Thursday, April 7, 2016

Frank Ambrose Walker

Circa 1908
Gordon and Frank Walker
Frank, his older brother Gordon and younger sisters, Agnes & Nellie, were all born at Havelock, Victoria, which at the time was a mining community.  Agnes was born prematurely and died soon after birth in 1913.

Frank, Gordon and Nellie completed their schooling at Ararat.  Their father, Ambrose Walker, decided that he could only afford to pay for one of his children to complete further education.  Frank received the best marks at school so he was the choice, which annoyed my Grandfather.  Frank went to Melbourne to learn book keeping while my grandfather became an apprentice wheel wright, which took him to Moe in 1925.

At 20 years of age, Frank married Edna May Nicholls at Ballarat on the 20th August 1927. Their two children Bob and Betty were born soon after.  Frank and his family also moved to Gippsland, following his elder brother, parents and sister.   Tragically, Edna died from hemorrhaging in 1931 when her tonsils were removed, when she was 22 years old, leaving Frank to care for a baby and a 3 year old.  They moved into the same house as his parents.  Only two weeks prior to the death of his wife,  Frank's sister, Nellie, also died in hospital due to complications from an appendectomy.   A very difficult time for the family!

Edna, Frank, Ambrose and Mary Walker (parents)
Frank, Bob and Edna Walker

Frank was a foundation member of the Moe Fire Brigade (in 1936), which he was very actively involved in for many years.  He also played for Moe Football Club for a number of years.

Source: Trove
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848 - 1957)
Saturday 14 Jan 1939 - page2

In 1939,  Frank was lucky to survive a bush-fire, which took 8 of his colleagues.  He told his son about the fear of hiding in an abandoned mine shaft with others, while the fire burnt overhead.
Frank Walker

Frank served as an aircraftman, a flight sergeant and then as a clerk with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), during World War II.  He worked through the ranks to become acting Warrant Officer.  It became a source of arguments between Frank and his brother that my grandfather was not serving in the defense form.

On the 6th March 1943, Frank married Iris Elizabeth Johnston and they had three children together.

My father has fond memories of his Uncle Frank.  My father and his sister, Judy, were taught to swim, by Uncle Frank throwing them off the bridge into the river at Licola!  Dad remembers shooting rabbits with his cousin from the verandah of their home.

Frank and Gordon at their grandparents in Maryborough
"Backyard 'Gunyah' one Sunday morning 1930"
Uncle Frank was a kind and gentle man, according to my father and his sisters.  They felt that he was patient and understanding and took time to be interested in them and teach them things.

Frank Ambrose Walker died suddenly from a heart attack on 25th May 1957, while driving home from his nieces wedding.   He was 50 years old.

Brother of Gordon Walker and Ellen Elizabeth "Nellie" Walker

Son of Ambrose Walker
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  1. Ambrose Walker had a different approach to education from my great-grandfather Walter Davis. Walter had the boys run the family store and sent the girls to college.

    Frank had a short life but it was an interesting one. The best any of us can do is to leave our family and friends with fond memories of us. He did that.

  2. Great to show the different ways people reacted to events with family history blogs like yours. Frank carried on even though he lost his wife so young or who gets the education give social context to history.
    Fran @travelgenee from the TravelGenee Blog

  3. Loved your post as I have recently discovered a Walker family in my tree