Tragic Accidents - Children

William Edward Pither - Scalded

SCALDED TO DEATH. Dr Youl held an inquest at Carlton on Monday on the body of a child named William Edward Pither, aged five years, the son of Peter Pither, a farmer. The evidence went to show that the mother was in the act of bathing her children on Saturday night, and sat the deceased on a chair beside the fire. When in the act of carrying out the bath she heard a scream, and upon turning round saw the deceased had fallen, and pulled the kettle of boiling water over him. She took him to the hospital, where the wounds were dressed. He progressed favourably until noon next day, when a change took place, and death ensued in a few hours. Dr Snowball gave evidence that death resulted from the scald, and a verdict to that effect was returned.

Argus 9 May 1882, p9

Gladys Marion Grace Sherrard Smith - Crushed by boulder

Speaking of picnics, was not that a terribly sad event at Beaconsfield, about Dr. L. L. Smith's little girl. She was the dearest little child, for Mrs. Smith brings up her children beautifully. They are certainly taken out and about far more than young people generally are, but they are very simple and childish in manner, a treat in these days of spoiled children. Little Gladys, young as she was, can fittingly be described as her mother's right-hand. The children all worship their mother, and Gladys was often found relieving her of many little household duties. The poor little girl had forgotten something, and turned to go back for it, when her foot slipped. She instinctively stretched out her hand, touched a large boulder, and al though it appeared quite secure, the impetus was sufficient to move it. It struck her upon the head, instantly killing her. Mrs. Smith, who was under the impression that her little daughter had only fainted, insisted upon carrying the body all the long journey back to the house.

Bendigo Advertiser, 13 Jan 1902, p5.

William George Barter  - Drowned

Drowning Fatality.—William George Barter, a child of 4 1/2 years of age, was found drowned in a dam at Upper Beaconsfield last Tuesday. He was last seen alive at noon on Tuesday, when he was playing with his scooter in the yard at the back of the house. Some time after he was missing but little throught was given to this fact by his parents as the boy often went to Capt Griffin's who is a neighbour, to play with the children. At 5 o'clock Mr Barter went to his neighbour's place to bring his small son home and was informed by Capt Griffin that the boy had not been seen that day. Mr and Mrs barter, together with Mr Kemp, then set out in search of the child, and some distance down the road the scooter was found. A search of a dam close by was made and the body, which was cold, was eventually discovered. Every effort to resucitate the body was made, and Dr Langmore was summoned. On his arrival he pronounced life extinct. The deputy coroner, Mr W J Harvey Smith, held an enquiry on Wednesday last and after various evidence had been taken ordered the body to be buried and adjourned the enquiry till a later date.

Berwick County Times / The Times 27 Jun 1924, p1

James Coleman Beeching - Accidentally shot

CHILD FATALLY SHOT. Mishap at Beaconsfield. BEACONSFIELD UPPER, Tuesday Mrs Beeching, a visitor from Melbourne, was spending a holiday with her sister, Mrs Bert Brain, at North Beaconsfield. Yesterday afternoon Mrs Beeching's son, aged four years, was in the yard with Mrs Brain's young son, who apparently went to the man's room and obtained a loaded gun. A report was heard, and Mrs Beeching's son was found shot in the head. He died a few moments afterwards.

Argus 25 Jan 1928, p20

William Gibbs - Accidentally shot

BOY SHOT DEAD. BEACONSFIELD UPPER, Monday. - On Good Friday, William Gibbs, 16 years of age, stepson of Mr. Cregan, was, with some companions out shooting, and when getting through a fence the gun he carried discharged, shooting away the back part of his head. A younger brother, who was close to him escaped. The body was conveyed to Berwick, where a coroner's inquest will be held.

Argus 21 Apr 1908, p8

Adelaide Ward's baby - Scalding Accident

A painful scalding accident happened to Mrs Ward's baby at Upper Beaconsfield, last week. The unfortunate child pulled a pot of hot tea over, scalding itself very severely. Dr Langmore ordered the little sufferer's removal to the local hospital.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal 14 Nov 1912, p2

Agnes Mary Agatha Mason - Thrown from horse

An unfortunate accident happened to Miss Mason aged 17 years a sister of the lost boy. She started to ride into Berwick to send some telegrams, but her horse got beyond control. The black tracker Charlie, seeing it had bolted, galloped after it, and succeeded in getting longside, but no sooner had he seized the reins than Miss Mason collapsed, falling off on her head. She was picked up unconscious and conveyed to her parents' residence. Dr Bennie was quickly in attendance. He found the patient in a very critical state, suffering from fracture of the base of the skull.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Apr 1906, p3

BERWICK. Wednesday. -Miss Mason aged 17 (sister of the boy who was lost in the Beaconsfield Ranges on Saturday last), who sustained a fracture of the base of the skull through an unfortunate accident yesterday, caused by a fall from a bolting horse succumbed to her injuries early this morning without having regained consciousness. A magisterial inquiry was held this afternoon, before Mr Edwin Greaves, JP, when a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony was recorded.

