Emily Frances Walker

F, b. 1882, d. 18 August 1961

Emily Frances Stewart Walker

F, b. 1890, d. 1961
  • Emily Frances Stewart Walker was born in 1890 in Queensland.
  • She was the daughter of Alfred Walker and Jane Stewart McIntosh.
  • Emily Frances Stewart Walker appeared on the Electoral Roll with Alfred Walker and Jane Stewart McIntosh in 1908 in Cawdor. Alfred was a farmer. Their daughter Emily carried out home duties and gave her address as Meringandan.
  • Emily Frances Stewart Walker died in 1961 in Brisbane, Queensland.

Emily Maude Walker

F, b. 12 November 1884, d. 5 February 1947
  • Emily Maude Walker was born on 12 November 1884 in Perseverance, Queensland.
  • She was the daughter of Benjamin Robert Walker and Henrietta Martin.
  • At the age of 19 years, 11 months and 19 days, Emily Maude Walker married David Shape, the son of George Sharpe and Jane McGleggan, on 31 October 1904.
  • Emily Maude Walker died on 5 February 1947 in Queensland at age 62.

Eric Leigh Walker

M, b. 5 May 1894, d. 1985
  • Eric Leigh Walker was born on 5 May 1894 in New Zealand.
  • He was the son of Edwin Walker and Helen Amelia Constance Holdaway.
  • Eric Leigh Walker embarked from Wellington for Devonport, England on 26 June 1916. He had joined the 14th Reinforcements New Zealand Cyclists Corps. He was a farmer and listed his next of kin as his father of Pakaraka, Bay of Islands.
  • At the age of 26 years, Eric Leigh Walker married Mary Allan Martin Lightbody in 1921 in New Zealand.
  • On 13 December 1943,his wife, Mary Allan Martin Lightbody died in New Zealand at age 45.
  • Eric Leigh Walker died in 1985 in New Zealand.

Ernest Gordon Walker

M, b. July 1898, d. 23 April 1968

Ernest Lyle Walker

M, b. 12 February 1904, d. 1982

Esther Jane Walker

F, b. 1882

Francis Alwyn Walker

M, b. 1897, d. 1942
  • Francis Alwyn Walker was born in 1897 in Queensland. He was the son of Walter William and Jane Coutts Farquharson, now Maxwell.
  • At the age of 25 years, Francis Alwyn Walker married Matilda Elizabeth Hillberg in 1922 in Queensland.
  • Francis Alwyn Walker appeared on the Electoral Roll between 1925 and 1930 living at Perseverance. He was a saw sharpener. Matilda carried out home duties.
  • Francis Alwyn Walker died in 1942 in Queensland.

Frederick Cliff Walker

M, b. circa 1860
  • Frederick Cliff Walker was born circa 1860.

Child of Frederick Cliff Walker and Emma Wyatt

George Walker

M, b. 24 December 1857, d. 27 February 1926
  • George Walker was born on 24 December 1857 in Deloraine, Tasmania. He was the son of William WALKER and Maryann BESANT.
  • At the age of 22 years, 5 months and 23 days, George Walker married Louisa Burgess, daughter of George Burgess and Ann Haines, on 16 June 1880 in Church of England, Deloraine, Tasmania. They had nine children. They were all born in Deloraine or near Deloraine, except for Martha who was born in Westbury in 1885.
  • George Walker died on 27 February 1926 at age 68.
  • George was buried in Deloraine Cemetery.

Children of George Walker and Louisa Burgess

Gertrude Constance Walker

F, b. 1904, d. 21 April 1920

Gertrude Alice Walker

F, b. 9 March 1887

Grace Emily Walker

F, b. 1884

Henrietta Mary Walker

F, b. 8 September 1893, d. 12 November 1913
  • Henrietta Mary Walker was born on 8 September 1893 in Queensland.
  • She was the daughter of Benjamin Robert Walker and Henrietta Martin.
  • Henrietta Mary Walker died on 12 November 1913 in Queensland at age 20.

Henry Joseph Walker

M, b. 2 May 1883

Hubert Walker

M, b. 1897

Ivy Ethel Walker

F, b. 1911

James Thomas William Walker

M, b. 1886, d. 1946
  • James Thomas William Walker was born in 1886 in Queensland.
  • He was the son of Alfred Walker and Jane Stewart McIntosh.
  • James Thomas William Walker appeared on the Electoral Roll in 1908 living at Cawdor. He was a farmer.
  • James Thomas William Walker died in 1946 in Queensland.

Jane May Walker

F, b. 1894

John Francis Walker

M, b. 1888

Jonathan Robert Walker

M, b. 1869, d. 1924

Kenneth Walker

M, b. circa 1923, d. 14 February 1926
  • Kenneth Walker was born circa 1923.
  • He was the son of Edgar John Walker and Ivy Jane Walsh.
  • Kenneth Walker died on 14 February 1926 in Wollery's Mill, Gilderoy. His parents and brother Bertie died at the same time.
  • On 10 March 1926 "The Argus" newspaper reported on the coroners finding into the deaths of those lost in the bushfires. It read " VICTIMS OF THE FIRES.



