Fletcher Family

Joseph Fletcher and Harriet Hall

  • Abraham H Fletcher (1850 Bradford – 1906) Farmer and then Miner 1902 – 1906 – arrived in Australia on Dunbarcastle in 1871 – was at Raymond Terrace 1871 – 1873. Abraham married Jessie Elizabeth McDonald (b. Scotland ? – d. 1944) in 1878 and he was a miner at Mt Keira 1873 – 1890, and was prosecuted under the Masters and Servants Act in 1890. , then at Sherbrooke  where they had farms and orchards which produced fruit and vegetables for coastal and city markets – from 1890 – 1902. After resumption of Sherbrooke for Cataract Dam in 1903, they left for the Woonona – Bulli – Thirroul area and Abraham became solely a miner where he was killed in a mining accident in 1906 at Bulli Colliery – Inquest “was struck on the head by a prop which was knocked out by a fall of coal.  It was not at first anticipated that the injuries would prove fatal, but complications afterwards set in, and deceased died last Friday night. Deceased was a most respectable man, and a resident of the district for a lengthen-ed period. Prior to removing to Bulli he worked in the Mount Keira Colliery for many years. An inquest touching the death was held at the court house; Bulli, on Saturday, by Mr. J. Hart, Deputy Coroner. Inspector Watson, Mr. Youill, manager of Bulli Colliery, and Mr. D. Ritchie, miners’ general secretary, were present. The following evidence was given :—     Charles Robert Blinkco, miner, and son-in-law of deceased, deposed that on the 15th instant they were working together in the Bulli Colliery.   They were filling a skip, one being on  one side and one on the other. Witness was in a stooping position, picking up a “packer,” when he heard the coal give way at the face: In falling, the coal knocked a prop out, which he believed struck deceased, he shout ed out, but got no answer. He then ran round to where deceased was, and found him sitting in a dazed condition. He was about a minute before he became sensible, when he said, “What is the matter ? What struck   me on the head ?” He had a bruiseover the left eye. With the assistance of the deputy, witness placed deceased in a skip and took him out of the   mine and to his residence. The place was well timbered up to the face, and the coal came away without the least warning. Deceased was an experienced miner, and a very careful man. He was a married man, 56 years of age, with a grown-up family. When he got deceased home he sent for Dr. Dixon.In reply to Inspector Watson, witness said he believed the fall of coal  amounted to about a ton ; the coal did not require “holing” in the place where they were working. They never had occasion to use sprags.   In answer to Mr. Youill, witness said deceased walked from the tunnel mouth to his residence, about four or five hundred yards. Albert Alfred Webb, deputy at the Bulli Colliery, remembered the accident happening to deceased, being  about thirty or forty yards away at the time. He immediately went to the spot, where he saw deceased in a sitting position. Deceased was dazed, but understood what was said to him.Witness asked him if he was hurt much, and he replied, “Something struck me on the head.” He saw that there had been a fall of coal from the face where deceased was working, and that in its fall it had knocked out a prop; The place was well timbered, the nearest prop being within three feet of the face. The fall could not have been   foreseen by a practical miner, and the accident would have happened to anyone. He knew deceased well ; he was a practical miner, and was always very careful about his timbering. Dr. Dixon deposed that on the 15th. instant, in response to messages from  deceased’s wife and Mr. Youill, the manager of the colliery, he went to     his residence, where he found him in bed. He was conscious, but somewhat dazed. He had a large bruise over the left eye, and the forehead on the left side was swollen. There were two depressions in the skull at the junction   of the hair with the skin of the forehead. These depressions were the result of an old accident, which he was informed occurred in 1876. Deceased’s condition improved for the next few days, but a chronic cough from which he suffered became worse on the 17th.   On the 19th his condition was much improved, but on the 22nd symptoms of inflammation of the brain set in and he rapidly grew worse until he died shortly after 11 o’clock on Friday night. He considered the cause of   death was inflammation of the brain, resulting from an injury to the head, aggravated by chronic bronchitis and congestion of the lungs. If deceased were struck on the head by a falling prop it would account for the injuries he had sustained. In reply to Mr. Youill, witness said that when he first saw deceased he did not consider that his injuries were likely to prove fatal. The old injuries to the head would complicate the recent injuries, but to what extent he was unable to say. In reply to Mr. Ritchie, witness said the accident sustained by deceased might have caused death apart from any bronchial trouble from which he was suffering. A verdict was returned to the effect that deceased died from the effects of injuries accidentally received whilst working in the Bulli Colliery.  ” 1907 Memoriam – 1908 Memoriam – 1912 Memoriam
