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John Thomson Lempriere (1865–1914)

Profound regret was expressed to-day when the news was received that Mr. John Thomson Lempriere had met with a shocking accident, which resulted in his death a few hours later.

During the American Polo Tournament, on the Belmont ground, Mr. Lempriere was playing with the Melbourne team against Camperdown. The game was in the last chukka which was very fast. Melbourne were 2 goals in the lead, and had the ball at their end trying for another goal. Mr. Lempriere made a brilliant run down the ground, when he came into collision with another player. His pony crossed its legs, throwing Mr. Lempriere to the ground on his head. The pony fell also, crushing Mr. Lempriere's head. The horse rolled clear of its rider, but Mr. Lempriere made not the slightest motion. Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Newman found blood pouring from the ears and nose. The skull was crushed, and it was evident from the state of Mr. Lempriere's head and his breathing that he was dying. His club mates galloped across to assist him, and were greatly distressed at the spectacle. Mr. Lempriere was hurriedly removed in an ambulance to Miss Judd's private hospital.

Mr. Lempriere, who was 49 years of age, was well known in polo circles. He recently returned from a six years' sojourn in England, whither he intended to return next month with several ponies which he had selected. The pony he was riding, "Fanny," belongs, to Mr. Ernest Bruce, of "Quamby," Williams road, Toorak, and was not hurt by the fall. It is stated that Mr. Lempriere was not desirous of taking part in the tournament, but was pressed to do so, and eventually consented. The news that Mr. Lempriere had met with a grave accident was sent by telephone to Mrs. Lempriere, at her home in Punt road. South Yarra. She immediately left by motor for Geelong, but although she made a rapid journey, she had not arrived when her husband died.

In sporting, Mr. Lempriere was very keen. He had been master of the Melbourne Hounds, captain of the Melbourne Polo Club, and a member of the committee of the Victoria Amateur Turf Club. The deceased gentleman was the son of the late Mr. William Lempriere, who was killed in the railway accident in Windsor in 1887. He was a member of the firm of Messrs. W. and J. Lempriere, iron merchants, of Collins street.

The body will be brought to Melbourne, and the funeral will leave Wybia, Torresdale road., Toorak, at half-past 2 o'clock tomorrow for the Brighton Cemetery.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lempriere, John Thomson (1865–1914)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

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