A gun belonging to the brother of notorious Australian outlaw Ned Kelly and used in the gang’s infamous last stand against police fetched to $125,000 when it was auctioned on the 21st of November 2012. The East India Company cavalry pistol, which belonged to Kelly’s younger brother Dan and has his name and the year 1876 engraved on the walnut stock, was sold by Melbourne’s Leski Auctions. Auctioneer Charles Leski expected the vintage muzzle-load single-shot percussion pistol, which uses powder and a lead ball instead of a cartridge, to fetch up to Aus$125,000 (£81,700). Dan Kelly had the pistol with him during the 1880 siege of the Glenrowan Inn, when his outlaw brother and their gang made one last stand against police. Everyone but Ned Kelly – wearing his iconic home-made plate metal armour and helmet – was killed in the showdown. Kelly was later hanged at Melbourne Gaol, famous for uttering the final phrase “such is life”. “The Kelly Gang – Ned, Dan, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne – has loomed large in Australia’s consciousness for more than 130 years,” Mr Leski said.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 1st August 1948

Norman Hurley, a 19-year-old orphan, who was battered on the head and thrown alive into the Maribyrnong River, near Flemington Racecourse on this day in 1948, was the victim of one of the most brutal and callous premeditated murders in recent years. It was disclosed that Hurley was struck four times with a heavy instrument and dragged along the embankment for about 20 yards before he was thrown into the river from a concrete jetty. The house nearest the place where he was murdered is across the river and about half a mile away. It has been established also that Hurley had been studying car advertisements in newspapers recently, but it is not certain whether he wrote any letters to prospective car, salesmen.  Eric Stanley Jacobi, 44, tractor driver, of Gordon st, Footscray, appeared in the City Court yesterday and was remanded.

ON THIS DAY…… 1st August 1925

At the City Court, Melbourne, yesterday two men were charged with murder appeared and were remanded. Cyrus Braby, charged with the murder of William Southwick, estate and commission agent, at South Yarra on August 1, was remanded till Wednesday, pending the inquest to be held to-morrow.

Cyrus Braby arrested on Sunday, and charged with the murder of William Southwick at South Yarra, was brought before the City Court yesterday, and remanded until August 10.

Braby, dirty and unkempt, stared vacantly round the court during the proceedings, and seemed to take no interest in what was going on. Constable West, in reply to a question by Mr. C. Burnet, said that the police had no doubt that the accused was quite mad.

A charge of vagrancy was withdrawn, and Braby will bo submitted to mental observation in gaol.

Constable West gave evidence of the arrest of accused. After the discovery of the body, the police had evidence that about noon on Saturday a violent argument took place between the dead man and accused, after which Southwick was not again seen alive.  Accused, when arrested, was sleeping.

BRABY’S YOUTH.

Martin Braby, father of Cyrus Braby is 73 years of age, and was formerly a Justice of the peace at Ravenswood goldfields, Queensland, and at Eskdale, Victoria, where he was wellknown as a storekeeper.

Braby said his son, the youngest of four, left Victoria on active service in 1916, the most youthful member of the Heavy Siege Artillery. Being only 19 years of age, he had special permission from the Minister of Defence Mr. Pearce to join this, section of the A.I.F., as he desired to take the place of a brother who, being then in the Garrison Artillery, would have left with the heavies, but was killed by a tram just before the outbreak of the war.

ON THIS DAY……. 1st August 1953

Two men were charged in the City Court on this day in 1953 with the murder of Ernest Clarkson, 69, of Gordon-avenue, Tecoma. Charged were two Cypriots, Vassos Socratous, 24, of Flemington-road, North Melbourne, and Lenndras Yiannakou, 39, of Rathdown street, Carlton. Both men were remanded to the City Court on  the 11th of August. He refused bail. Clarkson, chief steward of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club was found dead on the promises in Cheltenham-road, Black Rock, on this day in 1953. He had been battered about the head.  Senior . Detective Graham Davidson told the Court that Clarkson’s body was found on the floor of the golf club’s locker room. Police took possession of a bloodstained hammer. Davidson said the men in the dock were detained and questioned early today. They had made admissions before being charged.. Socratous is a short slim man with dark, curly hair. He was neatly dressed, Yiannakou is taller and is heavily built, with black, woolly hair, and olive complexion.

