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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Andrew Neville Chirnside - Far From Home


Angel monument to Andrew Neville Chirnside who died on 17th May 1901 aged 12 years. All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, All saints Avenue, Maidenhead Berkshire.

Andrew Neville Chirnside was born in 1889 in Werribee, Victoria, Australia to Robert Chirnside and Alice Belinda Chirnside nee Ware. His father Robert was a member of one of the leading families of landowners in Australasia in the 1880's and by all accounts -

"A man of kindly heart and generous disposition, keenly interested in pastoral management and everything connected with country life, and taking a pride in having everything of the best around him."

Robert Chirnside passed away on 4th January 1900 after a three year illness which had started with a bad cold, eventually leading to trouble with the lungs. He left behind his widow Alice and five children, three sons and two daughters.

It was on 17th May 1901 during a trip back to England with his mother Alice, that Andrew was tragically struck by peritonitis which quickly proved to be fatal.

An article in The Adelaide Register records -

"The passengers by The Australia have been greatly shocked at the death of Andrew Neville Chirnside, 12 yr old son of the late Mr Robert Chirnside of Carranballac, Victoria, which took place on the passage between Plymouth and London on 17 May. Until reaching the later stage of the voyage the lad was in the full flush of youthful vigour but a seizure of peritonitis quickly proved fatal."

Mrs Chirnside later remarried to Sir Henry Hodges, who she also out lived.  Lady Alice Hodges passed away on 23rd November 1942 at Mount Macedon, Victoria, Australia.  Her obituary was placed in the Melbourne Argus the day after her death.

"By the death of Lady Hodges, 83, at her home Dreamthorpe, Mt Macedon, yesterday, charitable institutions, especially those concerned with the welfare of children, have lost a very fine patroness.  Many charities have benefitted from inspections of the lovely gardens of Dreamthorpe, and it was one of the show gardens of Mt Macedon to be thrown open for charitable purposes.  Lady Hodges was born in the Western district, and was twice married.  Her first husband was the late Mr Robert Chirnside, and her second the late Sir Henry Hodges, of the Victorian Supreme Court Bench.  Her family consisted of 2 daughters (Mrs Mary Gwladis Roland and one deceased) and 3 sons, Messers. Robert Gordon Chirnside and Russell Melville Chirnside, and the late Mr Andrew Neville Chirnside. 

The funeral, which will be private, will take place on Wednesday, leaving Sleight's Chapel at 3pm for Springvale Crematorium."

It must have been extremely difficult for Alice to lose her first husband, two of her children and then her second husband.  It must also have been extremely difficult for her to leave her young son resting in a small town cemetery in England.


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