On 23rd January 1931, Nellie wrote to my Grandmother "I think I will soon be leaving Morwell and then you will see quite a lot of me". Neither of them knew that Nellie, who was only 19 years old, would be dead within two months.
Ellen Elizabeth Walker, who was known as Nell or Nellie, was my Grand Aunt. She did not have the opportunity to marry or have children and therefore does not have descendants to remember her. Very little is known about Nellie so my memorial is primarily pictorial. However her photos and memorabilia give some insight into her short life.
|I am now the guardian of Nellie's suitcase, books and photos, |
which were given to me for safekeeping by my cousin Janet (suitcase) and Aunty Phyllis (books and photos).
|The photos of Nellie have also provided me with a greater insight into her short life.|
Nellie was born on the 16th March 1911 at Havelock, a small mining community near Maryborough, Victoria, Australia. Her father, Ambrose Walker, was a miner in the area but at the time of Nellie's birth was listed as a "carter".
The first pages of Nellie's Autograph book show the birthdays of many of the family members pictured above, as well as her good friends Gwen & Edna Tydell, who are in photos below.
From records, photos and Nellie's books, I have been able to determine some of the places that Nellie lived in her short life. Click on the pins below for further information.
View Places in Nellie Walker's life in a larger map
|"Nellie Walker as a young girl"|
On the back was also written
by my Grandmother "Nellie and Nole"
by an unknown person "To Nellie from Gladdie"
|"The girl Stent took Nellie at the convent going to school"|
It is from this photo that I have been able to determine that Nellie went to secondary school in Ararat. When the photo is enlarged, it is possible to read "Ararat" on the sign on the gate in the background, which then lead me to confirm that the walls and gate belong to the Brigidine convent, Ararat.
|Nellie Walker (on left) playing quoits|
11 November 1926
|Nellie Walker (centre) 11th Nov 1926|
Believe it is Tydell sisters on right of Nellie
|"Nellie Walker and a Tydell"|
|Nellie Walker on right (with black hat)|
"Taken 1st February 1926 at a Picnic"
Believe it is Gwen Tydell seated near Nellie.
|Gwen Tydell and Nellie Walker|
On my grandfather, Gordon Walker's, bike
18 September 1927
|Nellie Walker and her maternal Grandfather Samuel Mottram|
Prior to August 1928
Nellie also wrote in January 1931 "My bloke went away Thursday morning for 3 weeks holiday so I had to spend Wednesday night in saying goodbye to him". There are several photos showing Nellie with male friends, but unfortunately most are unlabeled and do not appear to be the same gentleman.
|Nellie doesn't look happy. Maybe she didn't win? |
Nellie often wore this style of shoes, which do not appear suitable for tennis.
|Nellie Walker and Reg Alford|
|Nellie Walker & Reg Alford|
|This book was originally given to Nellie by Edna and Gwen Tydell (pictured above).|
|This book tells me that Nellie lived at Charlton at some time|
|My Grandparents (Nellie's brother and sister in law) gave this|
book to Nellie but it was returned to them after Nellie died
|Letter from Nellie to her sister in law Rita Walker|
23 January 1931
Click to enlarge
This letter was written 23rd January 1931 to my Grandmother. Was it the last letter that Nellie wrote? She died on 13th March 1931, which was three days prior to her 20th birthday.
I am answering your letter. I can't come out Saturday. Jun and Mollie are going to Bruthen for the weekend that is 20 miles from the lakes and they asked me last night to go with them. Of course I jumped at the chance. It is 90 miles from here. We are leaving here at 2. The boss didn't want to give me time off but I would have taken it whether he liked or not.
Edna wants you to come in here for the weekend. You could get Gordon & Regs dinner ready and catch Jim and he could bring you in. You would have a decent time in here long night Saturday night and there is a Merry-go-round up here. Phyl would enjoy that. What is the matter with her.
I was coming out Wednesday but Eilleen went home Monday. I couldn't get a lift & I hated the thought of walking out on my own.
My bloke went away Thursday morning for 3 weeks holiday so I had to spend Wednesday night in saying goodbye to him.
Well Rita, be sure to come and stop at Edna's. I think I will soon be leaving Morwell and then you will see quite a lot of me.Your Sorry Nell".
Nellie died in the Sale hospital from peritonitis (12 days) caused by complications associated with Appendicitis (14 days). About a month later, her friend and sister in law, Edna Walker age 23 (pictured and mentioned above), died in the Yallourn Hospital after an operation to remove tonsils.
A very sad time for the family.
|Supplement to "The Narracan Shire Advocate"|
Friday, March 13 1931
Source: State Library of Victoria
This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday
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