Ivy Jane Walsh

F, b. 8 October 1896, d. February 1926
  • Ivy Jane Walsh was born on 8 October 1896 in Deloraine, Tasmania. She was the daughter of William WALSH and Maria LAREDO.
  • Ivy Jane Walsh married Edgar John Walker, son of George Walker and Louisa Burgess, circa 1920.
  • Ivy Jane Walsh died in February 1926 in Wollery's Mill, Gilderoy, Victoria, at age 29. Her husband Edgarr and two sons Bertie and Kenneth died in a bushfire.
  • On 10 March 1926 "The Argus" newspaper reported on the coroners finding into the deaths of those lost in the bushfires. It read " VICTIMS OF THE FIRES.

    SUFFERING AND HEROISM.

    SURVIVORS' STORIES

    Graphic Evidence at Inquest.

    (BY OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)

    Stories told at inquests held yesterday by the city coioner (Nr. D. Berriman) into the deaths of the bush fire victims in the Warburton and Powelltown districts told realistically of the suffering and heroism of the survivors. The first inquiry was held in the Yarra Junction Shire Hall in the morning and concerned the deaths of 14 people at Worlley's mill Gilderoy, and two at Powelltown. Women in black wept silently throughout the hearing of the evidence and among the witnesses were Arthur Walker and Harry King the only two survivors of the mill party which sought safety on an old farm and was cut off by the flames. Both men, who have been in the Melbourne Hospital had their right arms in slings. Smoke from fires in the surrounding hills swirled through the hall during the hearing

    In the afternoon the lnquiry at Warburton related to six deaths at Big Pat's Creek including those of the five members of the Donald family. The alarm bell sounded twice while the hearing was in progress and as witnesses gave their evidence they were released to join the volunteers fighting the fires round Warburton.

    All the deaths occured on Sunday, February 14.

    The victims at Powelltown and Gilderoy were: - Lindsay Douglas King aged 21 years, mill hand single; Leslie Carl Hay age 31 years, mill hand married five children; Sydney Johns aged 31 years mill hand, single; Herber Johns aged l8 years; Richard Cyril Duncan aged two years and seven months; Ivy Jane Walker aged 29 years married; Edgar John Walker aged 31 years mill worker married two years; Bertie Walker aged four years; Kenneth Walker aged three years; Albert Lunson aged 22 years timber worker single; Valentine Walsh age 27 years timber worker single; Lawrence Roberts aged 28 years mill hand single; Joseph Charles Ross Johnstone aged 34 years engine-driver married one child; Albert Ernest Sand- ham aged 26 years mill hand single; Walter Ernest Charle Bull aged 39 years telegraphist married; William Anson aged 67 years labourer single.

    Tho coroner was assisted bv Subinspector Gardner. Mr Maurice Blackburn appeared for the relatives of the deceased, and for the Victorian branch of the Australian Timber Workers' Union.

    Arthur Mark Bowe, winchdriver, Yarra Junction, said My wife was keeping a boarding house for the employees of the mill. At half past 10 o clock in the morningg I noticed a fire burning near Saxton' s mill, about a mile and a half away. An hour later burning sticks and bark came overhead and set the hill on the west side alight. By a quartet to 2 o 'clock the fire had almost reached the mill. My son Clarence and I started to make a fire break about 10ft wide at the back of the house.

    I called on the others, to help me, but they were all running about excitedly. The fire came up to our break and stopped but it worked round and caught another house close by, which set our house on fire. Men, wonen, and children made for the horse trough, and buried their luggage. I went to get a tin of water so that we could have a drink when the fire had passed over I called to the others, "The water is all gone! Get down to the creek'! That is our only chance." They left the horse trough and started for the creek. I was some distance behind when I noticed most ot the party leaving the creek. My wife, Mrs Duncan, and Clarence stayed with me and I called to the others," For God's sake don't go up there, or you are caught!"

