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A coincidence attended the landing at Grave Island in 1910, of a boat party from the steamer Wakefield, who were searching for the missing steamer Waratah. ⁣

Grave Island takes its name from the fact that several sailors are buried there. The boat party was in charge of the chief officer Mr. Thomas Ryan, of Dublin. Ryan was the first to approach the graves, and the first tomb stone that confronted him bore his own name, rank, and birthplace.

It had been erected in 1868 in memory of Thomas Ryan, a native of Dublin, and chief officer of the Elizabeth Jacques.⁣

 

On this Day – 15th January 1859

The cold-blooded murder of Joseph Hartwig was committed on the main road from Beechworth. Joseph also known as German Joe, was heading home with his bullock dray, after delivering a load of vegetables. Two witnesses, Hugh Watt and John Roberts stated that they heard a man cry out “Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!” about 100 yards from their tent. Upon investigation, they saw the flash of a gun, and heard noises like that of a man falling, accompanied by moans. On arriving at the scene they found Joseph lying on his back on a bullock dray, with a gun-shot wound in his throat. His pockets had been cut out and waistband torn open. A short while later two men named James Markly and Robert Porter were arrested near Albury on suspicion of the murder. Their appearance matched the description given of two men seen leaving the area on the Saturday night. With no firearms or money being found upon the men and the absence of any evidence against them they were set free. Thomas Ryan, who was present during the committal of the murder, made a voluntary statement to the authorities in Beechworth, stating that Hartwig was killed by Donald Williams and William Lusan for being an informer. Ryan also stated that he is well acquainted with the men who committed the murder, that he knew them at Goulburn, Bendigo, and the Ovens. During the trial, Donald Williams was proved by several witnesses to have been in Beechworth at the time of murder and that William Lusan was in Albury at the time. Both the prisoners were then discharged. Ryan, whose evidence had the men arrested, was then charged with the murder. He was well known as a notoriously bad character, and was implicated in several robberies. Whilst there was suspicion that the first two men arrested for the murder were the real murderers and Ryan their accomplice who delivered a false story in order to procure their liberation. Ryan was however found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to death, although he maintained his innocence. On being escorted to Melbourne for execution, Ryan tried to escape by assaulting the inspector in charge. Ryan had come out from England as a convict. After serving his time, Ryan returned to England but again returned to Victoria, where in 1857 he was imprisoned for Larceny. On the morning of the execution Ryan appeared to be quite unwell and had to be helped to the gallows by the wardens, and at the age of 57 on the 11th of April 1859 Ryan was executed, dying instantly.

 

 

On this Day – 15th January 1859

The cold-blooded murder of Joseph Hartwig was committed on the main road from Beechworth. Joseph also known as German Joe, was heading home with his bullock dray, after delivering a load of vegetables. Two witnesses, Hugh Watt and John Roberts stated that they heard a man cry out “Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!” about 100 yards from their tent. Upon investigation, they saw the flash of a gun, and heard noises like that of a man falling, accompanied by moans. On arriving at the scene they found Joseph lying on his back on a bullock dray, with a gun-shot wound in his throat. His pockets had been cut out and waistband torn open. A short while later two men named James Markly and Robert Porter were arrested near Albury on suspicion of the murder. Their appearance matched the description given of two men seen leaving the area on the Saturday night. With no firearms or money being found upon the men and the absence of any evidence against them they were set free. Thomas Ryan, who was present during the committal of the murder, made a voluntary statement to the authorities in Beechworth, stating that Hartwig was killed by Donald Williams and William Lusan for being an informer. Ryan also stated that he is well acquainted with the men who committed the murder, that he knew them at Goulburn, Bendigo, and the Ovens. During the trial, Donald Williams was proved by several witnesses to have been in Beechworth at the time of murder and that William Lusan was in Albury at the time. Both the prisoners were then discharged. Ryan, whose evidence had the men arrested, was then charged with the murder. He was well known as a notoriously bad character, and was implicated in several robberies. Whilst there was suspicion that the first two men arrested for the murder were the real murderers and Ryan their accomplice who delivered a false story in order to procure their liberation. Ryan was however found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to death, although he maintained his innocence. On being escorted to Melbourne for execution, Ryan tried to escape by assaulting the inspector in charge. Ryan had come out from England as a convict. After serving his time, Ryan returned to England but again returned to Victoria, where in 1857 he was imprisoned for Larceny. On the morning of the execution Ryan appeared to be quite unwell and had to be helped to the gallows by the wardens, and at the age of 57 on the 11th of April 1859 Ryan was executed, dying instantly.