Kate and the Micro-Cremator, their Final Chapter. Part 2.

Hello, thanks for joining me again. Let’s get straight to it and pick up where we left off in Part 1.

I mentioned that I couldn’t be certain Kate and George were at my 2x Great Grandfather’s funeral and that maybe George’s health was still an issue for him. I mentioned that the next article I found might lend some weight to that theory. Here is that article below.

Figure 92: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

This is another two months on from the notice about George having to be admitted to the Victoria Private Hospital. It is interesting to note that now we are aware that George was suffering from fits as a result of his time serving in South Africa in the Boer War, that perhaps these reported episodes of sickness might be due to this. All the reports fail to mention what it is that George is suffering with. From my general knowledge of the time, I suspect that having a mental illness was not something, you would want known about yourself let alone be mentioned in the press.

I couldn’t find any other information about George’s illness but I did find some, you guessed it, amazing photos of Morven from the time Kate and George were staying. What a place to recuperate at.

Here is Morven 120 years later, now part of St Patricks College Shornecliffe.

Morven, 2021
Figure 93a: Courtesy of Google Maps

I love this next photograph. It is so clear and it is so reminiscent of the photo of George’s Uncle and Aunt’s house Blink Bonnie that I shared in an earlier post.

Interior of Morven, Sandgate, 1902
Figure 94: Courtesy of State Library of Queensland

You can see that Morven sits at the top of the photograph to the right of the pier, it has the smaller of the Norfolk Pines in front of it.

Sandgate Pier, the 1900s
Figure 95: Courtesy of Brackenridge History Blogpost

The Pier, or a version of it, is still there in 2020, 120 years later.

Sandgate (Shornecliffe) Pier 2020
Figure 95a: Courtesy of Google Maps

If we are to believe what the article implies in Figure 92 that Kate and George have been in Queensland since their return to Australia in May, I can’t imagine they stayed in the Morven that whole time. I wonder if they may have been accommodated in the property below. This is the next mention of them by the way. There is no listing for them leaving the country for Berlin, (mentioned in part 1) I checked again.

Figure 96: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 97: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

There is no information on Hexdown available online. But that one little mention of the property being opposite the principal railway station led me to a wonderful document from the Redlands Library on a historical timeline of the area. This document informed me that the station is no longer standing but guess what is? Ebenezer’s house.

Figure 98: Courtesy of Redland City Council

The document also had the exact property number which enabled me to be certain that I had found the correct property. I have a feeling that the 2013 date above is incorrect as Google has it already as the day spa in 2009 as shown below.

Figure 99: Courtesy of Google Maps

Ebenezer built the house in 1889 which means this was the house that he and Kate were living in when her mother passed away. (https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/)

Figure 99a: Courtesy of Trove, Library of Australia
Figure 100: Courtesy of Google Maps

I was thinking to myself, what is interesting here is, why are Kate and George selling the property on behalf of Ebenezer? Where is Ebenezer? Well, I do know from the articles on his bigamy case that around this time he is already in New Zealand. I found a mention of him in the New Zealand press that he was visiting New Plymouth, the region he eventually settles.

Figure 101: Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

Yep, in case you hadn’t worked it out, Ebenezer changes his name by making an anagram of his last name, Thorne to Enroth and changing his first name to Benjamin. He obviously returns to Australia at some stage, perhaps to tell Kate and George of his move, as I found him arriving at Wellington port from Sydney, on the 1st of May 1907.

Figure 102: Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

The Miowera, the ship he travelled on departed Sydney for Wellington on Saturday 27th April 1907 but there were no passenger records to check if he changed the name at that end. I wonder if this is his voyage over to marry the widow Clara Berridge? I found the registration listing for their marriage. It took a while as you can see they spelt Enroth incorrectly.

Figure 103: Courtesy of Births Deaths and Marriages Online

I then found a passenger listing for a Mr and Mrs Enroth, just twenty days later travelling from Wellington to Onehunga, the southern port entrance of Auckland at the time. Was this their honeymoon trip?

Figure 104: Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

There is no mention of Kate and George travelling over for the wedding, not that there would be I’m thinking as Ebenezer is still married to Sarah Thorne who he married eighteen months after Kate’s mother died and who is very much still alive.

Figure 105: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia

For the life of me, I can’t imagine how Ebenezer was planning on explaining the new marriage to Kate and George. Was he just planning on keeping the two sides of his family separate and just expecting to travel between the two without each knowing the other? I mean it is nuts when you think of the logistics of it.

The next mention of Kate and George is in September 1907 and they are back at the Morven at Sandgate.

Figure 106: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia

I, unfortunately, can find no reference to what that large work was at that time. The only work that I could find of Kate’s that had been published was in 1912. It was a pamphlet-style book called, “Leaves from the Australian Bush” I have shared this before but here it is again.

