janilye on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
Of Anthony Forster 1813-1897
little known outside of South Australia, he was never afraid to call a spade a spade which is certainly a trait I most admire in human beings.
As part of his varied career, he was newspaper editor of the South Australian Register, he wrote the following column entitled 'Military Settlers', declaring his stand against military settlement of New Zealand and Colonel Pitt's recruitment which Anthony Forster saw as little more than a scam.
Colonel Pitts mission to the Australian Colonies in quest of military settlers for New Zealand was first entered upon in May 1864.
The scheme was then introduced under the guise of enrolling volunteers to meet a serious emergency in New Zealand. Immediate assistance was required, additional troops were demanded, and, as the crisis was evidently a severe one, the call for volunteers was not unreasonable. But nothing was said at that time about family emigration The demand was for single men, and the exigencies of the war seemed to justify Colonel Pitt's demand upon the colonies. Even then, however, the Victorian Government saw that the volunteers were required for something more than to meet an emergency.
The Treasurer of the colony, in reply to a request from Sir George Grey that the Government would assist Colonel Pitt, recorded the opinion of the Ministry in a minute, which ran as follows : ?
"I observe that Colonel Pitt proposes not only to enlist militia for a temporary purpose, but also to secure permanent settlement. While desirous of aiding the New Zealand Government by allowing the removal of the troops, and indeed in every legitimate way, it appears to me that to encourage the settlement of Victorian colonists in another country is inconsistent with the policy of the Government and injurious to the advancement of the colony. I cannot, therefore, undertake that any extraordinary facilities will be rendered to Colonel Pitt in exporting military settlers to New Zealand. I trust I need not say that if there were insufficient troops in New Zealand to hold the Maories in check until reinforcements arrive, I should hold it to be the duty of the Government to aid the colonists of New Zealand at any sacrifice; but this does not appear to be the case."
Thus, as far back as August last, when this minute was made, it was held that the troops in New Zealand were quite numerous enough to protect the colonists. Since that time the forces have been largely increased, and battles have been fought which appear to have almost put an end to the war. What, then, can be the fresh cause which now induces Colonel Pitt to apply to South Australia for military settlers. If, in the height of the crisis, there was no emergency which justified such an appeal, there can certainly be none now.
It is not pretended that the British settlers are out numbered, that they are at the mercy of the natives, and that they want assistance to maintain their ground. The chances of war have been altogether in their favour, the Maories have been conquered, and what Colonel Pitt now wants is population to occupy the country. If this scheme of military settlement had been submitted at the time of its origin to the Britsh public, it would probably have induced many emigrants to turn their attention to New Zealand, especially if it had been shown that the Home Government approved of it.
But, what prospect is there that useful settlers who have already made themselves homes in these colonies will be inclined for the sake of a few acres of land to undertake the work of holding the conquered territory of New Zealand? Besides, there are onerous duties to be performed before the volunteer even sees the land which he is to possess.
Mr Dillon Bell, who dispatched the first detachment of military settlers from Victoria, said, in the course of his public address?"Remember that as soon as you land in New Zealand you are soldiers, as amenable to military laws as we who are already in arms there".
It ought to be known, too, that the land which is offered to military settlers does not belong to the Government except by right of conquest, and that the native owners, though scattered and disheartened, are still in possession. On this point Mr. Bell, whilst repudiating the idea that the New Zealand Government had no power to fulfil their contract with the volunteers, said :- "One thing, indeed, is quite true, that the Government has not at this moment in possession the land which is offered to you. The land is still in the hands of rebel natives, and we trust to you and your military comrades to hold by the force of your arms that territory which will be hereafter allotted to you by the Government".
He further explained that nothing short of this system of military colonization would protect the wives and children of peaceful settlers, and that the scheme had received the full approval of Sir George Grey.
These particulars will give our readers some idea of what military settlement in New Zealand will be. The volunteers are to hold land in the midst of a subjugated race of war like and revengeful disposition, who have themselves been driven from that land. The beginning of such a settlement will be the commencement of a series of outrages and retaliations which will last as long as the natives themselves exist. We may be certain that there will be more fighting than farming for many years to come, though in the end the scheme will be successful if the supply of settlers be large enough.
But South Australia is not the right place to seek for them. We have no large migratory population from which Colonel Pitt can hope to get suitable recruits. The class of men whom he wants are either already settled or can become so on easier terms than are offered in New Zealand. But the Auckland authorities are evidently of opinion that the agricultural element which they want in their proposed settlements is most likely to be obtained in South Australia, and so they send here after having tried the other colonies.
That the volunteers who were enrolled in Victoria included but a very small proportion of men suited to rural occupations will be seen from the following list of registered trades or callings in one of the com panies of the Auckland battalion :? 29 clerks, 1 custom-house officer, 3 surveyors, 1 seeds man, 4 farmers, 3 builders, 1 cabinetmaker, 14 carpenters, 2 shipwrights, 1 boatbuilder, 1 painter, 1 grainer, 1 mason, 2 bricklayers, 5 blacksmiths, 1 tinsmith, 2 bootmakers, 2 printers, 1 storeman, 1 storekeeper, 1 grocer, 1 chemist, 2 carters, 4 labourers, 2 teachers, 1 photographer, 1 keeper of lunatic asylum, 3 gentlemen, 8 servants, 1 ostler, and 2 without either trade or calling.
Such are the motley materials of the volunteer force which was enroled in Victoria. (see notes)
To convert these into good settlers for an agricultural country would be difficult, and probably this is the reason why Colonel Pitt has now been instructed to call for volunteers in South Australia. The fact that twenty-nine clerks can be found to enrol to every four farmers shows that the inducements to become agriculturists in a country where the land must first be wrested from the Maori, and then held at the point of the bayonet, are looked upon as of no great value by persons who are most competent to judge for themselves. To obtain a free grant of land, when the natives have been expelled, would be only a small compensation for the trouble and risk of having to keep possession of it afterwards.
