Monday, 31 January 2022

William George Lovejoy, 1910-17/5/1927.



(By Telegraph. — Press Association). GORE, May 18. A mechanic, William George Lovejoy, aged 17, employed in Ford's garage, Gore, was electrocuted yesterday evening. He was working in a damp pit when the electric lamp he was using short-circuited, resulting in his electrocution. 

Doctors were immediately summoned and artificial respiration was applied but failed. An oxygen cylinder was used for 2 1/2 hours without avail.  -Thames Star, 18/5/1924.





An inquest relative to the death of William George Lovejoy, who was electrocuted at Gore on Tuesday evening, was held at the Gore Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. Mr A. Martin, District Coroner, presided. Sergeant Packer conducted proceedings on behalf of the police. Mr D. L. Poppelwell appeared for the insurance companies, and Mr A. L. Dolamore for the relatives of the deceased.

William Lovejoy, father of the deceased, stated that his son was 17 years and seven months old, and was an apprentice working for Fords (Ltd.), Gore. Witness was also working at Fords. Witness was about four feet away when the accident occurred. Deceased was with others overhauling a motor car. The transmission cover had to be lifted off, and in doing so a bolt fell off and rolled into the pit. The boards were lifted off, and when they found the bolt they decided to fix it on while the car was partly over the pit. A long steel brace spanner was used by the deceased. During the proceedings witness herd two exclamations, “Oh, oh.” Witness pushed the car back and found his son lying backwards with his head on the concrete. He called out for someone to ring for the doctor. When he heard the exclamations he knew someone was in pain. The extension lamp produced was the one used while fixing the car. As soon as he got his son out of the pit he got the extension cable away from the cable drum. He had used the same lamp on many occasions, and never had any trouble with it. His son had been in good health, and although he had an attack of mumps he did not return to work until the doctor gave permission. It was always safer to use a shield on the hand lamp. He assisted in artificial respiration till 7.30 o'clock. Dr Watters gave evidence to the effect that on arrival he started artificial respiration and the usual restorative measures. He asked for medical assistance and Dr Lillie shortly after arrived. They met with no success. He was satisfied death was due to heart failure from electric shock. The deceased was perfectly healthy and not likely to die from heart failure without shock.

Leslie Allott, an apprentice at Ford’s garage, said he was assisting to repair the car. He was holding the electric extension lamp. The deceased went into the pit to tighten up the nuts and bolts. Witness was holding the nuts and lamp on the top. The lamp was alight all the time, and he was holding it in order to see how to place the nuts. They fixed a nut on one side of the car and then went to the other side. When they were putting on the second bolt he heard something and he heard Gregory, who was working at the back of the car, call out, “Switch off the light.” Witness heard deceased groan, and at the same moment he heard deceased’s feet splash in the water. The lamp produced was the one that was used. He did not think the lamp touched the car. He held it in his hand all the time. He had never seen the guard on the lamp. 

Alexander Gregory, another apprentice, gave corroborative evidence. He felt a slight shock at the moment he called out to switch off the light. The deceased’s father switched off the light, and witness assisted to push the car back. Witness had a slight shock on a previous occasion. This time he thought the lamp had come into contact with the car.

David Dunham, engineer for the Power Board, said he failed on examination to find any defect in the cord and no part of the wire was sufficiently damaged to be exposed. He was able to get a distinct shock from the cap of the lamp, which was in metallic contact with the lamp holder or lamp socket. On examination of the lamp holder he found that one of the wires had been so connected as to make contact with the brass exterior portion of the lamp holder. If the hand lamp were placed in such a position on the car that the brass lamp cap touched any metal portion of the car, a man making contact between any other metal portion of the car and the ground simultaneously would receive a shock. If the lamp guard produced had been fitted on the present lamp, the brass cap mentioned would have been far less likely to come in contact with any metallic object. If the holder had been correctly wired, a shock could not have been attained by touching the brass lamp cap. The defect, in the wiring of the lamp holder could not be seen without removing the cap. It was not. visible to a casual observer, but could have been detected by testing. The fact of water being in the pit would intensify the shock to a great extent. Momentary contact with lines of that voltage was not considered dangerous to a normally healthy man except under special circumstances. In his opinion if the brass lamp cap was allowed to come into contact with a metallic portion of the car, the current could thus go through the car and also through any person coming in contact with the car and the ground simultaneously. 