    Lindsay King shouted, "Come on. It is all right. We can get through." They kept going and that was the last time that I saw any of them alive except Arthur Walker and Harry King. I know that they could not get through the fire and shortly afterwards it crossed the tramline behind them, so that they could not get back. We crouched in the creek and the fire swept over us at a terrific pace. The heat was unbearable. Later, I came out of the creek, and met Walker and Harry King coming towards me. King was on his hands and knees. Walker was stumbling and fell into the creek. I carried King to the creek, and poured water over them both. They were badly burned. Walking along the tramline I found the bodies of the remainder of the party. I counted 13 bodies. When it came dusk, we all left the creek and went to the top of the hill, where we remained all night.

    Lillian Howe, wife of the previous witness, said that Mrs Duncan and she would have perished in the creek had not her husband kept throwing water over them. On their way to Saxton's mill the following morning, they were blocked at one point by a large burning tree which had fallen across the track. Exhausted and hungry, they were compelled to scrape away the sand with their hands to make a hole large enough to crawl under the tree. King and Walker, who were smoke blind and badly burned, had then to be dragged through this hole.

    Elizabeth Duncan, married woman, said:

    My son, Richard Duncan. aged two years and seven months, was burnt to death in the fire. I had been assisting Mrs Rowe in conducting the boating house, and had only been at Gilderoy for a week. When we were in the creek Mr Len King took my boy and tried to make to safety at the old farm with him but was compelled to turn back. He then left my boy with the remainder of the party, and that was the last time I saw him alive.

    Main Party Cut Off

    Arthur George Walker, sawmill hand said: While the others stayed in the creek, the main party tried tn reach some cleared land up the hill. We had gone about half-way when the fire leapt up in front of us. We turned and rushed back towards the creek, but when we reached the log yard we saw that the fire was aleady over the creek. We were cut off and could neither advance nor retreat. Lind say King took Mrs Walker and tried to force his way through the flames with her. They got half way and had to come back. I then attempted to reach safety with Mrs Walker but was also forced back. I could then see that there was no chance of saving anyone so I ran through the log yard, through the mill, which was on fire, and into the creek. Harry King had gone this way some minutes before. We dropped into the creek, and stayed there for three hours.

    Reoovory of Bodies.

    Mounted constable F.R.H. Raper, stationed at Yarra Junction, said that while conveying the body of Ernest Bull to Yarra Junction he heard of the disaster at Gilderoy. He left Bull's body at Saxton's house and went to the mill which he found had been totally destroyed. He described the finding of the bodies. In one place seven bodies were huddled together, three being those of children.

    Charles Reuben Lewis, mill hand, said that he left the mill at noon on Saturday and returned on the Mondav morning from Yarra Junction. He described the finding of the bodies and how he had been able to identify them by articles of their property.

    John Henry Hudson, labourer, Yarra Junction, described the finding of a body burned beyond recognition. Lying beside it was an imitation pin made of cardboard in the form of a Union Jack, and with the name on it in ink "Joseph Johnstone." Johnstone had worn this pin ever since witness had known him.

    Death of Ernest Bull

    A statement made by Arthur Bryant butcher, Powelltown, to Detective McKerrall was read. ln this he said:-About 6 o'clock on the Sunday night I went to Morris's slaughter-yard in Powelltown to kill a beast and some sheep for the following day. Alexander Sparks and Ernest Bull were with me. Bush fires were in the hills on every side, and the smoke was very thick. Bull returned to Powell- town. I released the cattle and sheep and we then lit two small fires as a break against the main fire which was closing in on all sides. We tried to cross the gully but the scrub was so thick that we could not get through. As we ran back towards the pigsty Bull cried, " I am done," and fell on his knees. I said, "Come on; we will be burnt to to death,"and Sparks and I helped him to the pig- sty. The fire became too hot and we moved into the sty among the pigs. But then the sty caught fire and we were forced out of it, and Bull threw himself in the ground and exclaimed," I am done."

