My father, Ernest Charles Nichols 1932-2004, often spoke about his mother's father, Charles Robert Jennings 1867-1936. One of the stories he told was about his Grandfather's wooden leg.
Helena and Charles Jennings, Nichols family archive
In the early 1920s, Charles Jennings was sent from Wyong where he lived with his wife, Helena and family, to Richmond. He was to assist with the establishment of the Sawmill located near Richmond Railway Station. His family followed soon arriving in Richmond in August 1921 and they settled into March Street, Richmond. Family knew that Charles was involved in an accident and was rushed to Windsor Hospital. His leg was amputated and it was a miracle his other leg was saved. He wore a wooden leg for the remainder of his life. However no-one in the family knew the exact details until recently that is.
Some keen searching on Trove, the digitised newspapers revealed a small article about the circumstances and also provide a date. The article from the Hawkesbury Herald 1 December 1921 states: The unfortunate accident which happened at Goldsmith Bros & James' saw mill, resulted in Mr Jennings losing his foot.
It also mentions that this was not his first accident,apparently Charles was most unfortunate in the following of mill work, having lost a thumb, and a couple of fingers. Another article in the Hawkesbury Herald (same issue) confirms that Charles had his left foot amputated at the ankle.
After his recuperation the family decided to move to Riverstone and a property of 6 ¼ acres was purchased in Hamilton Road. There the family established a poultry farm and had about 500 hens which were sold to the Egg board. The family also had about four or five pigs, a couple of cows for milk, cockerels and fruit trees. Charles died 26 August 1936 and Helena died 24 March 1943. Both are buried in the Church of England (Anglican) section of Riverstone Cemetery.
Charles Robert Jennings 1867-1936, was the son of Robert Jennings 1844-1885 & Lucy Jessie nee Havens 1845-1913. If you want to find out more about Charles, you can check him out in the family tree.Sources:
- Charles Robert Jennings - Local and General. (1921, December 1). Hawkesbury Herald (Windsor, NSW : 1902 - 1945), p. 2. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66367248
- District Illnesses. (1921, December 1). Hawkesbury Herald(Windsor, NSW : 1902 - 1945), p. 2. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66367261
- Interviews with Florence Nichols nee Jennings, Ernest Charles Nichols & Geoffrey Alan Nichols
- Death certificate of Charles Robert Jennings and Helena Bridget Jennings