David S. McKenzie, manager of Fords, also gave evidence. He said no one ever reported to him about having received shocks, and no defect of the lamp had ever been reported to him. He was unable to find out who wired the lamp up. The lamp cost £3 10/- in 1924, and was supposed to be up-to-date. He knew as a fact that mechanics working in garages often received shocks off electric drills and very little notice was taken of it. 

The Coroner returned the following verdict: "That William George, Lovejoy on May 17 died from heart failure as a result of electric shock owing to an electric lamp accidentally coming into contact with a motor car on which he was working.”  -Southland Times, 20/7/1927.

Gore Cemetery.

George William Whittingham, 1904-25-7-1924.



(Per Press Association.) GORE, July 25. George Whittingham, Junior, single, 20, fell into a vat of scalding water at his father’s brewery at Gore on Tuesday morning. The unfortunate man was immersed to the hips but was speedily rescued by his father. His injuries were not at first regarded as serious, but he succumbed as a result of severe burns to-day.  -Horowhenua Chronicle, 25/7/1924.




An inquest concerning the death of George W. Whittingham, junior, and the circumstances leading thereto was held at the Gore Courthouse on Saturday morning before the coroner (Mr A. Martin). 

George W. Whittingham, father of the deceased, said that work was commenced at the brewery at four o’clock on Tuesday morning. At about 6.15 a.m. they were preparing to run in the underlet. His son was on the top floor watching the heat of the water, witness was on the second floor stoking, and Mr Bain was also on the second floor attending to the underlet. The first indication witness had of any occurrence was a splash of cold water from the top floor, and at the same time his son called out. Witness immediately ran upstairs and put his hand into the vat. His son grasped his hand and was lifted clear of the water. There was no delay whatsoever in getting deceased out of the vat. He took his coat and vest off himself, and witness immediately stripped off his trousers and cut off his boots. Witness then procured a couple of blankets from his house, and carried his son home. Deceased, although asked on several occasions, did not say how he fell into the vat, which was heated to about 190 degrees. He had complained on the Monday about a pain across the stomach. Witness could not account for the accident. There was, he said, a barrel of cold water standing alongside the vat. Three parts of the vat was covered over with a wooden board. The only solution witness could offer was that his son must have attempted to manipulate the tap which filled the barrel, and, overbalancing, pulled over the barrel and fell into the vat. Witness explained that candles had to be used when working before daylight. Electric lights were useless in the dense steam that rose from the vats.

Dr. A. J. McIlroy said he was called in to see deceeased on Tuesday morning between 6.30 and 7 a.m. He found him to be suffering from extensive burns on both legs which extended above the hips. These burns were of the second degree, namely, blistering. The patient was suffering from marked shock from this cause. Witness attended to the burns and injected morphia and strychnine to counteract the shock. Witness called on the patient again the same evening and redressed the burns, and also administered further morphia and strychnine. The following day deceased was recovering from the shock, but commenced to vomit, which ultimately became continuous, being stained with blood. Witness ascertained then that deceased had met with a motor accident on the previous Sunday night, and as a consequence he was suffering from an internal injury. On the Wednesday night he was in a condition of collapse,d ue more to excessive vomiting than to the shock from the burns. The following day (Thursday) he appeared to improve, and on visiting him on the Friday morning the collapse had reoccurred and deceased died in witness’ presence. He considered death was due to shock from excessive burning complicated by internal injury caused by the motor accident on the previous Sunday night. He thought the patient would have recovered from the effects of the burns had not the internal complications set in, which prevented one from stimulating the patient. 

To the Sergeant, Dr. Mcllroy said that deceased did not show any signs of shock from abdominal injury when first visited by witness, and when morphia was administered to allay the shock of the burns the pain due to abdominal injury would be disguised. The internal bleeding prevented the patient taking any nourishment, and he really collapsed from want of food. 

James T. Bain, who was working at the brewery on the morning of the accident, gave corroborative evidence. In rushing to get the candle off the window ledge his left foot slipped into the vat, and it was scalded. He was at present under medical care. The only conclusion he could come to was that deceased had over-reached himself and caught hold of the hogshead instead of the water tap, and pulled it over on the cover of the vat, falling in with it. The hogshead was kept full of water on the stand to pour into the vat when the temperature was right. The water from the town water pipes ran too slowly. That was the reason the hogshead was kept full. This was all the evidence, and the Coroner returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.  -Southland Times, 28/7/1924.

