Sarah Fivash, who was buried in the centre grave in a triple plot in the back row of the Methodist section, died 11 July 1865 aged 61 years. She was many years older than her husband, John. She came from Shirehampton, England, a town at the north-western edge of the city of Bristol, which was the lowest safe river crossing on the river Avon before it enters the Severn. The ferry service was replaced by a bridge in 1974. Sarah's husband John was buried with her when he died on 14 February 1906 at the age of 85 years. They had no children.
After Sarah died in 1865, her husband John asked his sister Charlotte to come to Australia to be his housekeeper. Soon after arriving she married John Southwood Melhuish and lived at Mount Duneed for many years.
John Southwood, second son of John Southwood and Elizabeth Fry (née Mitchell) Melhuish, arrived in the colony in February 1854 on the Agincourt with his parents and siblings. He married Charlotte in 1874. Charlotte was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (née Harvey). They had no children.
In February 1907, John sold 152 acres on the Duneed Creek (Ghazeepore) Road and also 76 acres on the corner of Ghazeepore and Russells Roads (known as Radford's) to McIntyre brothers. In April the same year he sold 504 acres at £8/12/6 per acre. When John retired from farming he shifted with Charlotte to South Geelong. When Charlotte died on 1 December 1921 at the age of 77 years at her residence, Balmoral, 351 Moorabool Street, South Geelong, she was buried at one side of her brother, John Fivash. John Melhuish died on 1 April 1928 and was buried with Charlotte.
During the few years after Charlotte's death John married his housekeeper Betsy Bone (née Kenyon). Betsy's daughter, Linda May Bone married her cousin Cyril Kenyon and died on 6 Jan 1925 aged 31. She is buried with her baby on the left side of the plot.
Betsy remarried Walter Ward who died on 14 October 1942 while still living in the same house in South Geelong. Betsy Ward died on 1 January 1951 aged 84 and was buried with her daughter, Linda. Linda's husband Cyril Kenyon died 12 July 1958 aged 63 and is buried with his first wife and mother-in-law/aunt.
A sale was held on 15 December, 1928 to sell the following properties to wind up the estate:
2 Foster Street — 7 roomed weatherboard house
240 Yarra Street — 6 roomed weatherboard house on brick foundations
11 Verner Street — 5 roomed weatherboard house
John left an estate of £1,923.
This triple plot in the back row of the Mount Duneed Cemetery contains the following:
Left: Linda May Kenyon (née Bone) and babe, Cyril Gordon Kenyon, Betsy Ward (Melhuish, Bone, née Kenyon)
Centre: Sarah Fivash, John Fivash
Right: Charlotte Melhuish (née Fivash), John Southwood Melhuish
Francis Beech arrived in Sydney in 1844 as a private soldier in the 11th regiment. He came to Geelong in 1849. In 1864 he was appointed manager of the Little River and Duck Ponds Farmers' Commons, a position he held until he resigned as he was leaving the district. By the 1870s he was living at Moorabool on land known as Hendre's Farm. In 1881 he was granted a slaughtering license by the Barrabool Shire Council.
On 21 January 1884, Francis Beech spent the day in Geelong, travelling by train, to attend the funeral of his friend George Hiscox who died on 19 January. He lived ¼ mile from the Pettavel Road station which had opened the previous year. He retired to bed with his wife Jane about 9:30pm. It sounds dramatic to be "murdered at midnight" but this wasn't the case. They were awakened around 1am when the dressing table fell to the floor. Mr Beech called out "Who's there?" Mrs Beech heard gunshots and her husband called out as if he was seriously hurt. She had a less serious bullet wound. Later she found it difficult to recall what happened next, but thought she woke the two servants, Amanda Clark and Frank Haworth who slept at the other end of the house about 40 feet away. Haworth rode to alert the neighbours and on returning and finding Mr Beech had died he rode to Mount Moriac to inform police, then to Geelong to get Dr Reid, then to inform Geelong police. It was then 5am.
Geelong police went to Pettavel after sending for detectives from Melbourne who arrived on the midday train. Two undersized black trackers arrived from Benalla at 7pm. They were of little use as there had been too much rain by the time they arrived. There seemed to be no motive for the murder and nothing was stolen.
The crime scene was contaminated by the delays. As news of the murder spread throughout the district, hundreds of people turned up from as far away as Winchelsea to see the body and the horrendous scene. The Geelong Advertiser described it as "the ghastly spectacle of the dead body, with rigidly set eyes and firmly-clenched hands".
The inquest was held at the deceased's house. The following jury was empannelled: Colonel Conran, Daniel Dean, William Ham, R L Fletcher, W Fletcher, W Irvine, F B White, Sproule Bryan, A Young, T Harding, G Rogers, A McIntyre and F Marendaz. The inquest was resumed the following week at the Pettavel Road State School. Mr Beech had sustained 5 gunshots each of which could have been fatal.
Suspicion fell on a stranger, who turned out to be an escaped lunatic from Yarra Bend Asylum, who was named William Bourke but who used the alias Captain Donovan. He was arrested on 24 March at Mortlake. At the trial the evidence was circumstantial and the prisoner maintained that he had stolen things in Melbourne which would prove he was there for the whole of January. The jury unanimously decided to discharge the prisoner. He was then sent back to the asylum from which he had escaped the previous July.