The scheme, then, is not likely to meet with much favour in this colony, or to withdraw any portion of our settled population. At the same time, we have as much right to complain of the attempt of the New Zealand Government to import immigrants from South Australia as though that attempt were likely to be successful. As yet it does not appear that the imperial authorities know anything about the scheme, and we hardly think they would sanction it if they were aware of its true character.
The sole authority for the action of Colonel Pitt appears to be a notice published in the New Zealand Gazette ; and from the speeches of Mr. Dillon Bell we are led to infer that the idea of employing military settlers originated with the colonists of New Zealand, for he states that it has received 'the approval' of Sir George Grey.
Thus, the scheme apparently embodies the policy of the Local Government for permanently settling the country, and has little or nothing to do with the management of the war. Undoubtedly, the idea is a clever one, but the required settlers will not be found in South Australia.
The matter of Colonel Pitt's proceedings must be taken up by the Government and the colonists. We should be sorry to offer the slightest impediment to the emigration of colonists to assist the colonists of New Zealind in circumstances of pressing necessity, but we protest against the right of any person, supposed to be under the direction of imperial authority, to come to this colony and draft off by bribes of land persons brought here at considerable expense, for the mere purpose of saving New Zealand from the cost of maintaining a standing army.
If settlers are wanted for such a purpose they should be sought for in England, where they could readily be obtained at the expense of the New Zealand Government.
Colonel Pitt was sent to Victoria and given letters of credit by the New Zealand Government for around ? 70,000. However, the Melbourne banks would only advance ? 10,000 against the letters. Thomas Maxwell Henderson of Henderson and McFarlane was in Melbourne at the time on business and when he heard of Pitt's predicament. he went to the banks and offered them his firms guarantee of credit for another ? 15,000. He transfered the moneys so that Colonel Pitt's so called Victorian 'regiment' could sail for New Zealand aboard the company vessels. janilye
The Argus described the sight at Spencer-Street Station when the volunteers left as:
...crowded during the morning with people, desirous of seeing the volunteers start. The departure was rendered tolerably lively. Although the volunteers included may specimens of the genus 'loafer', they were altogether a fine body of men. It is a creditable fact that, ...not a single case of drunkenness was to be noticed.
In the book 'Australians leave for the Waikato War in NZ' (1863). By Scott Davidson he states;
"the man responsible for recruiting in the Australian Colonies, Lieutenant Colonel George Dean Pitt If the recruits lost their land, Pitt," assured, then so did he and that there would be no doubt of the outcome of this war. Pitt was in the colonies not just to recruit but to instill confidence in the land for service offer and by doing so, justify the Waikato War. The men wanted assurances, and received them, that the land would be there in three years time but the press and local governments of the Australian colonies had other concerns."
The photograph below shows Anthony Forster standing in the centre with journalist of the Register.
Anyone can be a genealogist!
These days it seems, to call yourself a genealogist, all you have to do is learn to spell 'genealogist', or find an old photo of your grandfather when you moved the fridge.
If you're thinking of hiring a 'genealogist' note that Certification and accreditation are not a requirement for genealogists who wish to accept clients.
Of course certification or accreditation does help you to know that these individuals have had their competence as genealogical researchers thoroughly tested by their peers and not just any individual who knows how to find the Mormons Family Search on the internet. Which is the first online site we all find during our first steps into trying to find where the rellies all hailed from.
Professional Genealogist: - This title generally applies to any genealogist with knowledge and experience of proper genealogical research methods and techniques, and who supports and upholds high standards in the field of genealogy. People who call themselves professional genealogists are usually either certified or very experienced, but this is not always the case. Anyone can use the title "professional," so be sure to inquire about their education, experience, and references.
Do you think that the genealogical profession is one that you will enjoy? Follow these simple steps to see if you have the necessary skill, experience, and expertise to offer your services to others on a fee basis.
Below I've added some tips by Kimberly Powell for those thinking they may be able to earn a bit of extra change in the field of genealogy.
How To Become a Professional Genealogist
By Kimberly Powell, source- About.com Guide
1. Read and follow the code of ethics of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
2.Consider your experience. A genealogist must be familiar with the various types of genealogical records available and know where to access them, as well as know how to analyze and interpret evidence. If you are unsure about your qualifications, enlist the services of a professional genealogist to critique your work and offer guidance.
3. Consider your writing skills. You must be knowledgeable of the proper format for source citations and have good grammar and writing skills in order to communicate your findings to clients. Practice your writing constantly. Once you have it polished, submit an article or case study for possible publication in a local genealogical society newsletter/journal or other genealogical publication.
4. Join the Association of Professional Genealogists. This society exists not only for practicing genealogists, but also for people who desire to further their skills.
5. Educate yourself by taking genealogy classes, attending seminars and workshops, and reading genealogical magazines, journals, and books. No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn.
6. Volunteer with a local genealogical society, library or group. This will keep you in touch with a network of fellow genealogists, and help to further develop your skills. If you have the time, start or join a transcribing or indexing project for additional practice at reading genealogical documents.
7. Make a list of your goals as a professional genealogist. Think about what types of research interests you, the access you have to necessary resources and the profitability of doing research as a business. What do you want to do? Professional genealogists don't all do client research - some are authors, editors, teachers, heir searchers, bookstore owners, adoption specialists and other related fields.
8. Develop your business skills. You cannot run a successful business without knowing about accounting, taxes, advertising, licenses, billing and time management.
9. Get a copy of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. This book by Elizabeth Shown Mills is the bible for genealogy professionals and those who want to become professional. It offers advice and instruction on everything from abstracting to setting up a business.
