With a Little Help from Friends

ON THIS DAY ……. 29th March 1876 John O’Reilly wanted to annoy the English and so he hatched a plan to rescue Irish Convicts from Western Australia. For his plan, he organised for an American boat, the Catalpa, to sail to Western Australia to rescue Convicts. On March 29, 1876 the Catalpa arrived off Western […]


ON THIS DAY ……. 27th March 1908 George Littleton, aged 19, whilst working at the Union Woollen Mills, Geelong on this day in 1908, was caught in the belting. His right upper arm was dragged in, and the bone being badly broken, with the flesh badly lacerated. Considering the manner in which the poor lad […]

First Lunatic to Escape Beechworth

ON THIS DAY …….. 22nd March 1868 There was great excitement in Beechworth, North East Victoria on the 22nd March 1868, when the first lunatic escaped from the newly opened Asylum. A young man suffering from idiocy, escaped from the Asylum by climbing over a section of the Ha Ha wall still in construction. The […]

Knox Executed

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY ………. 19th of March 1894 Ernest Knox, aged 21 was executed in Old Melbourne gaol In the early morning hours of 12 January 1894, two burglars entered the house of Mr. Michael Crawcour, a pawnbroker and financial agent, in Nelson Place, Williamstown. Mr. Crawcour was alarmed by electric burglar alarms in […]

Escape from Geelong Gaol

On this day ………… 15th March 1930 William Hartwell 30 years of age and a prisoner at the Geelong Gaol, Victoria, made an attempt to escape on the this day in 1930. While a warder’s attention was diverted Hartwell managed to climb over the wall and make a run for freedom but was recaptured before […]

Fire in Chiltern

On this day ………… 11th March 1872 Unlike many fires in the North East of Victoria which seemed to happen on a Saturday night, this Chiltern fire happened on a Monday night. At 2am the fire began in an unoccupied building, in almost the same part of the town as the fire two years earlier. […]

Attempt To Break Out of Gaol

On this day ………… 7th March 1900 On the 7th of March 1900, Edward Brown, prisoner attempted to escape from the Geelong Gaol, in which he was serving a sentence of five years for burglary. It is not regarded seriously by the prison authorities. The facts of the case have been brought under the notice […]

Mystery Animal Attacks Victorian Settler

On this day ………… 28th February 1932 “Myrtleford, in the Mount Buffalo district of North East Victoria, has a mysterious animal, which stands like a human being, and is described as being 7ft high, with a large round hairy head, carrying four tusks. Search parties tried to capture the creature, but an all-night search failed […]

Escapee Shot Dead at Pentridge

ON THIS DAY – February 27, 1932 Reginald Barker aged 17, a prisoner at the Pentridge Gaol, at Coburg, Melbourne, attempted to escape on the 27th of February 1932. During his attempt Barker wounded Warder Dowd and himself was shot dead. After hearing the evidence the coroner recorded a finding of justifiable homicide. Warder Dowd, […]

Soldier Escapee Killed by Tree

On this day ………… 27th February 1945 On the 27th of February 1945, Edward John Boreham, of Kenwood Court, Preston escaped from the Geelong Gaol with a fellow prisoner Kenneth William Radford. Boreham was killed in the bush near the timber mill, at Valley View, between Yarram and Morwell. Unaware that two fugitive soldiers were […]

Dangerous Lunatic Escaped

On this day ………… 24th February 1908 Benjamin Harvey an inmate who escaped from the Ararat Asylum, Victoria on the 24th of February 1908, dressed only in his’ shirt, was captured at an early hour of the 27th of February by Constables Wood and, Lovitt, of Ararat. On the run Harvey called at Mr. Delaney’s […]

Prisoners Escape from Beechworth Gaol

On this day ………… 24th February 1934 A search by the police failed to reveal any trace of the two indeterminate prisoners, Raymond Brown (24) and William Bentley (27), who escaped from Beechworth gaol, in North East Victoria on this day in 1934. The men were regarded as dangerous characters and one of them has […]