A friend recently had a good old moan about being given directions that involved “turning right at the pub that isn’t there any more“. Just about as good a definition of what’s wrong with the world these days: perhaps we should just be grateful that our political masters haven’t found a way to privatize the roads. Errr, yet.

Hence we perhaps ought to celebrate the constancy of something that has stayed the same now for well over sixty years: the continued unknownness of The Unknown Man found on a South Australian beach on 1st December 1948, AKA the “Tamam Shud” cipher mystery. If only more things stayed the same, straws swaying lithely against the winds of modernity, eh?

All the same, the recent claim that The Unknown Man was in fact a certain “H. C. Reynolds” continues to intrigue me: I just wish there was a way to work out if this was true or not. We’ve managed to establish a solid timeline for Reynolds’ work as a young merchant seaman in and around Hobart in 1917-1919, and also to glean a few meagre facts: that he was born in Hobart on 8th Feb 1900, and that his middle name was Charles. Pretty much everything else on the pages of his personal history remains unseen to us.

Frustratingly, he was almost certainly not Horace Charles Reynolds, a lifelong poultry farmer born on the 12th February 1900 near Hobart: so much for Ancestry.com searches, hohum! 😉

A few months back, Diane O’Donovan very generously went to look at the logbooks of the RMS Niagara (a ship our HCR briefly worked on), but sadly found nothing useful… Then again, it was a particularly big ship, on which HCR only worked one round trip to Canada via Hawaii (where the ID card almost certainly came from), so perhaps a negative result shouldn’t come as a great surprise.

All of which left (according to the Log of Logs) one last set of log books to examine: and so the intrepid John Kozak stepped forward to make a journey into the sweeping suburban jungle surrounding Sydney, to track down the SS Koonya’s log books in the Kingswood reading room.

Unfortunately, it seems that even though these contain plenty of references to HCR (in the forms “Charles”, “Chas”, “H Charles” and (most commonly) “H Chas”, says John) in the log books, that is precisely as far as they go. No first name, no passing detail to try to tie to the real world, no nothing. Even though I’m really pleased that John managed to get his much-sought-after pineapple doughnuts from the cafeteria van outside the archive, as far as The Unknown Man goes it would seem as though we’re now stuck.

Is this The End? Well… mostly, although there are a few (albeit silkily fine) threads left dangling, and (as always) any one of them might possibly yield something (after all, it’s not as if we know nothing at all about HCR). He landed a job as a purser at a young age, so he must have done well at school, surely? So, here is my collection of HCR’s-school-related archival musings, perhaps one of them will point to where we should look to find HCR getting his exam results in (I guess) 1917.,,

(1) The (possible) Waratah connection. A 26th January 1918 newspaper tea-company advertorial refers to a certain “Master H Reynolds” of the mining town of Waratah. It’s a wafer thin lead, sure, but might this be our HCR? Unfortunately, a helpful lady from the Waratah Museum Society told me that “Waratah was very prone to buildings catching fire”, particularly ones with archives in, it would seem. So it’s far from clear how to follow this up. 🙁

(2) Cheryl Bearden points to the possibility (from crew manifests) that Reynolds had a younger brother (born ~1901) with first initial M. I wondered whether this might have been Maurice Reynolds (a reasonably well-known boxer, wrestler & occasional film-star), and so tracked his life back to Hutchins School in Hobart. However, according to Margaret Mason-Cox at Hutchins (who very kindly looked this up for me):-

According to the Hutchins Roll of Scholars, Maurice Davies Reynolds, born 4 July 1907, entered Hutchins 27 July 1921, no. 2507. He was the son of W B Reynolds, of ‘Hope Vale’, Mangalore, and was a boarder. He had two older brothers who attended Hutchins: Francis Lawrence (born 1901, entered 1916) and William Thomas Reynolds (born 1903, entered 1917).

As far as I can tell, they were not related to Herbert Francis Reynolds (born 1901, entered Hutchins 1910), whose father was F Reynolds, of Montpelier Road, Hobart.

Another dead end, but which at least serves to eliminate one school from our enquiries. 🙂

(3) Cheryl Bearden noted a while back that “a C. Reynolds appeared on the 1915 roster for the Junior Derwent Football team, [so] the school he [C. Reynolds] attended is probably in the Derwent area of Hobart“… but whether the H C Reynolds had already taken to calling himself C Reynolds in 1915 remains conjectural.

(4) In an email to me, “X Lamb” (the lady who originally had the HCR id card) mentioned some kind of odd family mythology around “Virgillians” (presumably St. Virgils School in Hobart, founded 1911, which would potentially make HCR one of its very first pupils) which may or indeed may not be connected to HCR. Don’t really know what to make of this, but thought I ought to mention it anyway. 🙂

Regardless, it would seem that this barely known young man remains resolutely untraceable, and his status as a possible Unknown Man candidate continues to be unknown, leaving the whole mystery as murky as ever. Rejoice in its constancy! 🙂

73 thoughts on “The unknown man (who might be The Unknown Man) remains unknown…

  1. cjbearden on September 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm said:

    Hi Nick : )

    This was a truly wonderful article…thanks bunches! Do I think we reached the end? No. The Unknown Man planned his suicide with great care and meaning. An homage? To or for whom? Without answers, I cannot leave him.

    Happy Day, Mr. Pelling : )

  2. HCR most likely went to a marine academy. There are other places to look for him before and after our records. I’ll have some links later. I got sidetracked trying to work out itineraries or tracking reports for four ships (patrols, not cargo) from the “code”. The writing appears to have been from dictation over a phone, by wireless, or by a signal. Harebrained idea but a neat puzzle and does serve to show there are other possibilities for the “code”. The odds may be for a natural death of the Unknown Man. Not so great that other causes shouldn’t be entertained. I can’t imagine a motive for leaving a body in a public place, especially one designed to attract attention. But there are greater mysteries surrounding UKUSA (not the only suspect).

  3. CJ and Nick,

    I’ve hesitated to contribute to this discussion because it may “hit too close to home”. But here is another “scenario” as to how that man ended up a “suicide” on that beach.

    He may have been a collaborator/”inside man” during the attacks on Alice Springs and other areas of Australia. Just a thought. The ID may have been planted, just to confuse the issue.

  4. There are many leads and links on genealogical sites. The problem is that you can spend years sifting through incomplete databases, local area databases, and those that cover a limited number of years. Although all three names are common, I was surprised by the number of people with names similar to HCR in these archives. It should be easy to sort out the different families in a place as small as Tasmania — so I thought. Tasmanian historian, Henry Reynolds had to hire a professional genealogist to research a lineage of his own ancestry.

    -Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980
    The photocopy pages for individuals were black so all I got was two lists of names. Might be my fault for not allowing enough scripts to be run. At least one page had a message to the effect “server not ready; come back later”. Someone else might have better luck.

    -Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia, 1858-1933

    Some typical sites:

    The Western Australian Post Office Directories
    Grouped into individual years. Each, I think, has an alphabetical directory of individuals by surname.

    A genealogical page with links

    Research and explore the official archives of the State of New South Wales.

  5. Hi Knox,

    We’ve all now gone through lots of these archival sources (and indeed many others) without getting any useful breaks in our search, so the big question now is simply where to look next. But what leads are there available to us?

    I think it highly likely that HCR would have got a job as a Purser at such a young age only if he had been able to demonstrate both excellent numeracy and a high level of trustworthiness. For numeracy, I expect he left school (probably in Hobart, where he was both born and employed) with good grades: and for trustworthiness, I expect he had a relative already working for the company (probably in its management?) who was able to vouch for him.

    All of which isn’t much to go on, sure, but maybe it will prove to be enough. We shall see… 🙂

    Cheers, ….Nick….

  6. Hello, you have probably found this out yourself, but just incase you haven´t the Aug 25. 1945 issue of MIRROR (Perth) holds an article on Joseph Haim Saul Marshall, who commit suicide at Taylor Bay and was found with a copy of THE RUBAIYAT on his chest.

  7. I’ve been researching this case for a few years (that is actually how I came across this awesome website!) and it’s been driving me crazy for as many years, as well. I’ve no real concrete evidence to support this, but I just feel in my gut that this was not a case of suicide. I just feel there is much more to this. More than likely, muuuuch more than we will ever know at this point. I have a good feeling that the exact details of who this man was, what he was doing and how he met his end are resting for eternity in a well guarded file cabinet somewhere.

  8. Ah! I forgot to mention/ask something in my previous comment. Has anyone given any thought to the odd array of things found in the man’s case? Now, keep in mind that I found this information on the internet so who really knows how accurate it is…but! from what I have read, his case contained an electricians screwdriver, a modified “table knife”, a pair of scissors, a stenciling brush and a card of thread that had been used to repair his clothing. I am sure that I am not the only one who thinks that this is an odd array of things to just travel around with.

  9. Debra on March 6, 2013 at 4:03 am said:

    I am coming to this discussion a bit late, but I would like to add some comments to statements that have been made.

    “And yes, there was also a Horace Charles Reynolds born not far away in Triabunna, Tasmania also in Feb 1900, who (I’m told) was a lifelong poultry farmer who never went to Adelaide, never mind to sea.” (Nick Pelling 22 Feb 2012)

    “Frustratingly, he was almost certainly not Horace Charles Reynolds, a lifelong poultry farmer born on the 12th February 1900 near Hobart.” (Nick Pelling 6 Jan 2012)

    There was only one Horace Charles Reynolds born in Tasmania in 1900 and the birth was registered at Hobart. The date of birth given in the indexes is 8 Feb 1900, not the 12th. There is no other birth that I can see which could be confused with this chap. His parents were Edwin Reynolds and Mary Ann Matilda Bayley who were living at Spring Bay near Triabunna. At 42 years of age it is possible that his mother did go to a Hobart hospital to give birth.

    With that information as well as the details below which were posted by Nick on 10 March 2012, I believe it is more than sufficient proof that the Horace referred to above is the same person who was working as a Purser for the Union Steam Ship Company.

    “…a short record relating to H C Reynolds in AF019:1:1 (“Pursers records [1-4] – 1879-1925“), which she noted seemed to be “the log book [listing] pursers holiday leave”. It said:-

    Reynolds, H.C.:
    Appt [appointed] ass [assistant] purser: Manuka 12/11/17
    Jnr [Junior] Hobart Branch
    50 pound Birthday 8/[2]/1900
    Asig [Assigned] Koonya 15/4/18
    Shore mate £75 as from 1/11/17

    “The family of H.C. Reynolds that was born in Tasmania do not believe he was ever a sailor, and that he was a farmer with his brother in NSW. Both he and his brother are listed on ancestry on election records in a farming area.” (Michael 22 Feb 2012)

    From Horaces’s death notice in 1953 we know that he had been living in Brookvale, NSW.

    REYNOLDS – Suddenly, on May 16, 1953, at a private hospital, Hobart, Horace Charles Reynolds, late of Brookvale, New South Wales, aged 53 years.

