The images below and information kindly given
by Elaine Delaney
Below are a couple of newspaper clippings of interest for my grandparents, Walter Patrick (nb: they have Percival in the clipping but it was always Patrick as far as the family are aware) and my grandmother, Wilhemina Mary Roberts.
My grandfather's parents were Charles Roberts and Margaret Pendergast
(Taken from grandparent's graves)
Wilhemina Mary Roberts 20.4.1954 69yrs.
Walter Patrick Roberts 3.8.1954 74yrs At Rest.
Also Taken from headstones where the two sisters were buried together at Towamba Cemetery.-
Ida Johana Roberts 24.9.1952. 70yrs.
Maria Ann McCloy 28.11.1960, 88yrs RIP.
The Obituary for My grandmother explains the family lineage fairly accurately.
Taken from the Net and 'Pambula Voice', Thursday, May 6, 1954.
Late Mrs W.P. Roberts
The death of a highly respected Towamba identity in the person of Mrs W.P. Roberts occurred in the Bega Hospital on April 21st. Mrs Roberts had been failing for some months but was taken suddenly ill on Tuesday morning and passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Deceased was born at Maffra, Victoria, her father dying before she was born. Her mother subsequently married Mr J. McKee of Nimmitabel.
Following her marriage to Walter Percival Roberts, deceased spent a few years in Queensland before coming to Towamba to reside.
(NB: Always Walter Patrick as far as everyone knows).
The late Mrs Roberts was a very capable woman and gained the confidence and friendship of all who had the pleasure to meet her.
Deceased had a great deal of experience in treating children's ailments and must have attended nearly every family in Towamba at some time during her long residence there. She always had a ready smile for all and was eagerly made welcome in any home she visited.
Deceased is sadly missed by her husband Walter, sons Ivan (Canberra), Roy (RAAF), Harold (Sydney), Arthur (Towamba), daughters Josie (Mrs Hugh Carragher, Towamba), Ruby (Mrs William Martin, Pericoe), Sisters Mrs Nellie James (Nimmitabel), Mrs Jack Shelley (Nimmitabel), Mrs William Jennings (Sydney), Mrs Reg Jardine (Wollongong), brothers Gus Kiss (Kyogle), Joshua McKee (Sydney), Joseph McKee (Nimmitabel).
Roy was the only member of the family unable to attend the funeral owing to Air Force duties, but made a trip by Air Force Lincoln bomber and was able to drop a wreath within a few feet of the grave during the burial service as an unusual tribute to a devoted mother.
(Her half brother William David Kiss is not mentioned. His mother is buried at Bobundarah Station NSW. 4 MAR 1875.
This information from :Patricia Walden Marsh, Great granddaughter of William David Kiss half brother of Wilhelmena Kiss Roberts)
|Wing Cmdr Roy Roberts commanding No.1 Bomber Squadron RAAF||Roy's Squadron while CO in Malaysian Emergency,
Another clipping of interest was taken from the 'Bega District News' of April 23, 1954
PILOT'S RESPECTS TO MOTHER
So that he could pay final respects to his mother, the late Mrs Walter Roberts of Towamba, Squadron Leader Roy Roberts of the RAAF, flew over the Towamba Cemetery, on Wednesday while her burial service was proceeding, and dropped a wreath.
However, the airman son was able to arrange a training flight in his Lancaster bomber to coincide with the time of the funeral at Towamba and at 10 minutes to three that afternoon, flew low over the cemetery to orientate himself.
Later, as the service was proceeding, the huge aircraft came in low and with the bomb-aimer clearly visible in the nose of the plane, a wreath was dropped with precision a few feet from the gathering of mourners.
SALUTE TO FATHER
Later, as the package containing the wreath was opened, and the small attached parachute was removed, the aircraft again crossed the cemetery and the young man waved a salute to his father as he passed.
Then, with a waggle of the wings, the Lancaster flew away toward its base and Squadron Leader Roberts had been able to pay tribute to his mother as she was laid to rest.
The gathering of mourners was touched by the expression of respect which had been paid to Mrs Roberts by her son who had been prevented by his duty from making the long trip home for her funeral.
Mrs Roberts died on Tuesday in the Bega District Hospital, and her son, who is due to leave for Darwin at the end of this week, was the only member of the family unable to attend the funeral.
