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On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

April 23rd, 1894

A reduction In the staff at the Geelong Gaol has been effected through the adoption by the Penal department of new
arrangements in regard to the disposal of female prisoners of the vagrant class, for whom special accommodation has been provided at Pentridge.

All the enfeebled women will be transferred to the Coburg penitentiary, only female prisoners of vigorous type being retained at the local gaol in order to do the laundry work furnished for then by the military authorities at Queenscliff. Hitherto between 60 and 70 women have been quartered at the local gaol, but the accomodations in the female division will be limited to that required far 30 inmates.

This alteration of the prison arrangements will enable Mr Cody to make provision for the reception of an additional number of male prisoners, chiefly of the invalid class, for whom relaxed discipline is necessary.

The female division will in future be under the control of Mrs Purbrick, who succeeds Miss Fleming, the latter having now transferred to the position of sub-matron at Pentridge while Miss Kilmartin, another of the female warders at the local gaol has received orders to proceed to the Melbourne Gaol. She will leave with a number of the female prisoners under her charge at the end of the week.  Miss Fleming, who has been in charge of the female arrangements at the local gaol for several years past, has been more than a quarter of a century in the service, but her promotion to the position of sub matron only carries with it increased responsibility without a corresponding
advance of remuneration.

The average number of prisoners in the men’s division will in future be about 170, and they will be under the control of nine warders, the proportion being much less than that in other gaols throughout the colony.  If the suggestion by the governor was carried out for the construction of radiating yards for the exercise of a number of separate treatment prisoners under the supervision of one warder, instead of the three posted in the turrets as at present the services of the staff could be utilised to much better advantage.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 20th October 1902

Leo Peter Whelan, a gunner from Queenscliff, was charged, at the Geelong Police court on this day in 1902, with being illegally on the premises of the Royal Hotel on 12th of October. Whelan was sentenced to nine months imprisonment in Geelong gaol.

 

On This Day – September 1, 1938

Detectives now believe Gunner John Hulston (18), who disappeared on September 1, and whose body was found in the sea yesterday, was murdered.

Medical examination of the body revealed that death was due to a revolver shot wound in the chest. The bullet has been recovered, and will be subjected to expert examination.

Dr. C. H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, was able to trace the course or the bullet through the chest.

The body was in an excellent state of preservation, and a bandolier belt and scabbard were all intact.

On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

ON THIS DAY – February 8, 1899

An extraordinary tragedy took place at the barracks of the Victorian Permanent Artillery, Queenscliff, on the night of the 8th of February, when Gunner Alexander Pollock, was tried, before the Chief Justice, for the wilful murder of his comrade, Thomas Caleb Briner. Pollock, who has served in the Imperial army, is a man of fine physique. The startling story of the crime is already familiar. It will be remembered that on the night in question several of the men were chatting together while in the act of undressing. Pollock had just returned to barracks, and had had several drinks, and some mild chaffing was indulged in at his expense. He thereupon went to a rack, and, taking down his carbine, said to Gunner Hamilton, ‘ Now, you dare me to shoot?’ To which the latter. replied, ‘No, Poll, old man, I know you would.’ At this juncture Briner, referring to Pollock, said, ‘Oh, he’s only a big biuff.’ Pollock then faced about, and said, ‘Do you dare me ?’ Briner’s reply was, ”Yes, I do,’ and so saying he stood up. Thus challenged Pollock put a cartridge into the breech ot his weapon, raised it to his shoulder, took aim, and fired, inflicting a fatal wound. He then threw down his carbine, observing, ‘There, that settles it.’ The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. Prisoner addressed the Court, stating that he had never intended to hurt poor Briner. They had been on good terms, and his nerves had been unsettled by some brandy which he had taken in the canteen after he had returned to barracks with his comrades. He must have pulled the trigger without knowing it. The Chief Justice told the prisoner that he was a very fortunate man, for the jury had taken a very merciful view of the case. Pollock was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labor.

 

 

On This Day – 4th February 1927

Charles Benning, was charged on this day in 1927, of having stolen a suit of clothes, valued at £9, the property of Alfred Bryant, a farmer, residing near Queenscliff. Benning was sentenced to the Geelong gaol.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 20th October 1902

Leo Peter Whelan, a gunner from Queenscliff, was charged, at the Geelong Police court on this day in 1902, with being illegally on the premises of the Royal Hotel on 12th of October. Whelan was sentenced to nine months imprisonment in Geelong gaol.

 

On This Day – September 1, 1938

Detectives now believe Gunner John Hulston (18), who disappeared on September 1, and whose body was found in the sea yesterday, was murdered.

Medical examination of the body revealed that death was due to a revolver shot wound in the chest. The bullet has been recovered, and will be subjected to expert examination.

Dr. C. H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, was able to trace the course or the bullet through the chest.

The body was in an excellent state of preservation, and a bandolier belt and scabbard were all intact.

On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

ON THIS DAY – February 8, 1899

An extraordinary tragedy took place at the barracks of the Victorian Permanent Artillery, Queenscliff, on the night of the 8th of February, when Gunner Alexander Pollock, was tried, before the Chief Justice, for the wilful murder of his comrade, Thomas Caleb Briner. Pollock, who has served in the Imperial army, is a man of fine physique. The startling story of the crime is already familiar. It will be remembered that on the night in question several of the men were chatting together while in the act of undressing. Pollock had just returned to barracks, and had had several drinks, and some mild chaffing was indulged in at his expense. He thereupon went to a rack, and, taking down his carbine, said to Gunner Hamilton, ‘ Now, you dare me to shoot?’ To which the latter. replied, ‘No, Poll, old man, I know you would.’ At this juncture Briner, referring to Pollock, said, ‘Oh, he’s only a big biuff.’ Pollock then faced about, and said, ‘Do you dare me ?’ Briner’s reply was, ”Yes, I do,’ and so saying he stood up. Thus challenged Pollock put a cartridge into the breech ot his weapon, raised it to his shoulder, took aim, and fired, inflicting a fatal wound. He then threw down his carbine, observing, ‘There, that settles it.’ The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. Prisoner addressed the Court, stating that he had never intended to hurt poor Briner. They had been on good terms, and his nerves had been unsettled by some brandy which he had taken in the canteen after he had returned to barracks with his comrades. He must have pulled the trigger without knowing it. The Chief Justice told the prisoner that he was a very fortunate man, for the jury had taken a very merciful view of the case. Pollock was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labor.

 

 

On This Day – 4th February 1927

Charles Benning, was charged on this day in 1927, of having stolen a suit of clothes, valued at £9, the property of Alfred Bryant, a farmer, residing near Queenscliff. Benning was sentenced to the Geelong gaol.