Figure 107: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia

The National Library has digitised the book. I have attached a copy of the pdf below if you are interested. There is some terminology in there that is quite unsettling when reading today.

Figure 108: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia


Then on the same day as the article above and after years of silence, Kate has a poem published in the Brisbane Telegraph.

Figure 109: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia

I’m not sure what is happening here for Kate. I can’t be certain of when she penned this rather melancholy piece but if we assume it was at the time of printing, was it a lament for her father and not understanding what was going on, was she worried that she would never see him again?

Had she and George just returned from another trip back to Europe having been involved in the testing of the Micro-cremator and its merits of use in Germany and now facing another long sea journey was just aching for the familiar. More to add to the unknowable list.

What we do know?, that Kate gives a lecture in Brisbane in early October 1907 and the subject I can only imagine must have been pretty controversial to hear from the lips of a privileged, white, presbyterian woman.

Figure 109a: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia
Figure 110: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia
Figure 111: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia

If you have read a few of my previous posts you might have picked up on the fact that I don’t profess to be an expert on any topic, I do however really enjoy furthering my knowledge on events that were happening at the time of the person I’m discussing. In relation to my knowledge of issues affecting people who follow the Hebrew faith, it is very generalised in terms of understanding that they have been persecuted for centuries by various groups. Of course, this culminated in the genocide inflicted on them by the Nazi regime last century.

In regards to what might have motivated Kate to give this particular lecture at this time, I began searching Trove in 1906 and 1907 and I was flooded with results. In a very shallow dive, I discovered that in 1906 there were multiple programs against those people following the Hebrew faith in Russia. I think it may have been seen as an opportune moment due to the turmoil that was occurring because of the Russian-Japanese War that was happening and which I have mentioned earlier.

Below is a collage of just some of the reports I have come across in Trove. The blatant racism on show is particularly hard to read, especially in the article titled “Jews for Australia” just below.

Figure 112: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia
Figure 113: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia
Figure 114: Courtesy of Trove, The National Library of Australia

Tiled Gallery 2: Courtesy of

I wonder if these might have been some of the motivating factors for Kate in giving her address at Albert Hall?

This is a photo of the hall that Kate gave the address in. It is on the left-hand side of the picture next to the church. This photo was taken just three years before Kate gives her lecture, so I’m sure she would recognise this scene all too well.

Albert Street Methodist Church and Albert Hall, Brisbane, ca. 1904
Figure 115: Courtesy of Wikimedia

I found a wonderful interior shot of the hall from 1924 when a new movie projector was being installed and tested.

The hall was still there in 1967.

Albert hall, 1967
Figure 117: Courtesy of ABC News

Unfortunately, it only held on for another two years when it was demolished in 1969 to make way for Brisbane’s reportedly first skyscraper, the SGIO/Suncorp building. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Hall,_Brisbane)

Here is the site in 1982.

I know the perspective is slightly out but I think this gives a good comparison between the site today and 1928.

u003cemu003eImage Compare 1: u003c/emu003eu003cbru003eu003cemu003ePast image courtesy of Youtube u003c/emu003eu003cbru003eu003ca href=u0022https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p6WbYFhimwu0022u003ehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p6WbYFhimwu003c/au003eu003cbru003eu003cemu003ePresent Image courtesy of Albert Street Church u003c/emu003eu003cbru003eu003ca href=u0022https://albertstreet.church/about-us/our-historyu0022u003ehttps://albertstreet.church/about-us/our-historyu003c/au003e

We now move ahead to February 1908. We find Kate and George involved in a couple of social events held a day after each other. The first I have discussed in a previous post, it is my 2x Great Grandmother, Janet Nicoll’s second marriage to Eddy O’Connor and even though they aren’t named in the list of attendees in the first article below, I’m sure they would have been in attendance.

Figure 118: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia
Figure 119: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The second article above refers to the reception of Mr and Mrs Joseph Lewis held at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr and Mrs L E Isaacs on the day after Janet and Eddy’s wedding. Kate and George are named in this article so it confirms for us that they were definitely in Sydney at the time.

And as I am want to do, filling in the story around Kate and George when details on them are scant, I started digging into Arklands in Neutral Bay, the Isaacs and the Lewis’s, to see how they might have been connected to Kate and George.

Arklands first. I found a mention of it in a heritage impact assessment carried out in 1997 on another property name Reigate.

Heritage Impact Assessment 39-41 Aubin Street Neutral Bay
Figure 120: Courtesy of Wendy Thorpe and Robert Staas

When looking to confirm information you are always searching for those other points that let you triangulate in on the information you have. This next article, although only the second point gave me some confidence I was on the right track. The names are the same, the property is the same, and the suburb, all good, just the road was an issue as I hadn’t seen it mentioned before.