My grandmother's mother, as stated above (noted in the obituary), had been left a widow before the birth of my grandmother. Subsequently she married Jack McKee. She had a natural sister, Nellie James (Kiss) and a brother, Gus Kiss. Her step brothers and sisters were Mrs Jack Shelley, Mrs William Jennings, Mrs Reg Jardine and step-brothers, Joshua McKee and Joseph McKee.
Joyce Shelley married Abbie Paton and they ran the hotel in Nimmitabel. I met Joyce in Community Hospital, Nowra in 1999. Joyce must have been in her 80s and was extremely ill and may in fact have died at that time, although I am not sure. Mum said she was a stunning looking young woman as was her mother and always dressed beautifully. Joyce and Abbie had a number of children, who were educated in Sydney.
My grandmother used to make all the soap for the family (that is, for her mother and husband Jack McKee at their hotel) and also for the hotel run by her step-sister in Nimmitabel.
Charlie Roberts, my grandfather's brother, lived on Towamba Farm and for some time lived in a little cottage opposite Aunty Ida, Uncle Hughie and Aunty Josie. Uncle Allan is Charlie Roberts' son. Charlie's wife died (possibly in childbirth, Mum not sure) and he married Aunty Maggie, Uncle Allan's step-mother. She suffered from diabetes and had both legs amputated eventually. They eventually moved (possibly moving the small house) onto a farm across the river, which was owned in later years by Izzy and Eileen Ryan.
|Grandfather and Grandmother Roberts - Charles and Margaret - with Tom and Jack Carragher|
|Grandfather Walter Patrick Roberts with youngest
Arthur and unknown baby at Parkside Towamba. NSW
|My grandfather Walter Patrick Roberts on
Left, Charlie Laing in
middle and I believe, Frank McMaster on right.
Taken at Towamba. NSW
|Aunties, Stella Grambower, Ida Roberts, Maria
McCloy, and Minnie Carragher - front left
(Hughie's mother). Maria and Ida were sisters
to Aunty Flo, Uncle Charlie Roberts' sister
who lived in Chinchilla, Qld. Stella is Maria's
Ida lived with Josie and Hughie.
Picture taken this year (June 2012) whilst attending Towamba
festival. Parkside homestead/dairy etc is now in ruins but still appears beautiful to me, as so many wonderful memories are tied to this place and the people who lived and loved there. The old kitchen/dining area on right and then the bedrooms/lounge area on left of picture - verandahs and landing all gone now.
|Harold Roberts, Tom Carragher, Edith and Arthur Carragher, Towamba||Allan Roberts, Jim Brownlie, and Alf Beasley.|
|My beautiful Mum, Ruby Ellen Roberts in a ball gown of her own creation and making. Mum would see a picture in magazine, draft pattern onto paper on the floor, cut out and sew on old treadle machine - stylish and a credit to her||My mum, Ruby Ellen Roberts on her father's
Echo at Parkside, Towamba. NSW
|My mum, Ruby, outside Hayfield Homestead, Pericoe, NSW - Hayfield was set up as a country 'hospital' style building for Bill Martins' first wife, Joy Alexander who was a Nurse - wonderful homestead and property I had the privilege to spend many happy years on.||My mother, Ruby Ellen Roberts, with myself
as an infant on the
front verandah at Parkside, Towamba, NSW
|Twins - Harold Augustus and Ruby Ellen Roberts
- taken as Harold
was heading off to War - possibly studio photo
|Mum sitting on car runner board.|
|My mum, Ruby Roberts on Left with Uncle Allan's wife, Jean Roberts on right, in George Dickie's garden, Towamba, NSW||Roma McCleod - Mrs Thompson|
|Ruby Martin (Roberts) with Allan Roberts
at Ruby's 90th birthday party in Walcha, 2009.
|Noelene Scarman (nee Carragher) and Elaine
Delaney (nee Roberts)
sharing a laugh with Elaine's mother, Ruby Ellen Martin (Roberts)
at Ruby's 90th birthday party, Walcha 2009.
Written by my mother, Ruby Ellen Martin (nee
Roberts) in her 90th year - 2009 at Walcha,
" When my parents realised that twins were going to arrive, as the time got close, a big flood was predicted so my mother had to go to Pambula hospital, 32 miles away, just as well as it was the biggest flood of the decade, it swept away the bridge, isolating the little village. As our Post Office and General Store was on the other side of the river from our farm, we didn't have a phone, as everyone had to go to the P.O. to ring up, as we had no Drs. or chemist, only at Pambula.
