Bernard Alfred GIFFORD - "a remarkable criminal"
From the "PRESS" 20 December 1905
- A REMARKABLE CRIMINAL -
... Bernard Alfred Gifford, a burglar, who pleaed "Guilty" on Saturday to charges, sufficient, as the Chief Justice said, to aggregate sentences of 160 years (writes our Wellington correspondent) had a remarkable criminal career.
His finger print on a wine decanter led to his final undoing the other day. He is thirty-five years of age, a first-class plumber by trade, and has a wife and three children in Sydney.
Gifford is a well educated man of good address and refined manner, He is a total abstainer, and a smoker of cigars only. He dressed well, and he was the possessor of a well selected library. Peculiarly, although he trusted no man in his criminal work and worked entirely by himself, he had a weakness for the society of women, and had promised marriage, it is alleged, to at least two young girls of respectable parentage in Wellington.
Some years ago he was a fine athlete, and he has in his possesion medals for winning the one mile, three miles and five miles swimming championships of Sydney.
Stolen property in the form of jewellery and gold and silver articles that might be identified he never disoposed of, but melted.
He was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Bernard hanged himself on Christmas Eve 1910. He was 41
... The cases against Bernard Alfred Gifford of theft and breaking and entering and arson were called on in the Magistrate's Court this morning, before Dr. McArthur, S.M. Chief-Detective Broberg informed the court that accused had committed suicide in gaol, and the charges were withdrawn
... Some time during Saturday night or Sunday morning, Bernard Alfred Gifford, a prisoner at the Terrace gaol, Wellington, committed suicide by hanging. Gifford was awaiting trial on several charges of theft and one of house-breaking. Deceased who was between 40 and 50 years of age was last seen alive on Saturday night when he seemed in a normal condition but on Sunday morning he was found dead, having hung (sic) himself with one of the hammock ropes. At the inquest a verict was returned of suicide by hanging.
Deceased had no relatives in New Zealand but he is believed to leave a widow and two children in Australia
It is said he intended starting business in Wellington as a plumber and on one of his business cards he stated as a testimonial that he was for three years "plumber to the Victorian Government"
There was a ARTHUR ALFRED BERNARD GIFFORD who served for Australia in WWII
- photo below -
was he a son of (or otherwise related to) the above mentioned
Bernard Alfred Gifford
* Service Number - Private NX17051
* Unit 2nd Australian Imperial Force 17th Battalion (Infantry)
* Date of birth - 15 Feb 1901
* Place of birth - Sydney, New South Wales
* Place of enlistment - Paddington, New South Wales
* Next of Kin - Clara Gifford
* Arthur Gifford was KILLED IN ACTION on 11 April 1941 aged 40
* Place of death - Tobruk, Libya
* buried PLOT 6.N.10. at Tobruk War Cemetery
* in the bio & inquest of Bernard Gifford it says ... "Gifford was a married man 41 years of age, and his wife is believed to reside in Australia. He was born in Dunedin, but subsequently lived for a great many years in Australia before returning to the Dominion" (believed to have returned in 1903)
* an Alfred John GIFFORD (1880-1957) who married Edith Emily SATHERLEY (1881-1966) on 21 Feb 1900 in Spring Creek, Marlborough, had a son in 1901 they named Bernard Alfred Gifford. Bernard married Rosetta STOREY in 1925. He died in 1967 aged 67. Do not know if there was any connection
thank you to buschqld for her message:
Subject: Bernard Gifford
Date: 2012-03-12 19:54:32
I am a descendant of Arthur Alfred Bernard Gifford a very upstanding honorable family man who helped to bring up his younger siblings as his father died when they were young. It was a shock for my mother to see his photograph listed along side the name of Bernard gifford, We felt deeply for my Grand father in seeing this as he is buried in Libya and the photograph is a symbol of his sacrifice and the kindness and warmth shown in his face. We also would like to find out if they are related, as cousins (there are a few with the Gifford and Walker names that have a combination of ALFRED, ARTHUR and BERNARD. There is also the striking fact that my Grand fathers father was a plumber in Sydney and he and his wife had three children (my grand father was born in a plumbers shop). The difference is that his father was Alfred and he was born in Tasmania as far as we know as this is were the family lived.
Kind Regards (name supplied)
If you can help buschql with the connection (or any further info) please leave a message in the comment box below
Enlisting in May 1940, Private Gifford was killed in action at Tobruk, Libya
He was 40 years of age