Figure 121: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

A quick check of Google maps and we have a third point locked in. Aubin Street is on one side of the property and Kurraba is on the other.

Figure 122: Courtesy of Google Maps

There are no photos online of Arklands that I can find but it sat somewhere in that block of 39-43 Aubin St and 96-100 Kurraba Rd. Kate and George were on this site on the evening of Tuesday the 25th of February 1908.

And once again no photos of Kate or George but I did find this wonderful piece below, which is pretty special when you have no other information.

Figure 123: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

In trying to get a clearer picture of what Kate might have looked like on the night I started researching the fashion of the time.

I wonder if Kate’s gown was similar to this Edwardian Evening Gown by Ney Soeurs. The Vintage Dancer site states that this was circa 1909.

Figure 124: Courtesy of Vintage Dancer


Or perhaps Kate might have preferred her “peacock satin” in one of the three designs below, all circa. 1908 -1909.

Dinner Dress, Attributed to Callot-Soeurs, ca. 1908 French, silk, linen, metal, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Figure 126: Courtesy of The Dreamstress

I swear I can almost see Kate. I also discovered what Passementerie is. Remember, this is what is trimming Kate’s peacock satin gown. According to Wikipedia, Passementerie is the art of making elaborate trims or braidings for clothes or furnishings. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passementerie)

And would you believe, I found this example of some antique Passementerie from 1908 the same year as the wedding.

Passementerie of cording and braid, embellished with beads, French, 1908
Figure 128: Courtesy of Wikipedia

In relation to the Lewis’s and the Isaacs’s, I found them all in Ancestry but unfortunately, I can’t find what the potential link might be between them. That is, how Kate and George were friends with them. What I can share is that Mr and Mrs L. E. Isaacs were, Lewis Ernest and Mary Anne Isaacs, parents to Vera Victoria Isaacs who married Mr Joseph Samuel Lewis.

Vera and Joseph end up having six children together. Unfortunately, Joeseph dies in 1938 at the age of 54 but Vera goes on till 1971 and dies at the age of 84.

Although I didn’t discover how they became friends with Kate and George, in my search for an answer I came across this wonderful little mention from a couple of months before they were married. Vera and Joseph were performing together on stage and it looks like Josephs’s sister might have been part of the show as well. I wonder if Kate and George went along to see their performance.

Figure 129: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia
Figure 130: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

One of the family trees on Ancestry had a photo of Vera. Just amazing!

Vera Victoria Lewis, nee Isaacs
Figure 131: Courtesy of Noffs Family Tree, Ancestry.com.au

I love knowing that even though decades older, this face looked at Kate and George. Nuts I know but it just seems to bring them a little more to life. It is also tinged with a touch of sadness for me, that Kate or George for that matter never had the opportunity of sitting for a photo later in life.

This next article is the swan song for the Micro-cremator, the final mention that it gets publicly, anywhere that I can find. It’s just over three years since Kate gave her lecture and the barrage of abuse was levelled at her.

Figure 132: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

This was an amazing find as the author clearly states there were a number of “…successful…” trials. This is fantastic but still doesn’t lead us any closer to the results. Thanks to J. Martin Cleary for their letter. I wondered who this person was and why they were sending support, Kate and the Micro-cremators way.

Trove had some answers. He was John Martin Cleary and he lived at 102 Phillip Street in Sydney, he is described in electoral roles from the 1930s as a traveller. He had a number of letters published in the press over the years.

Tiled Gallery A: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

And there is the link above, the Australian Natives Association. This is the association that George’s father Bruce was president of for a while and that his brother Charles was on the board of. And then I found the confirmation of that link.

Figure 132a: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

John is clearly linked here in this article with Kate’s brother-in-law, C B Nicoll and her father-in-law, B B Nicoll.

Returning to John’s letter, It is so frustrating to not find anything written about the outcome of those several successful trials of the Micro-cremator and what the next steps taken were. Why was the Government so disinterested? Was it the gender issue at play here?

There was a cacophony of noise from the establishment at the time which was so quick to condemn Kate for her audacious claims about her cure but after the trials, there is complete silence. Nothing in the Australian press, or the British press, and nothing from Dr W.P. Norris (who was making investigations) or a mention of the Echuca sanatorium trials he was going to conduct.

How amazing would it be if the Brompton archivists were able to uncover some long-lost file with the answers we are after or the holy grail, the actual Micro-cremator? I mean, what happened to it? Was it destroyed or is it sitting hidden somewhere?

