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Northern Territory Coroners file 1

January 28, 2011

While searching for something in the National Archives of Australia index, I found a digital file that contained documents held in a folder called “Coroners Certificates Inquest Unnecessary – December 1930 to December 1936” [Series E72; Control Symbol DL872; Item Barcode 3157294] from the Northern Territory, held in Darwin.

What it contained was fascinating.  When there is a fire, or if someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly, a Coroner’s Inquest is usually needed.  Except when it isn’t.  This file contains documents related to fires and deaths – Coroner’s certificates stating that an Inquest is not required, and correspondence, records of investigation and correspondence related to investigations of fires and deaths where the Coroner has deemed that an official inquest is not required.

I have some ancestors/family members who I know have died in such sudden circumstances, and have searched for Coroner’s Inquests and newspaper items related to Coroner’s Inquests, and have been unable to find them.  This file may explain why, and if similar files exist in other jurisdictions, may help me find them after all.

The other thing I discovered is that although the National Archives has indexed it by name of deceased (it turned up in my search, but didn’t contain the information I was looking for), there are a multitude of other names – police officers, JP (Justice of the Peace) Coroners and witnesses and details of people’s lives that are not directly related to the deceased or the incident in question, and these are not indexed.

So I did my public service for the day, and started indexing it.  There are 264 pages scanned into this file.  I have currently indexed 101 of those.  I have saved them into a spreadsheet, so that when I copy them here, they will be searchable as text on the page.  If you would like a copy of the original spreadsheet, please let me know.

The names are surname first, so that I could alphabetise them by surname.  Page numbers refer to the page as it appears in the digitised file.  Dates may be the date of the incident or the date of the document – you would need to refer to the original file to be sure, but it gives a ballpark date for the event.

I discovered while doing this that the spreadsheet application I use – iWork Numbers – very kindly provides the day, when you enter a date.  In many cases the day was also provided in the document, and was identical to the day provided by Numbers.  This will come in handy one day when I have a date and want to know a day 🙂

The rather racist (sometimes very racist) descriptions of Aboriginal people and people of Middle-Eastern and Asian descent are as stated in the document.  I apologise in advance for any offence these might cause.  Inspite of the offence they caused me, I have included them as stated in the documents (except I have capitalised the A in Aboriginal because my hands won’t type a lower case a for Aboriginal), for accuracy, and to illustrate the contents of the documents for those who may/may not wish to visit the original.

Here are the first 55 pages, containing entries from 1935 and 1936 and possibly one or two from 1934.  I will post some more soon.