Gore Cemetery.

Olive Jean Rutherford (1907-25/4/1925) and Philip Richard Hudson (1906-22/4/1925).






 (FROM Our Own Correspondent.) OAMARU, April 22. A serious motor accident occurred at an early hour this morning on the road beyond Wharekuri, between Kurow and Omarama, Philip Hudson, aged about 20, a son of Mr Robert Hudson, biscuit manufacturer, of Dunedin, was driving in a two-seater Austin car to his brother's station at "Longslip." He was accompanied by Miss Olive Rutherford, aged about 17, a clerk in the employ of the Otago Farmers' Union, whose parents reside at Caversham. The car ran down an incline for about 100 yards and then fell over a cliff about 130 ft high and was dashed to pieces on the rocks below. 

A man who was proceeding to work at 7.30 discovered the car on the rocks and the young lady on a ledge 20ft above. She was later removed to the Kurow Hotel in a critical condition, but the nature of her injuries could not be ascertained. She was attended by Dr Watt. 

The road is unfenced where the accident occurred. The tracks of the car show that the brakes were applied 40 or 50 yards from the edge of the cliff. It is presumed that the car ran off the road in the fog. 

A search party was out all day, but no trace of Hudson could be discovered. It is possible that he is wandering about the country in a dazed condition. The young lady's watch, which was broken, stopped at 7.25-Otago Daily Times, 23/4/1925.





OAMARU, April 26. Olive .Rutherford, the 18-year-old Dunedin girl, who was found injured near a wrecked car on the Omarama road, near Kurow, North Otago, on Wednesday, died at Kurow on Saturday night without having regained consciousness.

The post-mortem examination was completed at a late hour to-night. 

The examining doctors refused to give any information, in view of their evidence being required later at the inquest, but it was learned that a bullet had been found at the base of the skull and that the other injuries were not sufficient in themselves to cause death.

Philip Hudson, of Dunedin, who was the driver of the car in which both had been travelling, has not yet been found.

Approaching the scene of the accident, the country is very desolate. Nine miles above Kurow is Wharekuri, with the road passing precipitous cliffs. The place where the car left the road is hardly where one would expect an accident to happen. A gradual slope leads from the road about 103 yards, and terminates in a steep cliff with a drop of 150 feet. 

The car apparently was not under control. It did not follow the natural slope of the ground, but kept to the right of the shallow gully. The marks show that the car just missed an iron telegraph pole on its way. It was first thought, owing to some plainer marks, that the brakes had been applied nearing the cliff, but this theory has not been verified by the police. Apparently moving at a fair speed, the car dashed over the top, striking the cliff at a point 50 feet below with the radiator, then turning a somersault and continuing another 30 feet, where it struck earth again, and finally came to rest 25 feet below. It was upturned and wrecked beyond recognition. The car in which the couple travelled was a two-seater Austin, with a dickey seat at the back. Portions of the car were distributed over a wide area. The impact was so severe that it smashed the car to atoms. The spare wheel on the rear of the car was all that escaped damage. 

Young Couple's Movements.

Olive Rutherford (18 years) and Philip Hudson (19 years) had been keeping company for four years, and were formally engaged, with the full approval of the parents. They had been away together on several previous occasions. Miss Rutherford, on the day preceding the accident, had a difference with her mother concerning certain details of the former’s employment. It is understood that the girl left home on Tuesday morning, taking a dress basket, and did not go to work. It is believed that a room was taken in a Dunedin hotel, and the dress basket left there. Mrs Rutherford did not see her daughter up to the time of the accident. 

Consent was given to Hudson by his parents to use the car about 6.30 on Tuesday evening. Hudson was a careful and experienced driver. There is no official information as to the time the pair left Dunedin, nor their movements up to the time of the accident. 

Mr Condon, a resident of Kurow, when passing along the road at 7.10 a.m. on Wednesday, saw the car pulled up on the side of the road, near where the accident subsequently happened, and ascertained from Hudson waving his hand that all was well. A shepherd who passed on a horse at 7.30 a.m., in a heavy fog, noticed a disturbance of metal on the road where the car had left it. He went further up the road, and on returning investigated. Looking over the cliff, he saw the remains of the car and a body lying on a ledge 25 feet down. Dr. Matheson, of Wharekuri, was communicated with, and, assisted by his wife, dressed the wounds and conveyed the girl to the Kurow Hotel. 