So we arrived, a boy and a girl, as we grew we were never apart, my brother Harold would always say to mum, if we wanted to go anywhere can (the twins) go.
We had an aunt who never married, living in another cottage on the farm with her mum and dad, grandad, and grandma, and she wanted Mum to give me to her as she was on her own after our grandparents passed away, but that was not to be as we could not be parted.
In my early years I had blond curls and Harold had black hair, mum would always put ribbon on my curls and we would go up the hill hand in hand to see Aunt Ida, and half way up the ribbons would come off and we would go all the way back to mum to fix them, I can remember it all.
Then the war came and Harold went in the army and that was the first time we were parted.
While he was in N.G. (New Guinea) he never missed writing home. I remember very well, I was getting ready for a Church Ball, new dress and the works, so the day before I was not well, and Mum came into the bedroom to see how I was, and I said I've got the damn measles, so no dance, and when we got a letter to say Harold had been taken from the Owen Stanley Ranges, where he had been fighting, to Port Morseby Hospital, thinking he had Pneumonia, it was measles and that was the very same day I had them.
On the Farm
Our childhood days on the farm were rewarding, just the freedom, but we all had to work. But all the young people from the village came to our home and we had to make our own fun, playing cricket with the boys, and water and mulberry fights, and if the boys got too rough for us to handle we would run to mum as she was a big woman and could handle every situation. We would get behind her, she just loved it.
We had a young chap working for us and he had lovely blond hair. He left his hat in our kitchen, and when he came to get it, I had put some treacle under the inside band and when he put it on, you can imagine him, but we were already in the bedroom and the bed up against the door and mum standing outside, so he went over to the barn and got some grease and came to the window, and tried to get in, but mum had given me a varnish tin and brush, so we won that battle. But next day I wasn't watching and he picked me up and put my dress over the paling fence and my feet were off the ground, and left me, so mum to the rescue again.
My father and another friend, wonderful horsemen, would take our cattle in the winter season, out in the bush especially in the drought, and find feed for them in the hills and gullies and plenty of water, once they settled they would leave them, and go back and check on them later, they never had trouble finding them, as the main ones had bells on them, that would be repeated every winter, when the cows were finished their milking season, but now they are milked all year round.
They would have a pack horse, and their dogs, of course. Horse feed was important as the horses were fed first, and mum used to make dog biscuits, all I can remember that they were hard and they got the scraps from the tin plates. When you go into a shop today I see the array of dog food, on wonders.
My dad was a remarkable man. He had a disability with one of his arms, which was withered, as a result of an accident, and an asthmatic. He would ride a horse like the best, crack a whip, set a rabbit trap, chop wood, as good as the person with two strong arms.
In the bush fire season, the men had to go and fight the fires out in the ranges, so we would take all the women and children during the day and stay in the river bed, on the sand, we were safe and the men did not have to worry, we had the local store and P.O. quite close if needed. The shop owner would load up his truck with food and take it to the men where needed.
There were no fire trucks or hoses, just real man power and natural muscle, hessian bags and green limbs from trees and back burning which the older men were masters at, they seem to be in complete control at all times, a method that is completely forgotten.
We never had butcher shops in our area, so we had to kill our sheep, pigs and beef.
Just a few hundred yards from our house, was a big tree, so the animals were slaughtered under the tree, and up on a huge limb was an endless chain, so called, and then the beast was hauled and skinned and gutted and was washed clean and then hauled high up in the tree, and covered with sheets that were sewn up to make a huge cover over the carcass, you didn't kill in a full moon, as it was not good for the meat to let the moon shine on it. And of course the cattle would go berserk with the smell from the killing.
And then the next morning it would be lowered down on to what we called a slide, horse drawn, it was two runners with curved ends then a wooden frame on it, it was used for all farm work to take food to pigs and other animals and all kinds of jobs. The carcass would be brought to the house or shed and cut in quarters, and then mum done all the cutting up of the meat and I used to help her. We had several large tins like kerosene tins, and the meat for corned beef would be put in a brine, made of coarse salt and salt petre and some water and on top of the meat was a covering of coarse salt, no lid on the tin only a cheese cloth, we didn't have refrigeration only meat safes hanging up, and I can't remember having bad meat.
We cured our own bacon and killed our own chooks which was left again to Mum to do, the fowl would be taken to the wood heap and with the axe off came the head, I was told one day to do it, and with the poor chook with its head over the log, and me attempting to kill it, I gave up, I just couldn't, so out comes mum to finish the job, then it would be put in a bucket of boiling water and the feathers removed, and then left until ready for a roast dinner."
