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David George Cross (1841–1891)

An inquest was held at Warialda on Saturday last, before Mr Lawson (coroner) and a jury of twelve, touching the death of D. G. Cross. The following evidence was taken: –

Dr Henry deposed: Yesterday evening I was called to see deceased; met him in a buggy about nine miles from Warialda, being brought to the hospital; he was in a very weak state, and suffering intense pain; I made a brief examination in the buggy, and found him suffering from two wounds—one in the front of the abdomen from which intestines were protruding, and another wound in the back; I put a bandage on and injected morphia; and then proceeded to Warialda; he was quite conscious; at first he complained greatly of pain, but afterwards became easier, and told me that he and Wm. McLaughlin, his mate, were kangaroo shooting together in the bush, about 1½ mile behind Hamilton's, at Oakey Greek; that McLaughlin was loading his rifle when, in easing down the hammer on the cap, the rifle went off, and the bullet struck deceased, passing through his body; he said it was accidentally done; about 1 o'clock we reached the Hospital; I examined him again; one wound was one inch or more in diameter, in the interior wall of the abdomen; about three inches to the right of the navel; a considerable quantity of the small intestines were protruding out through the wound, and on any movement considerable quantities of blood escaped from same; there was a smaller wound with ragged edges in the hinder region of the back in line with the front wound; through this wound I could trace the ploughed and torn tissues; reduced the protruded intestines, and dressed both the wounds; the patient was conscious the whole time, complaining of great pain in the abdomen; he was in a low state, suffering from shock and internal hemorrhage; saw him last about 2.30 a.m.; he was then complaining of terrible pain in his abdomen, and was sinking very rapidly; he died at about 5.30 a.m. from shock and internal hemorrhage; the injuries could be caused by a bullet from a Winchester rifle; the wounds agree with the statement made by deceased respecting the cause of the accident.

By the police: The person who made the wound called me to visit Cross.

William Hugh McLaughlin deposed: I am a kangaroo shooter, camped at Oakey Creek, in company with the deceased, David George Charles Cross; we were out shooting together yesterday at 5 o'clock; I fired, at a wallaby; hit him; Cross was sitting on his horse 12 yards away, and said, "You've hit him Billy;" I said "Get him," and went to reload the rifle; put the cleaner through to clean the barrel; I pulled the action up, the string pulled the trigger, and off the rifle went; Cross sang out "You've shot me, Billy;" he got off his horse and I went to him to help him; I took him to the water about 100 yards away; I then went to Hamilton's, as Cross said he would die in a few minutes; Felix Hamilton came with me to Cross; I left Cross with Hamilton and rode into Warialda for the doctor; we have been mates for three weeks together; I knew him 18 years; we had no quarrel or dispute; we were working in a claim at Top Bingara some time ago; I discharged the rifle accidentally that killed my mate.

Felix Hamilton deposed: I reside with my parents at Oakey Creek; saw the deceased, David George Charles Cross, in the Hospital; William McLaughlin came to me yesterday about 5 o'clock p.m.; I went with him to a gully about two miles from my father's place; saw deceased lying on his side; he said "Well, Fil, dear. McLaughlin, never mind me;" he asked me to pour some water on his head; he said the bullet was through his right side; he said McLaughlin's rifle went off accidentally and caused the wound; he was in great pain; I was there 10 minutes until the buggy came; I helped to put him in the buggy and bring him to the Hospital.

David Hill deposed: I am senior constable, stationed at Warialda; was at the Hospital last night when deceased was brought in in a buggy; after resting a short time, with the consent of the doctor the deceased, being sworn, made a statement, which I now produce, in the presence of Frank Russell, J.P., and the signature attached is his:—

"I, David George Charles Cross, now lying ill in the Warialda Hospital, suffering from a gunshot wound in the right side of the abdomen, and believing that I am about to die, make the following declaration as to how the said wound was caused: William McLaughlin, the person now present, was shooting wallabies in company with me this day at Oakey Creek, and whilst the said William McLaughlin was letting the hammer of his rifle down after discharging it at a wallaby it slipped and went off, striking me in the right side and causing the wound from which I am now suffering, and which I expect to cause my death. The discharge was quite accidental. The discharge was from a Winchester repeating rifle."

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased; David George Charles Cross, died from the effects of a rifle shot wound caused by a rifle going off when being loaded.

Original publication

Citation details

'Cross, David George (1841–1891)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


9 May, 1841
Hawkesbury, New South Wales, Australia


28 November, 1891 (aged 50)
Warialda, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

shooting accident

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.