Rowdyism At Axedale 1881

From: The Ballarat Courier (Vic: 1869-1884; 1914-1918) Thursday, 19 May 1881, page 3


A most disgraceful case of ruffianism has been reported to the Sandhurst police. A tea meeting was advertised to take place at St. Nicholas’ Roman Catholic Church, Axedale, about fourteen miles from Sandhurst, on Saturday. A mob of young toughs, numbering over a dozen, and known as the Back Creek larrikins,.appeared on the scene, and demanded food or blood.

The ladies, who were preparing the tables,” beat a hasty retreat, and the ruffians regaled themselves on the eatables provided. They then proceeded to smash the crockery and damage the place.”

They “next collected a quantity of bushes, and stacked them under the schoolroom. These they ignited, but fortunately the flames were put out before much damage was done. A man in the employment of Mr Craike, a well known vigneron in the neighborhood, who had been sent by his master to the school, with a present of fruit, was savagely set upon by the ruffians, and had his eye badly cut with a knuckleduster, which one of the gang wore.

Another man, had his eye blackened, and was otherwise maltreated. The cowardly gang assaulted old and young alike, and then attempted to steal the money taken for admission. Several of the ruffians are well known to the police, and warrants have been issued. Hopes are entertained that the whole gang will be arrested and severely punished – Herald

**Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

ROWDYISM AT AXEDALE. (1881, May 19). The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 – 1884; 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from

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The Case of James McDonald – Coronary Inquest #Axedale 1884

From: The Bendigo Advertiser (1855-1918), Tuesday 29 April 1884



The coroner (Mr. G. Webster, P.M.,) held an inquest at the Perseverance Hotel, Axedale, yesterday, on the body of James McDonald, whose mysterious disappearance was referred to in our issue of Saturday. Sergeant Fahey watched the proceedings on behalf of the police.

Henry Acott deposed: I am a farmer and publican, residing at Axedale. Knew the deceased, James McDonald. I last saw him alive on the 19th inst. On that day, he went with me and his wife into Sandhurst. We left to return home between three and four o’clock in the afternoon. We stopped at a public house on the road and had a drink. We then drove on to the Bull’s Hotel and there had another drink each. We then went on to the South Atlas Hotel and had a drink each.

After proceeding some distance, deceased asked me to let him drive, which I did. We came on to about a mile from here, about eight miles from Sandhurst. I then said to him, “Your wife is sick. You had better sit by her and look after her.” He did so, and seemed to behave in a very strange manner. He caught hold of her by the throat, and she sang out and I then said, “What are you doing?” He continued his conduct, and I then said, ” Are you going to kill the woman? ”

The deceased then struck me three times over the head with his fist. I hastened the horse on to get here (the Perseverance Hotel.) When we got out he struck me, knocking me down. I said, ” You ought to be ashamed of yourself to strike an old man like me.” He rushed at me again, and I ran into the bar of the hotel. Deceased followed me. I went outside again and told his wife to get out of the trap as I would not take her any further.

She got out and I immediately went home, leaving the deceased and his wife in the bar. This was about half-past nine o’clock at night. There were a number of people there at the time. I never saw deceased alive again. The deceased had at least two drinks on the road. There had not been any dispute or quarrel on the road except with me. I never had any quarrel with deceased before.

John M’Namara deposed: When the deceased, his wife, and the last witness, Acott, drove up to my hotel they appeared to be in a quarrelsome state. I heard Acott call out, “That — man has struck me twice; if there is any police about, I will give him in charge.” They both got out. De-ceased struck Acott, and he fell on the verandah. When Acott got up deceased struck him again and he fell, Some men interfered, and Acott went into the bar.

Deceased followed him and again struck him. I gave Acott some beer, and he went away. I did not see him again that night. Deceased was very quarrelsome afterwards with some men who were in the bar. I did not see the deceased struck by anyone. Deceased left about three quarters of an hour afterwards. He lost his hat, and proceeded in the direction of Sandhurst, which is by the creek, to find it. I saw no more of him. He went alone. He was mad drunk, but could walk well enough. I heard no threats made towards him by the men, who in fact were trying to pacify him.