    Horace had several brothers, one of whom was Archibald Henry born in 1895. The 1930 and 1933 NSW electoral rolls show Archibald Henry Reynolds living in Carter Road at Brookvale in NSW, but even though he may have bred a few chooks in the back yard, he certainly wasn’t a poultry farmer by occupation, he was a clerk. A Charles Reynolds was also living in Carter Road and he was also a clerk.

    Going back a wee bit…..in September 1914 Archibald was in Queensland (occupation Photographer) when he enlisted in the infamous 9th Battalion which was raised shortly after war was declared. He was in the first boat to land at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

    Correspondence of interest in his service record is a letter written in 1927 which indicates that he intended to apply for a Commonwealth Public Service position, and another written in 1934 which indicates that he worked for the Department of Main Roads and had a Brookvale address.

    Where does the ‘poultry farmer’ story come from? Perhaps it was between the end of the war and 1927, but I do think that whoever provided the information has the wrong end of the stick.

    The occupation of ‘clerk’ for the Charles who was living in Brookvale sits well with someone who had started their career as a Purser.

    There is documentation which has already been mentioned for the arrival of the ‘Niagara’ into Honolulu on 4 April 1918 which notes that H.C. Reynolds, assistant Purser, was engaged on 28 Feb 1918.

    I am not related to this family but perhaps you can reconnect with Horace’s family to try to source a photograph of him. It would be nice to at least prove that this card belonged to him.

    A photo of Archibald Henry Reynolds – WW1

    A photo of a third brother Oswald Bayley Reynolds


  10. Debra: thanks very much for that, fascinating stuff! I’ll email you separately, perhaps you might like to do a guest post here saying what documents you found? What you’ve found certainly demands an updated post here!

  11. milongal on January 22, 2017 at 9:42 pm said:

    “….Reynolds had a younger brother (born ~1901) with first initial M. I wondered whether this might have been Maurice Reynolds (a reasonably well-known boxer, wrestler & occasional film-star….”

    Although I know very little boxing, it occured to me that perhaps SM was a boxer. Missing teeth, calves characteristic of a dancer, nose appears slightly crooked (possibly been broken at some stage?)….
    No mention of injuries at autopsy that would suggest recent boxing (and I guess the “neat hands” is particularly dismissive of the idea), but it was a thought….

    Of course, Soviet thug might also sustain some of those injuries too….

  12. Wasn’t that H.C. Reynolds I.D card proven to be a fake composite job put up by Ruth Collins to promote her Beaumont kids abduction allegations against her poor old dad. Whatever the case it seems that we may have been swept all over the floor, out the back door and down the garden path with regards to what the real SM may have looked like. From my understanding the photographs are a montage of fitted parts and as it stands none of the many images we are offered look similar. As for the bust, it appears to resemble nothing human from my honest perspective apart from the those famous lugholes which seem quite normal in most respects. I can certainly understand Mrs. Thomson (sic) having a fainting spell when it was thrust upon her especially with all that hair sprouting from its back, and whilst some may have seen more than their fair share of sickening sights, I feel that such a confrontation would make the strongest stomach heave. Now we are offered up a new SM with a banged up snoz and suddenly I’m trying to think of a former suspect who I had discarded simply because he was so afflicted and now consequently must be revisited. And where will all this take us few who are left standing? Quite probably to Lawrence’s or Gowings to be professionally cleaned, sanitized, rooted & burnt thanks Christ.

  13. Does anyone recall a chap named E.B. Collins, an inmate from one of H.M’s correctional facilities in N.Z. who wanted to trade information for a pardon and whose testimony was not considered reliable in 1959? I might be naive but I’d still like to know if anyone followed up on this, especially on the basis of leaving no stone unturned, if only we knew what he said which aroused interest of Sapol in the first place. For all that, there was an Edward Benedict from Marrickville which was the birthplace of Mrs. Thomson, and an Ernest Barry from the Loxton Renmark district of S.A. which is where most of our other persons of interest seem to have hailed from. I’m starting to favour Ernie but apart from him having done some un-designated service in WW2 and once having been on the Barker electoral rolls, he is a mystery. I think it’s important to follow up on some of these so-called dead ends especially in light of what has been revealed regarding the inability of Sapol to advance their own investigations further.

  14. milongal on January 23, 2017 at 11:00 pm said:

    Disclaimer: I know very little about NZ, geographically, culturally or in any other way….

    The Eb Collins stuff sounds like a load of codswallop, however….

    What if EB Collins was a woman? Although Wanganui now only holds male prisoners, the current site only exists since 1978, and I can find little about it before then. There’s references to a “Wanganui Detention Barracks”, but to me they don’t sound quite like the same thing.
    As far as I can tell, the first (and for a long time only) women’s prison in NZ was Addington (1913) on the South Island (Whanganui is on the North Island, and some 700km away) – and Addington closed in 1950 while new facilities were built. At this time, Paparua (South Island, near Christchurch), Dunedin (way South) and Mt Eden – about 450km North of Whanganui were used…
    There is a record of a 33year old E B Collins (F) arriving from Vancouver in Auckland (North Island) in the 1930s….

    The newspaper article (it’s on DA’s site) talks about “…We met in a bar. He asked if he could join me.”

    (although re-reading it I did find one reference to EB Collins as ‘he’….)

  15. The old Wanganui Gaol was certainly still going in the early sixties and at some time in its wicked history it most likely provided helpful rehabilitation assistance to some of my forebears, however apart from a couple of mentions in papers past it may as well never have existed. Most of the inmates being Maori, records of its embarrassing history would have been conveniently expunged by now so Mr. Feltus is likely our only source of knowledge as to the gender or antecedents and forenames of the probably late E.B. Cooper. Thanks for the effort Milongal and so poroporoaki to you.

  16. milongal on January 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm said:

    Ah, ok – the Wanganui Detention Barracks sounded like a gaol to hold Maori people more “culturally sensitively” – so I found “EB Collins” an odd sort of a name to come out of there – although as I said I know naught of NZ matters, so I don’t know what sort of names might have been forced on them (I think in Australia a lot of aboriginal families ended up with English surnames because well, we insisted that they must have names that were pronounceable, and that everybody must have a surname….(a recent episode of BBC’s “Sherlock” assumes the same thing)).

    Rereading the EB Collins story though, I’m left feeling like EB Collins was the creation of a journalist – never actually existed. Certainly the “EB Collins”‘ story is odd in itself. It (unnecessarily) links in Tamam Shud, focuses on premonition (or perhaps predetermination of our lives) and looks like a bit has been lost in an edit (in the newspaper there’s an italic (and somewhat disjointed) “He asked me to join him in a drive to Timaru and ordered a taxi”. Aside from the odd idea that you’d trust a complete stranger in such a request (a 160km drive, one way) it simply seems totally aside from the rest of the story.
    If it were true, it also means potentially you’re looking for a Titus (or Tom) Kean (mother’s maiden name), Titus Goodman (his fathers surname), Titus Kitto (the distant relatives that looked after him) . Now as far as I can tell, there’s a Titus Goodman Jr who was an American politician long before all of this (in the 19th Century)…but now I find “Alarm bells are ringing, Willie” – this is sounding like someone who is making up names from stuff they’ve read.

    There’s a few other Titus Goodman’s floating around in the US but there seems none born between about 1850 and 1910.
    There’s a Timothy Keane born 1902 (1902 chosen based on EB Collins story) in Manhattan.
    According to 1940 Census records there’s also one born 1895 (New Hampshire), 1900 (New York), but the 1902 one doesn’t seem to be among them. And Death records show even more Timothy Keane’s who woud’ve been born around that time (but obviously they’re of limited interest).

    But I think I’m drifting further and further off topic….

  17. Yes of course I meant E.B. Collins, who may have been a Kiwi merchant seaman and draft dodger in ‘the big one’ and who moved around a bit like Mikkelsen, Coutts & the latter’s big German mate ‘Achilles’, all of whom were known to have sniffed the briney breezes in that ‘tween wars period. E.D. Cooper is the chap got himself hung up in the wilds of Southern Oregon with his stash of green, reference to which can be seen on the good professor’s site, and who incidently has nothing whatsoever to do with any Tamam Shud investigations.

  18. Where exactly can I find the ‘unlikely yarn’about Collins’ trip to Timaru as I’m still a dyed in the wool Keane fan, even Thomas Leonard the Kiwi banker from Grey Lynne who’s namesake from 115 & 130 we were so hot about not so long ago.

  19. OK, we’ve found the article and recognition was instantaneous, as it reads similar in much of its detail to the dialogue in one of those old Cleveland Press, Western ‘yippies’ of the fifties, one by Marshall Grover ‘The Rainmaker from St. Paul’ has particular recall perhaps. Of some real interest is his use of the name Kitto which was researched and found to be Cornish, then of course it was found to be a rather common name in Sth. Australia around the old mining towns of Burra/Moonta and also in the Canterbury district of Sth. Is. NZ. In that we can at least give him credit for making an attempt at local content, even though his references toTexas, San Francisco and Colorado make the yarn sound more worldly and readable perhaps. Wonder if he got early release and made his way back to Scottsdale Arizona whatever, hope not.

  20. On closer study of the Telegraph story on Collins, with accompanying photo, one can’t help but note that it’s X marks the spot placement spot is way off the mark in comparison to another X which we assume to be correct in the usually associated photos, even though it appears to be the same original panorama shot looking towards the stairway with the crippled Kid’s home in the foreground and ‘Nunnery’ off to the left. In fact it is at least 40ft closer to the shore along the tideline and in a position which would have given blind old jeweller Lyons his claimed view and the ‘kid’s their own which always seemed doubtful of the supposed seawall site. I was not aware that young Strepps was in fact a discharged ww2 naval rating of 23 and that the lass Neill, described by the professor as a teenager was in fact 20 which is quite important with regards to credibility. Strepps was also a runt at 5’3″, had tattoos on both arms and was known to police from the age of sixteen; he would have been too diminutive, one would think, to move a big man like SM from one position to another later in the evening without assistance but that’s what so called accomplices are for, if he was of a certain disposition.

  21. milongal on January 27, 2017 at 12:15 am said:

    Hey JS,

    The article I have is “Mirror” rather than “Telegraph” at:
    but based on what you say I suspect it’s identical. The first thing I noticed was the X. Initially I thought little of it, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it suggested the article was written third or fourth hand. Looking at it again now, it sort of appears like it’s a similar distance from Left and Bottom as in the more widely published cropped photo (which I assume to be the correct one, because it’s more consistent with witness accounts), so I’m assuming some sort of issue with Adobe’s 1948 version of Photoshop or MS Publisher ’48 (after all, the world didn’t exist before computers, did it?). Not totally certain they’re the same picture (just cropped in the more common one), because there’s crease marks on the more common one (might have occured later, I suppose), however it appears the same car is there, and the shadows look the same under the stair.

    What I did like about the picture, is that I somehow found the seat (where our lovers sat insisting flies were mosquitos) more noticeable, and that you actually notice either a water line (if the picture was taken from off shore), or at the very least a seaweed line which might give a guide to a high tide mark. Of course, that still doesn’t definitively discount the idea of the tide ever being higher (is that seaweed mounds, or just little dunes against the seawall to the left of the picture? – the first is light and looks like sand, the 2nd and 3rd look darker, but might be the same weeds as are growing on the back..) – especially since we don’t know when this picture was taken?

