Thomas Hurst (1855-1915) Obituary

On Friday afternoon last the many friends of the late Mr. Thomas Hurst were greatly shocked to learn that he had passed away suddenly at his home at Australind. The deceased gentleman had as usual walked from his house up to the mail box fixed on his gate post on the Australind road, and had returned home, and was apparently quite well with the exception that he was in the recovery stage from a recent attack of influenza. A few moments later his niece, Miss Crampton, read a letter to him which had arrived by the mail, and they were laughing over the contents. He then laid down on a couch to read the newspaper, when he gave what appeared to be a slight sigh, and without pain or the least sign of suffering he had gone to his long rest.

Miss Crampton immediately went to Mrs. D. C. Taylor’s residence for assistance, and was fortunate in arriving just as that lady was leaving home for Bunbury. Dr. Flynn on being summoned immediately went to Australind, only to find that Mr. Hurst was beyond all human aid. As he had been recently under medical care, and the doctor having given a certificate to the effect that death was due to heart trouble supervening upon an attack of influenza, the Resident Magistrate decided that an inquest was unnecessary.

Mr. Hurst was born at the Collie River on 15th December, 1855, and therefore in his 60th year. He was the second son of Mr. Basil Hurst, who came out to the colony as one of the pioneer Australind settlers in the ship ‘Diadem’ in the year 1842. His mother, whose maiden name was Maria Gardiner, arrived in the ship ‘Trusty’ in the same year. His early years were spent on his father’s homestead on the Collie River. Later on he was engaged in the then infant timber industry, being employed on the first mill erected by the late Mr. M. C. Davies, known as the ‘Bendigo Mill.’ After some years he went to the Nor’ West and spent some time in the pearling industry. Following this he was employed as a foreman station hand by the late Mr. Leopold von Bibra.

Whilst in the Nor’-West he contracted rheumatic fever, and was compelled to return home. At this time his life was despaired of, but under the skilful treatment of Dr. Lovegrove he eventually recovered. The merciless rheumatic fever had, however left its never-failing after-effects behind, and Mr. Hurst never regained the full vigour of perfect health. In later years he purchased the old homestead at Australind, and at the time of his death was in partnership with his brother, Mr. John Hurst, of Boyanup, in the industry of sheep raising. The deceased gentleman had a kindly disposition, which made him a great favourite with all whom he came in contact, and his universal hospitality in frequently permitting anglers to camp on his property and generally make themselves at home there will long be re membered by those who were privileged to enjoy his friendship.

The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, and was attended by a large number of the deceased gentleman’s relations from all over the South-West, and a large number of friends in Bunbury and elsewhere. The cortege left Australind at 2 p.m., and was met at the corner of Stirling and Spencer Streets by those who had been unable to make the journey to Australind owing to the severely inclement weather prevailing. The chief mourners were: — Abraham Hurst, of Argyle, brother; John Hurst, Collie, brother; Mrs. J. H. Ecclestone, Mrs. W. Delaporte, Mrs. S. Gibbs, Mrs. J. W. Woodley, and Mrs. G. E. Withers, sisters; Messrs. J. H. Ecclestone, S. Gibbs, T. Crampton, W. Delaporte, G. E. Withers, brothers-in-law; J. J. Adams, nephew-in-law; W. B. Ecclestone, nephew, besides a number of relatives and friends from Bunbury and district.

A number of beautiful wreaths were sent from friends and relatives. The pall-bearers were the Hon. E. M. Clarke, M.L.C., Messrs. W. S. Hales, F. J. Hamilton, W. Piggott, John Gibbs, and E. H. Zollner. The deceased was buried in the Anglican portion of the Bunbury Cemetery, alongside the remains of his late father and mother. The Rev. Canon Adams officiated at the graveside. The casket was made of polished oak, with solid brass mountings. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr. William Brittain, and were capably carried out.

(Bunbury Herald, 3 August 1915)