Dr. MacGillivray deposed: I have made a post mortem examination of the body. I saw no marks of violence except a small abrasion on the right knee, and a little blood on the right ear. The internal organs were in a normal condition. The cause of death was asphyxia from drowning. I have not the slightest doubt as to the cause of death.

Elizabeth Nesto deposed that she was not the wife of the deceased, although she lived with him as such. Having corroborated the evidence of the witness Acott, she stated that the deceased did not follow her home from the Perseverance Hotel, which is about 2 miles distance. On the following morning, as the deceased did not return home, she went to the Perseverance Hotel, but did not see him alive again. Acott and deceased were always on friendly terms, so far as she knew.

Thos. Moffitt, one of the men referred to as being in the bar of the Perseverance Hotel when the deceased and Acott drove up, gave evidence of the assault on Acott.

Constable Feeley deposed that in company with Constable Luke, he found the body of the deceased under the Axe Creek bridge on the 26th, inst. There were marks showing deceased had been leaning over the bridge vomiting into the water. There was no trace of any scuttle.

The Coroner having summed up the evidence, the jury, after some deliberation, returned a verdict of “Accidentally drowned.”


**Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

THE CASE OF JAMES M’DONALD. (1884, April 29). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from

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Axedale Burial: Pascoe Family 1881 and 1883



From: The Bendigo Advertiser (1855-1918) Monday 11 June 1883, Page 2

Death from Syncope. – Yesterday afternoon the coroner conducted an inquest at Drake’s Hotel, Axedale, on the body of a married woman named Jane Pascoe, who resided at Tooleen, and who died suddenly on Friday. Henry Pascoe, the husband of the deceased, deposed that his wife was 46 years of age. She was of stout build, but enjoyed good health, although she sometimes complained of pains in the region of the heart. On Thursday night she complained of pains in her left side, and on Friday morning, being no better, witness applied mustard plasters, but at about nine o’clock, or very shortly afterwards, she suddenly expired. Amelia Jane Pascoe, daughter of the deceased, stated that on Thursday and Friday, her mother was unable to leave her bed. At about nine’o’clock she was attending to her, when suddenly she turned up her eyes and expired. Dr. Hinchcliff, who made a post mortem examination of the body, testified to the cause of death as syncope from fatty degeneration of the heart. A verdict accordingly was returned.


From: The Bendigo Advertiser (1855-1918), Wednesday 28 December 1881, page 2

MAGISTERIAL INQUIRY.-Mr. O’Rourke, J.P., held, at Drake’s Hotel, Axedale, an inquiry yesterday, as to the cause of death of a female child between two and three years old named Alice Pascoe, who died at Toolleen on Monday morning after a short illness. No medical man having been in attendance, Dr. Penfold made a post mortem examination, and from it ascertained that death resulted from inflammation of the lungs.

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THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER (1883, June 11). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

“THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 28 December 1881: 2. Web. 1 Jul 2021 <

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 01 July 2021), memorial page for Jane Pascoe (unknown–8 Jun 1883), Find a Grave Memorial ID 167646089, citing Axedale Catholic Cemetery, Axedale, Greater Bendigo City, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by woowoo (contributor 49949980) .

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 01 July 2021), memorial page for Alice Pascoe (unknown–26 Dec 1881), Find a Grave Memorial ID 167646093, citing Axedale General Cemetery, Axedale, Greater Bendigo City, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by woowoo (contributor 49949980) .

Axedale Burials: Downey Family 1877-1910


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DIED AUG 1877. AGE 70
DIED FEB 1879 AGE 77
DIED JAN. 1880. AGE 2
DIED FEB 1899. AGE 11
DIED AUG. 1910. AGE 16

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About Axedale 1912

From: The Advocate, Melbourne: Vic 1868-1954,Saturday 14 September 1912, page 25


Perhaps no more striking illustration of this could we have, than the manner in which the congregation of St. Mary’s recently formed a conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. With the parish priest and spiritual director of the society, Rev. Fr. Cremin, at the fountain head, much good work has already been accomplished.

