Random Notes

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May 21 , 2013

Emma Coffee, Born London, migrated to Aus 1920-1922, worked at the Woolwich arsenal during the First War, then worked in the paper shop, her father (James, not certain), was a baker.

Eileen (Fred’s Sister) told Ellen that when Emma and Arthur were leaving to come to Australia, Emma’s father went to see them off and having never met him before, said “He’ll never support you lass!”, he never did. Knocked her about terribly when drunk, which was often. Died when Fred was 16. that’s why Fred’s brother joined the AIF, not Fred, to support her. Fred came in a later induction where they didn’t look so closely at medical problems, fred had an intermittently discharging ear from his bad pneumonia.

Fred’s family: Rhona (has a lake named after her in the south west of Tasmania) Eileen, Effie, Fred, Beatrice Louise, Margurita Elizabeth.

Irish Pharmaceutical diplomas not recognised in Australia so Arthur was a sort of Vet, clients would pay him in grog and send him home blotto, instead of giving him some potatoes to feed the children.

In amongst 4 births and many miscarriages Emma was the farm’s housekeeper.

Rhona became an accountant, Eileen and Effie Nurses.

Fred Had blackouts, once he remembered coming back into the camp gates in the Captains car, who had found him a few miles away wandering about.

Cousins were watching a movie in a ditch, where’s Fred? Unconscious in the ditch. Insulin shock therapy, made it a lot worse.

Fred had told me (Paul) that it was shell shock.

His sisters think it was some sort of abscess in his head from chronic pneumonia he suffered as a child, which does seem more likely!

At some point during the 70s or 80s, the laws changed, so that if you went into the army without a condition, and came out with a condition, it was classed as “War Caused”. Making fred a TPI War Veteran, and Ellen a War Widow when he passed.

This made life a lot easier for the Blaydon St Warrens.

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