Name Description Date Place Page Number Comment
Ah Mat Jack looks after the lugger ‘Venture’ for Mr Freer Wednesday, 26 December 1934 Darwin 90
Allen Mr Schoolmaster Tuesday, 20 October 1936 Tennant Creek 16
Ambrose Mr Monday, 28 January 1935 Banka Banka Station 76
Arthur Aboriginal boy 81, 82
Baldock Murray Tuesday, 20 October 1936 Tennant Creek 14 , 16
Ball-i-ya Polly old lubra Wednesday, 9 January 1935 Moffit Creek 81, 82, 83, 84, 86 Age 50 Occupation Nil Residence Moffit Creek Anywhere
Bankin Ellis M School teacher, Victorian Education Department on/about 16 January 1936 near Lynda Vale Station 34 Age about 33 years, place of residence State School, Glenroy W9,
Barker Harry truck passenger, off-sider to Claude Golder, employee of Samuel Irvine Monday, 30 March 1936 Egg Flat 28
Barton Anarew Bojan Wednesday, 16 September 1936 Wilson’s Farm Nr Darwin 20 – 21 Cause of death – Natural Causes
Bathern Eva Halfcaste; household duties Saturday, 7 July 1934 Beetaloo Station; OT Station 95 – 96 Age 42 years; cause of death, symptoms Heart Trouble
Bavistock Dave Tuesday, 20 October 1936 Tennant Creek 14, 16 also T Bavistock
Beckett Rev Tuesday, 20 October 1936 Tennant Creek 16
Bell Norman C SM Coroner 10 March 1936;  7 February 1936; 21 January 1936; 30 – 31; 35 – 36; 37 – 38;
Bin-bara-mudgee Mick Aboriginal man Tennant Creek 8,182
Birt Constable Tuesday, 20 October 1936 Tennant Creek 16
Bohnning Ester mother of John Bohnning Saturday, 5 January 1935 Helen Springs 77 gave a ride and food and water to the deceased
Bohnning John Henry son of Mrs Bohnning Monday, 7 January 1935 Helen Springs 77
Bool-la-la-katie Jack Aboriginal man Moffit Creek 81
Bridgland Sgt Darwin 77, 79
Brown Robert Stockman Wednesday, 27 February 1935 Auvergne Station 65 – 66 54 years; cause of death gunshot wound self inflicted whilst suffering intense pain from abscess on pelvis bone
Bruce native 78
Burton William Porter-Pumper Katherine 75
Bye James Allan Stockman Friday, 1 March 1935 Leinman [?] River 63 – 64 Age about 35; The Deceased came to his death as the result from a fall from a horse aggravating an old wound.
Calma Arsinue child of Martin Calma Wednesday, 26 December 1934 Darwin 90
Calma Martin father of Arsinue Calma; owner of a boat anchored near ‘Venture’ Wednesday, 26 December 1934 Darwin 90
Cammy half-caste Mucketty bore 76 gave food to deceased
Cara-caronilli Nora young lubra Wednesday, 9 January 1935 Moffit Creek 81, 82, 83, 85, 87 also Nora Cara-nilli; Age 26 Occupation Nil Residence Moffit Creek Anywhere
Carrington FG Coroner 3 April 1936;  16 February 1936 Woodford Creek 27, 34 Fire to a ‘Garford’ motor truck registered number 1017 on the Thirtieth day of March 1936
Comboon Paddy Aboriginal native Katherine 47 – 48 discovered the body and reported the death; also Paddy Camboon
Cox Cyril Katherine 74, 75 Went home from Railway Hotel with James Malachy Cullen
Crowson William Arthur Hall Manager Friday, 24 May 1935 Wave Hill 51 – 52 Age about 58 years
Cullen James Malachy Railway Fettler Friday, 1 February 1935 Katherine 72 – 74 Residence Katherine; Death due to heart failure and natural causes; aged 47 years; Residing at Railway Terrace, Katherine; lived in a Fettlers Hut; Died suddenly at his residence; died in his sleep;
Cummings Albert Edward Darwin 90
Devine Charles Labourer Wednesday, 9 January 1935 Banka Banka Station 67 – 68 45 years; Last known place of residence Birdum.
Don GL Mounted Constable Darwin 91
Donegan ex tracker Friday, 11 January 1935 Battens Creek 78
Edwards boat owner; employer of Japanese Darwin 90
Edwards James Mtd Constable Wednesday, 30 January 1935 Newcastle Waters 76 – 77
Elsie half-caste Tuesday, 29 January 1935 Banka Banka Station 76 found body of deceased
Fatt Chin Age about 78 years, Pensioner (Ration Orders), Brocks Creek for a number of years Thursday, 17 December 1936 Brocks Creek 1 – 2 Death due to old age.
Fawcett Mr 91
Fenton Doctor Katherine Hospital 62 Absent at Pine Creek attending a railway accident at the time of report.
Freer Cecil owner of lugger ‘Venture’ Wednesday, 26 December 1934 Darwin 88 -91
Giles Harold S JP Coroner Friday, 17 May 1935 63 – 64
Golder Claude driver of the truck, employee of Samuel Irvine Monday, 30 March 1936 Egg Flat 28, 29 driver’s licence No 232 issued in Darwin, at present an inmate of the local AIM Hostel suffering from shock and sever burns to the arms (up to above the elbows) and the side of the face
Graham CW Constable 29, 42
Greville Mounted Constable 78
Hancock Thomas Ralph Motor Driver, employed by Hughes JOnes looking after his Interests during his absence in Southern States. Tuesday, 20 October 1936 Tennant Creek 14, 15, 16 – 19, Statement p. 14, also R Hancock, also Ralph Hancock; list of property lost in fire p. 19
Harvey Charles JP Coroner Saturday, 26 January 1935 92 – 93
Hassan Afghan Alice Springs 42
Havey Charles JP Coroner Booroloola 78
Hoffman John aged 29 hours Sunday, 3 March 1935 Katherine Hospital 62 Born about 4am the previous day; complications of birth and use of instruments caused injuries;
Hoffman Mrs mother of John Hoffman Katherine Hospital 62 Was about 2 weeks over her time and the baby was a big one.
Hollingsworth Thomas Engineer Thursday, 16 May 1935 Alroy Downs Station 53 – 57 was treated in Mt Isa District Hospital for heart trouble; Age of Deceased About 60 years; Died 16 May 1935 at Alroy Downs, buried 17 May 1935.
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