Sunday, 7 November 2021

Richmond’s Victoria Avenue

Avenues of trees were popular throughout Australia, particularly for commemoration. In 1897, a decision was made to establish an avenue of trees in the Hawkesbury, to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria's long reign. 

Richmond's plane trees by M. Nichols, 2021 

From 1872, Richmond Council was the local governing body and in 1897, it was raised in a meeting that the Council should celebrate this momentous event. An avenue of trees was to be created across Ham Common and was to be named Victoria Avenue in her honour. Council agreed with the suggestion and plans were to be put into place. 

The following year it was reported that Richmond Council were intending to plant 100 trees from the corner of Windsor and Bourke Streets, to about halfway across the Common, approximately Clarendon.  It was decided to plant Plane trees as they reportedly grew quickly, were hardy and low maintenance. Richmond’s Town Clerk, Charles Guest was tasked with the assignment.

One hundred and fifty trees were ordered, the date for the event set and special guests invited. Locals were also encouraged to plant trees. The event to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, took place on the afternoon of Tuesday, 30 August 1898. A good crowd was in attendance, despite the non-stop rain and Victoria Avenue was declared opened. 

Richmond’s Mayor, Edward Stevenson, planted the first trees on the left, on the way out of Richmond, followed by the Mayor and Mayoress of Windsor, Mr and Mrs John Jackson Paine, who planted two on the right-hand side. 

Additional trees were arranged to be planted at a later date and within a fortnight it was reported that the majority of the trees were planted and fencing, for protection, constructed. However residents of Richmond were concerned when the Windsor community had not started planting trees from their end. 

In the early days, the trees struggled to survive. In 1899 some of the trees had to be replaced because of the hot weather. The Plane trees that had been planted in Chapel Street were about ten years old and were impressive comparison to those trees in Victoria Avenue.  The local newspaper reported that the new trees were not being tended and needed mulch or manure round the roots. 

The trees were planted during a very dry period. Australia experienced the Federation drought between 1895 until the early 1900s and the dry conditions obviously have an effect on the trees. By 1903 there were reports of more dead trees but again, they were replaced and the expense met by a number of local residents. 

Eventually the trees grew and thrived and became a notable feature of the town. In 1956, a storm with cyclonic winds hit Richmond, unroofed buildings and uprooted huge trees including several of the Plane trees, which had to be removed. The older and more substantial trees are situated between Bourke and Hobart Streets but over the years additional trees have been planted along the Hawkesbury Way. The name Victoria Avenue seems to have been lost in time.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Gordon Gow and the talking clock

Gordon Gow was born in Windsor in December 1919, the son of Arthur Gow and Kathleen nee Gordon. A clever boy, he entered the faculty of Arts and Law of Sydney University when he was just seventeen. 

In 1937 he was invited to the Henry George League of NSW to deliver a lecture at its weekly meeting. The topic was Shakespeare and it was reported in the media at the time that the seventeen year old, was very talented, had an “outstanding memory” and was mature for his age.  

With an attractive speaking voice Gordon established himself in broadcasting, making his debut with 2UE, working as a film critic and later as an announcer. He had constant work on radio working both with the ABC and commercial radio in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. He built himself a reputation not only in radio but also in the Sydney theatrical circles, with a number of creditable stage performances. In 1941, he travelled to Brisbane and took up a position with radio 4BC as an actor-announcer.

In 1949 he travelled with his wife Joyce to England for a holiday but the couple eventually stayed on. By the 1950s they were living in London and Gordon was working as a radio and film reporter for the Associated British Film Corporation. He was also recording interviews with many distinguished stars including Bette Davis, Burt Lancaster, Douglas Fairbanks and Michael Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor’s second husband.

He was known for his contribution to various newspapers and magazines, about the theatre, performers and movies. Gordon also authored several books in the 1970s focusing on the cinema. The couple remained in the UK for about 50 years before returning to Australia in the 1990s. Gordon Gow died in 2000 at the age of 81.

Although readers may not recognise his name, Gordon Gow’s voice is quite recognisable to those born in the 20th century, and used to phone up to confirm the time. Gordon was the voice for the talking clock, commonly referred to as ‘George the talking clock’ for nearly thirty years. He recorded the service in London in 1954 and the pre-recording was used to announce the time throughout Australia for the Postmaster-General's (PMG) Department, later known as Telecom.

