Madge Rough­ley AN­ZAC

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - News -

Madge Rough­ley com­mem­o­rates AN­ZAC Day each year, and has done since she was a young girl, grow­ing up in Ar­ca­dia. This year Madge, who lives in North­bridge, vis­ited the Gal­ston Ceno­taph a week be­fore the Gal­ston Com­mem­o­ra­tion event, to re­mem­ber her fa­ther, Eric Carl­son and her un­cle, Her­man Carl­son, and take an­other look at their names on the Ceno­taph list.

Her fa­ther, Eric, en­listed as J Carl­son - the ‘J’ stood for John, and didn’t sound so ‘Ger­man’, he thought. His younger brother Her­man is listed on the ceno­taph above Eric, as ‘ W H Carl­son’.

Eric Walde­mar Carl­son was born on the 10th May 1887 at Wind­sor, New South Wales. Eric was the se­cond son of Axel Wil­helm and El­iza ( Woods) Carl­son. Axel had been a Swedish sea­man who ‘ jumped ship’ in Sydney and be­came of­fi­cially nat­u­ralised on 14th March 1883. Eric had an older brother, Man­fred Fer­di­nand Carl­son, a younger brother, Wil­helm Her­man Carl­son, and two younger sis­ters, El­iza Leonora Carl­son, and Ann Jane Carl­son. The fam­ily later lived for some years on a dairy farm at Moore Park, then moved to Redfern, Bir­ralee and Cas­tle Hill.

Eric (John) and Her­man signed up to join the fight­ing forces in World War 1 on 14th Jan­uary 1916. Eric’s reg­i­men­tal num­ber was Pri­vate 4663, and he served in the 53rd Bat­tal­ion. He saw ac­tive service at Villers Bre­ton­neux and Ypres. He con­tracted se­vere bron­chi­tis in the trenches, and spent some time in Read­ing, Eng­land, re­cu­per­at­ing. He re­turned to Sydney in 1919.

On 26th March 1923 he mar­ried El­iz­a­beth Sydney Wad­dell Norquay. El­iz­a­beth was the grand­daugh­ter of the Wad­dell’s of Gal­ston. Eric and El­iz­a­beth built a new home on his prop­erty on Wylds Road Ar­ca­dia and started farm­ing. He later pur­chased an­other home on Ar­ca­dia Road Ar­ca­dia. Eric and El­iz­a­beth had two daugh­ters, Madge who was born on 26th May 1925 and Shirley who was born four years later in 1929.

When times were dif­fi­cult on the farm, Eric worked for the Gal­ston Co-Op, and trav­elled to north­ern New South Wales, pro­mot­ing the sale of Ar­ca­dia and Gal­ston’s citrus fruit. Af­ter Madge and Shirley mar­ried and left home — Madge mar­ried Colin Les­ley Rough­ley of Gal­ston’s Fa­gan fam­ily, and Shirley mar­ried Tom Kildea from Berowra Wa­ters — he worked for the Post Mas­ter Gen­eral’s De­part­ment (PMG) on the elec­tric­ity lines. He lost his left eye when a piece of steel flew into his eye. Eric’s wife El­iz­a­beth died af­ter a road ac­ci­dent in Blacks Road Ar­ca­dia on 31st De­cem­ber 1953. He lived for a fur­ther 10 years with his two daugh­ters and their fam­i­lies in Gal­ston and Hornsby. Eric died on 1st May 1963 in Madge and Colin’s home in Gal­ston.

Madge, now 91 years of age, at­tended the 2016 Gal­ston An­zac Com­mem­o­ra­tion and proudly wore her fa­ther’s medals. She looks for­ward to re­turn­ing for the 2017 event next year.

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