Cartridges Found. 

The police, including Detective Le Seuer, commenced enquiries on Wednesday afternoon. They found Hudson’s watch stopped at 7.25, beside the body of the girl; also a hat, glove, and a man’s handkerchief soaked with blood. A man’s hat was found nearby with a hole in the top. An empty cartridge was found beside Olive Rutherford and another near the wrecked car. Empty chocolate boxes and broken lemonade bottles were also found.

The bloodstains led from the body of the girl down the side of the hill past the debris of the car, and on again over the stones down to the water's edge. The stains were not extensive, but sufficient to show the direction in which Hudson went. The police have endeavoured to formulate theories, but none can be established in the absence of Hudson and owing to the death of the girl. The rifle if used, was not discovered, and it is thought that it may have been taken to the river by Hudson. Whether Hudson and the girl were in the car when it went over the cliff will probably never be determined. When discovered the girl had a bleeding wound in the top of the skull, and there was a small round hole in the head. An operation was performed on Wednesday evening at 11 o’clock. Her face was scratched, apparently through striking on the rocks, and there were severe abrasions about the body. The girl though unconscious, spoke several times, but made no reference to the accident, excepting to say that her neck was sore.

Police Dragging River. 

The police are continuing the search for Hudson, and have unsuccessfully dragged the river in the hopes of recovering the rifle, which, it is learned, he sometimes carried with him. Portions of the river were dynamited in the hopes of raising the body, but with no success.  -Ashburton Guardian, 27/4/1925.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.



The special correspondent of the Otago Daily Times, telegraphing from Oamaru last night, stated the search for Philip Hudson was continued today but without result. In view of recent developments, the settlers in Wharekuri are somewhat concerned, though it is still believed that Hudson was drowned in the Waitaki river. It is established that he was possessed of a Winchester rifle when he left the scene of the tragedy. Why he took this weapon if he intended drowning himself is a matter for pure conjecture. He may have swum the river and got into the hill country or he may have retraced his footsteps after finding the river difficult of negotiation. The blood stains leading to the river side do not indicate excessive bleeding. Hudson was a student of Otago University. It is understood that he drew £50 from the bank on the day of his departure from Dunedin. No papers which could throw any light on the tragedy were found on the body of Miss Rutherford. She took a room in the Leviathan Hotel at Dunedin on the day of her departure, but did not occupy it. A warrant was issued at Kurow to-day, charging Philip Richard Hudson with the murder of Olive Jean Rutherford.  -Lake Wakatip Mail, 25/4/1925.




(Per Press Association.) OAMARU, April 28. There were no developments to-day in regard to the Wharekuri tragedy. The search for the missing man continues, and the back country is being scoured by police and civilians, as there is thought to be a possibility of Hudson, who knew the district well, making for the country. A fresh posse of police went out to Kurow to-day to search the river, as it is thought if Hudson was drowned his body would appear on the surface on Wednesday or Thursday. No reason is given why Hudson should have shot the girl. Some advance the theory that she was badly injured in the fall with the car, and that Hudson shot her to put her out of pain. This is discounted by examination made by the doctors at the post-mortem. Another theory is that the girl was shot and then thrown over the precipice, and the car was afterwards sent over. This theory, however, is not widely held. The general opinion is that the two resolved to die together, and that Hudson first shot the girl and then committed suicide. Unless Hudson is found alive, the mystery may never be solved.  -Ashburton Guardian, 29/4/1925.


WAIMATE, Last Night. Is Philip Hudson, wanted on a charge of murder of Olive Rutherford at Wharekuri, still alive? The police are still searching the Waitaki river, but one woman in Waimate believes him to be alive. A stranger called at her house on Friday morning for a cup of tea. He stated he came from Kurow (near Wharekuri) and apologised for his lack of appetite by saying that he had been badly knocked about and had been sleeping out. He was young and well-dressed and appeared very shaky and nervous. He had a number of fresh cuts on his face and kept his hat over his eyes. His conversation appeared significant to the woman, and on leaving, he picked a bundle from a hedge, which, by its shape, may have concealed a rifle, and asked the direction to the main South road. He had apparently approached her house across the paddocks, as he was not seen passing on the road. 


OAMARU, Last Night. No trace has yet been found of Philip Hudson, who is wanted on a charge of murdering Olive Rutherford at Wharekuri last week.  -Horowhenua Chronicle, 30/4/1925.