10. Consider applying for certification or accreditation. The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) grants certification in research, as well as in two teaching categories, and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists offers accreditation in specific geographical areas. Even if you decide not to become certified or accredited, the guidelines offered by these testing programs will help you objectively evaluate your genealogical skills.
If you are in Australia,The Society of Australian Genealogists has a formal course and examination, resulting in a Diploma in Family Historical Studies (Dip. F.H.S.).
1.Practice your research skills every chance you get. Visit courthouses, libraries, archives, etc. and explore the records. Get as much experience as you can before working for others.
2.Don't stop researching your own family history. It is most likely the reason you fell in love with genealogy in the first place and will continue to provide inspiration and enjoyment.
Kimberly Powell is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, and several local genealogical societies. She has been writing about genealogy for About.com since 2000, and her work has also appeared in several genealogy magazines.
Do you have a relative who was entitled to the Anzac Commemorative Medallion?
Every Anzac soldier who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula, or in direct support of operations there - or his family if he did not survive until into the late 1960s - was entitled to be issued with the Anzac Commemorative Medallion.
The medallion was issued in 1967, and as a result
MANY HAVE NEVER BEEN CLAIMED.
For Australian Soldiers' Medallions
If you are the descendant of an Anzac soldier, you MAY still be entitled to claim the medallion.
Mailing address for all Medals applications
Directorate of Honours and Awards
Department of Defence
PO Box 7952
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
Toll-free Medals Inquiry Phone line:
1800 111 321 (Operating Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday to Friday)
Include as many details as possible regarding the soldier on whose behalf you wish to claim the medallion.
Full name, rank and unit, and service number
are generally required
For New Zealand Soldiers' Medallions
For claiming the Anzac Commemorative Medallion for a New Zealand soldier,
Staff Officer Medals,
New Zealand Defence Force,
Private Bag 905,
Upper Hutt, New Zealand.
OBTAINING A COPY OF THE SOLDIER'S DOSSIER (New Zealand)
For a copy of a soldier's WW1 service dossier, contact the Personnel Archives of the New Zealand Defence Force (Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa). The cost for this service varies depending upon how much material must be photocopied, up to a maximum of $28.00 NZ.
All Requests Must Be In Writing (letter or fax:  527 5275) to:
Personnel Archives / Enquiries & Medals
Trentham Camp, NZDF
Private Bag 905
Include the following information in your request:
Supply as many of the following details as possible
Full Given Names:
Any other names known by:
Date and place of birth:
Living or deceased:
Period of service:
Next-of-kin at time of enlistment:
Address at time of enlistment:
Occupation at time of enlistment:
REMEMBER - This is to receive a copy of the soldier's service file - NOT the Medallion.
DIGITAL COPIES OF SOLDIERS' DOSSIERS (Australia)
If you would like more information on the soldier, digitised individual's service dossiers are available from
National Archives. You will need to log in and then conduct a Search.
A little background reading...
Statement by the Prime Minister [of Australia],
the Rt. Hon. Harold Holt,
in the House of Representatives
16th March, 1967
The Minister for Defence announced that it had been decided by the Australian Government, in consultation with the New Zealand Government, to issue a medallion and lapel badge to the veterans of the Gallipoli Campaign.
I am glad to be able to announce that arrangements have now been completed for the production of the medallion and badge. The Minister for the Army will be arranging distribution to those wishing to receive them as soon as possible.
The Government hopes that production of the medallion and lapel badge will be sufficiently advanced to permit at least some of them to be distributed by Anzac Day.
The medallion (with the name of the recipient inscribed) will be issued to surviving members of the Australian Defence Force who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula, or in direct support of the operations from close off-shore, at any time during the period from the first Anzac Day in April, 1915, to the date of final evacuation in January 1916. Next of kin or other entitled persons will be entitled to receive the medallion on behalf of their relatives, if their relative died on active service or has since died.
For surviving members, a lapel badge will also be available for wearing. This will be a replica of the obverse (or front) of the medallion and will be about 1" high and 2/3" wide, the same size as the R.S.L. badge.
The medallion is the work of Mr. Raymond Ewers, the well-known Australian artist, based on a suggestion by Mr. Eric Garret, a staff artist with the Department of Army. It has been endorsed by both the Government of New Zealand and ourselves. It will be approximately 3" high and 2" wide. The obverse of the medallion depicts Simpson and his donkey carrying a wounded soldier to safety. It will be bordered on the lower half by a laurel wreath above the word ANZAC. The reverse (the back) shows a map in relief of Australia and New Zealand superimposed by the Southern Cross. The lower half will be bordered by New Zealand fern leaves.
The medallion will be cast in bronze and the lapel badge will be a metal of bronze colour
The Orient steamship John Elder, A. J. Cooper commander, arrived at Semaphore, South Australia and anchored at half past 4. on Wednesday, March 12, 1879.
SHE had a capital passage but no special incidents occurred. One birth took place, and the child was named John Elder.
The following is the list of immigrants by the s.s. John Elder, with their ages and occupations : ?
