A guardian angel at Carngham Station

The fire that destroyed Carngham Station homestead has bought back memories of a remarkable young person who has been an important part of our family history.

My aunt Amy, aged 17, was a nanny at Carngham Station looking after the three Russell children: two girls and a boy. In December 1927 - a week before Christmas - a spirit lamp toppled over and started a fire inside the homestead.

Amy saved the children, but was very badly burnt; she died 14 hours later. Major Russell wanted to show his gratitude to my grandparents.

He imported a marble statue of an angel, which was placed on Amy's grave. Unfortunately, this was destroyed by vandals during the 1950s.

The fires at Carngham/Chepstowe this week made me stop and think of the horror and terror Amy, a young girl of 17, must have faced with three young children in her care.

No triple-0 to call, no helicopter fire bomber, no warning. She showed maturity beyond her years.

Folklore/gossip has been handed down through the years that a ghost of a young woman has been seen numerous times by different people inside the homestead.

As my cousins and I were growing up and asked questions regarding Amy, she was always spoken about with love, pride and respect, not the agony and pain she must have suffered from this tragedy.

How sad for my grandparents, my father, his two brothers and sister to lose Amy in this way.

She was the eldest in the family. A brave, strong, young person in our family.




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