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Urquhart, Roderick Robert (Rod) (1849–1917)

Roderick Urquhart, n.d.

Roderick Urquhart, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 July 1917

By the death of Roderick Robert Urquhart, of Boonerah, Hexham, there is removed from the sheep world and from the social and sporting life of the Western District of Victoria one of its most familiar as well as popular personalities.

His father was Roderick Urquhart, of Rossshire, Scotland, a pioneer who travelled overland from Sydney to Port Fairy Victoria, in 1842, and eventually took up the old home of Yangery, near Tower Hill, in 1846, where his son, the subject of this memoir, was born in 1849.

In 1857 old Mr. Urquhart, with his wife, returned to Scotland for the education of their family of two sons and five daughters in Inverness, and returned to Yangery in 1862.

In 1870 the station of Ardachy, near Branxholme, was bought for the two sons, Angus and Roderick, and they held it until their father's death in 1875. They then sold it, and resolved to strike out in Queensland. Roderick took a journey of investigation in 1876, and after travelling over a great part of Queensland he, in partnership with his brother and his cousin, Angus Fraser, took up the run of Kalliduwarry, in the Birdsville district, and stocked the country with cattle. They had trouble with the blacks at first; a stockman was killed, and Mr. Urquhart narrowly escaped the same fate. This run was held for twenty-seven years.

In 1882 Mr. Urquhart returned to Victoria, and in the following year married Helen (Faerie), the third daughter of William Armstrong, of Hexham Park. Not long after he, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Walter Armstrong, rented all the Victorian properties of the late Mr. Armstrong, and eventually became the proprietor of Boonerah, a portion of the original Hexham Park, which he held till his death.

His eldest son, Roderick William, went away a trooper with the 8th Light Horse in February 1915, and after going through the Gallipoli campaign, and being promoted to lieutenant, fell in action in the desert fighting east of the Suez Canal at the end of last year.

The second son, Keith, was not long in following his brother, and left with the Field Artillery, but transferred to 8th Light Horse to be near his brother, and now holds a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. The daughters are Mrs. John McCracken, Hayland, Rangiora, N.Z.; and Mrs. Neil Calvert, of Nerah, Colac.

The late Mr. Urquhart was a strong supporter of the Caramut Polo Club, of which his sons were prominent players, and was one of the oldest members of the Warrnambool Racing Club and Warrnambool Amateur Turf Club.

By reason of his long residence in the district and his kindly, cheery nature, he had made numberless friends. Probably no one in the district had a wider range of friends among all classes, and all will miss his cheery greeting.

He was a connecting link with the very early days of the colony, and could be counted an authority on the station lore of the district. No man better kept up the tradition of the hospitality of the station homestead nor had kindlier relations with his neighbours and employees than "Rod." Urquhart.

Original publication

Citation details

'Urquhart, Roderick Robert (Rod) (1849–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/urquhart-roderick-robert-rod-986/text987, accessed 28 July 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017

Roderick Urquhart, n.d.

Roderick Urquhart, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 July 1917