Not long after starting my family history, I learnt from a death certificate that my great uncle Ernie had died young. Following this up with nanna, she outlined her brother’s life.
At 22 he was a local football hero, regularly in the newspaper and married with two baby boys which all ended with his death beneath the wheels of a timber truck. This was the brief sanitised version nanna gave.
Jumping forward over a decade, searching Trove for Ernie and his tragic end, I happened upon an article. The moment of handing this to nanna will stay with me for life, as I’m sure seeing the article for the first time has stayed with her. Her eyes reddened and she revealed to me the tragic way she learnt of her brother’s death, as if she was back at that moment.
“I had stayed the night at your pops, parents place. This was before we were married. Most of the Brady children still lived at home. The morning started like most mornings, early. A couple of the boys were sitting around the kitchen table, enjoying coffee and toast.” nanna recalled
“I had my back to them, making a cuppa, when one of the boys rustled the paper and said.”
“Hey Stella, you’re a Watters aren’t you? There’s a Watters in the paper!”
“Yes.” I replied.
“Ernest Harold Watters.” came the voice.
“Yes that’s my brother, Ernie.” I said as I turned and walked towards the paper.
“Why what has he done this time?”
In that moment she read the article that had reached her before her family could!
Source: Trove Newspapers
YOUNG MAN KILLED. (1947, June 11). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954), p. 7 Edition: SECOND EDITION.. Retrieved March 31, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46317947
HAA004 Writing Family History
Week 6 E-tivity – Private Life, Public Record
Length – 250 words
University of Tasmania
Student ID: 425182