Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Linda Sloan and Charlie Robertson

 More information has come to hand, so this post (previously called Linda Sloan) has been updated - G. 1/2/15


The youngest child of Thomas Sloan and Sarah Jane Walters and grand daughter to Mary Bunston, Linda was born at Pyramid Hill on April 16, 1907. In 1913 she attended the Pyramid Hill School.  Her sister Ivy Mildred "Millie" also attended school at this time.  In the photo below Linda is fifth from the right in the second row from the front.  Millie is behind her, forth from the right in the third row.

Pyramid Hill School 1913
Linda married Charles Francis Robertson at the Methodist Church in Forrest Street, Bendigo on May 30, 1924.

Charlie was born in Echuca on February 9 1905. He was the son of William Wallace Robertson and Margaret North. Margaret suffered a nervous breakdown following the death of her eldest son and was put into a home for some time. She died as a result of burns in around 1914 – 1918. After her death William put his three youngest children, including Charlie, into Mrs Nolty’s Boarding House in Melbourne. William moved to Naracoorte, South Australia and lived there from 1918 to 1922. From this date Williams whereabouts are not known.  It must be noted that I have also found records stating Charlie's father was Charles Francis Snr... my research is required on this.

When they were first married Linda and Charlie lived at Pyramid Hill. Here the first two of their eight children were born. In 1927 the young family moved to Hilston, New South Wales, where they worked on Stan Sloan’s property. Here they had two more children. The family lived at Hilston for four years before moving to the Deniliquin area in NSW in 1930.  Charlie was a share gardner and Linda was a house wife.  In 1931 the family moved to Koondrook, on the border, where Charlie worked as a labourer.  Their remaining four children were born here.

Together Linda and Charlie had eight children: Charles (1924); Francis (1926); Ernest (1927); James (1929); Maxwell (1933); Lorraine (1935); Beryl (1938) and William (1945).

In 1940 Charlie enlisted for World War II. He sailed overseas on the “Queen Mary” as a Private in the Australian Army, serving in the 2/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion. He served a total of 1330 days in Tobrook, Syria and other areas of the Middle East. Charlie was wounded and discharged in 1944. When he returned home Charlie started work as a sleeper cutter in the Gunbower Island Forests.

The following is how his death was reported: “The death occurred with tragic suddenness on Wednesday afternoon of Mr. Charles Francis Robertson, timber worker, of Koondrook. The late Mr. Robertson was walking away to resume his work, after having sat down to partake of afternoon lunch with other workers, when he was seen to stumble and fall. On his son and other companions quickly going to his aid it was found that he had collapsed and died.

Aged only 42 years, the deceased was a Returned Soldier, having served with the 2nd AIF in the Middle East campaigns. He had been on the sick list for some weeks and had resumed work this week after receiving medical treatment. A well respected and well liked resident of Koondrook, for a considerable number of years past, he leaves a widow and family of seven children to whom we extend our very sincere sympathy in their tragically sudden and sad bereavement. Mrs Robertson has had more than her share of sorrow as one of her sons was accidentally drowned in the Murray at Koondrook several years ago. The funeral is to take place to the Koondrook Cemetery today, Friday, at -----.”  

The year was 1946. He died on September 25. Charlies death was attributed to Angina Pectoris, caused by Scrub Titus which he had picked up during the war.

A few years later, Linda met a shearer named Walter Butler from Mount Gambier, South Australia. They got married in 1952 at Bendigo. They remained in Koondrook until after 1954 then they moved to Mount Gambier with Linda’s children: Billy, Max, Pearl and Beryl. Beryl later returned to Koondrook and Billy moved to Albury, New South Wales.

Wally died in 1979 and some time later Linda moved into a unit in Mount Gambier. Years later she returned to Koondrook where she lived with her son Tom for a while and later at the Murray Haven Nursing Home, Barham. She died at the Barham-Koondrook Soldiers Memorial Hospital from pneumonia at the age of 84 on April 29, 1991. She is buried in a grave between her first husband, Charlie, and mother, Sarah.  She is with her son, Ernest who had died aged seven.  Ernest is the son mentioned above that drowned in the Murray River.

1 comment:

  1. They faced such a lot back then. I've not heard of scrub titus before, must look it up.