The Saxon boys – by Harold Shipston

Cousin Harold Shipston has been doing an amazing job of researching and recording information about the Saxon boys of Euroa.  They were the grandsons of our common ancestor, Isabella Pike – Harrison – Garrett (nee Beaton).  Isabella was my ggg grandmother and she was Harold’s gg grandmother.

Harold writes so well and I was thrilled when he agreed to write a guest post for my blog and I’m hoping he will do many more, especially some of the poetry he has written.

Over to Harold …………………

Kerryn has kindly let me tell the story of The Saxon boys she has mentioned here.
They are listed here with many others of our Family’s that served and in some cases died in the Great War to end all wars. The Four Saxon boys each worked in a Newspaper Two of the boys had bought just prior to the commencement of WW1.

William Saxon( Shinner) and Thomas Abraham Saxon acquired the “Violet Town Sentinel” and went to work to build their Newspaper business and increase sales. They employed their younger brother Herbert Saxon (Bertie) as a type setter. In time, they purchased the Newspaper “ The Euroa Advertiser” and commenced to improve this papers circulation. Joseph Stanley Saxon (Joe) had just commenced some work here when war broke in Europe.

Now the boys were sent to fight and their loved paper was left behind leaving their father to oversee its operation and the original owner of their first Paper, “ Violet town Sentinel” being employed to run it.

Each of the boys, now soldiers, Wrote back to their father who printed their letters in their Newspaper. Each letter told of life in the trenches and on the battlefields. When printed , these letters soon became known throughout the district as “Letters From Our Boys”. In time many of the Euroa boys wrote, and had printed, their letters. Euroa thrived on their information and many a parent got to hear of their own sons and how they fared in battle.

Saxon Brothers L-R Joseph, Bertie and Thomas

Saxon Brothers
L-R Joseph, Bertie and Thomas

As with many of our Family’s Boys, Joe and Bertie did not return. They lay with their mates, in graves on foreign shores. Their brothers returned home, both with life threatening injuries.
But all had recorded their time and lives on the battlefields and those of their Cousins and townsmen.

On their return, William and Thomas spent time in convalescence and eventually returned to their Newspaper. They both married and had children. One of these children is Tim Saxon, his father Thomas had taken the time to have all the original prints of “Letters From Our Boys” cut from each edition of the paper they were printed in, they were rolled into small reels and stored in a briefcase since 1919. They were passed onto Tim for the safe keeping of his fathers, and Uncle’s times.



Tim is my father’s cousin, and for many years I was not aware of my history, until, like Kerryn, I began my search, and eventually that search led me to Tim. He is now 90 and we have become great mates, he has told me many stories of family and our history and he gave me the briefcase passed to him by his father.

In this case I have found other interesting pieces on Morgan and Saxon family. And this too we can share.






  1. Kylie

    Hi Kerryn,

    I have compiled a 350 page booklet about the Saxon boys war service. It has all the newspaper letters transcribed and put in place of date written with references to the areas they wrote from and the battles being undertaken.

    On 4 August, 2014 in Euroa there will be a presentation by Jeff Starkey in Euroa about the districts involvement in the war and what was happening in the district at the time. Jeff has asked I share the information I have compiled at another lecture at a later time.

    Your blog has helped me to link other relatives who were present alongside the Saxons and now that will be something I will weave into my booklet as I learn more.

    Great page. thanks so much,

    Kylie (Descendent of Elizabeth Saxon)


    • Kylie I’ve heard about your booklet and your wonderful work through Harold. Well done! Thanks for your kind comment on my page.


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