Sunday, 1 April 2012

A is for Accident

Any regular readers may have noticed a new image on the right hand-side of this blog, as well as a new page tap above this post 'April 2012's A to Z Blogging Challenge'. Today, therefore, is day one of blogging in alphabetical order of my chosen subject matter being, of course, Cam's Fam. And so...

A is for Accident. 

As in 'an accident of a very serious nature [that] happened ... to Mr Cameron, of Wickham steam saw-mills, by which it is greatly feared he will lose his right hand' [1]

I found this reference searching the aptly named Trove website of digitised Australian newspapers. It is exactly that: a treasure trove of information and revelations about the past. And, to my excitement, our past!

The Mr Cameron referred to in the article on p. 3 of Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser is our Robert, formerly of Garmouth. While I have only really fed you tidbits of his background, (with more to be revealed in due course), an accident involving him was newsworthy because our Robert was quite the entrepreneur and pioneering businessman in the fledgling Hunter region of the mid to late 1800s. 

At various periods of his life he was a shipbuilder, government contractor, and timber merchant. At the time of the accident in 1873 he was the owner of a saw-mill in Wickham. Thankfully it didn't appear to incapacitate him as he died at the grand old age of 80 but, with no occupational health and safety officers to provide follow-up reports on the incident, it is a mystery as to whether our Robert did indeed lose his right hand...

[1] 1873 'NEWCASTLE.', The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), 13 March, p. 3, viewed 1 April, 2012, 
SERIOUS ACCIDENT.-We regret to learn that an accident of a very serious nature happened, on    Saturday, to Mr. Cameron, of the Wickham steam saw- mills, by which it is greatly to be feared he will lose his right hand. It appears that Mr. Cameron was adjusting some part of the machinery, when, in withdrawing his hand, he got it in between the cylinder and the bench, thereby severely crushing it. Although a very serious affair, we are glad to be able to state that Mr. Cameron is able to get about and look after his business.


  1. ooh what a way we've come H&S wise. It looks like he carried on working too. Nicely done for A.

    My A is for '

  2. It's amazing how we stumble on things, apparently by accident. I often wonder if it is more a case of divine intervention. I returned to Adelaide with my English husband about twenty years ago. Chance took us to Mt Gambier, where two mirraculous accidents happened. I found a picture of one of my ancestors, reprinted in a local paper. And a branch of my family visited from Queensland. I overheard their conversation and joined them for a portrait. Sheesh!
    We're back in England now.

    1. I would love to find a photo of Robert in the paper, Francene - he's the only one of my direct relatives in Australia that I don't have a photo of! And yes, I too think things happen for a reason - your timing in Mt Gambier sounds really fortuitous - someone must have wanted you to meet!

  3. Interesting blog you have here. What a great way to preserve family heritage.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks Arlee - best way I know how to share it with my rather large extended family who are spread all over the place!