Joseph and Robert Compton General Lawn Section 3 Row 1 Plot 6

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Joseph Compton was quite a character around town. He was an enthusiastic religious type who went about the district door knocking to spread the good word (ahead of his time really) He attempted to become the local member in 1922 as an independent and ran the local Ourimbah to Gosford Bus company.

24 November 1921


While on his rounds as a Missionary for the Society of Christian Israelites on Wednesday of last week, Mr. Joseph H. Compton, of Narara, had a most trying experience.

Leaving Gosford early in the day, the weather being fine, though cloudy, he proceeded to Somersby on foot, visiting the different homes en route. Making the last call at Mr. Gambling’s, he started for his home for Narara, past ‘Sylvania,’ intending to keep to the old timber getters’ track, and so strike the Old Carrington Road.

But by some mischance, he missed the same, it being very indistinct in places, and until near six in the evening, passed an uncomfortable) time among the gullies and swamps. He states, however, that only momentarily did he have any uneasiness in mind, in 6pite of the depressing loneliness, feeling as if surrounded by the presence of the faithful departed ‘ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of- salvation.’

A good faith and quiet confidence are a great help when lost in the bush. Finding a track he followed it, only to discover its source, a pile of debris, deep down in a gully. It was now getting dark and drizzling rain falling.

Retracing his steps he, at last, struck the old Narara Road, and a further walk of five miles, in rain and darkness, brought him to his home, about half past nine at night. Our old friend was none the worse for his adventure, but, when speaking about the ‘lost sheep of the House of Israel,’ he will now be able to preach from personal experience.

23 August 1928

COMPTON.— In sad and loving memory of my dear husband and our father, Joseph Herbert, who  passed away August 20th, 1927; aged 50 years.

Loving and true in all his ways, Upright and just till the end of his days, Ready to help in time of need, Loving in thought, and kind in deed.

Inserted by his loving wife, Lucy, and family — Robert, Herbert, Ruby, Rachel, Alwyne, Edward and Joseph.

Robert Compton was 20 when he took over his father’s bus company in 1927 and made a go of it by all accounts then this happened.

5 January 1933

Mr. R. Compton


A shock was occasioned his many friends in this district yesterday when it was learned that Mr. Robert Compton, proprietor of the Gosford  Ourimbah bus service, had expired suddenly about noon. Mr.  Compton, who is a single man, 26 years of age, appeared in his usual state of health to most passengers when he made his early morning trip to Gosford yesterday, although it is since known that he had complained of being ill the previous day, when on one of his trips to Ourimbah.

He met the 11.15 a.m. train at Gosford yesterday and then brought his ‘bus to its usual stand near’ the corner of Gregory’s refreshment rooms. He had occasion to go to the Union Hotel shortly afterwards, and a little later, was found dead in the yard of that hostelry. It is believed that death is due to what is known as an athletic heart. He was an amateur cyclist of considerable prominence, and took part in the last Goulburn to Sydney and Coolac to Melbourne road races.

Deceased enjoyed a wide circle

of friends, who will all deplore his sudden and untimely end. Sincere sympathy will be extended to his , mother, with whom he resided at Narara, .and also his two sisters and three brothers, one of whom  (Herb.) is also a professional cycle rider and finished seventh in the last Goulburn  Sydney road race, run on September 17th.

The funeral of the deceased will move from his mother’s home, Maitland ‘Road, Narara, at 4 o’clock, this

afternoon, for the general portion of the Point Clare cemetery, Mr. R. H. Creighton having charge of the arrangements.

An inquiry will be held in the course of a few days.

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12 January 1933

The Late Mr. R. Compton


Robert Compton was the eldest son of the late Joseph H. Compton and Mrs. Compton, of Narara. Born at Perth, W.A., on 8th May, 1907, he has been a resident of this district for the past 12 years. He ttended Gosford High School, and was employed as junior porter at the Narara railway station for five years ‘before taking over the Ourimbah-Gosford ‘bus service.

Always courteous and obliging, he endeared himself to all who knew him. A young man, in the prime of his life, with all life’s enjoyment before him- we most sincerely sympathise with Miss Lauris Wright, of Melbourne, his fiancee, and those others left to mourn their loss — his mother, two sisters  (Ruby and Rachel), and four brothers (Herbert, Alwyn, Edward, and Joseph).

The funeral, the arrangements for which were in the able hands of Mr. R. H. Creighton, was largely  attended. The chief mourners were his mother, brothers and sisters, Mr. J. Johnson, of Sans Souci (an uncle), and Mrs. E. Rose, of Sydney (an aunt). The pall bearers were Messrs Jack Gavenlock  (Narara), Cecil Morris, and Reg  Brown  (Ourimbah), and Geoff Humphrey  (Lisarow). The graveside service was conducted by Mr. Chas. Hill, minister of the Christian Israelite Church, of Sydney, and an old friend of the family, assisted by Mr. Clifton Gray.

The M.U.I.O.O.F., of which deceased was a member, was represented in regalia.