    Today I’m bothered about the pasty. Or at least the timelines coupled with the pasty. Time of Death was given as 2AM, and the pasty had been eaten 3-4 hours before death (Wikipedia – but a bit of googling suggests the presence of anything in the stomach means likely less than 6hrs (and smokers apparently digest faster, although perhaps poisoned people digest slower??)). So if we call it 6 hours, then the pasty was eaten at the earliest 8PM. Assuming the mystery man the prior evening was SM, it seems unlikely he would have gone to buy a pasty after 7PM. I know there’s been a lot of speculation that the “Time of death estimates” are potentially wrong, and this would seem to support it.

    But I can’t help some idea like:
    SM seeks medical advice from some sort of pseudo-quack (pq), and possibly is given something unusual. Someone associated with this pq later sees SM on the beach in a bad way, assumes it’s related to their prescription, and takes him somewhere to try to help him. In the course of this, they may try to give him a pasty (or perhaps soup – a minestrone might have similar vegetable cuts to a pasty, and my understanding is the stomach was thought to contain “potato and vegetable, POSSIBLY from something like a pasty” (I think Carbs break down slowly, so a pasty would also have some pastry left, no?)). Despite their best efforts SM dies (laying down, possibly on a couch or bed). Now there’s some panic. Not only do we have an unexplained death, but it sort of could link to a prescription we gave. While the body lays there, we need to work out what to do – and get possibly get some help (horses would be good for this, and ou quackery might extend to animals, so we might have some connections at Morphetville). Clearly we don’t want the body here, but where should it go? Perhaps conscious that SM might have been seen where he was unwell, or perhaps simply because “that’s where he was before we brought him here” he is returned to where he had been the night before – but we may have to wait for the tide to recede some – not much time before sunrise, but as the beach is West and the Sun rises east then the beach may stay a little darker a little longer….Finally we get the horses (came with some mates to arouse less suspicion – we’re just exercising horses) down to the beach, and are just adding the finishing touches to make sure he’s as much the same as when we found him when Mr Lyons comes across us. Now we have a problem. Horses shouldn’t be on the beach, and this man will be calling the fuzz. He seems respectable enough, and seems to be taking control, so perhaps while he goes up to the telephone box (none visible in the pic, and not sure whether that early we’d try to disturb someone especially when although this is a police matter, the poor chap is dead and there’s little immediate urgency) we decide to get our horses off the beach and skedaddle.

    Now none of that explains Tamam Shud or any of the rest of it, but surely just because there may have been a (sinister) backstory to him doesn’t mean that it directly relates to his death…..

    I also sort of want to reignite an idea I’ve said several times before. What if SM was never in the city that morning? Nobody saw him at the railway station. Nobody can say it was him who bought the tickets he was found with (train or bus*). Nobody can be certain it was him who checked in the luggages (and I still suspect even if those things were done by him a lot of the dates and times may have been found through a confirmation bias rather than actual fact (ie This is dated 28th November, but must be wrong because they’re looking for 30th, which is pretty close, so we’ll give them the answer they want)). It probably means he knows someone (or at least somewhere) in the area better than we think – but I’d speculate that the Convalescent homes (I think the Kapara one had a witness who claimed to have met SM in a pub, but I think there was another one run by the Red Cross, and somehow linked to one in Henley Beach…which of course might say something about the tickets and disprove my idea he was never in the city.).

    While I’m rambling speculation, let’s go back to the idea he WAS in the railway station that day. What if SM didn’t buy the Henley ticket, but either met someone in the city who had, or picked it up from a predetermined location. He hadn’t realised that the HB train would have just left when he arrived, and somehow ended up going to Glenelg instead (possibly bad advice on how to get to HB, or possibly replanning things once he found there was an hour to wait). Perhaps given the length of time to the next train, he checked his luggage. Then he made a phone call which had him decide to run for the St Leonard’s bus – no time to reclaim his luggage, but we can get that later/tomorrow/next week (where is the damn ticket? maybe he’d already lost it).

    So many mundane explanations to different aspects of the mystery. Although they don’t link all of the detail, there’s nothing to say that all the detail is related to his death (even though it would help with his identity). Maybe he was a car thief, but that doesn’t mean he was killed for it. Perhaps he was a spy, but it doesn’t mean he was killed as a result. The death itself (even if we lean toward being suspicious) is not necessarily directly related to any of his other activities.

  22. What ever happened to the couple on the beach, Gordon Strapps and Olive Neil; wondering why their names never came up again or maybe they were thought to have had their day in the sun and so let them be. I was trying to perhaps connect the wee chap with the horse trappers from Morphetville as his residence was just across the way and his stature would have fitted in with such activity. He worked at his father William’s iron foundery which had passed through the hands of three generations and so the Strapps were a very well to do family who had gone through many trials and tribulations over the years, both industrially and to do with criminal matters all of which were pretty well covered by the quaint olde newspapers of the time. Perhaps the most interesting case concerned that of ‘Little Willie’, Gordon’s dad, who was with his mate on Henley beach pier one evening and came across the body of a man dieing from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A stranger with an unusual foreign name who had apparently just arrived in town, presumably by train from ????????or??????? Illegible) and who had been staying in a city hotel. If this case scenario sounds vaguely familiar, well it certainly does for me and so to all those coincidence detractors, I say a big deja vu (sic) and pooh pooh to you too.

  23. Now for all who are sensitive towards the possibilities of a profound deja vu (sic) family tragedy please leave the room now. Just supposing the SM’s connection with the young couple at Somerton was not a pure chance encounter afterall. Supposing he knew the Strapps family had had some connection with his father, namely with regards to Gordon’s dad attending to the dying man at Henley Beach jetty, the son being just a lad at the time and perhaps having been afflicted with unremitting grief for his loss all those lonely years ago. Supposing it had become too much for him, his only escape from his dilemma being to join his father in death and end his pain accordingly. It could be that young Strapps became the sympathetic conduit towards fulfillment of the plan and young Olive (who may have worked in the Strapps office) aided and abbetted. Of course SM could not obtain a pistol to do the job and so sought other less dramatic options which also necessitated a more sedate venue and thus requiring the intervention of Gordon who selected the alternative site. His means of acquiring the book we can only guess at but I think we can manage to tie up the loose ends handily enough. It may even have been Jessica at the and of the day with only helpful intentions and kind hearted Prosper providing final transportation to the beach pro gratis. I have a feeling that the original deceased was probably an American of Cornish descent, that his name may have been Ernest Kimbrow and that he had come to Adelaide from country Victoria with the express purpose of taking his own life, thereby unwittingly starting a chain of events that are shrouded in mystery to this day over a hundred years on…. Any takers out there in la la land, guess not eh, I can live with that.


  25. Also from Jessica & ProspEr I guess.

  26. Taking another more inclusive look at the original beach photograph which we assume to be a press panorama taken around mid morning and probably not long after the body’s removal, we will immediately note the somewhat dilapidated condition of the stairway with its railings in a state of disarray and the foot treads missing on the upper level. The question then arises, if it was deemed to be unserviceable as appears the case, then how was access to the beach gained by the public, which would include the disabled children from Alvington and those who attended the death scene. We also must consider how young Strapps & Olive managed to reach their bench seat vantage and most importantly how did ‘our main man’ arrive at the spot marked ‘X’. I guess one must consider the possibility that he could have fallen accidentally whilst trying a precarious decent whereby he broke his neck, an injury which was not conceived as a potential cause of demise in light of the other more likely case scenarios and thereby overlooked. Could the slight abrasions to his knuckles and inside elbow region have been caused by defensive measures taken by SM to break his fall, which might afterall be a perfectly logical explanation for their presence. I’m wondering if perhaps there may not have been another alternative access which was out of the camera’s captive range, though I doubt it unless it was further east along The Esplinade close to a park where showers may have been available for the use of beachgoers. We will never know who owned the little soft top car parked at the roadside and whereas it could have belonged to the photographer, it might also have been connected to the house off to the left which is said to have been the Nunn family residence. It does have the appearance of a little British late thirties model such as a Morris/Austin or even a Hillman, which if so could promote all sorts of possibilities as to how a certain publication got to where it was said to be found.

  27. I wouldn’t have magined that the name Titus could have been all that prevalent in any age after Pythagoras and yet, E.B Collins nomination of same with the surnames Kitto, Goodman & Keane came up with hits which seemed quite interesting. All having Possible Cornish connections I then applied this most unlikely forename to our Henley Beach jetty suicide victim Ernie Kimbrow & came up with Titus antecedents, two that are prevailent within my limited search peramiters from the mid to late 19th century. Whilst I’m now becoming more aware of how downright confusing and contradictory genealogy can be and that there are obviously more angles than someone like Pythagoras himself could have foreseen, I can’t see any harm in following through on this particular hypotenusal theory to see where it takes us. Anyone care to go for it, be my guest.

  28. B Deveson on January 29, 2017 at 8:03 am said:

    John, I note that the Guidry-King family tree contains a Buford Pleasant (born 15/9/1731 Charles Parish, York County, North Carolina, married 1754 North Carolina, died 1804 Caswell, North Carolina) married Lucy Kimbrough. Given that surnames ending in -brough are sometimes shortened to -bro (Think Edin’bro) or -brow, I think we can count Kimbrough as being equivalent to Kimbrow.
    His parents were Buford Pleasants and Mary. And Buford’s b 1731 father was another Buford Pleasants.
    England 1881 Census 211 Pleasants. USA 1880 Census 1,047 Pleasants. England 1881 Census nil Kimbrough, USA 1880 Census 2,185 Kimbroughs. So we can probably rule out England and focus on the USA for statistical analysis. The population of the USA at the time of the 1880 Census was 50.129 million. So, assuming that the 1880 Kimbroughs and the Pleasants weren’t clustered together (yes, I know) then the odds of a Pleasants Kimbrough marriage would seem to be fairly remote. Worth following up I think given the possible Virginian and Carolinan Pleasants forbears of SM.

  29. B Deveson on January 29, 2017 at 8:17 am said:

    John, I note that approximately 307 people currently bear the name Kimbrow worldwide. (see http://www.forbears.io/surnames/kimbrow). All but one (ie 306) Kimbrows live in the USA. But, the surname Kimbrow is certainly derived from the surname Kimbrough which might be of ultimate Germanic origin. There are approximately 13,963 living Kimbroughs and most (13,722) live in the USA. Only two live in England while 202 live in Germany which suggests that the Kimbrough and Kimbrow names are ultimately derive from Germany. Interestingly there is a Kimbrough family tree DNA project. Hmm. And you can find some Y-DNA data for the Kimbrough name (FamilytreeDNA.com), not that they are much use at present, but maybe when the SA Government implodes …… then maybe?
    I note that my mother’s DNA (Ancestry.com test) matches twenty people who have Kimbroughs in their blood line, but no Kimbrows. My mother also has 8 Pleasants, 39 Randolphs, 21 Jeffersons, 14 Ishams, which suggests, according to my statistical tests, that my mother might just possibly be distantly related to Robin. Maybe.