    He kept catching his throat and asked us to cut his throat. He then lay still and did not speak. I examined him, feeling heart and pulse, and he appeared to be dead. The sty was then burning fiercely, and we were compelled to run through the flames to the railway line to save our own lives. That night we returned to the spot with others and found Bull's charred body near the pigsty.

    Fatal Refusal to Leave

    Charles Henry King, a line-repairer, Powelltown, said - About a quartar to 4 o'clock on the Sunday afternoon. accompanied by Carl Thomas, I went to No 13 mill, as the fires were raging there. Willliam Anson was sitting at his hut door, and the fire was burning fiercely on the l hill opposite the hut. I said to him, "You had better pack up, Bill and come with us." He replied, "No, Charlie; I have a little patch on the top of the hill and if the mill catches fire I am going up there." I tried in every way to induce him to leave the hut but he refused to do so. Fires broke out round his hut and I tried to put them out but it was no use. The heat became so intense that we had to run away or we would have been burned. Eventually we reached Cummings house, which is two miles dis- tant. On the Tuesday I was one of a search party which recovered Anson's body. It was lying three chains from his hut in the direction of the cleared patch which he had indicated.

    Origin of Fire

    Carl Thomas labourer Powelltown gavesimilar evidence.

    Senior detective A 1 McKerrall said that his inquiries showed that the fire had begun on Mount Donna Buang about January 3, and had burnt slowly in the hills till February 14 when it had been fanned into activity by the north wind and had leapt through the bush.

    Coroner's Praise

    Tlie coroner found that the deaths of the 16 people had been caused through burns accidentally received in a bush fire.

    "I desire ," he added, " to bear testimony in such words as I can to the wonderful courage shown by the women and the men who met this holocaust on the fateful Sunday afternoon. It moves one deeply, even to think of it. Thy showed the courage that we expect from the sons and daughters of our race but they showed it in a mar- vellous way." The coroner spoke of the excellent work performed by the people of Yarra Junction in helping to bring out the bodies of the dead and in succouring the homeless. The police had given of their time and energies to the full extent- first, he was sure, as men, and second as servants of the Government. He knew, perhaps better than most, how ungrudgingly they bad gone without food and without sleep. He acknowledged also the assistance which he had received from Senior detective McKerrall, by the fine manner in which he had prepared a difficult brief."

Children of Ivy Jane Walsh and Edgar John Walker

James Walsh

M, b. 1868

James Alexander Walsh

M, b. 1891

John Walsh

M, b. circa 1855

John Walsh

M, b. 1830, d. 12 November 1908
  • John Walsh was born in 1830 in County Kildare, Ireland. He was the son of John Walsh and Ann Corrigan.
  • John Walsh married Ellen Long circa 1865 in Queensland.
  • In 1901 John was listed as a farmer of Geham in the 1901 Crow's Nest Post Office Directory.
  • John Walsh and Ellen Long appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1908 living at Blossom Farm, Geham. John was a farmer. Their daughter Ellen carried out home duties and son Edward was a farmer of Geham. Son John Patrick was a labourer.
  • John Walsh died on 12 November 1908 in Queensland.
  • He was buried on 13 November 1908 in Cabarlah Cemetery. RC1-00A-0043.

Children of John Walsh and Ellen Long

John Walsh

M, b. 1911

John Decourcy Walsh

M, b. circa 1900

John Patrick Walsh

M, b. 1874, d. 1912
  • John Patrick Walsh was born in 1874 in Queensland.
  • He was the son of John Walsh and Ellen Long.
  • John Patrick Walsh appeared on the Electoral Roll with Ellen Long in 1903 in Blossom Farm, Geham. John was a farmer. Their sons Edward and John Patrick were labourers.
  • John Patrick Walsh appeared on the Electoral Roll with John Walsh and Ellen Long in 1908 in Blossom Farm, Geham. John was a farmer. Their daughter Ellen carried out home duties and son Edward was a farmer of Geham. Son John Patrick was a labourer.
  • John Patrick Walsh died in 1912 in Queensland.