25 January 1933

Bob Compton’s Death



Mr W E. Kirkness, District Coroner yesterday morning held an inquiry into the death of Robert Compton,  aged 25 years, who expired suddenly on the morning of January 4th.

John Young fruit grower of Gosford, said about 9.10 a.m. on January 4thI received  a telephone message, and was in the company with Sergt. McPherson, he went to the rear of the Union Hotel, Gosford, where he saw the body of a man lying flat on his back. It was  the body of Robert Compton, who was well known to him.

He rang Dr. Paul, Government Medical Officer, who attended and pronounced life extinct after  examining the body. Later, about  11.30 a.m., he was present at the morgue when the post  mortem examination was made by Dr. Paul. The deceased’s stomach, kidneys and liver were removed, sealed,  and sent to the Government Analyst, whose report on the same he submitted.

This stated that no trace of any poison had been found therein. Compton was a man of good character and a teetotaller to his knowledge.

There were no marks of violence on the body other than that his nose was broken, probably from a fall. It did not enter his mind that anyone else was the cause of his death. He made some inquiries to ascertain the cause of death.

He found that on the previous night the bus which he was driving broke down, and in pushing it up a hill he overstrained himself.

Deceased left home on the morning of his death, apparently his usual self. He had a good breakfast, arrived at Gosford, in his bus about 9 a.m., spoke to a man under Canning’s verandah, and walked to the letter box near Reed’s corner and posted a letter. He was quite happy in the bus and there- was no evidence that lie was not well. Deceased was a cyclist and might have overstrained himself riding without knowing it. He took part in two big road races last year.

Lucy Compton, widow, Narara, and mother ‘Of the deceased, said her son was 25 years of age. There was no indication he was in ill-health on the morning of his death. He did not tell her about pushing the bus the previous night.

Some time back the deceased went to Dr. Dwyer, who said his heart was all right. He had had no serious illnesses. His life was insured in the T. & G. Company for approximately £500. He owned no property and was a single man.

Arthur Joshua Hitchcock, barman at the Union Hotel, said on January 4th, from something he was told, he went to the back yard of the hotel where he saw deceased lying face downward in one of the  lavatories, the door of which, was closed. His face was all blue, and be could not recognise him at first.

His face was doubled up right under his body. He reported the matter to Mrs. Gibson, housekeeper at the Union Hotel, who communicated with the police. He did not have any opinion about the cause of death. He knew deceased for years. He was of sober habits, and did not touch alcoholic drinks at all. He had not heard him complain about his health. It was between 9 and 9.30 when he found the deceased. Dr. Paul, Government Medical officer, said ‘he examined the body of the deceased at the hotel.

He had just died. There was a bruise on his left and and a bruise on the bridge of the nose, otherwise there was no evidence of injury. At the request of the Coroner he made a post mortem. He opened the thorax, found the lungs to be. healthy, the heart to be enlarged, the left ventricle being much hypertrophated. The heart was engorged with blood, having stopped in diastole. He opened the abdomen and found evidence of an old appendicitis operation, otherwise the organs were normal. He opened the brain cavity and found the brain to be normal.

To the Coroner, the witness said at that stage the heart was sufficiently enlarged to have been a possible cause of death. He removed the stomach, kidney and portion of the liver, which he handed to the police to forward to the Government Analyst. He had seen %, the Analyst’s report and had come to me conclusion malfunctioning and  hypertrophated heart, causing heart failure. He thought deceased had what was known as an athlete’s heart.

This meant that the muscle’ wall was very much thickened. To his mind, there were no suspicious circumstances.

The Coroner found that the deceased died from natural causes with an, overstraining of the muscles of the heart.

The Gosford-Ourimbah Bus Service was purchased by Mr Robert Compton during 1927. After Robert’s death in 1933 Mrs Lucy Compton (Roberts mother)and Herbert, her son, became proprietors.


Later Herbert’s share was purchased by his mother who became sole proprietor. On 9/3/34 Alwyne Compton joined his mothers business as a driver and later became a partner. On her death during 1964 Alwyne became sole proprietor until his retirement on 1/2/1974 and the business was sold to Davis.

The Joyce Memorial

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A monument commemorates seven workmen who perished when the Joyce sank.

In May 1948, a party of workmates from the Nielsen slipper factory (the 1907 built `old` Bayview Hotel) planned a weekend fishing trip. A 22 foot cabin launch “Joyce“, was borrowed from the father of one of the group. They left Ettalong anticipating a good catch. On Sunday 16th May a south-westerly gale blew up, which was described by fishermen as possibly the strongest in 10 years. On Monday morning of the 17th May it was reported that two launches with a total of 11 people were missing. Another launch Syd had left Patonga, and was last seen off West Head.

An extensive search involving RAAF Catalinas from Rathmines, and search and rescue vessels failed to find any trace of either the Joyce or the Syd. Eventually, all 7 men were believed drowned. A memorial to the victims of the Joyce disaster was eventually erected outside the Nielsen Slipper Factory in Railway Street. It is believed to have stood there up until the early 1960s. The memorial was moved to the Waterfront Reserve at Koolewong, where it was vandalised and neglected. Today, the restored monument stands at the entrance to Point Clare Cemetery. Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW), .