  30. Byron: as far as my own research limitations go, I can’t find any evidence of the Kimbrow/Kimbrow clan ever having any roots in Australia which only makes for a real mystery in the case of the 1910 suicide victim. Why would a stranger make his way from country Victoria to Adelaide, stay a night in the Royal and then take his life by such drastic means on the jetty at Hindley Beach of all places. If our own case was in fact a suicide, then apart from the method of demise, the details seem to be the same including the means of transportation, problems making positive I.D. and the victim having no known relatives or possessions to speak of. How could it be within the realms of reasonable probability, or even credibility that two members of the same family could bare witness to two so similar unlikely events 38 years apart in the same general locality, not to mention that our man may have been intending to use the exact same place to do the deed, perhaps even the same means if we dare to include the botched Pruzinski beach delivery. I have not been able to get much on the Kimbrow police investigation or the inquest so I’d be obliged if you could pursue same with your usual diligence and tenacity. Thanks.

  31. If we could ascertain details of the Kimbrow place of internment could this initself be grounds for a double exhumation to test for possible relationship.

  32. milongal on January 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm said:

    @JS: Arrived from Nhill (about halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne) or Kaniva (From memory about 50km back toward Adelaide from Nhill. and I think the first town across the border if you’re driving the National Highway (somewhere in Vic I think it becomes the Western Highway)).
    (William) Strapps (I assume the same) was also involved in a canoe accident with 2 sons that resulted in a drowning at Henley in 1906 – and on Trove it appears there was a strong call from the community to recognise the drowned man as a hero (he’d jumped in to save others).

    The Royal Hotel (assuming there wasn’t another one back then) would be a strange place for an interstater to stay – it’s outside the city square mile in Kent Town (fun fact: Kent Town is where Adelaide’s weather is measured since about the ’70s), probably about a 1km walk from the Railway Station, despite many hotels in North Tce a lot closer (most notably the Strathmore, directly opposite and I suspect the Grosvenor and others would have been around back then too).

    Regarding the photos, I think the shadows suggest afternoon – the sea is to the West and the steps are clearly shadowed on the seawall (the angle is a little funny, but I’d be inclined to think we’re early afternoon with shadows being cast to the South East). The top flight of steps in the (better quality) Wiki photo appear to be concrete and in good nick, however if they were out of action there are fairly regular access points to the beach (although getting to their Love Seat wouldn’t be possible without a good look at the mozzie infested drunk). The horses would likely have come down the ramp at the Somerton Yachting Club (about 3 blocks South), although there is also a ramp about the same distance North (at Weewanda St).

    What sort of a car is in the picture? If you google (image) “1937 Hillman Minx Soft top” you get a picture of a car (on uk site carandclassic) which (to my non-vehicular eyesight) looks interestingly similar in shape (maybe the bonnet is too short in the pic??)…

    Our recent Australia Day celebrations fall on the Catholic liturgical memorial for Timothy and Titus so (speculation, Your Honour) Titus may be a relatively common name throughout the Catholicized world (I think the Lutheran and Orthodox Churches might also commemorate them – although not necessarily on the same day). AFAIK much of Eastern Europe is either Orthodox, Lutheran or Catholic – so we could extrapolate that speculation to conclude that Titus would certainly be a possible name for an Eastern European….

  33. milongal on January 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm said:

    That’ll teach me to skim….”Horsham” was also mentioned – that’s almost another 100km Melbourne side of Nhill.
    AFAIK all of these would be on the train track (I think the stretch between Nhill and Horsham is predominently alongside the railway) but I’m a bit surprised they appear to have narrowed down that it wasn’t Ballarat, Ararat or Stawell – the latter of 2 of which are on the current Overland timetable (as is Dimboola between Nhill and Horsham), and the Ballarat I’m pretty sure used to be on the route too back then. This sort of suggests that they had some sort of train ticket – or at least some method of determining that he couldn’t possibly have been on the train before Horsham. (and there’s not much point being excited that people speculate a similar route for SM 35+ years later – it’s one of the few ways to travel from Melbourne to Adelaide).

    Regarding Kimbrow/Kimbrough it might be worth adding “Kimber” to the list. It seems (from 5 seconds of google) to be a possible variant, and there are much richer pickings in NAA for Kimber than Kimbrough (and none for Kimbrow). Also, I know there are Kimber’s in Adelaide….

  34. Adelaide; Aussie Rules footall & surfless beach capital of the world as we know it, unshackled city of light, city of churches, city of pubs & early closing, city of gay harassment & liberation, city of the overnight portable pie & pastie cart (for peckish suicide intendees), city of secret lodges & squatocracies, city of black crows & white supremacy, city for lovers & haven for the unloved, city of murder & mayhem, city of darkness & intrigue, city of unfathomable & unsolvable mysteries, Adelaide our uncomparable & uncompromising Queen City of the great southern antipodies…..Got a little carried away in my patriotic fervour there but over it now and my apologies for that and for the misspelling of Henley Beach. Thanks for your most welcome input Milongal and no I did not pick up on the canoe incident, though I did see that William Strapps was also the victim of a well reported, botched payroll robbery attempt only a month or so before the Kimbrow event. I must confess my tired old eyes may not have picked up on the concrete foot rungs of that stairway to the beach, so I’ll cheerfully fess up to what I admit may have been a major faux pas on my part and add that it’s gratifying to know that some people are still on their guard against the inclusion of possibly inaccurate detail.

  35. Pete: Perhaps even a mislabeled bottle of the soon to be withdrawn Bickford’s refreshing ‘glucos-aid’, a concoction of cane syrup and bitter camquat essence that was touted as being an ideal tonic for uplifting of the spirits. As opposed to their somewhat more volatile potion of the tragically similar sounding glycoside, the preparation, which was made under licence to Park Davis and known to be more especially suited for setting spirits free. (This being humbly offered to your last Marshall post as I cannot get through on your site. Hope you don’t mind)

  36. John Sanders on January 30, 2017 at 8:33 am said:

    The other town mentioned was Kaniva which is further west towards Serviceton and it may be that it was part of a branch line to the latter’s connection for the main Adelaide line which would have necessitated ticketing endorcements for those specified journey variations. You may well be right about the Kimber name being known locally, for instance an old Adelaide rifle manufacturer known as Sportco re established in The U.S. Of Trump and changed its name to Kimber, however if the man was identified by a name on his ticket or his underpants then that name was assuredly Ernest Kimbrow. We really need to get another opinion on that 1948 centre stairway section as on closer scrutiny under maximum magnification both my son and I are of the same opinion that the foot placement pieces are abscent. You can easily make out the detail of completeness in the later photos taken from the same position. You’ll agree that this is of utmost importance and so should be clarified beyond any question of doubt and if I’m adjudged in error than I’ll cheerfully accept the ump’s call.

  37. milongal on January 31, 2017 at 12:24 am said:

    @JS – is this the photo on Wiki? I sill think they look concrete – but a closer look does reveal peculiar mark (shadow? – angle looks wrong, and to me it doesn’t look like the edge of the steps either….) on the middle steps. If you mean the 3 steps below the middle fencepost I can sort of see what you mean, but just assume that’s the photo’s quality (or lack thereof) – so I remain unconvinced. However, I will add we don’t really know when the picture was taken. Wiki says 1/12/1948 – but their source (sapolicehistory) doesn’t claim the same thing (it’s a newspaper clipping, hence the fold marks) – and I can’t seem to find the article it’s clipped from on trove.

    But I’ve discovered someone on trove has been compiling a list – so far with 131 related articles. Some interesting/odd things I’ve noticed so far:
    – The “Robert Walsh of Morgan” claim – links us deep back into the Riverland (Mangnoson stuff). There’s a picture of Walsh in a 1949 paper (and mentions of Carl Thompsen). 3 people thought it was, but 4 other people who knew Walsh were apparently adamant it wasn’t him (there is a picture too, but too dark to make much out – to me it looks very different, but that might be the moustache). Walsh may also have used the surnames McCarthy and Morgan. The 3 people who thought he WAS SM were Elizabeth Thompson (Dupond with a ‘d’ /tic), Stanley Peter Salotti of Nile St, Port Adelaide and Jack Stafford Hannam (Grote St, Adelaide). Thompson later changed her mind, but in between was absolutely convinced – especially since he stopped sending her Mother’s Day cards (he had apparently boarded with her). There’s also a James Theodore Mack who originally thought it was Walsh, then changed his mind, then changed his mind again.
    – E.C. Johnson – address given as “Payneham”, but “was staying in the city in Pirie St” – this seemed odd. Payneham is a relatively inner suburb of Adelaide (about 7km from GPO). Until I discovered that the “People’s Palace” was a Salvation Army shelter. This seems a man who has fallen on rough times (and might explain why his acquaintances thought he’d disappeared). There’s a mild side speculation that in such an environment it might be easy enough to take on someone else’s identity – but not sure you’d convince the police so easily (and there would still need to be a reason why you wouldn’t want them to think the body was Johnson – it seems a bold move to impersonate him if you’re trying to avoid suspicion)…
    – There’s an article about Phoenix Hotel proprietor H.C. Reynolds car being stolen in 1947 (yes, I know, this is probably not even remotely relevant on many levels). There’s also one about a NSW bank manager Herbert Reynolds (1940), and a 1939 Herbert Reynolds who had an accident with a Cyclist in gouger st Adelaide.
    – There were Melbourne Baccarat players who claimed SM’d been a “nitkeeper” (as far as I understand this is a person who watches for police and warns illegal gamblers if there’s any risk of being caught) at a Lonsdale St Baccarat School (in Melbourne)
    – There’s an article about 3 inquests (from 1941) which include:
    Fred Alexander Webb of Moseley St who was found presumed drowned at Glenelg – but mentions a drug group including “veronal” (I assume that’s the reason for the link)
    – there’s the finding of the suit socks and overcoat from 29/11/1948
    – there’s a 1956 article about cars that mentions a Satellite owned by Prosper
    – there’s a 1925 Article about a Masque Ball with a picture of a H.C. Reynolds
    – Another Port resident claimed hw was Jack Thomas McLean – but police couldn’t verify any of his story
    – Leane appears to have joined the case on 09/01/1949 so his ramblings about a syringe in the 1978 doco seem implausible
    – Detectives had a “hunch” he was Victorian, and the dry cleaning marks might have matched a Vic dry cleaning firm
    – a 23rd Jul 49 article about the Rubaiyat says the owner recalls finding it in his car “in November” (“about the time of the RAAF air pageant”). “As the scrap of paper found on the dead man had been trimmed, police were unable to identify the book merely by fitting it into the torn page. Proof will now rest with tests on the paper and the print”
    – There’s 2 other suitcases linked to Rubaiyats. J Carlin (from about 1945, who at the time was suspected to be SM) and a Colgan James Bell who appears to have suicided in the Adelaide Rail Yard (or just outside them near the Adelaide Gaol). All the tracks out of Adelaide would travel past the Gaol, with Belair, Noarlunga, Brighton (and back then Melbourne, and probably Glenelg) going LHS of the jail, and Henley, Semaphore, Outer Harbor, Gawler (and ones heading out North beyond Gawler and into the state’s West, presumably) on the right. Lot’s of similarities that can be imagined with Bell – but that could be Suicidal MO or it could be a copycat thing….
    – There’s another suitcase apparently found in a hotel early Dec 1948, this time belonging to a Leonard Berry (ex British Army) who worked for E&WS.
    – There’s brief (but repeated) mentions of a Tim Reed (not Tommy Reade…) and an R.E. Davis. Police also checked out a Tony Keene.
    – Apparently he wasn’t Mr H Brown’s brother of Goulburn.
    – THe woman at the cemetry is described as “elderly” in 1952 (suggests not Jestyn)
    – I thought the suit was American, but they keep mentioning a well known tailor with stores in Melbourne and Ballarat.
    – The continued references to “Tram Ticket” are a little confusion caused by the fact that buses were controlled by the “Municipal Tramways Trust”

    Plenty there, but lots of repetition between different papers.