In 1954 George the speaking clock was installed which provided an automatic, accurate time service. It was very modern piece of engineering which “synthetised the time from three different optical discs.” Gordon originally recorded the sound for the discs, including the well-known “At the third stroke …” For a period of time, the identity of the voice was kept a secret but then revealed to the media several months later. Gordon Gow passed away, aged 80 on 16 August 2000. 
Gow's obituary from the Australian 18 September 2000 

The voice of Richard Peach, brother to Bill Peach and ABC broadcaster, was recorded in the 1980s, and replaced Gow’s recording in the 1990s. Richard died in 2008 aged 58. Richard’s voice could still be heard when ringing 1194 for the time, until the service was last heard on 30 September 2019 and you can listen to a sample here. The clock was originally housed in the GPO in Martin Place but is now housed in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. You can check this out on this Youtube clip.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Happy 145th birthday Windsor Bridge

145 years ago (20 August 1874) Windsor Bridge over the Hawkesbury River was officially opened. The Hawkesbury district celebrated in great style with about 7000 attendees and the day was observed as a holiday.

Opening of Windsor Bridge taken by Thomas Boston
Courtesy State Library of NSW
Some officials arrived on the 11am train from Sydney with many local visitors and representatives, congregating near the Council offices ready for the procession.  These included the local clergy, politicians, plus Mayor John McQuade and the aldermen of Windsor Council. The Windsor Volunteer Band led the procession and the Volunteers, Fire Brigade, the local masonic lodges with their banners “proceeded along Macquarie Street to Dight Street, and thence through George Street to the bridge.”  The Richmond Volunteer Band led the students from the local Public and Catholic schools also participated in the parade which numbered about 600. The procession marched “across the bridge and doubling back” and the official ceremony then began with the Hon. John Sutherland, Minister for Works giving a speech where “he complimented the people upon having such a fine structure, and on the importance of the work.” He particularly mentioned, “why a low-level bridge was erected in place of a high-level structure” and named the structure Windsor Bridge. The crowd applauded and the band played the National Anthem. The children then headed to Miller’s paddock in Macquarie Street where they were given refreshments of cakes and lollies and entertained with a Punch and Judy show and other entertainment.

It was reported that “Windsor was gaily decorated with flags flying from nearly all the houses in the principal streets; and on the bridge were festoons, floral arches, and the flags of all nations.”

Detail of official ceremony and flags on Windsor Bridge by Thomas Boston Courtesy State Library of NSW

Above the bridge hundreds assembled and a bullock roasted, a time-honoured Hawkesbury tradition. There was also a formal lunch for the officials in the Windsor School of Arts where good food was eaten and lots of speeches and toasts were given.  John Sutherland proposed "Success to the Windsor Bridge” and added that “he hoped that it would last longer than the youngest child who had passed over it that day.” To end the festivities, a ball was held in the evening in the old military barracks. 

A bridge over the Hawkesbury River at Windsor was suggested for many years and became a reality when in 1864 a public meeting was held and a decision made to approach the Government. It took many more years for funding to be approved and the construction more than 2 years. The total cost was £10,283.

Courtesy Illustrated Sydney News 19 September 1874  

All of the technical details about the construction of Windsor Bridge are available in this post

One tragedy that took place during construction when 10 year old, Humphrey Albert Douglass, who was working on the bridge, lost his footing and fell into the river and drowned.

Happy 145th birthday Windsor Bridge - still standing proudly crossing the majestic Hawkesbury River, but for how much longer?

140th celebrations in 2014 by Michelle Nichols

Many accounts appeared in the newspapers of the day, including:

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Relocation of Logan headstones to Ebenezer Cemetery

Logan headstones at Ebenezer Cemetery ~ Photo: Michelle Nichols 2012

One of Sydney’s earliest cemeteries was called Devonshire Street Cemetery and was situated in Sydney between Eddy Avenue, Elizabeth Street, Chalmers, and Devonshire Streets. The cemetery was opened in 1820 however the site was resumed so that the railway station at Central could be constructed. Arrangements were made with the family and friends of those buried. Bodies were exhumed and relocated at the Government’s expense. The remains that were not claimed were buried at Bunnerong Cemetery alongside Botany Cemetery. These two cemeteries are now known as the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

John LOGAN (c.1821-1867) who was born in Scotland, married his first wife Ann in the 1840s. The couple had several children including James born circa 1847, George born circa 1849 and Ann born circa 1853. George was a baker and the family lived in Sydney. Tragedy struck the family when around 5pm on 16 July 1851; two and half-year-old George Logan was struck with a cartwheel. Despite being “promptly attended by Dr. Rutter and Dr. Neilson, he expired two hours.”   

