& Family Tragedies
Henry (Henrys brother, James married Elizabeth Ann Pearce, grand-daughter of our
Cornish mining ancestor, Henry Whitford).
AGE 11 YEARS. DIED APRIL 9th 1869. WALLAROO TIMES. APRIL 14th 1869. CORONER'S INQUEST AT KADINA. An inquest was held on the 10th day of April before Mr. G.N. Birks J.P. on the body of a little boy named Henry Medlin, who was accidentally killed in the Wallaroo Mines on the previous day, while playing with the truck wagons. After the jury, of which Mr. Walter Way was foreman, had been empanelled and had viewed the body, the following evidence was taken -
Dr. Croft - Was a legally qualified medical practitioner - Was called upon about 1 p.m. on April 9th to see the deceased, Henry Medlin. He was perfectly insensible at the time, appeared to be suffering from concussion of the brain. I suspect also that there was a fracture of the base of the skull. I called again to see him about an hour afterwards but he was then dead. He had not rallied from the time I saw him first. It was by the application of the stethoscope that I could not detect any signs of life, There was a slight graze on the right cheek but I could not detect any external fracture of the skull.
Charles White, aged 13 - I and Augustus Rogers pushed out the wagon and then we stopped it, Henry Medlin got on to ride. I told him to get, off and he would not. We then pushed the wagon into the crusher, then he sang out, stop it. I could not stop it, and jumped out of the way and cleared myself. I told him to look out for his head, and he looked round to see what I said, and the wagon went against his head and a round iron and he fell down on his back. The wagon was at the crusher, and runs on rails. After he had fallen down, the bell had gone to go to work. I looked at him and turned away as I did not like to look at him. He never spoke or called out after he fell. I had not seen the deceased since. I told two men there was a boy at the crusher killed.
By the foreman - He was sitting on the edge of the wagon towards the crusher outside of the wagon, his legs outside the wagon.
Augustus Rogers, 13 years - I was going from dinner when I met Harry Medlin, who overtook me down among the firewood, we both went together on the line and Harry got onto the wagon to ride, and Charles White was in the front of the wagon pulling and I was behind pushing.
I gave the wagon a good push, and it went so swift down to the crusher that he had no time to clear himself from the box of the crusher. When the wagon was going so swift he sang out "Stop it" and I tried to stop it but could not. I let go and got off. Then I heard some man call to another man that there is a boy hurt. I went up to the crusher when I heard that, and I saw Henry Medlin lying on his back but he did not speak or move. I then went to work, and when I went home from work I went over to see him but he was dead. I was down by Hosking's House about 30 yards from the crusher. I did not see him fall down. I got off the rails while the wagon was going. I jumped off the wagon outside the crush house. The deceased was riding on the end of the wagon outside with his foot on the handle. I was not riding on the wagon, I was only pushing, and I jumped off the rails.
Charles Williams, miner - I was standing by the crusher house yesterday April 9th, and I saw three boys on the line, one of them was in the wagon, one in front pulling and another behind shoving the wagon. I saw them about six yards before they came to the crush house. I never heard any words pass between the boys. I saw deceased attempt to get out of the wagon. He succeeded in getting his legs out, and then a partition wall prevented me from seeing the wagon for a second or two. I saw the deceased the other side of the wall in the crush house. He then had his hands holding last on by the front of the wagon attempting to leave go I should judge, before he could leave go, his head was caught between a round bar of iron and the wagon, and he immediately fell. I sprang in and lifted him from the place about 3 yards away. I called out to a man going along, the first one that came was William Harris. I did not see Charles White there after the boy fell. The wagon rebounded after striking.
By the foreman -The deceased was inside the wagon at first, he attempted to get out. He was on the tail of the wagon, not on side. When I lifted him up he was bleeding from the nose and the right ear.
Peter Medlin, miner - I am the father of the deceased, Henry Medin. I was going down to the mine yesterday, April, 9th, after dinner the boy left me 7 or 8 minutes before at the gate of my house. I was going through the wood on the mine and I saw a lot of people running up to the crusher and I thought I would go up and see what was the matter as I thought I heard say there was a boy killed. On my way up to see what was the matter I met Mr. Mutton. He said "You need not go up, you can not do much good, the boy is dead". "I asked him "What boy". He said "Your boy." I sat down and William Ellis came and told me boy not dead. I wanted to see him but they would not let me go up. They brought the boy home about half past 1, saw him breathe. The doctor, Dr. Croft came with or before the boy. Dr. Stone was there when the boy died. He told me the boy was dead. The boy was 11 years of age last December. The jury returned the following verdict namely -That the deceased came to his death accidentally.
