At the time of Denis Coyle’s death the remaining siblings were Hugh Anthony (born 1887), Mary (born 1891), Sarah (born 1894), John Francis (born 1895) and Teresa (Born Hannah Teresa, 1897). John Francis was probably less than sixteen at the time but may have already been working as a trainee machinist, at nearby Cockatoo Island. This was the occupation he listed on his Australian army enrolment forms in 1915.
Cockatoo Island Steelworkers in 1914
Hugh took charge and the family appears to have remained in Crystal Street until 1915. There was a move to Ferry Street in Drummoyne, another house in Epping in 1915 and then Duke Street in Campsie in 1918. It is not known where the younger siblings where residing at the time but the older sisters were commencing relationships that would take them away from the family home.
Sarah Coyle was the first to marry in 1915, but had passed away by January 1917. She is buried and commemorated by her husband, Alfred Herbert Day in the same plot at Rookwood as her mother and father.
Mary Coyle also married in 1915 to Frederick Beckhaus, and gave birth to young ‘Jackie’ Beckhaus in 1917. She also lost her life in 1919 too soon and before John Francis Coyle returned from his war service in Gallipoli and the Western Front.
Hugh Coyle is known to have started work within the NSW State Treasury and then also married in 1916.
His bride was Ellen Mary Cahill – called Mollie by all. Her father, an Irish immigrant also, became a strong Railway Union man – living in Marrickville, near the main rail yards.
Mollie’s brother, John Joseph Cahill eventually moved through unions into politics and was the Premier of NSW between 1952 and 1959. He is the NSW Premier most remembered for the Cahill Expressway but better for approving the construction of the Sydney Opera House.
The headstone & official records state that Hugh and Mollie first child, also Hugh, died within three days of birth in 1917. Their second son, John Ignatius Coyle took a firm hold on life and grew strong and bold and forthright.
Mollie may not have been able to have any more children after losing another, called William, in 1922. Both Hugh and William were buried in a plot at Rookwood where their parents would finally be laid.
Hugh Anthony Coyle passed away in 1942, not being able to see the blossoming of his own family tree. John Ignatius Coyle (Jack) married Mary Bridget McHugh in 1942, and they went on to bring six more Coyles into the world. Mollie was able to enjoy some small part of that in her large home in Westmead, before also passing away in 1952. Their story will be told in a separate chapter…
The short life that Teresa Coyle may have been filled with fun and frivolity. Or she may have been affected, at an early stage, by the tuberculosis that later took her away. She may have been cared for by a particular beau that gave her the love that she so cherished. Teresa fell pregnant in 1925 and was presumed to be raising Francis John Coyle by herself until the time of her death, by consumption, in 1928. Frank was only so very young when given to Hugh & Mollie to raise.
The Story of the Coyles will continue…
As we collect more stories and background information.
Next month we will post some chapters on
the World War One Service of John Francis Coyle…
…and a reflection on his life, and a gathering of his own words.