News from 100 years ago – 30 March 1918

Featured image: Captured Turkish troops, Palestine. From the Fred Hutchings Collection. Moruya Museum


Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 30 March 1918, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

THE GREAT STRUGGLE has commenced, all thoughts are concentrated on the Western front.

AEROPLANES OVER VICTORIA. – While on duty near Nyang on Thursday, Constable Wright, while awaiting assistance to get a car out of the stiff sand, observed two aeroplanes flying very high pass almost dues westwards over the route of the railway line from Ouyen to Adelaide. No notification had been received of any projected flight. The day was very clear, and the constable said that he distinctly saw the glint of a machine in the sunshine.

FATALITY AT CENTRAL TILBA – On Wednesday news was received of a terrible accident at Glenrock, Central Tilba, when an eleven year old daughter of Mr. John Barker was killed instantly. The Coroner, Mr. M. O’Reilly, held an inquiry, when a number of witnesses gave evidence. Roy Barker, a brother of the deceased, stated that it was his habit to drive a van loaded with milk to the cheese factory every morning. On Wednesday morning his sister Caroline May, got into the van to go to school. He was coming from the house to get into the van, when he saw the horse move off at a walk. The brake was on and his sister did not have hold of the reins. The down hill from the yards soon urged the horse to a gallop, and after going about 150 yards the van turned over. The deceased never moved or spoke after she was picked up. Dr. Lister stated that he examined the deceased and found that her skull was fractured and that death was instantaneous. There were several milk cans lying around where the deceased was picked up. The coroner returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence – that Caroline May Barker, aged 11, died from laceration of the brain, accidentally received through being thrown out of a van.

Asbestos Irons

DEATH – It is our sad duty this week to chronicle the death of Mr. Thomas Donnelly, whose serious illness was reported in these columns a short time ago. His demise took place early on Sunday morning in the local hospital, to which place he had been removed from home a few weeks ago, at the age of 62 years. The late Mr. Donnelly, who was a native of Dubbo, N.S.W., had been ailing for 10 years, but it was only about five weeks ago that it was considered serious, the kidneys being the cause of the trouble. Dr. Quilter was in constant attendance, and wishing for a consultation, Dr. Marshall was sent for, but the Bega medico only verified Dr. Quilter’s diagnosis of the case, and pronounced it a critical one. The deceased was of such an unassuming disposition that it was only those who knew him intimately had any idea of his benevolent spirit. The deceased leaves a widow, six sons – Messrs. Patrick and Claude (Moruya), Gilbert (Bodalla), Rupert (Sydney), George and Joseph (Moruya), – five daughters – Medames J. Spinks (Burra), R. Spinks (Bodalla), Dave Coppin (Gundary), E. Taylor (Bulli) and Miss Jessie Donnelly (Gundary).

ROLL OF HONOR – Mrs. C. Cheeseman has received the sad intelligence that her favourite nephew paid the supreme sacrifice on the blood-stained field of France.

A GREAT many Moruyaites contemplate visiting Bateman’s Bay on Easter Monday to attend the day’s sports and ball at night.

PRIVATE Phil Knight quite astonished as well as delighted his many friends on Monday night by his fluent and terse speech. Phil promises to become as good an orator as he has been a patriot.

A RESPONSE. – In order to appease our craving for some choice fruit, as Mr. J. Grumley, of Wagonga, says he presented us with a few samples of beautiful apples of the Royal Eight variety, from his own orchard. Thanks friend Grumley.

Mr. J. Hansen has leased Mrs. W. H. Simpson’s town residence, “Carlyon,” Moruya.

Nineteen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1917 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (

The Moruya Museum houses a collection of furniture, books, artefacts and memorabilia that is intended to show visitors something of the lives of the ordinary people of this community from the middle of the nineteenth century. Most items on display were donated by local families.

To explore the museum’s online collection click HERE.

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