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Rodd, Bertram Clifford (1850–1905)

Quite a gloom was spread over our small community at midday on Friday last (says the Werris Creek correspondent of the Tamworth News), when it became generally known that the lifeless body of Bertram Clifford Rodd had been found in his house along the north-west railway, one mile from Werris Creek Station. The deceased was a fettler, and had been in the railway service for a quarter of a century, the two last years of which he had been stationed near here.

Among his fellow employees and all others with whom he came in contact, he was deemed a trustworthy friend and acquaintance. Living by himself, he was reticent upon matters trenching upon his family history; and at the time of his death not even his most intimate companions knew the address of any one related to him. About noon on Friday Senior Constable Byrne received information that something serious had occurred at Rodd's place, and proceeded there at once, and found his entrance barred by deceased's canine companion, which, unfortunately, had to be destroyed before anyone could enter the house. The body of Rodd was found in his bedroom on the floor beside the bed, with a double-barrelled shot gun clasped beneath him, the front portion of his head from the frontal bones of the skull towards being completely shot away. Senior Constable Byrne had the remains removed to the Railway Hotel at Werris Creek, and later in the day began the apparently hopeless task of finding someone relatively connected with the deceased. The official acumen manifested by him in a quest so difficult, was crowned with a success beyond all expectations. By ten o'clock that night a brother of the deceased arrived by the north-west rail from Gunnedah district, and a daughter from Singleton by the next morning mail; on Saturday evening another brother arrived from the Manilla district, and a son from Sydney by the passenger train that night.

An inquest was subsequently held by the district Coroner (Mr. Hungerford). Evidence was given by Senior Constable Byrne, Amy Chad (a neighbor), Michael Clark and W. A. Fisherman (fellow employees), but very little was stated that would throw light on the sad occurrence. The witness Clark said deceased had been working under his control, and he had not noticed anything unusual about him of late. He worked up to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and on Thursday he was booked off as sick. Other witness stated that they had latterly seen deceased under the influence of drink; and Constable Byrne said he had latterly noticed him strange in his manner.

A verdict of suicide was returned. The deceased was well-known in Scone, and resided there for many years, prior to removing up country. He also at one time kept the Club House Hotel at Singleton, and was, we understand, a member of an old and well-to-do city family.

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Citation details

'Rodd, Bertram Clifford (1850–1905)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/rodd-bertram-clifford-27584/text34974, accessed 24 November 2017.

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