On this day …….. 1st of August 1896

One of the central figures involved on the police side during the Kelly Gang Outbreak of the 1870s retired on this day in 1896. Sgt. Arthur Loftus Maule Steele handed over control Wangaratta police to Sgt. Simcocks transferred from Chiltern.

 

On This Day ……. 1st of August 1953

Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. He was a 22 year old labourer. On this day in 1953, the torso of a man was pulled from the Barwon River. Divers would eventually find the rest of Maxfield’s body, which had been dismembered and placed in kerosene tins and sunk in the Barwon River. It was believed the Maxfield was attacked and bashed in a garage in Colac by Andrew Kilpatrick and Russell Hill, aged 33 and 22 respectively, both from Colac. The men had placed the unconscious body of Maxfield in the boot of a car and had driven to Geelong. Maxfield regained consciousness and was again bashed to death on the banks of the Barwon. It was reported that this was a payback as it was believed that Maxfield had spoken to police about some of Kilpatrick’s dealings
Kilpatrick and Hill were arrested on the 1st August 1953 for the murder of Maxfield. Hill had confessed that with Kilpatrick, they had beaten Maxfield to death with an iron bar and then dismembered his body and thrown it in the Barwon. Information from Hill led to the divers recovering the torso after a 5 hour search of the river. The torso had been covered in an oat sack, wrapped in wire and weighed down with stone weights so that it was roughly 100lbs. The head and hands were later discovered in kerosene tins in the river. Both men were charged with murder and sent to trial in October 1953. Both Kilpatrick and Hill were sentenced to death. This was later commuted to life imprisonment with no remissions for Kilpatrick and 20 years with no remissions for Hill. Kilpatrick served his sentence in Pentridge, where he was a notorious figure because of his crime. He later became an ideal prisoner and was released on parole in 1976 after serving 23 years. Hill served his 20 years in the Geelong Gaol working in the prison library and other jobs.

 

In December 2003 the Gold Coast Bulletin reported that a middle-aged man was walking along a track in the Burleigh Heads National Park when he fell into a mating hole of a brush turkey who then approached the man and tried to bury him in a mating ritual. The man spent some time in the hole until a passer-by saw him and alerted emergency services. Several fire crews attended the bizarre scene to pull the man from the hole who was left shaken but suffering only minor injuries. Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger Sergio Norambuena said December was the mating season for brush turkeys when they build a massive mound or hole that can end up three metres wide and several metres high to attract the opposite sex and the mound is later used to incubate the eggs. A week ago signs warning people of wild turkeys were erected in the national park.

 

On This Day….. 1st Aug 2014

On the 1st August 2014, 28-year-old Vikramjit Singh escaped from the Dhurringile prison in Victoria. Vikramjit who escaped at 6:40pm, was the seventh escapee in 11 months, concerned residents are urging authorities to reconsider prison security. Vikramjit was described as 177cm tall, medium build, dark hair, brown eyes, has a beard and will be wearing prison greens. Vikramjit is not of danger to the public and authorities urged anybody who knows of Vikramjit’s location.

 

