Kay Whitleys birth in Warrah flood.

This is a story from Gwyn Whitley about the birth of their second child, Kay, in 1960. It involved a lot of other Warrah people, not just the Whitleys.

Rex and Gwyn Whitley.

In 1960, Rex and I were living at “Karoola” with Rex’s father and step-mother, Jim and Betty Whitley and his sisters Julie and Beth. Early on the morning of 15th Dec I awoke and realised it was time for me to go to hospital for the birth of our baby. It was pouring rain so there was concern that Dry creek could be in flood. Rex and dad [Jim] went to inspect the creek and found that the water was so high that a car could not cross.

Marie Meredith who operated the Warrah manual exchange, sprang into action and organised our trip to Shirley hospital in Quirindi. Our 13 months old son Warren was left in Betty’s care.


Luke Barwicks famous blitz truck today.

I clambered into the Bedford truck with Rex and we drove to Dry creek where Luke Barwick was waiting in his 4 wheel drive army blitz wagon to get us through the flooded water. On the other side Bill Power was waiting to take over from Luke. There were road works in progress on the Merriwa road just over the Warrah bridge and waiting there was Ranville Schofield. He had come on his tractor in case we got bogged, and luckily we didn’t!

When we reached Shirley hospital. Matron Crawford was waiting at the front door to greet me. She took my port and told Rex “goodbye”.

Bill drove Rex to dry creek, which he climbed across on the flood fence. After about one and a half hours, Dr Tooth delivered my new daughter, Kay into our lives.

Meanwhile back at “Karoola”, dad and Rex were working in the paddock opposite the house. The wheat bags had been stacked on railway sleepers to keep them off the wet ground and out of the running water. Rex was busy turning over the bags when Betty came out of the house and called out to him “You have a daughter”.

What a great job our local Warrah creek telephone exchange did! What a service!

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24.09 | 23:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
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23.09 | 12:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 07:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work