The bakery was recorded at Sussex Street, Sydney. According to the Inquest held a few days later, the young boy’s death was “caused by coming in contact with the wheel of a cart.” The driver of the cart, George Burnett, was charged with manslaughter.

Empire 17 July 1851 p. 3

Ann, wife of John Logan, died aged thirty-two, on 25 September 1853. She was followed by Ann, their twelve week old daughter, who died 10 December 1853. It is quite possible that Ann died from complications, giving birth to Ann, who was born in late September.

The following year after the death of his first wife, John, remarried at Sydney’s Scots Church, Matilda Isabella, who was at the time, aged in her mid-twenties. Matilda was the daughter of Alexander Books and Margaret nee Grono of Bear’s Hip Farm on the Hawkesbury River. 

John’s son James, died on 21 June 1866 aged nineteen years, cause of death is not known at this stage. The following year, John Logan died 5 November 1867 aged forty-six years. It is transcribed on his headstone that John was originally from Dunkeld Scotland and died at his residence, Woodland Cottage in Ryde but formerly of Bathurst Street in Sydney. His headstone states he was from Dunkeld although his Death notice states he was a native of Kinross, Scotland, aged forty-six years. There is about 50km difference between the locations.  

Matilda Logan was living at ‘Melrose’ in Duke Place, Balmain when she passed away on 7 March 1901, aged seventy-four. Her obituary notes that her casket was taken from Balmain to Mulgrave by train and then transported by Mr Primrose, the local undertakers to the residence of Mr A. Books at Pitt Town. The “casket was then taken by boat to Ebenezer burial ground and interred in the family vault alongside the deceased mother and father.” Mr Edgar of Pitt Town read the service.  Her death notice also records that she was interred at Ebenezer however there is no marker recording Matilda’s final resting place in the cemetery other than the above mention in the Books vault.

By early 1904, the Windsor & Richmond Gazette records that that the two Logan headstones (with the remains) had been exhumed and relocated from the Devonshire Street Cemetery to the historic Ebenezer Cemetery in the Hawkesbury. The exhumation permit was issued to John Carmichael, from Duke Street in Balmain. Carmichael was, in fact, the brother-in-law of Matilda Logan, as he was married to her younger sister, Jane nee Books.  

Windsor & Richmond Gazette 23 January 1901 p. 7
Windsor & Richmond Gazette 30 January 1901 p. 7

Friday, 14 September 2018

Set in stone: the McQuade monument, Windsor NSW

An impressive Victorian monument is situated in front of Windsor’s historic St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. The elaborate marble monument was erected by William McQuade in 1882 in memory of his wife Amelia and her parents, James Hale and Mary Durham.

William McQuade was born in 1827 and was the second son of Irish born convict, turned publican, Michael McQuade, and his wife Sarah. William became a prominent figure in the Hawkesbury and a successful landowner. He married Amelia Ann Hale in 1850, and the couple had four sons including one who died as an infant. Amelia was the daughter of James Hale and Mary Durham. Mary had originally been married to convict William Durham, a butcher, and following his death, she remarried in 1828, to James Hale, and their daughter, Amelia Ann was born the following year. 

James Hale was a prosperous businessman and amongst other things, owned Fairfield House in Windsor, originally built by William Cox. William and Amelia McQuade lived at Fairfield for a number of years and the property was later inherited by their second son, Henry Michael Hale McQuade, well known as the owner of Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney and the member for Hawkesbury for a number of years in the 1880s. The couple eventually had a large portfolio of properties including a sizeable mansion in the fashionable Potts Point. 

William McQuade was keen on sports and it was he who arranged a one-day match between the All-England Eleven, and a local team, with players selected from the Hawkesbury and Nepean districts. A special train conveyed the sporting team from Sydney, and the game was played at Fairfield on a specially made wicket. Over one thousand people attended the remarkable event.

While the McQuade family were staunch Catholics and very supportive of their religion, the Hale and Durham families were Anglican. When William married Amelia the ceremony was held in St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Windsor. However when Amelia, aged forty-six, passed away in 1875, she was buried in St. Matthew’s Church of England cemetery, alongside her parents and various other family members. 

