we have watched the embers glow, ‘

As Billy plied the bellows to the fire;

And now we hear it whispered that the smithy has to go,

The Bilmose firm of wheelwright’s will re-tyre

To premises up further, near the Cresswell lighting crew,

Where daily will the anvil chorus ring;

And sparks will fly from dynamos, and from the anvils, too,

While noise around that neighbourhood will cling.

It’s ‘shoer’ to be lively, and Jack Weir-ily will say:

‘Oh, blast the furnace and the hammers, too

nit the blooming beef at Knight, and kept awake all day,

From this great noise, I’ll soon bid tooraloo.

And Bill says ‘Holy Moases, boy, ‘I cannot help the row,

For iron on to iron makes a clang;

Don’t steel away, dear Jacky for I hereby make a vow

I’ll  get some rubber hammers for the gang.

So all will be quite peaceful and we close our little song,

And soon we set the stage for moving day;

So up the street a little, our old friend will come along,

And for the new hotel hip-hip-hooray.

ka cover pic track

13th March 1928

Death of Mr. W. S. Moase


Mr. W. E. Kirkness, J.P., District Coroner, on March 12, at Gosford Court House, heard evidence concerning the death on the railway line on February 27 of Mr. W. S. Moase.

Constable W. R. Crotty, Gosford, stated that when he was called to the scene, a passenger tram was standing about ‘400 yards south of Gosford rail way station, and the body of deceased was lying on a stretcher. Dr. Paul came and made an examination, and pronounced life extinct. When going to the front of the engine witness found a pair of boat sculls, one of which was split through the blade, while the other was slightly damaged.

There was also a small bag of fishing tackle and bait. On the left side of the engine front there was some green weed bait, and on the buffer plate was portion of a pipe owned by deceased. With the assistance of others, witness carried the body to the residence of Ernest Moase, son of the deceased. Witness saw a notice on the northern end of the bridge, warning persons against crossing.

Dr. Paul deposed that there: was no life in deceased ‘s body when witness hurried to the railway  line in response to a call. There was a wound on the point of the chin, but no other external marks of injury, except scratches on the back of the right hand. In witness’ opinion, death was due to fracture of the skull, the blow on the jaw would be communicated to the skull. Witness had known deceased for many years as an industrious and respectable man, whose hobby was fishing. Witness had no reason to suppose that intemperance had anything to do with the death.

Frederick Gaven, fireman, living at Lawson St., Hamilton, said he was firing on No. 68, Newcastle to Sydney, and shortly after leaving Gosford heard the engine whistle sounded. The driver shortly afterwards pulled the train up, saying as he applied the brakes that the train had run over a man. Their speed had been 25 miles per hour. At the time the warning whistle blew, a goods train was passing. The line was slightly curved at the soot, so that witness could not see far along it.

James Edmond Parkes, laborer, Railway Street, Gosford, was fishing near Gosford railway bridge, and saw the engine of the passenger .train strike the paddles carried by deceased; they were thrown up in the air. Witness’ further view was obstructed by the train. Deceased’s boat was moored on the western side of the line, and might have been reached without walking on the rails. Deceased was a retired blacksmith of good character, whose hobby was fishing.

James Stott, stationed at Broadmead was driver of the engine of the passenger train. About half a mile past Gosford he noticed a man walking on the left side of the line, carrying on his shoulder something which looked like a piece of timber. Witness sounded the whistle as a warning; deceased did not turn round till the engine was within 10 or 15 yards, when he turned as if to walk across the embankment, in front of the engine. Witness immediately applied the air brake, and brought the train to a standstill; it stopped in about 120 yards. Witness went to the sixth carriage, and saw a man lying on the ground. Witness did not actually see the engine strike deceased, as he stooped to apply the air brake as soon as deceased started to cross the line, immediately the goods train passed. It was not possible to do anything to avoid striking a person on the line under such circumstances. Ernest John Moase, son of deceased, related that the body was brought to his house. Deceased’s life was not insured; he had no property, and left no will. He was born at Bradford (England), aid was a retired blacksmith.

The Verdict.

The Coroner found that William Short Moase, aged 69 years, at Gosford on February 27, died from injuries accidentally received through being struck by a passing train. He also found that no blame whatever was attachable to the train crew.

Coroner’s Closing Remarks. Mr. Kirkness., at the close of the inquiry, called the driver and fireman and expressed his sympathy with them in the unfortunate circumstance that had been forced, on them. He said that his knowledge of railway drivers, gained through cases of this kind that had come before him, convinced him that drivers had to accept the responsibility of protecting thousands of lives, and the safety of their train.

Without exception these men lived right up to their responsibility. It must be nerve-racking to be involved in tragedies of this kind.