(By Telegraph. — Press Association.) OAMARU, May 1. No further developments have occurred in regard to the Wharekuri tragedy. The police are still searching for Philip Hudson, but no trace of him has yet been found. There is a possibility that if he is in the fast running Waitaki River his body may never be recovered. The report from Waimate that a young man with scratches on his face had called at a house and asked for food, and that this man might be Hudson, is not regarded seriously.  -Waikato Independent, 2/5/1925.

Olivia and Philip in the NZ "Truth" - 23/5/1925.



[Per United Press Association.] OAMARU, May 20. The body of Philip Hudson, aged nineteen, who disappeared after the Wharekuri tragedy four weeks ago, was found this afternoon in the Waitaki River nearly twenty miles down from the scene of the tragedy. The body was taken to Kurow, where the inquest will be held. The inquest on the body of Olive Rutherford, the other victim, will also be resumed.  -Evening Star, 20/5/1925.




(special to "the press.") DUNEDIN, May 27. That the lives of Olive Jean Rutherford and Philip Richard Hudson were ended in pursuance of a suicide pact between the two young people was the view taken by the Coroner (Mr H. W. Bundle) when the enquiry into the sad happening of five weeks ago ended at Oamaru to-day. Their reasons for entering on the arrangement by which they both would die were, he said, known only to themselves. 

His conclusion was that, with the girl in it, the car was driven over the cliff above the Waitaki river. The fall left her still alive, and Hudson shot her with the rifle. He then shot himself, and wandered into the river. Dr. Douglas said all the girl's organs were quite normal. 

The Coroner said there could be no doubt but that the car was intentionally driven over the cliff, for, though the morning was foggy, the road was quite clear ahead. There was no breaking away of the cliff, indicating that the car must have gone over at a fair rate of speed. Everything possible had been done for the unfortunate girl, but without avail. There was no sign of the other occupant of the car, and various rumours were current, but there seemed very little doubt that the unfortunate boy had gone into the river. That turned out to be correct, and the body was recovered on May 19th by watchers employed by the Hudson family. 

"I may here say," said the Coroner, "that there is no possibility of any third party having connected with the death of these two young people. I need not go into details as to my reasons for that conclusion, since there can be no possibility of a third party being implicated. It seems hardly necessary to touch on that point, and I merely mention it in passing. 

"Looking at all the circumstances, having viewed the scene of the accident, and having heard the medical evidence," he proceeded, "I am forced to the conclusion that these two young people had decided on suicide, for reasons best known to themselves, and known only to them. It would seem that the girl remained in the car when it was driven over the bank. I do not think that Hudson could possibly have been in the car, for the fall would without doubt have rendered him unconscious. From the evidence of the witness Bell, it is plain that the rifle was in the car when it left Dunedin. Hudson must have carried the rifle down the cliff. His watch was found above, and it must have been detached during his descent. Miss Rutherford was not killed by the fall, and finding her still living, Hudson, in pursuance of their 'arrangement,' discharged the rifle and ended her life. He then shot himself, and in a semi-conscious condition wandered into the river. Neither party can have been in a proper state of mind at the time. 

"I can only find that Philip Richard Hudson committed suicide by shooting and drowning himself, and that Olive Jean Rutherford died at Kurow, on April 25th, from the effects of a bullet wound inflicted by Hudson on April 22nd. In the interests of the parents these sad details should as far as possible, and as quickly as possible, be forgotten."  -Press, 28/5/1925.

Dunedin Doings

The Hudson Mystery. 

The Hudson mystery is still a mystery. Perhaps when all is said and done, the finding of Hudson's body was the best thing that could have happened — better by far than the dreadful ordeal of trial by jury that would doubtless have followed his finding alive. 

During the month that elapsed between the tragedy and the discovery of Hudson's body in the river the tongue of scandal wagged furiously. It was freely asserted that he would never be found — that the police had been bribed — with a thousand and one wild rumours, each more ridiculous than the last. But with his finding these rumours were laid once and for all. 

Nevertheless, the story of the tragedy is still wrapped in a veil of mystery, and there is no hint as to the dreadful happenings on the Wharekuri cliff at that early hour just past the dawn when the crime was committed. The inquest has thrown practically no light on the affair, and it looks now as though it will sink into oblivion with many another unsolved mystery of crime. 

