Charles Henry Excell Wilkinson
Charles Henry Excell WILKINSON (RIN: 083), son of Charles Augustus WILKINSON and Mary NORTH, was born March 15,1876 in Bimbenang, Glanmire, NSW. He married Isabella Jane PEACOCK . He died August 31, 1946 in Auburn, NSW.
Isabella Jane PEACOCK (RIN: 094), daughter of David PEACOCK and Ann BAIRD , was born May 29, 1885 in Christchurch NZ. She died June 15, 1964 in Bulli, NSW.
Charles Henry Excell WILKINSON was born at Bimbenang, Glanmire, near Bathurst on March 15, 1876. He was the third child in the Wilkinson family, but the first born to Charles Augustus Wilkinson and his wife Mary North. The family lived in the Glanmire or Napoleon Reef district near Bathurst until about 1883. It is likely that the family moved to Sydney after that but this has not been confirmed.
By about 1900 he was living in Lithgow where, in 1903, he married Isabella Jane Peacock. The couple remained in Lithgow and raised a family of 4 sons and 4 daughters.
Family members have provided information and recollections of his life. According to his son Dave, his father used to live at Glanmire near Bathurst and used to go gold mining there. After he moved to Lithgow he worked at Lithgow Brickworks then the Lithgow Valley Mine. At one stage he owned a billiard saloon in Main Street, Lithgow, but alcohol and gambling took their toll and the business failed. He was also raided by the police for SP betting - even though at other times they patronised his business.
When Charlie - as he was known - first moved to Lithgow he lived on the Pottery Estate. In about 1927 the family moved to Roy Street and then to Lett Street. Times were extremely difficult during the Depression. Dave, his son, worked for a milkman earning 10 shillings a week and sold lollies at the picture theatre to earn another 10 shillings. The money he earned helped to pay the cost of rent and food for the family.
Charlie's daughters also worked at different jobs before they married. Mary and Janet both worked as domestics and Margaret (known as Peg) worked in Summers Shoe Shop in Main Street. The youngest in the family Eric Ronald (known as Mick) was born at home. Dave, who was about 10 years old at the time, recalls the midwife, Nurse Armstrong, arriving in a horse and sulky.
Charlie also had a keen interest in sport, especially cricket. In the late 1920s he was president of a local cricket team; his son Charlie was the captain.
Personal recollections are now very scant. His daughter-in-law Mary Wilkinson recalled that he made it known that he was very disappointed when his grand-daughter Marion was born in 1946 because it meant there was still no male Wilkinson grandchild. It was quite a while before he came to see her.
According to his daughter-in-law Joan Wilkinson and grand-daughter Daphne Nielsen (nee Wray) he was full of fun and a real torment. His sons Dave and Jack used to torment him about their performances at cricket. If one did well and the other scored poorly they would reverse their scores when they told their father. Later, when he found out the correct scores he would realise he'd been conned. He also teased his daughter Mary Wray. He would sneak into the kitchen to see her, grab her, pull off her slipper and bite her toe - just for fun. Also,like many at the time, he was a keen card player.
Joan Wilkinson remembered that while he had the billiard saloon he encountered a travelling troupe called The Thorntons. They performed a vaudeville type act and performed sleight of hand, pulling pennies from behind a person's ears. He brought them home one night and they performed tricks for the family. He also used to bring home people down on their luck for a meal.
The following is a transcript of his Lithgow Mercury newspaper obituary notice.
This small newspaper cutting was discovered under the lining paper of a wardrobe following his son Dave's death in March 1996, almost 50 years after the event. It reads:
Mr C. Wilkinson
"Lithgow residents will regret to learn of the death of a popular and respected citizen, Mr Charles Henry Wilkinson who died at hospital in Auburn at 7 o'clock on Saturday morning, 31 August 1946, at the age of 70 years.
Mr Wilkinson, who was born at Napoleon Reef, near Bathurst, had resided in Lithgow since 1900 and was very well known in sporting circles. He followed coal mining in the Lithgow valley and also conducted a billiard saloon in Main Street for a number of years.
Retiring from work 10 years ago, Mr Wilkinson had suffered indifferent health for some time, and three weeks prior to his death was staying with his daughter, Mrs A. Reynolds, in Auburn, where he entered hospital last Thursday. The deceased is survived by a widow, Mrs Bella Wilkinson (and 4 sons and 4 daughters all listed) to whom deepest sympathy is extended."
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