Fence the dams, the town cried

Charters Towers, 1885 – The drowning death of Nell Richards led for calls for the town’s dams to be fenced before any more children were lost. Elizabeth Ellen, known as Nell, was watching her younger sister bathe with several other children at  Mr Mill’s dam at the top end of Mosman Street. Nell was onContinue reading “Fence the dams, the town cried”

Albany Memorial Park holds history in its bones

Like ribs on a skeleton, the many aged gravestones of Albany Memorial Park cemetery protrude from either side of the highway as you make your way down the slope of Middleton Road towards the glistening Southern ocean. The cemetery covers about 2.5 hectares and has about 5000 graves, ranging from unmarked, through simple wooden markersContinue reading “Albany Memorial Park holds history in its bones”

Pilot smashed between launch and barque

1891 – Ship’s pilot Arthur Thompson was crushed between two boats as he attempted to move from one to the other. He had just piloted the barque Mary Stewart through King George’s Sound as it was towed by the launch Escort. They were two miles beyond Bald Head  – near Maud Reef in a lineContinue reading “Pilot smashed between launch and barque”

Gallant endeavour or just a tragic mis-step?

1906 – Albany Police’s Inspector James Connor came to a sad end in the most innocuous way – on a Saturday afternoon fishing excursion with his son and nephew. But did he die in a gallant effort to rescue a boy who could swim well, or did he simply fall in? James had finished workContinue reading “Gallant endeavour or just a tragic mis-step?”

Pyjamas led sailor to final sleep

1898 – W Satterley died for the sake of a pair of pyjamas. He was a carpenter on the cargo ship Cornwall, which was moored at the Albany wharf. It was on its way to London with frozen goods including beef. As he shook a quilt over the side of the boat in the earlyContinue reading “Pyjamas led sailor to final sleep”

Toddler “got in a scot” and drowned

1901 – Farmer Ernest Pye was walking near the Mudgee Racecourse, central New South Wales, about 7pm one evening when he heard a woman cry. Turning around, he saw a woman sitting outside her house with a child’s wet body in her arms. The woman was Helen Cook, the mother of ten children. She hadContinue reading “Toddler “got in a scot” and drowned”

Siblings drown while fetching water

While a river-side plaque tells the story of a sad drowning in Menindee’s Darling River, the nearby cemetery reinforces just how dangerous it was to early settlers. Robert and Elizabeth Scobie, aged 9 and 7, had only been in Australia for six months when they drowned in 1883. They had emigrated from Scotland, and theirContinue reading “Siblings drown while fetching water”

Flow in river claimed two lives

A recent flow of water had been enticing many swimmers to the Bogan River below Yee War’s garden near Nyngan, New South Wales. But on February 5, 1931, after 5pm, there were only three present. Only one lived to tell the tale. Rosie Pines, 44, a strong swimmer who had herself helped rescue a womanContinue reading “Flow in river claimed two lives”

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”

What is the real story?

There are a few differing accounts of why 11-year-old William Glasson ended up drowned in the Cobar Gold Mines reservoir in the last days of 1905. One report says that he was with some other children bathing in the 15ft deep reservoir when they saw a man coming round the side of the reservoir, andContinue reading “What is the real story?”