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”

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”