Grave of great, great, grandfather, Sidney Grandison Watson and his first wife, Isabella Robinson, at Walwa Homestead on the Upper Murray River, Victoria. “Grandie”, as he was known, was the father of Harry, Sidney and Greg Watson who settled Gregory Downs in 1877.
Rumour also has it that one day at Walwa the twins, Harry and Sydney, had saddled their horses and were about to mount when their father questioned their intentions. They replied they were going up to the hills to dig up two young Kurrajong trees to plant near the homestead. Their father told them not to be stupid as Kurrajong trees would only grow in the granite of the hills and not the river flats. Many years later, when he died the twins dug up two young Kurrajongs and planted them near their father’s grave near the “Walwa” homestead on the flats. Both the grave and the Kurrajong trees still exist today.
There was an additional stone lying beside the graves (visible in photos, old and new) that used to be on the top of the headstone. The story goes that the Watson boys held a celebration there at some time to toast the success of the growth of the Kurrajong Trees and during the celebrations knocked the stone off the top. This stone lay on the ground for many years and has only just been restored to it’s rightful place atop the headstone by the current owners, John and Jeannie Blackman (possibly in 2021)
it was also rumoured that one of his sons removed the gold fillings from his teeth before burying him – because gold was “too bloody hard to get out of the bloody ground without bloody well burying it back again.”
INSCRIPTION ON OTHER SIDE OF HEADSTONE:-
IN LOVING MEMORY of ISABELLA wife of SYDNEY GRANDISON WATSON
born 25th march 1826 Died 3rd August 1861
Also of SYDNEY GRANDISON WATSON born 22nd June 1816
arrived in Australia 1836 Settled in Walwa 1845 Died 11th December 1891