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Martha Ann Wall (1862–1881)

An inquest was held at the Maid of Austrlia Hotel, Pitt Town, on Friday, the 21st January, 1881, before Jas. B. Johnston, Esq., J. P., coroner for the district, on the bodies of Richard Wall, Martha Wall, and Rachel Wall, when the following evidence was adduced:–

Thomas Wall, a farmer residing in Windsor, deposed that the bodies viewed by the coroner and jury were those of his brother, Richard Wall, and his daughters Martha and Rachel; they all left his house on Thursday afternoon, at half-past 3 o'clock, for the purpose of returning to their homes, at Lower Portland; they were going in a boat; from something he was told he went about 11 o'clock p.m. to Mrs. Burdekin's farm, and there saw a Mr. Woodbury who told him that his brothers boat was fast to his boat, and that he had found it bottom upwards in the river; witness then returned to Windsor, as the night was dark, and they could not do anything, but on the following morning about 7 o'clock he with Messrs. Woodbury, J. Kirwan, and W. Pendergast commenced searching for the bodies, and about half-past 11 o'clock the first body was found by Constable Roberts, and shortly afterwards the other two bodies were discovered.

Senior Constable Roberts deposed that having heard that a man and his two daughters had been drowned in the Hawkesbury River, he proceeded to a place called Foul Weather Reach, and commenced dragging the river for the bodies and found two women's hats on the beach, and opposite to them some parcels, and about 11 o'clock he found the eldest girl Martha Wall, and William Grono afterwards found the other two bodies.

William Grono deposed to finding the bodies of Richard Wall and his youngest daughter, they were clasped together when found.

Dr Fiaschi gave evidence, his opinion that death resulted from suffocation by drowning. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased met their deaths by being accidentally drowned, through the upsetting of a boat, on the evening of the 20th January, 1881.

Citation details

'Wall, Martha Ann (1862–1881)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

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