The funeral of Hudson took place quietly on Thursday of last week. It is an interesting and pathetic circumstance that by an arrangement between the parents he was buried in a grave adjoining that of his fiancee, Olive Rutherford.   -Cromwell Argus, 1/6/1925.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  Olive's grave is to the left.


OAMARU, July 13. The last phase in the Wharekari tragedy was revealed to-day, when the rifle by which Philip Hudson took his own life and that of Olive Rutherford on the eventful day of Wednesday, April 22, was discovered in the Waitaki River in the vicinity of the sensational occurrence. Owing to the heavy flood waters coming down from the hills, the Waitaki River changed its course. This is not an unusual occurrence, as the river frequently changes its course during a flood. A prospector (Mr W. B. Appleby), who was prospecting near the scene of the fatality, saw the rifle in the water at no great distance from the shore. Mr Appleby recovered it, and it was found to be the rifle used by Hudson. Constable Melville, stationed at Kurow, took charge of the weapon. It is a repeating Winchester, and still had seven undischarged cartridges in it.  -Otago Witness, 21/7/1925.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Anthony Fitzpatrick Francis, 1887-2/10/1926.



Anthony Francis, aged thirty-nine, a miner employed by the Linton Company, was found dead in a section or the old workings. It is presumed that deceased was overcome by fumes. He leaves a widow and four chilldren. - Invercargill Press Association telegram.   -Evening Star, 4/10/1926.

Linton Mine Fatality.

A painful shock passed through the community on Saturday afternoon when word was received that Anthony Fitzpatrick (Tony) Francis had been found dead in the Linton mine. From information received it seems that he was missed from his place and a search was organised. Two miners, accompanied by a deputy, entered an old drive where there was a steep incline. A short distance up the incline a light was shining, which proved to be the electric lamp on the deceased's head, who was lying huddled up. The two miners were proceeding the deputy, and had almost reached the deceased when they were overcome by foul air of some kind and collapsed. Reinforcements being at hand the men were quickly withdrawn and recovered. Efforts to restore artificial respiration to the deceased were continued for about an hour without success.

Why the deceased had gone into this part of the mine, which was some distance from his working place, cannot yet be explained.

Dr McQuilkan performed a post mortem examination, and an inquest will be held.

The deceased, who was 39 years of age, leaving a widow and young family of four, who have the deepest sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their sudden bereavement.

Mr Francis was elected a member of the Town Board at the last election, but had not had the honour of sitting at a meeting, as the first meeting does not take place till next Monday. He was a prominent official on the Medical Association and Miners' Union.   -otautau Standard and Wallace County Chrionicle, 5/10/1926.




(Per United Press Association.) INVERCARGILL, October 8. What is nowadays a rare type of fatality was inquired into by the coroner, Mr G. Cruickshank, S.M., at Nightcaps today. The inquest was on the body of a miner named Anthony Fitzpatrick Francis, aged 30 years, who was found dead in the abandoned workings of the Linton Coal Company’s mine under circumstances suggesting asphyxiation by methane gas, or fire damp. Constable Boyle, Nightcaps, represented the police, Mr Horace Macalister the Linton Coal Company, and Mr W. A. Stout the relatives of deceased. 

A miner named Henry Weir said that on October 2, at about 2.30 p.m., he was informed by a trucker that Francis was missing. Later he met a shot firer at the bottom of the main dip, and the latter organise a party to search the passages. Witness himself went with the shot firer and a man named Crawford through the return airway. When they came to the "undercast” the shot firer asked witness if he saw any footprints. He then noticed distinct marks on the rough white stone steps of No. 2 “undercast.” The three followed on the same path as the footprints, and finally they could see the reflection of a light shining in the rib of the left airway. Witness called out, but did not receive a reply. A few steps further on he made out a man’s boots against the light of an electric cap lamp. Witness called to the others, “Here he is,” and they went up. Francis was lying in a crouched position on his side with his head on the ground. Witness, continuing, said, that when he put out his hand to raise deceased’s head he felt his own body stiffening. He lost consciousness for a moment, and the next thing he knew was that he had fallen into the dross at the foot of the incline. He thought he must have been affected by gas.

