About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fatal Shooting at Weatherhead's saw mill near Glenlyon

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


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

Alf was the youngest son of Horatio Weatherhead (18/5/1853 to 24/10/1925) and Eleanor Hunt (17/2/1856 to 15/5/1927). They had nine children Fred (1881 - 1955, married Ethel Ellen Wesley in 1910), Ada (1883 - 1966, married Edward Shelden in 1903), Charles (1884 - 1957, married Emily Hunt in 1908),  Arthur (1886 - 1945, married Inez Coombs in 1912),  George (1888 - 1944, married Annie Ainger in 1916), John (1890  1892), Frank (1893 - 1970, married Alice Burleigh in 1923), Alf (1895 - 1976) and Eva (my grandma, 1901 - 1982, married Joe Rouse in 1922)

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