Following Amelia’s death, her husband planned and built, an extravagant monument, which was made from imported Carrara marble. It was apparently designed to be undercover, protected from the elements but it has always stood outside. The cost for the monument was well over £2,000, with the work performed by the Italian, Antonio Caniparoli, of Carrara Italy, according to the newspapers, and “is amongst the finest examples of monumental marble carving and artistic designing to be found in the State. Lovers of the artistic will observe the symbolic cinerary urns, the upturned torches and the laurel wreaths; also the rare clustered columns supporting the large dome stone.” Local stonemason, George Robertson, from Windsor, was responsible for erecting the 40 plus tons of stone and foundations.

Nothing like it had been seen in Windsor up until then, and the magnificence of it confirmed the McQuade’s prosperity to the Hawkesbury community. The monument was erected at the front of St. Matthew’s Church of England in 1882, commemorating the memory of Amelia McQuade as well her mother, who died in 1857, and father in 1866. When William died in 1885, aged fifty-eight his estate was worth £212,000. He was buried in Windsor’s Catholic Cemetery.

William McQuade's vault at the Windsor Catholic Cemetery

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Thomas Probert: The Ultimate Sacrifice

In April 1874, a regrettable accident took place in Windsor NSW. Two young boys went with Thomas Probert for an afternoon swim, on the outskirts of the town. The boys were Albert Edward Horatio Fitzpatrick aged eleven years, and his brother, Ossory Arthur Stanton aged about nine.

The boys were the sons of John James Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth nee Lucas. The couple married in 1861 at Deniliquin and had five sons and three daughters, listed at the end of this post.

Fitzpatrick was a police officer and had worked his way up through the ranks as Sergeant, Snr Sergeant. (He later became sub-inspector of NSW police, Justice of the Peace and an Alderman of Windsor Council). Born in Co Cavan, Ireland he arrived in Australia in the early 1850s and went directly to the Ballarat goldfields. He spent the early part of his career in southern NSW in places such as Wagga, Deniliquin, Moama and then Mudgee before being stationed in Windsor since the early 1870s. 

On Tuesday, 8 April 1874 about 5.30pm, Ossory Fitzpatrick “went for a bathe” accompanied by his brother Albert and Mr Thomas Probert, in the Hawkesbury River near the mouth of South Creek. 

Thomas Henry Probert was the first editor of one of the earliest newspapers published in the district, the Hawkesbury Times. The paper had originated in the early 1870s and was started by a local company and according to the local critics, the paper was well-written. Thomas was born in about 1813 and was formerly of Newport, Essex, England. According to other reports, Probert had resided in Windsor “for upwards of three years.” The report continued, “Since his sojourn amongst us he had gained the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact, either commercially or socially, and was evidently a person of considerable literary merit.”  It is not known why he accompanied the boys; perhaps he was a neighbour or a family friend.

Mr Probert, who was aged sixty-one at the time, advised the boys he would check to see if the water was deep however Albert “went into the shallow water” but thought “it was too shallow.” Thomas told Albert “not to go into the deep part” yet “he went into the deep water and was trying to swim.” Thomas, obviously concerned, “took off his coat and waistcoat and jumped in after” Albert. He managed to get a hold of him but then his “face went under the water” and he was swept away. Albert tried to keep on the surface but he was only a modest swimmer, and after a short time sank in the middle of the creek. Meanwhile Thomas drifted downstream.

Ossory had to provide evidence at the Inquest, which was held the following day before the district Coroner, J. B. Johnstone. Ossory stated that he “was in the water, but where he was the current was not strong when he saw his brother go under he ran home and told his mother.” Ossory stated “Mr Probert could swim he had seen him swimming in deep water.” 

John James Fitzpatrick, Windsor’s senior Sergeant of Police and also Albert and Ossory’s father, also had to give evidence at the inquest. His testimony was reported in The Australian, Windsor, Richmond, & Hawkesbury Advertiser :

John James Fitzpatrick stated…on Tuesday evening between 4 and 5 o'clock the deceased, Albert Edward Horatio Fitzpatrick his son came and asked him where his mother was; he told him he did not know; but that he had better go and see if she was in the front bedroom; he saw no more of him; his son Ossory the last witness came to him about 5 o'clock on the same evening, and said that Mr. Probert and Albert were drowned in South Creek; he went to the place where his son said they were drowned, and when he got there he saw the body of Mr. Probert floating towards the Pitt Town side of South Creek; there were some men on the spot who at the request of; witness, took the body of Mr. Probert out of the water; after that they dragged for the body of his son and searched until dark without finding it; between one and two o'clock on Wednesday morning the search was renewed, and with the assistance of senior constable Bertleman and the Rev. Mr. Garnsey, they recovered the body about 3 o'clock; the bodies were removed to the Police Station, and are the same which have been viewed by the Coroner and jury; they are the bodies of his son Albert and Mr. Probert; when they were taken out of the water life was extinct.

