On this day …….. 8th September 1913

A patient at Kew Asylum named Michael Murphy eluded the attendants and escaped. The missing man is described as 33 years of age. 5 feet 8 inches in height, clean shaven, with ‘ brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a brown tweed suit and a drab felt hat.


On This Day – September 8, 1904


The execution of the youth James Williams, who on 19th July murdered Mrs. Veitch, at Clifton Hill, Victoria, was carried out at the Melbourne Gaol. On the previous day the Rev. C. Bardin, the Church of England clergyman, who has been giving spiritual counsel to Williams since sentence was passed upon him, spent a long time with the condemned man, and as he left he handed to the governor of the gaol a statement, in writing, which had been prepared by Williams. During the night before his execution Williams slept soundly, awaking only once at about 1 a.m., when he asked for “a smoke.” On the morning of the execution, on the ringing of first “rouse” bell, at 6.15 a.m., he awoke, dressed, and ate with apparent appetite and relish a hearty breakfast of ham and eggs. Shortly after 9 a.m. the Rev. Mr. Bardin was admitted to the cell in which the condemned man was confined, and remained with him until the deputy sheriff demanded the prisoner. Williams walked on to the drop with a firm step. When asked whether he had anything to say before the sentence of the court was completed, he said, speaking in very low tones, but with steady voice:—”I am very sorry for the deed that I have done.” Here he made a brief pause, then added, slowly, ”very, very sorry.” The cap was drawn over his face, and the executioner was adjusting the knot in the rope, when, in almost inaudible tones, he spoke again, saying, “God forgive me.”

The body was given a drop of 7 feet 9 inches, and death was instantaneous, not a quiver of the well developed figure being noticeable after the rope ran taut.

On this day …….. 7th September 1936

The Thylacine, more commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger, was a large carnivorous marsupial. Now believed to be extinct, the thylacine was coloured yellow-brown to grey, with dark stripes across its back from shoulders to tail. Limited to Tasmania in recent times, the discovery of fossils in mainland Australia suggests the thylacine was once widespread across the continent. Thylacines were perceived as a threat to livestock in Tasmania, and the government introduced a bounty in 1888: one pound for each adult scalp and 10 shillings for sub-adults. This, combined with the introduction of dogs, hastened the species’ decline and eventual wipeout. The last-known thylacine died in Hobart Zoo on September 7, 1936; this one was photographed in 1920.


ON THIS DAY…… 7th September 1889

The body of Sherlock was exhumed on this day in 1889, and the examination shows that it was shot on the right side of the jaw. The bullet travelled upward, coming out below the left ear. Professor Allen took away the head for the purpose of examination, and the result showed that fracture of the skull was due to a shot, and not to a blow.

On this day …….. 7th September 1986

The first road in Australia, outside of Sydney, was completed in 1815. William Cox was commissioned to build the road to Bathurst, using convict labour. The original Great Western Highway covered 161 km and incorporated twelve bridges. This road was just the first step in the highway network that would eventually extend across and around the entire continent. The National Highway Act was initiated in 1974 as a means to establish a fully sealed national highway around Australia. The Federal government funded the building of the highways, although construction and maintenance was the responsibility of the various State and Territory Governments. The final section of the sealed highway around Australia was opened on 7 September 1986. It had taken five years to widen and seal the 289 kilometre section of the Great Northern Highway between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek in Western Australia. Although other sections of the National Highway were rerouted in ensuing years, the Fitzroy Crossing-Halls Creek link was considered to be the last section to be sealed.


ON THIS DAY…… 7th September 1907

A man named William Smith, who had been arrested by Constable Boland at South Geelong, was charged with drunkenness at the police court on this day in 1907. It was elicited by the Bench, that the defendant had been convicted a dozen times previously. In the face of such a record the Bench considered a stiff penalty necessary, and a fine of £5 was imposed, with the alternative of a month’s imprisonment. He went to gaol.


