My grandmother Grace Annie Frances Cook married Ernest Ralph Wilson in 1911 in . She was 18 and he was 27 years old.
I remember hearing stories about Ernie and his sister Flo. I was told Ernie was a famous boxer. The famous boxer was actually Ernie’s brother, Herbert James Wilson, who fought under the name Herb McCoy. Flo, Ernie and Herbert were all very colourful characters. Flo lived to 103 and Ernie to 101, and Herb to 82.
Ernie used to ride around in a motor bike which had a sidecar and Flo used to be in that. Apparently the police very regretfully had to take his motor bike license off Ernie as he was still riding well into his 80s.
My parents were very fond of Ernie and used to visit him. They used to tell the story of when they went to visit Ernie in Richmond. There was no response when they knocked. They stood there debating about whether to knock again as maybe Ernie was sleeping being of advanced years at the time. They went around the back and there was Ernie chopping wood!! so much for being old and resting.
I also remember that he came to my grandmother’s funeral in 1966. They were divorced in 1921 when Grace married Jim Knighton and Ernie married Ellen Jessie Black. The divorce came after the marriage in the case of my grandmother!
Ernie and his second wife Ellen Jessie, and his sister Flo and brother Herbert, the boxer, are all buried in Springvale Cemetery in the Catholic section.
And of course I remember my mother’s half brothers, my half uncles: Bobbie, Jacky and Jimmy Wilson.
Ernie on his motorbike or a motorbike in 1984 aged 100
Grace Cook and Ernie Wilson had three sons: Robert (Bobbie), John (Jacky) and James Jimmy).