Some confusion arose to the exact cause of death of Thomas Probert and medical advice was sought. 
John Selkirk a duly qualified medical practitioner residing in Windsor said that he had seen the body of Thomas Henry Probert and from the bloated and congested appearance of the face and head of deceased, coupled with the fact that the body was taken out of the water, he is of opinion that deceased met his death from asphyxia (drowning).

The Jury had struggled with coming to an understanding of the situation. However a compromise was eventually reached and the newspaper reported:
The Jury had some difficulty in arriving at a verdict; but after some deliberation found that the death of Albert Fitzpatrick was accidentally caused by drowning whilst bathing, and that of Thomas Henry Probert by asphyxia, by drowning whilst endeavouring to save the aforesaid Albert Fitzpatrick. Upon the suggestion of Sergeant Fitzpatrick the jury further agreed to, and signed a document, expressing their approbation of the conduct of those who had searched for and recovered the bodies. 
 Final resting place of Thomas Probert and Albert Fitzpatrick. They lie together in the one grave
at St Matthew’s Anglican cemetery - the one leaning to the right.
Picture: Michelle Nichols

Both funerals took place on the 9 April, at St. Matthew’s Church of England and the service was conducted by Rev Charles Garnsey. The minister who was involved in the search was the person who found the body of Albert a few days earlier. Thomas Henry Probert who had paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to rescue a boy from drowning, was buried at St. Matthew’s Church of England Cemetery in Windsor. The boy, Albert Fitzpatrick, was buried alongside Thomas although the family were traditionally Catholic. 

Several years after the tragedy, the eldest son of John James and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, John Charles Lucas Fitzpatrick 1862-1932  became a journalist. In 1888 he established the Windsor & Richmond Gazette , later known as the Hawkesbury Gazette newspaper and operated it until 1899. In 1895 he entered politics and had a thirty-five-year long career.

An abbreviated version of this story appeared in the Hawkesbury Gazette in 2016, compiled by the author.

Death of Herbert Fitzpatrick
Sadly, tragedy struck the Fitzpatrick family again when Herbert died in Suva in 1896. He was reported as “an exceptionally smart young fellow, who died at Fiji from fever. Herbert was fast making his mark as a writer, both political and descriptive, and he certainly promised to be the brightest of a bright family.” Herbert died 28 February 1896 from typhoid fever and his obituary records why he was in Fiji in the first place.

The deceased was 27 years of age, and had been tor some months dispensing chemist on the Holmhurst Estate at Fiji. He served his apprenticeship to Mr. R. A. Pye, of Windsor, and some short time after the expiration of his connection with that gentleman's establishment he went to Sydney, where he was employed for a consider able period by Messrs Elliott Bros. Later on he went to Kempsey, on the Macleay, and also visited Tasmania, Victoria, South and Western Australia. After managing Messrs Pollard and Green's branch business at Coonamble for some months, he accepted an engagement to go to Fiji, where he was employed as analytical chemist on the Holmhurst Sugar Plantation. Six weeks or more ago he was attacked by typhoid fever, and was removed to the Colonial Hospital at Suva, where he received the utmost care and attention at the hands of the medical staff and Matron Beale, all of whom were most careful and kind towards their patient. His illness was one of the most intense and prolonged the Matron had ever seen, and he succumbed to it on the 28th February. The interment took place on the same day, and notwithstanding the fact that the deceased was a stranger to Suva residents, a large number of wreaths were sent by those with sympathised with his loneliness during illness, and the sad demise of a promising young man. Thus, though his remains rest in a land far away from old Windsor, he is not forgotten, for by kindly hands his humble grave adorned, by strangers honored(sic) and by strangers mourned. The relatives and friends of Mr H. Fitzpatrick desire to sincerely thank Matron S. Beale, and the medical staff of the Colonial Hospital at Suva, and all those residents of Fiji who displayed so much kindness towards him during his illness. His death came as a shock to those who knew him. He was regarded as one who had a bright career before him, for whatever may have been his faults; he was a generous and kind-hearted young Australian. 

Herbert’s death is recorded on his father’s headstone in the Windsor Catholic Cemetery. Patriarch of the family, John James Fitzpatrick died 26 November 1899 aged sixty-nine years, and his story is an article in its own right. His obituary appeared in the Windsor & Richmond Gazette in December 1899.  

