My mother was an only child. My father was an only child. I was interested to find relatives of any sort all my life. Research has shown that all my paternal grandmother’s sisters and brothers had died by the time I was born. However on Kay’s side there were living sisters and brothers and I got to meet two of them. These were the children of Reuben Benjamin Lock and Christina Cameron Robbie.
Kay was born Myrtle May Lock in 1896. Next came Daphne, who lived for less than a year.
Ruby was born in 1900, followed by Charles in 1902 and Claude in 1905.
The first time I met any of them was about 1959 when my father and I were despatched post haste to deliver Claude from the clutches of Mr Whiting, dairy farmer. Kay decided he was being exploited so we travelled in a sleeper to Albury, changed to the Spirit of Progress which ran on the wider gauge rail to Melbourne and then caught another train to Terang. Claude was released from Mr Whiting’s employ and returned with us to Yerrinbool, living with us for many years.
I met Ruby about 1970. My boyfriend John (now husband) and I took her for a drive around Sydney when she visited from Melbourne. Apparently she and Kay had not spoken for years but now were reconciled. Charles I never met. A rift in the family meant that he and Kay did not communicate until late in life.
This is enough to make any only child glad not to have siblings but I always think I could have done it better!
Kay and Ruby clashed continually. As the eldest, Myrtle (called Millie and later Kay), was called upon to take the place of her mother in so many ways. When her little brother Claude was sick she had to stay home from school. This happened often as Claude was a delicate child. She told me about the arrival of a milking cow in the family. All the children wanted to learn how to milk it but Kay refused. She saw it as another job she would be expected to do when the novelty wore off for the others.
When she left school Kay took up dressmaking as a trade. Ruby opted for millinery. They both married at the age of 20. In 1916 Kay married Walter Sydney Hall and in 1920 Ruby married Basil William Craddock.
Ruby and Basil had a child, Haydon but the marriage was obviously unhappy. This police report appeared in 1921.
Basil disappeared from the scene and remarried in New Zealand. Ruby then married Tom Sharp and had a daughter Betty. After Tom’s death she married a third time.
Meanwhile Charles Cameron Lock married Frederica Roberts Green. They had three children, Joan born 1926, George born 1928 and Donald born 1931. Unfortunately I was never told anything about them although I met their son Donald at a Robbie reunion. Despite having a maiden name of Green, Frederica was from Europe. Maybe she was from Germany and the anti German sentiment following World War I was instrumental in the family rift?
I have photos of Christina, the mother of this rather volatile brood of children, visiting her sister May in Adelaide.
The photos were taken in 1925 and sadly she was dead the next year, suffering a stroke. Her husband Reuben Benjamin Lock, son of the intrepid Emma Moore and hard working Henry Lock, was a shadowy figure in family stories. He outlived his wife by many years and ended up in an unmarked grave. Why didn’t his children care enough to bury him properly? What I found about Reuben will be dealt with later under the letter R.