Consumption, Tuberculosis (TB) was one of the leading causes of death in Australia in the first part of the 20th century. The National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) cites that it was the leading cause for women and the second cause for males at the time. A quick read of the NHMRC site reveals that here in Australia we struggled with the appropriate detection and treatment of Consumption right up until the 1950s. This is when the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory started making in quantity, the vaccine discovered by bacteriologist Dr Nancy Atkinson who produced the first Australian vaccine. I wonder if Dr Atkinson was aware of Kate’s earlier work and the Micro-cremator or were they already forgotten by this stage? (https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/resources/impact-case-studies/history-tuberculosis-control-australia)

The next fantastic (yes, I said it again) find I want to share with you was like looking for a needle in a haystack. It took me hours to uncover and numerous combinations of search terms to unearth. It would not come up under just Nicoll only Mr and Mrs Nicoll but before I share it, let me tell you what lead me to its discovery.

We touched on it earlier, the issue of Kate’s Dad’s bigamy. The way I learned about his bigamous relationships was from reports I discovered of his wife Clara contesting his will from 1914. The article below is jam-packed with information but specifically, it had the lead to uncovering that next fantastic find.

Figure 133: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 134: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I would love to know what the plausible explanation was that Ebenezer gave to Clara that explained, another wife who was very much still alive.

Figure 135: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Ebenezer Thorne

Figure 136: Courtesy of Highgate Hill and its History


Oh wow, just had a quick look on Ancestry and one of the trees had this photo below. I love it when people are so generous and share. Another face, that looked upon Kate and George.

Clara Berridge nee Hoby
Figure 137: Courtesy of Brandon Phillips, a customer of Ancestry.com.au

Anyhow, the Clearance list below is, the fantastic information that took me hours to find.

Figure 138: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I know it doesn’t have the G.A. before the Nicoll, so I can’t be a hundred percent sure it is them but it very much fits with the timeline, so I’m taking it as Kate and George.

Again with the luck, I found a photo of the ship they made the journey on and also of what happened to it.

SS Manuka, 1903, leaving Wellington for Sydney
Figure 139: Courtesy of SSmaritime.com
S.S. Manuka Wrecked at Long Point Dec 16th 1929
Figure 140: Courtesy of SSmaritime.com

I trawled through the New Zealand Past Papers site and I found a shipping list that fits. Ben Enroth (Ebenezer) and Clara Enroth arriving into Auckland a few days before Kate and George.

Figure 141: Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

Ebenezer and Clara stay in Aukland for a couple of weeks and arrive back in New Plymouth on the 7th of April 1908.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any shipping lists for Kate and George departing Aukland and heading back home so I’m not sure how long they ended up staying.

We pick them up again at the next big family event to happen, the death of George’s mother Jane Nicoll nee Zahel.

Figure 142: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

You will notice in the list of mourners were my 2x Great Grandmother, Janet and her new Husband, Eddy O’Connor. My 3x Great Grandfather, Janet’s father, Mr Lewins, misprinted Lemins again supporting the family and George, Bruce and Mary’s surviving brother, John Baird Nicoll. Their niece, Florence Wigmore is the niece that Jane was vising in Bowral when she passed and you will remember Florence came out on the Ortona with her parents and my 2x Great Grandparents Janet and George.

Here is the hospital where Jane died and the hotel she was staying at in Bowral.

Below is St Thomas’s in Lewisham where the family gathered for the Prayers of the Dead.

St Thomas’s, Lewisham 2020
Figure 145: Courtesy of Google Maps

On my last visit to Sydney before the Covid lockdowns, I found where Jane was interred 114 years earlier.

Jane Nicoll’s Gravesite, Rookwood cemetery, 2021
Figure 146: Courtesy of the Macvean Family Archives

The headstone on the immediate right is number 98, which makes Jane’s grave about the middle of the shot at number 93.

We are on the home stretch in relation to Kate’s story, and I am very sad to say. Information is starting to thin out. We now jump forward a full twelve months, to September 1909 for our next mention of either Kate or George, to this very interesting advert below.

Figure 147: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Did you notice? We are back at St James Hall on Phillip street in the city of Sydney. This is the hall where Kate and George helped with the fundraising for its construction. There is, much to my dismay, not a word anywhere on the “The Cardsharper“. I tell a lie, I just did a deep dive on Trove about “Wyndham’s Entertainers” and look at what just appeared.

Figure 148: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

A short dramatic sketch of a bigamist wife. I wonder where that idea came from? Was this Kate processing the insane nature of what her father was living? Remembering that it wasn’t public knowledge at this stage, it would have only been the immediate family that knew what was going on with Ebenezer, I’m assuming here of course.

In my deep dive, I learned that Wyndham’s Entertainers were a vaudevillian group from New Zealand, put together by Alfred Wyndham and Ada Wyndham, who I think might have been his daughter. They had just come over to Australia from a tour in South Africa. I wasn’t expecting to find any link with why they would be performing a piece written by Kate but maybe this might be the link below. It is the only article with this detail in it and I looked at all 171 results in Trove, so I can be sure.