  38. Ernest Hembrow was the fellows’s name, married to Mabel Alma Box in 1899 and was a branch manager/commercial traveller for Macrow & Sons (organ sellers) of Melbourne, Kaniva/Horsham branch. He was thought to be about thirty at time of demise and had been staying in the Aurora hotel in Adelaide city centre. He was identified from his possessions which included some unspecified jewellery items and his death was found to be by misadventure at an inquest. Mind you I would be somewhat sceptical in that I find it most unusual that such an apparently bright young chap would ruin a perfectly sound hat by not removing it prior to blowing his brains out. As it transpired death was by no means instant as when Strapps found him (by back tracking from the wind blown hat with the bullet hole) he was groaning and expired some time after being admitted to hospital, which is even more worrying in my humble opinion ie ‘If the Job’s worth doing, its worth doing properly’ For what it’s worth I don’t know that as far as names go, Hembrow is any more common than Kembrow, so what the heck.

  39. milongal on January 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm said:

    There seems to be a lot on the Box family on line….there’s even some photos if you look hard enough.

    “Francis Box was born in Withyham, Sussex and came to Australia with his parents George and Mary Box and siblings in 1856. He was assigned to work in Beaufort and had various jobs including ‘gold miner’ at Heathcoat where he married Eliza Jane Thompson. Francis decided to return to market gardening after the death of his 1st child Francis George Box in 1875 aged 13months. The child was buried in Brighton Cemetery and Francis then rent/leased the land on the corner of Tucker Road and Elizabeth Street East Brighton ( now Bentleigh) owned by his brother Henry who with another brother John helped Francis clear the land, and establish a market garden. They had 4 children and began to prosper until in 1882 their 2year old child Lena Caroline Box was killed in a fire that destroyed their house. Francis was burned trying to rescue the child. The local community raised money to assist the family. The land boom brought prosperity again and Francis bought more land around Tucker Road which was bequeathed to his children. Francis and Eliza Jane had four more children but one died in infancy and another aged 2 years. Only 5 of their 9 children survived. Francis and Eliza Jane, who died in 1922, are also buried in Brighton Cemetery
    Mable ‘May’Alma Box, who was born in Brighton, married Earnest Hembrow in 1899 and they had a daughter Doreen May Hembrow 1900. After Earnest died early 1900’s , May married John Amos Wright Batchelor 1912, a widower with 3 children, and then together had 2 children. Amos died in 1958 and May in 1969 in Cowra, NSW”

    NB: Everything seems to spell her name Mable rather than Mabel…..

  40. May’s side of the family is interesting enough with convict background and new hubby John’s folks possibly tied in to missionary work in Japan etc and they all lived long productive lives up there around Lambing Flats. However the real family secrets are noted on the other more well heeled side, that being Ernie’s folks, the pharmacists & hospital administrators of Beechworth/Longwood/East Malvern. The birth of young Rodney on 23/9/99 is to me the most interesting, just nine months after his brother brother Charles 1/10/98 and there was a Geoffrey in there somewhere who was deceased by 1918 in his late teens which suggests mum as being quite extraordinary. Rod did service in ww1 whence he sought permission from his dad Albert Chas. & mum Cath. Hood (Baillie), but when he joins the RAAF in ww2 he gives Alma as his NOK and of course I’m thinking good old Maybel (sic) Alma Batchelor nee Hembrow nee Box. This would be very interesting in my view especially since his claimed mother Cath was still living and there being no indication that he was married at the time. Could this all fit in to the theory advanced about Rod being Ernie’s greaving son which I think possible but not likely, though I wouldn’t put it past the old girl to have had something to do with the shooting. By the way the company Macrow & son were also jewellers and advertised double sided talking machines as being amongst their new lines of sale, and guess what, the Macrows are still going strong apparently… Further related avenues of inquiry are being pursued to ascertain whether Roderick is of any more use to us and if by any chance John Bachelor’s very old dad? brought any Japanese toothpaste with him when he repatriated himself from Nippon sometime in 1941.

  41. Roderick Hembrow ended up with a soldier settler land grant at Dookie, up Benalla way in the early 20s which is consistent with his degree in agriculture. His son and namesake was born there in 1927 so he appears to have been doing alright for a bloke that was only in the army for 3 months. He’s also obviously gone and tied the knot at some time and it’s more than likely that his cheese & kisses was lumbered at birth with a name like Alma. Rod was to get himself on the board of a large hospital by the mid 30s and then the next war came along. Still trying get an expiry date but I somehow doubt that it was 1/12/48. By the way he is said to have been 5ft 8 & a half with black hair and brown eyes at the age of 18 & 9 months so I think we can bid a fond adieu to Mr. Hembrow and thanks for the diversion.

  42. All relevant members of the Hembrow family have been more or less cleared so far as I can see apart from the relationship between Charles H. & Rodney R. who were both alive long after 1948, so it’s none of our business I guess.

  43. milongal on February 1, 2017 at 10:04 pm said:

    I still like Mikkelsen, even though he was demonstrably killed elsewhere…

    That said, “Robert Walsh of Morgan” intrigues me.
    There were numerous people who claimed it was he, and numerous others who claimed it wasn’t. Now neither Robert nor Walsh is particularly uncommon (and perhaps an ideal identity for that reason), so there’s a plausibility to multiple Walsh’s (especially as some records seem to refer to him as “Bob”, but others seem to insist on “Robert”) – working against that, of course, is the fact that all reports seem to quite specifically refer to a 63 year old woodcutter (so 2 guys, same name, same occupation starts to be a bit of a stretch) – but some of that can be chaos and confusion caused by 1 person saying “Walsh of Morgan” and someone else replying “No, he’s 63 and it doesn’t look like him” etc…. with them not on the same page from the get-go….

    The picture in the paper doesn’t really look like him to me, but it is so dark it’s very hard to make anything out – and if there are multiple Robert Walsh’s then what’s to say that picture is the right one?

    Morgan is just North (well, 75km) of Maggea – which is where Mangnoson (or someone similar) had his near death experience. This area seems to link into many (seemingly unrelated) stories. One can’t help but wonder whether someone in the area was picking fruit and had a dubious identity – to some he was Carl Thompsen (the only thing I find more interesting than the spelling is the fact that Mangnoson knew the spelling – it sort of suggests either its bearer pronounced it quite phonetically (“Tomp-Sen” rather than “Tom-Sn”) or KM had seen it spelt somewhere), to others Robert Walsh, to others again something else completely. Perhaps these are random aliases generated, or perhaps he was quite deliberately using commonish names of people in the area (people who know the real identity would think it a coincidence, but would not imagine that you’re pretending to be who you’re not). And let’s not forget Lizzie Thompson who identified him as Walsh and later retracted it (perhaps she was threatened, or perhaps she subsequently met the real Walsh, or his name changed confusing her, or something). Because Thompson and Thompsen are as similar as Dupont and Dupond.

    So until I can explain how Mikkelsen returned from the dead (BTW Thompsen I think suggests Scandinavian origin rather than Scottish(?), Just Sayin’) I think our friend Mr Walsh needs some closer attention. And when we dismiss him, I’ll insist there was another Walsh there at the time, whose other name might have been Thompsen, who might have been a born-again Mikkelsen.

  44. milongal on February 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm said:

    And I just noticed B Deveson said similar almost 3 years ago (pointing out that GF went to some lengths to describe Walsh)….without the Mikkelsen connection, but with some compelling other evidence….including about one of the witnesses Salotti.

  45. milongal on February 1, 2017 at 11:07 pm said:

    And while on Walshy…..he used to send this Elizabeth Thompson Mother’s Day cards (having boarded with her). Dismissing for a second the idea that there was some personal joke between them, this to me implies firstly that Walsh might have had no parents, and secondly that he saw his landlady in a mothering role. To me, this suggests she would have been somewhat older than him – which strikes me a little at odds with his being 63 (and the 63 comes from “he never told me his age, but I guess he woudl’ve been about 63” – that’s an accurate measurement if ever there were one). Of course, it’s possible that he was looking to be step-dad to her kids or something, but in any event I don’t think it’s common to send Mother’s Day cards to acquaintances, unless there is some sort of shared “Mother” connection.
    To me it almost sounds like he saw her as a Mother-figure (and was perhaps re-iterating that with his card(s)), and she might have seen the relationship closer to something romantic (perhaps she mis-estimates his age closer to hers). She was, after all, planning to reunite with him in Brisbane. I guess it’s possible that his final Mother’s Day card (and then subsequent silence) was his way of shaking a stalker, reiterating his view of their relationship (I say “Final”, because I recall reading somewhere that she claimed he had been in the habit of sending them, which is why she thought it so strange she didn’t receive one in 1949 – but perhaps that’s just stalker behaviour….)

  46. B Deveson on February 2, 2017 at 2:47 am said:

    Milongal, the surname Thompsen is fairly rare (the “274,091 most common surname in the world”), with only approximately 1,127 people currently bearing this name (see: forbears.io/surname/thompsen). The name was not recorded in the 1881 Scottish Census and there were only 7 Thompsens recorded in England in the 1881 Census. The name currently has the highest density in Norway with 52 instances (that is 1 in 98,546 people) but the name always has been quite rare. Which makes me wonder. Mangnoson must have been pretty sure of the spelling of the name given that he would have been familiar with the names Thomson and Thompson. There are bucket loads of people with the Thomson and Thompson surname in Australia with currently 20,937 Thomsons and 50,055 Thompsons. Mangnoson did say that he believed “that Carl Thompsen “came from one of the colder countries, such as Sweden.” News (Adelaide) 7th January 1949 page 12.
    I conducted a search of Trove for the names Thompsen, Thompson, Thomson and Thomsen for the period 1800 to 1950 with the following results.
    Thompsen 4,373 Thompson 3.9 million, Thomson 1.6 million, Thomsen 9,626.
    For the period 1900 to 1950 the numbers are:
    Thompsen 3,855 Thompson 2.76 million, Thomson 1.13 million, Thomsen 7,859.

