We often hear that 81 men and boys were killed in the Bulli Mine Disaster of 1887 – but who were they – what were their stories ? and the stories of those they left behind ?
The 130th Anniversary of the Disaster was commemorated on March 23 1887 and we hope to continue to collect their stories.
Relatives of the following have been located and hopefully in time we may learn of the stories :
William Ottaway (Attaway) Bourne/Bouren & 3 sons – Felix John, William & James. A fourth son, David Bouren, died in the Old Bulli Mine due to natural causes about 40 years later in 1928. A number of families lost more than one member in the disaster, however it was the Bourne family who in losing 4, lost the most of any family affected by the disaster.
Robert Browning – husband of Agnes Chilby, and son in law of Thomas and Agnes Chilby – later Agnes married Robert Newnham. Robert Browning’s children were Mary Ellen and Jessica Browning.
Greener Brodie & William Brodie – brothers – later Ellen Brodie nee Smith widow of Greener Brodie married John Barnes Nicholson, a political figure. Apparently Greener had six children with Ellen, and then Ellen had four more with J B Nicholson, with 3 of those dying in infancy (1, ).
Cecil Cavill (Knight) – part of the Cavill and Knight families of Woonona, Bulli and Sherbrooke.
Henry Greenslade Dean – part of the Downie family of Woonona and of Museum volunteer Graeme Stewart.
Thomas Harris Snr, and his 2 sons Thomas Harris Jnr and Francis Henry Harris
George Ralph – brother of Keen nee Ralph
William Schofer – son of John and Maria Schofer, had married Charity Frances Grace Spinks (1865 – 1947) . He is buried at St Augustine’s Bulli Anglican Cemetery. Charity, widowed with two children, one who was born after William’s death, was outspoken on behalf of some of the Widows, who perceived they were being poorly treated by the Fund Raising Management Committee.
William Wade & son Richard Wade
William Williams – information has been found on the Woonona Project Group on Facebook – a member of the group Dan Meehan has shared a photo of William’s youngest daughter Elizabeth “Lizzie” Williams – Knight who was adopted by Woonona Coalminer Edwin Knight (Note – not the Sherbrooke Edwin Knight!) – acknowledgement to Administrator of Woonona Project for his permission to use their photographs.
John Wynn, just 15 years old, was one of the younger victims – stories of John and his family have been shared by a niece Gail : FROM-STAFFORDSHIRE-TO-BULLI
An eyewitness account from a survivor John Cavill, he lost a young relative Cecil Cavill Knight in the disaster.