24th October 1935

Flying Spark Caused Death of Noela Bird

Coroner Warmly Praises Dick Wells’ Brave Act

‘I find that Noela Bird, aged 5 years, died, in the Hinemoa Private Hospital. Gosford, on October 13, as the result of injuries accidentally received on October 12 in Erina Street, Gosford, as the result of ‘her .clothing becoming ignited from a spark flying from a blacksmith’s anvil.

This was the finding of Hon. W. E. Kirkness, District .Coroner, as the result of a coronial inquiry last Monday.

Addressing Richard Wells, the Coroner said: ‘I must compliment and congratulate you on the bravo thing you did. The subsequent death of the child was in no way due to any fault on your part. You are entitled to the thanks of the public- and the Department I represent.’

Proceedings were watched on behalf of the Police by Senior Constable A. Brown who was also present to assist the Coroner.


Harry James Bird, living in Watt Street, Gosford, father of the child, said, that Noela, who was 4 years and 11 months, and had been born at Terrigal, was sent on a message with her brother Bruce, aged 7 years, about 9 o’clock on ‘Saturday morning. A little later Bruce ran home and said that Noela had been burned. He stated that his sister and lie had been near the door of Moase’s blacksmith’s  shop, watching the sparks fly. Noela had said to him ‘My dress is alight!’ He had tried to put out the fire. With his wife, witness had hurried to the scene and had met Mr. Wells.

Noela had been taken into the home of Mrs Weir. They went with their daughter in the ambulance to the hospital in which Noela died next day. They had not ‘been able to find anyone who had seen the fire start.

Dr. G. M. Duncan, who treated the child at the hospital, stated that the burns were extensive, and the girl was suffering severely from shock. From the outset he ‘had considered the chance of recovery was slight.


Richard Wells, bread carter, deposed, that at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 12, he was delivering bread in Watt Street, when Ire heard a scream come from Erina Street and saw a child, running with her clothes afire. He ran to her and tried to put out the flames.

noela b

Failing to extinguish them, he had ripped off her clothes. The child was taken into the ‘house of Mrs. Weir and the Ambulance called. He could see that the girl had been, severely burned. About ten seconds only elapsed from the time he saw her until the clothes had been pulled off. He had received severe burns on both ‘hands.

The Coroner congratulated the witness, as stated above.
Ernest John Moase, blacksmiths of Erina Street, stated that he was welding iron in ‘his shop on the Saturday morning and the sparks were flying about. He heard a’ child scream and went to the doorway from which he could sec Mr. Wells pulling off the burning clothes from a child. In his opinion the clothes caught fire from a spark from the anvil. He had just noticed that two children were standing at the doorway.

Senior Constable Brown stated that as a result of his inquiries he was of opinion that the burns had been accidentally received, and that there was no evidence of neglect or carelessness on the part of anyone concerned in the accident.

Sometime soon after the death of Noela Bird Ern Moase shut the forge ending the blacksmithing era in Gosford, and left the district.

rust wheel

9th October 1940                              


The death has occurred at Drummoyne of Mrs. Sarah Mary Moase, of Gosford, at the age of 75 years. Sincere sympathy is expressed to her large family, all of whom are well known in this district were some of them still live.

The late Mrs. Moase’s, husband, Mr. William Moase, was killed in a railway accident at Gosford 12 years ago. The following are sons and daughters: — Mr. William Moase (Drummoyne); Mr. Ernest Moase (Port Kembla) ; Mrs. Breen (Gosford); Mrs. Chaseling (Tuggerah); Mr. Victor Moase (Five Dock); Mrs. Ridgewell (Lithgow); Mrs. Eden (Woollahra).

The funeral left Drummoyne after Requiem Mass and proceeded by road to Gosford where the remains were conveyed to the Point Clare Cemetery for interment.

The late Mrs. Moase was living with her son, William, at Drummoyne when her death occurred.

She had been devoting herself to the care of the children left motherless by the death of Mr. William Moase’s wife some years ago

11th October 1940

Funeral of Mrs. Sarah M. Moase

Many Floral Tributes The Rev. Father Berkery officiated at the funeral of the late Mrs. Sarah Mary Moase, of Gosford, who died at Drummoyne recently. The remains were laid to rest in the Point Clare Cemetery.

