Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Dick" / "Robbie" Richard ROBERTSON

Born 16 December 1873 in Beath, Fife, Scotland [28]
Son of Charles ROBERTSON and Helen STANLEY [28]
Grew up in the coalmining parishes of Beath, Kirkcaldy and Auchterderran in Fife, Scotland [P1]
Married Jane SYME on 31 January 1896 in Auchterderran, Fife, Scotland [P1]
Witnesses to their marriage were Helen F. FORRESTER, a relative of his wife, and Alexander WELSH [P1]
Coalminer in Fife, Scotland - for a number of years worked at Denend Colliery in Auchterderran, Fife, Scotland [P1]
He made plans to purchase one of the Midland Railway Company's Ready-Made Farms in Carnamah, Western Australia [34]
     On 3 March 1915 paid the Midland Railway Company £102/17/- being the 5% deposit on a 433 acre farm in Carnamah [34]
Along with his wife and son Charles departed London, England on the steamship Osterley on 9 April 1915 [P1]
     Also on board were the FORRESTER family (relatives of his wife) and the BOWMAN family who were also settling in Carnamah [P1]
     They arrived on the Osterley in Fremantle, Western Australia on the 11 May 1915 [70]
Along with John BOWMAN and Robert C. FORRESTER he travelled to Carnamah by train on 13 May 1915 to inspect their farms [34]
     The farm he had pre-arranged to purchase was the 433 acre farm contained in Lot M951 of Victoria Location 1934 [34]
     Purchased the 433 acre farm in Lot M951 of Victoria Location 1934, which was situated on the Carnamah-Perenjori Road [27]
     The farm was payable by instalments and came at a total cost of £2057 (due to being overpriced was later reduced to £1234) [27]
     Along with his wife and son settled in Carnamah in May 1915 [P136]
Farmer of Woodbine Farm in Carnamah 1915-1932 [P136]
     On purchase his "Ready-Made Farm" came partially cleared, partially fenced, with a house and a water supply [34]
     He was well satisfied with the house, it being the first erected by the Midland Railway Company and not a contractor [34]
After harvesting his own 1915 crop he sold 768 bags of wheat [34]
     He also secured a contract with the Midland Railway Company to harvest 123 acres of their crop in Carnamah for 7/6 per acre [34]
The covering of his dam, which was made of wattle and broome scrub, fell into the dam and made the water black and smelly [34]
     Via the Midland Railway Company sent bottles of water to the Dept. of Agriculture to find out how the water could be purified [34]
In 1916 had 280 acres of crop planted on his farm [34] and in 1917 had 300 acres of wheat crop [10: 19-Jun-1917]
In August 1916 signed a petition which was sent to the Midland Railway Company requesting the price of their farms be reduced [34]
Member of the Winchester-Carnamah branch of the Farmers & Settlers' Association in 1917 [34]
Gave evidence in favour of the Midland Railway Company to a Royal Commission on Agricultural Industries in Carnamah in 1917 [34]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
Purchased some of his general supplies from general store "The Supply Stores" in Yarra Street, Carnamah in 1917 and 1918 [92]
During December 1917 purchased six bags of pickled wheat from the Midland Railway Company for 2/- per bushel [34]
In August 1919 he and John S. ROOKE presented a deputation to the Midland Railway Company [34]
     They explained they were aware the Company had tried to meet their demands and had given them fair consideration [34]
     however explained that there was simply no way they could succeed on the farms as they were too highly priced [34]
     He told the Company that they needed to reduce the prices on their farms by at least 50% [34]
     The price of the farms was eventually reduced by 40% (which meant his farm dropped in cost from £2057 to £1234) [34]
Extended his farm to a total of 967 acres with another three purchases of land in Carnamah from the Midland Railway Company [27]
     On 13 June 1918 extended his farm with the purchase of Lot M1112 of Victoria Location 1934 for £111 (127 acres) [27]
     On 31 October 1918 purchased Lot M1122 of Victoria Locations 1934 and 1935 for £203 (407 acres) [27]
He also purchased the non-adjoining Lot M1082 of Victoria Location 1935 for 1935 for £545 (873 acres) [27]
     Lot M1082 is situated on the north side of what is now Waters Road [62]