The parish of Axedale might well be regarded as a model one. not only on account of the practical demonstration of their faith, but also, if the enthusiasm with which the parishioners enter into any movement appertaining to the welfare of the Holy Catholic Church.

Besides exercising its charitable obligations, the conference has undertaken the distribution of Catholic literature. It is also proposed to build a hall for Catholic purposes, such as holding meetings, and as a place where congregational singing can be practised on Sundays, when there is no Mass.

A social will be held in aid of the building fund of St. Mary’s on October 16th. The residents of Axedale intend to give a complimentary concert to Miss Myle Egan, on the evening of the occasion of the next Hibernian picnic, in recognition of the popularity of the talented young vocalist.

A special train will leave for Bendigo after the concert for the convenience of patrons.

*Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

AXEDALE. (1912, September 14). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 25. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from

Inquest: Edward Burke, Axedale 1879

Proceedings of Inquest into the body of Edward BURKE held at the Axedale Hotel

The Inquest into the death of Edward Burke was held at the Axedale Hotel on 28 February 1879, before Coroner Robert Strickland.

Jurors Names in Full

Jonathan Harris – foreman
Thomas Burke
Thomas Donnellan
Stephen Burke
Martin Comer
Alfred Lawson
Patrick Meany
John Firm
William I. Cahill
Henry Dodd
James White
John Ryan
Patrick Drake

On the twenty fourth day of February 1879, at Mosquito Creek, Axedale, the deceased Edward Burke died from haemmorhage into the peritoneum from natural causes.

Witness Statements

This deponent, on his oath saith, I am a farmer from Mosquito Creek Axedale.
The deceased Edward BURKE of whose body the jury have had the view, was my son. He was 3 1/2 years old. He was a strong, healthy child, and never had sickness until Friday last the 21st instant, when he commenced to vomit greatly and complained of pain in the stomach – he appeared in greater pain when endeavouring to make water. His mother administered the usual domestic remedies and gave him a warm bath. The complaint was not considered sufficiently serious as to necessitate the attendance of a medical man. On Saturday and on Sunday morning, deceased was considerably better and was able to get up but on Sunday morning between 8 and 9 o’clock he had a relapse and became very weak and gradually sank and died at 2am on Monday the 24th instant. Deceased was sensible up to the time of his death.
(signed: John Burke)

Harry Leigh Atkinson
This deponent, on his oath saith, I am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Sandhurst.
I have this day made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased Edward BURKE, of whose body the jury have had the view. It is that of a male child between 3 and 4 years of age. There are no external marks of violence on the body, which is extremely well nourished, and has been apparently well cared for. On opening the chest, I found the heart and lungs quite healthy. The stomach was healthy and contained some fluid nourishment. The kidneys, spleen and bladder were also all healthy. There was no sign of any disease of the intestinal track, which contained sufficient nourishment. I found in the cavity of the peritoneum a quantity of coagulated and fluid blood. As I could not discover the rupture of a blood vessel of any size, I am of the opinion that this blood had exuded from the small capillary vessels. The father’s account of the symptoms accord with the post mortem appearances. The cause of death was haemorrhage into the peritoneal cavity and natural causes. Had a medical man been called in, he would not have been able to save the child’s life. The nature of the disease would have been very obscure during life.
(signed: Harry Leigh Atkinson)

Inquest EDWARD Burke, Public Records Office of Victoria, Series: Inquest depostition files, Agency: State Coroners Office, Citation: VPRS 24/PO Unit 387, Item: 1879/210 Male

The above report is taken from the official Inquest document and includes excerpts only. All important facts relating to the inquest are included but not the entire file.

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Brutal Assault on a Constable at Axedale 1901

From: The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), Monday, 21 January 1901, p. 3.