    Graphic Evidence at Inquest.


    Stories told at inquests held yesterday by the city coioner (Nr. D. Berriman) into the deaths of the bush fire victims in the Warburton and Powelltown districts told realistically of the suffering and heroism of the survivors. The first inquiry was held in the Yarra Junction Shire Hall in the morning and concerned the deaths of 14 people at Worlley's mill Gilderoy, and two at Powelltown. Women in black wept silently throughout the hearing of the evidence and among the witnesses were Arthur Walker and Harry King the only two survivors of the mill party which sought safety on an old farm and was cut off by the flames. Both men, who have been in the Melbourne Hospital had their right arms in slings. Smoke from fires in the surrounding hills swirled through the hall during the hearing

    In the afternoon the lnquiry at Warburton related to six deaths at Big Pat's Creek including those of the five members of the Donald family. The alarm bell sounded twice while the hearing was in progress and as witnesses gave their evidence they were released to join the volunteers fighting the fires round Warburton.

    All the deaths occured on Sunday, February 14.

    The victims at Powelltown and Gilderoy were: - Lindsay Douglas King aged 21 years, mill hand single; Leslie Carl Hay age 31 years, mill hand married five children; Sydney Johns aged 31 years mill hand, single; Herber Johns aged l8 years; Richard Cyril Duncan aged two years and seven months; Ivy Jane Walker aged 29 years married; Edgar John Walker aged 31 years mill worker married two years; Bertie Walker aged four years; Kenneth Walker aged three years; Albert Lunson aged 22 years timber worker single; Valentine Walsh age 27 years timber worker single; Lawrence Roberts aged 28 years mill hand single; Joseph Charles Ross Johnstone aged 34 years engine-driver married one child; Albert Ernest Sand- ham aged 26 years mill hand single; Walter Ernest Charle Bull aged 39 years telegraphist married; William Anson aged 67 years labourer single.

    Tho coroner was assisted bv Subinspector Gardner. Mr Maurice Blackburn appeared for the relatives of the deceased, and for the Victorian branch of the Australian Timber Workers' Union.

    Arthur Mark Bowe, winchdriver, Yarra Junction, said My wife was keeping a boarding house for the employees of the mill. At half past 10 o clock in the morningg I noticed a fire burning near Saxton' s mill, about a mile and a half away. An hour later burning sticks and bark came overhead and set the hill on the west side alight. By a quartet to 2 o 'clock the fire had almost reached the mill. My son Clarence and I started to make a fire break about 10ft wide at the back of the house.

    I called on the others, to help me, but they were all running about excitedly. The fire came up to our break and stopped but it worked round and caught another house close by, which set our house on fire. Men, wonen, and children made for the horse trough, and buried their luggage. I went to get a tin of water so that we could have a drink when the fire had passed over I called to the others, "The water is all gone! Get down to the creek'! That is our only chance." They left the horse trough and started for the creek. I was some distance behind when I noticed most ot the party leaving the creek. My wife, Mrs Duncan, and Clarence stayed with me and I called to the others," For God's sake don't go up there, or you are caught!"

    Lindsay King shouted, "Come on. It is all right. We can get through." They kept going and that was the last time that I saw any of them alive except Arthur Walker and Harry King. I know that they could not get through the fire and shortly afterwards it crossed the tramline behind them, so that they could not get back. We crouched in the creek and the fire swept over us at a terrific pace. The heat was unbearable. Later, I came out of the creek, and met Walker and Harry King coming towards me. King was on his hands and knees. Walker was stumbling and fell into the creek. I carried King to the creek, and poured water over them both. They were badly burned. Walking along the tramline I found the bodies of the remainder of the party. I counted 13 bodies. When it came dusk, we all left the creek and went to the top of the hill, where we remained all night.

    Lillian Howe, wife of the previous witness, said that Mrs Duncan and she would have perished in the creek had not her husband kept throwing water over them. On their way to Saxton's mill the following morning, they were blocked at one point by a large burning tree which had fallen across the track. Exhausted and hungry, they were compelled to scrape away the sand with their hands to make a hole large enough to crawl under the tree. King and Walker, who were smoke blind and badly burned, had then to be dragged through this hole.

    Elizabeth Duncan, married woman, said:

    My son, Richard Duncan. aged two years and seven months, was burnt to death in the fire. I had been assisting Mrs Rowe in conducting the boating house, and had only been at Gilderoy for a week. When we were in the creek Mr Len King took my boy and tried to make to safety at the old farm with him but was compelled to turn back. He then left my boy with the remainder of the party, and that was the last time I saw him alive.

    Main Party Cut Off

    Arthur George Walker, sawmill hand said: While the others stayed in the creek, the main party tried tn reach some cleared land up the hill. We had gone about half-way when the fire leapt up in front of us. We turned and rushed back towards the creek, but when we reached the log yard we saw that the fire was aleady over the creek. We were cut off and could neither advance nor retreat. Lind say King took Mrs Walker and tried to force his way through the flames with her. They got half way and had to come back. I then attempted to reach safety with Mrs Walker but was also forced back. I could then see that there was no chance of saving anyone so I ran through the log yard, through the mill, which was on fire, and into the creek. Harry King had gone this way some minutes before. We dropped into the creek, and stayed there for three hours.

