In the Angel Close Historic Cemetery at Forster lies the remains of Alfred Basham and Jane Middlemiss. While these two youths were not related nor did they die together they were nevertheless connected.
Alfred was the son of Joseph Edward Basham, free settler and Harriett Ann Colbran.1 In the 1860s Joseph and Harriett travelled from the Hawkesbury via Maitland to make their home on the Wallamba dairy farming.2 In 1871, the year Alfred was born, they moved to Forster where Joseph worked at the timber mill for John Breckenridge. Alfred was one of seven children with four brothers and two sisters. His brothers all became heavily involved in the sawmill industry.3 In 1891 aged 20 years Alfred died and was buried in the cemetery.4
Jane Middlemiss was born in 1870 to John Middlemiss and Barbara Jackson.5 Both John and Barbara were born in Scotland and after immigrating to Australia met in the Manning region and married. John was a storekeeper at Forster and his children had the fortune of growing up in a beautiful area.6 They had four children Marion, Catherine, Thomas and Jane. In 1883 disaster struck when Jane accidentally drowned in Wallis Lake aged 13 years and was buried in the Angel Close cemetery.7
Alfred Basham and Jane Middlemiss were connected forever when two of Alfred’s brothers, William and Charles, married Jane’s two sisters Marion and Catherine.8 Joseph and Harriett Basham moved away from the Forster region to spend their retirement in Taree while John and Barbara Middlemiss moved to Tinonee. The descendants of both of these families became well-known and much respected people in the community.
Author: Marilyn Boyd
1 NSW BDM, birth index for Alfred Basham, No. 12033/1871.
2 Northern Champion, 22 May 1943, 2.
3 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 10 November 1936, 1 and 13 October 1950, 6.
4 NSW BDM, death index for Alfred Basham, No. 14397/1891.
5 NSW BDM, birth index for Jane Middlemifs, No. 11549/1870.
6 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 10 March 1906, 4.
7 Ancestry.com.au, Registers of Coroners’ Inquests, 1821-1937.
8 NSW BDM, Marriage indexes for William Basham and Marion Middlemiss, No. 4837/1882 and Charles Basham and Catherine Middlemiss, No. 5173/1887.