On this day …….. 26th of October 1878

A group of four policemen from Mansfield set out to search for the Kelly brothers who they thought were hiding in the bush near Mansfield. They set up camp at Stringbark Creek on 25 October 1878, not knowing that the Kellys were living in a small hut on Bullock Creek, less than 1km away. The next day Kennedy and Scanlan went to search the nearby forest, while Lonigan and Constable Thomas McIntyre stayed at the campsite. The Kellys heard noises from the police camp and went to investigate. Ned Kelly decided to try and capture the policemen and take their guns, horses and food. He called on the two policemen to give themselves up. McIntyre raised his hands, but Lonigan attempted to run and reached for his gun. Ned Kelly shot him in the eye. The bushrangers then waited for Kennedy and Scanlan to return. When they rode into the camp, McIntyre warned them that the Kelly brothers were there, and to give themselves up. Scanlan went to unsling his rifle and was shot dead immediately. Kennedy jumped off his horse, and while shooting at the Kellys ran into the bush. Ned and Dan Kelly chased after him, shooting him twice as they hunted him for over 800 yards. Kennedy surrendered. Kelly walked up to him and shot him again in the chest and killed him. During the earlier shooting at Scanlan and Kennedy, McIntrye was able to get onto Kennedy’s horse and escaped. He reached Mansfield the next day to report the deaths. Ned Kelly, Dan Kelly, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart were made outlaws, and a large reward was offered for their capture, either dead or alive. The three murdered policemen were taken to Mansfield and buried in the cemetery. A large memorial, funded by public donations, was built in the main street of Mansfield.


ON THIS DAY…… 26th October 1902

The young man James Revell who was arrested in Melbourne charged with obtaining £3 by means of a valueless cheque from Frank Shepherd of the Union Club Hotel, Geelong, was on this day in 1902, was fined £5 and one month’s imprisonment in the Geelong Gaol.


ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1933


On the application of Sergeant de la Rue at the City Court yesterday, Robert Ernest von Geyer painter aged 50 years of Argyle Square Carlton and Albert Lewis; labourer aged 49 years of Peel street North Melbourne who were charged with having murdered Maurice Langley pawnbroker of Elizabeth street city on October 25 were remanded to appear before the City Court on November 17.  Sergeant de la Rue explained to Mr Bond P M that no date had been fixed for the hearing of the inquest.

ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1938


Committed for trial at Dunolly on October 25, Thomas William Johnson, aged 40 years, labourer, will appear at the Ballarat Supreme Court to-morrow on a charge of having murdered Robert McCourt Gray and Charles Adam Bunney at Dunolly on or about October 2. Mr. Justice Lowe will preside.



ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1942


Arnold Porter (15) was committed for trial on a charge or murder at Koroit today after the Deputy Coroner had inquired into the death, of John Murphy, of Koroit, on October 25. Murphy’s body was found in a paddock. He had been wounded by pea rifle.



ON THIS DAY…… 25th October 1871

The Ballarat Courier learned on this day in 1871, that some important evidence has been secured in Ballarat with regard to the charge of murder on which a man named
Geary is now incarcerated in the Geelong Gaol. The evidence will be given by a cabman named Wilson, and his wife, both of whom were served with the necessary
subpoenas to attend at Geelong.


On this day …….. 25th of October 1616

Over 150 years before English explorer James Cook sighted eastern Australia, the Dutch landed in the far north and on the Western coast. In 1616, Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog sailed too far whilst trying out Henderik Brouwer’s recently discovered route from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia, via the Roaring Forties. Reaching the western coast of Australia, he landed on what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island, at Cape Inscription, on 25 October 1616. Here he left a pewter plate with an inscription recording his landing. The translation of the inscription reads: ‘1616. On 25th October there arrived here the ship Eendraght of Amsterdam. Supercargo Gilles Miebais of Liege; skipper Dirck Hatichs of Amsterdam. On 27th do. she set sail again for Bantam. Subcargo Jan Stins; upper steersman Pieter Doores of Bil. In the year 1616.’ In 1697, Dutch sailor Willem de Vlamingh reached “New Holland”, as it was then called, and removed Hartog’s pewter plate, replacing it with another plate. The original was returned to Holland where it still is kept in the Rijksmuseum. The original inscription was copied onto a new plate, and Vlamingh added new information which listed the sailors on his own voyage and read: ‘Our fleet set sail from here to continue exploring the Southern Land, on the way to Batavia.’


ON THIS DAY – October 24, 1934

Mrs Ena McKenzie, 38, who allegedly who drowned her three children in the sea at Cowes on October 24. was to-day acquitted by the Criminal Court of a charge of murder on the grounds of insanity. Evidence was given that Mrs McKenzie had a distressing line of hardship, until her health broke down.

ON THIS DAY – October 24, 1944


Intercepting a seven-year-old girl on her way home from school on October 24, Ronald Morgan, 24, of Moonee Ponds, processor, took her into the lounge of his house and there attacked her with the jagged end of an exploded mortar bomb, the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. Sproule. K.C.) suggested in the Criminal Court today. Later, Morgan carried the child into a lane, where he committed a serious offence, claimed Mr. Sproule. Morgan pleaded not guilty to the murder of Janice Marie Baul, of Moonee Ponds. who died in the Children’s Hospital on October 26 from injuries which, the Crown alleged, had been inflicted by Morgan. Mr. Sproule said Morgan had made a statement to Senior Detective Donnelly, in which he said he was sitting on the steps outside his home reading, when he became dizzy in the sun, and put the paper down. The next thing he knew was that he had the little girl in the lounge room.



On this day …….. 24th of October 1867

On this day in 1867, Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum opened in Beechworth, North East Victoria. The first patients were transferred from the Beechworth Gaol under the control of Superintendent Dr Dick. The Beechworth asylum was one of three large Lunatic Asylums built in Victoria.


ON THIS DAY…… 24th October 1902

A Chinese in the Geelong Gaol, named Ah Lee Goon, who was transferred some time, ago from the Melbourne Gaol on account of mental weakness, has developed into a violent lunatic. On this day in 1902, two magistrates attended at the local gaol and committed the Celestial to a lunatic asylum.


On this day …….. 24th of October 1937

Joseph Lyons 5th Prime Minster of Australia, on this day in 1937, knocked down and slightly injured a cyclist in High-street, Launceston, Tasmania. Mr Lyons offered to drive the man home, but he refused, saying, that the Prime Minister had a lot ahead that day. However the man accepted Mr. Lyons’s offer to pay for the repairing to his bike.