Inaugural Director of the North Midlands Farmers' Co-operative Company in 1919[9: 27-Jun-1919]
Paid £2 for clearing a portion of a road in Carnamah for the Upper Irwin Road Board in October 1919 [9: 3-Oct-1919]
Purchased an International Titan tractor in April 1921, presumably through Richard Purser & Company of West Guildford  [39: 9-Jul-1921]
Member of the Carnamah-Winchester branch of the Primary Producers Association - was Secretary in 1921 [9: 6-May-1921]
Attended and exhibited at the Picnic Race Meeting & Agricultural Show in Carnamah on Thursday 22 September 1921 [9: 30-Sep-1921]
     He was the most successful exhibitor winning three 2nd prizes for Swede Turnips, Carrots and Wheat for Hay; [9]
     and five 1st prizes for Late Cabbage, Potatoes, Onions, Cauliflower, and Collection of Six Varieties of Vegetables [9]
Proposed the toast to departing resident Zeb GREEN at the Footballers Smoke Social in Carnamah on 23 January 1923 [9: 2-Feb-1923]
Foundation Secretary of Carnamah's Dingo Club in 1923, which was established to "combat the dingo pest" [9: 17-Aug-1923]
Secretary of the committee who ran the Annual Show & Sports Carnival in Carnamah on Thursday 20 September 1923 [86: 4-Oct-1923]
      In addition to leading the committee for the show he also won the five guinea trophy for being the most successful exhibitor [86]
      Won 1st prizes for Six Varieties of Vegetables, Late Cabbage, Pods of Peas and Beetroot in the Vegetable section [86]
      Awarded the prize for the Best Merino Fleece, and in Poultry won 1st for Heavy Breed Female and 2nd for Heavy Breed Male [86]
A field day was held on his farm on Sunday 20 October 1923 to inspect and discuss his experimental plots of wheat and oats [9]
     The plots were reported to be an education to local farmers on the varieties of wheat and oats most suitable to grow [9: 16-Nov-1923]
Steward of the Carnamah Race Club's Picnic Race Meeting held in Carnamah on 25 September 1924 [86: 27-Sep-1924]
A fire on 5 January 1925 destroyed his haystack, stubble, chaffcutter and a quantity of seed wheat [9: 16-Jan-1925]
     A year later lightening struck his stables and started another fire, which burnt 30 acres of John BOWMAN's crop [9: 22-Jan-1926]
Obtained the telephone in 1926 - was telephone number Carnamah-8 [60]
He and fellow Carnamah farmer Joseph BALMER ran for a vacancy on the Carnamah District Road Board in 1926 [39: 7-Sep-1926]
     Served on the Carnamah District Road Board, and was Chairman of the Board from 1926 until his death in 1932 [7: page 111]
Member of the Carnamah Race Club - was Vice President in 1927 and a Committee Member in 1928 [9: 8-Apr-1927, 23-Mar-1928]
Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society 1927-1931 [9: 21-Oct-1927, 13-Oct-1928]
     He was a Committee Member in 1927, Acting Secretary in 1928 and President 1929-1931 [4: 28-Sep-1929, 2-Nov-1929, 8-Nov-1930]
He was the Returning Officer for the Three Springs Road Board's inaugural election of members in 1929 [4: 16-Feb-1929]
Founding Chairman in 1928 of a committee formed to obtain a hospital at Carnamah [4: 17-Mar-1928]
Made a donation to the Carnamah Football Club to aid them in raising funds to send a team to Geraldton in 1928 [4: 22-Sep-1928]
In 1928 he grew 600 acres of wheat crop and ran approximately 750 sheep on his farm in Carnamah [120: 20-Dec-1928]
The Carnamah District Road Board recommended he be appointed a Justice of the Peace in May 1928 [4: 26-May-1928]
     By 1930 he had been appointed a Justice of the Peace for the Victoria Magisterial District [4: 12-Apr-1930]
     As a local Justice of the Peace presided as Magistrate over cases that went before the  Carnamah Police Court [4: 12-Apr-1930]
Won first prize for Medium Wool at the Carnamah Show and Sports Carnival held in Carnamah on 4 October 1928 [4: 13-Oct-1928]
Inaugural Committee Member in 1928 and Deputy Chairman in 1930 of the Carnamah Ratepayers Association [4: 27-Oct-1928, 22-Mar-1930]
Attended a meeting at the Carnamah Hall on 19 April 1929 to discuss the establishment of flour mills in Carnamah [86: 20-Apr-1929]
Chairman of the Carnamah Recreation Ground Improvement Committee in 1929 [4: 1-Jun-1929]
Member of the Carnamah Parents & Citizens Association - was Chairman in 1929 [4: 31-Aug-1929]
