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Thomas Plain is situated about 120km north-northwest of Adelaide. The nearest town is Bute which is 12km away.


Saturday 25 November 1876, South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881) Trove

An inquest was held at Thomas's Plain, near Eadina, on Friday, November 17, by Mr. J. Gaskell, J.P., into the circumstances attending the death of Elizabeth Sarah Pearce, who had died suddenly on the previous day. Mr. T. M. Rendell was. chosen foreman of the jury.

Honor Pearce, daughter of the deceased, said her mother complained on the Wednesday night previously of great pain in the stomach. Put on a mustard plaster, and gave her a drink of gin and water, after which she appeared to be easier. She soon became worse, and looked wild, and became drawn up, and shook a good deal. Bathed her head and her hands with brandy and water. About twenty minutes afterwards the shaking ceased, and the deceased appeared to become better ; but in a quarter of an hour she had another attack, and she began to roll and toss on the bed. Tried to restrain her but could not do so, and had trouble to keep her from falling out of bed. She had from thirteen to fifteen attacks altogether. Bathed her head and hands with brandy and water during their continuance. She died about 2.30 on Thursday, about 15 hours after the first symptoms. She did not appear to be conscious after the first fit. She had previously complained of a pain in the back. During the illness gave her chlorodyne four times, about 30 drops each dose. She could not help herself.

Elizabeth Pearce, a daughter of the deceased, said her mother complained about 7 o'clock on Wednesday evening that there was something wrong with her heart, and that she was troubled with wind, and at half-past 11 she complained of pains in her stomach. Witness put on a mustard plaster, and the previous witness remained with deceased all night. During the fits she bled a little at the mouth. Never heard her complain before. By the Jury — She appeared to be a little better at 5 o'clock in the morning. Had heard her complain of a pain near the heart. She vomited a great deal after she complained of the pain in her stomach, with much straining. By the Police — Did not hear her complain of anything she had taken previously. She would not allow a doctor to be sent for.

Samuel Isaac Pearce, deceased's son, said his mother told him she thought the pains were brought on by drinking cold water. She said she had never before experienced anything like it.

Elizabeth Shields, nurse, said she was with deceased from 7.30 on Thursday morning till she died. She was apparently unconscious all the time. Did not see anything given to her.

W. N. Robinson medical practitioner, said he should imagine, from the external appearance of the body, that the cause of death was apoplexy, but he could not speak positively without making a, post-mortem, examination.

The jury, without retiring, found that the deceased died from natural causes.


Saturday 16 December 1882, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

December 15. A man named Alfred Robinson, employed by Mr. Harris, a farmer at Thomas's Plains, was killed to-day. He was taking a load of wheat to the station at Green's Plains, when he fell under the wagon, and a wheel passed over his head, crushing it. An inquest was held by Mr. Gaskell, and a verdict of ' Accidental death' returned. Deceased leaves a wife, but no family.


Saturday 21 June 1884, South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889) Trove

Wallaroo, June 16. A destitute boy, Thomas Henry Allen, aged 12, who was boarded out with Mr, Ramsay, at Thomas Plains, states that he has been grossly ill-treated. His statement is that last month Ramsay's son Charles, aged 25, took a stick from a fire in a section which was being cleared, and because the boy was not working called him a 'lazy wretch,' and ordered him to take eg his trousers. He complied, and Ramsay applied a fire-stick to his body two or three times. Mr. Keate, the secretary of the Local Destitute Board, proceeded to Ramsay's place yesterday and examined the lad and found several old scars, which appeared to corroborate the boy's statement. Mr. Keats brought the boy to Wallaroo, where the doctor examined him, but could not owing to the lapse of time state whether the macks were the result of bums or not. Charles Ramsay, the accused, denies the charge, which will be strictly investigated.

Wednesday 20 January 1892, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

January 18. With regret the writer has to chronicle the death of Mr Joseph Ramsay, who, after a brief illness, passed away at bis residence, Thomas's Plains, on Saturday, 16th January. The. deceased, who had attained the ripe age of 81 years, was born in Suffolk (England) on the 26th March, 1811, and was a colonist of 36 years. He left his native land on board the ship Norman for South Australia in 1855. On arrival he began farming in Hay Valley, in the Mount Barker District, where he resided for ten years, removing to Kanmantoo, where he again spent ten years ; thence to Kadina; and in the year 1876, when the great land boom was raging, he selected land in this district, where he remained until his death. The old gentleman, who was much respected by those who knew him, has left a widow, six sons,:one daughter, and many grandchildren to mourn their loss. The funeral, which was a very large one, left the late residense on Sunday for interment in the Kadina Cemetery. The burial service was conducted by the Rev. J. J. Salmon.

Wednesday 2 November 1892, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

October 31, On Friday last the children attending the public school at Thomas PIains sat down at 4 o'cIock to an excellent spread provided by Miss Matthews, the teacher, and a number of friends, after which the friends and visitors received a similar treat. The children during the afternoon indulged in several games, and to all appearance enjoyed themselves immensely, A concert followed at 7.30, with Mr T. H. Rodda in the chair, who after complimenting Miss Matthews upon the way in which she had worked to make the thing a success, and the parents on having obtained such an able teacher, called upon Messrs Oebm Bros, for an overture, which was well given and applauded. The teacher and the children then look, the thing in hand to the satisfaction of all present, and gave about 35 songs, choruses, solos, duets, readings, and recitations, all of which were well rendered and deservedly applauded. A comprehensive vote, of thanks was given to Miss Matthews for the able way in which she had trained and conducted the children, and to the friends who had so ably assisted her in making the thing a success, The National Anthem brought the concert to a close. A supper was then laid out and came in for a good deal of attention.


Wednesday 12 September 1900, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Thomas' Plains, September 7. The anniversary of the Methodist Sunday School was celebrated on Sunday, Then the Rev J. A. Finch preached two sermons to overflowing congregations.

On Tuesday the children's and public tea was provided by the ladies, and was well patronized. The public meeting which followed was again crowded. The Superintendent, Mr Trebil, presided, and gave the financial statement and Secretary's report. A long programme of recitations, and dialogues was ably gone through by the scholars, and the Rev. P. G. Thomas gave an address and distributed the rewards. Special singing was rendered at each service by the young folks. Mr W. Ramsey presided at the organ, and Mr Rodda played the cornet. A supper came on after and lasted till the approach of thesmall hours.

Inspector Whillas examined the dayschool on Wednesday, and considering, that most of the children were suffering from late hours the previous day, and the eight hours holiday combined, went through the ordeal with good results about 80 per cent being gained, this is considered most satisfactory to the teacher (Miss Cocks) who has only had charge of the school since February.

The season so far has been most favourable to the wheat crops which have grown fast lately, so also have the weeds on the fallowed ground, and a good deal of attention and work has to be paid in scarifying them up after the recent rains.


Wednesday 19 March 1902, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Ninnes, March 35. Anniversary services in connection with the Methodist Church, Thomas Plains, was held Sunday and Monday last, the building being packed to its utmost holding capacity. In the afternoon and evening the Revs. White and Finch conducted the services in their usual able manner. On Monday the laidies of Thomas Plains provided a good spread. A goodly number having been refreshed, a public meeting took place: The Rev. Finch, who occupied the chair, gave a short resume of the action of the conference with reference to Sunday School work urging both teachers and parents the necessity of care in this most needed work. The Rev. White gave a well thought out address on "The Blacksmith and his Anvil," showing to the satisfaction of all present that it was not man who made the most noise that did the most work. Miss May Martin, of Kadina, by special invitation, gaye two songs during the evening, in a most efficient manner, showing plainly that this young lady has capabilities not possessed by many in this district. Mr Geo. Smith, of Northam, W.A., played the accompaniments, and he also gave two selections on the organ, which were well received. The financial statement showed £34 odd to be the result of the effort made, towards the church fund. A supper followed.

In a few instances seeding has commenced, but will not be general until next month.


Saturday 5 July 1902, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Ninnes, June 28. The children of Thomas Plains School and surrounding district met at the schoolroom on the 26th, coronation day, to take part, or rather to do their part in honoring His Majesty the King. Although, the sad news of His Majesty's illness was received with profound regret, it was understood the arrangements made for the children had to be carried out, and a real gala day for the young folk was the result, the whole proceedings going off without a hitch. A royal salute being fired by our local military opened the proceedings. Keen competition among the children for the various events took place with the utmost good feeling throughout and the teacher (Mr Robinson) seemed to be pleased with his little staff, and did all in his power to amuse the children. The tables were arranged in the schoolroom, in a style characteristic of the ladies of this place. The juveniles faced their task, which was to clear the tables with great promptness, and only backed down when a colic pain seemed to say enough. Cricket, football, and a shooting contest filled in the afternoon, In the evening a huge bonfire lit up the place for a great distance, and fireworks of a great variety, including dynamite, jumping jacks, cannons, spit fires, wheels, and of course the inevitable, cracker, which has always a stimulating effect on horses, making things lively for a while, but beyond a couple of those animals prefering to go home in haste, nothing exciting took place. The youngsters having exhausted the supply, which was very considerable, an ajournment was again made to the Schoolroom, where supper was in waiting, a further proof of the juvenile ability being made known. A general move for home was made at 10 o'clock.


Friday 19 February 1904, Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951) Trove

February 11. A RUNAWAY. Recently while Mr W Ramsey was at Thomas Plains Methodist Church his horse by some means broke loose and ran away with a dog cart. Mr S Pearce, seeing the bolting animal, immediately gave chase on foot, and found the horse and cart standing at Mr A Morony's gate near Ninnes school. Very little if any damage was done, although the excited creature travelled about six miles.


Saturday 17 July 1909, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Mr George Williamson , aged 43, son of the late Mr James Williamson, of Thomas Plains, died at the Wallaroo Hospital, to which he was admitted the previous afternoon, early on Wednesday morning. As Dr Harbison destined to grant a burial certificate the police were informed, and on Thursday morning an inquest was held by Mr J. Malcolm, J, P., and a jury.

Evidence was given by Edward Cavanagh,' of the Kadina Hotel, who depesed that the deceased had been staying at that hotel for the past four weeks, and took ill on Monday last.

