Halbert Emil Edgar 1906-1935

The Wild West     

My father was born in Cobar in 1906, eldest child of Halbert Richard and Frieda Emelia Edgar. A rather wild young man. In his youth he spent time in a State institution because of his trouble making. Returning to Cobar, he became reasonably respectable (Cobar was a riproaring copper and gold mining town, after all). He joined local sporting and social clubs and by all accounts was very popular in the town (my mother might have been a bit biassed in saying this although reports of his funeral say that it was the biggest seen in Cobar for at least 25 years) but his wildness hadn't entirely disappeared.

He married my mother, Jessie Bateman (aged 19), in Cobar, on January 26, 1935 at her family's house. Although the Edgars were Presbyterian, the officiating minister was Methodist (my mother's family's side). As I was born "prematurely" six months later in July, it has all the appearances of a classic shotgun wedding.

Being employed, a blacksmith, in the middle of the Great Depression he was reasonably well off and they owned their own house. Here they lived happily until misfortune struck.

On May 12, 1935, about 3 months after the marriage, he was fatally shot. His death certificate contains extracts from the coroner's report which says in part: "died from the effects of a revolver shot wound in the right side through the lower lobe of the right lung and through the left ventricle of the heart......and the shooting was homicide by misadventure." This is a curious document with original sections crossed out and changes initialled and dated 25.9.35, four months after his death.

There is quite a story here but a public family history website is not the place for it. As my mother said when she first started to tell me about it: "he was doing something he shouldn't have been doing......"

Those of you who desperately need to know the details will need to see page 3 of the Western Age  for Friday, May 24, 1935.

So, I never personally knew my father.

My mother (known universally as Peg) remarried four years later in 1939 and some years after that we moved away from Cobar and close contact with the Edgar family. She had two daughters, Barbara and Wendy, with her second husband.

She died in Westmead Hospital, Parramatta, on January 16, 1997 from a heart attack following a simple cataract operation. (She had long-standing cardiac problems, the serious extent of which she partially concealed.) 

As the rest is living history and publication of personal family details opens us to at least the possibility of identity theft (brave new world) this is where this chronicle ends for the moment. 


Left: My mother and me. Probably late 1935 or early 1936. After my father died we went back to her family house and lived there until she remarried.

Right: Mum, in her late seventies, with  her youngest grandchildren, twins Sarah and Sam. Since then and after mum's death Sarah herself had twins, Harry and Rose, in 2005. So it all goes on.



For information on her family click here 

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