On this day …….. 6th of August 1906

A lunatic by the name Thomas Parker Ewing, whilst being transferred from Dr. Mailer’s home in Ballarat to the Ararat Asylum, escaped on the 6th of August 1906, from his attendant at the railway station. Ewig was found the next morning hiding in a railway carriage in the yards. On making his escape Ewing travelled as far as Warrenheip, and when darkness set in he returned to Ballarat and pawned his watch. It is said that this was the second occasion on which he had escaped from custody, Ewing was taken back to Ararat Asylum.

 

On This Day ……. 27th of July 1907

Escaped Lunatic – James Ryan

A lunatic named James Ryan escaped from the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum some time on Friday. Ryan was found guilty of endeavouring to derail a train on the Broadmeadows line some time ago, and on the medical evidence he was ordered detention during the pleasure of His Excellency the governor. He is a criminal lunatic, and was convicted for prior offences. When he escaped he was dressed in asylum clothes, and wore a black felt hat and blucher boots. Ryan is 47 years of age, 5ft. 10in. in height, stoutly built, and is full faced, with black hair and moustache turning grey. Some teeth are missing in the upper jaw.

 

On This Day ….. 26th of June 1868

Mary Ann Hall was transferred from Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne on the 28th of June 1868 to the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum. On the 26th of July 1876, Hall escaped and was never found. Hall was believed to have crossed the boarder into the colony of New South Wales.

 

On This Day ….. 26th of July 1898

A woman named Ellis, who has been an inmate of the Lunatic Asylum at Sunbury, Victoria, for a few years, escaped from the institution, and walked to her former residence, situated between Campbell’s Creek and Fryerstown. She was found there by the police, and sent back to Sunbury.

 

Ellen Harper was transferred from Yarra Bend on the 15th of November 1867. On the 25th of July 1869, Harper escaped from Mayday Hills Lunatic in Beechworth and was recaptured on the 6th of August. Harper was released on bond the following day.

 

On This Day …… 24th July 1858

James Benson, a lunatic who escaped from Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum on the morning of the 24th of July. Description: 30 years of age, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, dark complexion, large moustache, a tailor, stupid looking, an Englishman. Wore a deep blue pea jacket, cord trousers, and wide awake hat, marked with the Asylum brand.

 

10TH ESCAPE FAILS

On This Day ….. 24th July 1954

A 16 year old “Houdini” managed to escape from Aradale Mental Hospital, on 24th of July 1954, by scaling a 20ft wall. This was his 10th time he has escaped from mental and other institutions in the last three years. The boy, who travelled 128 miles, was caught by police on the 28th of July, after a wild chase around Williamstown. When police went to the youth’s home in Fifth ave, Williamstown, just after 7am, he leapt from a side window and bolted toward the rear of the house. A hectic 30 minute chase followed, with the youth scrambling over fences, through barbed wire, a poultry pen, and dozens of other obstacles. Eventually at 8:30am Constables M. Keetley and E. Hancock trapped him in a backyard of a house after he had tried desperately to open a locked door. Exhausted, bleeding and covered in grime, he was taken to the City Watch house were he was charged with house breaking and stealing, he was taken to Pentridge Gaol.

 

Ararat Lunatic Asylum
Jane Ford was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of March 1873. Ford escaped and was arrested near Talbot on the 23rd of July 1876. The escapee was a woman by the named Jane Fordo, who for the last three years had been living in the asylum at Ararat. On escaping Ford made her way to Talbot the town in which she was from. The evening before her arrest she was seen by some residents of Evansford and recognised, but she managed, however, to evade capture. Ford was ultimately found about two miles from Evansford in a hollow log, from which she had stuck her head out. Ford was at once taken to the Wallace’s Junction Hotel, as she was suffering hypothermia. Ford told police that the reason she escaped was because she was overworked. During the 10 days of her wanderings she had only eaten on three occasions and had slept in a shed two nights with only pieces of bark to cover her. On the other nights Ford slept in the bush or on the road without shelter. During the day of her capture she had seen the police searching for her, and hid herself in the log to avoid being sent back to the asylum, however because she was so cold and hungry she allowed the police to find her. The only clothing Ford was wearing was an old skirt, a threadbare shawl, and a tattered hat. She was returned to the Asylum. Ford would go on to escape two more times, the seconds on the 15th of November 1876 and recaptured on November the 17th and again returned, 22nd of march 1882 and recaptured on march the 25th.

 

A blind man in a Brisbane Asylum never missed an inmates funeral in the 30 years he was there between 1890 and 1920. He took his stand 200 yards from the morgue and when the hearse passed he, fell in behind for the mile walk to the cemetery. After listening to the service, he made his way back to his room. He attended more than 3500 funerals.

 

On This Day…….13th of July 1925

Recent escapes from the Mont Park Hospital for the Insane form the subject of a report which the Chief Secretary (Dr. Argyle) has received from the Inspector General of the Insane (Dr. W. E. Jones). Dr. Jones says that vigilance is exercised to prevent the escape of patients from asylums, but that the humane modern system of caring for the mentally afflicted makes it easier for the less dangerous inmates to gain their freedom.

On This Day……12th of July 1934

George Fuller alias Fairburn (41), an invalid convict, who escaped from the Gresswell sanatorium at Mont Park was arrested at Albury 12th of July 1934. Though in the advanced stage of T.B., and given only a few weeks to live by the doctor, he travelled much of the way to Albury on foot and was pitifully weak from exposure and lack of food. He staggered, into the local hospital so weak and ill that he could scarcely stand up. He asked to see the police. He is now in the local hospital in a critical condition.

On This Day…….11th of July 1896

A lunatic named Geo. Stone, 50 years of age, escaped from the Windermere asylum in Ballarat, on the 11th of a July 1896, and entering a tram car in the botanic gardens where he rode into the city. Constable Patterson apprehended Stone, who kicked the policeman and tore the skin off his face with his fingernails of the constable before Stone was mastered and placed in a strait jacket. Stone was a farmer at Windermere, and was committed to the asylum only a few days ago. Prior to his confinement in the asylum he located his parents, both of whom are nearly 80 years of age, and lopped the tails off several horses on the farm.