The Bardoc Murder

In a post I did a few days ago about a lonely grave of Katherine Williamson at Bardoc I mentioned that there was the victim of a murder buried not far from her.

The grave of the victim of the unsolved Bardoc murder is on the bank of the creek leading down from Lindsay’s Soak which is crossed by the road from the Dark Horse (mine) to the Bellvue (mine) about three miles east of Grants Patch. The fenced grave is on the North bank of the creek a couple of hundred yards on the eastern side of the road. The location is about 10 miles from Bardoc but because it was reported there it was consequently referred to as ‘The Bardoc Murder’. The victim was never officially identified or a culprit found.

Grave of Isaac Robert Miell

Grave of Isaac Robert Miell

In September 1894, three men, Messers Mullard, Mogford and Clazier were on route to Bardoc from Balgarrie (42 mile dam area). As they approached the area of the grave a man came hurrying towards them from an adjacent high point, intercepted them and enquired where they were going. The man engaged the party in conversation and advised them to go a short distance to the north where there were some prospectors looking for gold.

The party followed the man’s directions, searched till darkness set in and then camped having found no sign of the men or diggings. Next morning after further searching they decided to ask the man why he had put them on a false trail so they went to the place they had met him the previous afternoon. They found no sign of him but found a freshly filled hole. On investigation they were shocked to find the body of a man who’s head had been battered with a pick. As they were on their way to Bardoc they continued on with their journey and reported the matter on arrival there.

The description of the man who had spoken to the travellers was, tall, well-built, athletic and with a military bearing, dark complexion, English but possibly of foreign extraction. This description fitted many men on the Goldfields at this time and several men were detained for questioning, however, all were consequently released. Police reports of the time said that trooper Walsh had brought in another suspect on the 24th October (1894). Trooper Walsh may have been John Joseph Walsh who with Detective Pitman were the victims of the brutal illicit gold stealing murders some years later.  You can read about this at:-

At the time of the murder feeling was high amongst the men on the Goldfields that greater publicity was not given of the description of the murdered man. It was evident at the inquest that the murdered man had undergone extensive surgery to his back and to his male organ. It was claimed that identification could have been established as a consequence of this knowledge.

Similar to the murder weapon

Similar to the murder weapon

NOTE: MIELL Isaac Robert died 11 Sep 1894 age 49 yrs buried at Theodolite, Grants Patch near Bardoc  Is possibly the Bardoc Murder victim. Isaac was born in Leonister, in England and was inducted into the British navy as a cadet midshipman and rose to the rank of an officer. He left the navy and joined the army where he also rose to the rank of officer. At the age of 29yrs he married under the name of Isaac Robert MILL to Susan Ellen Watts aged 18 yrs who was a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria. They were only married for 7 weeks when Isaac deserted from the army and on the 14th Jan 1873 they re married under the name of Miell. They were to have two children born in England and four more in Australia after having arrived in on the ‘Star of India’. Sadly Susan was to die in childbirth in Blackwood South Australia.  Isaac then travelled to Western Australia to try his hand at mining.

On his death certificate his cause of death is a clot to the brain caused by a blow to the head by his own pick.  The pick was wielded with such force as to enter the skull at the base and come out near the ear

The whole case was, and still is, surrounded by mystery. No one has ever been charged with this cowardly murder. There are many articles in ‘Trove’ with various theories and possible culprits and makes facinating reading.  WARNING: Dont look it up unless you have time to spare as you can get quite lost in this site (:

The above information is from the book ‘More Lonely Graves’ by Yvonne and Kevin Coate which you can preview in my book shop at this address.  and the Miell family.

More Lonely Graves by Yvonne and Kevin Coate

More Lonely Graves by Yvonne and Kevin Coate


This publication is the third edition and is an invaluable addition to any ones library who is interested in Western Australian history.



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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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  1. Brian Bailey says:

    Isaac ismy great grandfather

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