Figure 149: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

It just seems too much of a coincidence for it not to be either Charles or George but that might be me just trying to fit the piece into our puzzle.

I found a full printed list of the program for the night of the 4th of September at St James’s Hall which appears below. I also found a beautifully clear photo of the Masonic Hall, where the troupe did most of their Sydney residency and what actually sits on the site today. I have also put together a tiled gallery of the pieces I found on Wyndham’s Entertainers on Trove. Don’t worry, not all 171 results, just the ones I think are most interesting.

I wonder when was the last time anyone even thought about Wyndham’s Entertainers or even mentioned them out loud.

Figure 150: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 151: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

New Masonic Hall, Castlereagh St, Sydney
Figure 152: Courtesy of Pinterest

This new hall stood in this spot on Castlereagh St from 1885 till 1970 when it was demolished to make way for one of Sydney’s most iconic brutalist pieces of architecture. (https://sydneymasoniccentre.com.au/ )

New Masonic Hall site (Approx’) 2021
Figure 153: Courtesy of Google Maps

When you look at that program in Figures 150 & 151 and think, all that talent and hard work, just forgotten and this is one small little group of entertainers from 112 years ago. I know it seems silly but that is why I wanted to put this gallery together for them.

Tiled Gallery 3: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The next incident to happen to Kate must have been very hard to take. Her very good friend of many years and sister-in-law, Thirza Vick Nicoll, nee Zahel leaves Australia for London to further her vocal education. With hindsight, it is very sad as this would be the last time they would see each other. Kate dies in 1912 and I can see no passenger listing for Thirza returning to Australia in that time.

Figure 154: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 155: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Here is the ship that Thirza and Gordon travelled out to London on. I also discovered that their firstborn daughter accompanied them. She was nearly three years of age when they departed. The name of their daughter, I think shows how close Thirza and Kate were. Iris Thirza Jean Carina Nicoll.

RMS Orvieto Circa, 1910s
Figure 156: Courtesy of State Library of Queensland

Coincidently, a week later Kate’s other sister-in-law, Laura Nicoll, nee Taunton leaves Australia for London to further her vocal education with the same instructor as Thirza, Madame Marchesi. I don’t know what the relationship was like between Kate and Laura but I imagine the link, being sisters-in-law and pursuing the same goals as her good friend Thirza meant her departure would have had an effect on her. What effect that was we can only guess.

Figure 156a: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 156b: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Here is the ship that Laura journeyed out on and also the most wonderful interior shot of the Mantua’s 2nd Class Dining Saloon. So rare to be able to see inside these vessels.

RMS Mantua
Figure 156c: Courtesy of State Library of Victoria https://viewer.slv.vic.gov.au/?entity=IE915925&mode=browse
Mantua 2nd Class Dining Saloon
Figure 156d: Courtesy of Benjidog

The next actual mention of Kate comes up in March 1910 when she has this poem printed under her professional name, Carina Thorne. Araby from the title is an archaic term for Arabia and apparently has a poetic reference to it. (https://www.websters1913.com/words/Araby )

Figure 156e: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I have no idea why Kate is writing a love song to Arabia, it is obvious from reading through the poem that it has great meaning for her. Unfortunately, the meaning for us is one of those things relegated to time.

This next poem below, published two months later leaves us no doubt as to why Kate penned it.

Figure 156f: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

This was printed just fourteen days after Edward VII’s death. In my opinion, I think we can safely state that Kate was a royalist and very much part of the societal norm of the day, that they considered themselves very much British subjects.

If you still aren’t convinced, I think this next article will cement my opinion in place for you.

Figure 156g: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I mean, even not being aware of all the central players mentioned in that piece, It is still pretty god damn exciting to think that the Queen was aware of Kate, let alone mentioning Kate by name.

I did a bit of digging, (surprise, surprise) and George Reid, who I was pretty sure was a Prime Minister of Australia at one time but wasn’t when this letter was passed on, was actually the first High Commissioner to London at the time. This makes sense as to why he would be involved in receiving a letter from the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Sidney Robert Greville.

I can only imagine the excitement that Kate, George and the rest of the family must have felt at receiving the news of the letter and knowing the fact that the Queen herself had asked for her thanks to be passed on to Kate for her poems, and by the High Commissioner no less.

Following are portraits of everyone involved and a copy of the poem, “The Tidings” mentioned in the article.

Figure 160: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 161: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 162: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Sir Sidney Robert Greville 1925
Figure 163: Courtesy of National Trust Collections

What a treasure that would be to find, the copy of the letter that Kate received. I bet she kept it in a very safe spot. It is so sad to think that after George’s death in 1915 it was probably burnt as rubbish along with all their other treasured correspondence.

In closing out the year and the decade there is no further mention of Kate or George. There is, however, a mention of a big scandal that hit the family in December. I can only imagine it would have been so embarrassing for them all to have the details splashed around so salaciously for all their family, friends and business associates to pour over.

