On This Day ……. 26th May 1904

A young man named John Smith, who was arrested at Colac by Senior-constable Arthur and Constable McKenzie for alleged ‘cattle stealing, has been brought into the Geelong gaol on remand. He was brought before the Geelong court a week later, and further to the gaol.

ON THIS DAY….. 26th May 1926

The Jury acquitted William Milvan, motorman, and James Hargreaves, guard, who were charged with manslaughter, arising out of a collision between two passenger trains at Caulfield on this day in 1926, when three persons were killed. The Jury added a rlder to the effect that the precautions taken to safeguard the public at the point of the collision were inadequate, and should be rectified immediately .


ON THIS DAY….. 26th May 1915

Charged with the manslaughter of Denis McSweeney, at North Melbourne, on this day in 1915, Andrew McGough, withdrew his plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty. The accused assaulted McSweeney without warning. The Chief Justice, in passing sentence of three years imprisonment, said that McGough had acted like a tiger. Looking at the facts of the case he asked himself why McGough was not charged with murder. He thought that the case was one for the full penalty prescribed by the, Act, but taking into account the fact that McGough was a hard working man and only gave way occasionally to bursts of intemperance, he would impose a sentence of three years.

ON THIS DAY….. 26th May 1928

Sentence of twelve months imprisonment was imposed on Albert Vincent Puddephatt, 23 years, sales manager, who was found guilty in the Geelong Police Court of the manslaughter of Olive Myrtle Partlett, 26 years, waitress, at Belmont, on this day 1928. The evidence showed that the girl, with her two sisters, was walking from the Belmont train terminus to her home along the Torquay-road when she was struck by a motor car and carried along about 60 feet. The car did not stop, but was overtaken by the driver of another car. Puddephatt was the driver. He was under the influence of liquor.


ON THIS DAY….. 25th May 1900

At the Sale Police Court Frederick Clark was committed for trial on a charge of manslaughter. The circumstances of the case were somewhat peculiar. On this day in 1900 two men, Percy Wiliams and Samuel Weatheriy, were returning from a dance at Newry, both riding one horse. Clark came along at a fast pace in the opposite direction when they collided, from the effects of which Weatheriy died.


Blue Heelers is an Australian police drama series that ran for 12 years, from 1994 to 2006, and depicts the lives of police officers in Mount Thomas, a fictional small town in Victoria, which was located in Williamstown. Maggie Doyle is a fictional character portrayed by Lisa McCune in the long-running Australian police show Blue Heelers. She first appeared in 1994, and exited in 2000. Maggie arrived in Mount Thomas in the debut episode ‘A Woman’s Place’. She was driving into town and was pulled over by P.J. (Martin Sacks) and Nick (William McInnes). P.J. gave her a breathalyser test and realised she was a cop. She then went on to the Imperial Hotel, where she was staying, and finds out that Wayne Patterson (an old love of hers) was living and working in Mount Thomas. She then goes to the police station and introduced herself to Sergeant Tom Croydon. (It was shown that Tom and Maggie’s father, Pat Doyle had also once been posted at the same station.) This episode saw Maggie trying to convince a girl who had been raped to press charges. She also shoots Mick Doherty’s dog as it was going to attack and kill Wayne. The debut episode of the series showed us Maggie’s good nature and how opposed she is to sexism. Prior to her arrival in Mount Thomas, all of the police officers were men, and the town seemed to find the idea of a female police officer funny. This changed, of course, over the course of the series as more female officers were posted to Mount Thomas.She is the fourth longest character behind Tom,Chris and PJ. Cont Maggie Doyle House was filmed at 19 Verdon St, Williamstown

ON THIS DAY….. 25th May 1911

On the 7th of May, a young woman, named Elizabeth Bridget Delahy, was admitted to hospital suffering from septic poisoning. Delahy died on this day in 1911. The Coroner committed Jane McKenzie to trial, on a charge of murder, and Laura Fox on charge of having been an accessory.