Samuel Crawford, another miner, who accompanied Weir and the shot firer into the return airway, corroborated the previous witness’s account. He added that when he went up to the body he seemed to lose his breath, and fell back. He had a feeling of constriction in the head, and it appeared to him the attack was caused by gas. He did not remember much until he managed to get out. Once out of the danger area witness warned the others not to go into this particular part of the mine. He informed a miner named Robertson that deceased was lying on the “upcast,” and a party, includling witness, went inside again. Robertson reached up and pulled deceased out by the legs. The body was taken into a safe place and artificial respiration was employed without result. 

To the Coroner: Witness said he neither tasted nor smelt the gas, the only indication of danger being a choking sensation and a pain in the head. 

Alexander Russell Malcolm, a shot firer in the mine, gave evidence along lines similar to that given by the previous witnesses. He said that when he approached the body he also “felt queer,” and had to retreat. Weir, who went forward also fell back across witness’s feet. Witness did not see Crawford, but heard him making a strange noise. The party finally went back 6ft or so where the atmosphere was clear. Judging by the effect, witness thought that the gas was fire damp. About 6 p.m., when the place was examined, witness was again present. The air was then clear of gas. 

Questioned by the coroner witness said that he could not say where deceased had intended to go. The “overcast" in which he was found led merely to an abandoned working of the mine. 

To the Inspector of Mines: Witness said he was carrying an oil flame safety lamp with which he could have made a test tor gas. However, he was affected by the fumes so quickly that he could not do this. He was too ill to think of it when Robertson went back to get the body.

Dr J. McQuilkin, Nightcaps, said that he made a post-mortem examination of the deceased’s body. The cause of death was suffocation, which could have been caused by inhaling an irrespirable gas. Death was not due to carbon monoxide poisoning. 

An underviewer at the mine, Kdward Charles, said that on the day af the deceased’s death he had inspected all the working places in the mine. Some time after 11 a.m., witness saw deceased, who was then in his regular place. At about 3 p.m. while on the surface above the mine, he was told Francis had been missing. A little later he received an urgent call from below and set off for the main dip but while going down the shaft he met a shot-firer from a different section, who told him that Francis’s body had been found. Several miners were using artificial respiration, but when witness tried the pulse and heart he found no motion. Some time after witness climbed up the ladder in the intake passage and tested the atmosphere with the result that fire damp was detected, apparently in a moving body. The ventilation in the mine was ample to keep all the workings clear. 

George Langford, mine manager for the Linton Company, said he was familiar with the portion of the mine in which deceased was found lying, and knew gas had been found in that “overcast” before, but only at the week-ends, when the fans were idle. The fans were started each night at midnight in compliance with the Mining Act, and were, of course, running on the day of the accident. 

To the Coroner: Deceased had no right to go into the “overcast,” as the regulations forbade miners to go away from their working places. 

To the Inspector of Mines: On a previous occasion a large accumulation of fire damp mixture, estimated roughly at about 3000 cubic feet, was found in the “overcast." The construction of the place was probably the reason for the gas accumulating. 

At this stage the inquest was adjourned owing to the fact that the insurance company holding deceased’s life policy had not received notice the inquiry had commenced. It was agreed to send the company a copy of the depostions before the coroner entered his verdict.  -Otago Daily Times, 9/10/1926.

Gore Cemetery.

Mary Sullivan, 1842-19/1/1883.

It is this morning our melancholy duty to have to record the death on Friday last of Mrs Sullivan, of the Railway Hotel, at the premature age of 42, after a very short illness. The deceased lady was held in the highest esteem by a large circle of acquaintances, and this was evinced by the number who attended her funeral on Sunday last, many being present from a great distance. She was distinguished for her charitable disposition, and many will miss her now that she is gone. Mr H. Kingsland, of Invercargill, conducted the obsequies in his usual skilful manner. The Rev. Father Fitzgerald had arranged to visit Riversdale for Mass on Sunday but kindly remained for the purpose of performing the necessary funeral rites. The evening servioe in the Church of England was of a special character in respect to the deceased, although she was not of that denomination and the Dead March in Saul was played by Mr Bree. 

On Sunday last before Father Fitzgerald commenced Mass in Watson's Hall, the rev. gentleman, alluding to the decease of Mrs Sullivan, spoke as follows: "We have met here to-day under unusual circumstances. One has been taken from our midst and gone to her eternal bourne. May God grant her peace! However, as it is, with a mingling of hope and disquietude, we look beyond the grave. It may be that her soul is detained for a time in the cleansing fires of purgatory. If such should be the case, Holy Faith assures us, dear brethren, that we can assist the suffering souls, and that we can shorten by our prayers to Almighty God, the detention of a soul in purgatory. Under this assurance we ask the intercession of your prayers; during this Mass for the eternal rest of Mary Sullivan, whose remains we shall follow in a few hours to the grave, where we trust the rubrics of religion will breathe the final expression of resepect due to the departed." Father Fitzgerald held two services on Sunday, one a Requiem and the other at 11 a.m. The large attendance at both services only tends to prove how muoh a Catholic priest was required in the district and how much he is already appreciated.   -Maraura Ensign, 23/1/1883.