William Henry Harbison, medieal practitioner, of Wallaroo, deposed tbat tbe deceased was admitted to the Hospital on Tuesday afternoon between 2 and 3 o'clock. He was in a semi-conscious and collapsed condition. He gradually sank, and died early on Wednesday morning. As the result of a post mortem-examination, he was of the opinion that the cause of death was alcoholic poisoning.

Lewis Wibmer Jeffries, medical practitioner, of Kadina, deposed tbat he was called to see the deceased on Monday, night, and ordered his removal to the Wallaroo Hospital.

Evidence was also given by Walter Bache, hotel-keeper, of Kadina, and Matthew Dudley Cavanagh, barman, of Kadina.

The verdict of the jury was—" That the deceased, George Williamson, came to bis death by alcoholic poisoning."


Wednesday 22 March 1911, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Thomas' Plains, March 21. Services to celebrate the anniversary of the Thomas' Plains Methodist Church were held on Sunday and Monday. The pulpit at the afternoon service was occupied by the Rev J. Watson, and in the evening by the Rev. A. S. Carne. On Monday evening the annual public meeting was held, and was presided over by Mr A. Pearce. Mr W. Ramsey presented the financial statement, which showed that after meeting current expenses and the cost of certain improvements to the church property, there was a credit balance. The pastor's report was given by Rev. A, H. Carne, who with Rev. J. P. H. Tilbrook delivered appropriate addresses. All the services were well attended.


Saturday 25 March 1911, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

The pretty church at Thomas' Plains provided the frame for a still prettier picture on the night of March 2nd, when the lights shone on Samuel Stewart Rodda and Ruby Delsie Dansy as they stood " plighting their troth either to other" before a company that thronged the building. The bride was given away by her father, Mr William Danay of Wirrabara, and looked charming in white silk-trimtned silk, all over lace and insertion. The chief bridesmaid, Miss Pearl Rodda, wore deep cereme silk embroidered muslin, the seoond bridesmaid, Miss Emmeline Dansy, wore pale pink silk muslin trimmed creme insertion and tucked net. The third brides maid, Miss Ida Cock, was attired in pale blue silk muslin trimmed creme insertion and tucked net. The best man was Mr L. Dansy, of Broken Hill, and brother of the bride. At the conclusion of the ceremony a large company repaired to the hospitable home of Mr William Cock of Willamulka, where a splendid repast, awaited the guests. The large bain had been requisitioned, and gave ample room for the guests, and the keen evening air and the four mile drive provided a fine stimulus to the appetite. After full justice had been done to the excellent fare, the usual toasts were proposed and responded to. The evening was spent very happily by the guests, and when our scribe left there was a very pronounced " won't-go-heme-till-morning" zest about the proceedings. The officiating minister was the Rev. J. Watson, of Wallaroo. The young couple left for their honeymoon per motor car, and after a stay in Adelaide will continue the honeymoon at Thomas Plains.


Saturday 27 November 1915, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

A school concert was held in the Thomas Plains Methodist Church on Wednesday, November 24. The Rev. Allanson presided over a crowded home, many travelling long distances. Miss Laurel Ramsey supplied appropriate music. The children rendered patriotic songs, namely—'Rule Britannia' (in which Rita Manuel took the role of Britannia), 'Australia Will Be There,' the French 'Marseillaise,' and the Russian hymn, which were appreciated by everyone. The star feature of the evening was a cantata entitled 'Soot and the Fairies,' in which Ivy Olsen (representing Queen Lily), Master Billy Ramsey (Captain Soot), and Olive Spry (Dr Sunlight) took the principal parts. Recitations were contributed by Gladys Tacker, Ivy Olsen, Minnie Olsen, Doreen Skipworth, and Max Tucker. Songs were pleasingly rendered by Ivy Ramsey, Sylvia Couzner, and Winnie Olsen. An action song entitled 'The Japanese Fam' was creditably song by Edith Couzner, Doreen Skipworth, Dorothy Weatphall, Ivy Ramsey, and Rita Manuel. A tableaux entitled ' Australia Will be There,' with Master Stan Olsen as a wounded soldier, resulted in 4/5 in pennies being thrown on the stage, and this soon will be handed over to the Wounded Soldiers' Fund. Other tableaux were 'Babes in the Wood' and 'Dolly's Washing Day.' A comprehensive vote of thanks was moved by Mr J. Reid to the teacher (Miss Hooper), to whom great credit is due for her no tiring efforts to make the consert a sucess. The creditable sum of £6 2s was raised for the Red Cross Fund. A splendid supper was provided by the parents, and was heartily partaken of. The concert was a big success from every standpoint.


Friday 9 June 1916, Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951) Trove

Mr. James Williamson a well known farmer of Thomas Plain, died at Kadina, somewhat suddenly on Wednesday May 31. He was in delicate health for some time, and removed from the farm to Kadina where he owned considerable property. He was an old Colonist having arrived by the sliip "Henry Moore" in 1857. After a residence of a few years at the Burra, the family came to Wallaroo mines, Mr. Williamson's father being one of the six miners who opened the first shaft there and was also one of the first to tackle the scrub farming.


Wednesday 31 January 1917, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

On Saturday evening last, at the Thomas' Plains Church, a very successful farewell social was tendered Sergeant Gordon Rodda, who has enlisted for active service, by the residence of the district. The Rev. E. E. Clark presided over a large gathering, the building being crowded. Sergt. Rodda is the youngest son of Mr T. H. Rodda, of Kadina, and is a very popular young man. The chairman, after briefly explaining the purpose of the gathering, said that the fine attendance fully showed how they all honored Sergt. Rodda for enlisting. It was a big step to take, and none took it unless they had beard the call personalty to join the host of heroes. He (the speaker) had been at the front, and knew what war service in Egypt meant. Sergt. Rodda, however, would escape the extreme heat and the flies, and go straight to England. The soldiers he would meet might use lurid language at times, but he could say with conviction that they were men at heart. All present realised that Sergt. Rodda had obeyed the call of duty and their prayers for his safety were coupled with the heartiest wishes for his safe return at no distant date. Rev. Clark then, on behalf of the Kadina Willing Workers' League, presented Sergt. Rodda with a parcel of woollen comforts.

Mr A. Pearce, on behalf of the Thomas' Plains congregation, presented the guest with a Morocco pocket book, and eulogised his character and action in enlisting. A presentation of a Testament, on behalf of the Thomas Plains Sunday School, was made by Mr C. Skipworth, who spoke in appreciative terms of the help given the school by the guest. They admired Sergt. Rodda as a man who felt impelled to take his stand for right against wrong, and were certain he would make a true and chivalrous soldier. The Willamulka Rifle Club, represented by Mr E. S. White, also showed its appreciation of Sergt. Rodda by gifts of a periscope and safety, razor, Mr While stating that they would always think of the guest as a good comrade and sportsman.

Sergt . Rodda, who was received with great applause, in a brief and appropriate reply, asked the assemblage to accept his aiaoerest thanks for their generous, remarks, kind wishes, and appreciated gifts. He would ever remember the happy times spent with them all, and though there was always a wrench at parting, he would do his duty as a soldier and Australian. (Applause.)

During the evening the following items were given by local and Kadina residents: —Miss O'Brien, recitations, "In the usual way" and " The bald-headed man," Miss M. G. Harris, recitation, "Plum stones," and club swinging ; vocal solos, Mrs E. Clark, "Little Laddie in Khaki" and "Till the great day comes" ; Miss G. Tallam, " The Englishman's Home'' and ''The Deathless Army" ; Miss F. Champion, "Only one of the Toys" and "Mother Mackree" ; Mr A. W. Pearson, "Two Eyes of Grey" and "The Perfect Day" ; Mr D. Shanks, " Three for Jack" and "The Captain's Duty." A supper and the singing of the National Anthem conoluded a most enjoyable function.


Saturday 29 September 1917, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

A sucessful concert was helsd on Tuesday 25th Inst, in aid of the Y.M.C.A. Army Department, in Mr. Albert Ayles barn. The Rev. E. E. Clark, R.S.A., presided over a packed house, crowds travelling long distances to be present. Mrs. C. Skipworth kindly lent her piano for the occasion. The concert party came from Kadina, Wallaroo, and Paskeville, and gave a highly creditable programme. The Paskeville Brass Band, under the baton of Mr. Meadowcroft, rendered selections which enlivened the proceedings, the music being much appreciated by everyone. A grand ball followed, at which Mr. Davis officiated as M.C., the floor being crowded at every dance. There were numerous guessing competitions and sale of buttons, lollies, poultry, cake, and produce, which swelled the funds considerably. The chief attraction in the guessing competitions was a dressed pig, presented by Mr. Geo. Ramsey, which brought, in the sum of £4 2/, the winner being Mr. A. Price, who guessed within half a pound of the correct weight, 142.5 lb. Mr. Price kindly offered half of his prize by auction, the buyer, being Mr. C. Skipworth. A sheep was also presented by Mr. A. McKay, the winner being Mr. G. Bald, who guessed the correct weight, 170 lb. Other donors were Mrs. J. Williamson a goose, and Mrs. Ayles a turkey. Mr. Roy Roberts conducted the auction sale. Credit is due to all the Ladies and gentlemen who worked hard to make the function a thorough success.

The list of proceeds is as under:—

£ s d

Door takings . . .. 17 12 0

Dressed..pig (A. McKay) .. 4 2 0

Dressed sheep (B. Spry) .. 2 16 0

Lollies'(Miss D. March) .. 3 0 0

Auction' sale (R. Roberts) 4 13 0

Flowers (Miss Hopper) .. 1 10 0

Cigarettes and cigars (J. Ramsey) .. ..0 15 0

Produce (ladies) _ ... 1 10 0

Buttons and guessing competition (Laurel Ramsey) 5 17 0

Grand total £41 15 0

Expenses totalled only £1 3/.


Wednesday 23 October 1918, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Thomas Plains, Oct. 16. On Tuesday, October 8, a successful patriotic effort was held at the public school. The fair was declared open by Rev. E. E. Clark, who toas presented with a buttonhole by Miss Lila March. The afternoon was devoted to competitions of various kinds, and a good crowd gathered to witness and compete in the same. The gentlemen were all anxious to give exhibitions of their skill in rooster races, motor-driving, throwing sheaf, etc., the winners well earning their prizes; while the ladies entered with equal zest in various races and competitions. Afternoon tea was served, and a bran pie, sale of sweets, and flowers helped to swell the funds. A concert was held in the church in the evening, and a capital programme was given by local and visiting artists and school children. The proceeds amounted to £12 15/, which will benefit the Children's Patriotic Fund. Great credits is due to all those who so willingly and ably helped in this effort.


