Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Burial site of Joseph Clyde EWER

My great-grandmother's brother Joseph Clyde EWER (called Clyde, 1894-1951) took a lot of finding, and ended with me making contact with his son Roy. Though I still have never seen a picture of him. In lieu of this, I wanted to find his whereabouts to have my Dad wander over to Rookwood and take a picture.

Joseph's death certificate (NSW BDM 767/1951) revealed a number of details, all of which have proved accurate with cross-checking of other records.

NSW Death Certificate registered in the District of Sydney at Burwood
Name and surname: Joseph Clyde Ewer
Rank or Profession: Clerk
Sex and age: Male, 56 years
When are where died: 19th March 1951, Malahide Red Cross Hospital, Pennant Hills
Usual residence: 189 Burwood Rd, Concord
Where born: Wellington, NSW
Name and surname of father: Jeremiah Joseph Ewer
Rank or profession: machinist
Name and maiden surname of mother: Mary Trevithick
If deceased was married:
First marriage:
Where: Sydney NSW
At what age: 23 years
To whom: Mabel Kate Lawrence
Conjugal condition of deceased at time of death: -
Issue in order of birth, their names and ages:
Lawrence C., 32 years
Joyce M., 30 years
Roy E., 25 years
Living, one male deceased
Second Marriage:
Where: Sydney NSW
At what age: 50 years
To whom: Doris Winifred Moore
Conjugal condition of deceased at time of death: Married
Issue in order of birth, their names and ages:
Allan C., 5 years
Living, None deceased
Name, description and residence of informant:
L.C. Ewer, Son
7 Napoleon St, Mascot


Cause of death: Pulmonary tuberculosis
Duration of last illness: 3 years
When buried or cremated: 21st March 1951
Where buried: Presbyterian Cemetery Rookwood
Name, religion of minister: O. Sydney Fleck, Church of England

His place of burial was also noted in his death/funeral notice in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 21 March 1951

EWER - The Relatives and Friends of Mrs. Doris Ewer, of 189 Burwood Road, Concord, and Family, are invited to attend the Funeral of her dearly beloved Husband and their loving father JOSEPH CLYDE, to leave the Metropolitan Funeral Home, Railway Parade, Burwood, This Day, after service commencing at 1:15 pm, for the Presbyterian Cemetery, Rookwood.


There are three administrative divisions of the Rookwood Cemetery (the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, it is said): the Necropolis (Catholic), 'Anglican and General', and Independent (which includes Presbyterian and Methodist), and all three have burial indexes on-line. However, none of the three showed Joseph Clyde, or Clyde EWER. It took a little playing about with the Independent index to realise that the index had mis-entered (or mis-recorded) Joseph Clyde's surname as EWOR:

Rookwood Independent
Burial site 6D 0011673 
Interred 19 Mar 1951

The Independent index also produces a map highlighting the site of the burial - an outstanding feature:

It is important when visiting a headstone, to look at nearby headstones in case a family plot is in evidence. Often, useful family connections can be turned up in this way. Adjacent to the 'EWOR' grave can be seen two marked 'BONES'. This does describe the contents (apologies), but is also the married name of Clyde's sister, Doris Lorna M EWER (1904 Glebe NSW - 1963 Georges Hall NSW). Doris had married William Edward BONES in 1926 in Annandale. As a diversion, their marriage was covered by the Sydney Morning Herald, and gives a sense of how a 1920s marriage was conducted in Sydney:

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 18 February 1926

At the Hunter Baillie Memorial Church, Annandale, the wedding of Miss Doris Ewer, of Truro, Annandale, to Mr. Edward Bones, of Leichhardt, took place on February 6. The bride, who was given away by Mr. James Staniland wore a gown of Ivory fleur de soie, trimmed with silver lace, seed pearls, and diamante. Her train of silver was lined with lemon yellow georgette. An embroidered tulle veil, lent by Mrs. J. Potter, of Mosman, was held in place with a coronet of silver lace and orange blossoms. She carried a white shower bouquet, Miss Lucy Dennis was the bridesmaid, and wore mauve crepe de chine and georgette, trimmed with gold lace and flower. In her hair she wore a bandeau of gold tissue and mauve tulle. Little Jean Staniland, In pale pink crepe de Chine, trimmed with silver, and a Dutch cap of silver, and Master Earle Bryan, in cream satin were the tralnbearers. Mr, Oliver Petersen was the best man. During the signing of tile register Mrs. J. Staniland sang "My Prayer." The bride's mother received the guests at a reception at the Hunter-Bailllie Hall. She wore a cinnamon crepe da Chine and floral nlnon frock, and a picture hat, swathed with velvet to tone. The honeymoon was spent at the Mountains and Jenolan Caves, the bride's travelling dress being of beige crepe du Chine, bunded In bronze. She wore a gold tissue hat with shaded flowers.

{In the above, 'Little Jean' was my grandmother, James and Mrs. J Staniland my great-grandparents - Mrs. J was Ruby Amelia EWER, sister of Clyde and my connection to him. Most interesting to note is that the home Doris grew up in was named 'Truro' - her grandfather was Thomas Trevithick of Hill End, who came to Australia from Truro.}

And so, to return to the story, this marriage is the BONES connection. According to the index, Clyde was buried next to two BONES graves:
Presbyterian     6D    0011671    BONES     HARRIETT FLORENCE     20 May 1937
Presbyterian     6D    0011673    BONES     BRUCE EDWARD     22 May 1927

Harriett Florence nee BROWN (? - 1937 Five Dock NSW) William BONES' mother, and Bruce was the first son of William and Doris, born and died in 1927 (NSW BDM 7221/1927). A member of the family, Lorna Hughes, indicated to me that Clyde EWER 'lived with Doris Bones till death', suggesting that while ill with tuberculosis towards the end of his life, his younger sister may have looked after him. And therefore may have arranged for Clyde to be buried in plots the BONES family had access to.

That settles the question of the BONES-EWER burial plots side-by-side at Rookwood.

And so, my father visited Rookwood last year (2012) to photograph the grave of Joseph Clyde EWER. In his words, "I eventually found the designated sites. Joseph’s grave is unmarked but has a large rambling rose growing on the centre of the site. For your info the 2 “Bones” sites are unmarked as well and have no special distinguishing features."

It certainly is a large, rambling rose bush, and must have been intentionally planted at some point many years ago.

And so, Clyde does not have a headstone. Along with the children from his first marriage, Clyde left a widow and son (Allan) from his second marriage. I have been unable to trace them, but am sure they have photos of Clyde. Two years after his death, his second family placed a memorial notice in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 19 March 1953
In Memoriam
EWER - In loving memory of my dear husband and our father, Clyde, passed away March 19 1951.
Sad thoughts for to-day, Sweet memories forever.
Inserted by dear wife, Dot, and son Allan ; stepchildren Val, Elaine and John.


Diana Green said...

Joseph Clyde Ewer is my grandfather his son to Doris...Allan Clyde Ewer is my father and is now deceased.

Matt Hall said...

Hi Diana,
Thank you so much for posting. I've down a lot of work on our EWER family, and spent a long time working on Clyde Ewer- there are more posts on my blog. If you'd like - email me at cispt2@gmail.com and I can send you lots more on the EWER family. I have found a single picture of Clyde Ewer in a news article but it's exciting to think you might have photos of the EWER family of past.