On this day …….. 5th of June 1919

On the 5th of June 1919 at 1pm Albert Young, aged 19, a prisoner remanded from the Geelong Court on a charge of housebreaking at Inverleigh, took advantage of the temporary absence or the yard sentry at the time of changing guard to scale the wall of the gaol compound, and make his escape. He was seen to drop to the ground outside and to race away towards South Geelong. Warder Minogue followed, but Young was too fast, and disappeared down a lain. It was found he had made his climb over the 15ft wall by means of a 7ft. piece of rope, to which he had attached a hook used by painters in their work at the gaol. As soon as the sentry left his platform Young must have thrown the hook at the iron railing which surrounds the sentry’s platform. The hook held fast and the youth climbed up hand over hand. The police were at once mustered to assist the wardens staff to scour the district for the escapee. Young was recaptured in Lara just before nightfall.

On this day …….. 5th of June 1870

The bushranger Harry Power was brought into Wangaratta, North East Victoria under arrest. Power had been caught a few hours earlier at his mountain hideout in the upper reach of the King Valley. He had been on the run for months, robbing coaches, holding up travellers, and providing an elusive target for police.

ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1913

On the 4th of June, 1913, Arthur Dowell an inmate of the Yarra Bend Asylum inflicted with an axe handle such serious injuries on another patient John Joseph Tissear that he died on the 7th of June. At the time of he savage attack several inmates were milking in the cow yard when the Dowell suddenly jumped from his stool, grabbed an axe handle, and began fiercely attacking everybody within his reach. Most of those present were fortunate enough to get clear of the infuriated madman, but Tissear was struck heavily across the head. He fell to the ground, where he lay until picked up by attendants. Dowell then turned his attention to the carter, Michael Carlson who received the axe handle on one of his elbows. As there was nobody else to attack, Dowell then tried to escape, but was captured by George Maloney an attendants. The injured ones were taken to the asylum hospital, where it was found that Tissear had sustained a fracture of the skull and after having lingered for three days he died. Carlson’s injury was also found to be of a somewhat serious nature, Dr Stell, medical superintendent considers it necessary to put the arm under the X rays. During the seven years that he has been an inmate of the asylum the Dowell who used the axe handle conducted himself well, and the authorities had gained the impression that he was not dangerous. Dowell was 32 years of age and the deceased was years older. The coroner found that Tissear died from injuries wilfully, feloniously and maliciously inflicted by Arthur Dowell, of which he was found guilty of wilful murder. Dr Stell, medical superintendent of the Yarra Bend Asylum, made application to have Dowell removed to the criminal ward at Ararat.

ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1909


At the Shepparton Supreme Court to-day Ernest Carmody, aged 17 years, was charged with the wilful murder, on June 4, of an elderly man named John Robinson. The accused pleaded not guilty. The deceased resided in a hut at Youanamite, near Katamatite, and was in receipt of an old-age pension. On June 4 his hut was discovered to be in flames, and later on a, few charred bones were found. Inquiries made by the police led to the arrest of the accused, who had been in the employ of a Katamatite storekeeper, and was accustomed to leave bread at the old man’s hut.  Mr. Gurner, in opening the case for the Crown, said that shortly after the old man had been burned to death accused suddenly became affluent, and the bank notes which he had in his possession gave forth a peculiar odour of a complaint from which the deceased had suffered. One of these bank notes bore a private mark of a farm labourer, who had paid it to Robinson.  The jury found, the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, with a recommendation to mercy on account of his youth.

On this day …….. 4th of June 1965

On this day in 1965, electricity came to the town of Boorhaman in North East Victoria. The honour of switching on the power went to eighty five year old Mrs Ellen Jane Salmon.

On this day …….. 4th of June 1891

Moyhu in North East Victoria, revived an unexpected visitor from old time Bushranger Harry Power on this day. Power had been released from Pentridge Gaol due to ill health and was ready for a career in show bussiness. An old convict ship had been refitted to show what life was like on one of the old prison hulk on Port Phillip Bay. Harry was the official greeter of guests and was billed as “a real bushranger”. Harry had returned to Moyhu, he said to search for a plant of gold he had made some years earlier. He disappeared from the district, and reappeared in Swan Hill, where he died latter that year. Harry is buried in the Swan Hill cemetery.