Yorke Peninsula Advertiser, Friday 28th September 1900:
Fatal Accident at Wallaroo Mines
Early on Tuesday afternoon last, a sad accident resulted in the death of Mr Hedley Dodd, a much respected resident, occurred at Wallaroo Mines. According to the details given by the Kadina and Wallaroo Times, the pare (sic) comprising Messrs George and Arthur Dodd and James Anderson and deceased, Hedley Dodd were engaged stoping in the back of the 240 and 60 feet east of Taylors Shaft. At about 1.45 pm several tons of rock and earth fell from the back. Three of the party were fortunate enough to jump free and thus escape without injury, but the deceased, who was on top of the stye they had put up, must have jumped right under the falling debris. The time being near that for the men of the shift coming to the surface. The information was at once communicated to the officer. After an examination of the place where the accident occurred, it was decided to put in some timber to protect those employed in the work of rescue. This took two or three hours, and then the work of removing the stuff was started. At about 9 oclock the body was brought to the surface, where it was examined by Dr Letcher, who after careful examination said there were no bones broken. There was a slight wound just above the left eye and on the back of the head and the small of the back showed character as to the cause of death, which was from all appearances, suffocation. The other members of the pare (sic) had miraculous escapes. George Dodds ankle was slightly bruised, James Anderson, who is the last of a family of 10 children, had his trousers cut from the waistband down the leg, and Arthur Dodd escaped with a fright.
The deceased has, with the exception of two or three years, been a resident of the district since his childhood, and leaves a wife and six children (sic) and his aged parents for who the deepest sympathy is felt by all in their sad bereavement.
An inquest was held on Wednesday, when the jury found that the occurrence was accidental, there being no blame attachable to anyone.
Footnote: At the time of Hedleys death his wife Lucy was pregnant with their eighth child. As a result of the shock of his death the baby was born prematurely three weeks after her fathers death. Laurel, as the baby was named, "was a pitiful little thing and was carried around on a cushion. She was wringing her hands all the time and passed away at the age of three and a half months" (oral family history).
Lucy lost four of her eight children in infancy. She had to bear separation from Hedley before his death when he and many other miners travelled to Broken Hill, New South Wales to work while the local mines were closed during strikes. A relief fund for Hedleys family raised about £120 and the widow received a pound a week from the Mines for the first twelve months. She opened her home in Gawler Street, Kadina as a nursing home, mainly maternity, and became a registered mid-wife.
Obituary, Albert James "Foster" Dodd (1873 1901)
The remains of the late Mr Foster Dodd were interred in the Kadina Cemetery this afternoon and the funeral was one of the largest ever seen there. A number of the miners, members of the Kadina Bicycle Club, representatives of the Y.P. Cricketing Association and members of the Wallaroo Mines Cricket Club marched to the burial ground and the officers of the club acted as pall-bearers. The cortege was quite a mile long.
A partly obliterated report also follows:
Kadina Foster Dodd, a son of Mr Jabez Dodd night. The deceased was seized with a Thursday, and never regained consciousness. a most studious young man, and was and respected. Much sympathy is felt for relatives. The deceased was secretary of the Wallaroo Mines Cricket Club.
Obituary, Arthur Allan (1877 1911)
1911 newspaper report (partially obliterated)
On Sunday morning Mr Arthur Allan Dodd, son of Mr Jabez Dodd, of Jerusalem, near Kadina, died from bronchitis and pneumonia, leaving a wife and three young children, the eldest of whom is about eight years and the youngest child, seven months. Mr Dodd was 34 years of age and he was a healthy young man. He had never been laid up until last week.
He was suffering from a cold on the Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning he had to give in and take to his bed. Medical attendance was secured and it was then known that he was suffering from bronchitis and pneumonia.
Early on Sunday morning he died. Deceased was an active young man. He was a prominent cricketer, and was a member of the Wallaroo Mines from the time he could handle a bat. He was captain of the team for many years and was also a prominent footballer.
He was one of the first enrolment of militia men in F Company and when he retired from the military forces he held the rank of corporal. Of late years he had withdrawn from sport &c., and devoted himself almost to political matters. He was secretary of the Kadina Branch of the United Labor Party, an honorary position which he filled faithfully and well. He knew the bias of opponents and also the indifference of those whom he was serving. He was a powerful influence at election times, and he undoubtedly did more canvassing in Kadina than any half dozen members of the party. Above all he was a good husband and father. He was thrifty, and an estimable citizen in every respect. He was a diligent and competent workman. He was a member of the Rachabite Lodge (rest obliterated).
