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On This Day ……. 2nd of July 1924

 

Six prisoners were escorted from the metropolis to Geelong by the midday train on this day in 1924. They were taken to the Geelong gaol, where the remainder of their respective sentences will probably be served. Four were from the Melbourne gaol, one from Pentridge, while the other is an indeterminate sentence prisoner. There are now six indeterminate prisoners incarcerated in the Geelong gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 27th of July 1913

At the Birregurra Police Court on this day in 1913, a young man named Roy Thomlinson, arrested in Geolong, was charged with larceny of £10 from H. A Brady. a local hotelkeeper. He pleaded guilty, and the bench, sentenced him to two months’ imprisonment at Geelong gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY …… April 19, 2010

Barwon Prison

On 19 April 2010, Williams died from head injury while incarcerated at Barwon Prison. He was struck with part of an exercise bike by another inmate, Matthew Charles Johnson, who was convicted for the murder, and sentenced in December 2011 to 32 years’ jail. Williams’ funeral was held on 30 April 2010 at St Therese’s Catholic Church in Essendon. In January 2011 it was reported that Williams’ resting place consisted of a nameless plot, without a headstone.

 

On this day …….. 20th of December 1942

A convict who escaped from Beechworth goal three years ago was arrested in Sydney on this day in 1942. He was charged with breaking and entering and theft of £1000 worth of property. The man, William McEntee, aged 51, escaped from Beechworth prison by scaling a high wall. An old hand at goal-breaking, Beechworth was McEntee’s third prison escape. He had previously got away from Yatala prison, South Australia, and from Ararat goal. After the second escape he was at liberty for nearly 12 months. Regarded as desperate and declared an habitual criminal nine years ago, McEntee disappeared from Beechworth prison just before the midday muster one day in February, 1940. Stealing a bicycle in a street 150 yards from the gaol, he rode out of the township in his prison clothes, and vanished. After hiding for two days and two nights in the scrub to evade capture by armed warders and police, McEntee got away from the district. Last trace of him until his arrest in Sydney was the discovery on a roadside at Tarrawingee of the bicycle he had stolen.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 20th December 1877

A man named Edward Heyward was charged at the Geelong police court on this day in 1877 with attempting to stab another man named George Shipway, on the 17th of November. The prisoner was remanded to the Geelong Gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 12th December 1903

The old South Geelong lockup, which, in the early days of Geelong was used as a gaol, is to be demolished in accordance with the instructions of the Commissioner of Public Works. Its lengthy service as a penal establishment has rendered it quite unfit for habitation, while the free stone with which it was built shows signs of wear. The building contains numerous detention cells, and a condemned cell constructed in a maimer that precluded any chance of escape, while the ventilation arrangements are rather inadequate.

 

On This Day – December 3, 1929

Patrick Lynch a prisoner who was being taken from Pentridge to the Geelong Gaol on the 3rd of December 1929, jumped from the window of a fast moving express train near Manor. He suffered a compound fracture of both legs, and injuries to the face and hands. The crew of another train found, him alongside, the line. Lynch was taken to Melbourne Gaol hospital.

 

On This Day – November 30, 1900

A prisoner, named Percy Ramage who is serving along sentence for violently assaulting a policeman in Melbourne, is not making his lot any more pleasant by repeated breaches of gaol discipline. He has been frequently dealt with in the local gaol and elsewhere by the visiting justices, he was sentenced to six months in irons by the police magistrates for successive exhibitions of violence, during which he damaged Government property, and for creating disturbances. The sentence is concurrent with that which he is undergoing.

