On Wednesday morning I went out to Cathedral Avenue which runs along the Leschenault Inlet at Australind, about five minutes from my home. The paper-bark trees form a natural arch over the roadway, which has now has a re-routed road around it so that you can just walk along the road along this part. It is such a lovely peaceful place to walk.
and a close up of the beautiful bark of the paper-bark tree with the early morning light on it.
We have an old pioneer cemetery in Australind near where I live. There lie the bodies and ashes of some of our early pioneers from 1842 onwards. The Australind & Districts Historical Society have done a lot of work out there since the last time I was there. And now there are lists on the entrance archway with the names, death dates and numbers of the graves, so you can identify them. Many are marked only with a simple number. Others are falling into decay - like this one - crumbling and overrun by weeds - I cleared away some of the long weeds.
From the number on the grave I found it was the grave of Rachel Smith - aged 19 - died 2/7/1852, George Smith - aged 32 - died 25/7/1852 and Henry Smith - aged 4 months - died 15/9/1852.
The cemetery is a peaceful place in a pocket of bush. In the spring time the freesias push up through the ground and flower in profusion.
They died so close together - I wonder who they were and what was their story.
I hope you find a time for peaceful wandering over the weekend.
- Some information (see below) about George and Rachel Smith was sent to me by Phyllis Barnes, Bunbury historian, and editor (with others) of "The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton : 1840-1861" . Please click on the link - Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton
Thank you Phyllis for this valuable information. It was wonderful to learn something about George and Rachel.
Quote from Phyllis - "I believe in getting such info onto the jet stream so long as it is accurate. I cannot tell you how George died, possibly pneumonia but have never quite worked out how a little baby can get to paint – presumably lead poisoning that takes weeks to build up and was sometimes chewed off the cot by a child!!!"
Rachel Catherine Clifton was born on the 10th of March 1833 in London although the family was living in France. She was the fourteenth child of Marshall Waller Clifton who was appointed the Chief Commissioner in Australia for the Western Australian Company in May 1840.
The Co. had purchased 103 000 acres of land that formed a huge square from just north of the Collie River to about Wokalup and from the west side of Leschenault Estuary into the hills; the town of Australind was to be on the southwest corner. Shares were sold to investors and settlers who were willing to emigrate entitling them to 100 acres of rural land and four ¼ blocks in town. The surveyors left England in December 1840 arriving in January 1841, but then it all went pear shaped and many investors withdrew taking their money - a blow from which the Company never recovered.
Nevertheless, Clifton arrived in Koombana Bay on the Parkfield on the 18th of March 1841 with 11 of his 14 surviving children including three little girls - Lucy was 11, Rachel 8 and Caroline was 6.
Three sons of the Company Secretary, Charles Henry Smith, came to Australind –
John Valentine Smith, later Sir John, arrived on the Island Queen in December 1840 with the surveyors on the Island Queen, and then George and Henry came on the Parkfield as Gentlemen Settlers. All three worked for M.W. Clifton who thought well of them and frequently mentioned them in his Journal.
Rachel and George were married at on the 21st October 1851. Her brother Charles Hippuff Clifton married Maria Elizabeth Glynn, ward of the Thomas Little of Belvedere, earlier same day in the day in a Catholic ceremony at Belvedere, then joined Rachel and George in a dual Anglican ceremony at Australind.
The young couple went off to live in Perth but Rachel died in childbirth and George soon afterwards. All this comes to life in 'The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton … published last year.