Joseph Walsh

M, b. circa 1885, d. 1960
  • Joseph Walsh was born circa 1885. He was the son of James Alexander Walsh and Jane.
  • Joseph Walsh married Roseanna Idella Crawford, daughter of Henry Crawford and Elizabeth Crozier, in 1909 in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Joseph Walsh died in 1960 in Lismore, New South Wales.

Julia Walsh

F, b. 1889

Margaret Walsh

F, b. 1884

Mary (Minnie) Walsh

F, b. 1879, d. 26 August 1953
  • Mary (Minnie) Walsh was born in 1879 in Queensland.
  • She was the daughter of John Walsh and Ellen Long.
  • At the age of 30 years, Mary (Minnie) Walsh married William O'Sullivan, son of Thomas O'Sullivan and Bridget Garvey, in 1909 in Queensland.
  • Mary (Minnie) Walsh appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1913 living at Crow's Nest. She carried out home duties.
  • On 27 June 1952,her husband, William O'Sullivan died in Queensland.
  • Mary (Minnie) Walsh died on 26 August 1953 in Queensland.
  • She was buried on 27 August 1953 in Drayton & Toowoomba Cemetery. RC5-010-0059.

Mary Elizabeth Walsh

F, b. circa 1905
  • Mary Elizabeth Walsh was born circa 1905.

Maurice John Walsh

M, b. circa 1910
  • Maurice John Walsh was born circa 1910. He was the son of TM Walsh.

Sarah Walsh

F, b. 1841, d. 26 January 1903
  • Sarah Walsh was born in 1841. She was the daughter of Thomas WALSH and Mary DARCY.
  • At the age of 22 years, Sarah Walsh married Mathew Gleeson, son of James Gleeson and Ann Costello, on 21 November 1863 in Queensland.
  • Sarah Walsh died on 26 January 1903 in Queensland.
  • She was buried in Crow's Nest Cemetery.

Children of Sarah Walsh and Mathew Gleeson

Thomas Walsh

M, b. 1881, d. 1881
  • Thomas Walsh died in 1881 in Queensland.
  • He was born in 1881 in Queensland.
  • He was the son of John Walsh and Ellen Long.

Thomas Walsh

M, b. 1838, d. 21 December 1910
  • Thomas Walsh was born in 1838 in Kilkenny, Ireland.
  • He appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1903 living at Cabarlah. Thomas was a farmer.
  • Thomas Walsh died on 21 December 1910 in Queensland.
  • He was buried on 23 December 1910 in Cabarlah Cemetery. RC1-00C-0006.

Christina Walter

F, b. 1839, d. 2 September 1906
  • Christina Walter was born in 1839. She was the daughter of Johann Walher and Katerine Hobar.
  • Christina Walter married Christioph Frederick Heilig, son of Gottlieb Heilig, circa 1865.
  • Christina Walter died on 2 September 1906 in Queensland.
  • She was buried in Cabarlah Cemetery.

Children of Christina Walter and Christioph Frederick Heilig

Rosina Gottliebin Walter

F, b. circa 1836
  • Rosina Gottliebin Walter was born circa 1836.
  • Rosina Gottliebin Walter married John Frederick Wecker, son of Michael Wecker and Catherine Heinrich, circa 1859.
  • Rosina Gottliebin Walter and John Frederick Wecker immigrated to Moreton Bay on 31 July 1862. Frederick, 30 and Gottlebin 25 travelled on the La Rochelle with their 11 year old nephew Michael and a Caroline Wecker from Wurtenberg.
  • In 1869,her husband, John Frederick Wecker died in Brisbane, Queensland. There is a death registration for a Frederick Weekes for that year, although no parent's names are given and the age is given as 30.
  • Rosina Gottliebin Walter married Carl Wilhelm Scholz in 1871 in Brisbane, Queensland.

