The Ramsdales

By the way, I forgot to say that Frank Ramsdale, the elder of the two boys that Mum (Johanna Ramsdale) reared, ended up going to World War 1 and received the Military Medal by getting through with dispatches on his motorbike in France. His mate was blown to pieces, and Frank, badly hit by the blast, spent a great deal of time in many hospitals over in France and in later years after coming home.

Frank still lives with his family (he married a Henrietta {Reita} Dwyer - no relation to us) at Pakenham where he went after the war and worked as a porter on the railways. His younger brother Bill has been dead for many years. His elder brother Jim, who also went to war, got blue gas which was used by the Germans and was a war pensioner for years. He married an English girl. (More about all of this and much more at the Ramsdale family history.)

See caption below
Carlsruhe Catholic Primary School 1904. Ethel is 2nd row standing near teacher - see close up below. Ellen (Nellie) sitting in front of teacher, 1st row. Mary (Tot) is 1st row far right, with white apron.

Ethel Ramsdale

After many years at Carlsruhe we moved to a lovely little cottage in Simpson Street, Kyneton, near the Kyneton hospital. We lived beside our landlady Mrs. Burnell and she was marvellous. I'm sure we never paid any rent because she gave it back again by all the things she used to do for us. I was the "boy" of the family as Dad used to be on relay work which took him away from home and he used to bring in loads of wood. All we had in those days were wood stoves and I used to chop and stack the wood.

We went to school at Kyneton and while at school I used to do a small milk run on foot carrying the milk in billies hooked on to large Billipies (Metal pipe frames on which the billies were hung {maybe mobile carts?}), and used to make some money for home use.

Cottages in Simpson Street Kyneton
Cottages in Simpson Street Kyneton. Photo by Phillip Dwyer c. 2008.

Charlie (my youngest brother) was born at this cottage, and had two bouts of pneumonia while young, but Mrs Burnell looked after him and they cured him and he hadn't to go to hospital. Then my father (William Ramsdale) got permanent work on the railways by getting through exams and that entitled him to a house free of rent and to free holidays which enabled them to travel anywhere in Victoria with family. Mum (Johanna) eventually shifted to Carlsruhe Railway Station and we were much better off financially.

I didn't know or ever meet my father's parents (James Ramsdale and Mary Meagher) as Grandfather (James) was killed being thrown from a horse (in 1872 - read more about that here) and Grandmother (Mary) re-married (a Jim Liston) and went to N.S.W and took up share farming at The Rock, Berrigan, and Lockhart. She had a daughter in the second marriage, (Sarah) and she married a Dave Glascott.

Uncle Jim Ramsdale, a bachelor, went with them to N.S.W. and we only heard of them when he used to visit us occasionally. He used to bring a big ham and plenty of goodies to eat and us children used to raid his pockets looking for sweets which he always had for us. It's strange how you lose all trace of families when they go away like that.

My mother and father bought land in Sunshine (7 Robinson Street) where they built their nice old house which Aunt Nell (Ellen my sister) lives in at the present time (i.e. pre 1974 - Bill refers to receiving some money in 1984 on the sale of this house).

7 Robinson St Sunshine
The house at 7 Robinson St Sunshine. Photo by Phillip Dwyer c. 2008.

(Go here for a more comprehensive history of the Ramsdale family.)

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