Presented Centenary Medals to the schoolchildren at the Centenary Celebrations in Carnamah on 13 September 1929 [4: 21-Sep-1929]
Entered exhibits in the Horse and Vegetable sections of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Show in 1929 [4: 28-Sep-1929]
     Won 2nd prizes for a Farm Mare, Farm Gelding and Pair of Farm Horses in the Horse section [4]
     Won 1st prize for a Collection of Vegetables and 2nd prizes for Cauliflower, Early Variety Cabbage, Potatoes and Beetroot [4]
Attended the Grand Ball following the Carnamah Show and opening of Centenary Park on 19 September 1929 [4: 28-Sep-1929]
Served on the Carnamah School Board in 1929 [4: 31-Aug-1929]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son in the 1920s and early 1930s [53]
As Chairman of the Carnamah Road Board officially opened the Billeroo School Hall in East Winchester on 3 April 1930 [4: 12-May-1952]
Founding Member of the Carnamah Masonic Lodge No.150 WAC on 21 March 1930 - was Worshipful Master in 1931 [96] [153]
Member of Carnamah's branch of the Primary Producers Association in 1930 [4: 4-Oct-1930]
Vice President of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1930 [4: 4-Oct-1930]
Acting Chairman of the Carnamah Ratepayers & Citizens Association while John BOWMAN was in Scotland in 1930 [4: 1-Feb-1930]
In 1930 he entered exhibits in the Horse, Sheep and Vegetable section of the annual Carnamah Agricultural Show [4: 27-Sep-1930]
     In the horse section he won 1st prize for Farm Gelding and 2nd prize for a Pair of Farm Horses in Harness [4]
     Won 2nd prize for "Three Fat Shorn Wethers" in the Sheep section and 2nd prize for the "Best Collection of Vegetables" [4]
His original piece of land, Lot M951, obtained an additional 2 acres in January 1931 due to the closure of an adjoining road [27]
Member of Carnamah's branch of the Wheatgrowers' Union in 1931 [4: 29-Mar-1931]
Vice President of the Carnamah Football Club in 1931 [4: 18-Apr-1931]
Attended the funeral of "Father of Carnamah" Donald MACPHERSON at the Winchester Cemetery on 14 August 1931 [4: 22-Aug-1931]
By 1932 had sold his 873 acre block (Lot M1082) as by that time it was owned by neighbouring farmer W. Henry WATSON [3]
Pallbearer at the funeral of Mrs Janet Allison RAFFAN on 20 February 1932 at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah [4: 5-Mar-1932]
In March 1932 the Carnamah District Road Board resolved to rename two streets and a road in the Carnamah townsite [39: 26-Mar-1932]
     One of the renamed streets was in his honour - with Boojerabba Street being changed to Robertson Street [39: 26-Mar-1932]
His wife Jane passed away from pneumonia and heart failure the Carnamah Private Hospital on 14 May 1932 [P1]
     He himself was unwell at the time and attended Jane's funeral under the care of local doctor Cecil P. ROSENTHAL [4: 21-May-1932]
     At the next meeting of the Carnamah District Road Board he was granted three months leave due to ill-health [4: 7-May-1932]
During his leave he received a letter signed by the members of the Carnamah District Road Board, dated Monday 27 June 1932 [100]
     "Heartiest Greetings and Sincerest Wishes from the acting chairman, members and secretary of the Carnamah Road Board" [100]
As Road Board chairman received the first letter stamped from the new Carnamah Post Office on 30 June 1932 [7: page 183]
Tripped with a loaded gun when about to shoot a wild dog, the charge entering the side of his head resulting in his death [12: 15-Jul-1932]
A Coronial Inquiry was held in Carnamah into the cause of his death on 8 July 1932, and its finding was that [4]
     his cause of death was "as the result of a gunshot wound accidentally caused by himself whilst out shotting" [4: 16-Jul-1932]
Father of Charles [P136]
Died 7 July 1932 in Carnamah; buried Winchester Cemetery, Carnamah (Row B, Plot 11) [1]
His estate was valued at £2,505 and was to be divided equally between his wife and son, although his wife had also died [39: 25-Oct-1932]
His farmland in Carnamah was transferred into the name of his son Charles on 13 April 1933 [3]
A notice concerning any claims against his estate appeared in The North Midland Times newspaper on 1 December 1933 [5: 1-Dec-1933]
When he died he owned effects worth £219/14/- in England [378]

