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On this day …….. 18th of July 1931

Within a few days of his 101st birthday, Mr. Philip Thorley has died at Stanley, near Beechworth, in North East Victoria. He was born at Richmond, New South
Wales, on July the 18th, 1830. His descendants include great and great-great grandchildren, which number more than 150.

 

On this day …….. 5th of July 1858

Bang went the gun and down fell the wizard. The Yackandandah audience in North East Victoria, thought it was part of the act, but it wasn’t. Exact details of the incident were not clear, but the showman, magician, was evidently performing a trick involving a weapon, trying to catch a bullet in his teeth. A member of the audience disputed the trick, claiming the gun could not have been loaded. The wizard invited the doubter to watch the process of reloading, then to fire the gun. What a silly wizard. He dropped with a wounds his body, thankfully only to the fleshy part of his arm.

 

On this day …….. 4th of July 1889

Eugene Kneebone from Bowmans Forest in North East Victoria, was the big winner at the weight putting contest at East Melbourne Cricket Ground on this day in 1889. He won the three pound event, the fourteen pound, sixteen pound, and in the twenty eight pound event, he broke the world record by six inches.

 

On This Day…… 4th July 1857

The Buckland riot was an anti-Chinese race riot that occurred on 4 July 1857, in the goldfields of the Buckland Valley, North East Victoria, Australia, near present-day Porepunkah. At the time approximately 2000 Chinese and 700 European migrants were living in the Buckland area. Anti-Chinese sentiment was widespread during the Victorian gold rush. This resentment manifested on the 4th July 1857 when around 100 European rioters attacked Chinese settlements. The rioters had just left a public meeting at the Buckland Hotel where the riot ringleaders decided they would attempt to expel all the Chinese in the Buckland Valley. Contemporaneous newspaper reports claim that the riot was “led by Americans ‘inflamed by liquor'”. During the riot Chinese miners were beaten and robbed then driven across the Buckland River. At least three Chinese miners died reportedly of ill-health and entire encampments and a recently constructed Joss house were destroyed. Police arrested thirteen European accused rioters, however the empaneled juries acquitted all of major offences “amid the cheers of bystanders”. The verdicts of the juries were later criticized in the press. One of the police involved in the arrests was Robert O’Hara Burke, later of the infamous Burke and Wills expedition.

Aftermath – The Chinese miners were invited to return to the Buckland Valley, however only fifty did so. The Buckland Riot has been compared to the Eureka Stockade uprising in size and intensity, but is not remembered such. A commemorative monument was unveiled in July 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of the riot.

 

On this day …….. 27th of June 1880

Most of the law abiding element of Glenrowan’s population had been rounded up by Ned Kelly and his gang and held hostage in Ann Jones Inn. This was so the Kelly’s could de rail the train tacks and no warning of the trap towards the police and their special train coming from Melbourne. As the day wore n, and no police train appeared along the tracks, the tense atmosphere developed, and by late night, it appeared that there would be no train. The police train finally left Melbourne for Beechworth in North East Victoria, at 10pm, with police, horses and blacktrackers.

On this day …….. 27th of June 1880

Aaron Sherritt’s body still lay in a pool of blood on the floor of his hut in the Woolshed Valley near Beechworth, North East Victoria after being murdered by the Kelly Gang. Police in his hut affrayed that Ned Kelly and his gang were still outside waiting to ambush them. The idea behind killing Sherritt was for the police watch Aaron would ride into Beechworth raise alarm so a special train full of police would leave Melbourne for North East Victoria. However the police to scared to leave would wait over 12 hours before leaving Sherritt’s hut. The police train finally left Melbourne at 10pm.

On this day …….. 26th of June 1880

This day in 1880 was a Saturday, and would go down in Australian history as the last stand between the notorious Kelly Gang of North a East Victoria and the Victoria Police. Ned Kelly and Steve Hart rounded up the population of the small town of Glenrowan and locked them in Ann Jones Inn. Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly rode off towards Beechworth to find Aaron Sherritt once a friend now police informant. The Kelly would then force railway workers to derail a section of the Melbourne to Sydney train line. This was done after the last passenger train passed at 9pm, and there would be no more scheduled services until the following Monday.

On this day …….. 25th of June 1942

On this day in 1942, with an alert out for an escaped prisoner from the Murchison POW Camp, Mrs D. Oates of Wangaratta in North East Victoria, had a mysterious night caller at her Mackay St residence. A man appeared at the door, asking for a hot meal. His appearance was rough, and he wore a bandage on his arm. Mrs Oates called the police. They arrived and showed her a photo of Lieutenant Edgardo Simoni, the escapee. Given some hope by the householder that her caller could have been Simoni, the police conducted a manhunt, and finally arrested, not the POW escapee, but an ordinary tramp. He was charged with vagrancy.

On this day …….. 24th of June 1880

The blacktrackers brought from Queensland to find Ned Kelly and his Gang left Benalla, North East Victoria on this day in 1880 after being withdrawn from the hunt. The Queensland government considered they were not being given a fair chance. The operation had not been encouraged by officers in the Victorian Police (like Commissioner Standish), who thought it would be rather bad form if the outlaw could be captured by savages and not by European policeman.

 

On this day …….. 17th of June 1982

The driver and a fireman of a goods train were killed on this day in 1982, when their train ran into the rear of the Spirit of Progress in thick fog. Barnawartha in North East Victoria was shaken awake by the collision, which happened a 7:50am. The Spirit of Progress had been delayed by engine problems, and the guards had just time to jump for safety as the goods train hit. Had the goods train been fully laden it’s impact could have demolished a number of the passenger carriages of the Spirit. Barnawatha was wondering why so much drama happened in its neighbourhood. Less than a month before, there had been a head on collision between two semi trailers in which both drivers had been killed. A month after the rail tragedy, another semi trailer driver lost his life in an early morning crash at Black Dog Creek.

On this day …….. 5th of June 1870

The bushranger Harry Power was brought into Wangaratta, North East Victoria under arrest. Power had been caught a few hours earlier at his mountain hideout in the upper reach of the King Valley. He had been on the run for months, robbing coaches, holding up travellers, and providing an elusive target for police.

On this day …….. 4th of June 1891

Moyhu in North East Victoria, revived an unexpected visitor from old time Bushranger Harry Power on this day. Power had been released from Pentridge Gaol due to ill health and was ready for a career in show bussiness. An old convict ship had been refitted to show what life was like on one of the old prison hulk on Port Phillip Bay. Harry was the official greeter of guests and was billed as “a real bushranger”. Harry had returned to Moyhu, he said to search for a plant of gold he had made some years earlier. He disappeared from the district, and reappeared in Swan Hill, where he died latter that year. Harry is buried in the Swan Hill cemetery.