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16 May 1949

GOSFORD, Sunday. A 12 foot high granite obelisk to the memory of the seven members of the 22-foot launch Joyce, which left Ettalong 12 months ago yesterday and has not been seen again, was unveiled this afternoon in the grounds where the men had worked in a slipper factory at Woy Woy. More than 500 relatives and friends of the men saw the unveiling by the Managing-Director (Mr. F. L. Neilsen), who contributed £1000 to the cost of the obelisk. On the same day 12 months ago the 16-foot launch, Sid, with three men and a youth on board, also vanished from Patonga, a few miles south.
17 May 1948

Two Launches,

11 People Missing

Two launches, containing fishing parties of 10 men and a boy, have been missing from Ettalong and Patonga since Saturday.

The police launch and other launches searched 40 miles of open sea and inlets to dusk last sight for the launches. The search will be resumed at dawn no-day. Planes and ships have been asked to keep watches.

A strong westerly wind blew all yesterday, and it is feared that if the engines broke down the craft may have been blown to sea.

A launch, with a fishing party of seven under the charge of Mr Norman Lester, Alpha-street, Woy Woy, is missing from Ettalong; the other, containing three men and a boy, from Upper Patonga, near Broken Bay.

Those missing from are.

Cecil Aubrey Murray, 43, of Carey Sreet, Marrickville.

Hugh Murray, 41, Belmore Street. Burwood.

Brian Murray, 14, same address.

Neville Harcourt Walters, 35, Pittwater-road, Manly.

Had Little Food The seven men in the launch missing from Woy Woy, a 22-foot raised deck, half-cabin type named Joyce. had food for only one meal. They left Woy Woy at 5.30 a.m. on Saturday. It is not known whether they intended to fish out side the Hawkesbury River Heads but they were seen in Jerusalem Bay in the river, on Saturday afternoon. The other launch, the Syd, a 16 root half-cabin type, is claimed by its owner to be unsinkable. It was seen near the Flint and Steel, a rocky reel running ont to sea from he north entrance to Palm Beach. about 12.30 p.m. on Saturday. An other local resident claims to have seen it about 4 p.m. There was plenty of petrol on board, but the party had only a small quantity of food.

Wants Plane Search Mr. T. J. Smith. from whom the Patonga boat was hired, said last night that it was imperative that an air search be launched at dawn to-day. He subscribed to the view of expert fishermen at Patonga that the launches might be 40 to 45 miles off the coast, making it necessary for planes to take part in the search.

Before Lester and his party left Ettalong in the Joyce. he was asked by the boatshed proprietor when he would return. Lester replied, “Expect us when you see us.”

slippper factory

A number of launches searched between Cowan Waters and Woy Woy yesterday, without success.

The Sydney Harbour pilot steamer Captain Cook stood by throughout the night to go to the rescue

if news of either vessel was reported.

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18 May 1948

Air, Sea Launch Search Fails

An extensive search by flying-boat and launches was made without success for nearly

10 hours yesterday for the launches, Syd and Joyce, which have been missing from Patonga and Ettalong since Saturday.

A Catalina flying boat set out from Rathmines Base at 7 a.m. yesterday to search the coast from Palm Beach north. The plane also made an ocean sweep covering hundreds of miles without success. It returned to base about 5.30 p.m. Launches from Sydney and Ettalong also searched at sea and along the coast. A sharp lookout was kept from shore by lighthouse keepers and police.

Two Catalenas will continue the search to-day. Ten men and a 14-year old boy are in the launches.

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Those in the Joyce are:-

Norman Eric Lester, 21, .single, Apha road. Woy Woy.

Brian Morris Parsons, 56, AlField road, Woy Woy.

Robert Hayes, 30, single, Broken Bay-road. Ettalong.:

Peter Broadfoot, 24, married, Ettalong.

Berty Cyril Law, 37, married Wallaby-street, Blackwall.

Norman John Tolley, 25, married, South-street, Ocean Beach.

Arthur Bowyer, 41, married, Alpha-road, Woy Woy.

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Lighthouses and ships have been told to keep sharp lookouts for the lauches. The police in Newcastle have asked out stations in the south and north coastal areas to report immediately if they see the launches.


20 May 1949

‘Joyce’ Launch Victims Are Remembered

A monument was unveiled in the grounds of the C. P. and R. Nielsen Slipper Factory, Woy Woy. on Sunday and dedicated to the memory of seven employees of the firm who were lost on the launch Joyce twelve months ago.

The launch Joyce left Ettalong on Saturday, May 15, 1948, and no trace was found of her or her seven occupants after an extensive air and sea search for more than a fortnight.

The managing director of the firm (Mi- S. L. Nielsen) unveiled the monument after a service by the Rev R. W. L. Ayscough, of Woy Woy.

The Minister for Building Materials (Mr W. E. Dickson) was a guest at the function.


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Alfred Bennett Church of England Section 8 Row 20 Plot 1


18 August 1953


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

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

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

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

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

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The subsequent Inquest found,

11 September 1953


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

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

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



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

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