Saturday 30 August 1919, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

A very pleasing ceremony took place at. Thomas' Plains on Thursday, August 21st; the occasion being the presentation of a beautiful flag to the Thomas' Plains school, the pupils having won the recent competition conducted for country schools, in connection with the Soldiers' Memorial April Appeal. The results were decided on a pro rata basis, Thomas' Plains, with 12 children, having raised £120. The Mayor (Mr Paul Roach) accompanied by Messrs Jos. Rodda, S. Haddad, and R. J. Champion, representing the Kadina executive, attended the function. The Mayor, in making the presentation of the flag, congratulated the teacher (Miss Hooper) on the splendid result achieved by the school in connection with the appeal and emphasised the grand assistance also rendered by Mr Andrew McKay in connection with the effort, as well as the fine support given the appeal by the people of the district. The Mayor was ablys supported in his remarks by the other members of the Kadina executive. Miss Hooper, in a few well chosen words accepted the flag on behalf of the school. An adjournment was made to the school grounds, when the ceremony of saluting the new flag for the first time was ably carried out by the scholars under the direction of Miss Hooper and in the presence, of a large number of parents and friends. The children were then presented witb a basket of sweets and a bag of fruit each. At the request of the chairman of the school committee (Mr Skipworth) the visitors, parents and friends were entertained at afternoon tea, provided by the ladies of the district. The function will not readily be forgotten by the visitors. A hearty vote of thanks by the Mayor to the ladies terminated the proceedings.


Friday 2 January 1920, Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924) Trove

A painful accident occurred at 7 o'clock on Thursday night to the six and a year old son of Mr. McKay, a farmer, of Thomas Plains, on holiday at Glenelg. The little fellow ran out of the crowd just as a motor car, driven by Mr. E. R. Bowey, of Barker street, Project, was turning the corner of Victoria place and Adelaide road. The boy was knocked down by the car, and as a result his left leg was broken at the thigh. Mr. Bowey took the sufferer to Dr. Stokes, who, after setting the limb, had him removed to j Nurse Greenslade's private hospital at Glenelg.


Saturday 18 September 1920, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

On Wednesday morning the member for Yorke Peninsula, introduced to the Minister of Education (Hon. G. Ritchie) a deputation from Thomas Plains, who stated that there had been a school at Thomas Plains for years. It was first held in an old farmhouse, and then in a church. The church authorities now desired that the building' should be vacated. The residents were willing to assist the Government to build a school. The present roll number waa 13 or 14, and was likely to increase. The nearest school was 10 miles away.

The Minister in reply said the statements carried a great deal of conviction, but he could give no promise without first obtaining a report. He would then consider the matter.


Wednesday 16 March 1921, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

A very sad occurrence took place on Saturday morning at a dam on the the Thomas Plains road, a couple of miles out of Kadina, when two small boys lost their lives by drowning. It appears that Clifford James Groves, of Cameron terrace, Kadina, was playing with four boys near the dam, and had stripped with the intention of paddling When standing near the edge of the dam part of the bank gave way, and the boy fell into about four feet of water. Colin Smith, a boy of about 12 years, pluckily went in after Groves, who was only 7-1/2 years old, and it is surmised that the younger boy grappled so desperately with his intended rescuer that his efforts proved futile. Neither rose again to the surface. One of the boys' stayed at the dam while the two others ran for help. Messrs H. Gale and Hedley and George Trenwith came on the scene a quickly as possible, but an hour had elapsed and though methods of resuscitation were tried they proved fruitless. The coroner (Mr J. B. K. Dunstone) was informed, and after investigation deemed an inquest unnecessary. The fathers of both boys were absent from the town at the time of the fatality. The funeral of the boys took place on Sunday last the Rev. J. C. Hughes and Comdt. Veale (S.A.) officiating at the gravesides. A number of school children march in the cortage. Mesrs G. R. Haddy and L. P. Lewis & Co., had charge of the funeral arrangements.


Saturday 31 October 1925, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931) Trove

At Mr. David Harris's residence, Thomas Plains, on October 22, a dance was held in aid of the Thomas Plains school fund. The room was decorated with streamers and Japanese lanterns. Music was performed by Mrs. Stephenson (Adelaide) and Mr. Ellis Ramsey was M.O. Among: those present were:-Mr. and Mrs. D. Harris, Mr. and Mrs. A. McKay, Mr. and Mrs. T. Allan, Mr. and Mm. G. Pearce, Mr. and Mrs. 0. Bagshaw, Mrs. C. Morgan, Mrs. F. Bartlett, Mr. and Mrs. 0. Skipworth, Mr. and Mrs. S. Ramsey, Mr. and Mrs. W. Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Olsen, Mr. and Mrs. R. Dicks, Mr. and Mrs. C. Cocks. Misses E. and V. Paterson, P. Skipworth, N. March, H. Bussenschutt, M. Bussenschutt, B. Harvey, M. Price, L. Toy, N. Bussenschutt L. Bussenschutt B. Robertson, V. Olsen, E. Butler, V. Pridham, S. Couzner J. Harris, E. Ayles, B. Bussenschutt, M. Bagshaw, D. Bagshaw, L. McKay, R. E. Manners, Messrs. A, Humphries, H. McKay, C. Brinkworth, H. Janz, C. Daniel, C. Bussenschutt L. Bussenschutt, H. Brown, R. Tucker, P. Millard, F. March, J. Kelly, S. Pope, S. Olsen, P. Pope J. McKay, C. Janz, J. Pope, H. Gould, D Morris.


Wednesday 4 November 1925, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

A dance, in aid of the Thomas' Plains Tennis Club, was held in Mr Dave Harris' barn, on October 27th. Mr Ellis Ramsey was M.C. and Mrs Stevenson (Adelaide) presided at the piano. The barn was decorated with colored streamers, arranged to resemble a tent. Dancing was continued until a late hour. Supper was served by ladies: associated with the club. Among those present were :-Mr and Mrs D. Harris, Mr and Mrs A. J. McKay, Mr. and Mrs Stan. Rosewarne, Mr and Mrs G. Pearce, Mr L. Freeman, Mr and Mrs C. Skipworth, Mr and Mrs Q. Bagshaw, Mr and. Mrs Tucker (Kadina), Mr and Mrs F. Olsen, Mr and Mrs B. Spry, Mr and Mrs C. Morgan, Mr and Mrs F. Ramsey, Mr and Mrs. F Ayles, Mr and Mrs C. Cocks, Mr and Mrs R. Dicks, Misses I. Olsen, March, R. Crosby, B: Crosby, R. E. Manners, H. Bussenschutt, M. Bussenschutt J: Meirs, A. Meirs, G. Inglis, L. Prouse, B. Halliday, S. Couzner, V. Olsen, B. Head, V. Pridham; Messrs H. Janz, Gibaut, R. Tucker, R. Baker, S. Heinrich, E. Heinrich, P. Lamphe, F. Barnes, N. Bowden, F. March, S. Olsen, S. Pope, P. Pope, I. Pope, Clem Murnane, J. Murnane, M. Murnane, STres'trail, L. Bussenschutt, ,G. Bussenschutt, 3C. Bussenschutt, J. Darby, C. Crosby, K. Lamming, J. McPherson, E. Roennfeldt.


Saturday 1 May 1926, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

On Wednesday, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. D. Harris, Thomas Plains, a farewell afternoon was tendered to Miss. C. A. Skipworth by her Willamu'ka friends. A competition, arranged by Mrs. Allan Paterson. was won by Mr. D. Smith. During afternoon tea, Mr. A. J. McKay presented the guest with a bronze bread tray, on behalf of those present, and voiced their regret at her departure. Those present included Mesdames C. A. Skipworth, D. Harris, A. J. McKay, Allan Paterson, W. Paterson, S. Smithy B. Spry. W. Heinrich, W. Butler, T. H. Allan, Blackband, McPherson, W. Cocks. C. Cocks, Sharman, F. Ramsey, H. Ayles, B, Hore. S. Ramsey, H. Olsen, F. Olsen, F. March, and F. Ayles, and Misses V. and E. Paterson, R. Manners, E. Butler, and V. Pridham.


Thursday 16 September 1926, Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Trove

Mr. W. J. Haynes, of Kadina, on Mon day morning was driving a car along the Thomas Plains-road; about five-miles out, when the car ran into a deep rut in the road, with the result that the steering gear got out of control, causing the car to dash into a five-wire fence. The first strand of wire was broken, and the car mounted over the other four. It then swerved into some timber, and became jammed between two trees. Mr. Haynes had his face cut badly, and also suffered from shock. He managed to get to the farmhouse of Mr. S. Hore, half a mile away, and that gentleman motored the injured man to Kadina for medical attention, where it was found necessary to insert five stitches over an eye. The windscreen of the car was smashed, the axle was bent, and other minor damage done. Mr. Haynes is making good recovery.