Gilbert Aitkins, 18, agricultural laborer;
William Bacon, 25, do.;
George Beavis, 22, do. ;
Charles Bennett, 20, do. ;
Matthew Blakey, 20, do.;
William Bond, 22, do. ;
Robert Brewis, 24, pick and shovel laborer ;
Peter Brooks, 27, do.;
John Brown, 21, agricultural laborer ;
William Dabrnett, 19, do. ;
Robert Dunn, 24, pick and shovel laborer ;
John George, 31, agri cultural laborer ;
John Glover, 22, do. ;
William Gosling (special constable), 25, do.;
Samuel Grapes, 20, pick and shovel laborer;
Robert Gummer, 23, agricultural laborer ;
Job Hallett,23, do.;
Thomas Harrison, 21, quarryman ;
David Holland, 17, agricultural laborer ;
Tom Horner, 31, pick and shovel laborer;
George Hoyes, 21, agricultural laborer;
Albert V. King, 22, do. ;
Robert Madus, 21, pick and shovel laborer;
Henry Male, 23, agricultural laborer;
Watson Male, 17, do. ;
William Meadlan, 23, pick and shovel laborer;
Robert A. Munro, 20, house and cartwright;
John McAskill, 20, agricultural laborer;
Alexander McKenzie, 19, do.;
John McPherson, 22, do. ;
Edward Peel, 25, pick and shovel laborer;
Robert Purdy, 29, agricultural laborer ;
William Read, 23, do. ;
Edwin Robins, 18, do.;
Ben Russ, 20, do.;
Alfred Smith, 21, do.;
William Smith, 22, pick and shovel laborer ;
Anthony Steel, 28, do.;
Benjamin Thomson, 22, agricultural laborer;
James Turner, 22, laborer.
The following is the list of first saloon passengers: -
Mr and Mrs Arthur Bull, family (seven)and servant;
Mr Arthur Campbell,
Miss E C Caswell,
Mr Arthur Crocker,
Mr and Mrs J C Davie,
Mr John Duncan,
Mr John H Durham,
Miss C D Fergusson,
Rev C. J. and Mrs Godby,
Mr J H Hickson,
Mr Edgar W Hoe,
Mr and Mrs Arthur Howell,
Dr Thomas G Kerr,
Mr Alex Maclean,
Mr and Mrs G F Maberly and child,
Miss Auguste Innes,
Rev T M O'Callaghan,
Rev. G.D.P. Pritchard,
Mr A. O. Robotham,
Mr Frank J. Sheppard,
Mr Richard M. Sheppard,
Mr H Spragge,
Mr and Mrs C G Tindal and servant,
Mr Charles F. Tindal,
Mr John T. Tindal,
Miss Annie Tindal,
Miss Louisa Tindal,
Miss Jane Tindal,
Miss Elizabeth Tindal,
Miss Esther Tindal,
Mr H P Tomkinson,
Mr W P Turton,
Mr R E Nowell Twopenny,
Mr Edward Twynam,
Mr and Mrs Forster Willson, child, and nurse,
Mr Charles V Wilson,
Mrs Willson, the Misses Willson (two),
Mr A. J. Winterson,
Mr Wm. Wood,
Mr and Mrs.Reginald Young,
Also received European correspondence and files of English papers to the 30 January, 1879,
and South African letters and papers to the 22 February 1879.
Requesting relatives to contact me,
regarding 4 war service medals, which are in my possession.
but NOT the DFC
Arthur John CLELAND was the son of Alfred John CLELAND and Amy Eliza BARCLAY married at St. Leonards, NSW in 1899
I believe Arthur John CLELAND died at Denistone, Sydney, on 29 July 1976
Name... ARTHUR JOHN CLELAND
Service.. Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number.. 411004
Date of Birth.. 8 November 1915
Place of Birth.. SYDNEY, NSW
Date of Enlistment.. 31 March 1941
Locality on Enlistment.. Unknown
Place of Enlistment.. SYDNEY, NSW
Next of Kin.. Joyce CLELAND, nee COLLETT m. 1940, Ryde, Sydney
Date of Discharge.. 15 May 1945
Rank.. Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge.. General Reconnaissance School
WW2 Honours and Gallantry.. Distinguished Flying Cross
In 1788, a colony of convicts was founded in Australia, and for awhile Australia was thought of mostly as a British Gaol.
The Governors of early Australian colonies were ordered by the British government to grow enough food to support their population. The Governors replied that they did not have enough of the right kind of people to do that; most convicts knew nothing of farming.
The Governors then asked for settlers to come to Australia. So, the British government promised land to emigrants with enough convicts to work it and supplies for a year.
A few thousand people took up this offer and emigrated. But they were mostly retired soldiers and paupers. The colony was still struggling to feed itself and the land was difficult to farm.
So the explorers took off inland to investigate and returned with news that the land was excellent for farming and grazing.
The settlers made their way inland from the coastal cities.
But still not enough came to Australia, so then the government wanted immigrants with money, who wished to get rich by running big farms. They also wanted immigrant workers who could work on these farms.
So, instead of giving land to those who arrived the government sold it to them and used the money raised to pay people's passage out here.
Once these free passengers arrived in Australia, life was not easy. There were few jobs in the cities during the early days and immigrants would have to travel out into the newly settled areas. The assignment of convicts as unpaid workers had stopped in 1841. Farmers were eager to hire helpers and paid good money.These newcomers were refered to as 'New Chums and 'Jimmy Grants'
Then in 1851 gold was discovered and the diggers streamed in, in their thousands. Many liked the country and stayed.
The picture below which I suppose you could call a very early government ad campaign, was published in London in 1848. It shows how poor British families would be better off if they went to Australia
Nothing like coming here prepared!
AUSTRALIANS AS AMERICANS SEE THEM
"An Outdoors People;Breezy, Democratic"
WASHINGTON, Sunday, 25 October 1942 AAP
["You will find Australians an outdoors people, breezy, very democratic, with no respect for stuffed shirts their own or anyone else's," says a pocket guide on Australia which is being distributed among American troops.
Issued by US War and Navy departments, the booklet states that Australians have much in common with Americans. They are a pioneer people, they believe in personal freedom, and they love sports.
"There is one thing to get straight right off the bat," the booklet says. "You are not in Australia to save a helpless people from the savage Japanese. Recently in a Sydney bar an American soldier turned to an Australian and said, 'Well, Aussie, you can go home now. We've come over to save you.' The Aussie cracked back, 'Have you? I thought you were a refugee from Pearl Harbour.'
