Lambing Flat Folk Museum (Young, NSW)

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History Blog

Stories from the Past.

Posted on January 12, 2016 at 4:05 AM

Bernies' Coaches.

Joseph Oscar and William Edward Bernie were partners in a Coaching business at Young and were well known to all the old hands in the south-west, where in the coaching days, they were well known and popular figures.

They came to the Young district in the 1860s from Victoria. William Edward for a time resided on the Island (Coney Island), also at Sawpit Gully and Monteagle. Joseph Oscar eventually purchased "Lochiel", off the Kingsvale road, on what is now Willawong street.

The Bernie Brothers were familiar figures at all the shows and races around the region, plying for hire with a coach that carried 62 passengers – and no man could handle the ribbons better than the Bernie brothers. The brothers were known to almost every man woman and child in the district, and also in the towns around. Bernies' Coaches were known far and wide – that is, before the days of the motor car which now rushes along the country roads to shows and races. But in earlier times the big coach with one of the Bernies in the box, did the trip from Young to Murrumburrah, to Cootamundra, Wagga, etc., and to Grenfell and further on, to Forbes and Eugowra – in fact there were few towns where races and shows were held that Bernies' coaches were not familiar, and welcome visitors.

It was always the Bernies' pride that their passengers were always safely carried and during their long career in charge of the ribbons few indeed could say that accident ever befell them. The biggest load ever carried was on the occasion of the opening of the Tipperary Hall, when no fewer than 72 passengers were carried from Tipperary to Young.

William Bernie died in April 1915 and his brother, by this time living at Lidcombe, died in August 1930.


The above was partially sourced from the Young Witness, Tuesday May 4, 1915.


A Sad Home Coming, 1917.

A crushing blow to Private George Cartwright who returned to Young on Wednesday after being nearly two years in the firing line, was the death bed scene of his mother.

Private Cartwright is hale and hearty save for a shrapnel wound underneath the left knee cap. He is able to walk unaided by a stick or crutch, but according to the military doctors in Sydney it is just questionable whether an amputation can be avoided.

In answer to a question Private Cartwright said, "Last July we were ordered to raid a village near Fleurs. There were three lines of trenches before us, the first being 300 yards distance. On reaching the third trench a German who had secured one of our wounded officer's uniform dressed himself in it and gave the command to retire. Implicitly we retreated to our former position. I was cleaning my gun when a piece of shrapnel about the size of a matchbox struck me."

Private Cartwright added, "Yes, there was a second charge, between 8000 and 9000 casualties resulting on our side, but the foe got a bad beating. There was no mercy shown, and bayonets were used most freely. It was the only method to be adopted, for we were up against what seemed overwhelming odds. The English soldiers had made six previous attempts to accomplish the objective but failed. In the knowledge of this we were determined to make an heroic charge, notwithstanding the pick of the Prussian Guards were pitted against us."


From the Young Witness, Friday 28 September 1917.



A Lively Bolt.

One of Mr. Edmunds’ cart horses ran amok on Wednesday and careered several times around the block. The animal fortunately was not attached to a vehicle. Six or seven pedestrians had narrow escapes from being run down. A nonplussed small boy who was about to turn a corner saw the horse approaching and in the nick of time dodged behind a big pepper corn tree. When passing the Post Office the frightened steed had a portion of harness dangling over its side. One strap caught in the splash board of the Wombat mailman’s sulky and sliced a piece out of it. A sharp eye prevented a second bolt. After being deflected from a course which the horse was taking over the Wombat street bridge, it turned into Main street for the fourth time, and was finally caught near the District School.

From the Young Witness, Friday 28 September 1917.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.


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