b. 1882 at “Oakbank” Gullengutta, Warialda District near Graman NSW
(Parents: Alexander Dill Gamble and Fanny O’Donnell)
d. 6 February 1927 at Sydney Hospital
Aged 45 years
Interred Rookwood Cemetery: Church of England Section 9 Grave 440
Married at Hillgrove near Armidale NSW 11 March 1905 aged 23 years to Ann Smart
(Parents: William Munroe Smart and Annie Murray) Divorced 18 October 1926
2nd Marriage to: May Todd aged 34 years, Septimus was 45 years of age 16 January 1927 at Sydney Hospital
The twelfth child and seventh son of the family, educated from daily readings of the family bible by his Father and tutoring by Julius Speers. Septimus was only 1 year old when his mother died.
Septimus served a trade as a Saddler and had conducted his own business from a premises at Grey Street Glen Innes.
He married a young 20 year old Annie Smart at Hillgrove in 1905 and together they had seven children:
b 1905 at Hillgrove
b 1907 at Uralla
b 1908 at Guyra
Alexander Harold Dill
b 1910 at Sapphire
b 1912 at Sapphire
b 1914 at Sapphire
Septimus Frederick Munro Laird Jnr.
b 1917 at Sapphire
Septimus moved his sister Caroline, with her failing eyesight into his family home around 1905. This was as a result of their father’s ill health and him being moved from “Oakbank” to Inverell to be nursed by his daughters in Urabatta Street. Septimus and his wife Annie then cared for Caroline for some 7 years.
Following his father’s death and upon receiving his share of the inheritance, Septimus purchased a farming property at Sapphire, which unfortunately failed shortly after and he declared voluntary sequestration. It was around 1914 that life’s hardships increased and his marriage began to waiver. Additionally, sister Caroline had a worsening medical condition which required Septimus to take her back to Inverell to sisters Fanny and Catherine.
By 1917, his eldest child Daphne was thirteen years and the baby Frederick only 3 months, his marriage to Annie had fallen apart and Annie took all the children by Cobb and Co Coach from Sapphire to Armidale and thence to Hillgrove were her father had a bakery.
Annie took Septimus to Court where in May 1917 a maintenance order for 30/- per week was issued. By September 1918 another maintenance order was issued for 35/- per week . Apparently Septimus failed to comply with these maintenance payments as by July 1919 a warrant was issued for outstanding monies owing in the sum of 68 pounds and 5 shillings. On 23 August 1919 Septimus is arrested and placed in Tamworth gaol for a 3 months custodial sentence.
Following his release from Tamworth Gaol, Septimus did make two maintenance payments, one for two pounds and another for five shillings. He left the district and failed to comply with further payments.
Septimus drifted to Adelaide where he worked as a barber. It is believed he was accompanied by or met a woman named May Todd on this journey, May was eight years his junior and together it is believed they had two children.
Meanwhile, Annie Smart was able to support the family through her midwifery skills. In 1925 she was working at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Oxford Street, Paddington. Two of her children were with her and earning one pound per week and seventeen shillings per week respectively, while three other younger children were in care.
Annie filed for a divorce from Septimus on the ground of desertion, which was granted on 18 October 1926 and in 1927 she married William A Rosbrook in Tenterfield. Annie’s brother Robert Bruce Smart appeared as her witness in these divorce proceedings.
Annie died in Hillgrove in 1968 aged 85 years.
Due to illness, Septimus and May Todd returned to Sydney where Septimus succumbed to Carcinoma of the Axilla. (the area directly under the joint where the arm connects to the body – armpit)
He had married May Todd in 1927 while on his hospital bed, just a few weeks before his death.