Floral tributes were received from the following: — Mrs. Lewis, Mi’s. Gleeson, Miss Paterson and Bob; Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Parsons and family (Lightfoot); Lionel and Kit; Royal Hotel staff; Coulter family; Ada and Bill Phillips; Olwyn and Jack Little; residents of Drummoyne; Mrs. Hennessey and Roy; Mrs. Guerin and J. A. Guerin; Mr. and Mrs. Jollow; Mrs. W. H. Parry and family; Mrs. Benson and Doris; Mrs. Coull and family; Mrs. Rose and Etna; Kit and Walter; Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Chaseling; ‘Richards’ Avenue (Drummoyne) residents; Mr: and Mrs. C. R. McNiven (Drummoyne) ; Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Eden and family; Mr. and Mrs. H. Mitchell and family; Mrs. L. C. Hill and Mrs. J. E. King; Val, Lorna, Tom and Yvonne Jollow; ?Jim, Lloyd, Vera, Doreen; Miss C. Fry.

tools b smiths

Stuart and Royce Weir

Grave site Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 4 Plot 8

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Stuart and Royce Weir were two of three brothers and a friend, who whilst having a day off school broke into a disused quarry site in North Gosford, then fell into the quarries pond. The children’s parents are in the adjoining grave. John Weir the father was the local Butcher at the “Canberra Butchers” in Gosford. The graves are in a row of “Hennessey graves” as Mrs Amy Weir is nee Hennessey”.


Gosford Drowning Tragedy


On Tuesday morning, at about 11 o’clock, a double drowning fatality shocked the people of Gosford, the victims being two young sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Weir. Four boys — Stuart. Royce, and Alfred Weir. together with William Hitchcock — went to a disused quarry, in North Gosford, where the hole in the rocks contains a pool of water from 5 to 10 feet deep.

The lad Royce (aged 9) stepped on to one of a number of planks which were floating in the pool. This gave under his weight, throwing the boy into the water. His brother Stuart (aged 11), seeing him in danger, jumped in to endeavour to save him, while the remaining two lads ran for assistance. The water, which was fresh, was icy, and the younger boy was suffering from a very heavy cold. A fine action was that of Stuart Weir, who gave his life in an attempt to rescue his little mate and brother. Life was extinct when the bodies of the two boys were taken from the water.

The bereavement is a cruel one for the mother and father, and other close relatives, who have lost two bright and well-liked young lads, cruelly cut off in early boyhood; and the sincere sympathy of the people of the district is extended to the sorrowing parents and family.

The Inquiry.

A coronial inquiry was held at Gosford Court House, by the District Coroner, Mr. W. Kirkness, J.P., on Wednesday morning. Evidence as follows was given: —

John Harold Gordon Weir, butcher, Gosford, father of the two boys, stated: Shortly after 11 on the morning of Nov. 22, Mrs. Herford told me that two of my sons were drowned in a quarry pit. I at once ran to the place, where I saw a man named Parry bringing one body out of the water. I saw that the boys had been trying to float on some pieces of timber in the water. Neither of them could swim. The boys were not at school because one was suffering from a cold.

Dr. G. M. Duncan, Gosford, stated:

At the quarry pit I was shown the bodies of two lads. Efforts were being made to resuscitate one. I made a careful examination of each body, and found life extinct. There were no signs of violence. Death was due to asphyxia by drowning.

Constable Phillip Henry Cummins, Gosford. stated: I, in company with Constable Jones, went to a disused quarry at North Gosford, where I was shown the bodies of two boys, whom I identified as the sons of John Weir. Efforts to restore life were in progress. Mr. Parry, who told me he, – together with Sister Ricketts, of ‘Khandala’ Hospital, was attracted by the screams of a boy, did excellent work in getting both bodies from the waterhole, which is half filled with snags and contained a number of floating planks. There are notices at the building adjoining, warning trespassers.

Wm. Hitchcock, aged 11. was sworn and stated: On Tuesday. I. in company with Stuart, Royce, and Alfred Weir, went to the quarry hole, to swim the dogs. After playing here for some time, Royce Weir stepped on a raft, which flipped over, and lie fell into the water. Then Stuart, who had boots and goloshes on, jumped in to try to get his brother. I ran off just then to get someone to help them.

Joseph Henry Wm. Parry, Green Pt., stated: While in Bent Street I heard a lad named Hitchcock calling out for help. I ran in the direction of the call, and in the largest waterhole saw a cap floating. I went into the water hole, felt the bottom with my feet, and found one body — that of the younger boy (Royce), in 5ft of water., close to the side. I carried it up the bank and landed it to persons on the top. I searched for 10 minutes longer, and found the body of Stuart Weir, caught in some snags in 7ft of water. I carried him also to the bank. Several persons, including Nurse Ricketts, were trying to restore the younger lad. Dr. Duncan and others worked for some time trying to resuscitate Stuart, but without success. I feel sure that everything possible was done to restore life.

In my opinion the younger boy slipped off the bank and the older boy jumped in to try and save him. and was caught under the limbs of a submerged tree, and held till he drowned.


Coroner’s Verdict.

