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Three Lost Children of Daylesford

July 3, 2016

I have blogged previously about the Three Lost Children of Daylesford. Last week, June 30 was the 149th anniversary of the death of the children.

Here is the newspaper report of the funeral which brought the town of Daylesford, to a halt, as trade came to a stop for the funeral, as requested by the city mayor.

from: The Age, Thursday, 19 September 1867, page 7.

THE FUNERAL OF THE LOST CHILDREN.

DAYLESFORD MERCURY,18TH SEPT

The closing scene was in keeping with the self-sacrificing spirit, which has distinguished the people of Daylesford, in connection with the melancholy fate of the three lost children.

The suggestion of the mayor that the inhabitants should show their sympathy with

the bereaved parents, by shutting all places of business from an hour, before the lifting of the bodies, was complied with by all classes.

By one o’clock, all business was suspended, and the invitation by his Worship to the inhabitants to attend the funeral, was responded to by the largest assemblage that ever attended a funeral in Daylesford.

At two o’clock, the hour named, the bodies were removed from the Farmer’s Arms Hotel, where the inquest was held, to the hearse, which then, followed by the parents and a large number of people, proceeded along Raglan street, turning up Camp-street, down Victoria street and into Vincent street, halting in front of the Borough Council Chambers, where the great bulk of the inhabitants fell in, the mayor and councillors taking their place in the procession, in a coach drawn by four horses.

At this time, both sides of the street were lined with on-lookers, and while the procession halted here an enterprising photographist — Mr Boldner — took one or two views of the street and its crowds, and the funeral cortege.

The Council, having taken their seats, the procession started, proceeding along Vincent street, Howe Street and Raglan Street, to the cemetery, the parents of the children following the hearse in a conveyance; then came a long line of persons on foot, followed by a large body of horsemen, the conveyances bringing up the rear, the whole extending about three quarters of a mile in length.

It was calculated that from 500 to 600 persons followed the remains, and that not fewer than 1000 were assembled in the cemetery. Arrived at the grave, for appropriately there was but one, the coffins containing the remains of the children were lowered into it, the two youngest lying side by side, and the other being laid above them. This done, the Rev. Mr Main, of the Scotch Church, engaged in the religious service, common to that church.

He commenced by reading in a clear and distinctly audible voice, and with great solemnity,the 90th Psalm, then the 15th chapter of 1. Corinthians, followed by the concluding part of the 7th chapter of Revelations. After which he offered up a very impressive prayer, in which the peculiar circumstances attending the fate of the little ones was very touchingly referred to, and comfort and consolation implored for the bereaved parents.

The service over, the large assemblage filed past the side of the grave, taking a farewell

look in their last resting-place of the little ones whose wanderings had formed so prominent a part in the public mind for the past eleven weeks, and whose fate will be long spoken of, and probably be referred to in after days as the three lost children of Daylesford.

Monument to the Three Lost Boys at Daylesford Cemetary

(Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription, for ease and speed of reading)

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4 Comments
  1. What a terrible loss..

  2. I was interested to find that the grave was refurbished 4 years ago – as well of course as having being initially erected following a public subscription http://www.hepburnadvocate.com.au/story/260777/daylesfords-lost-children-monument-refurbished/

  3. I read this piece and its predecessor, as it reminded me of a story I heard as a child about three “babes in the woods”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babes_in_the_Wood_murders_(Pine_Grove_Furnace).

    What a riveting tale! Thank you for sharing these posts, Jennifer.

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