Family - The Franklin Family Connection

The Miles Franklin Connection:
How it came to be ...

Miles brother, Norman, married Irene Crossing, my mother’s, mother’s sister, Xenia (my maternal grandmother).

They had only one child, Norman John, who became known as Jack. Jack’s mother died when he was still a very young child and he was taken into Xenia’s family to raise. As he was only slightly younger than my mother, Enid, they grew up like sister and brother.

Jack was in the RAAF during WWII. After the war he was known to be pretty wild. He obviously had a little money which we believe came from Miles. Miles died in 1954. Jack would live barely another two years himself. He was killed a motor vehicle crash near Nelsons Bay on the 29th October, 1956.

Although I was only just six years old I remember we went down for the funeral and later were taken to the scene where the accident happened. Shortly after this my mother told me I was to receive an inheritance of fifty pounds from Jack’s estate when I turned 21.

Doubt I thought any more of it. I turned 21 in 1971 and shortly thereafter a cheque arrived in the mail for thousands of dollars. There was no way of knowing what, why or where it had come from.

I was running around saying, ‘This is not mine! Where has this come from? Whose money is this?’ Our family solicitor was tasked to find out and he confirmed it was my inheritance from all those years earlier. It sure had been invested well!

Mid 2013

I discovered a grave plot purchase receipt at Woronora Cemetery, Southerland, in the name of Rose Thompson, the late sister of my late mother. This lead to a search why such would be in my mother’s personal paperwork.

If Enid was entrusted to hold it for the day Rose would need it, then something went wrong. Enid died before Rose and Rose was, I understand, cremated - and asked that no one be present.

So did that mean there was an empty plot at Woronora – plot 682-AK? Purchased in 1956 ... what would it be worth today on resale? It took a few days and some detective work but eventually I narrowed the field.

The plot was not empty. There was a Franklin buried in it. With cross shared Christian names amongst families at first I thought Norman Franklin was in it, as both father and son shared the name Norman.

But the dates did not tally. Jack’s father died way before the plot was purchased.

Eventually ...

Appears Rose purchased the plot for Jack. Rose would do that. That is the sort of thing she would do, especially in such tragic circumstances. But no one bothered after that. No one went as far as a memorial plate or headstone of any kind.

Jack Franklin – wild nephew of Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin – is buried here in plot 682 AK, a Pauper’s Grave. Just grass to show

Jack and Miles Franklin

The grave site of
Norman John (Jack) Franklin,
Plot 682 Woronora Cemetery,
Sutherland NSW.
A pauper’s Grave.
Not even a nameplate
let alone a headstone

Certificate of Death for
Norman John Franklin

Extract from Miles Franklin
biography by Jill Roe

Letters to Enid from Aunt Stella
(Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin)


Sisters L to R Rose, Enid
and Claire
2nd December 1989
Now (2013) Claire, the older, is
the only one still alive at 99 and
counting down to 100 in 2014