Italian cyclist lauded in outback cemetery

Although Italian cyclist Leo Beretta lived far from home in the dusty mining town of Coolgardie, he was so esteemed among locals that an eight-foot granite memorial was raised in his memory. Beretta died when he was training at the Coolgardie Recreation Reserve.Cycle racing was the world’s most popular and lucrative sport at the turnContinue reading “Italian cyclist lauded in outback cemetery”

Paddle boat captain suicides after losing wife and son

The dry desolation of the Wilcannia cemetery in outback New South Wales is a sad resting place for two-year-old John Robert Mack. He died on the paddle boat Ethel Jackson as it steamed along the Darling River on  June 9, 1878. At the time the boat was the flagship of the McCulloch Company which employedContinue reading “Paddle boat captain suicides after losing wife and son”

Shortcut ends to gruesome demise

It was 64-year-old Alfred James Hockey’s habit to meet the Forbes mail train by taking a short cut across the tracks at Orange Railway Station. He had “rheumatism’’ and so avoided the longer route via an overhead footbridge, half a mile away. His mangled remains were found near the station by two railway shunters onContinue reading “Shortcut ends to gruesome demise”

Kelly gang admirers on murder spree

It was 1883. The Wilsons lived in a weatherboard shack by the railway line between Epping station and Campbell Town in mid north-eastern Tasmania. WIlson, a line repairer, was in bed with his wife on the night of April 9. He was about to lose his life as a drama said to be inspired byContinue reading “Kelly gang admirers on murder spree”

Boss brained in self-defence

James Brennan was a drover who was killed in outback Queensland via the handy instrument of a shovel. Or to use the eloquency of the Truth newspaper of the time, ” With a Shovel, Batters Out His Boss’s Brains. The wielder of said shovel, William Shehan, also spelt Shean, but also known as Shannon, wasContinue reading “Boss brained in self-defence”

Fire consumes new widow and family

It was a tragedy when Sophia  Quinn and her five children lost their father, a part owner of the Parkes flour mill, in January 1895. So when Mrs Quinn, the children and her sister were burned alive in August, the newspapers’ elequent responses were heart-rending. Mrs Quinn’s brother George Perry and a youth named CookContinue reading “Fire consumes new widow and family”

Shoot, you bastard, shoot

Shoot, you bastard, shoot. These were the last words Charles Corse said to his murderer. He had just put his head between his legs – assumedly to present his rear – as he made ‘a disgusting noise with his mouth.” There is more to the story of his death at the hands of mine managerContinue reading “Shoot, you bastard, shoot”

Strychnine ends sorrows

William Stamp, 54, was chief engineer at No 4 Pump Station on the outskirts of Merredin. One day in March, 1928, he walked into the engine room dripping wet and asked a fellow employee “how’s things?’’ When his co-worker asked why he was wet, he said “Things are not too good with me. “I haveContinue reading “Strychnine ends sorrows”