OBITUARY We regret to report the death of Mr Arthur Allan Dodd of Kadina, which took place at his late residence on Sunday morning. The deceased, who was son of Mr Jabez Dodd, of Kadina and a brother of the Hon Jabez Dodd, MLC of Western Australia, was well known and highly esteemed throughout the district. He was 34 years of age and had spent the whole of his life in this district, being employed as a miner at the Wallaroo Mines. His illness was of a short duration, as it was only last Wednesday that he intimated to his wife that he was not feeling well, he did not intend to go to work that day.
The cause of death was bronchial pneumonia. In cricketing and football circles, Mr Dodd was very popular, he for some time, having held the position of captain of the Kadina and Wallaroo Mines Cricket Club. He was recognised to be one of the best wicket-keepers on the Peninsula, with his team and Association teams made several trips to Adelaide and other parts of the State to take part in cricket matches. He took a keen and active interest in politics, and for several years held the office of Secretary of the Kadina branch of the United Labor Party.
He leaves a widow (formerly Miss Langdon, a daughter of Mr R Langdon, of Kadina), and a family of three young children, the eldest being eight years of age and the youngest seven months. The funeral of the deceased, which took place on Monday afternoon, was largely attended by members of the various organisations with which he was associated, and his fellow employees. The Rev A Carne conducted the burial service. Mr G R Haddy had charge of the funeral arrangements.
"The Plain Dealer", Saturday June 15 1912
We extract the following paragraphs, relative to the Honourable Jabez Dodd, Honorary Minister in the WA Labor Government, from the Kalgoorlie "Sun":
The position occupied by Jabez Dodd on these goldfields is probably without a parallel in the whole history of Labor. His absolute integrity is questioned by no one, and in matters of large industrial importance he is as freely trusted by the most inveterate opponents of Labor as by Laborites themselves. It is only the plain truth to say of Dodd that at any time during recent years he has held the making of marring of the goldfields in the hollow of his hand. Without wishing for a moment to discount the steadying influence of many of his lieutenants or to magnify that of the man himself, it may be admitted that the junior member for the South Province holds a debit against the goldfields, the liquidation of which (in hard cash) would land us high and dry on the rocks. We can only offer our best good-will which is not negotiable at the bank.
Extract from pamphlet "Legislative Council Elections South Province"
Labor Candidate J E Dodd Opens the Campaign before a Large and Enthusiastic Audience
The Mining Industry
He (Jabez Dodd) was in favor of the labor covenants being retained. There had been a movement recently in the direction of granting freeholds to mining leases. He hoped that system would never be reverted to. Whilst opposed to freehold of leases, he was in favour of more aid being extended to prospectors. The proceeds of the dividend tax might very well be applied to their assistance. He was of the opinion that when mining companies could utilise their West Australian-made profits in developing other countries, they should be compelled to encourage the development of this country by assisting the prospector. He was in favor of an up-to-date Reduction Plant as advocated by the Prospectors Association of Kalgoorlie being erected in some central place for the treatment of refractory ores. A great amount of sulphide ore was being broken by tributers, which either received indifferent treatment or could not be treated at all. The railway rates for the carriage of such ore might well be reduced to a nominal sum, seeing that it would be mostly back loading. Wealthy mining companies, who in the early stages of their existence earned thousands of pounds in profits, should be compelled to keep their development work ahead. When a mine was paying handsomely it should be compelled to keep development ahead of stoping. A case in point was the Lake View and Brown Hill mines. Some few years ago the Lake View was turning out a ton of gold per month in dividends. This was owing to the fact that a very rich chute of ore existed. Now the company had to do most of its expensive work with a very small profit each month. When the next case came before the Arbitration Court we would, no doubt, have figures relating to the latter years of the mines life put in as evidence, and the court may base an award upon the evidence thus supplied. Had we a clause in the Mining Act making it compulsory to carry on development work whilst profitable ore is being obtained, several of the non-paying mines might now be in a better position. Other matters requiring attention are the number of leases held under exemption, and the tribute question. The tribute regulation by which all men manning a lease are supposed to receive half-wages are a farce. Many leases are now being prospected and developed on behalf of mining companies, by poor fellows who are not making their salt. If a company cannot find funds to work a lease in six months, they should throw it open.
