Saturday, 18 February 2012

Sympathy Saturday - A sad story

In my very first post


I wrote 
 "I was looking through my grandmother's photo album (or one of them) and I saw a photo of a grave.  I asked her whose it was and she said it was her first husband.

There was a photo of a little boy always on the sideboard.  One day I realised the photo of the little boy looked a bit different to the photo of my Dad.
I asked Nana who he was.  She replied "That was my first little boy who died."

She didn't encourage further questions so I left it there and being only young I had no clue as to the trials she had been through."

My grandmother, Brenda Mary Adams was born in Kensington, Victoria, Australia in 1905 to John Adams and Mary Agnes Morgan.  I only found out recently, after new additions to the Trove newspaper archives, that her parents had been separated for quite a few years.

Nana had 4 older siblings, two boys and two girls,  and a younger brother.  There were a dozen or more articles in the Essendon Gazette spanning nearly seven years (1913 to 1919) about court cases in which her mother took her father to court for child maintenance because he had deserted her and seemingly shacked up with another woman.  He even had to be extradited from Adelaide, South Australia to answer to the courts.  

On the first of September, 1928, Brenda married Eric Ebor John Daniels.  He was a young driver who lived around the corner from where she was living in Canning Street, North Melbourne.  At the time she was working as a confectioner at the McRobertson's factory in Fitzroy.  Eric's father, William McDonald Daniels, was a produce merchant in Newmarket.

Eric must have become ill only about a year or so after their marriage.

In February 1930 Eric and Brenda had a little boy, Ronald Francis Daniels.  Eric had a brother named Ronald and Brenda's younger brother was Francis so I can see how they chose their baby's name.

In the photo that always sat on Nana's sideboard, little Ronald had long curly locks.  
Nana always blamed his first haircut for the disease he contracted and from which he died on the 15th of December, 1931.   His death certificate stated cause of death was Influenzal Meningitis.  
(Dad told me she wouldn't get his hair cut until he started to look like a girl!)

Eric died on the 17th of January 1932, just one month after his baby son.  The disease that took Eric was Hodgkin's Disease and his death certificate stated that he had it for two and a half years.

Eric and his little boy are buried together at Fawkner Memorial Park. 

Then only 18 months later in August 1933 my grandmother lost her mother from cardiac failure and cerebral haemorrhage. 

What a hell of a period in her life.  The odd thing is that I have not yet found any newspaper death or funeral notices for any of them.  
I hope one day to be able to visit their grave at Fawkner.  


1 comment:

  1. What a heartbreaking story! I don't know how your grandmother endured losing her child, husband and mother in such a short time. I hope she did find much happiness later on in life. She certainly deserved it.

    In regards to locating obituaries for them, have you checked the papers for neighboring towns/cities where they lived? It seems their deaths would have appeared in a newspaper somewhere. Especially considering the deaths of of her baby son and husband occuring in such a short period of time. Typically newspapers would report on that. Best wishes in your search!