Good deed goes fatally wrong

Young Duncan Denovan, a contractor for Wellington gasworks, was out shooting rabbits near Stuart Town in mid-western New South Wales on a Thursday evening in 1904 when he  came across the body of a man floating in the river.

Duncan Denovan is buried in the dry Stuart Town cemetery

 He secured the body and borrowed a horse, heading to Stuart Town to inform police.

He didn’t arrive until almost midnight, so it was the next morning he set off with the police to the scene of the discovery.

As they were getting close, Denovan galloped ahead, apparently intending to call into his campsite first.

However, he didn’t get far before his horse threw him into a tree, killing him.

“The police had a very unpleasant task in dealing with the man found in the river, and to see their informant killed whilst assisting them must have been a sad experience indeed’’.

wellington times

Duncan had only recently come to Australia from Scotland.

The coroner returned a finding of “accidental drowning” in the death of drowned man, William Smith.

Stuart Town, NSW

SOURCES: Molong Argus Friday 9 December 1904 p 5

Wellington Times  Thursday 8 December 1904 p 4

Published by Sharyn Moodie

Travelling around Australia for work, I've found so many amazing headstones. But what is more amazing is the stories behind some of these deaths, and the way newspapers of the day reported them.

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