On this day …….. 1st of August 1896

One of the central figures involved on the police side during the Kelly Gang Outbreak of the 1870s retired on this day in 1896. Sgt. Arthur Loftus Maule Steele handed over control Wangaratta police to Sgt. Simcocks transferred from Chiltern.


On This Day ……. 30th of July 1929

An Aboriginal, aged 74 years, was on this day in 1929 completed two months imprisonment in Geelong Gaol, declined to leave when he was discharged. It was only after several hours of trouble that he was pressured to sign his property out and go. It was the first time he had been in gaol. He looked the picture of health, and, apparently enjoyed life in the gaol.


On This Day ……. 27th of July

Mr. G. Read Murphy, P.M., paid an official visit to the Geelong gaol on this day in 1911. Amongst the generally orderly lot of old and infirm prisoners there he found few complaints of any moment, and no cases, of insubordination were brought under his notice.


ON THIS DAY – December 11, 1930


On a charge of having murdered Dizedes Messerschmidt, 27, a Czecho Slovakian, of North Melbourne, on December 11. Jozef Thur, 33, a fellow countryman, was committed for trial today by the coroner. The police alleged that Thur made a statement to them, admitting having stabbed Messerschmidt.


ON THIS DAY…… 11th December 1900

Two young men, named William Carter and Walter Tyrrell, were charged at the Drysdale Police Court with entering the house of Mr. J. O. Judd to intent to commit a felony. The accused were seen by two neighbour entering Mr. Judd’s house whilst he was at church. They were secured and handed over to the police. Carter who had two previous convictions, was sent to gaol for 12 months, and Tyrrell, being it first offender, wan let off with imprisonment for one month.


ON THIS DAY – 11th December 1900

The trial of five young men named Jason O’Shannessey, Alfred Cropley, Moss Smith, John Jason Dowdle, and Henry Edward Victoria Johnson on a charge of wilfully murdering an old man named Jason Vance, commenced in the Criminal Court on the 11th of December 1900. It was alleged that in robbing Vance they used such violence as to cause the old man’s death.


On this day …….. 11th of December 1792

Due to poor health Arthur Phillip, first Governor of Australia return to England. He departed for his homeland on the 11th December 1792, sailing in the ship “Atlantic”. Phillip resigned his commission soon after arriving back in England, and died on 31 August 1814. Arthur Phillip was born in London on the 11th October 1738. He joined the Royal Navy when he was fifteen, and alternately earned a living as a navy officer and as a farmer. In October 1786, Phillip was appointed Governor-designate of the proposed British penal colony of New South Wales. He was a practical man who suggested that convicts with experience in farming, building and crafts be included in the First Fleet, but his proposal was rejected. The First Fleet left Portsmouth, England, on the 13th May 1787, and arrived in Botany Bay on the 18th of January 1788. Phillip immediately determined that there was insufficient fresh water, an absence of usable timber, poor quality soil and no safe harbour at Botany Bay. Thus the fleet was moved to Port Jackson, arriving on the 26th of January 1788.


ON THIS DAY – December 10, 1886

A tragedy occurred at South Melbourne to-day, when a married woman named Alice Wiggins, wife of a travelling cutler living in Coventry-place, murdered her infant son by cutting his throat. She then committed suicide by cutting her own throat. It appears Mrs. Wiggins had been confined several times in the Kew Lunatic Asylum.

On this day …….. 10th of December 1945

David John Linsing, 30 years, escaped from Mont Park Asylum on this day in 1945. His description was 5 feet; 6 inches high, fair hair and complexion. He was wearing, a, light brown coat, dark grey trousers, white canvas slippers, and was without a hat.

ON THIS DAY…… 10th December 1908

John Kane was sentenced to three months imprisonment at the Geelong gaol for larceny. Kane, who was 6ft. 3in. high, and weighs 15 stone, was suspected of stealing £2 from a mate, on a station near Camperdown, and after quietly submitting to arrest, he pleaded guilty, and was summarily dealt with by the Camperdown bench.

ON THIS DAY – December 10, 1912

Murder Charge.

The trial of Walter James Anderson for the murder of Fred Flint, who met his death by poisoning at Merriman’s Creek, on Tuesday, December 10, took place on Wednesday at the Sale Supreme Court, before Mr Justice Hood. Mr Leon prosecuted for the Crown and Mr G. A. Maxwell, instructed by Mr Rice, appeared for accused. The following jury was empanelled — M, Taylor (foreman), A. Hogg, W. ; Elaton, T. J. Austin, J. M. Murphy, H. M’Lean, S. R. Lyndon, L. L. Atkinson, A. H. Latham, Clive Lett, F. Andrews, and J. Buchan. The evidence given at the inquest, with which our readers are conversant, was repeated. The jury retired to consider their verdict at 5.27 p.m., and six hours later, not having agreed, they were called into court. His Honour said he understood there was no chance of the jury agreeing. The Foreman : Not the slightest, your honour. His Honour then discharged the jury, remarking that they had no doubt considered the evidence carefully. Prisoner was then remanded for trial at Bairnsdale on 15th April.

On this day …….. 10th of December 1937

Richard L Jackson, and Leslie George Atkins, who escaped from the prison reformatory garden on the 3rd of December, were recaptured at Yackandandah on this day in 1937, by Constable W. Knowles, and were both given an extra 18 months’ imprisonment by the Beechworth honorary Justices. Jackson, under the name of Beattie, a former indeterminate sentence prisoner, was released on probation on the 24th of September 1934. He was convicted in December, 1934, for having broken into a garage, and returned to the reformatory. Atkins was convicted on the 1st of May 1934, for having set fire to a house and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. This was altered to an indeterminate sentence, and he was sent to French Island. He escaped, but was recaptured, and was sent back to Beechworth. Constable Knowles said that when he arrested the men he said, “Boys, the game is up.” One of them replied, ” I suppose so. Just our bad luck.” They did not offer any resistance. The Bench commended Knowles’s action and recommended that it be brought under the notice of the authorities.