Thursday, 29 May 2014

Myrtle Elsie Adelaide Turner 1889-1963

Myrtle Elsie Adelaide Turner was born in 1889. The youngest of the three children of Harlettee Louisa Groombridge and William Turner, she was only 4 when her father passed away.

Undated photo of Myrtle
Though she was born in Victoria, as an adult she lived in Tasmania. She married Francis Henry Rush and they had three children - Harlettee (Margo), Ivy and Francis William.

Letters from her mother in the early 1920s mention she had unspecified health problems, and in 1932 The Mercury (Hobart) reported on an apparent suicide attempt following "a serious operation".
Mrs. Myrtle Rush, 42 years, of 175 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, was admitted to the Hobart Public Hospital about 11.30 last night, suffering from the effects of an irritant poison. She is alleged to have taken a quantity of disinfectant.  
It is stated that Mrs. Rush underwent a serious operation about four months ago. An emetic was administered, and her condition was afterwards satisfac-tory.

Her only son, Francis, was killed in the Second World War, and in 1950 she travelled to his final resting place, in Stompetoren, Holland. Shipping manifests reveal her travelling companion was I. C. Kendall - Ivy?

Myrtle's daughter Margo married a Mr Denehey and had five daughters and a son. When her marriage failed she took her son with her and moved to Alice Springs. Myrtle joined her there. Margo changed her surname and that of her son Alfred to Turner, her mother's maiden name.
Undated photo of Myrtle with her half sister, Linda

Undated photo of Linda, Myrtle and their friend Bill Nash, NSW.

Undated photo of Linda (standing) and Myrtle

Undated photo of Linda, Myrtle and Ivy

Undated photo of Ivy

Undated photo of Ivy

Myrtle in later years with friends
A letter to Linda telling her of Myrtle's failing health. 3rd of July 1963

Myrtle's grave, Alice Springs. 1963

An undated photo of some of Myrtle's descendants - Tommy, Daryl, Alf, Tracy
Many years ago I tracked down Tracey Grey, daughter of Alf. She was living in the Northern Territory. Her brother, Michael Turner, was a licenced crocodile hunter in Darwin and traded under the name The Crocodile Man. Tracey was due to visit Victoria later in the year and we made promised to catch up with each other, but we never did. Then there was a big disruption in my life and it took a back burner while I sorted everything out. Now I don't know how to reach her or where to find her. I post these photos in the hope that someone she (or someone who knows her) will stumble across my blog. I would love to rekindle contact with the NT branch of our family.

Also, Margo's daughters who remained in Tasmania must have descendants, and I would dearly love to catch up with them. I look at these photos of Linda and Myrtle together, and I know that Linda lived across the road from her brother, my great grandfather Syd, and I feel like there must have been a closeness in the family once upon a time that was lost through time and moving and divorce and death. How wonderful it would be if we could find each other again, and know each other, and share what we remember and know of those that came before us before those memories are lost forever. Tracey Grey, Michael Turner, Alf Turner, and of the Denehey girls... if you're ever reading this, please please please reach out and contact me :)


  1. I was married to Alf's son Michael Alfred Turner whom is now deceased we have 3 children Nikayla Turner , Tyrell Michael Turner and Keiarne Turner

  2. Hi I'm Annette, Alfs youngest daughter. He lives with me in WA

  3. Wow! Hello, cousins! I'm so thrilled to hear from you both - though terribly sorry to hear that Michael has passed away. Tracey has just reached me on Facebook too. It's a great day :)