ON THIS DAY……30th October 1922

Senior Warder Rowe, of the Geelong Gaol, who has been acting officer in charge for some time, he was promoted to the charge of the gaol at Sale. Senior Warder Rowe had a splendid record of service in Geelong.


On this day …….. 29th of October 1880

Ned Kelly sentenced to execution

Ned Kelly, Australia’s most famous bushranger, was born in December 1854 in Victoria, Australia. Kelly was twelve when his father died, and he was subsequently required to leave school to take on the new position as head of the family. Shortly after this, the Kellys moved to Glenrowan. As a teenager, Ned became involved in petty crimes, regularly targetting the wealthy landowners. He gradually progressed to crimes of increasing seriousness and violence, including bank robbery and murder, soon becoming a hunted man. Many of Ned Kelly’s peers held him in high regard for his stand of usually only ambushing wealthy landowners, and helped to keep his whereabouts from the police, despite the high reward posted for his capture. However, he was betrayed to the police whilst holding dozens of people hostage in the Glenrowan Inn in June, 1880. Wearing their famous armour, the Kelly brothers held a shootout with police. The Kelly brothers were killed, but Ned was shot twenty-eight times in the legs, being unprotected by the armour. He survived to stand trial, and was sentenced to death by hanging, by Judge Redmond Barry on 29 October 1880. Ned Kelly was hanged in Melbourne on 11 November 1880.

On This Day ……. 29th October 1954

Escaped Elephant – Richmond

An escaped elephant from Wirth’s Circus’ temporary camp outside Olympic Park in Richmond, Melbourne caused a mild panic on the 29th October 1954. At 9.30 p.m. a check was made by the boys guarding the elephants, and it was found that one was missing. Telephone calls started to pour into Russell St. police station from people on their way home from the city saying that they had seen an elephant walking along Batman Ave. A police car was rushed to the scene and after a two and a half hour search they found the missing elephant. It was standing under a tree about 200 yards away from the camp.

On this day …….. 29th of October 1982

Lindy Chamberlain convicted of the murdering her baby at Ayers Rock.

Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock, is a huge monolith in central Australia. It has long been a popular tourist destination, but gained a new notoriety on the night of 17 August 1980, when two-month-old Azaria Chamberlain went missing from the nearby camping ground. When baby Azaria disappeared, her mother Lindy claimed that a dingo had stolen her baby. No trace of the child was ever found, although her bloodstained clothes were found a week later by another tourist. At the first inquest into her death, commencing in February 1981, it was found that the likely cause of Azaria’s disappearance was a dingo attack. Police and prosecutors, unhappy with this judgement, moved for a second inquest which began on 13 September 1981. This time, the new finding was made that Azaria had been killed with a pair of scissors and held by a small adult hand until she stopped bleeding. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder on 29 October 1982, and her husband Michael was found guilty of being an accessory. Lindy Chamberlain’s acquittal came four years later when a matinee jacket worn by Azaria was found partially buried in a dingo’s lair at Ayers Rock. New evidence was presented showing that earlier methods of testing evidence had been unreliable, and no conviction could be made on those grounds. Both Chamberlains were officially pardoned, Lindy was released, and eventually awarded AU$1.3 million in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

ON THIS DAY…… 29th October 1870

The Geelong Gaol, which for some twelve months was used as an industrial school for girls, was re-converted to the purposes for which it was built, and the children in the school, were removed to Sunbury.


Two murders have happened in the small town of Beech Forest, in the Colac Otway Shire, of Victoria. The first was between to Russian immigrants. John Friedman, was arrested on a charge of having wilfully murdering Charles Nunn, at leaver’s Hill, Beech Forest, on the 9th May 1912. Friedman and Nunn were both new immigrants and had only recently arrived in Australia. During a fight Friedman with a butcher’s knife stabbed Nunn under the ribs on the left side. Death occurred from the wound some hours later. Friedman claimed that Nunn and he had a quarrel, and Nunn caught him by the throat. He had a knife in his hand at the time and did not know that Nunn had been stabbed until told so afterwards. The second was happened on the 14th of Match 1916. A 4 year old girl named Foley, daughter of a waitress at the Ditchley Park Hotel went missing and was found the following day behind the hotel. Foley had her throat cut from ear to ear. A man by the man of George Henry Leake was found guilty of her murder. Both men where housed in the old Beech Forest police lockup which today stands in the town park.