From the Progress Report of the Royal Commission on the Agricultural Industries
of Western Australia on the Wheat-Growing Portion of the South-West Division of the State
Wednesday 6 June 1917 at Carnamah "RICHARD ROBERTSON, Farmer, Carnamah, sworn and examined:
I have an improved Midland farm. The land was valued unduly high as compared with the Government land. I hold 434 acres. The real value is about £3 10s., whereas I am charged £4 15s. It would be a help if the Company extended the payments over a longer term. My cropping operations have been successful. My yields have been 18 bushels the first year, and 20 bushels this year. I had in 130 acres the first year and 285 acres this year. I like the country and the prospects."

From The Western Mail newspaper, Friday 20 December 1928:
Country Towns and Districts - Carnamah-Coorow - Rapid Development - Leading Residents - Road Board Chairman
"The chairman of the road board is Mr R. Robertson, who settled in the district immediately after his arrival from Scotland in 1915. Before leaving the old country he had been a colliery manager. This is his second year in the chair of the board, and he is also chairman of the local show committee. Mr Robertson owns about 1,700 acres, of which 600 are under wheat. On 900 acres he carries, roughly, 750 sheep, from which he forwards fat lambs to the metropolitan market."

From The Western Mail newspaper, Thursday 9 January 1930:
Country Towns and Districts - Carnamah's Advancement
"The energetic chairman of the Carnamah Road Board is Mr. R. Robertson - a Fifeshire man. Fifteen years ago he came out from Scotland where he had been a mine manager, to take up a block of 430 acres at Carnamah under the Midland Railway Co's improved farm scheme. He knew precious little about agriculture then, but he was well imbued with Scotch determination so that today his farm is more than twice as large as when he acquired it and his knowledge of wheat farming considerable. He is one of the most prominent public men in a progressive community. When the road board was constituted in 1923 he became secretary for two years, only to be elected a member on his relinquishing the post. He has been chairman for two years. He is also chairman of the agricultural society and the parents' and citizens' association."

From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 9 July 1932:
Late Mr. R. Robertson - Prominent Carnamah Resident - Death Through Accident
"Quite a gloom was cast over the Carnamah district on Thursday evening by the news of the death under very sad circumstances of Mr. R. Robertson, a very well known and highly respected resident of the district. It appears that Mr. Robertson was out shooting parrots when he slipped on a small drain, falling forward on his gun, and the charge entered his head, inflicting fatal injuries. An inquest was held on Friday morning before Mr. J. Bowman, J.P., Acting Coroner, and evidence was tendered by Dr. Rosenthal, Constable Street, and Mr. Charles Robertson, a son of the deceased. A verdict was returned that death was due to a gunshot wound in the head, accidentally inflicted by himself. Deceased, who was 58 years of age, came to Western Australia in May, 1915, from Scotland, with his family. He had during his residence in the Carnamah district, taken a very active interest in public affairs, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He was the chairman of the Carnamah Road Board. Only two or three months ago his wife passed away, and he himself had been seriously ill, having for some time been treatment in Perth. His property was about three miles out of Carnamah, and his son, Mr. Charles Robertson, and his daughter-in-law lived with him. The funeral will take place this afternoon at the Carnamah cemetery, following a service at the Carnamah Hall at three o'clock."

From The Daily News newspaper, Saturday 9 July 1932:
Fatally Injured - While Shooting Birds
"On Thursday last, Mr Richard Robertson, farmer, of Carnamah, was fatally injured in a gun accident. He was shooting birds around his house on the farm, when the gun accidentally exploded and caused his death. Mr Robertson has occupied the position of chairman of the Carnamah Road Board for some years, and was very highly respected by the local residents. He had resided in the Carnamah district for the past 27 years."