The Coroner returned the following verdict: — I find that Royce James Weir, aged 9 years, was, on Nov. 22, accidentally drowned through falling off a plank into the water in a water hole at North Gosford. I further find that Stuart Charles Andrew Weir, aged 11 years, was accidentally drowned at the same time and place, while trying to rescue his brother.

The Interment.

Evidence of the general sorrow and sympathy felt for the grief-stricken parents was given by the large attendance of relatives and friends who surrounded the grave when the two little bodies were laid to rest in the peaceful solitude of Pt. Clare cemetery. Rev. Father P. J. Donovan conducted a preliminary service in St. Joseph ‘s Church, Gosford, and later officiated at the very impressive service at the grave side.

Many close relatives, including the father, mother, brothers, and sisters of the deceased boys, were present. A most impressive scene was witnessed when 15 or 16 school mates with wreaths in their hands stood among many others at the graveside to pay ‘their last tribute to their little friends, whose sad and sudden demise has cast a gloom over the whole district.

The coffin was borne from the hearse to the grave on the shoulders of Messrs J. Ryding, J. Barnes, J. Breen, and C. Morris. The funeral arrangements were ably executed by Mr. R. H. Creighton.


Floral Tributes. The wreaths were numerous and beautiful, and the grave was piled high with them. Among the names noticed on accompanying cards were: —V. McGee and P. Gilan, Athol MacDonald, Royce Moase, Em. and Cess Morris, Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Gleeson, Alice, Stanley, Freddy, and Marv McPherson, Mrs Sabass and family, Henry and Gladys Young, Mr and Mrs Weir and family, Alvin, Joyce and Bruce Douglas, the Dibben Boys, Mr and Mrs J. Hitchcock and children, Mick and Barby, Amy, Jack, and family, Mrs. E. Rae and family, Percy and Mabel Buscombe, Viv. and Aub. White, Laura, Jack, and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Frewin, Mr. and Mrs S. J. Black, Joan and Norman Sohier, Mr and Mrs P. Knight, Mr and Mrs Cliff Wroe, Gosford Post Office Staff, Parents & Citizens’ Assn., Hazel and Bob Hempenstall, Arch, Cecily and family, Mr and Mr9 C. E. Marsh and family, Ken, Maurice, Lloyd Passlow, Mr and Mrs Ern Moase, Mr and Mrs J. Irwin- and family, Knight & Capper, .Mr and Mrs J. L. Frazer, Mrs. Lockhart and family, Mr and Mrs.Kirkness and family, Dora, Eric and John Eowe, Mr and Mrs .Carroll and family, Mr and Mrs F. Clifton, Billie and Tommy Knight, Jean Pateman, Mr and Mrs Ryding and family, Tommy Abberton, Mr and Mrs Cummins and Phyllis ; Mr. and Mrs. Alf. Hobbs and family, Miss Lees (Tuggerah), Mr and Mrs J. Breen and family, Edie, and Joe Barnes and family, Harold, Stan, and Cecil Schubert, Mr and Mrs F . Wheeler and family, Mr and Mrs R. Burns, Emma and Dick Creighton, Mr and Mrs R. Bailey, Mr and Mrs Arthur Scaysbrook, Mr and Mrs Harry Price (Avoca). Leslie and Grace Bell, Mt and Mrs Daiton and family, Olwyn Benson, Mr and Mrs Dermody, Jim and Ted Spears, Mr and Mrs E. Clifford and family, Mr and Mrs Ted Taylor, Norma, Cyril, and Dick, Mr and Mrs J. White and Joe, Officers and Members of G.U.O.O.F. Lodge, Mr and Mrs Harry Pateman, Castelli family’, Mr and Mrs Littlefield. Mrs H. Fry and family, Lily, Kath., and Beulah, W. S. Moase, Mrs Moase, and family, Mr and Mrs Geo. Stephens, F. C. Warmoll and A. J. Alderton, Mr and Mrs Geo. Foott and family, Mrs Turner and family, Mr and Mrs Burgiif and family, Allan and Jean Dwyer, Mr and Mrs Margin and family. Jack May, Valda., Maurice and Claire Sterland. Mr and Mrs H. Hitchcock, Mr and Mrs Howell and family, Mr and Mrs A. Eaton and family, Ruth and Don Robertson, Mrs H. Rea (Tuggerah), Mr and Mrs Bradbury, Auntie Sylvia, Cecil and family. Grandma Hennessey and family, Employees of Knight and Capper.