Issue of John James Fitzpatrick and his wife, Elizabeth nee Lucas, who married in 1861 at Deniliquin, NSW:
  • John Charles Lucas b 1862 Moama & d 1932 Chatswood 
  • Albert E H b 1863 Wagga Wagga & d 1874 Windsor     
  • Ossory A S b 1865 Mudgee & d 1933 North Sydney   
  • Gertrude A b 1867 Mudgee married 1894 Wallace Harrison, Sydney   
  • Herbert J Keppie b 1869 Mudgee & d 1896 Fiji  
  • Milfred H M born 1872 Windsor & d 1872 Windsor   
  • Florence Mary b 1873 Windsor unmarried  
  • Frederick Arthur b 1873 Windsor & d 1958 Taree  
INQUEST. (1874, April 11). The Australian, Windsor, Richmond, and Hawkesbury Advertiser (NSW : 1873 - 1899), p. 2. Retrieved January 2, 2018

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


In Windsor's historic St Matthew’s Anglican cemetery is a monument to Edward James Mellish a young man who lost his life in a shipwreck at the turn of the twentieth century. Who was he and what were the circumstances of his death? 

Edward Mellish plaque on the Upton family vault in St Matthew's Anglican Cemetery
Photo: M. Nichols, 2017

According to the newspapers of the day, a British schooner called the “Sakata” was on a voyage from Anapolis in Brazil, to Havana in ballast in December 1905.  The “Sakata” was a three-masted schooner and “was struck by a terrific wave during a heavy gale” and turned her on “her beam ends, and before the crew had time to cut away the masts to right her she capsized, throwing Captain Donlon and the whole of the crew into the water.”

Some of the crew were able to climb to safety on the “upturned vessel, but owing to cold and exposure they gradually lost consciousness” and eventually vanished into the ocean. Out of the seven members of the crew, there was only one survivor, John F. Williams, one of the mates. He was on the brink of death when rescued by the crew of the “Helen Thomas” and was almost unconsciousness. He had kept alive for four days, by nibbling on his oilskin jacket.  

Sadly a local resident, Edward James Mellish drowned in the accident. Edward was the son of Edward Mellish 1850-1913 and Susannah nee Upton 1850-1885. Edward junior left Riverstone a number of years ago and sought work on “Sakata” a trading boat. Edward was twenty years and six months old when died and apparently had a “fine physique and splendid disposition.” 

The Windsor and Richmond Gazette article 21 September 1907 stated that Edward’s sister, Mrs Ethel Lorger, received afterwards, an article about the accident which was titled, “Loss of the Sakata and Crew.”  Apparently, there was not a lot of information about the accident however after the event the following letter appeared in the newspaper:  
Having read your inquiry in the Halifax paper in regards to your son Edward, I am taking the liberty of writing you, as ''Ned ' was a personal friend of mine while he was at this port. I spent the evening with him the night he left on that fated voyage on the schooner “Sakata”. Strange to say he asked me to write to you if he did not return, and I had forgotten the address until I came across the piece in the paper by chance. There is no doubt in my mind that poor Ned was lost as the only one who was saved was the mate, and his name is Williams, from St John, New Brunswick, I saw a letter that was written. To the lady that Ned boarded with while he was in town. It was from the mate after he came back to St John. He told how the vessel was struck by a squall and capsized, and he managed to climb on the bottom, and was rescued after much suffering, and obliged to eat a portion of his oilskins to keep alive. It was all so sudden that all the rest must have gone down immediately, except one poor fellow, he saw struggling in the water, but he could not help him, and finally he threw up his bands and was seen no more. It was Ned's watch below at the time of the accident, so you can imagine what kind of a chance he would have. The lady Ned boarded with was Mrs Lear Hardwick, who has since left here and gone to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The schooner Skata loaded lumber at the port, shipped by Pickels and Mills, and not Parsboro as stated in the clipping enclosed but was in Pars. And hoping these few lines will be of some assistance to you, I will come to a close, and kindly accept my sincere sympathy for the loss of your son as well as a very dear friend to me. I remain, yours truly, Herbert H. Hearne, Annapol, Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada. 
The circumstances of his death are few and far between however following the sad death of Edward, the family erected a monument on his mother’s family grave, the Upton’s. The vault is situated in St Matthew’s historic cemetery, Windsor to commemorate Edward, who lost his life on the other side of the world.