  47. My exact same sentiments to each and all of the above potential canfidates which gives us all a little work to do I’d say. Perhaps we could throw in the other mystery man Jock Armstrong and the ever ellusive T. Keane, Keane or Keen(er).

  48. milongal on February 2, 2017 at 9:00 pm said:

    @BD – I agree SOMEBODY seemed certain of the Thompsen spelling – which to me suggests either it was phonetically pronounced to them or it was seen written down (and stood out as odd). While this was most likely Mangnoson, there’s probably a possibility (albeit miniscule) that it was the police taking down Mangnoson’s story who spelt it that way. Handwritten an e and an o are quite similar, so to me the e has been very deliberately added in there. That said, can’t help but notice the presence of other (admittedly very common) Thom[p]sons in the scene – including Walshy’s landlady.

    Regarding Keane – I can actually sort of see the Keanic that the Egyptian butcher insisted on, although I can find little trace of any Keanics. At one stage there was a “J Keane” (I forget if the e was there or not) that I was looking at on NAA – seems to have loads of records as some sort of military inventor up until about 1946 – but you’d sort of think his prominence on NAA immediately excludes him because his absence would be noticed…..
    Personally, I increasingly think SM’s link to Somerton (and possibly Henley, although I’m still unconvinced the tickets were his necessarily) is the Red Cross homes (not Kapara from where a witness came forward re Solomonson, but either Lady Ruthven or Lady Gowrie home, in one of the streets running to the beach). That then sort of discounts the Keane as hand-me-down clothes (possibly from the Oil tycoon(?) and goes some way to explain the missing tags on other clothes….

  49. milongal on February 2, 2017 at 11:18 pm said:

    This shouldn’t come as a surprise…..
    3 records of Robert Walsh birth 1866, 1873, 1894 in districts of Adelaide, Daly (Yorke Peninsula) and Norwood. The Mid North district would, I think, be Dalhousie.
    There are 6 death records for Robert Walsh, and based on the middle names of the three above I think they’re covered……so our Nugget is somebody else….

  50. I think that we must accept that poor Keith was most likely the man that went missing near Maggea in 1940 and I note that Alma Plains which is where he went to convalesce, is listed as a change of address for his mum at some time during his service. I note that in April ’41 the medical examination on enlistment revealed amongst other things ‘nervous disability’ and yet he’s given a class 1 pass to the front. At the time of discharge he suffered from an anxiety state which is a common syndrome in front line soldiers and should not be confused with the claimed war neurosis which was mentioned both here and over there. His dad John, an immigrant from Sweden served in ww1 and it is doubted that either man had any education beyond elementary level so we can agree that Keith may not have known the difference between the various Thompson spellings, which could also have applIed to the officer taking his perported statement as mentioned.

  51. I think we must now consider the possibilities that the name Carl Thompsen was a likely a creation of Sapol to divert attention away from Keith’s original verbal nomination of Thompson (sic). Perhaps he proved a little more knowledgeable about the written word than they suspected and when shown the typed statement for his signature he did not agree with the name’s spelling, refusing to sign and thus giving rise to his later aggravated mental breakdown. The names Thompson and Thomson were those of numerous well heeled and connected gentry in the Renmark district at the time, both commercially and politically so it may have been somewhat of an embarrassment to have one’s good name connected to a murder or suicide. Now Len Brown had just made detective at long last and would have known the name from his time in the district in the late ’30s, (not to mention that of Mangnoson), so it stands that to smooth things over, the foreign sounding name would suffice splendidly to allay possible association and as such has stood the test of time. Just as an additional thought, it is noted that Winifred Williams, the two timing former fiance of poor Keith, the frontline soldier, had married a base wallah REMF at precisely the time of his unit’s RTA from NG in early ’44 so no wonder he suffered from an anxiety state, lack of personality and depression. The man? In question Harry Bridger did attend his army duties as a welder in NG and Labuan (not Burma) later so we can give him some begrudging credit for that and he was at 25 a better pick than toothless Keith at 30 after all. It is noted with some further interest that Harry grew up in Marrickville same time as our Jessica and the address of Neville St. does have a familiar ring to it so their possible acquaintance is not out of the question. In view of the above perhaps we now have to go back and re-check all the old Thomson derivations, with the other likely name of Charles and to give a glimmer of hope, there was a ww1 ship’s deserter named Charles Thompson from Larggs of all places same as Keith, and a carpenter by trade, just like Keith’s dad John, but fortunately (for him) a tad too old to be SM.

  52. Just a couple of suspects picked out at random which are unfortunately for me not available for instant AA reading, Charles Stuart Thomson X50798 Lieutenant cinematographer (1900) & Charles Sydney Thomson, (1900) an 18 year old ww1 enlistee and former bicycle mechanic from Mt. Gambier/Mildura. I can’t find Keith’s much older brother Cyril John who is certainly in SM’s age range and should be looked at for elimination if anything. He was known to have farmed out Pinnaroo way where he was wed to Florie in ’24 & had deserted her by early ’25 which culminated in their divorce and numerous later filings for non payment of maintenance by the no longer blushing former bride. Although we have her safely tucked away by 1970, he remains unaccounted for and it would appear that the law never caught up with him, unlike his poor dad who was fined 2/6 plus costs for not voting (for some non combatant politician) not so long after returning from his patriotic duties in the Belgian trenches aged over 40….You beaut lucky bloody country eh.

  53. milongal on February 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm said:

    RE: Mangnoson/Magnussen (oh we love our misspellings (Sister of Nick?? 😛 ), don’t we).
    I would find it very difficult to believe SM were a brother of his – to me it just wouldn’t make sense why he would then have this story about Thompsen BEFORE he was warned off. I also think if it were a direct relative (or even an acquaintence that lived nearby, eg Thompson if Largs) then his wife may have said something too – but it would seem her only reference is that she suspected all their problems to be related to her husband’s suggestion SM was Carl. That said, why is Charles Thompson of Largs too old (ie how old would he have been?). If he was 60s I’d still consider him (a’la Walsh).

    I have a niggling thought that a Riverland connection works nicely. Depending on where in the riverland someone was working living, a river crossing and a train station at Morgan make it a possible route into the city (insert my normal caveat that I’m still unconvinced at SM necessarily being in the Railway Station that morning; and can explain away most of the evidence with a combination of “it wasn’t necessarily him” and some confirmation bias by witnesses seeking to prove he was there rather than assess whether he were there**).

    Many moons ago, I had the opportunity (misfortune?) to spend 2 years driving buses. While I concede this was a much later time (we were already using the Crouzet tickets, so a lot of passengers would pre-purchase, so my customer interaction was probably slightly less than a conductor with an equivalent load might have had), I think following any shift I would have a reasonable (not complete, necessarily) memory of who had bought tickets – well enough to be able to say “I really don’t recall him to the point where I’d almost doubt he was on my bus”. Almost everyone who buys a ticket has something memorable about them – they refer to tickets differently, they ask questions about how far they can go, or where you stop, or how they’ll know they’re in Glenelg (or even which stop is closest Brian’s house, I shit you not), or they’ll want a concession fare, or they’ll have loads of coin, or large notes, or they count the money out slowly, or they give strange combinations of coins, or short change you (deliberately or intentionally), or they’ll be unusually jolly, or miserable…. For someone to travel on a bus unnoticed by the conductor or any of the other passengers (“he seemed quiet – withdrawn even”, “yeah I noticed him, didn’t say g’day to me”, “oh, you mean the guy who just sat there staring out the window”, “yeah, he looked tired, he was resting his head against the window”, “hmm..I think I saw him, he was wearing a jumper. Seriously, in this weather?”, “he seemed to be reading a book of some sort”, “he just seemed to be watching everyone”) you need to be very, very ordinary (and not so ordinary that it’s noticeable) – or you need a pretty full bus where there’s information overload. If SM really did catch the St Leonards bus (which as I understand it would have had relatively few people on it…certainly when it left the city), then I find it a little odd not only that noone noticed him, but that noone THOUGHT they noticed him. Granted, these days everyone is on their phone looking at Facebook, but back then a 20min journey (with not very interesting scenery) gives you 2 options – read (maybe not a broadsheet paper – that would quickly get you noticed) or stare at the other people in the bus and think bad things about them. Are we to believe that every passenger in the bus did the former?

    tl;dr; : I have a little trouble with SM’s movements in the morning because noone can remember him – that’s an incredible feat (even for a spy).

    **When I worked with the government I noticed a reluctance for people to cause trouble, which manifested in moulding facts to fit the story their superiors wanted, rather than asserting the facts and disproving their boss’s idea. At one stage I worked fairly closely with internal affairs (actually ACLEI, if we’re being pedantic) where there was occasionally pressure to produce the evidence they wanted, not the evidence that existed – and it’s not because organisationally they’re asshats, rather they were desperate (individually) to convict and win. When a porter is asked whether a case might have been checked on the 30th of November, or a ticket bought that morning they may doubt their own record and later manipulate the record to show the “truth” (or perhaps inaccurate/insufficient record keeping is updated to be more thorough – eg didn’t note ticket sequences, but subsequently noted them down based on when tickets were thoguht to be sold) – it might start with accidentally agreeing to something when asked, and then, when you realise you made a mistake, cover the mistake rather than own it. I’m not saying this is the case, but I think most evidence about the Railway Station is fallible, and for me one of the most telling things about the morning of 30th November is that (despite several alleged interactions with people – being in very public place, buying ticket, checking case, boarding bus that wasn’t empty, possibly even getting ticket at baths) nobody could remember seeing SM. Granted, I don’t remember everyone I see in Rundle Mall at lunch time, it’s a little strange NOBODY noticed him – not even a clerk who sold 3(?) Henley tickets (apparently claiming he was so focussed he often wouldn’t even look up when he was selling tickets); nor a bus conductor (who I’d imagine would be used to greeting people, and would have a reasonable recall of anything even mildly askew). It all suggests that either everything about SM was so normal as to escape notice (no questions on where the bus goes or what the far should be, correct change for everything he pays for, clothes fitting in with “normal” commuters) or that he was never there. I don’t particularly lean toward the latter, but I think it’s a lot more possible than people seem to think (in fact I find it absolutely extraordinary some of the spy theories people hang onto about SM, but still refuse to even consider that everything we think we know about SM that day is based on what are really peculiar possessions in his pocket – so peculiar that you’d have to wonder whether they were really his).

  54. I’ll withdraw my contention that Keith was most likely the missing woodcutter for the time being and reserve judgement on whose name I would put in his stead, but all being said and done, the timing simply does not work for me. He being found in the trough on 18/10/41, spending several weeks in Loxton Hospital, thence unspecified time at Royal Ad. followed up with a period of apparently unhelpful convalecence at Magill before pprobably being ‘scheduled’ and placed into full psychiatric treatment at Enfield for another unspecified period, afterwhich mother takes him for a three months home care stint to that truly mysterious home-away-from-home on the Alma Plains. Guess what he’s back with Winnie the pooh poo at ‘rotten Remark’ by 23/4/41 where he’s now fighting fit and ready to take on the hun, but that just does not seem to work any way you may care to re-construct the given time line and so we are left with nothing but conjecture.

