The following was written for my first unit – Writing Family History in Week 1 of 6 under the subject of Discovering the Hidden Past.  It was submitted on 23 November 2016.


Arthur Waters died at St Joseph’s Foundling Hospital in Broadmeadows, Victoria  of gastro enteritis on 10 February 1926.  He was nearly 19 months  old. His death certificate lists parents unknown  and his birth certificate will not be available until 2027.  So who were Arthur’s parents and how did he come to be at St Joseph’s?

The answer to both these questions was found in an article titled “Charge of Abandonment of Child” on page 3 of the Gippsland Times newspaper on Monday 19 January 1925.

Arthur Waters born in North Fitzroy on 18 July 1924, was the result of a liaison between widower Arthur James Shingles and Ethel May Rutledge Waters.

As a result of a meeting between Arthur and Ethel, she left her seven month old baby in the garden of Arthurs mother’s house on the afternoon of 12 January 1925 as he had suggested.  Maffra police were soon on the scene and Ethel was arrested as she got off the train in Traralgon.

Ethel appeared in Maffra Court on 16 Jan 1925 and was committed for trial in Warragul on 5 February where she pleaded guilty and was discharged on her own bond of £20 and good behaviour of 12 months.

But what of baby Arthur?  At Maffra Children’s Court on 16 Jan 1925 he was committed to an orphanage at Royal Park. He was transferred to St Joseph’s on 1 May 1925 where he sadly died nearly nine months later.

He was my great uncle.

Published by


I have been researching my family history since 2009. I am interested it the family names Shingles, McEwan, Snowdon & Witt around Gippsland and Wodonga areas of Victoria, Australia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s