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ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY……. 12th April 1952

On this day in 1952, a woman was killed and seven people were seriously injured when two passenger trains collided head on at Moriac, near Geelong, at 8:15pm. Both engines were derailed, and the first carriage of the Geelong-bound train was telescoped by the coal tender. The dead woman was in this carriage. The trains involved were the 3.25pm passenger train from Port Fairy to Geelong, and the 5.50pm train from Melbourne to Warrnambool, which passed through Geelong.

ONE SHUNTING

The Warrnambool-bound train had stopped at Moriac and was shunting into a siding to allow the other train to pass along the single track when the crash occurred. The impact hurled the Warrnambool-bound train backwards and the two engines, badly wrecked, coming to rest 30ft apart. One engine hung at an acute angle on its side and the crew were badly scalded by escaping steam. The crash was heard several miles away and hundreds of people rushed to the scene. Two ambulances were called from Geelong, and ambulance men joined railwaymen and volunteers in freeing the injured from badly damaged carriages.

MANY SHOCKED

Many other passengers were slightly hurt or badly affected by shock. They were treated on the spot. Mr. T. Mather, newsagent and postmaster at Moriac, said the noise of the crash startled him and he was on the scene in a matter of minutes. “There was great confusion,” he said. “People on the trains were calling out for help. Many feared a fire would break out. “However, we soon got relief gangs together and set to work to free those trapped in the wrecked carriage. One woman was dead, and a man seemed to be dead or dying.” Special buses were chartered by the Railway Department to convey the passengers to their destinations. The line was blocked, but repair gangs were soon at work clearing the debris.

ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY……. 12th April 1952

On this day in 1952, a woman was killed and seven people were seriously injured when two passenger trains collided head on at Moriac, near Geelong, at 8:15pm. Both engines were derailed, and the first carriage of the Geelong-bound train was telescoped by the coal tender. The dead woman was in this carriage. The trains involved were the 3.25pm passenger train from Port Fairy to Geelong, and the 5.50pm train from Melbourne to Warrnambool, which passed through Geelong.

ONE SHUNTING

The Warrnambool-bound train had stopped at Moriac and was shunting into a siding to allow the other train to pass along the single track when the crash occurred. The impact hurled the Warrnambool-bound train backwards and the two engines, badly wrecked, coming to rest 30ft apart. One engine hung at an acute angle on its side and the crew were badly scalded by escaping steam. The crash was heard several miles away and hundreds of people rushed to the scene. Two ambulances were called from Geelong, and ambulance men joined railwaymen and volunteers in freeing the injured from badly damaged carriages.

MANY SHOCKED

Many other passengers were slightly hurt or badly affected by shock. They were treated on the spot. Mr. T. Mather, newsagent and postmaster at Moriac, said the noise of the crash startled him and he was on the scene in a matter of minutes. “There was great confusion,” he said. “People on the trains were calling out for help. Many feared a fire would break out. “However, we soon got relief gangs together and set to work to free those trapped in the wrecked carriage. One woman was dead, and a man seemed to be dead or dying.” Special buses were chartered by the Railway Department to convey the passengers to their destinations. The line was blocked, but repair gangs were soon at work clearing the debris.

On this day …….. 6th of January 1912

Australia’s earliest recorded attempts at powered flight took place in December 1909. Within a year, numerous aircraft were being imported into Australia, while some aeroplanes were being constructed locally. As trials were conducted on the new flying machines, some proved less successful than others, with mild accidents on take-off occurring in several cases. It was inevitable that Australia would see its first official aeroplane crash. William Ewart “Billy” Hart was a Parramatta dentist who learnt to fly in 1911 and became the first man to hold an Australia aviator’s licence. His No. 1 Certificate of the newly-created Aerial League of Australia, was granted on 5 December 1911. Hart imported a British aircraft for 1300 pounds, equivalent to around $140,000 today, maintaining it in a tent at Penrith. Shortly after its purchase, strong winds overturned the tent and the plane, reducing the aircraft to a wreck. Hart salvaged what he could and built a biplane from the parts. On this day in January 1912, Hart was demonstrating his aircraft, navigating by the train line between Mt Druitt and Rooty Hill. Aboard was military officer Major Rosenthal as a passenger. At a height of 600 feet, or about 180m, Hart hit turbulent winds and began to lose altitude. As it dropped, the biplane hit a signal post, then came to rest upside down beside the railway line in what is recorded as Australia’s first aeroplane crash. Although both Hart and his passenger were unhurt, Hart was inclined to blame the Major’s weight for the crash. His words were reported in the Nepean Times as follows: “It really was a trial run and when I say that Major Rosenthal weighed 17 stone (about 107kg) the test my machine was put to will be understood.”

