2nd Edition of The Cossticks Available Now

The Cossticks 1700-1900 2nd Edition available now

The 2nd Edition of The Cossticks is now available for purchase directly from the printers. Soft and hardcovers are available. Click here or preview the book with the viewer at the right. Enlarge the preview to full screen to enable you to read the text of the Introduction.

Further details and projects can be found on the Historia Incognita web page.

James Edward and Lusy Cosstick's Children

James Edward Cosstick and Family at Green GullyJames Edward Cosstick, Ted as he was known, and his wife Lusy Martin had nine children.

Maude Cosstick

Maude was born at Waterloo on 3 March 1886 . She was the eldest child of the family.

Maude’s younger brother, Jack, remembered her as a “small, neat person, quite attractive” but with “rather a domineering attitude towards her younger brothers” . She left home to find work but when she came home for a visit she always brought some sweets for the youngest and something for her mother. Maude was regarded as a very good dancer and was never short of a partner. She had a number of other suitors apart from her future husband, John Hendricksen.

At least some members of the family would have preferred her to have married a different suitor and one account says that there was uproar in the family as he was not considered at all suitable for her .

John Henry Hendricksen, had also grown up at Opossum Gully, although the Cosstick children went to the Amherst school and the Hendricksens went to the Adelaide Lead school. He was the son of Jane and Matthew Hendricksen. Matthew was a miner at Opossum Gully and the Hendricksen family lived close to the Cosstick house there.

After their marriage Maude and John Hendricksen lived in a house about a mile and a half from the Green Gully home, after which they moved into Talbot where they lived until their deaths . Both lived to be aged 71. Maude died on 3 April 1957 and was buried at the Amherst Cemetery behind the graves of her father and mother-in-law - Jane Hendricksen having died on 28 May 1929 aged 69, and Matthew on 13 January 1931 aged 71 .

Their children were Matthew James, born on 11 June 1919; Ernest, born on 12 June 1923; Malcolm, 20 November 1924; and Ron, 25 March 1927.

Daisy Cosstick

Daisy was born at Waterloo on 4 June 1887, although she died only eleven days later and was buried at Waterloo Cemetery .

Richard Martin Cosstick

Dick was born at Waterloo on 11 July 1888. He later married Sylverton Ivy Matthews. The story of the Matthews family is told separately.

Amy Lillian Cosstick

Amy was born at Waterloo on 12 March 1890. She died just over a year later on 28 March 1891.
Phillip Charles Cosstick

Phil was born at Opossum Gully, Amherst on 26 March 1893.

He was the tallest of the family although only about 5’ 10”. His younger brother, Jack, did not recall him reading very much, but remembered him as being was lithe and athletic, good at running and jumping as a boy and taking part in athletics as a soldier during the first world war.

When his brothers Dick and Roy went to work at the mines at Chiltern and Ararat Phil went with them. He once fell sixty feet from one of the poppet heads and only sprained an ankle and injured his knee, according to Jack’s recollection. Despite his fitness Phil was accident prone and later, when he became a builder one insurance company refused to insure him. His mother, Lusy, called him a “tear coat”.

Phil enlisted in the AIF in 1916 and went first to Egypt, then to France and Flanders. He escaped unscathed through the Battle of Pozieres and was promoted to the rank of sergeant by the end of the war.

Phil went to night school where he learned carpentry. He was an excellent builder and could turn his hand to all aspects of the building trade.

He married Florence Jury, a nursing sister from the Amherst Hospital, who was born in Lima, Peru. Phil and Flo had no children. He died in 1963 at the age of seventy .

Edward Roy Cosstick

Roy was born at Possum Gully, Amherst on 29 May 1891.

Roy was always a happy person, always whistling and laughing and he got on very well with his older sister Maude.

He left school at the age of eleven and worked in the mines with his father. As a young man Roy had several jobs. He once worked on Miller’s farm near the Bet Bet Creek and learned how to shear sheep. Roy also rode his bike around Bungaree, Benalla and Ballarat to find work digging potatoes.

Roy and Phil travelled to Ararat to work on the mines with their brother Dick. Although he had a number of jobs he mainly worked as a miner and woodcutter until the outbreak of the first world war.

In 1916, at the age of twenty four, he enlisted in the AIF, along with his brother Phil. Roy joined the 6th Battalion, the Light Horse Brigade, as a farrier with the rank of private and remained at that rank throughout the war. He saw service in the Western Desert of Egypt and then in France where he met up with his brother, Phil, and managed to have him transferred to the 6th Battalion with him. Phil had been a Lewis gunner, a most hazardous position which very few survived. Army regulations allowed the older brother to seek the transfer of younger brothers. In doing this Roy believed he saved Phil’s life.

In later years Roy did not speak of his experiences during the war, although he did recall enjoyable periods of leave spent in Scotland, or his impression of the desert in Egypt .

Returning from the war Roy worked on the farm at Green Gully with Ted and Tom. In 1921 Ted Cosstick died. Roy and Tom took over the farm which, by then was greatly increased in size through the gradual addition of land and clearing of forest. They continued to cut timber and sell it to the district for many years.

