By Warren Nunn

Arnold’s memories of grandfather Arthur Nunn

Arnold Nunn (1923-2021).

Arnold Nunn has fond memories of his grandfather, Arthur, who was born at Dinmore, Ipswich, Queensland.

The Nunn family property was situated on the Bremer River not far from its junction with the Brisbane River. A meatworks now operates on the land.

Arnold’s father, George, (born 18 Sep 1899, died 22 Feb 1975) was also born at Dinmore.

David was married to Rachel Nunn on 22 Feb 1856 in Chevington, Suffolk, England. Rachel was the daughter of Francis Nunn and Mary Hurst (widow: Challis).

David and Rachel were third cousins, both great-grand-children of Thomas Nunn and Ann Steed.

Arthur and his wife Helen Rutherford Campbell (born 30 Oct 1875, died 8 August, 1956) moved to Bluff in Central Queensland between 1906 and 1909 where he worked at the Bluff Colliery as a miner.

Later – about 1915 – they moved to Rockhampton and eventually lived at 51 Kent Street.

They also owned an adjoining block as well. Arthur worked as a gardener for the Rockhampton City Council.

Kent St

As Arnold remembers life at Kent Street, there were a number of beds for vegetables and flowers as well as fruit trees. Arthur also had about 50 chickens.

Arthur and Ellen sold vegetables and flowers to supplement their income. Arthur was adept at whittling wood and crafted many items which were a treasure to son George and grandson Arnold.

In 1934, at 10 years of age, Arnold took ill because of an infected tooth. The Nunns were living at Longreach at the time. Arnold recalls vividly the pain of the infection. He had terrific headaches and hallucinated seeing long corridors and snakes.

When the tooth was finally pulled, he experienced immediate relief. George and Winnie decided to allow Arnold to remain with his grandparents in Rockhampton and that was a thrilling experience for the young man who had suffered greatly from his illness.

Fishing time

Arnold attended nearby Leichhardt Ward State School and experienced the richness that comes from learning from a grandfather who loved to fish and garden and a grandmother who loved to dote on a grandson.

Arthur used to enjoy a smoke but Ellen was not so keen about her husband’s habit.

Arthur Nunn.

Arthur would send Arnold down to the shop to buy cigars. He would then get the fishing gear ready and the old man and the young boy would walk down to the Fitzroy River.

But there was always a protest from Ellen about the cigar. “Arthur, you’re not sending that boy down to the shop to buy a cigar?” Ellen would say.

“No,” said Arthur.

Ellen’s stern rebuff was: ”Don’t lie to me!”

Arthur spoke of life at Nunns’ Paddock at Dinmore, when family members would float along in canoes on the Bremer River. Both Arthur and Ellen played the piano accordion and Arthur’s favourite tune was Cruising Down the River.

For another article about the pioneering Nunn family, go to this link.

From baking to bikes

Arnold starting his working life at Rickart’s Bakery where he stayed for two years before moving on to Pearce’s Bikeshop in East Street in 1940.

He then turned his hand to carpentry and took a job at Mutter’s Joinery Works in Larnach Street, which was run by Mr A.T. (Bert) Nunn.

Bert was no relation that we know of but there was a resemblance between his daughter, Lesley, and Helen.

So much so that on one occasion when Helen walked past the joinery, Bert mistook her for Lesley.

Bert, who had been left the business by his employer, wanted Arnold to take over the factory but Arnold had other plans and he took his young bride, Daphne Franklin, to New Guinea in 1949.

Arnold on the war years

For a more complete picture of Arnold’s life through the war years, there is a long interview recorded in 2004 that can be found at Australians At War.