On This Day….. 9th July 1947
Two convicts break gaol, for only a brief hour of liberty was enjoyed by two prisoners who scaled the exercise yard wall of Ballarat Gaol and were later captured by a party of police near the Grant street bridge, over the Yarrawee Creek, about half a mile away. They were Eric Ivan Wilson, 26, of North Clunes, who was on remand on a car-stealing charge, and Ian Mitchell, 32, a prisoner serving a sentence imposed on him at Ballarat early in the year for house breaking and larceny. Following their getaway, the two men were seen running across White Flat into the bed of the Yarrawee Creek channel, and a local resident telephoned tile police. A search party organised by Inspector Abbot, Sergeant Tysoe, and Senior-Detective Hackwill, and including Senior-Constable McCahon, First-Constable Orr, and Constable Coghlin, was examining the area when the two fugitives bolted in different directions. A warning that shots would be fired was called as the men separated and both surrendered at gunpoint. A month ago Mervyn Clifford Richards, 25, of Nerrina, while awaiting trial on four robbery charges, escaped from the gaol by climbing the walls. Search for him so far has been unsuccessful.