In 1885 Jane Beech and Frank Haworth were charged with the murder. The prosecution alleged that they had been romantically linked, despite their 23 year age difference.
John Ralph, a carpenter, stated that Mrs Beech had told hem a few weeks prior to the murder that "Mr Beech has made his will, and I have got everything." She was concerned a girl named Fanny Young, who had worked for them for two years and left six months prior “in consequence of the state of her health,” would return. She did not know what she would do if this happened.
Fanny, now Mrs Thomas told the court she had to leave the Beech's employment because of her pregnancy. Just before she left Mrs Beech had asked her who was the father of the child and she answered "time will tell." She told the court that Mr Beech was the father. The bench ruled this evidence could not be included as it had never been proved in Beech's lifetime. The prosecution case was now crumbling and the prisoners were discharged. Mrs Beech fell on her knees crying, "Jesus, Jesus, my precious Jesus, I am saved. My God, my God, I am innocent."
A murderer was never found.
Francis and Jane Beech are buried together in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. Jane died on 5 March 1926 aged 95 years.
We went to Ballarat to the Heritage Weekend and had a lovely day. We ran into local apothecary, John Harrison who told us about the gruesome cures for many ailments in the past.
A Presbyterian school which opened in 1856 on the north east corner of Mount Duneed and Pettavel Roads had 31 pupils by 1858. It was originally named Duneed with William Savage as head teacher. A stone church was later built on the Mount Duneed Road site by the Presbyterians. — J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria
The many motorists who drive towards Mount Moriac on the Princes Highway would probably not guess that a settlement near the corner of Cape Otway Road and Devon Roads was a very busy little centre in the nineteenth century. The long climb up the hill from Waurn Ponds made a natural spot for weary travellers and their horses to take a rest. Numerous wagons and vehicles obstructing the road outside the Clifford Hotel drew the attention of the Moriac police who were eager to get rid of "this nuisance".
Further down Cape Otway Road a Wesleyan church at Wellington was active for about fifty years.
To the east a number of buildings in Pettavel Road bore the name Pettavel including a railway station, which was a great asset to the district, a school and a church.
The church had been used as a hayshed before an arsonist set it alight on 19th December 1972. The fire could not be extinguished without dismantling the building. This took all day. The police kept watch and late in the day the culprit turned up and was apprehended.
Many sources have stated that the birthplace of Arthur Streeton was Mount Duneed. A monument in Ervins Road gives Mount Moriac as his birthplace. We looked at his birth certificate to see what was recorded. The birth was registered on 8 April, 1867 at Mount Moriac and stated that he was born at Duneed. This could have been anywhere in the Parish of Duneed which stretches from Torquay Road, Mount Duneed to Mount Moriac just past Hendy Main Road.
We knew that his father was a school teacher and lived at the schoolhouse, but which school? At this time there was more than one school named Duneed. There was Common School number 167 near the south east corner of Cape Otway and Colac Roads. Its original name was Colac Road, but was changed to Duneed in 1856. The name was changed again in 1871 to Clifford. There was also a school on the north east corner of Pettavel and Mount Duneed Roads. This school number 186 was originally named Duneed. It was changed to Pettavel in 1884. Duneed Free Church School was opened by the Presbyterians in 1858 in Mount Moriac. A national school was established near the junction of Barrabool, Considines and Colac Roads. It was first known as Mount Duneed number 401. In the next year it was referred to as Modewarre School, but in 1869 it became Mount Moriac.
It is easy to see why later generations were confused. To find the answer his father's school records were checked. This shows that Charles Henry Streeton taught at Duneed School number 187 until 13 June 1869. This area is now known as Mount Moriac.
An exhibition of interest to Mount Duneed History Group members is to start on Saturday 27 February at the Geelong Gallery.
We will be revealing the birthplace of this prominent Australian artist at the next meeting of the history group on 3 March.
Where was he born?
Arthur Streeton's birthplace will be revealed at the next meeting of the Mount Duneed History Group on Thursday 3 March at 7:30pm. New members welcome.
Noted Australian landscape painter Arthur Streeton (a leading member of the Heidelberg School) is reputed to have been born at Mount Duneed in 1867. Is this correct or was he born in the Parish of Duneed, which includes Mount Moriac? A monument erected in his memory is situated near the corner of Princes Highway and Ervines Road, Mount Moriac.
He was discharged as medically unfit early in World War I, and was later official artist with the Australian Imperial Force.
On the home front, women dealt with the consequences of war - managing children and family responsibilities alone, shortages of resources, as well as their fears for the future, and the grief and trauma of losing loved ones. Female Relatives Badges were issued to the wife and/or mother (or nearest female relative) of those on active service during the First and Second World Wars. Each service person is represented by a single gold star on the suspension bar. This medal numbered 153223 on the back was issued to Mary Briggs during WW2.
The colour patch suspended at the bottom of the badge could represent Headquarters 19th Infantry Brigade. In May 1942 the 23/21 Battalion relocated from Victoria to the Northern Territory, where it became a part of the Northern Territory Force under the 19th Infantry Brigade. Most badges do not have a colour patch attached.
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