On This Day ……. 1st of August 1930

John Taylor had been found battered to death on the floor of his Fitzroy shop on the corner of Argyle and Fitzroy Streets at 6am on the 7th of June 1930. It was believed that Taylor had been killed shortly after closing time on Friday, when the thief entered the shop, killed Taylor and left with a large sum of money. A post mortem revealed that Taylor, and 80 year old man, suffered a broken jaw, 4 broken ribs, an injury to his throat as well as various bruises and lacerations. Arthur Skerritt was arrested on Friday the 13th of June, 1930. He was arrested as he had goods that had been brought at Taylor’s shop and it was also alleged that some of Taylor’s property was discovered in the house where Skerritt lived. Much was made in the newspapers of the fact that Skerritt was a coloured man. Evidence presented at the inquest stated that Skerritt was drunk and had left home with nothing but had returned with a sugar bag full of goods and a quantity of coppers and a sovereign. The accused lived a few doors down from Taylor’s shop. Skerritt was heard to remark that he must of done it as he was drinking. The trial for murder took place in July and on this day in 1930, Skerritt was found guilty of wilful murder and sentenced to death. An appeal was lodged but was dismissed. The Government of the day stepped in as the Labour party was opposed to capital punishment. Skerritt’s life sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for the term of his natural life without benefit of regulation. Skerritt was originally incarcerated at Pentridge prison but was transferred to Geelong Gaol at some stage. Pleas for his release because of his age began in 1946 and were still going in 1949. Authorities described him as crafty and unscrupulous and saw no reason to release him, fearing that he would continue to steal and would end up back in prison. Skerritt died of cardiac failure in 1953 still incarcerated in the Geelong Gaol.

 

Certainly per European history shows Tasmanian Tigers-Zebra Wolfs (Thylacine) roamed large parts of main land Australia. There is plenty of evidence in fossil remains and Aboriginal cave art. But is it possible they still lived in Victoria as little as 100 years ago. Interesting idea when the last known Thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo on the 7th of September 1936, and Thylacine’s were declared extinct by international standards in 1986. However there are many accounts of wolf-lions-tiger like animals killing live stock through Gippsland, North East and central Victoria and as far as Tantanoola in South Australia. Below is an account of animal killed by a farmer on the 29th June 1916 at Mirboo North, South Gippsland, Victoria.

The sheep-killing animal that was found poisoned in Mr J. Gilfedder’s paddock, close to the Mirboo North township, Victoria recently, does not appear to be either a dingo or a fox. It was two or three times as large as either of those animals. It had the legs, paws and nails of a dog, and the snout and tail of a fox or a dingo. Its mode of killing sheep was to worry their rumps and pull away some of the entrails. Residents who saw-it say that it was a cross between a dingo or a fox and a dog. To ascertain if possible what the animal was, Mr. Gilfedder intends sending the skull, claws and tail to the Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who is recognised as an authority on animals. Some people at Yinnar who had sheep destroyed in the way described poisoned the carcases; but the animal would not take the bait. A successful way to destroy any other of such breed as turn up among sheep is to skin rabbits and put them in a fire, and thus destroy the smell of the hands, and use one as a trail, and cut others, and lay the baits along the trail, without touching them with the hands. This was the method Mr Gilfedder used. Since the death of the animal we have not heard of any sheep being worried around the district. Mr Gilfedder received the following letter from Mr D. Gibson, of the National Bank, Maffra: – “Dear Sir, – I saw in the paper some few days ago that you had poisoned an animal, somewhat like a dingo, but larger, that had been destroying your sheep. I enclose a rough sketch of the Tasmanian zebra wolf, in the hope that it may enable you to identify it with that animal. I and others have seen them up in the mountains; but the fact of their being indigenous to Victoria has never been established by their capture. Probably they are the animal vaguely called the ‘Tantanoola tiger’ and the ‘Morwell lion,’ which has been seen in so many localities. The zebra wolf is a marsupial, coloured from French-grey to russet brown, according to the season, and striped with dark brown to black on back and tail, and less conspicuously on the legs. The coat is short and close, build very strong, pads especially large for its size, powerful hindquarters, progresses either at a trot or by long bounds, height at shoulder 2ft. 6in. to 3ft. I have seen one in captivity which stood on its hind legs over 5ft. high. They are night prowlers, and carry their young in a pouch. They use hollow logs, etc., to camp in, and cover long distances, rarely coming out in the daylight. This is the reason why they have escaped capture so long. The skin or cleaned skeleton would be eagerly purchased by either Melbourne Zoo (D. Le Soeuf), or the National Gallery Museum. Probably they would fetch £20 or so; so they are worth saving.”