  55. Macdougall on February 7, 2017 at 10:04 am said:


  56. What’s even more interesting Ian? Is that the Mangnoson family as far as we can tell were always on the coast around Larggs so what gives with Alma. Why does it get a mention with Keith’s engagement to Winifred in the Renmark rag (Mr. & Mrs. J. Mangnoson of Alma), followed up by the three month convalescence early in ’41. (Alma Plains) Seems to me that big brother Cyril might have worked out that way at one time after dumping his Mrs. and having the law on his case for non payment of maintenance. Cyril had a mate (his bro-in-law) who knew the drill for name changing, bogey paper etc. so if Cyril’s on the lam he would certainly know how to create a new identity for himself. Nothing complicated of course, something like your little brother’s name with a spelling variation of the surname eg. Magnussen. Let’s assume that he’s a little more cunning than Keith and perhaps lets on to him that he prefers to be known over Renmark way as Carl..Carl Thompsen and keep it that way no matter what ok brother?…We’re just surmising on the possibilities of course and probably way off target as usual but what the heck, what other names have we got that makes any more sense, not Matheson surely.

  57. milongal on February 7, 2017 at 9:47 pm said:

    I’m sure we’ve made the observation before that both Magnussen and Thompsen are Scandinavian. Thompson, OTOH is more British (Scottish?), and Mangnoson seems peculiar to Australia (with a possibly Mangnuson in the US).

    I can sort of understand how an uncommon Mangnoson gets transcribed to the (uncommon but nonetheless mor common) Magnussen, but to me a Thompsen transcription error is unlikely (because it would go the other way). Of course a copper with messy writing might mistake his ‘o’ for an ‘e’, but I think you’d still assume ‘o’ unless there was a strong reason why you said ‘e’ in the first place.

    Mangnoson (Mangnuson, Mangusson) is a strange name, and doesn’t (seem to) have the same origins as Magnuson/Magnussen (son of Magnus) – and it’s not like ‘Thompson’ where a ‘p’ sound crept into the spelling, the ‘n’ makes the word more difficult to pronounce.

    Assuming Mangnoson derived from Mangnus (son of)….Mangnus seems to be a Dutch name, but I really can’t find whether it’s a Dutch variation of Magnus, or something else again (my German teacher always warned me of “Falsche Freunde” – words that look like something we’re familiar with but mean something quite different (eg when German sites talk about SM being given Gift, they don’t mean a present….).

    I suspect it’s a pointless exercise, but there seem to be some Carl Mangnuson’s in early 20th century census records in the US. The problem is I can’t find any immigration record (but it would help if the Nat Archive used some fuzzy name match strategy so we could pick up variants) – and if this is someone changing their name at will (or at least once – Thompsen) then a name search is of limited value….

  58. B Deveson on February 8, 2017 at 7:35 am said:

    Milongal, see: http://forebears.io/surnames/mangnoson

    “4,516,948th most common surname in the world” there are currently only four people who bear this name and all four live in Australia.

    Keith’s father John Mangnoson claimed to have been born at Hanisor, Sweden 23rd October 1877 (NAA WW1 war service file).
    John was naturalised in 1914 and at that time he said that he was born 12th December 1876 at Henosond (or later Henosand or Henosund), Sweden and he had been in Australia for 14 years (NAA naturalization file). I think the difference in birth dates is explained by the 40 year age limit for WW1 volunteer soldiers.
    John claimed he had arrived in Australia 25th April 1897 at Port Adelaide per Patricia.
    The closest match to Henoson/Henosand/Henosun is Härnösand which is a picturesque coastal town in Sweden (See Wiki).
    John seems have been able to do a fair job of writing his name in 1914 and 1917 so I presume he knew the spelling of Magnusson and similar Scandinavian names, so I am tempted to think that spelling his name as “Mangnoson” was a bit of creative incompetence on his part. Perhaps John wanted to put his old life behind him by adopting a new surname. Or, perhaps Magnusson pronounced by a Swede sounds something like Mangnoson? Any Swedes out there?

    A quick check of the Swedish birth records shows that a son Knut Fredrik was born to Emelie Charlotta Magnusson on 12th December 1876 at Härnösand. Västernorrland.
    That is the birthdate given by John in 1914 at the time of his naturalization. So, it seems fairly certain that John’s birth name was Knut Fredrik Magnusson, and he was illegitimate. That was probably enough reason to ditch the Surname Magnusson.

  59. To have it known that one of your relatives had taken his own life in those days would have been seen in a much different light than by today’s standards in more ways than one. Firstly it had the potential to create a deal of disharmony within various factions of the family with regard to the blame game, secondly it was both unsettling and of considerable loss to the esteem of a family’s proud antecedents in a most embarrassing way. Putting all these in the pale by far, however were the pure economics associated with such a loss, which had great potential to subject the grieving family to extreme financial hardship, through loss of earnings, death taxes etc. A wife might well find herself ineligible to collect a window’s pension not to mention collecting life insurance and then she may be confronted with bank foreclosures and loan recalls. In those days all domestic family finance was considered to be the breadwinner’s responsibility and if he happened to have died by his own hand, external sympathies were expected to be fleeting. Just supposing that a family was able with some help to deny relationship to their errant loved one and not come forward to claim the remains of their own X and how if said X had been missing for a decent interval prior to his demise, then that simplifies things rather nicely. All they do is wait out the statute seven years, have him declared legally dead (like 007 he gets to die twice) collect the insurance payout and take off to Alma for a well deserved holiday. The banks might also have problems in taking a destitute and deserted mother through the more sympathetic foreclosure courts of the day so its a win win for all but our born loser at ‘X marks the spot’.

  60. A person that takes flight in an attempt evade legal means of apprehension is said to be ‘on the lamb or lam’, then when that person is brought to heel, which inevitably happens when they attempt to rejoin the flock, that person might be designated as being ‘Xlamb’. One could assume quite reasonably that the Hunter family had good call to be antagonistic towards one of their wayward relatives, namely Cyril Mangnoson who married their crippled daughter Flory at Pinnaroo in 1924. He left her in short shrift within a year and was never seen again despite all legal means to track him down for desertion which was a serious crime in those far off days. There is ample evidence to indicate that the wife was unrelenting in her pursuit of the miscreant but to no avail it seems. Now it comes to mind that Cyril’s younger brother Keith was a fairly tall man around 5′ 11″ so we could expect Cyril to be on the tall side also. We know that the somerton man was was about the same and that he also had some unusual displacement of the toes. It seems that when Keith was examined for his recruitment in April ’48, the attending MO had reason to mention ‘corn on right little toe’ which may have hinted at something more serious, perhaps even a hereditary problem with his feet. That’s drawing a long bow I know, but was a simple corn worth noting; well yes if he had some doubts about the young man’s suitability for the service and the same MO also referred to a possible mental deficiency in ‘nervous instability. Did Cyril and Keith both suffer from an hereditary condition that later manifested itself in both boys to the extent that they were physically deficient and mentally disturbed. In short folks I think it’s high time that we run this fellow Cyril to ground and get some answers, if only to exclude him as a person of interest and for peace of mind. There must be photos of him somewhere which could help us to give him a clean bill of health or alternately mark him as being our man.

  61. milongal on February 8, 2017 at 10:35 pm said:

    Thanks BD. I realise Mangnoson is rare (as too is Mangnuson – which seems the US version). I guess I find Mangnoson difficult to cop as a corruption of Magnuss[aeou]n just because of that extra ‘n’ which doesn’t seem phonetic (and I can’t really imagine it being phonetic in any language, but Scandinavia is not my thing). To me a more likely explanation for such a corruption is a transcription error on an official document that proved too difficult to undo…
    Conceding that “John” is a very popular name, and presumably an even more common alias I find Knut->John an odd choice – esecially when he could have just become Fred – unless he really is trying to distance himself from his old identity as you suggest (but then why mangle the surname, why not lose it altogether. Certainly in the past when I’ve wanted some anonimity (and I realise the online world didn’t exist back then so things were different) I always used names not even remotely like mine. So I guess Mangnoson must be a “clever” play on words on his part, and seems to have meant something to him….and perhaps the similarity to Magnussen is a near accident (eg the presence of “No Son” in it might be an attempt to distance himself from Mum, as you suggest). But I suppose it’s not important, other than for whatever reason, the media seemed to think he was Mangnussen when he got lost – and I’d almost pay such a slip up (Magnussen is a believable mistake for Mangnoson, I think – especially if you’ve only quickly heard someone say it), and I find it interesting then that we definitely have Thompsen rather than Thompson (which I think is a far less likely mistake – it suggests a deliberate distinction from the far more common Thompson)….
    Anyways – I think that’s a web that is in part irrelevant, and in part too tangled for us retrospectively to work too much out.

    FWIW there are 4 Mangnosons I can find in SA cemetries (after searching 2 sites covering 5 cemetries). John and Ida Caroline (his wife, I think) are in Cheltenham along with Clive (both John and Ida died in the late 50’s – ’58 and ’59 respectively). Keith W is in Centennial Park (the opposite side of town), and appears to have been cremated and interred in an RSL wall? Keith’s listed as living in Glenelg (Centennial Park is the Glenelg side of town (sort of mid (even inner) South West), and Cheltenham is the Port Adelaide (and Largs) area (West/North West) neither of which should be terribly surprising – although there are probably cemetries closer to Glenelg than Centennial Park (I think there’s one at Brighton?) CP would by far be the biggest on that side of town.

    Incidentally, Clive and Keith were found in “…a boxthorn hideout near Fort Largs…”. As far as I can tell, Boxthorn is some sort of bushy plant. For those familiar with the Adelaide coastline, there is a lot of weed growth between Taperoo and Outer Harbor, and it lessens a little as you head South through Largs, Semaphore, Tennyson etc. More importantly, South of Taperoo the beach weed tends to be mainly groudn cover, while North of let’s say Strathfield Tce (which is where (the soon to be demolished – big outcry, BTW) Fort Largs is) there is some more bushy beach weed. I remember as a kid going swimming from the beach near “the old boat”** and there’s certainly bushes there big enough to live under (and judging by the rubbish it’s not uncommon).
    None of that means much, but my point is that I think the Mangnoson stuff happened at Taperoo while living at Largs (Strathfield Tce is about 1KM from Magarey St), and I’d speculate that they were found further North again.

    **The old boat refers to an old house with a big boat in the yard. The house looks like it is being renovated, and both the boat and house are falling into a sorry state of disrepair – and have been for about 50 years. There are many stories as to exactly why the house is how it is, but the most common is vaguely similar to the Mangnoson story, but 20 years later – death of a child, marriage break down and a husband gone crazy (and subsequently finds it too difficult to complete his renovations). NB: It’s possible that this story evolved from the Mangnoson one – locals argue over what is really going on, and the most common story is not necessarily the true one. On google maps streetview, go to the corner of Paringa St and Lady Gowrie Dve, and you should see the boat/house.

