Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Always remembered

My great-uncle's last resting place is in a cemetery on the outskirts of Casino, the beef capital of Australia.

Mr Grigg and I walked through the rows and rows of headstones in the baking New South Wales heat.

A shout went up from the left.

'Here it is,' Mr Grigg said.

We had finally found it.

'In loving memory of James Walter Hull, died 13.12.73 aged 76. Always remembered.'

I pondered for a while and thought of the adventures Uncle Jim must have had since landing in Australia in 1925. Driving the post coach and horses, seeing and buying the 4,000-plus acre farm at Rappville and then setting up home there with his young cousin Percy, who was to die a few years later in a flu epidemic.

Mr Grigg and I sat and drank beer in the Commercial Inn, built in 1911 and still stuck in place between the pioneering days and the 1960s. We were told the town had been used as the set for 'that Pommy show Heartbeat', which is being broadcast on Australian TV in the autumn. The whole place felt just as it might have done when Uncle Jim was alive.

We did not find his house although I like to think one of the timber-clad buildings we saw beyond the roadside could have been his. As we drove slowly along Myrtle Creek Road, which would have probably bounded my great-uncle's farm, a kangeroo bounced past and then hid in the forest. Around the corner, a herd of cattle ambled across the road, saw our car and then quietly disappeared into the bush.

I now intend to find out more about the life of Jim the man, so he is not forgotten. Always remembered.

That's about it

Love Maddie x


  1. That's lovely; it must have been very atmospheric to be in the area of which your Uncle lived. He passed away on my birthday.

    CJ xx

  2. So many people today choose no service (you see the notice in the paper 'no service by request') and no marker. The connection you've felt to your uncle and the sort of connection I've felt when I visit the graves of my grandparents will be unavailable to future generations. What a loss.

  3. How exciting! Please keep us posted on what you find out about your great-uncle!

    Great photos, too, and I do envy you that you're in a *warm* place right now. Had to scrape ice off the windscreen this morning. )-:


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