Being simple, direct and tough, the Digger is often confused and nonplussed by the manners of Americans' in mixed company; or even in camp. To him those many 'Thank you's" Americans use are a bit too dignifled.
You might get annoyed, at the blue laws which make Australian cities pretty dull places on Sundays.
For all their breezieness Australians do not go in for drinking or woopitching in public, especially on Sunday.
In Australia, the national game is cricket, but they, have another game called Australian rules football.
It is rough, tough, and exciting. There are a lot of rules, which the referee carries in a rule book the size of Webster's dictionary. The game creates the desire on the part of the crowd to tear someone apart. The referees in some parks have runways covered over so that they can escape intact after a game.
As one newspaper correspondent says, Americans and Australians are 2 of the greatest gambling people on earth. It has been said of Australians that if a couple in a bar have not anything else to bet on they will lay odds on which of 2 flies rise first from the bar.
Aussies do not fight out of textbooks. They are resourceful, inventive soldiers with plenty of intiative.
The Australian habit of pronouncing "a" as "I" is pointed out, and an example quoted: "The trine is lite to-di." The booklet includes "Waltzing Matilda" in full."]
I don't know about the too many thank-yous. It would seem that the Australian girls liked it, for 10,000 Aussie brides returned to America with these well heeled, well mannered and certainly well informed troops.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Thursday 20 September 1894
THE BARDOC MURDER.
The sensation of the hour is still the discovery of the murdered man five miles beyond Bardoc. In addition to the principal blow several fractures were caused by blows with a pick, all apparently struck from behind. The only property found on the body was an old watch and a small compass. There was also a small speck of gold, evidently overlooked by the murderer when stripping his victim. The police have returned from Bardoc, and confirm the news of the murder committed there. They state that on the body being exhumed it was found that a pick had been driven with terrific force clean through the skull of the deceased. The body had then been huddled into the workings, which were then roughly covered in with d?bris lying round the pit's mouth. The murderer, so far, has eluded the vigilance of the police, but as he is a foreignor, and a perfect Hercules appearance, his capture is considered certain. It is thought probable that he will try to make for the Mount Margaret district.
The body of the murdered man was buried without identification. It is generally regretted that the police did not publish a full description of the marks on the body as it is believed that these were sufficiently peculiar to make identification easy. A crowd inspected the body, but only one person had previously seen the deceased but did not know his name.
Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)
Saturday 29 September 1894
William Sodding was arrested near Londonderry on Saturday, on suspicion of being the Bardoc murderer. He answers to the general description of the assassin, in regard to height, build, etc. and was known to have been out at the rush at or about the time the murder was committed, but beyond that there is nothing to connect him with the tradgedy as yet. Persons who saw the digger at the time he was burying the murdered man, have been telegraphed for to see whether they can identify Sodding. There are stains on the prisoner's trousers, but be states they were merely caused by carelessly eating jam. Sodding is a German tailor, formerly employed in the town.
The West Australian
Wednesday 2 January 1895
The Coolgardie Miner of December 22nd *writes:-
A member of the jury who sat on the Bardoc murder case has called at The Miner office to express his grave suspicion that one of the three 'discoverers' of the victim was actually the murderer.
He observed at the time of the inquest that one of them appeared to be almost paralysed with fear, and had himself to attempt to support him had he needed it. The same juryman was in the neighbourhood of Bardoc at the time of the crime, and thinks then if the three witnesses had done their duty they would have called a roll-up forthwith. Our informant says that he is moved to make this communication by a worrying fear that he has perhaps unwittingly contributed towards throwing justice off the track. He is prepared io identity the object of his suspicions, and to assist the police in every way.
For obvious reasons the juryman's name is not made public, but the police are welcome to it on application to us. It is not a little curious that this opinion coincides with the one so frequently expressed in these columns and echoed by Mr. A. G. Hales in an Adelaide journal. It is probable that intelligent investigation -even at this late hour would lead to a reopening of the case and the ultimate vindication of outraged humanity and law. We earnestly urge upon others who have scraps of evidence in their possesion either favourable or the opposite to our expressed opinion to forward them without delay. We promise the utmost secrecy in regard to such communications, except so far as informing the police ara concerned."
Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 - 1916)
Thursday 6 October 1898
A Lunatic at Large.
THE ALLEGED BARDOC MURDERER. The Bunbury Herald of Saturday has the following : For several months past the vagaries of a lunatic at large named Bret Holsten have been the case of considerable annoyance and no little alarm to the settlers in the Black wood district. The unfortunate man used to sleep in hollow trees, under logs and in such like resting places, and would wander about during the day, turning up at the various homsteads.
