A Most Determined Suicide – grave tales

While researching the names of all those buried in the Bardoc cemeteries, I came across this following death which I originally through may have been someone buried in Bardoc.

Coolgardie Miner (WA : 1894 – 1911), Tuesday 5 March 1895, page 3


What seems to have been a most determined suicide, took place at the Forty-two-Mile on the first of the month, a man named James, dying from the effects of a bullet wound self-inflicted. Mr. Davis, manager of Mr. Pell’s livery business, who was present on the ground, supplies us with the following narrative:—The man was sick, suffering from dysentery, and not from fever, I think. He was very low in condition, and had apparently lost heart in life. He appeared to be iu indigent circumstances, as he possessed nothing but


a blanket and a white wrapper, and was being taken care of by residents of the camp. Several overtures were made to him to secure his removal to Coolgardie for medical treatment, but he resolutely refused to be shifted. The notice of Mr. Warden Finnerty was drawn to the man’s condition on his journey through the settlement to the Ninety-Mile, and he made up his mind to take the man back with him on his return. Nobody expected anything was going to happen. At mid-day on the 1st, as Messrs. Davis, McLeod and Pollen were having lunch, they


about 30 yards away, and then a voice exclaimed—’ Here’s a dead man.’ They went over in the direction and saw the body. He had lain down, put the muzzle of the revolver to his temple, pulled the trigger, and the bullet came out of the top of his head.


after firing.” Two hours afterwards the Warden drove up on his way into town to fulfil his intention of taking the sick man in, but was faced  with the stiffened horror of the dead man. An inquest was held and a’ verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane was returned’ The remains were interred in the vicinity of the camp, and were followed by a large number of the residents. This latest tragedy gives the Forty-Two-Mile quite an unenviable notoriety, for it was in the vicinity of this rash that the


took place. James is stated to have suffered from suicidal mania, as he had previously made two attempts to take his life while residing in South Australia, and no doubt the weakness of his sickness, accompanied by its delirium, as well as his needy circumstances, contributed largely towards the perpetration of his rash act.

After consulting my friend Yvonne Coate, author of ‘More Lonely Graves’ she told me the following:-

re:  Frederick JAMES

This entry now stands – died 1.3.1895 aged in his 30s, at the 42-Mile Tank on the Ninety-Mile road, Bardoc – buried wrapped in his blanket in what became the BALGARRIE cemetery in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder district.  On 1.7.1897 this land at the 42-Mile Tank was resumed from Balgarrie town Lot 33 and surveyed as the Balgarrie Cemetery Reserve No 4293.    my references are – Coolgardie Miner – 5.3.1895;  Inquirer – 9.3.1895; SROWA AN5 Acc 430 1895/596;  Police Gazette 61/1897;  The Forgotten Pioneers of the Eastern Goldfields by Harry Argus,  SUICIDES AND SETTLERS by Claire McIntyre.

Lawlers Hospital

These wonderful photos have just been sent in by Mary Forward.

Her Grandmother’s sister Emily Mann (seen on right)  was the Matron at the Lawlers Hospital from 1898 to 1899.

Lawlers Hospital c1898, Matron Emily Mann on right.

Lawlers Hospital c1898, Matron Emily Mann on right. (see the dog?)

In her off duty time.

Emily Mann and Mrs Clifton Lawlers

Emily Mann and Mrs Clifton Lawlers

Lawlers Hospital 1922

Lawlers Hospital taken later in 1922

Reminiscences of Kathleen Mary Byrth

William & Mary Smith

The following story is with the kind permission of Kathleen's family, in particular thanks Kevin Smith and Robyn McLean. Some of the photographs have been loaned by Peter - the older of the tworobbos where indicated. THE SMITH/DUDLEY FAMILY … [Continue reading]

Two Lonely Graves – grave tales

CALDER William Leslie:- died 12.10.1896 aged 3 yrs 3 mths at Speakman Find (now Callion Mine) in the Menzies district. Buried at Speakman Find. He died from convilsions. Born: Dunnolly, VIC. He was the child of Alexander and Annie (nee Speakman) … [Continue reading]

He Had So Much Work To Do – a verse by Henry Lawson

Another favourite verse from the pen of Henry Lawson Tell a simple little story of a settler in the West, Where the soldier birds and farmers, and selectors never rest While the sun shines—and they often work in rainy weather, too: But it’s all … [Continue reading]