Joseph Teasdale, 40 years, laborer of Woodend, a man of powerful build, was presented before the mayor (Mr. S. Ryan) and Mr. J. Watson, on three separate charges of inciting a prisoner to resist arrest, assaulting the police, and doing damage to Government property at Axedale on the previous day.

Inspector Hehir prosecuted.
Mounted Constable Kerr, who limped feebly, into the witness box, stated that he was on duty at Axedale township at 12.20 p.m. on the previous day, when he found 15 or 16 men who had arrived with a thrasher, drinking at the Campaspe Hotel. One of the number named John Roche, became most insulting in his remarks, and used very bad language. Witness therefore arrested him for using obscene language.

He was proceeding to the lockup with his man, when Teasdale followed them up and said that no constable should lock his mate up. The constable told the man to go about his business, but he further incited prisoner to resist, and said “If I have to do six months you won’t take him.” at the same time striking witness a violent blow on the ear and knocking him down.

Witness still stuck to his prisoner, but Teasdale kept striking him, and dragging the prisoner away, and finally freed Roche, who ran away into the bush. The constable, considering that Teasdale was the worse offender of the two, determined to arrest him. Teasdale, however, threw him, and, when he recovered his feet kicked him in the abdomen. He was very violent, and said not a policeman in the force could take him.

Witness was becoming exhausted with the severe struggle, but fortunately Mr. Edward Drake, licensee of the Campaspe Hotel, came to his assistance. The combined efforts of the two men were powerless to secure the prisoner, who fought and bit desperately. A second civilian, named Denis Doody, came to their assistance, and after a struggle lasting for half an hour they at length handcuffed Teasdale, and placed him in the look-up.

The three who had effected his arrest were completely exhausted. The constable was bruised all about the body and had his hand bitten. Mr. Drake also had a finger severely bitten and sustained injuries about the body.

When in the cell, prisoner behaved like a roaring boast, and smashed to pieces the utensil there. The man was not drunk, and had only had two drinks in Axedale. Witness stated that be would be unfit for active duty for a week. It was very fortunate, witness added, that prisoner was not placed on a more serious charge. If it had not been for the assistance of the two civilians he would have been seriously injured.

Prisoner: I have no recollection of anything. I have never been in a court before. I have always been in the habit of assisting the police instead of taking action against them. I don’t know what occurred. I can’t ask any questions.

Edward Drake stated that the constable was in a very exhausted condition when he came to his assistance. They did not secure prisoner until he had kicked the constable on the head, and used his teeth pretty freely. The man was not under the influence of drink.

Prisoner further stated that before arriving, at Axedale, he had had eight or nine drinks at an hotel. As a rule he did not drink, because he once had a sunstroke. He was very sorry indeed for what he had done. It was his first offence. He was a married man with a family to support and wanted to get back to them.

The chairman said prisoner was charged with very serious offences. If it had not been his first offence the penalty would be very severe, for his conduct was most brutal. He was fined £2 for inciting to resist, £2 for assaulting the constable, £1 with 7s 6d for damaging property, or one month imprisonment in default, and ordered to pay 33s 3d costs. Prisoner asked tor time in which to pay. Inspector Hehir objected to the request, and it was refused.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

BRUTAL ASSAULT ON A CON STABLE AT AXEDALE. (1901, January 21). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved May 4, 2021, from

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Coincident Deaths 1927

From: Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954) Tuesday, 4 October 1927: Page 7

Remarkable Tragedy
MELBOURNE, Monday. Tragic circumstances distinguish an accident .which occurred at Bendigo early, this morning. A youth was killed and three other persons were injured. The steering gear of a car failed at a bend, and the vehicle dashed through the parapet of a bridge and plunged into a creek, twenty feet below.

Another man was injured while attempting to render assistance.The casualties were –
Killed. James Francis Drake (18), school teacher, of Bendigo.
Injured Mrs. Bridget Cahill, dislocated sholulder, severe abrasions, and shock.
Thomas William Drake (15), severe abrasions and shock.
Edward Patrick. Drake (20), head injuries, abrasions, and shock.
Andrew Ryan (57), butcher broken leg.

