On this day …….. 29th of December 1911
John Harding escaped from Wangaratta gaol on this day in 1911. He was committed for trial at the local court on a charge of stealing £9 from Geo. Cover, and was locked up in gaol pending removal to Beechworth. In the afternoon he was missing. It was found that Harding had pulled some boards down, and securing a spike then picked out the mortar between the bricks, eventually pulling out enough to enable him. The police made a search immediately the escape was discovered. Harding travelled along the King River towards Oxley. He left the river this morning and passed through farms in the Laceby and Greta districts in the direction of Benalla, but the police were close on his tracks throughout, and Constable Ryan came upon him at midday lying asleep in a scrubby paddock near the Greta township. This paddock curiously enough is owned by the Police Department. Constable Ryan traced the man for several miles by his footprints, one of his boots having a rubber heel.