Mary and Bridget Jopson

Grave site Roman Catholic 1 Row 2 Plot 18

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Mary and Bridget Jopson
21 April 1921

Miss Mary Jopson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Jopson, of Gosford, was the victim of a severe burning accident on Tuesday evening. She was standing with her back to the fire in the dining room, when her dress became ignited, and it was not until it was well in flames that she realised her position. She ran into the bedroom, where her mother, with the aid of bed clothes, extinguished the flames, and removed the burning garments. The unfortunate, girl was badly burned about the body, and suffered considerable pain. Dr. Paul attended the sufferer, and ordered her removal to a Sydney hospital, where she was taken this (Thursday) morning.

kid on firre

28 April 1921
Return Thanks.

MRS. JOPSON wish to sincerely thank the following friends, who were so kind to them in the sad event of the burning accident to their daughter, Mary: — Father Kelly, Mrs. F. Burns, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbow, Mrs. McCarthy and daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Collits, and all other friends.


5th May 1921

It is with sympathetic feelings that we chronicle the death of Miss Mary Jopson, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Jopson, of Gosford, which sad event took place at Mater Misericordiae Hospital, North Sydney., on Saturday morning last, as the result of severe burns received a couple of weeks ago through her clothes catching fire. Having passed the crisis, great hopes were entertained for her recovery, but at midnight on Friday, complications, -following shock, intervened, and she peace fully closed her eyes for her last long sleep at 4.30. She was 15 years of age, of a quiet and amiable disposition, and beloved by everybody who knew her.

At the time of her accident she was a student at the local Catholic School, and had successfully passed her exam inations in book-keeping and typewriting, and was a generous worker in the interests of the Church. The remains were brought by train to Gosford on Saturday afternoon and interred in the Catholic portion of Point Clare Cemetery on Sunday. The funeral was largely attended, tlie Children of Mary, of whom the deceased young lady was a prominent member, marching behind the hearse, after which followed a procession of the Catholic School children.

At the graveside, Father Kelly recited the last sad rites, during which the members of the Order of the Children of Mary rendered that pathetic hymn, ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ which farther added solemnity to the already sad surroundings. To the bereaved parents we offer our sincerest sympathy in their irreparable loss. Mr. R. H. Creighton had charge of the mortuary arrangements.

26th May 1921

It will be remembered that some weeks ago Miss Mary Jopson met with  a burning accident at Gosford, and  died from the injuries received, death taking place at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, in North Sydney.

At request of the City Coroner, an inquiry was held at Gosford Court house on Monday by Mr. W. E. Kirkness, J.P., when a finding of accidental death was recorded.

12th April, 1950

Mrs Bridget Jopson

The death of Mrs Bridget Jopson, wife of Mr John Joseph Jopson, of Blackwall, Woy Woy, took place at a Gosford private hospital last Monday at the age of 67 years.

She had been ill for the past three months.

Mr and Mrs Jopson were born in the Armidale district, where they were married 46 years ago. They came to Gosford 37 years ago and made their home at Blackwall upon Mr Jopson’s appointment as roads ganger for the Woy Woy Shire Council in 1927 this position he still retains in the employ of the Gosford Shire Council.

Three sons survive: William, John and Bernard, all of Sydney.

A daughter, Mary, died many years ago while the family was living in Gosford.

A woman of strong character and kindly, generous disposition, the late Mrs Jopson was beloved by all who were privileged to know her.

The funeral took place yesterday afternoon. After a service at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Gosford, the remains were buried in the Catholic portion of the Pt. Clare Cemetery beside those of Mrs Jopson’s daughter, Mary.

The Rev. Father Lynch conducted the service in the church and at the graveside.

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Olive, Walter and Malcolm Glass

Olive’s Grave Site Roman Catholic Section 1  Row 1 Plot 18

Walter’s Grave Site Church of England Section 7 Row 1 Plot 21

Malcolm’s Grave Site Roman Catholic Section 1  Row 1 Plot 19

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Olive Glass, Walter Glass and Malcolm Glass

Olive Glass, daughter of Walter Glass, died 11 December 1919, aged 7 years.

Walter Glass, Superintendent of Kariong Boys Home, died 8th December, 1922, aged 39 years.

This sad tale just makes you feel for the poor mother who over a few years lost her whole family one by one.

First little Olive, the Walter the father and finally followed by her only son Malcolm. Take note of the dates of the memorial notices 1922 and the day of death of Walter.

Unless otherwise stated all newspaper referrals are from the Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (1906 – 1954)

stone away

18th December, 1919


It is with deep regret that we have to report the death of Olive Mary Glass, the 7-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Glass, of the Farm Home for Boys, Gosford, who died on Thursday last after a very short illness. The dear little child was deeply loved by all who knew her and the greatest sympathy is felt for her grief stricken parents. The funeral, which was largely attended, took place at the Point Clare Cemetery on Saturday, the coffin being carried from the hearse to the grave by six of her young playmates and school-fellows, viz., Molly Egan, Cedric Wood, Lucy Moase, Georgina Wood, Marion Gillies and Mary Jopson.