The party, comprising three brothers and their aunt, was proceeding to Axedale, after receiving a message that Mr. Edward Drake, father of the boys, had collapsed and was dying, He had been injured a week previously by falling on some stones while chasing a horse to drive to the funeral of a friend, and did not regain consciousness. Mrs. Cahill was driving the car. When she was about to turn from Baxter Street into McIvor Road, the steering gear failed.

The vehicle ran over the footway, and crashing through the railing, of the bridge, fell into the creek, coming to rest overturned across a cement. invert used for flood purposes. The occupants were immersed in about three feet of water.

Ryan, in attempting to reach the trapped people, jumped from the bridge, and broke his leg when he struck the creek bed. The noise of the crash attracted a crowd, and the occupants of the car were soon released. James Drake was then dead. It was thought that his head struck the concrete invert.

The other injured were conveyed to hospital. Mr. Drake, sen. died about the time of the accident. A double funeral of father and son will be conducted to-morrow.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

“COINCIDENT DEATHS” Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954) 4 October 1927: 7 (DAILY). Web. 4 May 2021 <;.

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Private Charles McKenzie – Killed In Action. Gallipoli

Private Charles McKenzie

Service Number: 357

14th Australian Infantry Battalion

Australian Imperial Force, First World War 1914-1918

Born in 1894, at Axedale, Victoria Australia

Parents: William and Mary McKenzie

Enlisted at Melbourne

Next of Kin: Mary McKenzie, Chillingollah, Victoria, Australia

Died aged 21, on 8 August 1915 at Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey. Killed in Action.

Cemetery or Memorial Details: Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Cannakale Province, Turkey


The following form was sent to Private McKenzie’s mother to fill out and return to ensure her son’s name was listed on the Roll of Honour at the Memorial War Museum

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AWM145 Roll of Honour Cards 1914-1918, War, Army

Railway Disaster Inquest 1900

From: The Weekly Times, Melbourne, Vic 1869-1954, Saturday 13 January 1900, page 26


The adjourned inquest on William John Langley, Benjamin Burston, and Blanche Hoskins, who were killed in the New Year’s Day railway disaster, was resumed on Monday, before Mr Dwver. P.M.. and a jury of seven.

The Coroner, in summing up, said that it was clear that the engine driver had given two whistles, which were heard by the drivers of other vehicles. It seemed clear that the responsibility of the accident rested upon James Brown, the driver of the vehicle. He apparently was lost in thought and heeded nothing. It was for the jury to seriously consider whether he was guilty of manslaughter.

After an adjournment of an hour and a half, the jury brought in a verdict that the deceased met with an accident by a collision between the cab and the train, and that the driver of the vehicle was guilty of negligence, but not wilful negligence; that the railway department contributed to the collision by not having the belt of timber at the approach to the crossing removed; and that they (the jury) were of opinion that the whistle, when approaching the crossing, should have been of much longer duration. The Coroner said that the verdict regarding James Brown was ambiguous. The jury, after a consultation, said they did not find him guilty of manslaughter.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

The plaque below was erected in memory of those who died in the New Years Day railway accident.

The marble tablet below, was erected by teachers, scholars and friends of St Paul`s Sunday School in memory Blanche Lois Hoskins, John Langley and Benjamin Burston who died from injuries received in the New Years Day train accident.

Plaque 2 : 22-April-2015

From: The Argus (Melbourne) 20 June 1900

A large congregation assembled at St Paul’s Church on Tuesday night, when Archdeacon MacCullagh unveiled a tablet in memory of Blanche Lois Hoskins, Benjamin Burston, and John Langley, the victims of the New Year’s Day railway fatality. Archdeacon MacCullagh referred at some length to the circumstances surrounding the calamity in terms of regret and sorrow, and a special service was held in connection with the ceremony. 
The Argus (Melbourne), 20 June 1900.

THE AXEDALE DISASTER. (1900, January 13). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 26. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from

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