Saturday 30 October 1926, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931) Trove

KADINA, October 18.—A surprise party was tendered to Mr. and Mrs. A. J. McKay at their home, Thomas's Plains, by a number of friends, in honour of the anniversary or Mrs. McKay's birthday on Saturday. At the conclusion of supper Mr. K. Crosby wished Mrs. McKay many happy returns of the day. Among those present were Mcsdamcs A. J. McKay, D. G. Harris, A. H. Paterson, W. Butler, II. McKay, G. Brinkworth, A. Paterson, L. Rowe, K. Crosby, S. Pope, and R. Bussenschutt Misses E. Paterson, E. Butler, R. Manners, N. L. and B. Bussenschutt, L. McKay, E. Ayles, A. Brosby, P. Davis, and G. Paterson, Messrs. G. Paterson, J. McKay, G. and L. Butler, M. and R. Paterson and G. Paterson.—


Saturday 30 October 1926, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

A pleasant evening was spent on Monday, October 4, at Mr D. G. Harris' barn, Thomas' Plains, to celebrate the coming of age of Mr Eric Paterson, eldest son of Mr and Mrs A. H. Paterson, of Bute. Dancing and cards were concluded with supper, at which the guest was presented with a handsome clock as a slight token of the esteem of the friends present. During the evening a pretty piece of French statuary was handed to Mr and Mrs Harris, for their generosity in making their barn available for dancing during the season, and a very pleasant evening concluded with Auld Lang Syne. Among those present were:-Mr and Mrs A. H. Paterson, Mr and Mrs D. G. Harris, Mr and Mrs W. Paterson, Mr and Mrs A. J. McKay, Mr and Mrs A. E. March, Mr and Mrs L, L. Jones, Mr and Mrs C. A. E. Hall, Mr and Mrs C. A. Skipworth, Mr and Mrs M. McPherson, Mr and Mrs W. Butler, Mr and Mrs H. J. Ayles, Mr and Mrs E. H. White, Mr and Mrs T. Allen, Mr and Mrs F. March, Mr and Mrs S. Ramsey, Mr and Mrs S. P. Wheaton, Mr and Mrs A. G. Purdie, Mr and Mrs H. G. Perry. Mr and Mrs R. J. Hall, Mesdames W. Heinrich, E. W. Bettess, J. H. Barnes, A. Monks, Misses T. Hall, G. Hall, N. Hall, A. Harvey, K. Morrison, E. and D. Ebsary, E. Kelly, M. Gill, I. Harris, V. Blackley, R. Bunn, R. and I. Miles, D. Heinrich,. M. Bettess, E. Paterson, E. Butler, R. Manners, A. Crosby, M., N., E. and M. March, N., L. and B. Bussenschutt, M. Inkster, E. and G. Ayles, M. and H. Bussenschutt, L. McKay, F. Cocks, V. Pridham, L. Ormsby, Messrs E., A., G. and M. Paterson, M. and R. Paterson, H. Janz, F. March, S. Olsen, R. Bussenschutt, C. Brinkworth, H. and J. McKay, S. Pope, L. Bussenschutt, K. Crosby, L. Harris, G. and L. Butler, B. Cocks, M. Haldane, K. Parker, F. Purdie, R. Hancock, K. Simon, A. Ebsary, E. Jans, S. Heinrich, D. Hawkes, J. Kelly, J. Harris, S. Hall, F. Hawkes.


Monday 3 September 1928, Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Trove

A concert and dance in aid of the Kadina Citizens' Band funds was held at Mr. D. J. Harris' residence, Thomas' Plains for the queen of corsets. Miss Eileen Ayles. Solos and other band items were rended by Messrs H. R. Trenwith, D. Gibson. W. Trenwith, A. W. Craddock, W. Martin. A. Laffin, C. Laffin. C. Jackson, H. Champion, E. Kutcher, H. Nancarrow. E. Lamshed. E. Rodda. Syd Phillips, F. Watson, Stan Phillips, F. Gear, M. Phillips, G. Trenwith, E. Phillips, R. Trenwith, C. Flint, C. Hancock, W. Wearne, D. Hocking, G. Garland, R. Bryan, F. Watson. Mr. K. Croshy was M.C. and Mr. Simpson (Bute) supplied the dance music. The supper committee consorted of Mesdames D. J. Harris, A. J. McKay. E. H. White, E. Ramsey. H. J. Ayles and the Misses P. Harris, P. Mitchell, and I. White. Mrs. R. T. Bryan and Mrs. E. Lamshed were the secretaries.

Church Arrest; Killed Sheep.

Wednesday 25 May 1932, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954) Trove

KADINA, wednesday. Arrrested in the Thomas Plains Church, where he had his bed and camp outfit. Theodor Rudolf Heusler, alias Frank Kelly, and Ted Hisler, was charged with killing a sheep intending to steal it.

Constable Glass and Mounted-Constable Rosewall told the Kadina Magistrates' Court that they found Heusler in bed in the church.

"What is in that bag?'' they asked Heusler.

"Some meat I got from a man who was passing," Heusler said.

The policemen said that they found several sharp knives which the man said that he used in boot-repairing. Then they took him to a paddock owned by David George Harris, a farmer, where the carcase of a sheep was lying. The piece of meat found in the church corresponded with the piece cut from the carcase in the paddock. On the way back Heusler admitted, the police said, that he had killed the sheep because he was hungry. He sneaked on the sheep, killed it, and took whitmeat he wanted.

Heusler who pleaded guilty, as remanded for sentence at the next criminal sessions in Adelaide.


Saturday 2 June 1934, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

"I would like a copy of the "Times"; it is thirty-six years since I saw one," was the greeting of an erstwhile resident of this district when he called at the ''Times" Office on Tuesday. The visitor was Mr Alf. Mason, now of Oakey, Darling Downs, Queensland, whose parents were farming at Thomas Plains in the Nineties. Alf, accompanied by his brother Julius and his sister Annie (now Mrs Kann), travelled over 2,000 miles from their Queensland home to the Peninsula, to visit relatives, and to renew the friendships of their youth.

The father and mother, (Mr and Mrs. Thomas Mason) with their familyly left their farm at Thomas Plains in April, 1898, and migrated to Queensland and there secured a suitable holding at Oakey, on the Darling Downs. Wheat-growing being impracticable on account of the weather, they turned their attention to dairying and pig raising. The family still carry on the business, and are doing satisfactorily. They have an average output of approximately thirty pigs weekly, and they have the care of one hundred cows. They also grow a small quantity of wheat, practically as a sideline. Their country, is fertile, and can be cropped continuously. Some of their neighbors crop their foldings both in the winter and summer. In other respects Queensland Triiust be a satisfactory domicile, as two combmed families of the three Masons total thirty-eight. They Jean beast of two cricket elevens, brothers and first cousins; and a photograph of one team makes them appear equal to test match honors.

When the visitors reached Kadina they were somewhat at sea, and found it difficult to locate landmarks. They were astonished at the progress of their old shopping town; and their freely expressed opinions bore out, in the main, the article "Kadina a Model Municipality" published in this paper a few days ago. The brothers spent several happy hours with friends of their youth, and Mrs Karin and Mrs Julius Mason were equally busy in purchasing parcels to take back to the families 2,000 miles away. They left on the return trip on Wednesday, rather sorry, that their ~'gir i* angements precluded them staying Jonger here.

Speaking of the depression, they said they thought they were having a lean time in Queensland, but they found that they were being better served than many of their South' Australian friends. It is apparent that Mason family has no reason to regret the decision of their parents to try Queensland.


Thursday 21 June 1934, Eyre's Peninsula Tribune (Cowell, SA : 1910 - 1950) Trove

Last Sunday afternoon a Service of Public Tribute was held at Elbow Hill in Honor of the late Mr. Alexander Lawrence Pearce.

The Rev. L .G. Menadew read a brief account af Mr. Pearce's religious life.

Mr Pearce was born at Houghton 72 years ago and there attended a Sunday School conducted by the late Mr. Robert McEwin,

In 1874 Mr. Pearce came with his parents to Thomas Plains. The first Methodist Service conducted in that vicinity was held in the home ot Mr. Pearce's parents.

During the ministry of the Rev A. W Wellington, Mr. Pearce became a member ot the Methodist Church. Apart from a brief while that he attended Green's Plains and Paskeville Churches, he attended the Thomas Plain's Church where he was a member for 27 years, holding offices also as Trustee. Sunday School Teacher, and Member of the Choir.

While at Thomas Plains he was married to Miss Snell. In 1915 Mr Pearce and family came to Franklin Harbour district and farmed at Port Gibbon, where he attended the Elbow Hill Methodist Church. Six years ago he went to Hd. Ash, in the Kimba Circuit, and there attended the services, About six mouths hefore his death Mr Pearce came to Cowell and joined the Cowell Methodist Church. The members of the family who were able to attend the service were Mrs Pearce, Mrs E. H. Harvev, Mrs G. K. Jacobs and Mrs P. S. Wheeler. Mr T. Story spoke words of tribute on behalf of the members and friends connected with the Elbow Hill Church and district, emphasizing the sincere simple Christian faith of Mr Pearce, and his true friendliness to his neighbours. The Rev. Menadue paid a personal tribute, born out of his short acquaintance with Mr Pearce, and then preached from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, verse four — "He being dead, yet speaketh." The Church was nicely decorated with mauve and white flowers. There was a very large number of friends present. '


Saturday 22 September 1934, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

"A Visitor'' writes:—On September 15, 16 and 17, the combined 50 years jubilee was held of the Green's Plains, Thomas Plains, Bute and Willamulka churches. The celebrations started with sports, which were held at Willamulka, on Saturday afternoon last, and in the evening a tea was held at Mr Harris' barn, Thomas' Plains, followed by a concert: On Sunday, two services were held at the Willamulka Church, and on Monday afternoon a few people attended a short service, which took place on the site of the late Mr Joseph Hore's first residence, which was a small place with a thatched roof where about half a dozen people used to attend services before the present church was built, and from there, the people journeyed to Mr Harris' barn for tea, and also the public meeting, and again many old friends met and talked of the old times. Mr G. Middleton, one of the original trustees took the chair, and among those who spoke was the Rev. Bullock, Rev. Lawson, and Rev. Parrott, also Messrs A. and J. Rodda, who held the large audience spell-bound with their interesting talk on the early days of Green's Plains. The celebrations seemed to be a great success, as over £80 was taken on the three days.

OBITUARY. Mr Joseph Ayles.

Wednesday 22 July 1936, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

The death of Mr Joseph Ayles, at the age of 86 years, removes a pioneer of the Thomas Plains district and a well known resident of Kadina. Mr. Ayles was the third son of the late Mr. and Mrs J. Ayles, and was born at Salisbury in March, 1850. At the age of 25, in 1875, he took up land at the newly surveyed area of Thomas' Plains, and a year-later married Miss Eliese Dorothea Bussenschutt, eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs Albert Bussenschutt, also of Salisbury. Farming Farming at first proved a strenuous uphill fight for the young couple, but success came there way ultimately, and they stayed on the farm until 1918, when they retired to Kadina. Mr Ayles was a lover of good horses, and bred a large number with which he took prizes at the Kadina and other shows. A genial personality, Mr Ayles was widely known and esteemed as "Uncle Joe," and he earned the esteem and affection of many by his readiness to help and invariable optimism. He was an Oddfellow of many years standing, having joined at Salisbury in his youth. He leaves a widow, three sons (Messrs Albert Ayles, Hawthorn; Hedley Ayles, Willamulka: and Fred Fred Ayles, Thomas' Plains), and two daughters (Nettie, Mrs W. A. Paterson, Bute; and Addie, Mrs E. G. Daniel, Kadina), twenty grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A son (Stanley, Prospect) predeceased him a few months ago. The funeral, which was largely attended, took place at Kadina on Monday, July 13, the Rev. J. L. Bond officiating at both the Anglican church and the graveside. There was a wealth of floral tributes. Four grandsons were the pall-bearers, viz., Messes Murray Paterson, Lionel Daniel, Reg Paterson and Clive Ayles.

