Edward James Kercher was born on 8 December 1867 at Tirrannaville near Goulburn, New South Wales.  He was the ninth child of 10, the seventh son, of Charles Kercher and Mary Grunsell (although two boys had died in infancy before Edward was born).

tirrannaville tirrana

I can find no information about the history of Tirrannaville, or Tirranna, as it was also known.  These days there appears to be nothing there.  The Google pin appears in the middle of nowhere, with a dirt track leading to it.  Not helpful.  There are buildings nearer the main road, but none where Google claims Tirrannaville to be.  Stupid Google.

Edward’s father, a gardener, died when Edward was just three years old.  The family moved to Goulburn sometime after.

Edward became a carpenter. He was involved in the building of the Kenmore Mental Hospital, eventually becoming a foreman.


Unfortunately he met with an accident while at work there, but recovered.


Goulburn Herald, 17 October 1894

Edward also became a volunteer fireman (along with his brother, Alfred), being a member of the Goulburn Fire Brigade from 1887, taking part in demonstrations and competitions (as well as putting out local fires).

Edward married Lavinia Stevens on 15 January 1895 in Goulburn at the Wesleyan church.  Their first child was born just five months later…  They had five more children, the last being born in 1906 – altogether four sons and two daughters.

Sometime in the 1890s, Edward became a member of the Masonic Lodge.  He was also a member of the G company 2nd volunteer regiment, and as such, was said to be a good rifle shot.

Edward competed in road and track cycle races, and was treasurer of the Argyle Bicycle Club.


Edward James on the left, with brother Alfred centre, sporting fire brigade medals

In the 1913 electoral register, the family were living in Ruby Street, Goulburn, Edward listed as carpenter.  By this time, two more of Edward’s older siblings had died.

Two of Edward’s sons enlisted during the First World War.  They both fell ill.


Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 30 April 1918

However, they returned safely.


Goulburn Evening Penny Post

Long service medals were presented to Edward and Alfred for their work in the volunteer fire brigade.


Goulburn Penny Post, 15 February 1921

Edward worked for the railways as a carpenter for some years.  In 1930, the family were still living in Ruby Street, Edward still listed as carpenter, but he must have retired shortly after.

In about 1933 Edward fell ill and suffered for three years before his death in 1936.  By this time, five of his six children had married and he had about seven or eight grandchildren.  He died on 21 April 1936, at the age of 68.


The Sun, 24 April 1936

His death certificate states that he had a chronic ulcer of the leg with endarteritis for about three years, and the leg had become gangrenous.  It sounds painful.

The funeral was held at the Masonic Temple.



Sources:  family archives; Trove; Google