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Elizabeth Emma Grainger Farrell was born in September 1865, in Woodend, Victoria. Her mother, Elizabeth Day Grainger, was a "widow" when her third daughter was born. However, it is possible that her real father was her mother's second husband, John Andrew Farrell. Elizabeth was a 28 year old dressmaker living in Balaclava, a suburb of Melbourne, when she married Charles Yarbrough Gold, a 54 year old "widower" on May 19, 1894. She was his fifth (known) wife and though there is no record of the Gold's having a child together, Charles Gold had at least fourteen children by his other wives. Gold died in Coolgardie in May, 1897, at the age of fifty-seven. Prior to Charles Gold's death, Kenneth Snodgrass had boarded with the Gold's and, on his death, Kenneth Snodgrass undertook the funeral arrangements and also managed the meagre estate.

A short while after her husband's death, Elizabeth took on the role as housekeeper at Kenneth Snodgrass's Bungalow Dining Rooms. A month later, Mrs Snodgrass and her seven children arrived in Coolgardie. The Bungalow Dining Rooms failed after only eight weeks.

Five months before her death, in an effort to support herself, Elizabeth was engaged as a probationer nurse at Coolgardie Government Hospital. Elizabeth worked with and shared her tent (or camp) with Janet Snodgrass, the daughter of Kenneth. The matron, Rosa Snodgrass, was Kenneth's cousin.

On the last day of autumn, May 31, 1898, the weather was unseasonably humid and oppressive, but the off-duty nurses were looking forward to the Cinderella Ball at the Mechanic's Institute that evening. Elizabeth was one of the nurses preparing for the Ball when Kenneth Snodgrass, armed with a revolver, called at the nurse's camp.

By half-past seven Elizabeth, aged thirty-two, was dead.