ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1942


Arnold Porter (15) was committed for trial on a charge or murder at Koroit today after the Deputy Coroner had inquired into the death, of John Murphy, of Koroit, on October 25. Murphy’s body was found in a paddock. He had been wounded by pea rifle.



ON THIS DAY – October 8, 1942

George Frederick Wellington Maes, 35, a member of the CMF, pleaded not guilty in the Bendigo Supreme Court yesterday to a charge of having murdered his wife, Olive Freda Maes, 20, and their 10-month-old son, at Boort, on October 8.

Maes, in evidence, said his wife used to nag him. She often had  said that if she did not have the baby she would go to dances while he was on duty. On October 8 he saw her hitting the child about the head with a waddy. He tried to stop her, but she ran out of the room. He followed and she swung the waddy at him. He picked up a pea rifle and, without taking aim, pulled the trigger. She fell and he dragged her into another room. When he saw her eyes move he reloaded the rifle and fired another shot into her forehead as he did not want her to be in agony. He did not kill the child.

The case was adjourned.



ON THIS DAY – June 30, 1942

Threat To Kill At Party .

An amazing story of how a threat to kill a woman was made during the progress of a euchre party was related at the inquest today into the death of Aaron Cephas Gardiner (64) and daughter-in-law, Dorothy Adelaide Gardiner who lived at Oakleigh.

The threat was alleged to have been made a week before Gardiner was found shot dead in an air raid shelter at the rear of his home at Oakleigh. Alice Mary Gardiner, widow of the dead man said Dorothy was a half caste Chinese, and both her husband and Dorothy were argumentative.

Mrs Gardiner said her husband had been drinking on the afternoon of the party, but she did not take him seriously when he threatened to ‘kill a Chinaman, and It won’t be a man; it will be a woman.’

Leslie Francis Emlle Gardiner, a son of the dead man, and the husband of Dorothy, told of returning home on June 30. and in the darkness kicking something, and on turning on the light, finding the body of his wife in a pool of blood. Gardiner’s body was found in the air raid shelter with his head between his knees and a pea rifle near his body.

The Coroner, Mr. Wade, found that Dorothy Gardiner died of effects of head injuries feloniously inflicted by Aaron Gardiner with an unknown weapon, and that Aaron Gardiner died from the effects of a gunshot wound wilfully self inflicted.

On This Day – June 13, 1936
Alexander Memery, aged 46, was shot dead in the kitchen of his farmhouse at Bookaar, near Camperdown, Victoria, on Saturday morning.
It was stated that James Alexander Memery, aged 19, son of the dead man, returned from rabbiting during a family quarrel, and that a pea-rifle he was carrying was discharged accidentally.  Mrs Memery summoned the Camperdown police, who took James Memery to the Camperdown police station, and, after questioning him, permitted him
to return to his home.
On Saturday night the police again visited the farm, and later James Memery was charged with murder.

On this day …….. 21st of April 1934

Chance has played many curious tricks, but never before one such as was played at about 10 o’clock last night, with Madame Prince and her monkey Tarzan the principals in an amazing episode at Wirth’s Circus. Towards the end of their act Tarzan, the monkey shoots, from a distance of 15 feet at a balloon attached to a steel target. Last night the animal’s mistress arranged the pea-rifle, which was loaded with a .22 short cartridge, and the patrons waited expectantly for the report. It came, but according to the police, the bullet completely missed the target and bored its way through a one-Inch plank, then through the canvas tent, to lodge in the back of Charles Alfred Broomhall, 23, of Albion-street, Sydney, an employee of Wirth’s Circus. Luckily, the velocity of the flying pellet had considerably decreased when it struck Broomhall, and the only in jury sustained was a flesh wound. Broomhall was treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital and allowed to leave. He was X-rayed, for the purpose of locating the pellet.


ON THIS DAY – December 21, 1941


On a charge of having murdered his wife, Beatrice May Stroud, aged 16, Albert Edward Stroud, 20, was committed for trial by the City Coroner. The mother of the dead girl said that the couple had been married for seven months. The police said that the husband made a statement that he had an argument with his wife. He had a pea-rifle, and his wife seized hold of it. He wrenched it away and stepped back. The rifle was discharged. He had forgotten that the rifle was loaded.


ON THIS DAY – December 20, 1940


Found guilty of the murder of Alfred Thomas Atherton, 35, hotel useful, on the 20th of December, at Ferntree Gully, Morris Ansell, 19, metal polisher, of Victoria Street, Carlton, was sentenced to death by Mr. Justice Martin in the Criminal Court. The Jury added a strong recommendation for mercy because of Ansell’s youth. In the course of evidence at the trial, Mrs. Atherton, wife of the murdered man, said that she had been living apart from her husband. About eight months ago she met Ansell in a house in South Yarra, and two months later went to live at Ferntree Gully, and later at Victoria Street, Carlton. She had hoped to obtain a divorce so that she could marry Ansell. According to police evidence, Ansell confessed that he shot Atherton. An sell had said that he had arranged to go with Atherton to Ferntree Gully, where he Informed Atherton that Mrs. Atherton was working. Before leaving home he had placed his pea rifle under his coat. When walking along the road to Boronia, Atherton had said to him (An sell): ‘I suppose my wife is running about with other men. If I thought that she was in trouble I would kill her.’ Ansell told the police: ‘I said to myself I will kill you first.’ Ansell then said that ‘Atherton turned his head and I shot him.’