Settler’s wife burns while cooking dinner

1926 – “Harry, I am in flames,” Florence Muir cried.  She had just put a pot of apples on the stove, and while walking to the table smelt something burning. She looked down and saw her dress on fire, the flames quickly growing. Her husband, Harry was having a rest as he waited for hisContinue reading “Settler’s wife burns while cooking dinner”

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Fireside solitude was deadly

1868 – This is an ode to seven-year-old Ellen. She was sitting, alone, on a stool with her back to the fireplace. The stool canted and she fell backwards into the fire. Few other details are known, except that a woman nearby went to Ellen’s grandfather’s place and a doctor was called. Why she was,Continue reading “Fireside solitude was deadly”

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Rain damps fire too late for firefighter

As the shearer’s dispute of 1891 raged around him, a union carrier named Mark Cavanaugh was burned to death helping to put out a bushfire. The strike, which sparked the development of the Australian Labor Party, was over the use of non-unionised shearers. From February until May that year, central Queensland was on the brinkContinue reading “Rain damps fire too late for firefighter”

Fire consumes new widow and family

It was a tragedy when Sophia  Quinn and her five children lost their father, a part owner of the Parkes flour mill, in January 1895. So when Mrs Quinn, the children and her sister were burned alive in August, the newspapers’ elequent responses were heart-rending. Mrs Quinn’s brother George Perry and a youth named CookContinue reading “Fire consumes new widow and family”