During the 1920s Roy was thrown from his horse, Trixie, and severely injured his right leg which was kept in plaster for twelve months and left him with only partial movement of the knee for the rest of his life. However, the injury did not deter him and he worked harder than ever, developing a reputation throughout the district as “The Boss”.

After Tom’s death in 1931 Roy bought out the shares of his brothers and sisters and managed the farm alone. He made a success of it and ended up “well-to-do” .

On 5 January 1924 Roy married Ruth Irene Matthews, who by then had been married once and was Ruth Bliss. She had two children who he raised as his own. Ruth and Irene had one daughter, Linda, born on 21 September 1924.

Linda married Keith Cameron during the second world war and this marked the beginning of a Cosstick - Cameron partnership which lasted until Roy’s retirement at the age of seventy five.
After selling the Green Gully farm in 1953, Roy and Ruth bought a house on the Majorca Road at Talbot. The Camerons had already purchased Daisylea at Evansford.

Roy and Ruth lived at lived there until after his death on 7 May 1976. Both Roy and Ruth were buried at the Amherst Cemetery. Roy’s grandson, Philip Cameron, recalled him as a “kindly man who was well known for his charitable nature, dry wit, and stubbornness”.

Tom Davis Cosstick

Tom was born at Opossum Gully, Amherst on 7 November 1895.

His younger brother Jack later recalled that:

Tom was the fourth eldest son of the family and roughly the same height as Roy and myself about 5ft 7" or 5ft 8". Dick I think was a little taller. He went to school with my sister Doris and I, but not for long as he was five and a half years older than I was and 7 years older than Doris. Tom was never very robust as a boy and this continued into manhood. It fell to his lot to carry on the small farm with our father, and the foundation was laid for the expansion that took place when Roy returned from the war and injected deferred pay into the business.

Tom and my father had continued to add small parcels of land either by purchase or selection of Crown Land which became available. The wood on these lands was valuable and they cut and sold many hundreds of tons. Later, Roy joined them and they were able to buy more and better land which led to sheep grazing. Tom did not play games or sport, but did a great deal of reading of all kinds. At school he was regarded as being rather clever. He suffered all his life with severe headaches and eye trouble, wearing spectacles even when going to school. He never married and died at the age of 36 years .

Why had Tom Davis Cosstick died so young?

Sylverton Ivy Cosstick, Tom's sister-in-law, recalled that Tom was killed by a train at Ballarat. His brother Dick had to go to the inquest because there was some doubt as to whether Tom had thrown himself under a train .

The circumstances surrounding Tom Davis Cosstick’s death were tragic.

On Saturday 28 November 1931 Constable J.B.Wisby of the Ballarat Police Station submitted the following report:

Victoria Police: Ballarat Station: Central Police District
28th November 1931
Report of: J.B.Wisby, 1st Constable 5801
to: Man, name unknown, found dead on the railway line at Ballarat East on the 28th November 1931
Mr. P.H.V.Elligent
Police Magistrate and Coroner

1. I have to report for your information that on the 28th of November 1931, in consequence of a telephone message, that a man was lying dead on the railway line at Ballarat East, accompanied by Constable Fraser 7153, I proceeded to Ballarat East, there I saw the dead body of a man lying on his back between the down Melbourne and Buninyong railway line.
2. The body was fully clothed minus the hat.
3. I examined the body, it was cold, the head was practically severed from the body apparently having been crushed by the wheels of the train passing over it and the right arm was severely lacerated.
4. I interviewed William Henry Borcher, engine driver, employed by the Victorian Railway
Commissioners, who stated that about 5;15 am on the 28th November 1931 he was driving a down train from Geelong to Ballarat, and saw the body lying between the railway lines and he had police notified by telephone.
5. I had the body removed to the Morgue by Mr. Hugh Evans, undertaker, Ballarat East, where it now lies awaiting identification.
6. The description of the deceased is as follows, between 45 and 50 years, 5 feet or 5 feet 6 inches, medium build, dark hair turning grey, grey eyes, false teeth, fair complexion, clean shaven, was dressed in a grey suit with a red stripe, black shoes, blue socks, grey hat, cotton and wool underpants and flannel white soft collar and coloured tie.
7. I respectfully ask for instructions in this matter.


The matter was duly investigated and Mr Patrick Eligent, Coroner at Ballarat convened an Inquisition at Ballarat on the twenty third of December 1931 at which the following evidence was tendered .

This is only part of this chapter. The rest is published in the book.


All footnotes and surces are published in the book.


Gram23 said...

Any information on James edward Cosstick born in canada poved to Port Huron mich. married Margret had jimmy, carrie Alice Florence and jenny.

Douglas W said...

The James Edward Cosstick you are referring to is not the one discussed on this page, but the son of Charles Cosstick - see a different page.

Airlie said...

Hi Doug, I think you have added to this page since I last read it. Thank you so much, the anecdotes and character descriptions of the "children of Green Gully" mean so much to us when we sit at the peaceful ruins of their home.
Will we ever know the fate of Tom Davis? My version of your book doesn't go that far...I would happily buy the next version if you are writing it!