    Reoovory of Bodies.

    Mounted constable F.R.H. Raper, stationed at Yarra Junction, said that while conveying the body of Ernest Bull to Yarra Junction he heard of the disaster at Gilderoy. He left Bull's body at Saxton's house and went to the mill which he found had been totally destroyed. He described the finding of the bodies. In one place seven bodies were huddled together, three being those of children.

    Charles Reuben Lewis, mill hand, said that he left the mill at noon on Saturday and returned on the Mondav morning from Yarra Junction. He described the finding of the bodies and how he had been able to identify them by articles of their property.

    John Henry Hudson, labourer, Yarra Junction, described the finding of a body burned beyond recognition. Lying beside it was an imitation pin made of cardboard in the form of a Union Jack, and with the name on it in ink "Joseph Johnstone." Johnstone had worn this pin ever since witness had known him.

    Death of Ernest Bull

    A statement made by Arthur Bryant butcher, Powelltown, to Detective McKerrall was read. ln this he said:-About 6 o'clock on the Sunday night I went to Morris's slaughter-yard in Powelltown to kill a beast and some sheep for the following day. Alexander Sparks and Ernest Bull were with me. Bush fires were in the hills on every side, and the smoke was very thick. Bull returned to Powell- town. I released the cattle and sheep and we then lit two small fires as a break against the main fire which was closing in on all sides. We tried to cross the gully but the scrub was so thick that we could not get through. As we ran back towards the pigsty Bull cried, " I am done," and fell on his knees. I said, "Come on; we will be burnt to to death,"and Sparks and I helped him to the pig- sty. The fire became too hot and we moved into the sty among the pigs. But then the sty caught fire and we were forced out of it, and Bull threw himself in the ground and exclaimed," I am done."

    He kept catching his throat and asked us to cut his throat. He then lay still and did not speak. I examined him, feeling heart and pulse, and he appeared to be dead. The sty was then burning fiercely, and we were compelled to run through the flames to the railway line to save our own lives. That night we returned to the spot with others and found Bull's charred body near the pigsty.

    Fatal Refusal to Leave

    Charles Henry King, a line-repairer, Powelltown, said - About a quartar to 4 o'clock on the Sunday afternoon. accompanied by Carl Thomas, I went to No 13 mill, as the fires were raging there. Willliam Anson was sitting at his hut door, and the fire was burning fiercely on the l hill opposite the hut. I said to him, "You had better pack up, Bill and come with us." He replied, "No, Charlie; I have a little patch on the top of the hill and if the mill catches fire I am going up there." I tried in every way to induce him to leave the hut but he refused to do so. Fires broke out round his hut and I tried to put them out but it was no use. The heat became so intense that we had to run away or we would have been burned. Eventually we reached Cummings house, which is two miles dis- tant. On the Tuesday I was one of a search party which recovered Anson's body. It was lying three chains from his hut in the direction of the cleared patch which he had indicated.

    Origin of Fire

    Carl Thomas labourer Powelltown gavesimilar evidence.

    Senior detective A 1 McKerrall said that his inquiries showed that the fire had begun on Mount Donna Buang about January 3, and had burnt slowly in the hills till February 14 when it had been fanned into activity by the north wind and had leapt through the bush.

    Coroner's Praise

    Tlie coroner found that the deaths of the 16 people had been caused through burns accidentally received in a bush fire.

    "I desire ," he added, " to bear testimony in such words as I can to the wonderful courage shown by the women and the men who met this holocaust on the fateful Sunday afternoon. It moves one deeply, even to think of it. Thy showed the courage that we expect from the sons and daughters of our race but they showed it in a mar- vellous way." The coroner spoke of the excellent work performed by the people of Yarra Junction in helping to bring out the bodies of the dead and in succouring the homeless. The police had given of their time and energies to the full extent- first, he was sure, as men, and second as servants of the Government. He knew, perhaps better than most, how ungrudgingly they bad gone without food and without sleep. He acknowledged also the assistance which he had received from Senior detective McKerrall, by the fine manner in which he had prepared a difficult brief."

Leonard Phillip Walker

M, b. 1907, d. 13 April 1927

Leslie Walker

M, b. 1899, d. 8 December 1918

Leslie Arthur Walker

M, b. 1899

Lillian Isabel Walker

F, b. 1898, d. 1926
  • Lillian Isabel Walker was born in 1898 in Queensland.
  • She was the daughter of Alfred Walker and Jane Stewart McIntosh.
  • Lillian Isabel Walker died in 1926 in Queensland.

Lucy Emily Walker

F, b. 1909

Malvina May Walker

F, b. 1891

Marjorie Jean Walker

F, b. 1912, d. 9 October 1966

Martha Amelia Walker

F, b. 29 June 1885