William John Dover (1887 – 1967)

William was born on 27/02/1887 in Blayney.

He died in Kogarah on 02/07/1967.

Story posted on Ancestry by “Tophamrobyn01”

I remember Willie, my grandmother Emily’s brother, pouring me porridge onto a semi flat plastic plate in the kitchen of the farmhouse.  He was a very lovely man. A big, stocky red haired giant (to me). Nan used to cut ‘switches’ off willow trees with which to chastise me. A threat which I knew was completely never going to be carried out. Willie would take these swiches, break them and push them into the fuel stove on which all meals were prepared. Willie never married and I don’t know if he ever came close. He always ended his letters from Wagga to nan in Sydney with a drawing of chickens for me. When other relatives visited he would send them back with feathers for me. Why feathers, who knows. But I guess it was what a lonely batchelor had on hand on an isolated sheep farm.  It is the thought that counts.

Willie was a loner and he did spend sometime quite alone in a three walled timber hut somewhere I remember visiting him in the bush. He scared me with stories of snakes twining themselves around the ceilingless roof beams. He was a heavy roll your own smoker but then so was his father James. James lived into his nineties. My grandmother Emily told me how she had ‘dobbed’ Willie in to their mother Susanna for smoking. Susanna beat Willie severely. Nan was very sorry she told on him. However that beating did not stop Willie smoking. 

Willie signed his inherited share of the farms over to his young brother Lenny. When Willie was older Lenny bought a house in Bexley in Sydney. My grandmother left the house in Kensington to ‘look after Willie and Lenny’.  In time to come Willie contracted cancer and died in a pallative care hospice in Hurstville. Lenny sold the house in Bexley and Emily went to live with my mother Daphne. For awhile.