From The Carnamah-Three Springs Times And Arrino Advertiser newspaper, Friday 15 July 1932:
Obituary - Mr R. Robertson - Death Through Accident
"Deep general regret was felt throughout the Carnamah district on Thursday evening of last week (July 7th) when it was learned that Mr. R. Robertson had met his death in tragic circumstances. Mr. Robertson was Chairman of the Carnamah Road Board and was very well known and highly respected throughout the whole North Midlands. Mr. Robertson was out carrying a loaded gun, apparently for the purpose of shooting a dog that he intended to destroy when he tripped and fell to the ground. The jolt of his fall exploded the weapon and the charge entered the side of Mr. Robertson's head, inflicting fatal injuries. An inquest was held at Carnamah before Mr. John Bowman, J.P. Acting Coroner, assisted by Constable H. V. Street of Three Springs. Mr. N. M. Graham, Solicitor of Carnamah watched the interests of the relatives of the deceased. Mr. Charles Robertson, son of the deceased, described the circumstances leading up to his hearing the gun explode. On running to investigate he found his father lying in a heap on top of his gun where he had obviously stumbled and in doing so had jolted the weapon, one trigger of which was very light, and caused it to discharge. He knew of no reason which would lead him to suspect that his father contemplated taking his own life. Doctor Rosenthal of Carnamah gave evidence of having examined the body. It was his opinion that death was the result of an accident pure and simple. He had been treating Mr. Robertson for an internal growth for some time but of late he showed a marked improvement in all round health. Constable Street was also examined by the acting Coroner, who then delivered the verdict that death was due to gunshot wounds in the head, accidentally inflicted by deceased himself while out shooting.  The late Mr. Robertson who was 58 years of age, came to Western Australia in May 1915, from Scotland, with his family. He had during his residence in Carnamah district, taken a very active interest in public affairs, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He was the Chairman of the Carnamah Road Board. Only two or three months ago his wife passed away, and he himself had been seriously ill, having for some time been under treatment in Perth. His property was about three miles out of Carnamah, and his son, Mr. Charles Robertson , and his daughter-in-law lived with him. The funeral took place on Saturday last in conjunction with that of the late Mr. C. Brewer."

From The Carnamah-Three Springs Times & Arrino Advertiser newspaper, Friday 15 July 1932:
A Joint Funeral
"The burial of Mr. Robertson and Mr. Brewer took place in conjunction on Saturday, July 9th, and it is estimated that no less than one hundred cars formed the impressive cortege. A Church service was conducted at Carnamah by the Rev. A. W. Curtis, Anglican Rector and Paster Barnes of the Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. The funeral then proceeded to Winchester, arriving there at 3:45 p.m. The concluding portion of the service for Mr. Robertson was then taken by Mr. Barnes. The chief mourners were Mr. and Mrs. C. Robertson."

