Who was Jane?

Jane Hannah Lashmar lived a short young life until she died without warning in her sleep on 15 November 1865 at Antechamber Bay. She was a mere 18 years and she is buried under a peppercorn tree in nearby Lashmar Conservation Park.

The Lashmar family arrived on the Dudley Peninsula (the eastern peninsula or ‘head’ of Kangaroo Island) in 1858 when Jane was already 11 years old. She was born in Port Lincoln on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

In her seven years at Antechamber Bay, Jane would have lived through natural events and been part of the establishment of the farming community in the area. She and her brothers and sisters, and their parents, would have visited the Sturt Light at Cape Willoughby, which first shone its beam in 1852. There was no school but travelling teachers and preachers would have visited and stayed at the Lashmar house near the banks of Chapman River.

At the time of Jane’s death, her brother John Sherbourne Lashmar, older by six years, was already the head of the family. Both parents had died in Adelaide: their father, Thomas Young Lashmar, suddenly in December 1860 and their mother, Jane Lashmar, from tuberculosis in November 1864.

While John ran the farm – and at times the Lashmars ran sheep from Cape Hart to Penneshaw, an area covering about one-third of Dudley Peninsula – Jane had charge of the rest of the orphans. When she died, Lilla was 15, Thomas 13, Fanny 10, William eight and Harry five.

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