William and Jane Savage

William and Jane Savage

The simple marble gravestone of William and Jane Savage, marks a very tragic story.

William Savage was about 13 years old when he arrived in South Australia from England with his parents and two brothers in 1855. William followed his father's footsteps, working as a stonemason in Robe, where he married Jane Williams in March 1868.

They had been together a little over 12 years when Jane died on July 18, 1880, 16 days after giving birth to a daughter. Her death left William with six children to raise, forcing him to seek help from relatives. The baby Beatrice died the following year when she was 8 months old.

Then in 1883, the five remaining children were left orphaned after William drowned when Robe’s lifeboat capsized in Guichen Bay. William had been part of the lifeboat crew for 13 years and was on a training exercise when it sank. Donations were raised to support William’s orphaned children and the government was petitioned to provide them with financial aid.

(an abridged version of the video transcript)