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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Robert Wilkinson HOWE

Born 1862 in Fremantle, Western Australia [15]
Son of Thomas Wilkinson HOWE and Catherine BAKER [15]
His father had arrived in Western Australia as convict 1597 on the convict shipDudbrook on 7 February 1853 [107]
Married (1) Hannah EATON in Albany in 1887 [15]
Labourer in Albany 1895-1897 [6]
Assistant Lighthouse Keeper at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse near Karridale 1898-1904 [6]
His daughter Ada passed away in 1912 and his wife Hannah died in 1914 [P382]
Lighthouse Keeper on Breaksea Island in King George Sound near Albany 1915-1919[6] [50]
Married (2) Mrs Emily WELLS on 12 March 1917 at Saint Paul's Church in the Perth suburb of South Fremantle [39: 10-May-1917]
Head Lighthouse Keeper on Rottnest Island 1920-1924 [6]
After retiring from lighthouse keeping retired with his wife Emily to Perth [P22]
Resided in retirement at 35 Tamar Street in the Perth suburb of Palmyra 1925-1934 [6] [50]
Resided at 62 Petra Street in the Perth suburb of Palmyra in 1935 and 1936 [6]
Resided at 14 Howick Street in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park 1936-1940 [6]
Himself and his wife fled Perth in fear after the Japanese bombing of Darwin in the Northern Territory in 1942 [P22]
They shifted to Carnamah, where his stepson "Ned" Edmund K. WELLS had been living and working for 16 years [P22]
Resided at 3 Niven Crescent, next to the Anglican Church, in the Carnamah townsite in 1942 and early 1943 [P22] [57]
They rented the house at 3 Niven Crescent from its owner Mrs Jessie C. THOMPSON[3] [179]
During their time in Carnamah his wife's grand-daughters Vida E. WELLS and Margaret E. WELLS lived with them [P22]
Himself and his wife left Carnamah in mid January 1943 and shifted back to Perth[5: 15-Jan-1942]
Father of Harold Robert, Eveline Emma, Ada Mildred and Fay Catherine [15]
Died 15 March 1943; buried Fremantle Cemetery, Perth suburb of Palmyra (Anglican, A6, 50) [2]

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 19 March 1943:
Obituary - Late Robert Howe
"A colourful personality passed away in Perth on Monday in the person of Mr. Robert Wilkinson Howe, who until recently, had been a resident of Carnamah. The late gentleman spent many of his years as a light-house keeper, and in this capacity his life was a lonely one. Often, for months at a stretch, he would lead a comparatively isolated life; the only other people with whom he came in contact being members of his own family, and the family of his assistant. Some years ago he retired and took up residence in the city, but last year he and his wife evacuated to Carnamah. Failing health compelled both Mr. and Mrs. Howe to again consider the advisability of residing in the city, and they left Carnamah only a few weeks ago. The deceased gentleman was twice married, his second wife being Mrs. Wells (Ned's mother). His widow, two daughters, one son, six step-daughters and six step-sons are left to mourn their loss. One daughter predeceased him. The late Mr. Howe had reached the ripe old age of 81 years. And so passes on one of those picturesque figures who guide the "ships that pass in the night.""

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Robert Wilkinson Howe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 9 May 2021 from [sources]

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