On This Day ……. 15th of July 1911

Five prisoners from Melbourne penal establishments were received on transfer to the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1911. They were all of the harmless class usually
sent to Geelong to recuperate.

 

On This Day ……. 14th of July 1924

Reginald Lewton was remanded at the City Court on this day in 1924, to appear at the Geelong Court of Petty Sessions on a charge of having, in March, broken and entered the tailor’s shop of Deakes and Bowden, Geelong, and stolen a quantity of suiting valued at £200.

 

On This Day ……. 13th of July 1922

An elderly man called James Frederick Baensch was sent to the Geelong Gaol for three years for assault. At the Geelong gaol there are some ten warders and about 70 prisoners.

 

John Curtin 14th Prime Minister of Australia, first job at the age of 14, was as a messenger boy for a magazine edited by artist Norman Lindsay. Curtin was also gaoled for three days in Pentridge Prison Melbourne in 1916 for defying government’s call-up order for military. Although holding such strong beliefs Curtin passed conscription for WWII.

On This Day ……. 12th of July 1913

Governor Dwyer’s death was reported in the Geelong Paper on this day in 1913.  Mr Peter Dwyer of the ‘Bungalow,’ passed away recently at the age of 86 years. Mr Dwyer was well known in the Penal and Military Departments, ana held many leading positions. He came to Australia in 1852, and shortly after arrival entered the public service as a clerk at Pentrldge stockade. From there he was appointed an officer’ in the Volunteer Service, and was Instrumental in forming’ and drilling the Geelong Rifles. Afterwards he was connected with the Collingwood Rifles. In 1862 he was appointed as the first governor of the gaol at Maryborough. After eight years he was transferred to Portland Gaol, where he Superintended the convict labor in the construction of the breakwater. From there he went to Geelong Gaol for eleven years. He then became governor of Melbourne Gaol, which position he held for four and a half years, during which he originated many reforms, and reorganised the staff. He was then specially appointed Governor of Pentridge, a position he held until his, retirement, twenty-one years ago. Since then he has lived in retirement. He had been a widower sixteen years, and one daughter is the sole survivor of the faimily.

 

On This Day ……. 10th of July 1923

Two prisoners who are undergoing sentences respectively of three months
and 18 months, were on this day in 1923, brought from Pentridge by Constable Slatter to the Geelong gaol, where they are to complete their terms.

 

On This Day ……. 9th of July 1925

A young man named James Walker, alias Juries Lewis Welsh, who had been recently discharged from gaol after having served a sentence of six months for vagrancy, made his reappearance before the magistrates at the Geelong Police court on this day in 1925, on four charges. He stated that he had taken a few glasses of liquor on the previous day, and did not know what happened until he woke up and found himself in the lockup. He was sent to gaol for 12 months on a charge of having solicited arms in the street; and was fined £15, and three months’ imprisonment, for assaulting Constable Bishop, resisting arrest, and using indecent language in a public place.

 

On this day …….. 9th of July 1894

A leading player from the Kelly drama of a decade earlier appeared in the Melbourne Court on this day in 1894. Alexander Fitzpatrick, the form police constable who had set off the Kelly outbreak in 1878, appeared to face charge of obtaining money by false pretences, by presenting a dud cheque to the licensee of the Scaracen’s Head Hotel in Bourke Street, Melbourne. He was committed for trail and subsequently sentenced to twelve months gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 9th of July 1921

Sir. Bradley, formerly Governor of the Castlemaine Gaol, has been appointed Governor of the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1921 in succession to Sir. K. J. Burke, who has been promoted to the Deputy Governorship of Pentridge.

 

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.

On This Day ……. 8th of July 1870

Considerable excitement was created in Geelong on this day in 1870 at about 1pm by the cry of “A man over the gaol wall!” The fugitive was said to have effected his escape by scaling the wall and made his way towards the Lagoon Bridge. Horsemen rushed frantically in the direction indicated by the police and preparations where made for a hunt. With great confusion with in the gaol as all prisoners were accounted for. On interviewing the witnesses it was ascertained that some children had seen a workman, who had been employed by the Governor to repair the roof of the lock up. The worker leap down on his lunch break, which raised the cry of “a man over tho wall.”

 

On this day …….. 7th of July 1835

William Buckley was born in Marton, Cheshire, England in 1780. He arrived in Australia as a convict, and was a member of the first party of Europeans to attempt the first settlement at Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. On 27 December 1803, soon after his arrival, he escaped from custody. Despite the friendliness of the local indigenous Wathaurong people, Buckley was concerned they might turn hostile, and initially chose to try to survive on his own. However, he soon realised his inability to fend for himself in the harsh bushland, and he sought out the Wathaurong again. On his way, he happened upon a spear stuck in the grave of a recently deceased member of the tribe; the Aborigines, finding him with the spear, believed he was their tribal member returned from the dead, and greeted his appearance with feasting and a corroboree. Buckley spent the next 32 years living among the indigenous Wathaurong people. Bridging the cultural gap between Europeans and Aborigines, he gained many valuable bush skills and was a crucial factor in reconciliation in those early days. To keep the peace between the two races, Buckley gave himself up to free settler John Batman’s landing party on 7 July 1835. Ultimately, Buckley was pardoned and became a respected civil servant. The Australian saying “Buckley’s chance” means to have a very slim chance, and was spawned by his amazing story of survival in the bush.