On this day …….. 21st of January 1939

A cricket match was played between Bendigo and Eaglehawk on this day in 1939, and was remembered for a remarkable catch. When Bendigo player drove a ball low, an Eaglehawk fielder made an attempt to catch it. Instead, the ball struck him on the toe of his boot and rebounded 18 metres to the wicketkeeper, who snapped it up, so dismissing the batsman.



On this day …….. 18th of January 1954

A prisoner serving a four-year, sentence for armed robbery escaped from the Bendigo Gaol early this evening. He was Ronald Edward John Dunn (24), of Cowper St., Glebe, N.S.W. Dunn was working in the vegetable plot, and was reported missing soon after 7 p.m. He was a member of the “Bent Trey Gang” who terrorised Heidelberg residents in five armed hold-ups in one day during February, 1952. Three other members of the gang received sentences of from five to nine years. Police believe Dunn scaled an outer galvanised iron wall, and got through a barbed wire fence.



On this Day – 15th January 1859

The cold-blooded murder of Joseph Hartwig was committed on the main road from Beechworth. Joseph also known as German Joe, was heading home with his bullock dray, after delivering a load of vegetables. Two witnesses, Hugh Watt and John Roberts stated that they heard a man cry out “Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!” about 100 yards from their tent. Upon investigation, they saw the flash of a gun, and heard noises like that of a man falling, accompanied by moans. On arriving at the scene they found Joseph lying on his back on a bullock dray, with a gun-shot wound in his throat. His pockets had been cut out and waistband torn open. A short while later two men named James Markly and Robert Porter were arrested near Albury on suspicion of the murder. Their appearance matched the description given of two men seen leaving the area on the Saturday night. With no firearms or money being found upon the men and the absence of any evidence against them they were set free. Thomas Ryan, who was present during the committal of the murder, made a voluntary statement to the authorities in Beechworth, stating that Hartwig was killed by Donald Williams and William Lusan for being an informer. Ryan also stated that he is well acquainted with the men who committed the murder, that he knew them at Goulburn, Bendigo, and the Ovens. During the trial, Donald Williams was proved by several witnesses to have been in Beechworth at the time of murder and that William Lusan was in Albury at the time. Both the prisoners were then discharged. Ryan, whose evidence had the men arrested, was then charged with the murder. He was well known as a notoriously bad character, and was implicated in several robberies. Whilst there was suspicion that the first two men arrested for the murder were the real murderers and Ryan their accomplice who delivered a false story in order to procure their liberation. Ryan was however found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to death, although he maintained his innocence. On being escorted to Melbourne for execution, Ryan tried to escape by assaulting the inspector in charge. Ryan had come out from England as a convict. After serving his time, Ryan returned to England but again returned to Victoria, where in 1857 he was imprisoned for Larceny. On the morning of the execution Ryan appeared to be quite unwell and had to be helped to the gallows by the wardens, and at the age of 57 on the 11th of April 1859 Ryan was executed, dying instantly.



On this day …….. 1st of January 1879

Great excitement was found in Bendigo on this day in 1879, when a pet tiger escaped from his private cage. The owner, allowed his children to play with it, so that familiarity with the animal led the children to sometimes leave the cage open. On see his opportunity, as the youthful tiger had finished his dinner, which consisted of raw beef, finding his cage door open, he came out for a sunning. Soon he jumped the garden fence; afterwards espying a goat, he cautiously followed, sprang at it, and quickly devoured the poor animal. The warm blood of the goat having given a filling to his appetite, he started for other plunder of a like sort. He went down View-street, and when at the reserve gate beside the survey office saw a perambulator with a baby in it going through the wicket. He sprang at the child, but the nurse girl instantly got the vehicle through the gate. The tiger, enraged at its quarry’s escapee, started growling most furiously. The strange sounds soon brought a lot of dog who barked and large gathering of people, one man with a gun shot and killed the tiger.