Information was conveyed to the police at Bridgetown and Bunbury,amid several attempts were made to capture the " wild" man, but without success. The force at Bridgetown became weakened through the illness of two con stables stationed there, so that when news of the whereabouts of the outcast was again sent to the officer-in-charge of police in Bunbury Constable Shields was sent out with a tracker, but the track was lost by the runaway swimming the river and escaping into the bush. Constable Vaughan, of Bunbury, was then despatched about 10 days ago to assist Shields to capture the man. After many days of fruitless search the tracks of the fugitive were picked up on Saturday last near Mr Wheatley's on the Warren River and going towards the south coast. The tracks led through a dense undergrowth,through which it was impossible to take the horses. The constables therefore dismounted and Shields took the horses round while Vaughan followed the tracks. Traces of the haunts of the man were found in several places, such as rush beds and camp fires, many of which seemed to have been several months old. On Monday the constables found the hollow tree in which the fugitive had slept on the previous night, and fresh tracks leading in the direction of Mr Wheatley's residence. Following the tracks the fugitive was sighted about 9 o'clock in the afternoon. He took refuge in the barn, and when driven to bay turned on his pursuers armed with a tomahawk and a butcher's lknife, remarking, "You will not take me alive, I will fight for my life. I know what I have done, and I know that I will swing for it." A desperate struggle lasting about 20 minutes then ensued, and when the constables disarmed him the lunatic kicked and bit like a dog and foamed at the mouth. He refused, when overpowered, to give his name, saying that the police knew his name, as they had been after him for four years. He refused to walk, and a cart had to be hired to bring him to Bridgetown. Before leaving he started to tell his captors that he had done away with his mate at the diggings." Vaughan warned him in the usual manner, and he started to pray to God to forgive him for what he had done. On the journey to Bridge town he made several attempts to escape, and one of the constables had to sit up at night to watch him. During the night the prisoner conversed with his captors quite rationally, and in the course of the conversation asked why it was that ?1000 had been offered for Ned Kelly's head and only ?100 for his. He was charged at the Bridgetown Police Court with being of unsound mind, and on the certificate of Dr Dickinson was committed to the Fremantle lunatic asylum. On his arrival in Bunbury in charge of Constable Vaughan; persistent rumors became current that the man was suspected by the authorities to be the man who was wanted in connection with the brutal Bardoc murder which took place on the goldfields nearly four years ago. To ascertain the correctness or otherwise of this rumor, our representative waited on Sergeant. Mitchell yesterday morning and was told by that official that he could not account for such a rumor, as he was not aware of the alleged identity of the prisoner. "If," continued Sergeant Mitchell, "people will circulate wild reports of this descriptin they should have some grounds for their statements." It is also said that at Picton Junction a former resident of the goldfields identified the prisoner as having been on the fields some four years ago.
Benjamin Bridge was born at Stockyard Creek in the Wollombi district of New South Wales
on the 31 May 1860.
One of seven children and second son of Hawkesbury born Joseph Bridge Jnr.1835-1923
Joseph Bridge Jnr was the son of Parramatta born Joseph Bridge 1814-1891 and
grandson of convict Joseph Bridge 1776-1829
Benjamin's mother was Sarah Jane Payne 1839-1899. Sarah Jane born at
Payne's Crossing New South Wales was the daughter
of Convict Edward Payne 1800-1880 and Ann Hanratty 1823-1913.
Benjamin married 1st cousin, Bertha Amelia Teresa Australia Medhurst 1865?1932,
at Inverell on the 25 June 1881. The daughter of George Medhurst 1838-1888
and Ann Matilda Bridge 1839-1927.
Ann Matilda Bridge and Benjamin's father Joseph Bridge Jnr. were brother
The couple managed to have seven children in Inverell between 1879 and 1909,
in spite of the fact the police never seemed to know where he was.
Francis Robert Medhurst/Bridge 1879?1927
Alice Maud Bridge 1884?1951
Annie May Bridge 1886?1945
Benjamin William Bridge 1889 1936
Hilton Victor Joseph Bridge 1891?1985
Clarice Evelyn Edith Bridge 1892?1985
Walter Edward Alexander Bridge 1904?1978
Cecil Meldorn Bridge 1909?1963
Benjamin died in Tamworth, New South Wales on the 25 August 1950.
The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, Thursday 4 February 1892.
At Scone last week Benjamin Bridge, a well-known horse-trainer, arrested
at his residence by Senior-sergeant Coady, was brought up on a charge of
horse stealing from the properties of Thomas Cook and Bakewell Bros.
Upon the application of the police, the prisoner was remanded till Saturday
for the production of evidence. Two others, alleged to be implicated, are said
to have been arrested up the country, and the evidence is likely to be of
a sensational nature.
The Maitland Mercury, Thursday 3 March 1892.
Benjamin Bridge, found guilty of stealing a colt of Wm. Bakewell,
recovered at Mogil Mogil, was remanded for sentence, and on a second
charge of stealing a horse of Thos. English, the jury are still locked up.
Singleton Argus, Wednesday 9 March 1892
THE ESCAPE FROM THE MURRURUNDI GAOL
Benjamin Bridge in Trouble.
The Murrurundi Times of Saturday last says: ?"On Thursday evening,
about-half-past 5 o'clock some excitement was caused in Murrurundi
by a report that a prisoner had escaped from the local gaol and the
hurrying of the foot and mounted police in pursuit.
On enquiry we learned that Benjamin Bridge, who had on the previous
day been found guilty of horse stealing on two charges and sentenced
to 10 years penal servitude, had escaped from gaol by scaling the wall.
The gaol wall is about 15 feet high. Bridge was confined with three other
prisoners in the yard all day, and closely watched by gaoler Gall. About
1 o'clock the prisoners were given their tea, and about 5 o'clock were
provided with water, when they were alright, and the gaoler sat down to
wait till half-past 5, the time at which the prisoners are locked up for
the night. In the interval Bridge quietly effected his escape by scaling
the front wall at its junction with the main building. There is a small
cell window at this corner about 9 feet from the ground, the sill of which
projects several inches, the eaves of the roof being a couple of feet higher;
about 18 inches from the ground the base course projects a couple of inches.
It is surmised that Bridge, who is a pretty smart fellow, reached the window
sill by spring from the base course, and then with the aid of the other prisoners
and a broom got on the roof, and once there to climb over the remaining portion
of the wall and drop down on the other side was easy enough. The es cape seems
to have been well planned, as the other prisoners at once retired to their
cells to avert suspicion.
Immediately on escaping Bridge crossed the garden in front of the gaol,
leapt lightly over the fence, decended the steep bank there, and proceeded
along the river, to Messrs Stuart and M'Fadyen's residences, and thence in
the direction of the Chinamen's gardens, but here all trace of him was lost.