Many beautiful wreaths and flowers were sent by those who knew and loved little Olive.

The cortege was met at Point Clare road by many of her former school mates, who marched at the head of the procession.

green pall kids

9th December, 1920


GLASS. — In sad but loving memory of our darling little daughter and sister, Olive Mary,  who died 11th December, 1919, aged 7 years and 1 month.

So sadly missed. We loved her in life, she is dear to us still, But in grief we must bow to God’s holy will.

Our sorrow is great our loss hard to bear, But Angel’s will tend to our darling with care.

— Inserted by her loving father, mother and brother, Malcolm.

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7th December, 1922

GLASS. — In sacred and loving memory of our darling little daughter, Olive Mary, who passed away December 11th, 1919.

In life, dearly loved, In death a beautiful memory — but so sadly missed.

Inserted by her loving father and mother, and brother, Malcolm.


21st December, 1922

Return Thanks.

MRS. GLASS, of William Street, Gosford, wishes to express her sincere, heartfelt thanks for the many personal expressions, letters of sympathy, and floral tributes received in connection with her beloved husband’s (Mr. Walter Glass ‘s) death. Special thanks are due to all those kind, and loving friends for visits and sacrifices made to attend Mr Glass’s bedside throughout his long and painful illness, and to the Rector, Rev. Arthur Renwick. Also the devotion shown, sympathy and assistance extended to me by the late Mr. Glass’s Masonic Brethren of Woy Woy and Wyong Lodges, and to the Master and Brethren of his own Lodge —Lodge Rising Sun

9 December 1926

GLASS. — In sacred and loving memory of our dearly beloved  husband, and Daddy, Walter Glass, who passed away 8th Dec., 1922; also, our dear little daughter and sister, Olive, who died 11th Dec., 1919.Their cheery ways and smiling faces, Are treasures to recall; And they both died beloved by all.

Inserted by their loved ones, Bessie and Malcolm Glass.

Then eight years later

21st February, 1934



The sad death ‘occurred at his mother’s home at Stanmore on Wednesday last of Malcolm, only son of Mrs. ‘Elizabeth Glass, and the late Walter Glass, at the time an officer at the Gosford Training School, who died at Gosford several years ago. Misfortune seems to have dogged this family for years, the only daughter, Olive, passing away some time before her father. The news of last Wednesday ‘s sad happening has caused widespread regret among the residents of the Gosford District, where the family was held in the highest esteem. The interment took place in the Catholic portion of Point Clare cemetery on Thursday last when the remains were laid to rest alongside those of his little sister. The deepest sympathy of the people of Gosford is expressed for the bereaved mother.

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Cecil and Francis Morris

Grave Site Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 1 Plot 1

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Francis Lyle and Cecil William Morris
Both the sons of Sergeant 2nd class William Morris of Gosford Police Station,
Francis Lyle Morris died 21 October 1916, aged 20 years.
Cecil William Morris, died 6th August, 1915, aged 21 years. (as per the stone).

Unless otherwise stated all newspaper referrals are from the Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (1906 – 1954)

Francis Lyle and Cecil William Morris.

This is the grave that has caused the most historical anomalies in the written histories of Point Clare Cemetery in the past. The first internment occurred in January 1916 (Fred Cox), and with the Morris stone mentioning a date in 1915, the Morris’s grave site is often mistakenly listed as the oldest and first in the cemetery.

Cecil Morris died in 1915 at the battle of Lone Pine, none of the bodies from that battle were repatriated to Australia.

Francis Lyle Morris died just over a year from when the news of his brother’s death became known, yet not officially confirmed. When Francis Morris died in 1916, his father commissioned the headstone to have both the brother’s names on it, and as with the tradition the names were placed in the chronological order of the deaths and so Cecil’s name is above Francis’s.

So it is Francis’s burial plot and Cecil’s place of memorial.

The William Morris and family moved to Sydney in 1922 and lived in Abbotsford and are buried in Rookwood Cemetery.

We learn of Cecil’s war tale via a series of soldiers letters published by the local paper. There is below, a link to Cecil’s War record, it contains a particularly distressing letter (which has been included on this page scroll down) from Cecil’s father when he wants it confirmed that Cecil has indeed been killed on the war front. 


morris grave22nd January, 1915

A Soldier’s Letter.

Mr. Henry Hastings, of Gosford, now with the Australian soldiers in Egypt, writes to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Hastings: —

Suez Canal, December 3. — We are told no censorship will be exercised over these letters, but even so, I cannot tell much for we have to little time before the mail goes. Cairo is to be our destination, so after all it is to be hot instead of cold weather, but ‘ so far, I have not found the heat as great as, our Australian heat.

