In 1909 my great-grandfather's cousin, Louisa Cameron, married Lemuel Williams who was a miner. In 1917 they were both about 30 years old and living at Beechworth in northern Victoria. They had six young children.
Lemuel was badly injured in a work accident. He was working at a molybdenite mine at Everton when an unexploded explosive exploded. [Don't you love the English language? Those last three words do actually make sense!] I had to research what molybdenite is. Apparently it is used, amongst other things, as an alloy for strengthening steel and the Everton mine was Victoria's most productive. Lemuel had charged a hole with explosive using two charges and only one fired so after a while he went to check and was standing close when the second charge fired.
|Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth), 5 Dec 1917|
A month later there was a newspaper article about the state of Lemuel's health. He is deeply scarred and is still having trouble with his eyes but plans to go back to work 'in a week or two'. As it turns out that might have been a little optimistic because four months later there was another newspaper notice stating that he had only just gone back to work. So he was about five months off work and there was no such thing as unemployment benefits or compensation in those days. I wonder if his eyesight was permanently damaged.
|Ovens and Murray Advertiser, 5 Jan 1918|
|Ovens and Murray Advertiser, 5 May 1918|