Leonora Kenney

Francis Joseph Bradley (1880-1908)
Leonora Lindsay Gladys Kenney (1883-1910

Leonora Lindsay Gladys Kenney was the fifth of twelve children of James Kenney & Mary Scholastica Thecla Walker. She was born in 1883 in Dungog, New South Wales. The family moved to Freemantle in the last few years of the nineteenth century.

Francis Joseph Bradley was born in 1880 in Sebastopol, Victoria (close to Ballarat) to Joseph (John) Bradley and Mary Bateman. They married in Boulder, Western Australia, on 18 Oct 1905.

This page has been assembled with information supplied by Donna Wieland, one of their grandchildren.

Francis became a miner, and sadly died in a mine accident just three years after the wedding. From the Westralian Worker, Fri 31 July1908:

FB_tombstoneMainly for Miners.
By “Grafter

Two more sad fatalities on the mines this week will help to swell the already heavy list for the year. Frank Bradley, of the Horseshoe mine was crushed to death on Tuesday by a fall of stone.

The deceased was a member of the Miners’ Union for a number of years.

He leaves a widow and three children. He and his brothers were well known throughout the Golden Mile. They took a keen interest in unionistic matters and in Friendly Societies work.

The family suffered a severe loss about two years ago by another son dying from pneumonia. The funeral on Wednesday was very largely attended. There were over 60 vehicles, whilst 150 members of the Union walked before the hearse. “Grafter” extends his heartfelt sympathy to the grief-stricken relatives in their time of trouble.

Note that Lindsay is spelt Linsley. Presumable she had changed the spelling of her name, as Linsley is also used on Francis’ funeral notice; from the Kalgoorlie Miner, Wed 29 Jul 1908:

The Friends of MRS. LINSLEY BRADLEY are respectfully invited to follow the remains of her late beloved husband, Francis, to the place of interment, the Roman Catholic portion of the Kalgoorlie Cemetery. The funeral is appointed to leave his late residence, No. 40 Oroya-street, Boulder, at 2 o’clock This Day (Wednesday), July 23, 1908.— John P. Cruse, Undertaker. Hannan-street East.

From the Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tue 03 Aug 1909:

BRADLEY—In fond remembrance of Francis Bradley, who was accidentally killed on the Golden Horseshoe Gold Mine on July 27, 1908.

May his soul rest in peace.

Inserted by his wife and children.

There is a photo of miners using a pneumatic drill at the Golden Horseshoe Mine in about 1900 on the Western Australian Museum’s page on gold mining at that time.

Working Underground

Generally the health of miners is decidedly good . . . [but] the hospital returns show that diseases of the respiratory system fall heavily on miners.”
Royal Commission on Ventilation and Sanitation of Mines, 1905

The Western Australian government was ill equipped to regulate the mining boom on the goldfields in the 1890s. Water was one major problem, safety was another.

As deep underground mining developed, the associated dangers, including the dry and dusty conditions, became more evident.

In 1894, four workers died in mines. By 1899 this number had increased to 45, of whom 38 were working underground. A Royal Commission on Mining led to new laws relating to such matters as ventilation, protection of abandoned shafts, hours of employment and examination of engine drivers.

Subsequent Royal Commissions on Ventilation and Sanitation of Mines (1905) and Pulmonary Diseases Amongst Miners (1910) highlighted the high incidence of occupational diseases in the industry. Resulting legislation included a system of ‘relief’ for mine workers and, from 1925, compulsory medical examinations.

Increasingly mine safety ─ including ventilation, certificates of competency, as well as protective devices such as boots and protective hats introduced in 1939 ─ assumed high priority…

Francis and Leonora had two children in those short three years together:

01. Veronica Mary (b. 11 Sep 1906, d. 26 Dec 1988)

02. James Joseph Francis (b. 1908, d. 10 Feb 1979)

Lindsay purchased (presumably with money she received after her husband was killed) and lived in a house with an attached store, but this was totally destroyed just a few months later. From the Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tue 2 Feb 1909:

A House Destroyed.—Early on Wednesday morning a three-roomed house and store, situated at the corner of Brookman and Millen streets, Boulder, and owned and occupied by a widow, Mrs. Bradley, was totally destroyed. Mrs. Bradley has been very ill for some time, and on Tuesday night she did not feel well. Her two brothers were staying on the premises with her, and a little before 10 o’clock one of them got up to attend to her. He left a candle alight in his room, and when he returned he found the room ablaze, the curtains having evidently been blown against the candle. He aroused his brother and then carried his sister out. Before the brigade could be notified the fire had secured a strong hold, and on arrival the men could not do anything effective, and the premises and contents were destroyed. There were policies of £150 on the house, £150 on the store, and £100 on the furniture, the three risks being with the Guardian Co.

It would appear that she took her husband’s death badly. When Leonora and Francis married, Leonora entered barmaid as her profession; perhaps in her grief she turned to alcohol: she went to work in the Oasis Hotel, Mount Magnet, and died there soon after. Certainly the doctor who attended her on the day she died (reported in The Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tue 1 Mar 1910 and on the Kalgoorlie Miner, Thu 24 Feb 1910) confirmed death was caused by “alcoholic poisoning and haematemesis”, the latter being the vomiting of blood. The doctor described her condition as having been present for “several days”.

Mt. Magnet, Feb. 22.

Mrs. Bradley, a widow, 27 years of age, whose relations reside at Beaufort-street, Perth, died very suddenly at the Oasis Hotel on Thursday morning. Her husband was killed at the Horseshoe mine, Boulder, about two years ago. She leaves several little children.

Her family were clearly devastated, and inserted a heartfelt in memoriam in The West Australian, Fri 17 Feb 1911:

KENNEY.—In loving memory of our darling daughter and sister, Lindsay Lenorah Bradley, who died at Mount Magnet, February 17, 1910.

No loved one stood around her to bid a fond farewell
No word of comfort could we give to her we loved so well.
Your end came sudden Lindsay dear,

It made us weep and sigh;
nd, oh, it so hard to think
We could not say good-bye.

Inserted by her loving parents, sisters, and brothers.

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