We have just passed a French vessel going the opposite way. She greeted us with English, cheers, and our band played the Marseillaise. The Canal is just wide enough to allow two ships to pass. Each side seems to be endless stretches of sand, while every little way along are men on garrison duty, who are very much in  evidence.

Our men are all well now. Ern Bailey (formerly schoolteacher at – Gosford), is very well, though like the rest of us, the heat has thinned him a bit. So are Donald, Ken, and Tom Robertson, and Cecil Morris; the Sergeant’s son.

Their friends might be glad to know, if they do not happen, to hear from them — and there are such hosts of letters, thousands in every mail, that no one knows whether many of them will ever reach their destination.

Young Burns, whose place adjoins “Fraternus ” on Mangrove Mountain, is on this boat, too, and Mitchell, who was in the Newcastle Scottish’ Rifles when George and I were there, and several men, too, whom I knew in Narrandera.

Alexandria, December 5th. — We arrived here yesterday, after -7% weeks. Two companies of infantry went out of our ship to-day. The New Zealanders left their ships yesterday, and with other troops have gone on to Cairo. We (the Army Medical Corps) will leave to-morrow. Everything is in readiness, and ‘Tights out” has just sounded, so I must , stop in a minute.

Egyptian; scenery so far seems to bentirely sand and rocks, but all the color of the towns makes them look like a bazaar or fancy fair.

Mena Camp, Pyramids, Cairo,

December. 7.— We arrived here at eight o’clock last night, and are camped right at the foot of the Pyramids, just about 10 miles out of Cairo. The British flag; is to be hoisted in Cairo to-morrow. The mail closes at once, and we are awfully busy, so I can’t write any more how. The ticket enclosed is a Cairo tram ticket. Loving greetings to you all, — HENRY.

The following link is to Henry Hasting’s War Record


war mem gos

14th May 1915

The following is an excerpt of the local paper,

Word has been received that’ Mr Cecil Morris, son of Sergeant Morris, Gosford, has been detained in Malta Hospital suffering from a bayonet thrust in the leg.

9th July 1915

Private Cecil Morris, son of Sergeant Morris, of Gosford, writes

from Imafa, Malta, under date May 5 : — . –

I suppose you have heard all – about our battle with the Turks. I am wounded in the leg and hand with shrapnel after having bad a fortnight’s fighting. We were landed, under a perfect hail off shot and shell, in small boats each containing about 50 men.

Some of the boats by the time they reached the shore had nothing but loads of mangled humanity. The Turks bad hundreds of machine guns td ‘ concealed batteries .. commanding the beach, and it looked an utter impossibility for our men to land.

However, we fixed bayonets, jumped out of the boats into the water up to our waists, and made for the shore. We were soon struggling with wire entanglements fitted under the water, again there was heavy slaughter among the landing parties before we finally got to the land. The Turks then endeavoured to drive us back into the sea with the bayonet, “but our chaps, ‘knowing what was in store, fought as never a fight has been waged before and gradually gained foothold.

The coast where we landed is something like Terrigal round about The Skillion, and we had to scale up these huge cliffs that were absolutely swarming with the enemy. They were yelling “Allah, Allah!” and sounding all the British bugle calls.

Others were shouting out orders to retreat, the object being to confuse us. But we  had warnings about the enemy’s tactics and took no notice of them, beyond rushing their trenches with the bayonet.

The Australians fought with such grim tenacity, that the enemy gave way everywhere, and retired to the heights from where they fired volleys of rifle fire on the attackers below.

The Turks were officered by Germans. While we were landing, one of them stood up and yelled in English, ” Come on, you Kangaroo, you are not fighting Cairo now.

After an hour’s fighting, and with the assistance of the warships (Queen Elizabeth included), we had control of the hill and started to advance and built trenches under heavy fire for the day.

When advancing, the order was to run ahead about 20 yards, one at a time, and drop down, eventually forming one long line. During these operations’ I had a peculiar, creepy experience; I was advancing and ran up the required distance and dropped between two other comrades. I asked the one on my right the range and he did not answer. Turning to the one on my left I repeated the question, but no reply came. Both poor fellows were stone dead, shot through the head while still remaining in a firing position.

Needless to say, I soon shifted on. We were entrenched one night about 10 o’clock and the order came along from mouth to mouth, “Cease firing, Indians on the right about to charge.” So we stopped firing.

The Turks then came in thousands, but we mowed them down. This looked a bit “fishy,” and our officer told us to look out for anyone passing orders. Another order started to come along, and the chap that started it was grabbed. He turned out to be a German dressed in an Australian uniform. He has ceased to exist.