Mrs Sullivan, late of the Bluff, and wife of Mr Sullivan of the Railway hotel here died on Friday last, after a short and painful illness. The deceased lady was very generally respected by those who knew her well for her kindly and generous disposition. She was a kind mother, and I am sure that her children, several of whom are but young, will miss her much. Much compassion is felt for the bereaved ones. A very numerous cortege of mourners followed her remains to their last resting place in Gore cemetery, yesterday.   -Southland Times, 24/1/1883.

Gore Cemetery.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Nurse Eva Cooper, 1892-18/11/1918. "True to the end"

Nurse Eva Florence Mary Cooper was a Dunedin Hospital nurse during the spanish flu epidemic of 1918. She died of the disease as the result of doing her duty as a nurse.  Owing to the regulations of the time, she was not able to be buried in her home town of Gore.

Nurse Eva F. M. Cooper whose death took place last Monday evening at Dunedin was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs Chas. Cooper, Riverbend Farm, Gore. She was educated at the East Gore school, and two years ago joined the nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital, and the flag was flown half mast at the Dunedin Hospital out of respect to the memory of deceased. A brother, Private F. F. Cooper, was killed in action 18 months ago. -Mataura Ensign, 23/11/1918.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin. DCC photo.

Cooper — In loving memory of Nurse Eva Cooper, who died on November 18, 1918. "True to the end." — Inserted by her mates.  -Otago Witness, 18/11/1919.

Gore cemetery.

Lizzie Gilbert, 1884-20/5/1895.


A promising and bright-eyed little lass — Lizzie, second daughter of Mr David Gilbert, Gore, succumbed on Monday evening to an attack of brain fever, after an illness extending over a fortnight. Mr and Mrs Gilbert and family will receive general sympathy in their bereavement. "Ever since her illness commenced," writes a member of the East Gore School teaching staff, "a deep gloom was cast over the whole school. A bright, cheery, engaging girl, she was a great favourite both with her class-mates and teachers, as well as with the little girls at school who, when in trouble, could count on a kind-hearted fried in Lizzie." — Mataura Ensign.  -Clutha Leader, 25/5/1895.

MR and MRS GILBERT desire to express SINCERE THANKS to their many Friends for the Sympathy shown and help rendered during the illness of their late Daughter, LIZZIE.  -Mataura Ensign, 24/5/1895.

The funeral of Lizzie, the late daughter of Mr David Gilbert, East Gore, took place on Wednesday afternoon. The cortege was a very lengthy one, and included the scholars from the East Gore State and Wesleyan Sabbath schools. The services at the house and grave were conducted by the Rev. W. Tinsley. The coffin, which was carried to the grave by eight young men, was hidden by beautiful wreaths and crosses, no less than 60 of these tributes of sympathy being sent by friends.  -Mataura Ensign, 24/5/1895.

Gore Cemetery.

Lois Annie Bowmar, 1882-8/5/1907.

Many of our readers will learn with regret of the death of Miss Lois Annie Bowmar, daughter of Mrs and the late Mr Joseph Bowmar, formerly of Otaraia. The young lady had been employed in Mr W. Baker's establishment and was a general favorite, but her health becoming low she was sent to Queenstown for a change some time ago. At first the change proved beneficial, but in the long run the complaint assumed the mastery and she returned to Gore on Thursday last, only to pass away this morning.  -Mataura Ensign, 8/5/1907.

The death took place at Gore on Wednesday last of Miss Lois Annie Bowmar, daughter of Mrs and the late Joseph Bowmar, fomerly of Otaraia. Deceased young lady had been temporarily residing in Queenstown for a year or two past in the hopes of overcoming that fell disease, consumption, but though her life was prolonged the stage of the complaint had become too advanced and deceased returned to Gore some 6 days before her death. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved mother.   -Lake Wakatip Mail, 14/5/1907.

Gore Cemetery.