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Kenneth John Snodgrass (1847–1898)

from Bendigo Independent

Mrs. Gold, a nurse at the Government Hospital, was shot dead by Kenneth Snodgrass, who immediately afterwards committed suicide by shooting himself, Snodgrass was a man about 55 years of age, and had a wife and grown-up family living in Coolgardie. Nurse Gold was 46 years of age (some say 33 years), and was the widow of the late Captain Gold, who died about 13 months ago, aged 70. Mrs. Gold was left in poor circumstances, and had to take the post of hospital nurse.

Snodgrass, who was a man of unsettled and erratic habits, is believed to have been infatutuated with the deceased nurse, and frequently visited her at the hospital. On Tuesday night she had dressed to go to a Cinderella dance. Snodgrass, who had been at the hospital in the afternoon, returned again at night, and, finding Mrs. Gold dressed to go out, shot her just outside the nurses’ quarters. He had borrowed the revolver he used during the afternoon. He fired two shots at the woman, killing her on the spot. Afterwards he turned the muzzle towards his own head, and his death was also instantaneous.

The inquest touching the death of Nurse Elizabeth Gold, and also upon the body of Kenneth Snodgrass, was opened this morning and was adjourned till Saturday, But little additional evidence has been brought to light. The motive for the crime is still a mystery; but it is thought the deed was due to jealousy. Mrs. Gold had been a great friend of the Snodgrass family since the death of her husband, and it is not known yet whether an ill-feeling existed latterly.  A daughter of the deceased Snodgrass is at present a probationer in the hospital, while the matron, Miss Snodgrass, is a cousin. Mr. Snodgrass was married, and leaves a wife and several children, residing at Coolgardie. It is stated that last night, between 5 and 6 o'clock, a bailiff entered his house, in Clifton street, Toorak, and took possession. Mr Snodgrass was not home at the time, but returned soon afterwards, and signed a paper undertaking not to dispose of any goods in the house.

This afternoon the body of Nurse Gold was buried in the public cemetery. All the nurses who could be spared from their duties attended. The body of Snodgrass was also interred in the cemetery later in the day.

Snodgrass, who was the son of the Hon. Peter Snodgrass, M.L.C., was educated at Winchester school, England. Then by his relatives he was placed as a junior clerk in the Colonial Bank, and was subsequently raised to the management of one of the smaller branches. Leaving banking, he was a miner, prospector, etc., in Gippsland, then a defeated candidate for Parliament. He opposed Mr. P. C. Mason, but polled very few. Next he was a miner working in Bailey’s Reward, Coolgardie, and subsequently a commission agent, auditor and boarding-house keeper in the same town.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Kenneth John Snodgrass

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Coolgardie Miner (WA), 2 June 1898, p 5
  • inquest, West Australian, 6 June 1898, p 5

Citation details

'Snodgrass, Kenneth John (1847–1898)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

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