Below is a poem I wrote about an incident with Grandfather (Walter Patrick) Roberts, possibly a bit of poetic licence added, but was based on a real incident after the butchering of a beast on the tree Mum mentioned.
Grandad's Close Call
I remember the days of the old jersey bull, the terror of our dunny,
The day he put the wind up Grandad, at the time it was not quite so funny.
The men had killed a well fattened steer, gutted him as he hung from the tree,
Placed the offal in a heap on the old wooden slide, hooked up to the faithful gelding.
There was much to be done by one and all for the beast was a beefy one,
The women had their hands full curing the meat, as the men cut it where it hung.
Grandad set off at a leisurely pace, and headed for the erosion gully out back,
He replaced the sliprails, clicked to old Ned as they plodded on down the track.
When a fearful roar set their hair on end, and Grandad's heart gave a sudden lurch,
The lads had forgotten the bull was out, he'd go beserk at the scent of fresh blood, and all cursed.
It was time for quick action to save himself and the horse, cold fear lending strength to his limbs,
He undid the traces and with wild eyes and trembling flanks, Ned bounded away with a spring.
The bull was bellowing, a menacing low rumble, as he bore down like a charging train,
Grandad's legs worked like pistons, his heart pumped like thunder, gone all his aches and pains.
He tore down the track like John Landy, and the watchers stared in mute disbelief,
As he cleared the old fence like a hurdler, never checking his stride for the leap.
Still cursing and sweating he clung to the tree, and the lads collapsed with relief and mirth,
Whilst the bull with fiery eyes, stood pawing the ground, showering his back with wet earth.
Then with a fiendish roar he turned back to the sled, tossing meat and intestines up high,
Horns wreaking havoc as he vented his anger, blood and gore spattering madness in his eyes.
As things quietened down everyone agreed, it had been too darned close a call,
Though Grandad found out he still had what it took, to constantly stagger them all.
As they sat round that evening and laughed till they shook, tears pouring down everyone's face,
Deep inside each one knew just how grateful they were, it was Grandad who'd won the race.
|Pretty Towamba flower girls at Towamba Hall for
Deb ball -
Back L-R: Gail Lucas, Robyn Love, Rhonda Butcher, Wayne Love, Gillian Page,
Susan Mills, Kay Tasker, Rhonda Clements, Maureen Tasker,
Front - L-R Elaine Roberts, Verity Farrell, Kathleen Love, Dionne Butcher, Zita Parker (to the best of my knowledge - Elaine Delaney).
|Towamba beauties - from top step down:
Noelene Carragher and Darrel Goward
middle - Loris Butcher and Allan Parker
bottom - Wendy Goward and Norman Love
|Flowergirl Elaine at Deb ball, Towamba Hall,
Dress made by Mum who drafted and made all her
own ball gowns.
|We think this is either Loris Butcher or
Noelene Carragher, with myself - Elaine Roberts on left,
and possibly Rhonda Butcher on right
|Elaine posing 'Shirley Temple' style at Towamba
age 3-4yrs approx
|My cousin Noelene and myself at Towamba NSW.
Noelene's mum Josie was my mum's sister and married
to Hughie Carragher. Their home was up the hill from
Parkside and is still there today. Moina (nee South)
and Tom price currently (2012) reside in Josie
and Hughie's old home.
|Allan and Harold Roberts, Norm Beasley and H E Harris in truck - May 1937, Towamba NSW - bringing in the sheaves of corn||Charlie Williams, jumping Walter Patrick
Roberts' horse Echo
over the fence at Parkside farm, Towamba NSW
|Likely looking lads - Ivan Roberts, Laurie Greer, Brickie Smith. Towamba NSW||Allan and Harold Roberts with Norm Beasley
in mid photo
on top of mound - not sure of other two adult men.
Is this a sawmill set up or silage pit?
|I have been told this is probably 'Brickie'
Farrell's bullock team.
They are pulling Maxie Carragher and the old Ferguson tractor out
of Towamba River, after he accidentally went over the bank - not sure of year
|Jack Beasley's horse team pulling wagon of hay in front of Aunty Ida (Noelene's mum Josie and Hughie's place) 'Top Place', Parkside, Towamba NSW|
|Towamba football team - Uncle Allan Roberts may know who these locals are - would love to have names.||Private John Charles Roberts' headstone|