Stories and Inquests

1855-1980 Accidents, Fatal Farm and Riding deaths

1871 Boy Drowns in Clyde North

1887 Farmer Robbed in Melbourne

1890's Ellinor-A Girl's Story

1892 Death of a Clyde Jockey

1894 Rescued by his Brother

1904 Accidental Shooting of Farmer

1908 Breach of Promise

1912 Life in Clyde-Keith Escott

1916 Killed in a Gravel Pit

1922 Sad Story of a Clyde Blacksmith

1930 Murder Suicide

1944 Fire Destroys Houses




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Stories and Inquests
1922 Sad Story of a Clyde Blacksmith

Port Adelaide born Alexander Stewart Kennedy, a farrier/blacksmith moved from Cranbourne with his young wife, Nellie, to their new home on the corner of Ballarto and Twyford Roads, Clyde. Their house was right near the railway bridge ( now 1585 Ballarto Rd). It was about 1912. Nellie, born as Ellen Quinn Thorpe, came from a Cranbourne Presbyterian family her father being one the bakers in the town.
The young blacksmith showed interest in local events, the ANA in Cranbourne, was known in the Presbyterian church, met many farmers through his trade and was a member of the Tooradin Rifles Club. Twins, Alex junior and Jessie were born to them in 1914.

In March 1916, at 31, Alexander Stewart Kennedy, signed up for overseas military service and spent that time mostly in France. Selling his home to another blacksmith in 1916 He moved his family back to Cranbourne before departing for overseas. Both the Cranbourne Presbyterian Church and the Clyde North  School honor boards list his name as a WW1 soldier. If it was any comfort to him, Henry Kennett (40), also from Clyde travelled overseas with him on the Wandilla that sailed on  June 6th 1916.

After two years and nine months of  active service he returned in January 1919, and in August that year, his 5 year old daughter Jessie died followed by the death in December his mother in law, Mrs Thorpe. During the war and afterwards it seems that his wife, Nellie, was overcome by stress and needed special psychiatric care. Nellie was committed to a mental asylum and her name was never again listed on the electoral roll. Her death was recorded as  having died in Ballarat in 1970, aged 87. Was Nellie shattered and unable to cope with the war absence of her husband and the death of her daughter and mother?
Possibly due to war injury,a gun shot wound to his right shoulder, Alex gave up his blacksmithing work and took up a Rangers job with the Cranbourne Shire Council.
It was in this role that his life was cut short.

On 10th April 1922  35 year old Alexander Kennedy, was tragically killed when he was thrown from his pony with his foot caught in the stirrup. He'd been taking three horses to the Council Pound when the accident happened late one Monday afternoon. He died that evening in a private Dandenong hospital with his brother in law, Jack at his bedside.  Alex his eight year old son, was cared for by hiis aunt and uncle, Miss Sarah Maria Thorpe and brother in law Jack (John Thomas Thorpe). Following the death of Alexander Senior, Miss Sarah Thorpe, assumed to be his guardian, took up the challenge to obtain war medals for her nephew Alexander Kennedy junior.

What happened to  Alex junior?
Young Alex eventually trained as a baker a trade that he most likely learnt  from his uncle, Jack (John Thomas Thorpe) . In 1938 Alex junior, 24,  married a very attractive young lady with notable musical skills also from Cranbourne, linked with the Presbyterian church. Her name was Annie Davida Joan Campbell. She was better known to all as Joan and was in demand to play the piano at concerts. About 6 years following her marriage to Alex Jnr we find Joan Kennedy running her own orchestra and doing the rounds of the local dance halls including Clyde until the late 1950’s. Alex Kennedy died in 1988 aged about 74.

Editor’s Note
Much later in the 1950's, at dances in the Clyde Hall, as a primary school child I was intrigued by her piano skills, her flare and style. Often standing near her on the stage, I would look on adoringly at the way she played the keys. Alex and Joan Kennedy had two children, a  son and  daughter. 
The daughter born in 1943 later attended Dandenong High School.
Joan Kennedy died in 2012.          
Does anyone recall Kennedy's Orchestra?

1. Cranbourne Rate Books, seem to suggest that Alexander Kennedy owned two properties in Clyde –one the blacksmith shop and the other his home. There are two entries next to his name
2. A Coroners inquest took place.
3. Newspaper accounts found via TROVE

4. Military Record of Alexander Kennedy
5. for generalogy information

6.See personal details for Alex Kennedy on the residents llst of the Clyde WW1 Honor Roll Residents.