An Ulladulla native, who was inspirational mother and patriotic worker, has been recognised for her efforts in the Shoalhaven during the early 1900s.
Fanny Caines, nee Cork, is documented in historian Robyn Florance’s book Shoalhaven Women Heroines of WWI.
She was born on November 3, 1854 at Milton, a daughter of James, and a pioneer, and Christina Cork. She married James Dixon Caines at Ulladulla on September 9, 1878 and the young couple quickly moved to Pyree, settling on a farm leased from the Berry Estate.
They lived in a timber tenant’s cottage where eight children were born between 1879 and 1894.
Sadly, Mr Caines died on August 20, 1910. Six years later, Fanny was elected vice-president of the newly formed Pyree Red Cross Circle. When the South Coast Red Cross Home was established at Bomaderry in June 1918, Fanny and another woman represented the Pyree Red Cross on the management committee.
Three of her sons enlisted in the Australian Infantry Force (A.I.F). Stanley enlisted in the First Light Horse Regiment in January, 1916 and served in Egypt, while twins Bert and Ernie enlisted in September, 1918.
READ MORE: Shoalhaven World War 1 heroines highlighted
That September, Fanny and her daughter Mabel left Pyree to make their new home at Nowra. Fanny was led to take this course through her twin sons, Bert and Ernie, who managed the farm, having enlisted.
Rather than put any obstacle in the way of them taking the part in the war that duty dictated, she voluntarily decided to leave the property so that they would be free to go and fight for King and country, and to uphold the honour and good name of the Empire.
Recognising the noble self-sacrifice of the mother in giving up these sons to the service of the Empire, more especially as she had another son fighting in Palestine — Trooper Stan Caines — the residents of Pyree determined to do her honour before leaving that centre, in the social and domestic life of which she had played a conspicuous part for a generation at least.
In 1919 her son William arranged for Rolfe and Son of Nowra to build her a new home ‘Somerset House’ designed by architects Lamrock and Bates, of Orange. By June 1920 her new home was nearing completion and Fanny returned to Pyree.
She was welcomed back to Pyree at the annual meeting of the Red Cross Circle on June 20, 1919 and elected president. At the annual meeting in 1920 she was again elected president. Fanny died at her residence, Pyree, on July 16, 1930.
She was interred beside her husband in the Anglican Portion of the Nowra General Cemetery. She had resided in Shoalhaven continuously since her marriage and contributed liberally to the success of philanthropic and patriotic movements.
By the passing to her eternal reward of the grand old lady, in the person of Mrs J. D. Caines, Pyree and the Shoalhaven district has been left the poorer, in that it has lost one who, by her self-sacrifice and goodwill towards others, had left a name in this community which the generations of time will never efface — a name which will forever stand out as a shining example to others.
The late Fanny Caines was a woman who was a pleasure to meet, no matter how humble one’s station in life; a woman imbued with the true ideals of motherhood, the fruits of which are so outstanding in her family.
Knowing full well the ways of human nature, hers was a disposition that sought the good and overlooked the evil; a true motherly soul who by her actions through life has left the little community of Pyree and the world in general 100 per cent better for her having lived in it.