Tall policeman not strong enough

Image: Sharyn Moodie

Coolgardie’s first-class constable William Ackerman Westrop died at midnight of consumption of the throat, a fairly popular way to die in the 1890s. The term usually referred to the wasting that accompanied tuberculosis.

His illness was blamed on “turning out at all hours of the night in attending to the prisoners brought in’’ to the lock-up.

“It is thought that it was during his holding of this office that the seeds of his fatal illness were sown,’’ reported the Goldfields Morning Chronicle.

 “For some months previous to the time when he took to his bed, he was repeatedly advised to lay up for a while, but he stuck to his post until the complaint had obtained a firm hold of him, and he was positively compelled to relinquish his work.

“As he was originally from cold, wet and windy Tasmania, you would think the six foot two inches ‘finely built’ man had a stronger constitution.”

Goldfields morning chronicle

He lies in the Coolgardie cemetery.

Coolgardie, Western Australia

SOURCES: The Goldfields Morning Chronicle, Tuesday 27 September 1898 p 2

The Golden Age,  Monday 26 September 1898 p 3

Kalgoorlie Miner, Monday 26 September 1898 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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