On this day ………… 28th February 1871

A shocking accident involving Mr. Hoyle, the coach driver, who died as the result of his injuries. At 4am on the morning of the 28th, the coach was preparing to star from Baddaginnie, North East Victoria, when the horses suddenly took fright and bolted. The driver Tommy Hoyle, in his effort to rein in the team, was dislodge from the box and was crushed under the wheels of the coach. Four passengers where thrown out in the accident, none were seriously injured. His funeral in Beechworth was well attended. The accident caused renewed agitation for the fitting to coaches of a safety bolt which could be withdrawn by the driver in an emergency, allowing the horses to become detached from the body of the coach so that it could be brought safety to a stop under brakes.



On this day ………… 17th February 1921

On this day in 1921, while playing cricket in Melbourne, Billy Hughes 7th Prime Minister of Australia succumbed to an accident. Hughes who was an avid cricket play, while making a run, stumbled and fell on his back. An ambulance was call, but the Prime Minister insisted on being taken home. Prime Ministerial work was placed on hold as Hughes was confined to bed.



On this day ………… 15th February 1929

Mr Robinson had a close shave when he fell overboard from a yacht off Smoky Cape, NSW on this day 1929. Another crew member saw him go over, but by the time the yacht was brought round, Robertson was almost a kilometre astern. The occupants of the yacht could not see him, but Robertson was saved by a flock of seagulls which sighted him and hovered over his head, giving the yacht an indication of his location. Robertson was in the water for more than half an hour before he was fished out.



On This Day – February 10, 1964

HMAS Melbourne never fired a shot in anger during her career, having only peripheral, non-combat roles.

On the evening of 10 February 1964, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Voyager were performing manoeuvres off Jervis Bay. Melbournes aircraft were performing flying exercises, and Voyager was tasked as plane guard, positioned behind and to port (left) of the carrier in order to rescue the crew of any ditching or crashing aircraft. After a series of turns effected to reverse the courses of the two ships, Voyager ended up ahead and to starboard (right) of the carrier. The destroyer was ordered to resume plane guard position, which would involve turning to starboard, away from the carrier, then looping around behind. Instead, Voyager began a starboard turn, but then came around to port. The bridge crew on Melbourne assumed that Voyager was zig-zagging to let the carrier overtake her, and would then assume her correct position. Senior personnel on Voyager were not paying attention to the manoeuvre. At 20:55, officers on both ships began desperate avoiding manoeuvres, but by then a collision was inevitable.

Melbourne struck Voyager at 20:56, with the carrier’s bow striking just behind the bridge and cutting the destroyer in two. Of the 314 aboard Voyager, 82 were killed, most of whom died immediately or were trapped in the heavy bow section, which sank after 10 minutes. The rest of the ship sank after midnight. Melbourne, although damaged, suffered no fatalities, and was able to sail to Sydney the next morning with most of the Voyager survivors aboard – the rest had been taken to the naval base HMAS Creswell.

A number of incidents, along with several minor collisions, shipboard accidents, and aircraft losses, led to the reputation that HMAS Melbourne was jinxed.

On this day ………… 7th February 1914

A shocking fatality occurred on a train from Brighton Beach to Melbourne, on this day in 1914. Alice Morris aged 11 years, was returning from the a day at the beach, when the accident happened. Between Richmond and Melbourne, the child put her hand out of the window, which was struck by an open door of a passing train. Her arm was severed at the wrist and was flung into the next compartment striking an occupant in the face. The child fell back in a fainting position. Once at Flinders Street Station, the child was rushed to hospital, but died before arriving.



