Swimmer not strong enough

1928 – Leslie Wren Ellis was a waterside worker who perhaps should have stayed waterside.

Willowie cemetery, South Australia. Image: Sharyn Moodie

He planned to buy a fishing boat which was moored in water off the town of Thevenard, South Australia. The best way to inspect it was to swim out to it, and although his friends advised him not to do so, he persisted.

Leslie was known to be good swimmer, according to newspaper reports after his naked body was found four days later washed up kilometres to the north, between Ceduna and Denial Bay. His wife had reported him missing. His clothes were found on a nearby cliff top, opposite the boat he had wanted to visit. No coroner’s inquiry was deemed necessary, and it was assumed he had suffered fatal cramping.

He left a widow and a small child and is buried in the Willowie Garden of Memories cemetery, 500km east of Thevenard.

Thevenard, South Australia


The Advertiser Wednesday 21 November 1928 p 26

West Coast Sentinel, Friday 23 November 1928 – Page 6

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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