When Alf Weatherhead was eleven years old, he was involved in a fatal shooting on Easter Saturday, April 6, 1907 at his father's saw mill near Glenlyon. I had only vaguely heard about this when I was growing up, however I had a phone call out of the blue, from a nephew (or grand nephew) of the little boy who was shot and I felt really guilty about the whole thing, even though none of it is my fault. I sort of got the impression that the family of the boy thought that it was less of an accident and more a deliberate act. I was told that at 2.30 in the afternoon Alf was playing with Stanley and Gordon Barber. Gordon and Alf walked towards the hut; Alf must have picked up the gun and said 'I can shoot you' and Gordon said 'No, you can't' and Alf shot him. The gun was supposed to be unloaded.
The two newspaper reports have the name of the family incorrectly listed as Barbour, nor Barber. Gordon was the son of George and Francis (nee Chandler) Barber. His death certificate says he was 6 years, ten months old and there was an enquiry into his death held by William King, J.P on April 8 which determined that he died from a 'haemorrhage as a result of a gunshot wound in the neck.'
I can see that would be an unsatisfactory determination if I was the parents of little Gordon.
The Age April 9 1907
FATAL SHOOTING ACCIDENT. DAYLESFORD. Monday.
A fatal shooting accident occurred at Weatherhead's saw mill, near Glenlyon, on Saturday. Mr. Barbour, of Korweinguboora, who carts timber from the mill to Daylesford, took his two boys with him to the mill during the Easter holidays, where they played with the proprietor's son, aged about eleven years. While Mr. Barbour was away with a load on Saturday a gun that young Weatherhcad had been using accidentally exploded, and the charge struck young Barbour, aged seven years, full in the face and chest, killing him almost instantly.
A similar report appeared in The Leader of April 13, 1907