Five Cats And Black Pony

Thursday 23 September 1937, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

Dear Aunt Dorothy — I enjoy your page very much. My age is nine years and nine months. I go to Thomas Plains school, and am in grade V. Our teacher's name is Mr. Williams, and I like him very much. We live a quarter of a mile away from school, and my sister, Valmai and I come home to dinner. We have had a nice lot of rain lately, and the crops are looking fresh. We have- five cats, Chum, Tinker, Muffle, Ginger and Melrose. Melrose is a Persian. My sister and I have a little black pony. We call her Trikle. MAUREEN AYLES.

I have only two cats, Maureen, and I call them Darky and Peter. Did you name Melrose after the aviator? You are lucky that you are so close to your school.


Thursday 2 November 1939, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

Inquiry Into Death Of Girl. Medical Man Severely Censured

Heated discussions in a doctor's home, a night drive from Kadina by a dead girl's father, and a number of other incidents were mentioned in evi dence this week at an inquest conducted by the City Coroner (Mr. A. S. Blackburn) in Adelaide into the death of Gweneth Patricia Harris. 17, of near Kadina.

The girl's death occurred at Martini Private Hospital, Lambeth Walk, King's Park, on August 10, and she was buried at Kadina. A post-mortem examination was made, after an exhumation on October 15.

At the conclusion of the enquiry the coroner returned an open verdict.

Constable E. Mclntosh, of Kadina said that he was present at the exhumation of the body at Kadina on October 15 and identified it as that of Gweneth Patricia Harris, whom he had known for about three years.

Frank William Lee Forrington. Deputy Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, produced the certificate of death, which gave as the cause rheumatic endocarditis.

Dr. Hyman Bernard Raises, of Kadina, said that the deceased first visited him in September, 1938, and later on June 27, 1939, when he diagnosed her as suffering from anaemia. On August 7, when he saw her, he suspected she was pregnant, but she denied it.

Edith Alice Forbes, widow, of Hart avenue, Unley, said that the deceased was her niece. At 8 p.m. on August 10, at which time she had no idea where her niece was, Joyce Harris, the deceased's step-sister, came to the door in an hysterical condition. 'Pattie is dead,' she said. 'Don't tell grandma.' Witness lived with her mother, Mrs. Freeman, senior, who was 85. Witness said she advised Joyce to tell her grandmother, who was inside. Joyce was accompanied by a man, who she said was 'doctor' or' 'Dr. Gault,' who asked witness who lived there. Witness replied, 'My mother.' She said. 'What happened, doctor?' and he said. 'Her heart failed,' and that the death took place at Lambeth Walk. He said he would like the body brought to Freeman's, but gave no reason. The witness's mother, Mrs. Freeman, at first agreed, but afterwards disagreed, to the course, saying she was too old to be upset.

In answer to the Coroner, the witness said that she would not be able to recognise the man who called with Joyce. She looked around the courtroom at Mr. Blackburn's request, but said she could not see him.

Henry Guy Mildred, undertaker, of Tutt avenue, Kingswood, said that Dr. Gault called at his premises with some people about midnight, or after, on August 10 and said that a man with him wanted to arrange a funeral in the country. Witness said he would consult his partner.

To the Coroner, Mr. Mildred said that in his 18 years in business he had not known another occasion on which a doctor had called to make arrangements about a funeral.

Stanley Reginald Jarvis, undertaker, of King William road, Hyde Park, said that after midnight on August 10 Mr. Harris called and said that he wanted his daughter buried at Kadina, the body then being at Lambeth Walk, King's Park. The body was removed at about 8 a.m. from Martini Private Hospital and later buried at Kadina. He believed that a woman sitting in court, Mrs. Pahl, was the matron of the hospital. Witness did not know Dr. Gault, and had never seen him, but might have spoken to him on the telephone.

50 Years' Experience

Witness said that the police upset him on their visit by asking whether the body had been brought to the premises, and whether he had refused to take it. The body was not brought to his place, and there was no suggestion that the body had been in the car outside his premises. He had been in business for 50 years, but could not recollect another case of a doctor having called at the house to make arrangements for a funeral.

David George Harris, of Thomas Plains, Paskeville; his wife, Florrie Harris; and their daughter, Mary Joyce Harris, were called, but declined to give evidence on the ground that the answers might tend to incriminate them.

Leonard Freeman, clerk, of Montpelier street, Parkside, said that the deceased was his niece. He gave evidence of a visit he and a man named H. M. Robinson paid to Dr. Gault's home on October 3. After Robinson had been in there for about 30 minutes, the witness went in. Mr. Philcox, solicitor, was then there, and in answer to a question by him, witness, 'I have a perfect right to be here.' He told Gault, 'I am disgusted with your action in trying to put the body of my niece in my aged mother's home.'

'I told Gault I thought he was a murderer, and I told Philcox that I wanted to tell the doctor what I thought of him,' said the witness. 'Mr. Philcox mentioned ringing the police, and I said I should be the one to do that. Philcox arranged to meet us at 10.30 a.m. next day at the Stag Hotel, Rundle street, when he said everything would be all right.'

Witness added that Dr. Gault and Mr. Philcox drove towards the city, turning off at Park terrace, and he and Robinson drove to the front of the Detective Office, but did not go in. Witness did not remember telling the doctor that it was alleged that he had carried the body around in a sheet in the back of the motor car.

Talk Of Blackmail

Harry Milford Robinson, a member of the Second A.I.F., Wayville, said he told Dr. Gault that he was an expolice officer and had come to tell a few things he knew about him. 'You murdered a girl called Patricia Harris.' Robinson said he told the doctor. After referring to an examination and an operation, witness asked the doctor what certificate he gave, and understood the answer to mean heart failure. Witness said, 'She never died of heart failure.' Gault said there should be 'a solicitor present, and witness said he intended to report the mater anyhow, adding 'I thought you had cut this business out.' Gault said, 'Yes, I have. I knocked back a girl last week.' After going away they returned, telephoning in the meantime. Witness asked the doctor if he were not afraid of an exhumation, and received a negative reply. Mr. Philcox came and said, 'This is a case of blackmail.'

Witness brought in Freeman, who claimed to have a right to be present Robinson asked why the amount of £22 10/ was paid between August 8 and 10 for 'so-called heart failure," and Mr. Philcox allegedly said, 'The doctor won't answer that: ask the parents."

There were some heated scenes in the room, said the witness. Freeman declaring to the doctor, 'You are a murderer; you murdered my niece.

Mr. Philcox— Was anything said about bribing Detective-Sergeant Walters; was the sum of £500 mentioned?

Witness— No.

Was there talk of making a report to Detective-Sergeant Harrell ?— Yes.

Father's Statement

Detective E. L. Francis, of Adelaide, gave evidence of a statement alleged to have been made to him by Mr. Harris, the girl's father. In it Mr. Harris said that, with his wife and daughter Patricia, he drove to Adelaide on August 8, and there met his daughter Joyce, whom he asked to make an appointment with Dr. Gault. At the doctor's rooms that night he and his wife waited while the two girls spoke to the doctor. His daughter reported afterwards that Patricia would have to go into hospital. Next day he drove his daughter to the private hospital, and drove back to Kadina, where at about 10 p.m. he received a telephone message from Joyce to say that Pat had died. When he reached the hospital Dr. Gault told him that Patricia's heart had failed. The doctor asked him whether he wanted Patricia buried in Adelaide, or the body to be taken home. At witness's request the doctor helped them to find an undertaker that night. Dr. Gault waited in the car while he went into an undertakers.

Witness, said that Harris described medical attention his daughter had had at Kadina and later of her developing a certain condition. They did not discuss her health with Ian Page, the young man with whom she had been keeping company for 18 months.

Witness continued that Harris said he did not take his daughter to Dr. Gault for any illegal purpose. The doctor told him that she had died from heart disease. He did not pay the doctor anything, and did not know if anybody had. His daughter would have been 18 on September 23.

In view of her age, 85, and infirmity, the court took evidence from Mrs. N. Freeman, senior, at her home. She said that when Joyce and a doctor came on the night of Pattie's death, the doctor asked whether the body could be brought there, so that it could be buried from a relatives home. Somebody said Pattie had died from heart failure.

Stanley D. Shield, State Deputy Government Analyst, said in evidence that he found no common poison in specimens given to him.

The inquest at this stage was adjourned until next morning.

On the resumption of the enquiry, the Coroner returned an open finding. It was that the deceased came to her death at King's Park on August 10, 1939, following upon an abortion, but he was unable to find the precise cause of death.

'Unfortunately, every member of the deceased's family and every other person likely to be able materially to assist in relating the events leading up to the death of this young woman has declined to give me any material assistance, on the ground that the answers might tend to incriminate them,' he said.

'As a result, I am unable, upon the evidence before me, to say what was the immediate cause of death, but I am satisfied that the certificate of death supplied by Dr. Gault that death was due to rheumatic endocarditis was incorrect. I am satisfied that Dr. Gault had no justification in signing such a certificate.

'I am of the opinion that at the time of death an abortion had commenced and that the death was attributable directly or indirectly to abortion. After carefully considering the whole of the evidence I entertain a strong suspicion that the deceased was aborted at the Martini Hospital while under the care of Dr. Gault. Suspicion, however, is not enough, and, therefore, I am unable to make any finding as to whether the abortion was artificially produced or was entirely from natural causes.'

To see the Full Court Transcript look at the bottom of the page.

Letters From Nieces And Nephews. Pythons And Crocodiles Thomas Plains.