Figure 164: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The above article is only a portion of the full report, it was an all-consuming issue for George’s brother Charles and I have already touched on this subject in a previous post so I won’t delve any deeper into it here. Needless to say, it had a huge effect on the family. When reading through the bankruptcy documents I found at State Archives, it is clear to see the tone is definitely combative between Charles and George.

Charle’s bankruptcy would continue to plague the family for the rest of Kate and George’s lives.

Kate has another poem published in the first month of the new decade. I have read through it a number of times and its meaning still escapes me.

Figure 165: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 166: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Kate has another poem published in April 1911. It seems to me, to be a little easier to understand and it looks like Kate is becoming very reflective about the world she is inhabiting and what her future might hold. It has a real sense of melancholy about it for me but maybe that is just the fact that I know what is in store for her and George.

Figure 167: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 168: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 169: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

It is almost prophetic when Kate states in the poem that she has “…nearly…” had her portion of pain, as just a month later news of her father’s death comes through.

I wonder if she ever got the chance to see Ebenezer or speak to him again since leaving him in anger in Auckland back in March 1908. It is easy to see from all of the information that I have been so lucky to uncover on them both, that Kate and Ebenezer were very close. We just don’t know if that closeness continued for the last years of Ebenezer’s life.

Figure 170: Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand
Figure 171: Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

There are no shipping lists that I can find, showing that Kate and George made it across to New Plymouth for Ebenezer’s funeral, which is not surprising as I can’t imagine they kept in contact with Clara, Mrs Enroth, if the last thing that Kate said to her was, “…you are not father’s wife.” Also logistically, I don’t think it would have been possible as Ebenezer is buried the very next day after his death.

It is also sad to note there is no poem published on the passing of her father. I wonder if Kate did actually pen something about Ebenezer and what his loss meant to her that was never published? Perhaps she was already feeling his loss from the time of their last meeting.

We now jump another year ahead to Kate’s last year, 1912.

The first discovery was a small advertisement for her book. Initially, I was thinking this must have been pretty exciting to see but then on reflection, it was probably organised by Kate or George to get word that the book was now available.

The second is a small mention of Miss Lylia Fegan giving a performance of some of Kate’s work at a “coin tea” for the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and in the same hall where Kate gave her lecture on Jewish issues.

Figure 172: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 173: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I was interested to find out what the “coin tea” term meant, nothing on the internet specifically but when I put that phrase into Trove over 3000 hits. The earliest time I can see it coming into use is late 1908. It seems it was a fundraising strategy employed by committees of women to raise funds for a particular issue. From what I have read, afternoon tea was provided along with some type of entertainment. You learn something new every day.

Figure 173a: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Miss Fegan was still at it a couple of months later. I wonder if Kate was ever aware that her poems were being used at recitals? Oh, there is just so much missing in these last years of Kate’s life.

Figure 174: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

So, the sad news, we have reached the end of Kate’s story and her time with George, there is no more on Kate anywhere at this stage except these few articles below. We know from her death certificate that she died in Melbourne. The big question is, why? Was this where the specialist treatment that she needed was located at?

Figure 175: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I went searching to see if I could find anything about Kate and George’s travel down to Melbourne and I think I found out how and when they arrived there.

Passenger List Kanowna, 9 Nov 1912
Figure 176: Courtesy of Public Record Office of Victoria

The names are correct, but the ages are out. Kate is 36 at the time and George is 32. Could this be an official mishearing and then transposing Kate and George’s details when filling in the official list? The other point that sways me that this is their listing, is the fact that the Figaro article below shares that they are in receipt of a letter from George and in it he explained that Kate had been suffering for about seven weeks with rheumatic fever. This fits with this departure time of the 9th of November.

Here is a photo of the Kanowna.

Kanowna, Circa 1910s
Figure 177: Courtesy of Australian War Museum

The death notice below gives us the street where presumably Kate and George are staying when she passes away.

Figure 178: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I say presumably because I wasn’t sure if it was a private residence or perhaps a private hospital that Kate was admitted to.

Figure 179: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 180: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Kate’s death certificate below gives us a heap of information but most importantly it confirms that it was 33 Mackenzie Street in Melbourne where Kate died.

Figure 181: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Figure 182: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I can’t imagine what George’s Christmas must have been like, it was only a week away. His wife is dead, did he know anyone in Melbourne? Did he have support? Did he call and tell his brother Charles what had happened? Perhaps he sought out support from my 2x Great Grandmother, George’s Aunt, Janet O’Connor/ Nicoll and her husband Eddy back in Sydney.

You might have noticed the death certificate states that Kate has only been in Victoria a few days, that sort of puts paid to my theory that Kate and George came down on the 9th of November but again maybe the official filling in the certificate thought the ten days she suffered with the Rheumatic Fever was how long she and George had been in the state.