    • William Joseph Fletcher b. 1879 Mt Keira d. 1963 Auckland New Zealand  – married in 1903 Millerton New Zealand to Alice Ann McIntyre – enlisted with New Zealand Expeditionary Forces in 1917 – military record.
      • Dorothy Fletcher b. 1904 Millerton New Zealand
      • Owen Fletcher b.1904 Millerton New Zealand – d.1980
      • William Fletcher b.1910 New Zealand  b. Millerton
      • Son A. Fletcher  – at Gray Linn New Zealand in 1963
    • Harriet A Fletcher b. 1880 Mt Keira d. 1956 Woonona – married Charles Robert Blinkco – when they were forced to leave Sherbrooke and live at Bulli, Harriet worked for a time as a domestic for the Glass Family
      • Sarah E G Blinkco 1901 – 1982 married to Keith Charles Taylor
        • 1 child
      • Jessie Winifred Blinkco 1903 – 1983 married John Vincent Barnes
        • 3 children
      • Charles A Robert Blinkco 1905 – 1968  – known as Leonard Ralph Fletcher – married Mary Agnus Smith
        • 10 children
      • Emily Maude Blinkco 1907 – 1981 married Thomas Reed Johnson
        • 1 child
      • Doris Isobel Blinkco 1909 – married Leo Smythe
        • 1 child
      • Ethel M Blinkco 1912 – married Ronald Byron
        • 1 child
      • Joyce Ann Blinkco b. 1919 – married Stanley J G Luttrell
        • 1 child
    • Mary Ellen Fletcher b.1882 Mt Keira d.1981 Sydney m 1. Roy Love and 2. Herbert Shuttleworth
    • John Burnett Fletcher b. 1884 Mt Keira – d. 1916 Mouquet Farm Pozieres France -WW1 m. Anne (Annie) Elizabeth Murray b. 1886 Auckland New Zealand – died Manly 1970. John and Annie lived at Campbell St Woonona
      • John Abraham “Jack” Fletcher b. 1913 Woonona – d. 2008 Woonona, Fitter at AIS Steelworks for 38 years –  may have become Secretary of the Illawarra Choral Society in 1954 ? – married Ivy Maude Lanyon (1912 – 1973) at Campsie
        • Judith Ann Fletcher (b. 1938 – d. 1938)
        • Robert James Fletcher (b. 1943 Woonona – d. 2006 Port Kembla) – never married
        • one son married Jeanette Olga Clifford (b. 1945 – died 2004)
        • also additional 2 boys and 1 girl
      • Winifred Bertha  “Winnie” Fletcher married Alfred Arthur Alf Brodie in 1937 at Woonona Presbyterian Church – were planning to live in Belmore
    • Arthur Hall Fletcher b. 1886 Mt Keira d. 1966 New Zealand, Wharf Labourer / Driver – enlisted in January 1918 – possibly conscripted ? – New Zealand to serve in WW1 married in 1910 to Kate Edith Mettham – living in New Zealand at Corbett St Paeroa
    • Alexander Fletcher b. 1888 Mt Keira d. 1924 Bulli married Mary A Hobbs
      • Eileen Charlotte Fletcher, Teacher,  married George Edward James
        • 3 children
      • Lorna Mildred Fletcher married James Henry Williams
        • 1 child
      • Enid Jessie Fletcher married William Eggleston
        • 4 children
    • Robert Nicholson / Fletcher b. 1890 Mt Keira, Coal Miner, a lover of sport, keen archer, helped build the rock baths at Woonona  married [1]Violet Alma Neilson/Nelsson and [2] Lilian Green – note he dropped the name Fletcher on his second marriage
      • Alma Fletcher b. 1913 Woonona married Alfred Webb
      • Eric Wilfred Fletcher b. 1914 married Joy Frost
      • Dulcie Merril Fletcher b. 1917 Woonona married William Sutherland
      • Norma Verlie Fletcher b. 1919 Woonona  married Allan Stranley
      • Mona Breton Fletcher b.1923 Woonona married Norman Russell 
      • Rona Winifred Fletcher b. 1924 Bulli married Alan Nagel
      • Obre Ruth Fletcher b.1927 Bulli married Norman Hill
      • Maxwell George Nicholson b. 1931 Parkes
      • Patricia Clare Nicholson b.1932 Wellington married Robert Gunn
      • Norman Lawrence Nicholson b.1933 Lake Cargellico
      • Yvonne Nola Mary Nicholson b.1934 Tullamore married Edward Ward
      • Elva Maude Nicholson b.1936 Condoblin married Lachlan Beuzeville
      • Helen Elizabeth Nicholson b.1942 Condoblin married Fred Mitchell
      • John Bruce Nicholson b. 1944 Parkes
      • Shirley Ann b. 1946 Trundle married Peter Wark
    • Edgar Norman Fletcher b. 1891 Sherbrooke d. Concord – served in WW1 married Sirbelle Victoria May
    • Maude Elizabeth Fletcher b. 1893 Sherbrooke d. 1951 Blacktown  married Arthur Clarence Anderson and then Reuben Mark Totenhofer 
    • Donald McDonald Fletcher b. 1896 Sherbrooke d. 1917 France WW1
    • Abraham “Abram” Fletcher b. 1899 Sherbrooke d.1981 Bulli married Olga Jarrett
    • Jessie W Fletcher b.1901 Bulli d. 1902 Bulli
    • Rosa M Fletcher b. 1902 Woonona d.1966 Concord married in Auburn to Norbert Oliver – lived in Otford
    • Daisy Fletcher b. 1904 Bulli d. 1932 Auburn

When War broke out six of the boys enlisted but Bert and Alex were asked to stay home to look after their mother. John and Don were both killed in France, in 1916 and 1917 respectively. The family story is that when the ANZAC marches took place, that Jessie was given a place of honour at the church services held at the Domain as a mark of respect for the sacrifices made for God, King and Country by her sons.

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