ON THIS DAY……31st October 1889

Fredrick “Josh” Clark and Christopher “Christie” Farrell were both ex convicts transported from England to Van Demons Land. Once both men had received their tickets of leave they sailed to Victoria, arriving at the beginning of the Victorian gold rush. Both men found there way back to the lives thy once lived in England, preying upon those returning from the gold fields. By 1889 both Clark and Farrell were in there early to late 60’s and were serving 14 year sentences in Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne. Farrell was charged with the attempted murder of a police man during his arrest at Fitzroy in 1887 and Clark for being a systematic malingering. Due to the prisoners age and behaviour both prisoners were transferring Geelong Gaol. About midnight on Monday a warder named Cain commenced his shift at the Geelong gaol. At two minutes to 2am he hard a knocking, from cell 13 occupied by a prisoner named Frederick “Josh”Clarke. Cain unlocked the trap in the door and Clarke asked for a drink of water. The warder brought the water, and was handing it through the hole when he was seised from behind by Farrell. Clarke then came from his cell and seized Cain who saw that the other man was a prisoner named Christopher “Christie”Farrell who was holding a large stone in his hand. He threatened to beat out the warder’s brains if he uttered a single word. Clark had cleverly made a skeleton key, by melting coin into the shape of the key. Clark worked as a blacksmith in the confinements of the gaol. Once the warder opened the trapdoor and walked of to get a glass of water for the prisoner. Clark then simply reached his arm though the opening in the door and let him escape. Once free he quickly unlocked Farrell’s cell before returning to his own and waiting for Cain to return. The men gagged Cain and tied his hands and feet, and took off his boots and carried him to the cook’s house, and tied him to the table, and left him there. He was found just before 6am by the chief warder, who raised the alarm. The two prisoners had meanwhile scaled the gaol wall. Immediately the alarm was given the police who scoured the country in all directions without finding any trace of the escaped prisoners. Farrell was found first on the 16th of October and Clark four days later, both men were heading north to NSW. Warder Cain was confined to his bed, owing to the injuries he received. Four His throat was greatly Swollen, and he is only able to speak with difficulty. An inquiry into the escape was held on 31st October, 1889 which saw the governor of the gaol reprimanded and the warders on duty demoted – this despite Farrell’s saying that the warder Cain had fought like a lion and should not be punished for is failure to prevent their escape. In 1923 a large brass key which proved to be a master key from the era of Clark and Farrell’s escape was found when grounds west of the Geelong Supreme Court were being cleared. Its rough-cut appearance suggested that it was an illegal copy and it was widely believed that this was the key used by Clark and Farrell in their escape. A version of events described in the gaol display has an elderly Clark claiming that he threw the key into the grounds on his way to court however, it seems highly unlikely that having been found in possession of such a key, Clark would have been allowed to keep it. A report in the paper a few days after his arrest indicated that he was found with a skeleton key on his person which had been cut from a penny. At the time the authorities were quick to point out that the make of the key was not such as could have been made in the gaol. Clark died in Geelong Gaol on 4th August, 1904, at the age of 104. Clark had arrived in Tasmania in 1847 at the age of 18, he would go on to send a total of 85 years and 7 months in gaol, over half is life behind bars. Farrell also died in the gaol at the age of 70 on 1st September, 1895. Farrell was also transported to Tasmania, arriving in 1848 and by 1851 he was in Victoria” and joined up with the “Suffolk Gang” as the convict poet. The gang would held up several mail coaches and miners alike. Farrell spent 48 years in prisoned in Australia and 46 of those years were in iron changes.

 

ON THIS DAY……30th October 1922

Senior Warder Rowe, of the Geelong Gaol, who has been acting officer in charge for some time, he was promoted to the charge of the gaol at Sale. Senior Warder Rowe had a splendid record of service in Geelong.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 29th October 1870

The Geelong Gaol, which for some twelve months was used as an industrial school for girls, was re-converted to the purposes for which it was built, and the children in the school, were removed to Sunbury.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 28th October 1849

On the 28th of October 1849 a prisoner named James MacDonald, undergoing a sentence of eighteen months’ imprisonment for robbery at Geelong, attempted to escape from the gaol. He managed to scale the top of the northern wall by climbing the gallows and then let himself down by means of a rope made of his clothes and blanket, but the sentry private Bryan Kennedy greeted him at the bottom, and marched him at the point of the bayonet to the gaol gate, when he was delivered over to the warden. MacDonald was sentenced to seven days solitary confinement on bread and water.