Stanley Skellett’s last day began with a holiday. He worked in Sydney and with a group of young friends, travelled to Maldon for a swim before going home to his parents at Picton. All were good swimmers but Stanley’s cousin, Barrington Skellett got into difficulties and Stanley came to help him. In the melee both boys drowned despite the other boys trying to help.
Stanley’s funeral was held on the 16th November 1904 and all shops in the town closed as the hearse made its way to St Mark’s. Barrington’s body was recovered several days later.
The Skellett family were well-known and respected in Picton. Stanley’s father was born in France where his father John worked for a French engineering firm. The family migrated here when the railway was opened. John’s grandson, Stanley was the son of Albert Skellett and Kate Percival who ran a store in Menangle Street. Stanley was an only son but his two sisters ran a tearoom in Picton for many years after the tragedy.
There are no descendants of the Skellett family in Picton today but a number of memorials to the family stand in St Mark’s churchyard. Among these are Barrington John Skellett, 17 years of age and whose body was not recovered for several days after drowning. Stanley’s parents and grandparents also lie in the churchyard.