Argus 26 Apr 1906, p4

Isabel Gilpin - Clothing catching fire

On Friday last a little girl, three years of age, named Isabel Gilpin, daughter of a resident of Beaconsfield, met with her death on account of severe injuries received through her clothes catching fire. The youngster was playing at a clearing-off fire in a paddock, and before her father could reach her she was badly burned, so much so that she expired in the train at Berwick while being conveyed to the Children's Hospital.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Wed 10 Feb 1909, p2


Accidents - Adults died

Frank Harry Allan - Thrown from Vehicle

THROWN FROM VEHICLE BERWICK, Thursday.—Found unconscious on the main road near Beaconsfield Upper this afternoon, Mr. Frank Harry Allan, of Louisville, Beaconsfield Upper, died while being taken to hospital.
Mr. Allan, in a horse-drawn vehicle, had a few minutes before left the property Ardgour, which he had purchased from Misses McLean, and was to have taken over on August 1. It is presumed that, the horse became frightened, and that be was thrown from the vehicle.
Mr. Allan has left a widow and family.

Argus 26 Jul 1940, p2

Agnes Christina Gibbes - Candle ignited nightdress

NIGHTDRESS IN FLAMES. Woman Severely Burned.
Mrs. Gibbs, aged 70 years, of Upper Beaconsfield, was severely burned about the body and head about 2 o’clock yesterday morning, when a lighted candle which she was holding ignited her nightdress. Mrs Gibbs’s screams awakened her husband, but when he reached his wife her nightdress had been almost burnt off. A doctor took her to a private hospital at Berwick. She was then brought to the Alfred Hospital and admitted in a serious condition.

Argus 30 Aug 1926 p18

John McNaughton - Crushed by wheel

 BULLOCK TEAM BOLTS. Driver Crushed by Wheel.
BERWICK, Monday -As a bullock team driven by Mr. Jack McNaughton, of Beaconsfield, was being driven down Inebriates' Hill, two miles from Beaconsfield, on the Upper Beaconsfield road, the team became out of control and bolted. McNaughton attempted for a time to regain control of the bullocks, which were harnessed to a heavy jinker. He was unsuccessful, and when the jinker passed over a rut he was thrown to the roadway. One wheel of the jinker passed over his body, killing him instantly.
The team continued for about half a mile beyond the bottom of the hill.
McNaughton's body was brought to Berwick by Constable De La Rue.

Argus 22 Dec 1925, p23

Richard Hinton - Mining accident

FATAL MINING ACCIDENT. UPPER BEACONSFIELD, MONDAY. A fatal accident occurred at Gembrook,
near Emerald, on Thursday. A party engaged in sinking a shaft were just ceasing work for the dinner hour when one of their number named Richard Hinton remained behind to give a last blow of the pick. A body of earth, variously estimated at from three to ten tons in weight, was loosened by the blow, and falling on him crushed him to death. After three hours hard work his mates dug out his body, which was in a  terribly mangled condition. The deceased was 22 years of age, He only arrived from England two years ago, and was engaged to be married to a young girl in this district.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Tue 10 Oct 1893, p7

Accidents - Adults injured

Caleb Wheeler & Esther Wheeler - Driving accident


BEACONSFIELD. Wednesday. Mr Wheeler, of Hillside, Beaconsfield, while driving back from the evening train, accompanied by his daughter, lost control of a young horse he was driving. The jinker was wrecked and the occupants thrown out. The daughter escaped with a severe shaking, but Mr Wheeler had his collar-bone dislocated.

The Age (Melbourne), 9 Apr 1914, p10

Ernest Henry Horrigan - Plough struck stump

Quite a number of accidents have happened recently. Early last week Mr. E. Horrigan, employed by Mr. E. W. Harris, was engaged ploughing in the orchard when the plough struck an old stump, and the handles, rebounding, struck Mr. Horrigan in the side, fracturing two ribs and bruising the lungs. I am glad to say that he is on the mend, but it will be some weeks before he can resume work.

The Dandenong Journal (1927-1954) "Thu 26 May 1932, p4

Alfred George Shorthouse - Coach strikes stump

Mr Shorthouse, sen., proprietor of the Beaconsfield coach, was on his way to meet the early train on Wednesday, when the horse shied, and, colliding with a stump threw the driver out. Mr Shorthouse was found lying on the road and in pain. Dr Langmuir of Berwick, found no bones broken, but that the muscles of the neck and chest had been much strained. There was also a wound in the scalp.

Argus 27 May 1910, p8



Some family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.

Some individuals may be featured because members of their family were associated with the Upper Beaconsfield area, even though they themselves never lived here.