Katie Jackson

Year: 1893

by Mary Hannay Foott   

Drowned In The Flood Of February, 1893
At Blackwall, Near Ipswich, Aged 19 Years

Have you heard of Katie Jackson,
Our Queensland girl so brave,
And how for three poor children
She sought in vain to save –
Her sisters and her brother –
Her own life Katie gave?

The mother and the children
Were all alone that day
When the flood beset their dwelling.
The father wished to stay,
But he had to drive his engine,
And was forced to go away.

"Our Katie", said the mother
"Can swim so well and row,
As with a man, we know,"
And once the boat went safely,
And twice they prayed might go.

On dry land stood the mother
by her good Katie's aid
And watched the children coming.
Oh, who would be afraid
To trust them to their Katie –
Strong-armed, stout-hearted maid?

And swift and safe she brought them,
But midway struck a tree;
Caught in those eddying waters,
No help nor hope could be;
But Katie, noble sister,
With fond arms charged the three

Alas for Katie Jackson,
And those small children dear;
Alas for the poor mother,
Who watched them disappear;
And for the far-off father
Who fain had been a-near;

Send, girls of her own Queensland,
Your token to her grave –
In stainless stone the Symbol
Of Him who died to save;
And honour Katie Jackson –
The dutiful, the brave.

                   Mary Hannay Foott (18 February, 1893)