Tag Archives: Sutton

Trove Tuesday – Mysterious Aeroplanes

The media is often accused of fear mongering and it seems it was no different 100 years ago.  The onset of WW1 saw reporting that heightened fear with people leaping at shadows believing the Germans were invading Australia.

When I first came across the following article, I thought it was an isolated case.  A Victorian drover, Mr Sutton spotted a plane in the night sky after the noise of his agitated cattle woke him while camped somewhere between Byaduk and Macarthur.  While half asleep, he saw two rockets fired.   According to the article, from the Hamilton Spectator his was not the only sighting in the district.

 

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"A MYSTERIOUS AEROPLANE." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 20 Apr 1918:  .

“A MYSTERIOUS AEROPLANE.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 20 Apr 1918: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119501085&gt;.

 

The copy of the article was not good so I thought I would see if any other papers reported on the sighting.  Did they what.  A search of “Mysterious Aeroplane” at Trove brought up dozens of reports of various people across Victoria claiming to have seen or heard planes.  The Defence Department investigated, however  some witnesses were doubting what they previously thought they heard or saw.  The Minster for Defence clarified the markings of  the planes of the allies and the enemy which surely wouldn’t have allayed the fear of the public.

 

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"The Mysterious Aeroplane." The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 25 Apr 1918: 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly. .

“The Mysterious Aeroplane.” The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 25 Apr 1918: 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74220662&gt;.

 

Dr. Brett Holman from the University of New England has written several posts about the mystery planes of the WW1 period on his site, Airminded.  You can read one of those on the following link, with his explanation on the large number of reports of mysterious aeroplanes during that time –  http://airminded.org/2012/05/22/fear-uncertainty-doubt-i/

It reminded me of something similar from a previous Trove Tuesday post, UFO Alert about four flying saucers seen over Hamilton in January 1954.  Sci-Fi films were moving in to the realm of UFOs and aliens and in the same month as the sighting, The Argus was publishing installments of “War of the Worlds.”

Mysterious aeroplanes aside, what was really mysterious for me was the surname of witnesses from the 1915 and 1918 sightings.  The drover who saw the rockets in 1918 was Mr Sutton.  Three years earlier, Eric Sutton of Redbank, NSW saw the lights of  a plane.   I did check.  There were Suttons living at Macarthur in 1914 and Mr Sutton the drover was possibly Issac Sutton from that town so it’s unlikely there was any connection. Just a strange coincidence.

"GARRA SENSATION." Western Champion (Parkes, NSW : 1898 - 1934) 9 Dec 1915: 28. .

“GARRA SENSATION.” Western Champion (Parkes, NSW : 1898 – 1934) 9 Dec 1915: 28. .

 


Passing of the Pioneers

This is the fourth “Passing of the Pioneers” and includes a chess champion who lived in Merino and plenty of Irish influence.  They highlight some of the pioneers of Victoria’s Western District by way of their obituaries as published in The Portland Guardian.  If you would like to read the full obituary, just click on the pioneer’s name.

Mrs J. HAY  – Died October 4, 1888, Portland.  This obituary demonstrates the tone of many at the time.

OBITUARY. (1888, October 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63590480

George BEVAN – Died October 17, 1888, Portland.  George owned and died at the London Hotel in Portland.  His family notice shows he was born in Somerset, England and was 59 at the time of death.  George had been in Portland since the early 1860s and was a keen sportsman and former Town Councillor.

Mrs Mary EGAN – Died October 1912, Greenwald.  Mary Egan was 86 at the time of her death and had lived in Victoria for 60 years.  She originally went to Tasmania from Ireland with her parents as a small child.  Mary married Francis Egan who had passed away 30 years earlier.

W. S. P. LEWIS – Died October 4, 1915, Hamilton.  William Sudgen Price Lewis was the step son of Richard Lewis, a former owner of “Rifle Downs” at Digby.  Born in Tasmania in 1835, William and his brother came to live with Richard Lewis when Richard and their mother married in 1841.  In adult life, William leased “Hilgay” station for a time, bred fine livestock and was a member of several racing clubs.  He later retired to Hamilton.

John H. ROW- Died October 27, 1926, Portland.  Mr Row was a Portland jeweller.

Advertising. (1879, March 27). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: MORNINGS.. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63341984

John McDONNELL – Died October 17, 1930, Moree.  Mr McDonnell was originally from Ireland and arrived in Australia in 1863 via Liverpool.  He was considered one of the oldest people in the district.  He married Catherine FAHEY and they selected land at Moree in 1865.

Catherine Bridget SAMPEY – Died October, 1933, Melbourne.  Catherine Sampey arrived in Melbourne, from Ireland aboard the “Red Jacket” in 1852.    She travelled on to Chetwynd with her brother James Sampey and she later married Patrick WHITE of Casterton.

Mrs Elizabeth GLOVER – Died October 12, 1933, Casterton.  Elizabeth Glover was 100 when she died.  Arriving from Ireland aboard the “Frances Henty” at age 21, 79 years before, she was still able to converse in Welsh and Gaelic in her later years.

Mrs J. T. SUTTON – Died October, 1934, Portland.  Born in Tipperary, Ireland but remembered as “a true type of  a fine old English lady”, Mrs Sutton arrived in Australia as a six year old in the mid 1850s.  She married Frances Sutton in 1874 and together they had six daughters and two sons.

Ernest John SEALEY – Died October 25, 1935, Casterton.  In his younger years Ernest Sealey worked as a bullock driver transporting wool.  In later worked on Portland’s deep-water pier, hauling logs from the forests to the pier.

Charles PRATT – Died October 26, 1935, Birchip.

Obituary. (1935, November 4). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64290777

And so begins the obituary of Charles Pratt.  Charles or Charley has he was widely known, was born at Mumbannar in 1870.  In 1891, he went to Beulah in the Mallee and worked with his step brother and later selected his own land near Watchupga.  He married Annie LAVERY in 1914 and they had three sons.

Thomas Denton CLARKE – Died October 5, 1937, Hamilton.  Thomas, born around 1847 at Liverpool,  was the son on Captain Thomas H. Clarke who was a trader in Portland.  Thomas jnr was a champion chess player and a composer of chess problems.  He won many competitions for both pursuits.  Composing problems up until his death, it was considered probable, according to the obituary, that he was the world’s oldest composer.

Mr James McCLUSKEY – Died October, 1942, Koroit.  James McCluskey was born at Portland in 1857, not long after the arrival of his parents on the ship, “British Empire“.  Soon after, the family travelled by bullock wagon to Kirkstall near Warrnambool.  In his early working life, he drove pigs to Port Fairy in order to load them on the steamer “Casino” to go to market in Melbourne.

Mary PRATT- Died October 7, 1942, Greenwald.  Mary, the widow of George COWLAND, was 87 at the time or her death.  There were 12 children in their family.  Her obituary recalled her pioneering traits.

OBITUARY. (1942, October 26). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382483


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