He was seen crossing the garden in front of the gaol by Mrs Brennan, who,
believing something was wrong gave the alarm to the sergeant, who was returning
from the railway station but some minutes elapsed before the prisoner was missed,
and he got a good start. Although we shall be glad to hear of the prisoner's
speedy capture It is hardly likely he will be retaken in a hurry.
No blame attaches to the gaoler."
Singleton Argus, Wednesday 9 March 1892
BENJAMIN BRIDGE WANTED.
?50 Reward. [By Telegraph]. Sydney, Tuesday.
The Government have offered a reward of ?50
for the capture of the man Bridge, sentenced
to 10 years' for horse stealing, and who escaped
from the Murrurundi gaol on the 3rd instant.
Australian Town and Country Journal,Saturday 12 March 1892.
The Government has offered a reward of ?50 for information leading
to the recapture of Benjamin Bridges, alias Texas Jack, a prisoner
under sentence of 10 years for horse-stealing, who, on the 3rd instant,
effected his escape from the gaol at Murrurundi.
He is described as about 29 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high,
fair complexion, small sandy beard and moustache, grey eyes, rather bow-legged
Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 20 August 1892
Recapture of a Prisoner.
Murrurundi, Tuesday.?The man Benjamin Bridge, who was sentenced to
10 years' penal servitude and two days later escaped from
Murrurundi Gaol, has been recaptured at Burketown, Queensland.
Northern Star, Wednesday 14 September 1892.
DARING ESCAPE FROM GAOL.
AT Burketown (Queensland) on Friday morning a most daring escape was made by a prisoner
named Benjamin Bridge from the police barracks.
It appears that about 12 months ago Bridge escaped from Murrurundi Gaol in
New South Wales when he was under sentence of 10 years' imprisonment for
The fugitive successfully evaded the police until some six weeks back,
when he was captured by the local police at Riversleigh Station.
A New South Wales police officer arrived on Thursday, and had identified
the prisoner, intending to take him to Sydney by the next boat, to avoid this,
the prisoner set fire to his cell and gave the alarm. Senior-constable M'Grath,
who was the only constable on the premises, opened the cell and removed
the prisoner, who after a desperate resistance was manacled and chained to the
In the mean time, in spite of willing assistance, the whole of the barracks were
in flames. M'Grath with others then went to the rescue of his wife and family,
and of the court records, books, &c. During the con fusion the prisoner escaped,
making for the man groves, where he disappeared, and has not yet been re-captured.
He is 30 years of age, and is said to have been 22 times before a jury, the present
being his fourth escape from custody. He informed the New South Wales officer that
he would never take him to Sydney.
Nothing now remains on the site of the courthouse and the barracks but a heap
of smouldering ruins.
Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA), Thursday 4 January 1900.
A NOTORIOUS CRIMINAL. ARRESTED AT DENHAM RIVER. PERTH, Dec. 31. 1899
On Saturday the Commissioner of Police received a telegram from Derby
stating that Constable Freeman had just arrived at Wyndham with the
notorious Benjamin Bridge whom he had arrested at Denham River.
Bridge is an escapee from Brisbane gaol, who regained his freedom in 1892.
He is a notorious horse and cattle thief, and during the last seven years
he is reported to have been carrying on cattle duffing on a large scale
in the Northern territory of the Kimberley district.
He has successfully evaded capture for seven years, and is regarded by
the police as an exceptionally dangerous criminal.
Western Mail, Perth, WA. Saturday 24 March 1900.
A NOTORIOUS GAOL-BREAKER
ADELAIDE, March 16. 1900
Among the passengers by the s.s. Marloo, from Western Australia,
on Friday, were two New South Wales sergeants of police with four
of the mother colony criminals in their charge.
One, - Benjamin Bridge, has a black record. He escaped in 1893 from
Murrurundi gaol, while undergoing a sentence of ten years' imprisonment
for horse stealing. He was re-arrested at Burke, in Northern Queensland,
eighteen months later, but again escaped by burn- ing down the lock-up
in which he was incarcerated. For over four years he eluded capture; although,
the police were most vigilant through all Queensland and New South Wales.
Recently, however, he was brought to bay in the Kimberley district of
Western Australia by Constable Freeman, who, by the way, gained promotion by
his smartness in the matter.
The other prisoners in charge of the sergeants are charged with ordinary wife
desertion. On the arrival of the s.s. Marloo at Port Adelaide they were lodged
in the police cells for safe keeping. They will rejoin the vessel just
previous to the resumption of the voyage eastwards.
Singleton Argus, NSW. Tuesday 10 April 1900.
THE ESCAPEE BRIDGE.
Sentenced to Two Years.
Benjamin Bridge, who had pleaded guilty at the Darlinghurst Quarter Sessions
on Friday to escaping from Murrurundi Gaol in 1892 was brought
up for sentence in the afternoon Mr Levien asked Judge Heydon to
deal leniently with the prisoner. It was now eight years since he had
escaped, and the term of six years to which he was sentenced had expired.
Bridge had been living an honest life in W. Australia, and, indeed had
discovered a property which would in all probability have made him independent
for life had he been left undisturbed. His wife, as good a woman as ever
lived, and to whom Bridge had constantly remitted money, had travelled
to Sydney to see him and he trusted that his Honor would take these
matters into consideration in passing sentence.
His Honor Judge Haydon said that, while there was no moral indignation against
a man for escaping yet it, of course, was flouting the law and could not
be passed over. He would be as lenient a possible, the sentence to be imposed
would be two years.
He was not satisfied as to the evidence of Bridge's good character since he escaped,
and if Mr. Levien could produce evidence that he had been an upright man during
that time, he would recommend the Minister for Justice; to reduce the sentence.
the Northern Territory Times was not available in Sydney
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT) Friday 12 January 1900.
