On this day ………… 2nd March 1909

A severe accident, befell a young man named Bert Westmore, 26 years of age, a resident of Malvern. Westmore who worked as a shipping clerk for Welch, Perrin and Co., in South Melbourne on this day in 1909 walking in the yard at the rear of the firm’s premises when a kerosene stove, on which some iron was being heated, exploded. Westmore was severely burnt on the face and arms. He was taken in a St. John ambulance to the Melbourne Hospital.



On this day ………… 2nd March 1908

A fatal accident happened to Mr. Albert Sparks, 42 years of age, hotel keeper, of Stawell, on the 2nd of March 1908. The deceased, while proceeding to his bedroom, fell down the hotel stairs, and received such injuries that he expired soon afterwards. Sparks body was taken to his own cellar to keep cold and fresh until the coroner could arrive.



On This Day – 2nd March 1857

Convict Thomas Callaghan was charged with kicking at his cell door and disobedience of orders by Turnkey Kerley. He was punished with 24 hours in his cell by The Gaoler



ON THIS DAY – March 2, 1931


Robert De Villiers Dreyer, aged 48, who conducts the Valkenberg Naturopathic Hospital at Middle Brighton, was found guilty in the Criminal Court of the manslaughter on the 2nd of March, of Arthur Haughton Russell, aged 60, of Box Hill. Russell, who suffered from diabetes, had been a patient for some days at the hospital, but he was removed on the 28th of February. He died on the 2nd of March. It was the second trial. A jury at the former trial failed to agree. The defence was that there was nothing prejudicial in the treatment given to Russell, and that Russell died as the result of treatment given after he left the Valkenberg Institution. The jury added a strong recommendation to mercy. Dreyer was remanded for sentence.



ON THIS DAY – March 2, 1891

John James Leger, architect, was tried at the Criminal Sittings charged with the manslaughter of William John Gahan, plasterer on the 2nd of March 1891. The accused was tried at the previous sittings on the same charge, but the Jury were unable to agree. The case for the prosecution was that the accused architect was employed in the erection of a building at Richmond, which collapsed, causing the death of Gahan, it was alleged, through the gross carelessness of the architect. The Jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and accused was discharged.



On This Day – 2nd March 1927

Henry Lindsay Coffey, a young man, who was among the metropolitan visitors to Geelong races on 2nd of March, was arrested on the course and charge with having in his possession a number of betting tickets reasonably suspected of having been stolen. He was before Geelong police court on, and pleaded not guilty. The charge was then withdrawn by was charged a second time with intent to defraud, obtain a number of tickets from Charles William Tyzack by falsely pretending that he was sent by Clive Marsh to obtain such tickets. Coffey was remanded to Geelong gaol.



ON THIS DAY – March 2, 1950


After having deliberated for 5 1/2 hours, a Criminal Court jury found two of four men charged with the murder of Mervyn Lance Batten, 27, of Gold street, Collingwood, on the 2nd of March, guilty of manslaughter. They were Reginald Pascoe Connors, 28, plasterer’s laborer, of Best street, North Fitzroy and Allan Frederick Ashman, 25, laborer, of Watsonia Housing Settlement, Melbourne. Connors was sentenced to 10 years’ gaol, Ashman was remanded. Mr. Justice Barry said that Connors was a most dangerous criminal. He had killed a man and from his observations, was likely to kill again if left at large. According to evidence Ashman gave Connors a sawn-off military rifle with which Batten was shot at the door of his home from a taxi occupied by five men.



On this day ………… 2nd March 1892

On this day in 1892, Rev Zehner from Brisbane, Queensland awoke suddenly from a deep sleep and found that his false teeth were missing. He felt a choking sensation and thought he had swallowed them. Two doctors were sent for, but they could do nothing. Gasping for breath, Rev Zehner knew he was going to die and said his good bye to his family. When his daughter found the missing teeth in a drawer, the patient soon recovered, having nearly been a victim of his own imagination.



Have you ever wondered what it was like to live behind the walls of the Geelong Gaol, the most intact 19th century prison? The conditions, the executions, the punishments ……

Or perhaps investigating the paranormal is more to your liking? Do the spirits of those who lived, worked or died here still wander the halls …..

If you are brave enough to step behind the gates on one of our Ghost Tours or a Paranormal Investigations Tours, then please call 1300865800

EXECUTED THIS DAY – March 1, 1858

On the 1st of March 1858, at 8am the convicts Edward Brown and William Jones, who were found guilty at the Ballarat Sessions of the crime of robbery with violence, were executed at Melbourne Gaol. Edward Brown, who belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, was attended in his last moments by the Rev. Mr. Stack, and had, on the previous day, received the Sacrament of confirmation from the Right Rev. Dr. Goold. He was the elder man of the two prisoners, having been born in London in the year 1831. He arrived in this colony free by the ship Othello, in 1852, but had been sent bond to Van Diemen’s Land previously. He was a labouring man. The younger convict, William Jones, arrived in the colony free, in the Andromache, in the year 1849, and was but 23 years of age, having been born in 1835, at Towersley, in Buckinghamshire. He was a member of the Baptist persuasion, and was attended by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, Baptist minister, and at the scaffold by the Bev. Mr. Stoddart, chaplain of the gaol. The prisoner Brown had been twice convicted prior to the commission of the crime for which he suffered, namely, of vagrancy, in 1853, for which he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, and again of the same offence in 1857. Jones was once convicted of horse-stealing and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Very few persons besides the proper authorities were present at the execution. Neither of the unhappy men spoke a word, but seemed much downcast. They appeared to suffer when the drop fell for some moments. The bodies, after hanging the usual time, were cut down, and the formal inquest having been held upon them, were interred at the Melbourne cemetery at a late hour in the afternoon.



On this day ………… 1st March 1881

Coles American circus arrived in Benalla, North East Victoria, bring to town not only a troupe of real live North American Red Indians, in traditional clothing, but also electric lights. It was the first time most people had seen anything so brilliant and exciting. Whatever the attraction, Coles Circus apparently made a fortune on its tour of Australia. It was reported they took back £24,000 profit, in today’s money $2,291,714.32



ON THIS DAY – March 1, 1999

On the 1st of March 1999, the body of Rachel Elizabeth Barber was unceremoniously dumped in the wardrobe of a second-floor flat in Trinian Street, Prahran, an inner suburb of Melbourne. A black, old-fashioned telecommunications cable was still tight around her neck. In another room were all sorts of scribblings: hate lists, catalogues, notes about Rachel, her family, her personality, her likes and dislikes – and one note in particular with the ominous words, ‘All things come to pass’. Caroline Reed Robertson a teenager and friend of the family was charged with her murder. Robertson told police that Rachel was lured to Robertsons Prahran flat with the promise of money for taking part in a secret psychological survey. She was drugged and murdered and her body placed in a wardrobe for 2 days. Rachel’s body was then taken to Robertsons father’s farm in Kilmore and buried in a shallow grave before it was discovered 2 weeks later. Robertson’s motive was to assume Rachel’s identity.