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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…… 30th September 1865

An escape was made by two prisoners from the gaol, named William Henry Thompson and Thomas Reynolds. The former was undergoing a sentence of three years for stealing in the Queen’s Head Hotel, and had been in confinement about fourteen months ; the latter was also undergoing a similar sentence for assaulting an old man and had served half his time. It appears that the prisoners acted as cooks, and at a quarter to six o’clock were let into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. The kitchen is situated in the new wing of the building, and is the only part of it which is not surrounded by the high wall. The windows are protected by strong iron bars, about six inches apart, and which were supposed to be imbedded into the bluestone some two and a half inches. One inch, however, was all that the bar, which was wrenched by the aid of two pieces of wood, had been so fixed. At a few minutes before six one of the warders on his way to the gaol noticed three men standing near to the Pivot Hotel, about a hundred yards from the gaol, fancying that one of them was like Reynolds, he challenged him, saying, “Is that you, Reynolds?” The words were no sooner uttered than the three men separated, the stranger making tracks towards town, and Thompson making a bolt towards Chilwell. The warder, whose name was Kerley, let them go, but made sure of Reynolds, and at a quarter past six that worthy was comfortably ‘installed in his cell. Another of the warders coming across the flat noticed Thompson, and identified him as a prisoner by the brand on his trousers. He immediately started in pursuit, and Thompson, who ran like a deer, headed towards Chilwell, brandishing a knife before him. The chase lasted for a mile and a half, while in turning to attract the attention of the police the warder missed sight of Thompson, who had cleared a fence in gallant style, and disappeared in a Mr. Dobson’s garden, near the Cremorne Hotel. Here the scent was lost, but there is little doubt that Thompson, who is a most desperate character, will soon be safely lodged in the gaol, as active search was being made for him yesterday. When last seen he had a small bundle under his arm, supposed to contain a change of clothes. Of the third man nothing, we believe, has been seen. His part in the business, it is supposed, was that of outside assistant.” Reynolds received an additional 12 months while Thompson was recaptured in Adelaide.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 30th September 1865

An escape was made by two prisoners from the gaol, named William Henry Thompson and Thomas Reynolds. The former was undergoing a sentence of three years for stealing in the Queen’s Head Hotel, and had been in confinement about fourteen months ; the latter was also undergoing a similar sentence for assaulting an old man and had served half his time. It appears that the prisoners acted as cooks, and at a quarter to six o’clock were let into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. The kitchen is situated in the new wing of the building, and is the only part of it which is not surrounded by the high wall. The windows are protected by strong iron bars, about six inches apart, and which were supposed to be imbedded into the bluestone some two and a half inches. One inch, however, was all that the bar, which was wrenched by the aid of two pieces of wood, had been so fixed. At a few minutes before six one of the warders on his way to the gaol noticed three men standing near to the Pivot Hotel, about a hundred yards from the gaol, fancying that one of them was like Reynolds, he challenged him, saying, “Is that you, Reynolds?” The words were no sooner uttered than the three men separated, the stranger making tracks towards town, and Thompson making a bolt towards Chilwell. The warder, whose name was Kerley, let them go, but made sure of Reynolds, and at a quarter past six that worthy was comfortably ‘installed in his cell. Another of the warders coming across the flat noticed Thompson, and identified him as a prisoner by the brand on his trousers. He immediately started in pursuit, and Thompson, who ran like a deer, headed towards Chilwell, brandishing a knife before him. The chase lasted for a mile and a half, while in turning to attract the attention of the police the warder missed sight of Thompson, who had cleared a fence in gallant style, and disappeared in a Mr. Dobson’s garden, near the Cremorne Hotel. Here the scent was lost, but there is little doubt that Thompson, who is a most desperate character, will soon be safely lodged in the gaol, as active search was being made for him yesterday. When last seen he had a small bundle under his arm, supposed to contain a change of clothes. Of the third man nothing, we believe, has been seen. His part in the business, it is supposed, was that of outside assistant.” Reynolds received an additional 12 months while Thompson was recaptured in Adelaide.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 29th September 1906

The eccentric conduct of a Chinaman named Hey Soon, a month ago led lo his being sent to the Geelong gaol, and he became so much enamoured of that establishment that when his term of imprisonment expired on this day on 1906 he refused to leave. He would not even part with his prison clothes, and when an attempt was made to dispossess him of tho garments he became, so excited that it was not deemed advisable then to release him. He was formally charged with offensive behaviour at the police court, and remanded for one week.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 28th September 1904