On this day …….. 25th May 1622

Australia has a history of shipwrecks which extends back to before European settlement. Around 8000 wrecks are believed to lie off the coast in Australian waters, although only a quarter of these have been located. The coastline of the great southern continent had not been fully mapped when the earliest ships, trading vessels on their way to the Spice Islands of present-day Indonesia, met their untimely fates, and nothing was known of the rocks and reefs that lurked beneath the waves. Australia’s oldest recorded shipwreck is that of the Trial, also spelt Tryall or Tryal. The Trial was a ship of the English East India Company which was sent to the East Indies in 1621 under the command of John Brooke. The Master was following Henderik Brouwer’s recently discovered route from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia, via the Roaring Forties; though a faster route due to the strong winds, it was also more dangerous, taking vessels into uncharted waters. The crew of the ship first sighted Point Cloates, a peninsula on Australia’s far west coast, early in May the following year but, due to a navigational error, the Trial ran aground on an unknown reef on 25 May 1622. This reef is now known as Ritchie’s Reef, in which can be found the ‘Trial Rocks’. 100 crewmen lost their lives, along with the Company’s goods the ship was carrying. The remaining crew spent a week ashore before sailing a longboat to Java. Whilst the Dutch had, by this time, already discovered the west coast by accident, this was the first time an English crew had sighted any part of the Australian coastline. Records suggest that the ship’s Master falsified the location of the rocks to hide his error. Consequently, Trial Rocks remained undiscovered for over 314 years, due to the fact that they were not where they were reported to be. The actual wreck site itself was determined only in 1969: however, no evidence has yet been found to identify the site conclusively as being that where the Trial went down.

On This Day ……. 25th May 1901

A Remarkable Record was reported in the Geelong paper on this day in 1901. There will shortly be released from the Geelong gaol, a convict with a most remarkable record. His name is Frederick Clarke, better known as ‘Josh’ Clarke, and he has spent nearly half a century within prison walls. He was born in Leeds Yorkshire, and as far back as 1847 was transported for house breaking to Norfolk Island. From there he escaped, but he was not long at liberty in Australia, for he was soon caught offending, and since that time he has served sentences ranging from a few months to 14 years. In 1887, when he was over 60 years of age, he was sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment for receiving, the judge evidently desiring that so notorious a character should end his career in prison. With another daring criminal, Christopher Farrel, he escaped from the Geelong gaol in 1888, after gagging and pinioning the warder, but the men were re-captured, and each received a further sentence of two years. The ‘Geelong Times.’ which gives these particular s. adds : — Clarke, who is close on 80 years of age, has been a constant source of anxiety to the officials since he has been in Geelong. A never ending watch has to be maintained, for it is only a short time since his cell was rushed and the discovery made that he was just on the point of removing stones from the outer wall of his cell.


On this day …….. 25th May 1847

Little-known Australian explorer Joseph Wild is credited with discovering Lake George on 21 August 1820. Wild was an ex-convict, sentenced on 21 August 1793 in Chester for shooting a rabbit on another man’s property, and transported in 1797. He received a ticket-of-leave in 1810 and conditional pardon in January 1813. After being appointed first Constable of the Five Islands District, now Illawarra, in 1815, Wild undertook several expeditions into the interior of New South Wales with pastoralist Charles Throsby. At one stage, he teamed with Throsby, James Meehan and Hamilton Hume, the latter being the currency lad who later went on to chart a course from Sydney to Port Phillip Bay. Wild and Throsby were the first Europeans to explore the area that became the Australian Capital Territory. Joseph Wild died on 25 May 1847 after being gored by a bull at Wingecarribee Swamp. He is buried behind the church in the Bong Bong Cemetery, Moss Vale, New South Wales.

On this day …….. 25th May 1870

Bushranger Captain Thunderbolt was born Frederick Ward at Wilberforce near Windsor, NSW, in 1836. As an excellent horseman, his specialty was horse stealing. For this, he was sentenced in 1856 to ten years on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. On 1 July 1860, Ward was released on a ticket-of-leave to work on a farm at Mudgee. While he was on ticket-of-leave, he returned to horse-stealing, and was again sentenced to Cockatoo Island. Conditions in the gaol were harsh, and he endured solitary confinement a number of times. On the night of 11 September 1863, he and another inmate escaped from the supposedly escape-proof prison by swimming to the mainland. After his escape, Ward embarked on a life of bushranging, under the name of Captain Thunderbolt. Much of his bushranging was done around the small NSW country town of Uralla. A rock originally known as “Split Rock” became known as “Thunderbolt’s Rock”. After a six-year reign as a “gentleman bushranger”, Thunderbolt was allegedly shot dead by Constable Alexander Walker on 25 May 1870. However, there remains some contention as to whether it was actually Thunderbolt who was killed, or his brother William, also known as ‘Harry’.

On this day …….. 25th May 1901

A man named Cummins, who escaped from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum was rearrested at Camperdown. Cummins was being bought by train to Ballarat by Constable’ M’Cahn on the 25th of May 1901, were he managed to escape at the Colac railway station. As the engine was pulling into the station Constable M’Cahn saw Sergeant Dowler a few yards standing on the platform, so he went to ask him to watch Cummins while he got some refreshments. Although only a few moments elapsed until both the police returned, the lunatic had disappeared, and all efforts to discover him, he could not be found. On the 8th of June 1901, Cummins was found at Skenese Creek, Apollo Bay. He was taken straight back to Ararat.