I went searching again, to see what I could find out about 33 Mackenzie Street. No photos of the property surfaced but:

Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works Map 1021
Figure 183: Courtesy of State Library of Victoria

This fantastically detailed map from the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works appeared, which at least lets us get a picture of where the property stood.

Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works Map 1021
Figure 184: Courtesy of State Library of Victoria


Interestingly, 33 Mackensie Street is the next block down from the infamous Russell Street Police Barracks that you can see situated on the left of both maps above. As I wasn’t getting any results for a photo when searching Mackenzie St, I thought I would try the Police Barracks and see if the property came up in the background.

This is the closest I could find. It is looking directly at the Police Barracks on the corner of Mackenzie and Russell Street, Mackenzie runs down the left-hand side of the photo and no. 33 would be in the next block down and in view if the photo continued left.

Russell Street Police Headquarters, Circa, the 1920s
Figure 185: Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

Guess what? We are getting closer, I just found another photo that extends to the left a little further. I jumped on Google Maps to get an up-to-date picture of the area and have put them into one of those compare photos for us. In the before photo from 1949, you can see the two-story building with the triangle facia on the top of the building is no.39. Immediately on its right-hand side as we look at, it will be the entrance to the alleyway between the two blocks, 41 and 39 numbered on the map above.

Image Compare 2,
Before Image: Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria,
After Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Oh, I can’t believe what I’m finding, still not no.33 yet but now I have found this wonderful shot of terraces no.45-41 following on from the Police Headquarters.

41-45 Mackenzie Street, Melbourne, 1955
Image 185a: Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

How fantastic is that? Still not no.33 but so close. I know this is thirty-eight years after Kate and George but I know this is what they would have looked at. Not the cars of course. The map above in Figure 184/85 is from 1895 so we can be confident in saying they would recognise this view as they are clearly marked on it.

What they may not recognise is that opposite them on the other side of the street, on the vacant triangle block in the map, is a Caltex Service Station in 1955. This is where the photographer (Mark Strizic) would have been standing to take the above photo.

I can’t believe it, there were a couple more of Mark’s photos in the series and thanks to him moving down the street a little, I think in this next shot he may have just captured no. 33 where Kate spent the last weeks of her life and where she passed away on the 18th of December 1912.

29-45 Mackenzie Street, Melbourne, 1950
Image 185b: Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria


How good is this? I’m so excited because for me it has been hours of searching for these images, not even knowing if any existed. Absolutely nothing was coming up for Mackenzie Street when I searched but when I tried just, Russell Street Headquarters, bazinga! These are actually titled, Terraces behind Russell Street Headquarters.

So my thinking is that no.33 has to be the terrace three in from the left-hand side of the photo. We know from the map that no.29 is on the corner (the one on the immediate left of the photo) and that no.39 is the three-story terrace with a curved facia, (not triangled as I originally thought) front, on the right of the photo. We know from the map that this is six properties from 29-39 and counting puts no.33 exactly where I said. Also if you look at the map again in Figure 184/5 you will see there is a covered walkway on the side of no.33 and here it is in close-up.

And here is Google Maps offering of the site in 2019, the last time they photographed it.

Figure 186: Courtesy of Google Maps

Would you believe it, there was still a service station opposite in 2014. Not Caltex anymore but 7-Eleven.

Mackenzie Street looking towards Russell Street, Melbourne, 2014
Figure 186a: Courtesy of Google Maps

Here is the latest from Google Maps from the same vantage point just this month, October 2022. The Servo is gone now. I know Kate and George wouldn’t recognise anything here and would probably be hard-pressed to believe it was the same street they were on 110 years ago.

Mackenzie Street looking towards Russell Street, Melbourne, 2022
Figure 186b: Courtesy of Google Maps

Here we are almost done, I’m just going to hit you with everything I can find out about anything to do with Kate at this stage, as it is our last chance.

But first, this is just amazing. I had basically finished this section off and was just shutting down the library search pages in Google and another result came up that wasn’t there before and guess what it is? A picture of the whole block from the corner of no.29 back up to the Police Barracks that shows no.33 Mackenzie Street. Mark moved further down the street to take the shot, thanks, Mark!

29-45 MacKenzie Street, Melbourne, 1955
Figure 186c: Courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Here is where Kate and George spent their final weeks together.

33 MacKenzie Street, Melbourne, 1955
Figure 186d: Courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Below is Kate’s funeral notice, from the day after she died. I can’t imagine that there would have been many people at the funeral as she and George had only been in Victoria for such a short time.

Figure 187: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

This phenomenal photo below is of Mr A. A. Sleight whose company took care of Kate’s funeral. Mr Sleight had actually been dead sixteen years by the time Kate passes but his sons continued the business at 182 Collins Street.