On this day …….. 8th September 1792

The Old Sydney Burial Ground is also known as the George Street Burial Ground, the Cathedral Close Cemetery or the Town Hall Cemetery. Bordered by George, Druitt, Bathurst and Kent Streets, it was laid out in 1793 by Governor Phillip and Reverend Johnson. Before it was officially set out, Phillip and Rev Johnson chose the site in September 1792, as it was far enough away from the main settlement to not pose a health hazard. The first interment was a convict named Michael Dunn, who was believed to have been buried at the site on 8 September 1792. Around 2300 people, both convicts and free settlers, were interred at the Old Sydney Burial Ground before 1820, when a new burial ground was opened on Brickfield Hill, later the site of Central Railway Station. In 1869, the site needed to be cleared for the construction of the Sydney Town Hall, so the Old Burial Ground was moved to Haslem’s Creek, to become the Rookwood Cemetery.


On This Day ……. 7th September 1857

The first transportable buildings arrived in Beechworth, North East Victoria to ease the chronic shortage of accommodation on this day in 1857. Four transportable, in knocked down form, numbered and coded for speedy erection, were sent to house the swelling police force, boosted dramatically in the weeks following the Buckland Riots. One of the English firms engaged in the fabrication of transportable building used corrugated iron. Homes, shops and even churches were put together in the factories, numbered and marked on a construction plan, then pulled down and packed up for shipping to the colonies.


On This Day ……. 7th September 1948

On the 7th of September 1948, Lions were loose at the Melbourne zoo at the height of the storm at 3am., but the zoo authorities said they were only little ones. They were the three six months’ old cubs, Wally, Stew, and Flo. They escaped when a tree smashed their cage in the pets corner. The head keeper (Mr. S. Campbell) heard the crash of the falling tree about 3am. He went hunting for the cubs, and soon shepherded two of them into an undamaged cage. The third was found four hours later squatting dejectedly among a number of unconcerned kangaroos in the Australian section.


On This Day ……. 7th September 1868

Catherine Carey was transferred from the Beechworth Gaol to May Day Hills Lunatic Asylum on the 25th of April 1868. Carey’s husband Thomas had walked out and left her in 1861, it was believed that he lived on Melbourne rd, Donnybrook. Carey escaped on the 7th of September 1868, by walking out of the grounds before the Ha Ha wall was complete. It was believed that Carey was looking for her husband, she stayed at large for three day before being recaptured and returned to the Asylum. On the 20th of December, Carey once again walked out of the Asylum, but this time was not found. It was believed that Carey had escaped again to find her husband.


On This Day – September 7, 1915

Considerable interest was taken at Loch on September 7 in the investigation held before Dr. Cole, P.M., city coroner, at the Loch Courthouse, into the deaths of Elizabeth Dunbabin, spinster, who. was found dead in a paddock half a mile west of the Woodleigh railway station, on Tuesday, August 24, and Peter Allan, aged 33, married, a railway navvy, who poisoned himself in his tent at Woodleigh on the night of August 20. The postmortem examination on the body of Miss Dunbabin, who was 44 years of age, showed that she had been strangled by someone, who had attempted to criminally assault her. After Allan bad committed suicide evidence was procured that left practically no doubt that he was the murderer, and the crime had been committed while Miss Dunbabin, who had come from Melbourne by rail the previous night, was walking to her home at Grantville some four miles distant.

Superintendent Fowler of Sale looked after the. case on behalf of the police; Mr. Maxwell appeared on behalf of the relatives of Peter Allan, and addressed this, urging that it had not been shown that Allan committed the crime, whatever-ground there might be for suspicion.

Dr. Cole said that on certain points there was practically no difficulty, So far as Elizabeth Dunbabin was concerned, in finding that she was murdered, subsequent to an attempt to violate her. The attempt failed, and the reasons were plain, as the postmortem examination showed. There was no doubt that two struggles took place during the attempt at violation, and it was clear that the person who attempted the violation murdered the woman. He found in her case that she died from strangulation. As to Peter Allan, it was clear that he committed suicide. The question was, Was he the murderer? After reviewing the evidence, the Coroner said.that nothing further was required to sheet the crime home to Allan. He was the man. It was an atrocious crime, to be attributed to disease, and probably aggravated by drink.

ON THIS DAY…… 6th September 1884

A Chinese storekeeper named Ah Goon, of Little Bourke-Street East, was murdered in the early hours of the morning on the 6th of September 1884. The place was a gambling den, and it was found that a sum of £200 or £300 was stolen by the murderer or murderers. A post-mortem examination has been held, and the cause of death has been given as Serous apoplexy, accelerated by fright, and the result of a wound on the face. Two Chinese have been arrested on suspicion, however they we never charged with the murder due to the lack of evidence.