Farewell to Mr & Mrs Dodd by Miners Union (unsourced):
On Friday evening the members of the Kalgoorlie and Boulder branch of the Federated Miners Union gave a social to Mr and Mrs J E Dodd at the Boulder Town Hall. The Chairman (Mr McLeod) in proposing the health of their guests, said that Mr Dodd had built up a reputation among them of which any man might be proud while the work of Mrs Dodd in the Labor movement, and in the cause of charity, had earned their deepest gratitude. (hear, hear). Not the least of Mrs Dodds sacrifices was the loss of her husbands society during so many years of struggle. Mr Dodd had been secretary of the original AMA and subsequently secretary of the Eastern Goldfields branch after the federation 11 years in total without once being opposed. (hear hear). In addition to this Mr Dodd had filled a number of other posts in the movement. He had now severed his official connection with the Miners Union in order to take Ministerial office, but he still intended to remain a member of the union. The keynote of Mr Dodds career amongst them had been a constant endeavour to do his best for those with whom he was associated. He was rightly considered the most capable and efficient official that any union in the State or perhaps in Australia had ever possessed (applause). Prior to the federation of the AWA and the AMA Mr Dodd had done a lot of fighting. But ever his opponents had always conceded that Mr Dodd was actuated by the highest motives, never swerving from what he considered was right. Thus he had always been respected, and with acquaintance respect became liking and regard. (hear hear).
Mr Munzie, MLA said he had first made Mr Dodds acquaintance at the time of the amalgamation. Sometimes he had not seen eye to eye with him, but the longer he knew Mr Dodd the more he liked him. No man had done more on the goldfields to advance the cause of Labor than their guest. It had been his constant aim to purify the movement. The same motive would doubtless actuate him in the higher sphere to which he had been called and pure legislation would be the result. (hear hear).
Mr Kirwan MLC in supporting the toast said that Mr Dodd had become an institution on the goldfields, where the people would be sorry to lose him. He was regarded with the utmost respect, and inspired the highest confidence, amongst all classes. The Government was to be congratulated on being represented in the Legislative Council by two such men as Mr Drew and Mr Dodd, both men of moderate views and sound judgment, both of whom have the respect of their fellow members, and both of whom are regarded as men who, when they believe themselves to be in the right, will stick to it through thick and thin. While the goldfields would regret the absence of Mr Dodd it was the general hope that the change would restore him to health. (hear hear).
Mr Openshaw, vice-president of the FMU said that, in the hottest of debates Mr Dodd had always been relied on to put contestants on the right track. Such was his influence that at the Menzies conference outback delegates who had never before seen him fell immediately under his spell. He believed that if Mr Dodd were to move at a conference a vote of confidence in the Wilson government the delegates would carry it. (laughter). Mr Dodds work had been enormous. It was not a question of eight hours a day, but mostly it was 12 and 16 hour. (hear hear).
Mr Cornell said that the last time he had spoken in the hall some years ago he had predicted that Mr Dodd would become a Minister of the Crown. He had therefore proved a true prophet. One thing unionists had always admired in Mr Dodd that was his singleness and sincerity of purpose. He never thought of himself, but always of the movement. (hear, hear). They all regretted his breakdown in health, and one of their deepest debts of gratitude was due to Mrs Dodd for her untiring efforts to secure her husbands recovery.
Mr A Campbell referred to the first time he met Mr Dodd in 1897, at Coolgardie. He admired him then, and he admired him still. Mr Kirwan had referred to Mr Dodds "moderate views". Mr Dodd had a moderate way of putting things, but he (the speaker) knew that nothing short of justice would satisfy Mr Dodd, and for that he would fight against all opposition. (applause). He considered Mr Dodd the ablest union secretary in Australia, he who would make his mark in the House of Jabez. (hear, hear and laughter). Mr Ramsay McDonald, the British Labor leader, had described Mr Dodd as the strongest man in the W A Labor movement (hear, hear).
The chairman then presented Mr Dodd with a gold watch, while Mrs Collet, on behalf of the Womens Labor League presented Mrs Dodd with a silver hot-water kettle.