The tall skinny building in the centre of the photo is 182 Collins Street but this building was built three years after Kate’s death. I cannot source a photo of the original building but this is the spot Kate’s body would have been prepared for her funeral.

The Collins Hotel, 182 Collins Street, Melbourne, 2022
Figure 187b: Courtesy of Google Maps
Figure 187c: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Brighton General Cemetery has an amazing service, for a very modest fee they will send you a copy of the burial Register. We are so lucky in this case, it also included a copy of the original handwritten details. If there isn’t a photo of the gravesite they will organise that as well. Which is what they did for me.

Figure 188: Courtesy of Brighton General Cemetery

I couldn’t find a photo of Rev Thomas Henry Sapsford but someone had shared a photo of his headstone. Rev Sapsford of course as you can see from the details above is the priest who buried Kate.

Figure 188a: Courtesy of Stephen Cutler, Find-a-Grave Contributor

I also couldn’t find any historic photos of Brighton General Cemetery from the era but Google maps go right through the cemetery and with the help of this map below, I was able to find the area where Kate is buried in. Church of England, Section R.

Figure 188b: Courtesy of Julie Henderson and Lacey Milier, Find-a-Grave Contributors

The stacked gallery below shows the entrance to the cemetery in the first image. I was then able to follow that road in the centre, all the way up the middle of the cemetery, turning right into Metahar Drive, which I then followed up past two bends and then turned back to look straight at Kate’s grave site. I have marked it in yellow highlighter.

Stacked Gallery 1: Courtesy of Google Maps

And the reason I can be so certain that this is Kate’s grave site, I was able to match it with the graves around hers in the photo below that Brighton Cemetery sent me.

Figure 189: Courtesy of Brighton Cemetery

I had been saving some information to share with you that I learned from this site below from about two years ago.


But when I went back to read it, it had disappeared. Normally I take a screenshot of the info so if this does happen I have a copy, of course, this time, I forgot, Damn!

In it, the writer shared that they had the opportunity of meeting a second cousin of Kate’s when she was an elderly woman and she shared some insights that she had on Kate. Those being, that she remembered her being an incredible horsewoman. She apparently was a champion rider and won many competitions in the district. Also, Kate used to ride a donkey to school every day.

This cousin recalled as a young girl walking past the old homestead of Carina on her way to school and that even dishevelled and abandoned it was still a very impressive house with its wide wrap-around verandahs and mango trees surrounding it.

I could imagine Kate when riding, probably looked very similar to these women who were contemporaries of her time and place.

Woman on a Horse 1906
Figure 189a: Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia
Woman posing on Horseback Nth Qld
Figure 189b: Courtesy of James Cook University
Man and Woman posing on Horseback with their Dog, Nth Qld
Figure 189c: Courtesy of James Cook University

The last piece of information I remember reading in this history from Kate’s cousin was that it was known in the family that when Kate and George left for Melbourne, Kate was pregnant with her’s and George’s first child. So when Kate passed away on the 18th of December, George not only lost his beloved wife but also their first unborn child.

And here it is, the final mention of Kate. A year after her death. George has moved back to Brisbane and placed a memorial notice in the paper to mark the first anniversary.

Figure 190: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

This is the one and only memorial notice George gets to place in remembrance of Kate. The following year at this time, war has been declared signalling the start of World War One and George has already enlisted and joined the ranks of the 9th Infantry Battalion, C company.

Having travelled down to Sydney on, His Majesty’s Armed Transport (HMAT) the Omrah, George is already billeted and training at Randwick racecourse and unable to place any notices to mark the second anniversary of Kate’s passing. And of course, no further notices will ever be placed for Kate, as George is only four months away from being reunited with Kate when he is shot a killed on the morning of the 25th of April, 1915 while storming the hills of Gaba Tepe, Turkey. (Gallipoli)

What a journey, I’m so sad that this is it for Kate and her amazing invention the Micro-Cremator. And to think before I started this journey I knew nothing of Kate’s existence. I cannot thank Trove, the National Library of Australia and their army of volunteers enough. As it is all of their hard work that has given me access to those parts of Kate’s story that were recorded and then enabled me to share it with you.

Thanks for your time and interest and I hope you have enjoyed learning about Kate, George and the Micro-Cremator.

I hope you will join me again in the not-too-distant future, as George’s story is not quite over as yet. Shortly, we will follow his journey on HMAT Omrah, as he makes his way first to Egypt and then to Lemnos, the Greek staging island, in preparation for his final destination.

And finally, thank you, Kate. What an amazing woman you were. I know there is so much we don’t know about you and I’m sure you probably held some attitudes from your time that we would find confronting today but I’m so glad I got to know you a little.

Kate Carina May Nicoll nee Thorne, 1910

Figure 191: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia