Sunshine passes, shadows fall, love and remembrance outlasts us all.

Our trip to visit Georges grave in Belgium.

What an adventure, 3 flights to Paris followed by three trains to Pop. The travel gods were with us on the way over as the last two planes were only half full, plenty of room for all to stretch out. We felt blessed!! The three trains were an experience and in the end  after many hours (about 40) on the go, we arrived in Pop…exhausted! Once off the last train and starting toward our accommodation a light misty rain, warm and welcoming, brushed our tired and weary faces, then within a flash, was gone…….  George we are here!!

Thursday, November 9: A much-needed rest day to get acquainted and feel slightly more orientated, we were lucky to have a random meeting with Annemie!! We loved the Flemish language.

Amazing accomodationOur first morning at breakfast, amazing selection of foodA trip the PharmacyThe view from our room - through the flyscreen


Friday, November 10: On the way to breakfast we discovered the Market square transformed into a busy market as it is every Friday. The food vans looked and smelt delicious. – the flower stall was stunning and unexpected, a gorgeous wreath and a bunch of almost white Chrysanthemums selected.

We hired bicycles (a popular mode of transport in this part of the world) to ride out to the long anticipated Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery….. the last 3 km of our almost 18000 km journey.

Understanding the distances of the SOS line at Zonnebeke just a short distance from Lijssenthoek became a reality once we had visited other local sites and the beautiful town of Ypres.  Red Cross File



















Saturday 11th November: Remembrance day in Ypres at the Menin Gate Memorial. Footage of this moving experience



Sunday 12th November: A day trip to the old part of Ghent

Monday 13th November: back to the Cemetery before leaving tomorrow. Found our tributes still intact after the wind and rain yesterday. Also discovered a bunch of roses on the grave of Harold Drew. Had his family been to visit? I found Nurse Nellie Spindler’s grave after hearing her story of being the only female buried at Lijssenthoek. It was then I realised the gathering of people on our first visit were standing at her grave.








After being in Pop for almost a week we discovered when saying our farewells to our wonderful hosts of their interest with our homeland so we able to do some ad-lib Tourism promotion of Tassie and especially Flinders, as you do♥♥ 

Tuesday 14th November: up early and on the first train to Lille and then crammed on the express train to Paris. A whole other experience and language to get our heads around.


Lest we forget

One Hundred Years

One hundred years ago George took his last breath, a few hours before dawn. George was critically injured on the morning of the 26th and endured the pain of his injuries and the cold autumn day waiting to be rescued. Georges last journey was his retrieval from the blood bath on the front line (SOS line) to the relative safety of the 2nd Canadian Clearing Station, a world away from his beloved family. For 100 years George has lain (in what his first degree family would refer to as ‘somewhere in Belgium’)  in a grave shared with a stranger.

On enlistment George used his birth name of Robinson, however he was, at home in Tassie known only as George Holt. Holt being his paternal step grandfathers name.







In total 10,120 mortal remains are buried at Lijssenthoek cemetery. 1131 are AIF soldiers.

Tasmania has 51 Tasmanian graves scattered throughout the Cemetery located a few kilometres from the small town of Poperinge. The border of France is another few k’s down the road.

Of these Tasmanian soliders

19 are from the North of the state

The northern soldiers hailed from the following districts:

Barton, Jessup, Jones, Rundle and Ryan – Launceston

Allen – Legana

Geale – George Town.

Hamilton – Evandale.

Jessop and Loone – Scottsdale.

Solomon – Longford.

Cook – Conara.

Treloggen – Goshen


lastly our Robinson – Bass Strait.

Balstrup, Collins, Pam, Parsons, Ryan were all born in Launceston and on enlistment as living interstate.

18 were from the South.

14 from the NW Coast.




Amazing new photos found

These photos were found in the another of Lizzie Parkinson’s family albums.

They have all come up a treat. The photo of the Dawn was picked up in a 2007 Examiner clipping and where to find this photo of the Dawn. This will be a treasure for the families of the Willett’s (James (commissioned the build), Holt’s (were the key family on board when she was lost) and Jacks (shipbuilder) & Cutt’s (owner when she was lost)

William Holt with son Claude another on to scan up incredibly well/

The Dawn in the Tamar River<br /> Photo in the weekly courier 1909 April 29 insert 4 just after she sank. Picture donated by Jacks ship yards, builder of the Dawn.

John Holt, brother to William and James

The back end of the Coogee and Pearl on Little Dog William Robinson Holt with son Claude...

A few faces now have names!

photo 1

Photo 1: Back row left to right we see Alf Briant, Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Robinson, Clara Jane Briant with Tuck Robinson on the far right. The young men sitting in front possibly Holt/Robinsons and Gunter lads.

We know this was taken by Dan Bowman in 1916 and all are named as can be seen a few posts down.

photo 2

Dan Bowman took this group photo of the Holt/Robinson’s and others at a picnic in Lady Barron 1916. Dan possibly took the photo of the people standing in front of the hut.

Photo 2: John Holt front, to his right is Mrs Linda Gunter with Mr Thomas Gunter located directly behind. Dick, George and Horace behind John and in front is Ada Cumming with Louie Holt (white dress) the girl behind her without hat is Tot (Elizabeth Bowman) Dan’s sister, behind Tot is Charlie Holt, Walter Holt, and Dolly Holt (white dress and hat). Robert ‘Bob’ Smith in the middle, Tasman Holt along with Charlie Dyson out on the right. Tuck Holt holding the billy with Ronnie (4) on his lap, wife Lizzie with Eric (6). All those identified here as Holt’s are also Robinson’s!!

Linda Gunter and ‘Lizzie’ Elizabeth Robinson were sisters

Dan returns to find George

March 1953 Dan on retirement visited Georges grave fulfilling an oath he probably made to George the day he died and again the day the guns fell silent. An epic adventure given his poor health and age.

Dan’s family has loaned us letters he wrote to the war commission seeking the information he so required to find George’s grave before leaving Whitemark.

Dan had his camera with him and took a photo of Georges headstone he gave to Horace when he returned home.

Dan died just over 12 months after returning from his trip to Belgium and the UK …..his grave is a stones throw from Georges mother Emily and eldest brother Tuck.

Little Dog this morning


This morning a magnificent rainbow on top of Little Dog made me smile as I was packing up to leave after a week of wind and rain. The tanks and dams are at last full, a welcome change from the terrible and prolonged dry spell over the past few seasons. The frogs happy chorus, sweet music to our ears, just like when were kids.

A few 2016 winter pics of Fotheringate

Taken Sun 24 July at 1100 Fotheringate has taken a beating from the ocean this winter. The beach littered with rubble from the ? NW Coast floods. Winter snow drops on the walkway down the to beach. Stunning winter moss Calm is the afternoon of the 24 July 16 Just before dark on the 24 July Just before dark on the 24 July IMG_7636


Robinson and Holt get together

Where: Launceston, overlooking the area where the Holt boys grew up.



When: Saturday, October 1

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Invitation: to descendants of James Robinson/Holt, William Holt/Robinson and John Holt.

Food: please bring along a plate to share for afternoon tea. Tea, coffee and milk supplied.

RSVP: by September 20 would be appreciated. Email:

An informal gathering of the clan to meet, greet and catch up, share stories, bring along photo’s, a great way to connect or reconnect.

Information to locate landmarks around Launceston where Mary/Elizabeth Dwyer/Robinson/Holt/Prest aka Youl’s shops were located. Of course our Great Great Grandmother was an interesting woman of her day!!


Snapshot of confirmations to date. Not including partners.

A fabulous professional photographer will be on hand to document the afternoon.

A guest book to collect names and stories.

Identification colours for descendants on arrival to identify direct links.

Background music from old island identities taped by Walter Briant shows off the brilliant musicianship and friendships existing in the older Island community, stop and hear the many old voices and instruments doing they’re thing, the old song ‘I was born on old Cape Barren’ is, I think, a magnificent moment in time  …. Listen to Dulcie Parkinson, daughter of Elizabeth Holt describing being almost shipwrecked aboard the Opha around 1924….

Peter, Joy R, Deb R, Meagan & Chris DeB, Greg H (James and Emily) Horace

Kevin, Lois and Lee R (James and Emily) Cecil ‘Dick’

Gaye Doolan, Sue B, Julie W, Terry H, Peter H, Christine R, Christine V, May K  (William and Ellen Robinson/Holt) Tasman

Neil and David C  & Lisa (James and Emily) Walter Robinson/Holt

Jan H, Albert & Faye P, Suzie SC + family, Caroline W, Carol H, Johnny & L P (John and Maryanne Holt) Elizabeth

Maureen C, Lorraine S (William and Ellen) Harold John

Colin R (William and Ellen Robinson/Holt) William jnr

Graham R, Geraldine R + family Bruce R, Val F, Pat T, Dianne R, Luke R Michael R ? Tony R, Anna G, (William and Ellen) Fred

Brian R, Jean T, Glen R (James and Emily) Tuck

Audrey H (James and Emily) Dolly

Robert & Caroline P, Ron & Danny Sh, Polly B, (William and Ellen) Clara Jane

Alfred S (Alma), Charlie F (Gloria), Marlene S, Penny S, Helen G (William and Ellen) Jessie

Krishna M, Shirl E (William and Ellen) Viola

Kaye B, Brian B, Mark B(John and Maryanne) Elsie

(John and Maryanne) Arthur Lee

Warren & Gillian H (John and Maryanne) Roy

Carleen E and Sandra (William and Ellen) Charlie

(William and Ellen) Claud

(John and Maryanne) Henry Ernest

(John and Maryanne) Maud

(John and Maryanne) May

(John and Maryanne) Ruby


(John and Maryanne) Lillian


Ulysses 25 October 1916




November 2015: The date for this family historian to investigate the old trunks containing letters and photo’s from my great great and great grandparents Stephens and Briant’s respectively. The well aged trunks sitting patiently waiting to be explored by a sixth generation descendent.

A photo of this young man below in AIF uniform sent to his Aunt Maria Jane Stephens (known to all as ‘Grannie’), my great-great grandmother caught my eye. Thankfully Eric William Wiltshire Paynter of Gawler South Australia had ensured his name was beside his photograph helping this ancestor explore his AIF story. ‘To Dear Auntie with love from Pte EWW Paynter AAMC’ Paynter easy to sort out as the son of Maria Jane’s sister Etty.

Eric Paynter left Australia aboard the HMAT Ulysses in Melbourne on 25 October 1916 as part of the Army Medical Corp.Eric William Wiltshire Paynter 001

Oh my goodness!!

My great-uncle George Collis Robinson was also aboard the HMAT Ulysses with the 4th Machine Gun Company.


In our family there are 11 of us related to both Eric and George. I expect this number will grow in the years to come.

Even more incredibly……. George would be connected to Eric by another association! Georges next-door neighbour on Flinders Island would be Eric’s beloved Aunt, Grannie Stephens, how fascinating!!

Of all the places in Bass Strait Eric’s Auntie could have lived – it had to be between Badger Corner and Samphire River!!

Both boys were recipients of their mother’s maiden names, Collis and Wiltshire.

It would be a many years later when George’s brother married Grannies granddaughter and the birth of Dad these two lads aboard the Ulysses quite possibly not known to one another would end up with their DNA in our family tree.

I wonder if their paths crossed on the voyage……………this we shall never know.

Then again Dan may have mentioned in his letters home, letters this historian must look over on the next trip home.

Lest we forget