Thursday 24 December 1942, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

Dear Aunt Dorothy — Will you please accept me as a new niece? I am in grade V. at school. We are milking five cows at the present, and their names are Darky. Jersey, Pet, Peace, and Strawberry. Two or three weks ago we killed a snake at school. It was about five feet long I have a brother who is in the AIF, and he said that where he is there are buffaloes, crocodiles, and pythons that are as round as a teacup and are about 10 to 12 ft., in length. At our school there are seven children. Our teacher's name is Miss Honner, and we like her very much. I am enclosing 9d. for a Minda badge.


YOU forgot to tell me your age, Iris. Next time you write you can let me know. I think I should give the pythons a wide berth, and the crocodiles, too. I hope you liked your badge.


Friday 9 April 1948, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

The grand final of Central Mid Northern Yorke Peninsula Tennis Association was played at Thrington on April 3rd, when Thomas Plains, 96 games defeated Paskeville Reds, 70 games. At the conclusion of the match the vice-president. Mr W. Curnow, in the absence of the president (Mr T. Rodda). presented the shield to Thomas Plains, and also congratulated the team. He regretted that the match had to be played in such cold and windy conditions, and commented upon the friendly way iu which the game was played. Mr J. McKay, captain of Thomas Plains replied on behalf of the team, and said he was pleased to receive the shield.


Thursday 13 March 1952, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

On Monday mornng last, while burning off in one of the paddocks of Mr Hedley Cocks, farm at Thomas Plains ( about 15 miles from Kadina) the fire cscaped the control ot the men and caused damage to the extent of £300, burning some baled hay, fencing land a paddock of beautiful feed.

The usual spontaneous assistance , from men of the surrounding district was forthcoming, and supplemented by the Bute fire fighters with their equipment more extensive damage was prevented. The fire continued into the afternoon before it was quelled.


Thursday 1 May 1952, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

Thomas Plains, premiers of the Central Mid-Northern Y.P. Tennis Association for 1952, held a victory dinner at the hall on the evening of the 26th April. Local club members and two members representing each of the other clubs, the Association president (Mr W. Curriow) and wife, and the Association secretary (Mr M. K. Lamming) and wife, numbering, in all about 69, partook of a sumptuous dinner. The president of Thomas Plains ; tennis club (Mr B. Harris), welcomed all of the visitors.

The toast list was in the hands of the club secretary (Mr C. NV McKay) and Mr I. Spry proposed the Loyal toast. In proposing the toast of 'The Association,' Mr B. Harris congratulated the president and secretary for carrying out their duties during the year, also the clubs for their co-operation. Mr W. Curnow, president, responded on behalf of the Association. Selections were given by Mr G. Rowan on his piano accordion. Mr C. Coote proposed the toast of "The Thomas Plains Tennis Team" and congratulated them on their victory. On behalf of his team Mr: D. Ramsey, vice-captain, replied. The vice-president of the Association, Mr H. McKay, gave the toast of the runners-up, the Cunliffe team, and Mr Ciirnow responded. The Association sccretarj'. (Mr M. K. Lamming), in proposing the toast of the jadie's, thanked them for their excellent" spread, and M,rs E. Ramsey replied.

The evening was spent in tabic tennis and euchre. Winners of the table tennis were Miss L. Ramsey and Mr Graham Daniel, whilst Mrs and Mr. Reg. Millard were the euchre winners. The evening concluded with supper.

Full Court Transcript.




Tuesday 31 October 1939, Recorder (Port Pirie, SA : 1919 - 1954) Trove

ADELAIDE, Monday. Adjournment until tomorrow of an inquest into the death of Gweneth Patricia Harris (17), Thomas Plains, near Kadina, was only one item of interest.

One witness testified to having called Dr. A. K. Gault a murderer, the girl's parents refused to give evidence, and an undertaker was closely questioned about a conversation with a doctor.

The girl died in Martini Private Hospital, Lambeth walk, King's Park, on August 10, and was buried at Kadina a few days later. Her body was exhumed on October 15 for post-mortem examination.

Mr. R. R. Chamberlain (Crown Prosecutor) appeared for the Commissioner of Police; Mr. E. Millhouse, with Mr. and Mrs. J. G. E. McCarthy, of Kadina, for the relatives of the dead girl; Mr. C. J. Philcox for Dr. A. K. Gault; Mr. L. B. Mathews for; Mrs. Mary Pahl (matron of Martini Private Hospital, Lambeth walk, King's Park); and Mr. P. A. Ohistrom for Mrs. N. Freeman and Mrs. E. A. Forbes (witnesses and relatives of the dead girl).

Constable E. Mcintosh, of Kadina, gave evidence of having identified a body exhumed at Kadina Cemetery on October 15 as that of Gweneth Patricia Harris (17), whom he had known for three years.

A certificate of the girl's death was produced by Frank William Lee Forrington (Deputy Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages). The certificate stated that death was due to rheumatic endocarditis.

Dr. H. B. Raises, of Kadina, said that he had first treated Miss Harris in September, 1938. He next saw her in June, 1939. He examined her, and diagnosed anaemia. On August 7 he again saw the girl, and suspected that she was pregnant. When he told the girl she denied the possibility.

Questioned by Mr. A. V. Blackburn (coroner) Dr. Raises said that he had examined the girl as to her heart condition. He had not detected any murmurings from the heart.

Dr. Raises said that the girl had a rapid pulse. It was easily accelerated, much more so than normal. He had formed the opinion that the girl had cardiac trouble, so he gave her a cardiac tonic—something to improve the muscles of the heart. He diagnosed her heart trouble as probably myocarditis.

Mr. Blackburn: Do you know Dr. Gault personally?—No.

Have you ever had any communication from Dr. Gault, either In writing or on the telephone, in regard to the girl's condition?—I have not discussed her condition with anyone.

Specifically, have you ever had any particular enquiry either in person or on the telephone or in writing from Dr. Gault about her condition?—I have not received any communication.

Replying to Mr. Chamberlain, Dr. Raises said that there were certain symptoms of rheumatic endocarditis which would have been discoverable from his examination had the girl been suffering from that complaint. He had diagnosed myocarditis, not rheumatic endocarditis. He had told the girl to see another doctor solely because she had not accepted his belief that she was pregnant. He was sure that she was pregnant.

Mr. Philcox: Sudden death Is not usual with myocarditis, but is more frequent with rheumatic endocarditis, is it not, doctor?—No. I would expect sudden death with myocarditis. Anyone suffering from myocarditis might die suddenly.

Ethel Alice Forbes, widow, of Hart avenue, Unley, said that Pat Harris was her niece. On August 10 she had spent the day at the home of her mother, Mrs. Freeman. At that time she had no idea where her niece was on that day.


On that night a knock came at the front door. She answered it, and saw Joyce Forbes, her niece and a stepsister of the dead girl, on the verandah. Joyce, who was hysterical and weeping, cried: "Pattie is dead."

Mrs. Forbes said that she saw a man and asked Joyce who was the man. She said: "Dr. Gault." The man came into the passage. He said: "Who lives here?" and she replied: "My mother, Mrs. Freeman."

She (Mrs. Forbes) asked the doctor what had happened, and he replied: "Her heart failed." She asked where the girl died, and he replied:

"Lambeth walk."

The doctor said that he would like the body brought to the house, but did not give any reason. Her mother at first said "Yes," but then said: "I am too old. I cannot be upset." When she said "Yes," the doctor started to walk toward the door. She told the doctor of her mother's change of mind, and he and Joyce walked out.

Replying to Mr. Blaokburn, Mrs. Forbes said that she had not seen the man before, and was quite sure that she would not recognise him.

At the request of Mr. Blackburn, she looked among the people in the courtroom, but did not recognise anyone as the man who went to the house.

Henry Mildred, undertaker, of Tutt avenue, Kingswood, said that he knew Dr. Gault. who had gone to his house on the night of August 10. He was not sure of the time. It was some time after midnight.

Dr. Gault asked him if he could make arrangements about a funeral in the country. As he (Mildred) was ill, he had referred him to his partner, Mr. Jarvis, of King William road, Hyde Park.

Questioned by Mr. Philcox, Mildred said that he had had no suspicions about the death.

Mr. Blackburn: How many years have you been in business as an undertaker?—About 18.

Can you ever Temember on any other occasion a doctor going personally to your house late at night to make arrangements about a funeral? —No.

Mr. Philcox: Can you ever remember an occasion when a doctor had telephoned your home to make arrangements about a funeral?—No.

Stanley Reginald Jarvis, undertaker, of King William road, Hyde Park, said that some time after midnight on the night of August 10 he was aroused by a knock at his front door. He saw a man who introduced himself as Mr. Harris. He did not see anyone else there. He brought the man into the house.

Harris told him that he wanted his daughter buried at Kadina. He said the body was at a private hospital in Lambeth walk, King's Park. About 8 a.m. he went to the hospital and removed the body to his premises. He left about 8 a.m. the next day for the Kadina Cemetery.

Before leaving for Kadina he telephoned Mildred and asked him to get a death certificate from Dr. Gault.

Questioned by Mr. Blackburn, Jarvis said that he had not noticed anything unusual about the body. It was clad in a nightdress and gown and appeared to be laid out properly.

Mr. Chamberlain: Is it usual for you to keep a body on your premises as long as this?—That is often the case.

To Mr. Philcox, he said that he had not seen Dr. Gault in his life, but he might have spoken to him on the telephone.

Mr. Philcox: You made a statement to the police. Were you upset when you made it?—Yes, they upset me. They asked me was it not a faot that the body had been brought there and I had refused to take it. I said: "Certainly not."

Was there any suggestion that tho body was in the car outside?—No. that is the last thing I should have thought.

Did anything else about the Interview upset you?—The mere fact that there was something about it upset me.

Did they accuse you of not telling the truth?—They told me I had better tell the truth

Is it unusual for s medical practitioner to assist in making arrangements for a funeral?—Not In a case similar to this, where a man comes from a country town. I have had that happen before.

Mr. Blackburn: You have had 50 years experience as an undertaker. I am reminding you of this because of the question I now put to you. Can you remember any occasion when a doctor has personally gone to your house somewhere after midnight to ask you to make arrangements for a funeral?—You are going back over a long period. I cannot say that I could state a case where a doctor has come personally to my house.