 

ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY……. 12th April 1952

On this day in 1952, a woman was killed and seven people were seriously injured when two passenger trains collided head on at Moriac, near Geelong, at 8:15pm. Both engines were derailed, and the first carriage of the Geelong-bound train was telescoped by the coal tender. The dead woman was in this carriage. The trains involved were the 3.25pm passenger train from Port Fairy to Geelong, and the 5.50pm train from Melbourne to Warrnambool, which passed through Geelong.

ONE SHUNTING

The Warrnambool-bound train had stopped at Moriac and was shunting into a siding to allow the other train to pass along the single track when the crash occurred. The impact hurled the Warrnambool-bound train backwards and the two engines, badly wrecked, coming to rest 30ft apart. One engine hung at an acute angle on its side and the crew were badly scalded by escaping steam. The crash was heard several miles away and hundreds of people rushed to the scene. Two ambulances were called from Geelong, and ambulance men joined railwaymen and volunteers in freeing the injured from badly damaged carriages.

MANY SHOCKED

Many other passengers were slightly hurt or badly affected by shock. They were treated on the spot. Mr. T. Mather, newsagent and postmaster at Moriac, said the noise of the crash startled him and he was on the scene in a matter of minutes. “There was great confusion,” he said. “People on the trains were calling out for help. Many feared a fire would break out. “However, we soon got relief gangs together and set to work to free those trapped in the wrecked carriage. One woman was dead, and a man seemed to be dead or dying.” Special buses were chartered by the Railway Department to convey the passengers to their destinations. The line was blocked, but repair gangs were soon at work clearing the debris.

On the morning of July 20, 1952, the wheels of a Mosman tram locked. Despite the best efforts of the driver, the tram skidded more than a kilometre and a half downhill – at an estimated speed of over 70km/h – until it crashed through the blocks at the end of the rails, tore up almost 10 metres of road, and shot off the embankment, hurtling 18 metres through the air, onto rocks, and then into the harbour. The driver and conductor both suffered head injuries when they abandoned the tram during its descent. The two passengers left on board were also injured.

 

On this day …….. 6th of January 1912

Australia’s earliest recorded attempts at powered flight took place in December 1909. Within a year, numerous aircraft were being imported into Australia, while some aeroplanes were being constructed locally. As trials were conducted on the new flying machines, some proved less successful than others, with mild accidents on take-off occurring in several cases. It was inevitable that Australia would see its first official aeroplane crash. William Ewart “Billy” Hart was a Parramatta dentist who learnt to fly in 1911 and became the first man to hold an Australia aviator’s licence. His No. 1 Certificate of the newly-created Aerial League of Australia, was granted on 5 December 1911. Hart imported a British aircraft for 1300 pounds, equivalent to around $140,000 today, maintaining it in a tent at Penrith. Shortly after its purchase, strong winds overturned the tent and the plane, reducing the aircraft to a wreck. Hart salvaged what he could and built a biplane from the parts. On this day in January 1912, Hart was demonstrating his aircraft, navigating by the train line between Mt Druitt and Rooty Hill. Aboard was military officer Major Rosenthal as a passenger. At a height of 600 feet, or about 180m, Hart hit turbulent winds and began to lose altitude. As it dropped, the biplane hit a signal post, then came to rest upside down beside the railway line in what is recorded as Australia’s first aeroplane crash. Although both Hart and his passenger were unhurt, Hart was inclined to blame the Major’s weight for the crash. His words were reported in the Nepean Times as follows: “It really was a trial run and when I say that Major Rosenthal weighed 17 stone (about 107kg) the test my machine was put to will be understood.”

 

Billy Hughes 7th Prime Minister of Australia did not have time for a honeymoon, so he took his new wife on a long drive. Their car crashed where the Sydney-Melbourne road crossed the Sydney-Melbourne railway north of Albury, leading to the crossing being named after Billy Hughes; it was later replaced by the Billy Hughes Bridge.