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Mary Emma (Molly) Thomson (1898–1900)



It is with extreme regret that we have to record the death by drowning of Mary Emma Roe Thomson, aged one year and eleven months, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mervyn Thomson, of Brookhampton. The particulars are embodied in the inquest which was held in the Court House, Bunbury, this morning, before the District Coroner (Mr W. H. Timperley, RM), and the following jury;-Messrs W. L Marsh (foreman), W. E. Catlett and A. O. Cook, when the following evidence was taken.

Lucille Walters deposed that she was the wife of Mr W. A. G. Walter, RM, of Bridgetown. Mr Mervyn Thomson, of Brookhampton, was her brother. She was visiting her brother, whose family then consisted of his wife and two children. The deceased was the older child, and was 1 year and 11 months of age. On Saturday, about 2 p.m, she saw the deceased playing outside the kitchen door. After that witness and deceased's mother went to the house, which is about 20 yards distance. They left the child in the kitchen with Mrs McNulty, the lady help. They were down at the house about 10 minutes when they went back to look for the child, as they had missed her. The witness's little girl Prudence said "Mother, mother, Molly's in the water".  They both ran towards the water, which is a deep pool about 10 or 15 yards from the kitchen. Mrs Thomson lifted the child out of the water, and witness then took her from the mother. The child then felt as if she was dead. They went to the house and witness held the child's head downwards with a view of getting rid of the water, which ran out of her mouth in considerable quantities. There was no symptom of life except that there was a little colour in her cheeks, and her heart was still warm. She pulled the child's clothes off. Soon afterwards Mr Walter Howard, attracted by Mrs Thomson's screams, came running up. Mr Howard and she did all in their power to restore animation by means of rubbing her arms and body, working her arms about, and putting stimulants to her mouth. They sent the child's father and mother out of the room. They were unsuccessful in restoring animation. The deceased was a fairly strong child, but had been delicate. They sent at once for the doctor. They never left off trying to restore the child till he came, which was five and a half hours after the accident. When Dr Joel arrived he pronounced the child dead. She thought that the child might have been in the water about five minutes.

To the Jury: The water hole is fenced in, but there are gates, one of which is left open to enable the cattle to drink. There was no one playing with the deceased at the time.

Waller Howard deposed he was at Brookhampton on the 1st inst. He was staying there and knew the deceased. In the afternoon he was in one of the paddocks riding when he heard screams. He saw Mrs McNulty running down the field in the direction, where Mr Thomson was working. Witness galloped up to the house and found the child lying on a stretcher outside the house. He examined the child and found that the action of the heart had stopped and there was no breathing; in fact, the child appeared to be dead. He tried to induce respiration, and, with the exception of a little froth that came from the lungs, no sign was made. They kept doing all they could for five hours till the doctor came and certified that the child was dead, and that death had been caused by drowning.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect tbat the deceased came to her death by being accidentally drowned.

The deceased was brought to Bunbury yesterday and viewed by the jury in the residence of Mr W. B. Mitchell, from which the funeral took place at 5.30 p.m. The greatest sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Thomson in their sad bereavement.

Original publication

Citation details

'Thomson, Mary Emma (Molly) (1898–1900)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


October, 1898
Western Australia, Australia


1900 (aged ~ 1)
Donnybrook, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death