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Osborne, Ben Marshall (?–1922)

by Testis

Ben Osborne, n.d.

Ben Osborne, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 February 1922

The late Ben Marshall Osborne was born at Berrima, N.S.W., and died at Bowral on the 18th ult. He was the second son of the late Ben M. Osborne, and was educated at the King's School, Parramatta, N.S.W., and at the Sydney Grammar School. On leaving school he entered the service of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney to gain business experience before taking up the management of Redbank, near Harden, in 1897. In 1906 the property was divided amongst the five sons, Ben Osborne, the second son, taking Redbank, including the old home station portion, with 21,000 acres. He married Elsie Evelyn, youngest daughter of the late Samuel Dickinson, The Hall, Croydon, N.S.W., who survives him. There are three sons and a daughter.

Death is always busy amongst the old, but now and then he stays a moment to turn aside and point to youth or middle age, and they, too, must rise and follow over the River of Rest into the New Country.

On Tuesday, the 17th of last month, Ben Osborne was apparently quite well, and yet on the following Thursday a great concourse of relatives and friends gathered from all parts of the State at short notice to attend his funeral at the Bong Bong country churchyard, near Mossvale. Practically every male member of the great Osborne clan was there to pay his memory reverence, for Ben—cheery, light-hearted Ben -was loved by all who knew him, rich and poor alike, and very rich and very poor were there together at the graveside. Children take a man's measure with surprising accuracy, and those that came in contact with Ben Osborne promptly loved him without reserve. The jolts and worries of station management that come to all pastoralists these times loomed largely enough for him at times, but they were promptly forgotten in the company of his child friends.

Ben Osborne was always ready for work or play. When the call came to help the Empire in her trouble the Osbornes flocked to the standard ready to face any danger, and although he had no opportunity to join his three younger brothers at the front, he faced death often enough in doing his utmost for the shiploads of horses he landed in Egypt. He received a captaincy for this service, which he promptly dropped on peace being declared.

Ben Osborne loved life and action. Death was to him a cold, dread thing, not to be thought of for years to come, and yet he is gone in the prime of life, leaving a dreadful blank in the lives of those he loved best. John Hay's poem might have been written about him:—

"My short and happy day is done;
The long and lonely night comes on,
And at my door the pale horse stands
To carry me to distant lands.

''His whinny shrill, his pawing hoof,
Sound dreadful as a gathering storm;
And I must leave this sheltering roof
And joys of life so soft and warm."

A storm was gathering during the funeral hour, and it broke heavily with roar of thunder, wind, and rain, and flashing lightning shortly after we left him in his last resting place.

Original publication

Citation details

Testis, 'Osborne, Ben Marshall (?–1922)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2022.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2022

Ben Osborne, n.d.

Ben Osborne, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 February 1922