ON THIS DAY – December 30, 1877

A most horrible murder happened in Sandhurst on this day in 1877, by a man named James Windrum, in High-street. The victim was Maud Crutchly, aged 25. It appeared that the woman was married, but at times cohabiting with Windrum and his daughter when her husband was away from home. On this day in question Windrum went to the woman’s house. On finding his daughter there he sent her to buy beer, which he and the woman drank. When the girl returned he sent her home. It was believed by police that Windrum was become jealous of the woman’s living arrangements, and during an argument struck her on the head with an axe, and she, in trying to save her head, had her fingers cut off. The axe, however, inflicted so severe a wound that she died in two hours after being admitted into the Bendigo Hospital. The men, on being arrested, presented a frightful spectacle, his clothes being covered with blood. He did not deny his guilt, but said that he committed the deed. Windrum had been drinking heavily.


ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1930

Joseph Alexander Isaac Smith, aged 40 years, carrier, of Inglewood, was charged at the Bendigo Court with having, at Marong on Christmas Day, murdered Edward James McLeod, aged 68 years, a prospector, of Echuca. In asking for a remand, Senior Plain clothes Constable McMillan said that on Christmas morning McLeod was knocked down by a motor-truck and killed. The driver of the truck did not stop. Smith was remanded until January 23, bail being allowed in his own surety of £500 and two other sureties of £250 each.


On this day …….. 18th of December 1894

An escaped lunatic from the Ararat Asylum, William Price was recaptured at his parents house in Corop, a small town near Bendigo. The police who were on the lookout for Price, escorted him to the Bendigo Hospital. It is believed that after escaping from the Bendigo Hospital he walked home and appeared quite rational. On the 18th of December 1894 at his parents house, Price violently struck his sister over the head with an iron bar, killing her. On the 23rd of December Mr Smith, J.P held an inquest before a jury of five in relation to Miss Prices death, found that she died from paralysis brought on by shock to the nervous system. The body bore traces of smaller injuries, suggesting the deceased had probably been shoved about by her brother. Price was arrested for the murder of his sister, at the time of the arrest he was so violent that he had to be put in a straight jacket. On the 22nd December Price was sent to the Kew Asylum.

ON THIS DAY – December 17, 1932


Accused Man’s Insanity.

William John Daly, 54, was charged at the Bendigo Court with the murder of Emily Louisa Cherry, 48, at Woodvale, on this day in 1932. Counsel for the accused said that Daly was mentally unfit to plead. A jury found Daly not guilty on the grounds of insanity. Daly was ordered to be detained during the Governor’s pleasure.


ON THIS DAY  – 12th December 193112358420_221584898172646_523114970_n

Mrs. Louise Cherry was murdered in the kitchen of her home near Bendigo on the 12th of December 1931. She was in the kitchen preparing the midday meal with her 16 years-old girl, when a man entered carrying an axe, and offered her a bunch of flowers. She told him to go away, but he then attacked her with the axe and killed her and made his escape into the bush. A man named William Daly, whose clothes and an axe he was carrying were bloodstained, was arrested two miles away from the scene of the tragedy. He has been charged with murder.


12351275_219925951671874_1194072169_nWilliam Jackson, a young man, while under the influence of drink, entered a coachpainter’s shop at Bendigo on this night in 1895, and stripping painted himself from head to foot. He was found in the morning and taken to the hospital. The result might have been serious had longer delay taken place



At Bendigo to-day Edward Jas. Slattery, 20 was charged with having on November 15 shot at Wm. Knight at Axe Creek. with intent to murder him.

Wm. Knight, railway employee, said that accused was his son-in-law. He was one of a party that went fishing. They were all skylarking, and accused shot at witness’s hat, which had been thrown in the water. Afterwards they were pushing one another in the water and accused, who was frightened of the water as he could not swim, picked up a gun, and said, “I’ll shoot you, you -.” He then fired over witness’s head, and went back a few paces, and again said “I’ll shoot you” He fired, and a shot struck witness in the left side. Accused was under the influence of liquor. Witness believed the affair was a pure accident.