On this day ………… 6th February 1924

James Lakie of Baxter Lime Company at Curdies River, Victoria, had an extraordinary escape from death on this day in 1924. When he was stoking a kiln, a billet of wood he was throwing into the furnace caught in his trousers, and he was dragged down into the furnace four metres below. With the flames about hi. Burning his clothing and licking up as high as his face, Lakie scrambled to a place where the wood was a little damp and burning less fiercely. He shouted for help and workmates came to his rescue. They reached down with a long iron poker. Lakie grasped it, and five men lifted him out of the furnace to safety, taking care to keep him away from the red hot brick sides of the kilmore. When he reached safety, Lakie collapsed. He was lucky not to have been roasted alive.



On This Day – February 4, 1875

An interesting train accident happened on the 4th of February 1875, which almost took the life of Victoria’s most famous judge, Sir Redmond Barry. Barry known as the hanging Judge and the man who sentenced bushranger Ned Kelly to be executed, was travelling by train from Toowoomba to Warwick in Queensland. The train, which consisted of a saloon car, two composite carriages, a break van, two horse boxes, two sheep vans, and an open wagon was speeding along, about three miles past the Cambooya station when it was struck by a blast of wind of hurricane force. A storm of wind, rain and hail was raging, and such was its strength the wind the whole train was lifted of the line. The saloon carriage in which Sir Redmond Barry was travelling, next to the engine, and the composite carriage, which followed it, turned over on their side, and the next carriage smashed into the end of the saloon, smashing the woodwork and projecting a number of formidable splinters where a moment before the distinguished traveller had been seated. Sir Redmond had but a moment before the accident risen to close the windows against the increasing storm, and by a happy chance reseated himself at the opposite end of the carriage. The carriage next in order settled at an angle of about sixty five degrees, while the remaining wagons, came to a stop in all sorts of positions. Amazingly no one was serious injury. This poses the question if Sir Redmond Barry had of been killed in this accident, would Ned Kelly have be sentenced to be executed?


On this day …….. 20th of January 1888

A strange memorial is set into the footpath of Adelaide st, Blayney, NSW. It reads: “This stone was erected in memory of Elizabeth Emily Bromfield, who was struck by lightning on this spit in her 17th year, January 20, 1888. Jacob Russet, Mayor”. Elizabeth was walking down the street about a hundred meters from her home and died instantly.



On this day …….. 19th of January 1950

Edna Porter narrowly escaped death on this day in 1950, when her runaway car crashed through a stone wall in the Sydney suburb of Balmoral and landed in a tree 3m below, just before the edge of a 30m drop. Mrs Poter had been driving down a steep hill when her brakes failed. Her only injury was a cut to her lip.



On this day …….. 8th of January 1938

Robert Auswild sustained a fractured skull when a car he was travelling in with three friends crashed into a tree on the Main Street of Yanco, NSW, in the early hours of the 8th of January 1938. After the accident, it was discovered that Auswild’s name was caved into the tree.


On this day …….. 5th of January 1974

The Public Health Commission will hear a report this month on safety at Melbourne’s Luna Park after a number of accidents there last year. In one accident, an 11 year-old girl broke her legs and nearly lost an arm on Christmas Eve. She was found submerged in the River Caves, a boat train, and rescued by a 16-year-old boy. There were at lest three other minor accidents in the River Caves, the last on December 27, involving a 4-year-old boy. These and other accidents, involving different facilities were discovered during an investigation into the accident on Christmas Eve, when Lisa Schmid, 11, was trapped in an elevator machinery after leaving her boat. She and her sister, Monica, 10. began to crawl along a narrow ledge beside the boat channel when their boat struck, but it moved again and Lisa was knocked into the water. Her arm became entangled in the machinery. She is still in the Alfred Hospital, where a spokes man said today she was in a satisfactory condition after three operations on her arm.


On this day …….. 11th of January 1928

On 11th of January 1928, Mr R. long of Hester, Western Australia, was grooming a horse when it kicked him in the face, knocking him out. Long had been blind in his left eye owing to the depression of a piece of bone below his eye, caused by an injury received in World War I. After the accident, Long found that the blow had freed the bone that was causing his blindness and he could see again in his left eye.