The fact is that if any such occasion did occur you would have ta think considerably to remember, so that justifies me in saying that it Is unusual for a doctor to go to your house to make arrangements?—Yes. I think I can say it is unusual.

Mr. Chamberlain (to Jarvis): You told Mr. Philcox that you had had no dealings at all with Dr. Gault?—That is correct.

Did not Dr. Gault ring you up after you had been interviewed by the police?—Yes.

Why did you say just now to Mr. Philcox: "I may have spoken to Dr. Gault on the phone?" Don't you remember that conversation when Mr. Philcox asked you if you had had any dealings with Dr. Gault?—I said I may have spoken to him on the telephone because I have had scores and scores of certificates from him and I may have spoken to him in connection with them.

My point is that the doctor rang you and spoke to you about this matter. You knew that when you were answering Mr. Philcox.—I did not think of it at the time. It just slipped my memory.

What did the doctor say to you?— He asked me had I been Interviewed by the polioe.

What did he say to let you know what "this matter" meant?—He may have said: "In connection with the death of Pat Harris." He must have done so for me to know what he was talking about. I told him that the police had interviewed me.

What else, was said?—Give me time. I am trying to think what he did say. We did not enter into details about it. I merely said that the police had questioned me about the body being brought there. He said: "That is absurd." and I said it was absurd, too.

Replying to further questions by Mr. Chamberlain, Jarvis said he believed that he had told Gault that the girl's body was to be exhumed. He understood Gault to say that he knew all about that.

Mr. Chamberlain: Did you gather the doctor's purpose or motive in ringing you up?—No.

It might have been curiosity?— Yes.

There was nothing damaging that you could tell the police so far as Dr. Gault was concerned?—No. I cannot say he rang me up for any other reason than curiosity.

Mr. Blackburn: How did you know that the body was to be exhumed?— The police told me.

Recalled by Mr. Blackburn, Mildred said that he had got the death certificate from Dr. Gault personally.

At that stage the inquest was adjourned to this home of Mrs. Freeman, who was unable to attend the court because of infirmity.

There was a stir in the courtroom when Mrs. Florrie Harris, mother of the girl, refused to answer questions on the ground that they might incriminate her. Her husband, David George Harris, farmer, and Mary Joyce Harris declined to answer questions on the same ground.

Mrs. Harris refused to answer a question by Mr. Chamberlain, who asked whether she or any member of the family had ever received a bill from the Martini Hospital or from Dr. Gault for treatment of her daughter.

Harris declined to tell Mr. Chamberlain whether he had at any time before or after August 7 any communication with Dr. Gault in relation to his daughter, whether prior to his daughter's death he knew she was going to the Martini Hospital, or whether he knew for what purpose his daughter came to Adelaide immediately before her death.


Freeman, an uncle of the dead girl, said that he and a man named Robinson had gone into Gault's home on the night of October 3. Robinson went into the house, and he went in later.

Mr. G. J. Philcox was in the drawingroom with Gault. Mr. Philcox said: "What are you doing here?" he said: "I have a perfect right to be here."

Continuing, Freeman said he turned to Gault and said: "I am disgusted with your actions in trying to put the body of my niece into my aged mother's home."

Freeman said he told Gault he thought he was a murderer. There was then rather a heated discussion between him and Mr. Philcox. Mr. Philcox seemed to think he had no right to be there.

Replying to a question by Mr. Philcox, Freeman said he had had a few drinks that day, but he and Rohinson were quite sober.

Freeman told Mr. Philcox that neither he nor Robinson had ever suggested that Dr. Gault had carried the body of the girl in the back of his motor car.

Henry Robinson, who gave his occupation as a member of the Second A.I.F., said that he had introduced himself to Gault as a former police officer. He said to Gault: "I have come here to tell you a few things I know about you. You have murdered a girl called Patricia Harris. You examined her and performed an illegal operation in a private hospital not far from here. "What certificate of death did you give?"

The inquest was adjourned until 10.30 a.m. tomorrow.

Tuesday 31 October 1939, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954) Trove


Heated Exchanges While Hospital Matron in Box Heated exchanges between the City Coroner (Mr. Blackburn) and Mr. L. B. Mathews, resulting in a threat by Mr. Blackburn to exercise his power to remove anyone he liked from the court, occurred soon after the inquest was resumed today into the death of Gweneth Patricia Harris, 17, of Thomas Plains, near Kadina.

THE girl died in Martini Private Hospital, Lambeth Walk, King's Park, on August 10, and was buried at Kadina on August 12. Her body was exhumed for a post-mortem examination on Sunday, October 15. The inquest into her death began yesterday.

Brushes between Mr. Blackburn and Mr. Mathews, who appeared for Mrs. Mary Pahl, matron of Martini Private Hospital occurred while Mrs. Pahl was being questioned by Mr. Blackburn and the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. Chamberlain), who appeared for the Commissioner of Police.

Mr. Blackburn warned Mrs. Pahl that she need not answer any questions which she considered might tend to incriminate her. He then asked her if she were the proprietor of Martini Private Hospital, Lambeth Walk, King's Park. She replied, "Yes."

Mr. Blackburn--ln August of this year did you have a patient named Gweneth Patricia Harris in the hospital?


Had any doctor sent her to you? She came to me as a patient.

No doctor had communicated with you?-No.

While she was there did any doctor visit her?-No.

As far as you know no doctor saw her while she was in there?-No.

Mr. Blackburn-For what purpose did she come to your

Mr. Mathews (jumping up) - Will you again warn

Mr. Blackburn--I have already warned this witness and she understands quite clearly.

Refusal to Answer

TURNING to Mrs. Pahl, Mr. Blackburn said. "For what purpose did she come to your hospital?"

Witness--I refuse to answer on the ground that the answer might tend to incriminate me.

Have you any nursing assistants In the hospital except yourself? I do the whole of the nursing myself.

Did you nurse this Miss Harris?-Yes.

Did Miss Harris come alone or with someone? Her sister came with her.

Did either of them say to you that Dr. Gault sent her or that she was a patient of Dr. Gault? Yes. I think Miss Joyce Harris said it.

Did I understand you to say that your hospital is a maternity hospital?--Yes.

Did you understand that deceased had come to your hospital as a maternity hospital?-No.

Have Have you received any payment for the nursing attention which you gave? -Yes.

Who paid you, Mrs. Pahl? Mr. Mathews-Will your Worship give me an opportunity to advise my client?

Mr. Blackburn--I don't doubt for one moment that you have amply advised her as to her rights. I have repeated that advice to her. She is a woman of the world, and I feel sure that she knows what her rights are. If you definitely ask as her counsel, that you desire to advise her further, I can do nothing more than give you the opportunity.

Mr. Mathews--I desire that opportunity.

Mr. Mathews and Mrs. Pahl then went into an anteroom for a few moments. Upon Mrs. Pahl's return to the witness stand, Mr. Blackburn re peated the question, "Who paid you the money?" Mrs. Pahl refused to answer.

Mr. Blackburn-Had you any suspicion that Gweneth Patricia Harris was pregnant?

Witness-I refuse to answer.

Have you had a conversation with Dr. Gault since August 10 in regard to the death of Gweneth Patricia Harris?-I -refuse to answer.

Asked to Sit Down

MR. Chamberlain then questioned Mrs. Pahl about a visit to the hospital by Detective Hanrahan. She refused to answer.

Mr. Chamberlain- Are you prepared to answer any question whatever I ask you, or is your refusal to answer any question of any sort?

I refuse to answer all questions on the grounds that they might incriminate me.

Producing Producing a book, Mr. Chamberlain said, "Did the police take that book of temperature charts away from your hospital, Mrs. Pahl?

Witness- Yes. --

Were a couple of pages gone from the front before the police took the book away? --Yes.

Was one of thees charts used for Miss Harris?-No, they were used for midwifery cases.

You did not class Miss Harris as a midwifery case?-No.

Did Miss Harris go straight to bed? Yes.

Did she remain in bed from then on until the time of her death?-Yes.

Did she have any visitors from the time she arrived, apart from her sister until she died?-No.

She received no other attention than that given by you as matron of the hospital?

Mathews (warmly)-As a matter of justice

Mr. Blackburn-This is one of the courts. Mr. Mathews, where my power is supreme. I have given you every latitude. I will not put up with your interference.

Mr. Mathews--I must insist that

Mr. Blackburn--I am afraid that I must ask you to sit down.

Mr. Mathews-Very well.

Resuming his questioning of Mrs. Pahl, Mr. Chamberlain asked her if Miss Joyce Harris were there when the girl died. Mrs. Pahl said' "Yes," and then said, "I refuse to answer all questions."

Mr. Chamberlain-Was the anwser to that question true?-Yes.

Nothing was done to this girl in your hospital?-No.

It would have been impossible for anyone to come to the hospital without your knowledge?-That is so.

Can you tell me the name of the disease entered against the girl's name?--l can't pronounce it.

Was endo-carditis the girl's trouble?--Yes.

Did you recognise the symptoms yourself?--l refuse to answer.

Did somebody tell you that she was suffering from endo-carditis?

Who gave you the name of the disease?

The doctor.

A doctor?-Dr. Gault.

When was it that Dr. Gault

Mr. Mathews--If the court pleases. I must ask your Honor's indulgence. I wish to ask for an adjournment to enable me to take senior counsel's advice.

Mr. Blackburn--I am afraid, Mr. Mathews, I must refuse it. I have given this witness two warnings, and I am quite sure she understands. Mrs. Pahl, you know, don't you, that the warnings I gave you apply to any questions whatsoever?

Mrs. Pahl made no audible reply.

Mr. Chamberlain, to Mrs. Pahl-You understand that I am representing the Commissioner of Police in this matter, don't you Mrs. Pahl?

Again Mrs. Pahl's reply was inaudible.

''Not Expecting Her"

CONTINUING his cross-examination, Mr. Chamberlain asked Mrs. Pahl if the girl went away from her hospital from the time she arrived to the time she died. Mrs. Pahl replied. "No."

Mr. Chamberlain--When was it you first ascertained that she was sufrfering from heart disease? When did you ascertain that?-When she came to the hospital.

Were you expecting her at the hospital before she arrived?-No.

You were told when she came there that she was sullering from endo-carditis?-The doctor told me.