Ben Bridge, the `Out-law.'
The recent capture of Benjamin Bridge by Mounted Constable Freeman in East Kimberley, W.A.,
brings a climax to the wrong-doings of a very notorious character.
Bridge hails from northern New South Wales, where he once raced horses.
A friend leased him some racers on one occasion for a meeting at a neighbouring town,
but fortune frowned, and to satisfy the demands of his landlord he sold him the
horses. Subsequently he stole the horses from the landlord and gave them back
to the rightful owner! Gaol followed, but he broke it and turned into Queensland,
where 'the feeling' came on him again, and he eventually got into Burketown gaol
for horse stealing.
Not long after he was celled here the gaol caught fire and was burnt down,
some say from the inside, some from the outside. To save Bridge he was
taken out and chained to a post. When the fire was subdued the police went to
remove Bridge, and found he had vanished.
It is generally agreed that the prisoner swam the river, with heavy irons and all on,
and then walked 60 miles to a camp where his chains were knocked off. At all events
the police never saw him again. Bridge moved down to Western Queensland, where he took
jobs at station work. From there he gravitated into the Territory, and spent some time
on the cattle runs at stockman's work. His identity was pretty well known, though his
name was mostly 'McDonald.' He was gradually moving west, and on the way called at all
the police camps for the latest papers! From Newcastle Waters he had a mate who was
drowned in Murrenji Waterhole. Bridge reported this to M.C. O'Keefe, at the Victoria,
who, investigated the matter but couldn't find the body. There was nothing to warrant
further enquiry, consequently O'Keefe had no scruples about letting Bridge camp
close to the police quarters, particularly as he seemed a decent sort of chap. He
even swapped horses with him, giving Bridge, amongst others, the one-time racer Bluegown,
with which, curiously enough, he lost a ?20 match to a western member of the force later on.
After spelling a bit, Bridge moved on into Western Australia, about four years ago.
One story says that he 'gammoned green' about horses while, employed on one station,
until he got a bet on about breaking in a lot of colts. He spent some time poisonings
dingoes, and is said to have collected, ?200 worth of tails in a very short time.
Not long after his arrival in the west he dropped on the police sergeant's camp
and turned out for a while, boldly faced the camp and sat down and engaged in
conversation with the sergeant. After he had been in camp some time the
sergeant, who must have had a keen scent, advanced to Bridge, put his
hand on his shoulder, and was proceeding to deal out the usual formula 'I
arrest you in the Queen's name ' and so forth, when Bridge wriggled free, and with a
parting 'Not yet' cleared for a creek close by, where his boy had just brought his
horses, picking up a revolver from his pack as he ran. The sergeant, in following the outlaw,
kicked his foot against a stiff grass tussock and got a spill, and when he
rose again Bridge was mounted and gone.
After that, but little was heard of Bridge, no one really seemed to
trouble about him. He had done no harm there, he could pitch a pitiful tale, he was
a great hand with horses, and in short the whole district stood to him rather than otherwise.
He came and went on the stations like a free man, camped where he pleased in apparent safety,
and if he wanted to attend the annual races at Wyndham, well, he simply stood a little back
from the crowd. Where everyone helped the fellow the police had what is some times
called 'Buckley's chance' of catching him. But by and bye the feeling began to change.
There were things happening which could not be accounted for. Valuable stock disappeared
mysteriously from their accustomed haunts, and kept on vanishing for a long time before
anyone would admit Bridge to have a hand in it. 'Billy,' as he was called in the West,
wouldn't do such a thing ; but faith in him soon turned to anger against him when
indisputable evidence of his treachery was produced from time to time.
There were even then a few of a sort who helped him whenever they could against the police.
Three months ago or a little better the Wild Dog police, Freeman and M'Ginley, made an excursion after 'Billy ' and came upon him near Argyle station.
'Well Freeman,' says he, 'are you going to take me this time!' To which Freeman said 'I'm going to have
a hard try,' and the chase began. Bridge was well mounted, while the troopers had scrags
that couldn't head a duck. The result was that after a long stern chase first Freeman's
horse and then McGinley's dropped down exhausted, just when the outlaw's mount could only
be kept going by plenty of flogging. A black tracker was sent on to keep Bridge in sight,
but darkness beat him, and by cutting a wire fence he gave his pursuers the slip.
I was at Rosewood when the police came that night, horses and men were tired out ;
'Billy' had gone towards Newry, on the N.T. border.
Next morning the police crossed over into the Territory to hunt for Bridge's main camp,
supposed to be somewhere near Auvergne. Though they lost 'Billy' the
day before they managed to secure his packs and a boy, and the boy was useful as a guide.
Their mission resulted in securing another of Bridge's black boys and some more of his
horses and packs. This boy, Larry by name, was afterwards used by Freeman to track down
the outlaw. At this stage Trooper McGinley fell sick and had to go into hospital at Wyndham.
Freeman, after the lapse of some days got on Bridge's tracks again and followed him to Turkey Creek,
the station owned by his brother, where the scent soon got red hot.
Bridge held out as long as he could, even after Freeman had secured his last horse:
but he was run down eventually and safely landed in Wyndham gaol (where his brother Joseph
is serving a sentence) last week in December. His 'pals' declared he would shoot rather than
be taken alive; he vowed the same thing himself, but so far as is known there was no firing before the capture.
The district is well rid of a most expert horse and cattle thief, and his capture is all the
more creditable because he could ride with any man in Australia, was always well horsed, and
had several staunch confederates who never hesitated to shelter him. It was the common talk
of the district that if Bridge had acted 'on the square ' no man's hand would have been turned
against him. It would complicate matters very much if he broke gaol at Wyndham, but his past
history ought to show the need for taking extra precautions against such an untoward