Ethel May HILL Gillard Hogarth

I have always assumed that this is a photograph of my grandmother Ethel May Hill (1885-1919), simply because I came into possession of it after the death of my father (her son). However, we never talked about it, as far as I can recall. If so, it should help to identify which sister is which in the family photo below. Presumably Ethel kept the glass negative in its little box (and her son after her) because it was a photo of herself. But it's possible it is a likeness of a favourite sister. Your judgement is as good as mine: compare this photo with those below and see what you think!

A technical note. This is a print blown up long ago from a small glass plate negative which we still have. It's nailed into a frame with glass on the front, and I'm reluctant to take it apart. So, as I couldn't scan it, I took a photograph of it with a digital camera - and was not able to avoid some reflection. I hope to get my photographer daughter to do a better job some time.

Ethel May Hill was born 13 April 1885 in St Helena Place off Halifax Street in Adelaide, the daughter of William Samuel Hill. She married, firstly, William Edgar Gillard (1873-1906) who died very young, after fathering Ethel May's first two children, David Michael and William Robert Gillard. She found a second husband in Fletcher William Hogarth (1866-1931), gave birth to twins Keith and Ethel (31 December 1910) and then herself died at 33, in March 1919, just before her 34th birthday.

Ethel May's father, Wm Samuel Hill was born in Tasmania, but lived in at least three other states. He married Margaret Roberts in Melbourne (her home town) in 1877, but they must gone to South Australia almost immediately, as their first five children - including Ethel - were born in Adelaide, 1879-1885. They then appear to have returned to Victoria as the last two were born in Melbourne, 1888 and 1891. At the time of Ethel May's birth, in 1885, he was serving in the Water Police at Port Darwin and living - presumably without his family - in Palmerston, which was renamed Darwin in 1910. Then in about 1899 he took his wife and remaining four children (three boys having died in very early childhood) to Western Australia to make his fortune on the goldfields.

When Ethel May's mother Margaret Roberts Hill died on 4 October 1901, and was buried in Yundamindera Cemetery, only four of her at least seven children were still alive: Beatrice Harriet, Ethel May (aged 16), Leslie Lewis, and Mary Elizabeth, known as Elsie.

Ethel May presumably continued living on the goldfields with her father, William Samuel Hill, and remaining siblings, and would have met William Edgar Gillard there, as I believe he went up there from Perth around 1901.

She married him two years later, in 1903, aged 18. According to a note my father left they were married in Perth, at St Bridget's West Perth, by Father Fagan. But an entry in the book More Lonely Graves of Western Australia says that they were married in Kookynie. The Hills were Anglican, but Ethel converted to Catholicism to marry her first husband. He got her to promise to bring their children up as Catholics. They had two sons together, and then WEG died in 1906 - basically from the poor conditions in which they were living and he was working. It's likely that he died from phthisis, that is, pulmonary tuberculosis, and was buried in Yundamindera Cemetery.

I don't know at present where Ethel May's eldest son William was born, and I'm assuming it was in Yundamindera. However, David's birth certificate says that he was born in Perth.

A note about spelling. The name of the station is spelt 'Yundamindra', but when the township was gazetted its name was spelt 'Yundamindera'. I presume the Cemetery is at the township, not the station.

This may be the photograph that records Ethel May's marriage to Fletcher Hogarth (some time around 1909). The man at the centre is Ethel's father, William Samuel Hill. Fletcher Hogarth is the man on our left, and so the woman next to him would be Ethel May. The two boys are David and Will. The other woman, on our right, is almost certainly Ethel's elder sister Beatrice, and the other man is their brother Leslie, who was 6'2" tall. Keith and Ethel, the Hogarth twins, are yet to be born, on 31 December 1910.

David Michael Gillard married Mary Linda Robertson and had one child, Garry Michael Gillard. Dave Gillard died Perth 4 October 1982. His brother William had drowned in the Swan River in 1927.

This is a photo of W. S. Hill's four adult children: Ethel May, Beatrice Harriet, Leslie Lewis, and Mary Elizabeth (Elsie), possibly in that order, left to right. I wish I could be sure, and also to establish the date. The two women in the front appear to be wearing wedding rings. Beatrice was married 1900, Ethel 1903, and Elsie 1912. So if that is Elsie on the right (she is wearing a crucifix like that in her wedding photo) and that is a wedding ring, it cannot have been taken earlier than 1912. If that is the date, Leslie would be 24 here. Does that look about right? Click on the photo for a larger version.

Sadly, Ethel May's death certificate records that she died not only from pulmonary tuberculosis, but also from 'exhaustion'. William Robert Gillard and his mother Ethel May are buried in the same grave in Karrakatta Cemetery. (This photograph shows the headstone of the Irish woman who is buried there now.) It's in an area that's been 'renewed', and not only is there no headstone (I'm guessing there never was one) the exact position of the grave is not to be seen, as there has been another burial at ROEC 009. The cemetery records have Ethel May's name spelt incorrectly, as Ethel May Hogartt [sic].

In the Cemetery records, the 'grantee' of the original plot (which expired 29 Nov 1962) was 'Elizabeth Mary Lynch'. She was Ethel's younger sister, whom we knew in our family as 'Elsie', and the first burial in the plot was that of her son Thomas Mathew [sic] Lynch, aged 0 years, who died 5 November 1912. Mary Elizabeth (b. 1891) married Thomas M. Lynch (in 1912), so prolly she provided the gravesite (she bought for her son) for her sister Ethel in 1919 and then again for her nephew Will in 1927.

It's very striking that tho Ethel May Hill is buried in the RC section (having converted to Catholicism to marry WEG) her second husband's - Fletcher Hogarth's - remains are something like half a kilometre away, in the Presbyterian section. His grave (in the bottom of the photo) is also unmarked, at FA 585.

Not only that, but her father's grave is also far away, as he was CofE and she converted to Catholicism to marry her first husband, as I just said.

Ethel Hogarth (daughter of Fletcher and Ethel) married Karl Lothringer and had two daughters, May (Edwards) and Alma. The younger Ethel died in November 1952. Alma died January 2015 at the age of 67.

Keith Hogarth married Ruby May Herridge, known in the family as Bonnie, and they had four children, including Ian and Peter Hogarth, Delys Perry, and Valerie Jasper.

References

Coate, Yvonne E. & Kevin Coate, More Lonely Graves of Western Australia, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA, 2000.

Palmer, Alex, Yundamindra: Its Towns, Mines, People and Station, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA, 2006.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Adrian Spall, particularly for information about the Hill family.


Garry Gillard | New: 18 July, 2009 | Now: 23 May, 2017