When did the doctor tell you?-After she got there.

Did the doctor prescribe treatment that she was to have?--Yes. some kind of medicine.

Was a prescription made out for her?

-Not that I am aware of.

Did she have a bottle of medicine there?-Doctor gave me some medicine for her

Is the bottle still at the hospital?No.

What happened to it?-The doctor took it away.

How often did you give her the medicine?--Only about twice.

Did it have a chemist's label?--I don't know what it had on it.

Did the doctor bring it to the hospital?--Yes.

Did you write the name of the disease that same afternoon-

Mr Mathews-Your Worship, I do press this matter

Mr Blackburn--Please sit down. I do not want to have to do anything drastic

Mr Mathews--I ask for one more opportunity.

Mr. Blackburn-Please sit down.

Mr. Mathews-Very good, sir.

Mr. Chamberlain (to Mrs. Pahl) Did you write the particulars in the book that same afternoon? I refuse to answer any more questions.

Mr. Chamberlain--I am afraid that you can't say that.

Mr. Mathews (hotly)-You can't say that!

Mr. Blackburn--I will say so. Mrs. Pahl, Mr. Chamberlain is at liberty to ask you any other question. You are not obliged to answer any questions that you consider may tend to incriminate you.

Mr. Mr. Mathews-Will you ask her if she understands that?

Mr. Blackburn then asked Mrs. Pahl if she understood that she could refuse to answer each question which she thought might incriminate her. Witness replied that she did.

Mr. Chamberlain-Mrs. Pahl, your hospital is in Lambeth Walk, is it not?-I refuse to answer.

Mr. Chamberlain-The answer to that question is not incriminating.

Mr. Mathews (warmly)--That is not proper, Mr Chamberlain

Mr. Blackburn--I asked you, Mr. Matlhews to sit down. I have the power to order the removal of anyone I like from this court. and I will not have any more of this. I am looking after this witness. Mrs. Pahl declined to answer all further questions addressed to her by Mr Chamberlain.

INQUEST ON GIRL (Continued) Doctor's Evidence Of Post-Mortem

DR. Ian Hamilton, giving evidence of a post-mortem examination conducted on the deceased on October 15, said that a lacerated foetus, probably four and a half to five months old was discovered.

The Coroner-Following the autopsy, you and Prof. Cleland conferred on the findings. Did you form any opinion whether an abortion was taking place at the time of death?

Dr. Hamilton-Yes; we formed an opinion that an abortion was taking place at the time of death.

Was there any indication of a valvular disease of the heart such as would be present in rheumatic endo-carditis? -


Are you able to say with absolute certainty that the abortion was the cause of death?-


In view of the opinion formed that an abortion was taking place, could you express an opinion as to the cause of death? We considered it reasonable to attribute death directly or indirectly to the abortion.

In your opinion, as a result of the findings, if she was not pregnant and had been aborted, would she have died?-We do not think so.

Could you express any opinion whether the abortion was brought on by mechanical or natural means?-No.

Could you give any idea at all as to the period in which the abortion was taking place?-Probably some hours, but it is impossible to say exactly how long.

In reply to Mr. Chamberlain, the witness said that there was no evidence of instrumental interference.

Reply to Mr. Philcox, Dr. Hamilton said that from an examination of the heart, he thought it was improbable that the girl had suffered from myocarditis. He considered that she had not suffered from rheumatic endocarditis.

Policewoman's Evidence

MISS Ottaway, of the women police, gave evidence of a statement to her by Mary Joyce Harris, half-sister of the dead girl, who yesterday declined to give evidence on the ground that answers to questions addressed to her might tend to incriminate her.

Miss Ottaway said that Mary Joyce Harris told her that the dead girl had lived with her parents at Thomas Plains, near Kadina, until August 8, 1939. About 5 p.m. on that date she met her sister Pat, father, and step-mother at the Grosvenor, North terrace, City. Her father said,. "We are not satisfied with Pat's health." Pat had been off-color for about a year and for the last two months had been subject to fainting fits and was generally run down. She had been attended by Dr. Raises, of Kadina, but as Mrs. Harris had not been satisfied that she was respornding to Dr. Raises' treatment, she decided to bring her to Adelaide.

Miss Ottaway said that Joyce Harris had told her that she had accompanied Pat to the hospital about 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9. Dr. Gault arrived about 1 p.m.. but she did not remember whether she left the room when he was there. He had not examined Pat in her presence at the hospital.

Continuing, Miss Ottaway said that Joyce informed her that she had been with Pat Harris from noon on the 10th until her death at 8 p.m. the same day. About 10 minutes before her death Pat said to her, "I want to die." She then said, "I am going to die." Pat collapsed as she was being placed in a chair, and died as she was being placed in bed.

According to Miss Ottaway, Joyce Harris said that there was no arrangement at any time for Dr. Gault to abort Pat. It was her belief that her sister was not pregnant.

Police Tell of Phone Call

DETECTIVE C. Hanrahan said that Mr. Philcox rang the Detective Office on October 3, while he was on night duty. Mr. Philcox asked if there were a Detective Robinson on the staff.

"I told him there was not," said the detective, "and Mr. Philcox said that Robinson had said that he was on Sgt. Harrell's staff."

"I asked him what was the nature of his inquiry," said the detective. "Mr. Philcox said that a man had been to Dr. Gault's that night and tried to blackmail him. He had introduced himself to the doctor as Detective Robinson, and tried to blackmail him over the death of one of his patients recently."

Witness said that he asked if Mr. Philcox were ringing to report the facts, but the reply was, "No, not for the present."

Asked for particulars of the incident, Mr. Philcox declined to give any, and said he was going out to see Dr. Gault.

"I told him I might know who Robinson was," said Detective Hanrahan. "He replied that he would discuss it in the morning, when he would come in and see Inspector Sheridan."

Next morning, when Mr. Philcox and Mr. Mathews came to see Inspector Sheridan, Mr. Philcox said that when he went out to Dr. Gault's he waited for the men to come back.

"I said, 'There are two in it, are there?' and Mr. Philcox said, 'Yes'," continued witness.

Detective Hanrahan said that he asked Mr. Philcox if the other man's name was Len, and the reply was, "I won't say you are wrong."

Inspector Sheridan then asked, "You think they came to blackmail the doctor?"' and Mr. Philcox said, "Yes," and added that it was over the death of a patient. They had said that Dr. Gault had issued a certificate for death by heart failure, but suggested that the girl had died after an illegal operation. Dr. Gault would welcome an investigation, said Mr. Philcox.

Detective Hanrahan said that Mr. Philcox added that he thought his presence at Dr. Gault's had upset the blackmail plan. The men did not get as far as naming an amount of money.

Mr. Philcox said that the man said, "A certain detective got £500 out of letting Gault out of the last lot, and tell him we want some of the £500."

Witness. continued:-"I said to Mr. Philcox, 'If I asked you if the men were Freeman and Robinson, would that be right?' He replied that he wouldn't say I was wrong. I said that I had seen them together frequently."

On Thursday, October 5, with Det.Sgt. Walters and Mrs. Willcher, of the women police, witness went to Paskeville and saw Mrs. Florrie Harris, mother of the dead girl. Mrs. Harris, when told that they had come about the death of her daughter, said that she did not feel well, and preferred not to speak to them then. Her husband and daughter had gone to town. She suggested that they come next day, which the detectives did.

The Crown Prosecutor Mr. Chamberlain appeared for the Commissioner of Police: Mr. E Millhouse, with Mr. and Mrs. J. C. E. McCarthy, of Kadina, for the relatives of the dead girl. Mr. C. J. Philcox for Dr. A. K. Gault; Mr L. B. Mathews for Mrs. Mary Pahl (matron of Martini Private Hospital. Lambeth walk. King's Park): and Mr. P. A. Ohlstrom for Mrs. N. Freeman and Mrs. E. A. Forbes (witnesses and relatives of the dead girl). (Proceeding) Correction In yesterday's account of the inquest into the death of Gweneth Patricia Harris, 17; Mrs. E. A. Forbes, a witness, was reported as having said that she saw Joyce Forbes on the verandah of the home of her mother after she had answered a knock at the front door. The girl referred to was Joyce Harris, a half-sister of Gvweneth Patricia Harris.


Correction In yesterday's account of the inquest into the death of Gweneth Patricia Harris, 17; Mrs. E. A. Forbes, a witness, was reported as having said that she saw Joyce Forbes on the verandah of the home of her mother after she had answered a knock at the front door. The girl referred to was Joyce Harris, a half-sister of Gvweneth Patricia Harris.


Wednesday 1 November 1939, Recorder (Port Pirie, SA : 1919 - 1954) Trove



Coroner returns open verdict.


Strong criticism of Dr. Gault was voiced by the coroner in returning an open verdict. He found that Miss Harris died following an abortion, but he was unable to state the precise cause of death.

Unfortunately, said the coroner, every member of deceased's family and every other person likely to be able to give material assistance had declined to do so on the ground that the answers might tend to incriminate him or her.

"As a result," continued the coroner, "I am unable to say what was the immediate cause of death. I am satisfied that Dr. Gault's certificate of rheumatic endocarditis was incorrect and that he had no justification for signing it.

"I am of opinion that at the time of death an abortion had begun and that death was attributable directly or indirectly to that. After careful consideration of the whole of the evidence I entertain a strong suspicion that deceased was aborted at Martini Hospital while in the care of Dr. Gault.

"Suspicion, however, is not enough and I am unable to make any finding whether the abortion was artificially produced or was due to a natural cause." Mr. Chamberlain (Crown Prosecutor) appeared for the Commissioner of Police; Mr. E. Millhouse, with Mr. and Mrs. J. C. E. McCarthy, of Kadiha, for the relatives of the dead girl; Mr. C. J. Philcox for Dr. A. K. Gault; Mr. L. B. Mathews for Mrs. Mary Pahl (matron of Martini Private Hospital, Lambeth Walk, King's Park); and Mr. P. A. Ohlstrom for Mrs. N. Freeman and Mrs. E. A. Forbes (witnesses, and relatives of the dead girl).

Thursday 2 November 1939, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

Thomas Plains school, east of Kadina, opened in 1892 by Isabella A. Matthew; closed in 1947.
It stood in the North-East corner of section 12, Hundred of Ninnes.