Children of Rosina Gottliebin Walter and John Frederick Wecker

Alfred Oscar Walters

M, b. circa 1880
  • Alfred Oscar Walters was born circa 1880.
  • Alfred Oscar Walters married Hazel Hughs circa 1910.

Child of Alfred Oscar Walters and Hazel Hughs

Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters

F, b. 1833, d. 13 June 1926
  • Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters was born in 1833.
  • Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters married Eduard Christrich Kath circa 1860.
  • Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters and Eduard Christrich Kath immigrated to Queensland on 29 April 1884. Edwuard 56 and Antonie 51, travelled on the Almore with their children Herman 21, Heinrich 13, William 17 and Louise 10. Their details were recorded under the Free Nominated Section.
  • In 1885,her husband, Eduard Christrich Kath died in Queensland.
  • Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters appeared on the Electoral Roll with Heinrich Kath and Johanna Albertine Nitz in 1903 in Glencoe. Henirich was a farmer and Johanna carried out home duties. His mother Antonio Kath aslo lived at Glencoe.
  • Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1925 living at Glencoe. She carried out home duties.
  • Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters died on 13 June 1926 in Queensland.
  • She was buried in Glencoe Cemetery.

Children of Antonia Hetwig Henriette Walters and Eduard Christrich Kath

Beryl Iris Walters

F, b. 1912, d. 24 September 1941

Charles George Walters

M, b. 6 February 1899, d. 12 July 1946
  • Charles George Walters was born on 6 February 1899. He was the son of Charles Thomas Walters and Ellen Quainton.
  • At the age of 20 years, 5 months and 16 days, Charles George Walters married Rosetta (Etta) Blinco, daughter of Thomas William Blinco and Emily Rosina Wellington, on 22 July 1919 in Queensland.
  • Charles George Walters died on 12 July 1946 in Queensland at age 47.
  • He was buried on 14 July 1946 in Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery. CE2A-005-0009.

Elizabeth Walters

F, b. 2 August 1852, d. 24 July 1942
  • Elizabeth Walters was born on 2 August 1852 in Westbury, Tasmania. She was the daughter of Charlie WALTERS and Elizabeth BINGLEY.
  • At the age of 18 years, 8 months and 26 days, Elizabeth Walters married Henry Charles Burgess, son of George Burgess and Ann Haines, on 28 April 1871 in Deloraine, Tasmania. They had 12 children. The three younger boys moved to New Zealand.
  • On 9 April 1937,her husband, Henry Charles Burgess died in Flowerdale, Wynyard, Tasmania, at age 88.
  • Elizabeth Walters died on 24 July 1942 in Wynyard, Tasmania, at age 89.
  • She was buried in Flowerdale Cemetery.

Children of Elizabeth Walters and Henry Charles Burgess

George Walters

M, b. circa 1905

John J C Walters

M, b. circa 1885

Mary Ann Walters

F, b. circa 1885

Children of Mary Ann Walters and John Thomas Kingston

Thelma Sarah Walters

F, b. circa 1910

Ada Ward

M, b. 1911

Albert Ward

M, b. circa 1894
  • Albert Ward was born circa 1894 in Queensland.
  • Albert Ward married Doris Vera Austin, daughter of William John Honey Austin and Ellen Jane Wilson, on 21 December 1922 in Queensland.
  • Albert Ward and Doris Vera Austin appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1925 living at Holms Street, Brighton. Albert was a farmer and Doris carried out home duties. They lived with Albert's father Albert senior and a Mary Ellen Ward.
  • Albert Ward and Doris Vera Austin appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1936 living at Holmes Street, Brighton. Albert was a labourer and Doris carried out home duties.
  • Albert Ward and Doris Vera Austin appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1954 living at The Springs, Highvale. Albert was a farmer and Doris carried out home duties. Their son was a farm hand at the same address.