Eliza Rebecca Dennis died on August 23, 1915.
Eliza Rebecca Dennis died on August 23, 1915. Samantha Elley

Mother of 15 was 'respected by all who knew her'

THE pine cone needles have been scraped away from the heart-shaped headstone that holds the details of Eliza Rebecca Dennis.

A mother of 15 children and wife to George Dennis, Eliza died on August 23, 1915, a year after World War I began.

Born at Wagga Wagga in 1864, Eliza married George at Ulmarra in 1883.

Their first child, Edgar, was born in 1885.

Their life was not without incident as an article in the Clarence and Richmond Examiner reported that Eliza's second son, Alfred, was caught and charged with stealing a brown pony.

As the family expanded they moved to Newrybar and the ages of the children ranged from 30 down to eight years old.

While they were living at Newrybar, their daughter Lily married Frederick Skennar in the Church of the Epiphany at Bangalow.

The Northern Star described the day:

"The chancel was artistically decorated with flowers and the like by friends of the bride,” it reported.

"The bride ... entered the church ... in a gown of ivory silk (Empire effect), transparent yoke, silk applique trimming, silk cord and tassels, tunic skirt edged with silk fringe and detached train; she also wore a beautiful wreath and veil.”

They then moved to Homeleigh, north of Kyogle, bounded by Horseshoe Creek and Barkers Vale.

It was shortly after their move to Homeleigh that Eliza, who had been sickly for a while, died aged 52.

She was described as being very kind and of gentle disposition and respected by all who knew her.

REFERENCES: Obituary, Tweed Daily, August 27, 1915; Homeleigh, maps.google.com.au; Wedding - Skennar-Dennis, The Northern Star, July 2, 1912; Births, Deaths, Marriages, bdm.nsw.gov.au; Ulmurra Police Court, Clarence and Richmond Examiner, May 20, 1899.



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