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Burtinshaw, John (1866–1897)

It is with deep regret that we record the death, which occurred on Sunday forenoon, of Mr John Baurtinshaw, who for the past five years has been in the employ of Mr. N. J. Simmons, solicitor, as confidential clerk. The news came as a painful surprise to his many friends, it being the first intimation to many of them that he had been ill. Only a week before his death, on the Saturday, he was about his work as usual, and that afternoon took part in the shooting practices on the rifle range. In the evening he was apparently in his usual health. Early on Sunday morning, however, he complained to Mrs. Best, with whose family he lodged, of severe internal pains, and the usual household remedies were tried. As he appeared to derive no relief, medical assistance was obtained, and Dr. Bernstein visited him and prescribed. On Wednesday and Thursday it was thought his case was yielding to the treatment, and during the whole week his condition, although critical, was not such as to alarm his friends. He was perfectly conscious throughout. On Saturday though he felt weaker, and fearing that he was trespassing too much on the kindness of friends, he expressed a desire to be removed to the Hospital, and during the day he was carefully taken up to the institution. That night he became worse, and despite every attention, no relief was obtained. It was then, we understand, decided, should his condition admit of it, to perform an operation on Sunday; but shortly after 11 a.m that day he passed away, the cause of death being, we are told, strangulation of the bowels. He was only 31 years of age, and was the youngest son of the senior partner of the firm of Burtinshaw and Sons, Manchester and Portwood. He was educated at the Stockport Grammar School, and came to the colony about 5 years ago, after having spent a couple of years in Argentina, where he has relatives, and shortly after arrival at Lismore entered the services of Mr. Simmons. Mr. J. B. Burtinshaw, of the Telegraph Department, was the only relative he had in the colony, but his father is still alive in England, and the sad news of his son's early death will be a great blow to him, as to his numerous other relatives there. Mr. P. H. Hopkinson, of Wardell, who comes from the same place in England, was an intimate friend, and on hearing of Mr. Burtinshaw's illness at once came up, but too late to see him alive. Deceased was a good vocalist, and with a kindly genial disposition soon made many friends, while his gentlemanly manner and conduct won for him a place in the estimation of all who made his acquaintance. Seldom, if ever, was his name absent from the programme of any concert or entertainment got up in the cause of charity. His assistance could always be counted on, and it is only a few weeks ago that he took a prominent part in the concert in aid of Mrs Wilson and family. He was choirmaster at the Wesleyan Church and not only will he be missed in the Wesleyan Church, but in the other churches, where he has frequently rendered assistance. He was secretary of the Lismore Rifle Reserves, one of the leading members of the Lismore Orchestral Society, and one of the promoters of the recently-organised Lacrosse Club, of which he was a vice-president. In everything he took up he was an enthusiastic worker. He was a most energetic secretary for the Rifle Club, and the vitality of the company to-day is largely due to his efforts. He was a hearty member of the Orchestra, and through all its vicissitudes he strove to maintain the enthusiasm of its members. From all these his presence will be sorely missed, and his life is a worthy example for any of our young men to follow. He was an occasional contributor to our columns, having under the nom de plum of "Forward" furnished the football notes, besides contributing results of rifle matches, etc.

His remains were interred in the North Lismore Cemetery on Monday afternoon, and the long cortege, which included representatives of all classes from the Mayor to the school children, testified to the popularity of deceased. The body was removed from the Hospital to the Wesleyan Church early on Monday, and before the funeral moved off, a short service was held. The pulpit and organ were draped in black, and the church was well filled. The Rev. Mr. Potts's feeling remarks brought tears to the eyes of many friends. The coffin was covered with many beautiful wreaths and floral tributes. The Rifle Company sent a beautiful wreath with the letters " L.R.R.O. " in gold on white streamers. There was also a beautiful wreath from the Orchestra, and one from the Pirate Football Club; and among others were wreaths and crosses from Mrs. Best and family, Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Simmons, Mr. and Mrs. T. G. Hewitt, and family, Mrs Litchfield, Mrs Maxwell, Mrs Lookett, Northern Star staff, and others. When the funeral procession was formed members of the Lismore and Federal Bands with muffled drum, headed the cortege playing en route to the cemetery the "Dead March in Saul." Following the band were between 20 and 30 members of the Rifle Corp marching two abreast, also members of the orchestra. Following the hearse was Mr. J. B. Burtinshaw as chief mourner, and many others on foot, with a long cavalcade of vehicles and horsemen, the procession being nearly half a mile in length. All along the route the places of business were closed, and at the Molesworth-Woodlark street intersection many spectators congregated. On arrival at the cemetery the body was borne to its last resting place by intimate friends and members of the Rifle Club. The last services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Potts, and in addition to those who formed the procession there were many others assembled at the cemetery. It was a beautiful afternoon, without a cloud in the sky, and although midwinter everything was green. Among those who paid the last tribute of respect to their fellow townsman, by following his remains to their last resting place, there was the same unanimous feeling of regret that a useful life had terminated so early.

Original publication

Citation details

'Burtinshaw, John (1866–1897)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/burtinshaw-john-16147/text28090, accessed 22 August 2019.

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