It was the second Sunday, at 8 o’clock at night, that I got hit. The wounds, however, were not serious, although I was packed off to the hospital at Malta. The British call us the ” white Gurkhas.” An English officer said he never saw men fight like the Australians, and that the fighting was worse than at Mons.

At time of writing I am doing well, but expect to be sent from here to England to get thoroughly well again. I suppose you know more about the Dardanelles in Australia than I have heard. We who have actually been in the firing line know little about things in general, the operations being so extensive. By the bye, when X was hit I was ordered to get back to the first dressing station.

While doing so as best I could, I met an old ” cobber ” and was shaking bands with him when a bullet came ” zip ” and planted itself in his shoulder. He coolly said ” Hold on, I will come with you.” Do not worry about “toe, I am not going to get knocked over/ . I have already had as many lives as a cat. I do not know where Lance Mason or any of the other Gosford chaps are. – Cecil.

This letter was published about a fortnight before his death during the battle of Lone Pine. Lance Mason to whom he refers to made it back after the war.

The following link is to Cecil William Morris’s War record.



names liveth24th December 1915

Killed at Gallipoli.


In October last Private Mayo, writing home, reported that Private Cecil W. Morris, of Gosford, had been killed in the charge on the Turkish trenches at Lonesome Pine on 6th August last. No confirmatory news was received from the military authorities, and Sergeant Morris at once placed himself in communication with the Officer of Base Records.

Several cables were sent to and fro, and on 16th instant the following letter was received from the Department of Defence : —

‘ In continuation of letter dated 30th ultimo, a further cable has been received from Egypt that No. 160, Private C. W. Morris, 3rd Battalion, was last seen on the parapet of a Turkish trench seriously wounded. The foregoing is the result of an enquiry made to the officer commanding your son’s battalion. —Yours faithfully, J. M. Lean, Capt.”

The letter from the Defence authorities confirms the authenticity of Private Mayo’s statement, and there is little to ‘ doubt but that another of Gosford’s gallant young men has fallen in mortal combat against the enemies of our King and country Private Cecil Morris was the eldest son of  Sergeant Morris, of Gosford, and, had life lived, would have celebrated his 21st birthday on 21st October. He was educated at Gosford, Burwood and Fort Street Superior Schools, and was last employed as clerk in Messrs. Goodall’s office, Sydney. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 1st Expeditionary Force and was sent to Egypt and later to the Dardanelles. He was twice wounded prior to the storming of the Turkish trenches at Lonesome Pine. As already stated, Private Morris was but 21 years of age, and was an all-round athlete, just the type of young Australian that would play his part when acts requiring, grit and courage were called for, otherwise he would not have received, his death-blow on the parapet of the enemy’s trenches. We deeply sympathise with the parents and family – relatives in their sad bereavement, but they have the consultation of knowing that their brave young soldier boy died doing his duty with his face to the foe, as so many of our gallant young Australians have done in this cruel and world-wide war.

Note : It took a little while for Cecils death to be officially confirmed to the Morris family, the official date of death, from the armies records is the 7th of August 1915, but the family having heard before this official notification of his death, had the date of the begining of the Battle of Lone Pine put on the stone… (6th August).

dads letter

9th August 1917


MORRIS. — Killed in action at Lone Pine, 7th August, 1915, our dearly loved son and brother, Private Cecil Wm Morris. Aged 21 years 10 months.

No one he loved was by his side,

To bid a fond farewell ;

Or give one word of comfort,

To him they loved so well.

Inserted by his father and mother, sisters and brothers.

dead in action form

Francis Lyle Morris

Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 1 Plot 1

26th October, 1916


It is with feelings of extreme regret that we are called upon this week to report the death of Francis Lyle Morris, second eldest son of Sergeant William Morris, of Gosford.

The sad event took place in the Sydney Hospital on Friday morning last, the cause of death being *Bright’s disease.

The deceased who was 21 years and 1 month of age, was born at Carinda, and finished his education at Burwood Superior Public School. He entered the Postal Department as a telegraph messenger at Gosford Post Office, and at the time of his death was relieving Postmaster at Cessnock.

Four weeks ago he was taken seriously ill, and admitted to Cessnock Hospital. Sergeant Morris was later on sent for, and the young man was subsequently removed to Sydney Hospital, where the end came a week after admission.

Young Mr. Morris was a gentlemanly and courteous official, and was popular with all sections of the community. He had reached a high standard in the Service,’ and was a brilliant operator. His elder brother, Cecil, was killed at Lone Pine. At that time Lyle, though under age, was also in khaki, but withdrew in response to his mother’s pleadings. The remains were brought to Gosford and interred in Point Clare cemetery on Saturday afternoon. The funeral was largely attended, and Rev. Father Kelly conducted the burial service.

*Bright’s Disease is a term for Renal/Kidney failure.