4th June 1946

State-wide search for four criminals who are missing from Beechworth gaol was renewed. One of the men disappeared late last year, two in April, and the fourth a week ago. The men sought are: George Albert Wilson, 36, 5ft 6in, auburn hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, and stout build. He is a native of New Zealand, and an engineer by occupation. Russell Stanley Kirby, 36, 5ft 8in, dark hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, medium build. He has a big scar on the back of his left hand. Albert Charles Han is. 27, 5ft 10in.l dark brown hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, and slight build. He is William John Clarke, 42, 5ft 6in. dark hair, blue eyes, fresh complexion, and medium build. He is an Englishman. Wilson, who broke free on December 22, 1945, is believed to have left the country for New Zealand, but, the other three fugitives are considered likely, to be in Victoria still. Because of this there has been a renewal of police raids on houses where the men may be harboured. Police said that any report of the whereabouts or movements of any of the fugitives would be treated as confidential. Kirby and Harris, who escaped together on April 26, are expected to have separated. Clarke, the latest escapee, is believed to have now disappeared from the dense bush surrounding the gaol where he obviously hid immediately after getting clear of the prison.


On this day …….. 4th of June 1789

The first theatrical performance in Australian took place on this day in 1789 in Sydney, when some prisoners performed George Farquhar’s comedy The Recruiting Officer to celebrate King George III’s birthday.

On This Day ……. 4th of June 1900

Within the last day or so two old prisoners have died at the gaol. Old, infirm, and diseased prisoners are sent to Geelong to die, and these deaths appearing in the published mortality returns, without explanation, which make it appear that Geelong is an unhealthy district. Steps should be taken in such returns to discriminate between the deaths of those inside the gaol, and of others outside it, otherwise a continuance of the practice referred to will give Geelong an unenviable reputation.

On This Day ……. 4th June 1901

An aged prisoner, who was sent from Melbourne to complete his sentence in the Geelong gaol, died in the latter institution on this day in 1901, and an inquiry was held before Mr H. Bannister, J.P. Dr Croker, the medical officer at the gaol, certified that death was due to natural causes, and a finding in accordance with the medical testimony was returned.

On this day …….. 3rd of June 2008

On the 3rd of June 2008, a cane toad emerged unharmed after spending 40 minutes in a dog’s stomach. Bella swallowed the toad after mistaking if for some meat pies her owner had tossed onto the lawn for her to eat at Bakewell, Palmerston, Northern Territory. The dog’s owner, Jackson Crews, saw Bella swallow the toxic amphibian and immediately took her to a local vet, where she was given an injection to induce vomiting. Fortunately, Bella had swallowed the toad whole without chewing.

On This Day ……. 3rd June 1904

At the morgue the inquest into the circumstances relating to the death of the postal employe Thomas Best, was continued. ‘The particulars of the case were that Best, who was arrested on a charge of larceny, died through taking an alleged doss of strychnine. The inquiry was adjourned last Friday in order to ascertain further evidence with regard to the purchase of the strychnine. The evidence of Best’s wife was to the effect that when he became very ill she wanted to send for a doctor, but hen husband objected, sating that he would soon be better. He appeared to become better for a short time, but he rapidly became worse, and died at ten minutes past 1 on Thursday last. On being cross-examined she stated that she knew her husband bought some strychnine some time ago to poison rats, and she had thought it was used for that purpose. Shortly before his death he stated that if anything ever happened to him, he would never go to gaol. Mrs. Vale, of Kensington, who carried on business as a pharmaceutical chemist in that suburb, gave evidence relating to the purchase of the strychnine at her dispensary. On Tuesday last, he asked her for the poison for the purpose of destroying a dog. His signature in the book was witnessed by her son. According to the evidence of Dr. Mollison, death was, he believed, due to poisoning by strychnine. The brain appeared to be of an unhealthy nature. The deceased’s father, James Best, of Geelong, gave evidence to the effect that when deceased was a child his brain was unhinged through au accident. The finding of the coroner was that- death was due to poisoning by strychnine, and was self administered, and according to the evidence deceased was unsound in his mind at the time.