Mary Bowman, the female swindler whose career in the Geelong district was short but lively, appeared at the police court before the police magistrate Mr. Patterson and Messrs. Pardey and Douglass, J’s.P. The prisoner, whose original name appears to be Mary Jean Sinclair, was charged with having, by false representations, obtained the sum of £1 from Mrs. Augustina Ran. of Germantown, and being a rogue and a vagabond. There were several other charges against her. and after a discussion with the P.M. as to the penalty she was liable to, it was decided by the police to rely on the one charge. The defendant, who presented a sullen attitude in the box, and would, not face the court, pleaded guilty. Augustina Ran gave evidence that she had a farm of four acres at Germantown. Accused came to her place on 19th September, and said she wanted to purchase a farm. Witness said the price was £325, and told her to do business with her son. Accused remained at the house that night and said she had a groat big station behind Colac, and gave her a cheque for £70 as part of the”purchase money. She said she had not enough money to pay a small account, and asked the witness for the loan of £1. promising to return two pounds for the one. “Witness said to her, “I don’t want two; I only want my own back.” Accused left next morning, and she did not get her pound back, and found the cheque valueless. Sergeant Hore, admitted that the accused, showing that she had been 17 years in gaol out, over the last 25 years in the country since she arrived from Glasgow. See was sent to Geelong Gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 27th September 1852

An interesting attempt of an escape was made by three prisoners on the 24th of September 1852. Three prisoners had by some means obtained possession of a
small saw and a jemmy bar, which they used to cut away part of the roof, half an inch steel plate. The prisoners had also stolen fat from the kitchen which they carefully filled up the hole, remarkably matching the colour of the fat to the ceiling. Before the prisoners could escape Warden Brodie noticed the fat on the ceiling and on examining realised there was a large hole. Warden Brodie succeeded in getting the jemmy bar, but could not find the saw. Immediately on finding this out, the warden applied to the Visiting Justice of the Peace for an order to put the men in irons, which was granted.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 26th September 1903

Rathor than submit to an order made by the police magistrate, requiring him to pay a small sum weekly towards the State pension drawn by his mother, a, wood merchant, named T. J. Powell, doing a good business in Autumn-street, Geelong West, was arrested, and taken to gaol on this day in 1903 to undergo a two week’s imprisonment, being the alternative to the non-payment of the money.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 25th September 1902

A former resident of Colac, James Reit, died at the Geelong Gaol on this day. He at one time occupied a good position, but fortune ceased to smile on him, and he came to an untimely end.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 24th September 1945

Nine soldiers who were under sentence in the Geelong Gaol escaped on the 24th of September 1945 at 2.50pm. The men were serving sentences from six months to two years. According to the army authorities, the prisoners were in a mess room and, in a sudden rush they placed a long form against the wall and in quick succession, leaped over the parapet. The escape was seen by two sentries stationed on the wall, but by the time they had descended the men had disappeared. Army regulations do not permit the sentries to fire on prisoners to prevent them from escaping. The local police quickly organised a search but the men could not be found. It is known that four of the men were alleged to have accepted a meal from a farmer and then stolen some money. When the farmer said something the men handed back the money and left. All nine men were found within the Geelong area and taken back to the Gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 24th September 1900

The woman, Mary Thompson, alias Stripling, who escaped front the local gaol was imprisoned for one mouth for the offence.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 24th September 1917

Henry Palmer, aged 30 years, was a lime burner in the Lara district, supplying quicklime for the city of Melbourne as well as around Geelong. Palmer was sent
before the Geelong Police Court on the 24th of September 1917 on a charge of having committed an offence against his step-daughter. He was remanded for a week, and bail was allowed at the sum of £100. Palmer was sentenced to 3 years hard labourer at the Geelong Gaol. The young woman concerned was remanded on a charge of vagrancy.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd September 1861

A man named James Egan made his escape from the Geelong Gaol at about 8 o’clock on this night in 1861, when the sentry was asleep on his post. The prisoner James Egan, who made his escape from the Geelong Gaol on Friday night last, was retaken in Geelong and was sent back to prison.