This is a summation only from my own recollections and from hearsay.

Alfred Sneddon was born in Tamworth, New South Wales, 25 June, 1879, and died in Sydney, NSW, 31 May, 1961. He was the ninth child born to James and Mary Sneddon of "Burnhead" Farm, Tamworth.

Alfred Sneddon worked all of his life on or with the land.

Alfred was a very bright man who grew up in times that considered working the property more important than getting an education. He used to tell me how, as a boy, he wanted to go to school to learn all he could about what went on in the world and around him. Unfortunately for him, his father considered school a waste of time, and he was frequently belted for sneaking away and going to school. (How times change!)

Regardless of all this, I always found him a very learned man with an inquisitive mind that delved into anything new that came his way. (He would have been in his element with the computer age!). Consequently, he could converse on almost any topic, including some considered, in those days, futuristic.

Alfred stayed working on his father’s farm, and there met and married Esther Warner, even though the marriage was opposed by his father and brothers, as Esther, an orphan, was apparently not considered eligible.

Upon the death of James, Alfred and Esther were forced to leave the cottage on the farm in which they lived as, in the way of the times, the eldest got the bulk of the estate and the youngest got nothing.

He went on to do any kind of work he could get to support his family.

One of the most interesting stories is that of working as a water-drilling contractor. In a certain district where they were drilling they would sink what would appear to be a dry well. On sitting down for a smoke near the drill head, they were on several occasions virtually "blown up" as he put it.

In those days gas wells were unheard of, but, because of his inquisitive mind, he detailed all these events for future reference. They would then just fill the "dry" holes in.

It was after his death that my mother showed me these notes, but in the intervening years they appear to have disappeared.

Even in retirement, he could not stay out of the garden.
Alfred Sneddon was one of the most gentle men you could ever meet. Although he was firm in his beliefs, and strong in character, he would do anything for anyone who needed help. Perhaps this was a legacy from his own hard upbringing.

During the war when things were hard, we lived with Alfred and Esther in several different locations.

I think one of my funniest memories I have of him was when he decided all the old chooks must go. He just grabbed them, one after the other, lop off with their heads, and tossed them aside. Here we were, standing in a yard with headless chooks careering around all over the place! An unbelievable sight! (No doubt animal rights groups would have been horrified and screaming "fowl!")

Alfred was not a well man for much of his life, and it was eventually discovered that he had "hydatids" on the liver. These (I think) are a parasite picked up from working with animals.

My visual of him is always as the man with the gentle face shown in the pictures above.

 


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