  62. milongal on February 8, 2017 at 11:23 pm said:

    Apologies if this has been covered…

    There was some speculation that Mangnoson (and Roma) lived with his parents, however I think he may have lived next door. In September 1947 there’s a spare bed (granny flat?) being advertised by I Mangnoson at 12 Magarey St. In August 1948 Mangnoson is looking to buy a house because his has burned down and he’s living in a shed….at 10 Magarey St….Actually, it doesn’t say it’s him, but what are the odds:
    “RET. soldier wants buy house, 4 to 5 rooms. Woodville to Largs, own home burnt down; wife, baby, living in shed. 10 Magarey ter, Largs.”

  63. The Mangnosons, just like us, seem to get a little confused after the Mang..and are apt to make errors or omissions which are then corrected but I think this is merely academic and of no perceived use to us. If anyone is at all interested in pursuing Keith’s brother Cyril, we’ve had a little hit on his activities during 1927, which is not terribly enlightening but at least we know for sure that he was born on 25/5/05 at Broken Hill where father John was employed. He had been recruited into the RAAN with the exalted rank of stoker and apparently was so enthusiastic about the sea life that he deserted some months later in Dec. ’27. Of course we know that his mum was Ida, but cagey old Cyril gave NOK as Mrs. Grace McAlpine, mother, and who may have had something to do with his sister Isobel‘s (sic) husband Keith Mc. On the enlistment paper he is said to have been 5‘ 7″ with the usual brown extras and a fresh complexion all of which seem to be in keeping with what might have been a standard rough description of the average swabbie of the day. There seems to be reference to a scar on the right side of his face, which somehow rings a bell, but nothing more riveting and there does not appear to be a signature or anything else in his own hand. On second thoughts Isobel (sic) was youngest in the family & born about 1917 and she didn’t marry until ’41 so Grace is bit of a mystery

  64. …And just as an afterthought, moving forward 24 years, we can now say for sure that Keith’s announced engagement to Winnie must have been the real deal simply because he’s mentioned as the second son, with all other siblings in the Mangnoson tribe being females apart from Cyril. I think that John and Ada had separated by this time with the good possibility that mother was living out at Alma afterall, not to say that they did not get back together again in later life, for we know that they appear as one on their headstone which is only fitting.

  65. milongal on February 9, 2017 at 10:09 pm said:

    Look at that – there’s the birthday paradox at work – both engagement announcements are 7th March (5 years apart).
    The 1940 one talks about Alma, the 1945 is Largs (ie Alma was where the family lived BEFORE Largs).

    It does sort of highlight that (as he claimed) Mangnoson was living (or at least spending a lot of time) in the Riverland through the mid-late 30s (I wouldn’t have thought long distance romances were all that common back then).

    Part of me likes how neatly Morgan, Maggea, Renmark and Loxton tie together (it’s all Riverland), but part of me keeps in mind that there’s still considerable distance between them (Renmark to Morgan is 100km, Renmark to Maggea is similar and Renmark to Nadda is about 50) – I sort of justify it that country people will move around more…partly in search of work and partly because they might go with the trucks.
    Put another way, I partly see a strong Riverland connexion (which means I like Walsh and Thompsen (or Walsh AS Thompsen)), but I’m not sure weather part of it is simply that it’s a BIG region – so the odds of coincidence become better….

    Re Cyril – sort of interesting that at time of enlistment (aged 22?) he’s living in Melbourne (when I assume the rest of the family is in SA already). Presumably he was staying with this McAlpine – perhaps he was estranged from his family and saw her a mother figure, or perhaps that word isn’t ‘mother’ at all….Can’t quite make out the address either….

  66. John – I believe that Cyril can be ruled out. For some reason, he appears to have taken on his mother’s maiden name. Cyril John Wilson died in 1985 in Sqam, Victoria. His parents listed as John Mangnoson and Caroline Ida.

  67. Misca: Thanks for your information and I guess it clears things up with our mate Cyril. Every thing seems OK especially if mum dad got a mention but where the hell is Sqam; you sure its not the place that registers missing persons as deceased after a decent interval. Did you see the army CMF record from ’48 that gives his NOK as Grace and his place of birth as Capetown DA with just a slight difference in his birth details. Power’s down gotta go.

  68. I believe that there may have been three sons. There is also an Ian Mangnoson who married a Pamela Dearman. See trove.

  69. “Cyril John Wilson” married Grace Olga McAlpine. She was Keith McAlpine’s sister. Keith McAlpine married Keith Mangnoson’s sister Isabel.

  70. Misca: OK we seem to have Cyril covered nicely but the Sqam, Vic. would be good to get a fix on (sounds Persian), and for the life of me I can’t understand why he joined the navy, then the CMF nominating Grace as his NOK, the second as his mother. Now I did suspect that there was a third son but put it further down the ladder and perhaps one who had died in infancy but you found Ian and opened a Pandora”s box. So we have Pamela born in 1934 and marrying young Mangnoson in 1951. Haven’t found his DOB but he must have been born after 1920 when his mum Ida was by then nearing 40, which would make Ian at least 14 years older than the his bride. It does seem that they had family before Pamela died in WA at 30 in 1964 as there appears to be a great proliferation of the name nowdaysin SA. Unless of course Keith got hitched again after his stint in the funny farm and had a new family. Don’t you agree that there is perhaps something weird and completely unfathomable about this family over all the other odd ones we have come across.

  71. Misca: Statutum Quiescens Assumptio Mortalitas.SQAM..So just maybe we’re not quite done with old Cyril just yet, although I suspect that you might have additional information on his demise. I somehow can’t imagine a cad like him making it to 80 without someone cutting him down to size. And talking about size, the 5′ 7″ given on his navy paper probably has more to do with his job allocation as stoker than his true height, as in the days of steam only runts were considered suitable for the cramped oven areas so maximum heights were set, same with sub-mariners. After 1920 or thereabouts with most ships being oil burners rather than coal, the job allowed for a taller man to be a so called stoker, though naval rules remained rigid without the rigidity. On the other side of the fence, it is not so easy to estimate the height of a person in the fully reclined position such as a mortuary slab and so Prof. Cleland’s offering of 5’11” for his customer may well have been a wee bit generous on the long side. So just lets say he’s out by 2″ and another mob like the RAN off 2″ the other way, well we now have a chap who would have been quite a respectable 5‘09″ tall in life and nothing to be ashamed of at all even if your name was Cyril…Milongal: We had been discussing the various smoker’s paraphernalia amongst other things down on the beach and I had raised the possibility that the Kinnesta tailories may not have been his because the extent of nicotine staining of his fingers suggested a roll your own man. I now seem to recall that an amount of loose tobacco strands were found in his trouser pocket which might tend to support such an observation and I know that in those days people were fairly consistent in their so called legal addictions, so its not probable that he switched allegiance between the two forms.

  72. milongal on February 12, 2017 at 9:55 pm said:

    As I understand it the nictotine staining from rollies is the lack of filter (or is it because the tobacco is less dry? In which case ignore the rest).
    Filters weren’t always a certainty on cigarettes and often you could by a filtered or non filtered variety – and I suspect originally the default was filterless, firstly because it makes more sense a filter being added to market a milder or safer product; and secondly because I remember (many moons later) seeing packets with “filters” (if the default was the opposite, then surely any reference would be “filterless”). If you search google for images of “kensitas” you’ll find a variety of packet designs, some explicitly mentioning filters…and the ads you find with pictures of open packets appear to have tobacco on top (when present filters face upward so you can flick the smoke straight into your mouth). Filterless smokes also could see transfer of tobacco into the pocket – either falling out the packet (this is true to a lesser degree of even filtered cigarettes), transferred inadvertently or if someone were to put a smoked butt in their pocket while they looked for a bin (sort of unlikely, but given he’d apparently held onto a used bus ticket, not outside the realms of possibility).
    Also, I don’t know much about how long the staining hangs around, but I thought rollies were far more common than tailor-made in the forces, and while I agree that to some degree old habits die hard there might be some perceived luxury to have tailor-made cigarettes when you return from duty.

    Even if it’s moisture content (which I think is greater in pouch tobacco than prefab cigarettes) the staining (from either) would depend on how heavily someone smoked – which I think is a difficult thing to measure when the autopsy didn’t seem to interested in any tarring on the lung (it simply wouldn’t have been important back then, I suspect).

    I wonder where you bought cigarettes in that era? These days, of course, there’s supermarkets, Deli’s (ok, the rest of the country/world calls them milk bars), newsagents, pubs….almost everyone sells them – but was that the case back then? Certainly I remember Tunney’s (Fine Tobacco) on Grote St closing down in the 80s (? maybe 90s) because of dwindling profits – and while some of that was the impact of the increasingly negative view of smoking and the increase in legal smoking age (both of which I think came a little later), I always assumed the biggest driver was the increased availability of tobacco elsewhere (SmokeMart – a chain tobacconist (pun not entirely intended) may have had some impact too, I suppose).

    Were cigarettes only sold by the packet? I have vague recollections of people selling individual cigarettes (a lot later, of course) – and not necessarily from shops (e.g. there was a reasonably well known house near Taperoo railway station…). This could explain the Kensitas in the Army Club packet without subscribing too much to theories about they were planted, because in this situation you buy what is being sold, not necessarily what you want, but you keep the packet to protect the smokes. When I was at school and smoking was cool, I’d often have a Dunhill or B&H packet (which I’d had help buying) that had Marlboro cigarettes in it (because I was pinching them from my dad). That the police thought it interesting is perhaps a little telling, although they seemed to notice and dismiss it.
    If they’re not sold individually, then where is the Army Club packet? In the bin, would be the obvious thought, yet again this is from a man who holds on to a totally useless bus ticket. Aside from all else, if he were simply hiding his more expensive smokes then he likely wouldn’t transfer all (20?) from 1 pack to the other, but rather as many as he thinks he needs for whatever errand he is running. There were 7 left, and depending on which report you believe he’d smoked at least 1 or 2. This suggests (if we assume he filled it that morning) that he is either a heavy smoker who has expected to get through an entire (or close to an entire) packet; or that he has expected to be away from his K packet for some time yet. One of the things with cigarette packets (especially the old paper ones) is that it’s very hard to transfer a full packet – the last few are a squeeze and you’ll start to get wrinkles on the outside of several of them if you try too hard (or even break them)….so to me the lack of a K packet anywhere (I would have liked to see it in the suitcase 🙁 ) suggests (doesn’t prove of course) that either he had purchased these cigarettes individually; or he had bummed them off someone (but who’s going to let you have 8 cigarettes?); or they were planted. The quantity of them, and the lack of any evidence of the rest of the packet to me suggests he never had the rest of the packet….

  73. Misca: Fingers crossed 3rd time lucky. So Ian was born in ’26. Mum Ida in ’82 and 1st child Marjorie in ’99 which is a long re-productive period and a big stretch for mine so to speak. Grace Olga McAlpine/ Wilson died in ’77, then 7 years for Cyril to become legally dead in ’85 and her estate settled thus. Is there any more that we can do to validate this Sqam business, actually I mean you of course. Ian Andrew was some sort of politician & noted sportsman but maybe a later generation and may have already given historical background on his Swedish antecedents.yafph

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