ON THIS DAY – October 29, 1893


Moonee Ponds Shooting Case.


The coroner’s inquest concerning the death of Caleb Bennett, an auctioneer, who was shot by Lieutenant William Henry Main in mistake for a burglar at Moonee Ponds on Sunday, October 29, was concluded yesterday. The jury found that deceased died from a bullet wound in the heart caused by William Main while in commission of an unlawful act, and they found that Main had committed murder. The foreman and another juryman disagreed with the verdict, for which they would have substituted one of manslaughter. The accused was committed for trial at the Criminal Court on the 15th instant. Bail was refused.



On this day …….. 29th of October 1952

On the 29th of October 1952 Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced that ‘this is the first day in the history of the Federal Parliament in which William Morris Hughes has not sat as a member’. The day earlier Billy Hughes (William Morris Hughes) former 7th Prime Minister of Australia died at the age of 90. Over the course of his 58-year federal parliamentary career, Hughes changed parties five times: from Labor (1901–16) to National Labor (1916–17) to Nationalist (1917–30) to Australian (1930–31) to United Australia (1931–44) to Liberal (1944–52). He was the 7th Prime Minister from 1915 to 1923.


ON THIS DAY – October 29, 1927



Charge of Attempted Murder.

Walter Lew Shing (19), fruiterer, and Leslie Coe (19), labourer, were charged at the City Court to-day with having, on October 29, at North Melbourne, attempted to murder Richard Dunstan.   Senior-Detective Bruce said that it was alleged that accused are members of the ‘Wanderers’ Push,’ and that on Saturday Coe stole a motor car and went with Shing to North Melbourne. An altercation over some girls took place with some members of another ‘push’ known as the ‘Hawk Eyes’. In the course of the altercation Dunstan was shot in the stomach. Dunstan was now in the Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition. Shing and Coe were each remanded to November 7. Bail in each case was fixed at £30 and a surety of £500.



On this day …….. 28th of October 1880

Ned Kelly first stood trial on 19 October 1880 in Melbourne before the Irish-born judge Justice Sir Redmond Barry. Mr Smyth and Mr Chomley appeared for the crown and Mr Bindon for the prisoner. The trial was adjourned to 28 October, when Kelly was presented on the charge of the murder of Sergeant Kennedy, Constable Scanlan and Lonigan, the various bank robberies, the murder of Sherritt, resisting arrest at Glenrowan and with a long list of minor charges. He was convicted of the willful murder of Constable Lonigan and was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Barry. Several unusual exchanges between Kelly and the judge included the judge’s customary words “May God have mercy on your soul”, to which Kelly replied “I will go a little further than that, and say I will see you there where I go.” At Kelly’s request, his picture was taken and he was granted farewell interviews with family members. His mother’s last words to him were reported to be “Mind you die like a Kelly.”

ON THIS DAY…… 28th October 1849

On the 28th of October 1849 a prisoner named James MacDonald, undergoing a sentence of eighteen months’ imprisonment for robbery at Geelong, attempted to escape from the gaol. He managed to scale the top of the northern wall by climbing the gallows and then let himself down by means of a rope made of his clothes and blanket, but the sentry private Bryan Kennedy greeted him at the bottom, and marched him at the point of the bayonet to the gaol gate, when he was delivered over to the warden. MacDonald was sentenced to seven days solitary confinement on bread and water.


On this day …….. 28th of October 1916

Billy Hughes, Australia’s 7th Prime Minister, most controversial policies was conscription, an issue which not only created a rift in the Labor Party, but divided the young nation as well. On 28 October 1916, the first referendum to introduce compulsory military enlistment into World War 1 was voted on, and narrowly defeated. Two weeks later, on 13 November, the Labor Party expelled Hughes over his support for conscription. However, just a few days earlier Hughes had formed the Nationalist Party which incorporated both expelled Labor Party members and members of the opposition. Hughes formed a new cabinet and remained as Prime Minister, a position he retained until 1923.