From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 16 July 1932:
Carnamah in Mourning - Passing of Two Prominent Citizens
Memorable Double Funeral on Saturday Last - District's Wonderful Tribute of Respect
    "Hushed into a spirit of deep gloom with the news of the sudden death of Mr. R. Robertson, chairman of the Carnamah Road Board and a prominent public character in other respects, who was killed at his home as the result of a shotting accident on Thursday afternoon of last week, residents of Carnamah and the surrounding districts were stunned and horrified on the following day when it became known that Mr. Charles J. Brewer, licensee of the Carnamah Hotel, had been found dead in his bedroom, to which he had apparently retired during the afternoon for a brief rest. The remains of both the deceased gentlemen were laid to rest in the local cemetery on Saturday last, being followed to the graveside by a large cortege of people numbering approximately three hundred, who were conveyed in a long procession of over eighty motor vehicles.
     The Late Mr. Robertson - An Active Public Citizen - At the time of his death, particulars of which are contained elsewhere in the report of a coronial inquiry, the late Mr. Robertson was 58 years of age, having come from Scotland to Western Australia during 1915, afterwards settling on the land at Carnamah, in which centre he quickly gained the respect and admiration of everyone privileged to come in contact with him. Taking an active part in public affairs generally, he was subsequently elected to the office of chairman of the Carnamah Road Board. A position that he retained and fulfilled with credit to himself for a number of years. He was a prominent member of the masonic fraternity, and members of several lodges present at the funeral, including Mingenew and Carnamah, combined in paying a last tribute of respect and regard at the graveside. Only a few weeks ago the late Mr. Robertson was called upon to follow the remains of his wife to the grave, being then in a feeble state of health himself. When his death occurred, although unable to resume his former public activity, the deceased gentleman had recovered to the extent of being able to move about, but he was still far from strong. He is survived by one son (Mr. Charles Robertson), who with his wife lived with his father at "Woodbine Farm," and for whom the deepest sympathy has been expressed in his double bereavement.
     A Memorable Funeral - Impressive Services At Carnamah Hall - Early on Saturday afternoon motor cars began to take up a stand in the man thoroughfare of the town, and punctually at 3 o'clock a large crowd quietly filed into the Carnamah Hall, where a combined service was conducted by the Rev. J. Barnes (Presbyterian Church) and the Rev. A. W. Curtis (Anglican Church), the former gentleman officiating in conjunction with the burial of the late Mr. Robertson. Covered with beautiful floral tributes, the two caskets flanked on either side a table at which the clergymen took up positions and conducted a most impressive service. With Mr. G. K. Ryder as accompanist, the large congregation joined in the signing  of "Lead, Kindly Light" and "Abide With Me," both hymns being rendered with feeling emphasis. The long cortege then commenced the journey to the cemetery situated about eight miles from Carnamah. On arrival the cars were parked on each side of the road to form an approach to the burial ground, and the people they had conveyed wending their way to the graveisde formed a memorable and touching sight, and proved a striking illustration of the respect and esteem in which the deceased gentlemen were held in the district. The casket containing the remains of the late Mr. Robertson having been committed to the grave by the Rev. J. Barnes, mourners remained quietly around the open grave whilst the bearers conveyed the other casket to its last resting place. The crowd then moved to the second grave, where the Rev. Curtis conducted the burial rites of the Anglican Church over the body of the late Mr. Brewer. Everything was admirably orderly, there being no hitch or haste in any instance, a beautiful and touching solemnity befitting the occasion being preserved throughout. At the conclusion of the ceremonies the mourners quietly and reverently dispersed, leaving the earthly remains of the relative, friend or fellow citizen to rest in peace, free from pain and free from care, but leaving by such freedom vacant places and lonely hearts behind them. The pall-bearers for Mr. Robertson's funeral were Messrs. A. C. Bierman, A. A. McGilp, J. K. Forrester, J. S. Rooke, J. Bowman, J. Lang, sen., C. W. Turner, A. W. Hollingsworth and G. K. Ryder, the gentlemen officiating in a similar capacity for the burial of the late Mr. Brewer being Messrs. G. F. Brown, J. Harmer, W. Sheridan, A. B. Gloster, R. C. Drage, H. Street, N. McKenzie and Dr. C. P. Rosenthal. The pall-bearers included representatives of the Carnamah Road Board, the Carnamah Agricultural Society, the Carnamah Masonic Lodge, the Carnamah Race Club, the Carnamah Rifle Club, the Carnamah Football Club, and other organisations. The chief mourners for the late Mr. Robertson were his son and daughter-in-law (Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Robertson), the late Mr. Brewer being mourned at the graveside by Mrs. Brewer (widow), Miss Adeline Brewer (daughter), Mrs. McKenzie (sister), and N. McKenzie (brother-in-law). As a mark of respect to the deceased gentlemen all the business houses of Carnamah were closed for a period of three hours during the afternoon of the funeral."

Comment by Eric Reid on 25 November 2016:
"My maternal grandfather (William Robertson) was a younger brother of Richard Robertson. Richard married Jane Syme in 1896 (birth name Forrester; she adopted her natural father's name later) in Dundonald, Auchterderran, Fife, Scotland at the age of 22. He was a coal miner. By 1901 he had been promoted to Colliery Overman, the second stage up the management ladder (the first being Fireman). At that time he and his family (Jane and son Charles) were living in Block 5, Denend, Auchterderran. Denend was less than a mile away from Dundonald. By 1911 he was living with his family in Bothwell, Lanakshire, Scotland in Aitkenhead Cottages. He was by now Colliery Manager. Quite a leap to buy a farm in Australia in 1915! However, the life and conditions in coal mining towns back then were appalling.He also had a younger brother, John Stanley Robertson who also emigrated with his family in 1926, but to New Zealand. My grandfather went to South Africa to check out life there, with two brother-in-laws to assess prospects of bringing their families out. Disaster. In a coal mine north of Jo'burgh an explosion killed one of his brother-in-laws and disabled his other for life. He survived unscathed, and retreated home to Auchterderran."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Richard Robertson' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 May 2024 from [reference list]

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