Mr Dodd, who was received with prolonged applause, said he found it somewhat difficult to speak. He was as it were, born into the Labor movement. He and Mr Campbell had founded the AWA at Coolgardie. At one time he began to fancy himself a poet, publishing verses in a manuscript paper which they called the "Daily Expose". (laughter). But Broken Hill and W.A. had knocked all the poetry out of him. He had shunned the limelight of the movement, taking up secretarial work in preference, although it had often been very hard with little to show. He had to thank Mrs Dodd for her help through it all. Twelve years ago, when it seemed likely that they would lose the Trades Hall, Mrs Dodd had set to work to organise a fair. That was her initiation into the Labor movement. Since then he thought no one had worked harder than Mrs Dodd. (hear hear). At Brown Hill, at every election during the last 10 or 12 years she had been a prominent worker. He personally had much to thank her for since he had failed in health, and he regarded her as a true guide, philosopher and friend. (hear, hear). At Brown Hill, at every election during the last 10 or 12 years, she had been a prominent worker. He appreciated all the kind things, which had been said of him by Mr Kirwan and others. He asked unionists to extend every consideration to his successor. A secretarys work was not what it used to be. So much legislation had been passed which concerned the worker that a secretary had to be almost a lawyer. Visitors came to him from outback requiring help on all sorts of matters. He asked unionists to remember that a saving of 10/- or £1 a week was not of so much consideration as securing the right man. In giving up his position as secretary of the goldfields branch of the FMU he was pleased to say that the branch had a credit balance of £3,000 (loud applause).
Mrs Dodd, who rose amidst applause, thanked the members of the Womens Labor League for their presentation. It had pleased her to hear so many good things said that evening about Mr Dodd, because she knew how hard he worked. (hear, hear). She was in a position to know these things, because she had often acted as his steward, receiving on his behalf £25 and £30 a fortnight. In the Womens Labor League she had always taken an interest, for four years representing it on the ALF. She felt in leaving the league, she was leaving good friends. (hear, hear).
A number of other toasts were then honoured, after which the hall was cleared for dancing.
Popular Labor Politician
Death of Mr Dodd, MLC Popular Labor Politician
Mr Jabez Edward Dodd, MLC one of the most able and popular members of the State Parliament, died yesterday at the residence of Mrs J Noble, of Bagot-road, Subiaco, a close personal friend. Disease had crippled him for some years and he had been gradually failing. He was 60 years of age.
Mr Dodd was born at Callington, South Australia, in 1867, but his parents left for the famous copper mining town of Kadina when he was only four years of age, and he lived in that town till he was 22 years old. From Kadina he proceeded to Broken Hill where he stayed for seven years and became intimately connected with the Labor movement. Two great strikes occurred while he was employed on the mines at the Barrier, namely, those of 1890 and 1892. Four years later, when the Western Australian gold rush set in, Mr Dodd went to Coolgardie, where he stayed for three years before proceeding to Kalgoorlie. His organising capacity and all-round ability were quickly recognised at Coolgardie, where he became one of the founders of the miners' organisation, the AMU which later developed into the AMA, and after further changes is now known as the Mining Branch of the Australian Workers' Union.
At Kalgoorlie, Mr Dodd became secretary of the WFMU and it is not easy to speak in too high terms of the influence he exercised amongst the miners, and indeed, amongst the whole of the goldfields population. His wide experience gained in Broken Hill and on the Western Australian goldfields enabled him to speak authoritatively in regard to mining matters, and by almost all sections of the people he was regarded as a guide, philosopher, and friend. Under his guidance friction was reduced to a minimum, and the Miners' Union was placed on a firm basis. His probity and ability were widely recognised, and he was appointed a justice of the peace in 1904. He wielded a fluent pen on behalf of the Labor movement. Later he turned his thoughts towards the political arena and at the Legislative Council elections of 1910 he became a member for the South Province. He then resigned his position as secretary of the Kalgoorlie and Boulder branch of the Federated Miners' Union and from then on his work was confined mainly to the political sphere.
Then followed the great Labor win at the polls and the formation of the Scaddan Government. Mr Dodd was appointed an Honorary Minister on October 7 1911 and held office until July 27 1916. He would probably have received a portfolio but for the fact that he was already becoming crippled by the insidious malady, rheumatoid arthritis, which rendered the latter years of his life a burden. To the last, however, he fought against his illness with wonderful courage and good humour. In 1915 he, with his wife, went to England for the primary purpose of seeking medical advice, and he was accorded a hearty send-off at a Labor social. Although the quest proved to be in vain, Mr Dodd upon his return took up his Ministerial duties again with his customary cheerfulness and thoroughness. Then followed the defeat of the Scaddan Government and the accession of the Wilson Government to power. In the meantime, the war had entered upon a serious phase and the call for men became urgent. The Labor Congress at Kalgoorlie in 1916 passed a resolution in favour of trusting the Federal Government in the matter but despite that fact a great discussion soon raged in the ranks of the party on the conscription question. Two of Mr Dodd's sons had gone to the front, and when the split in the ranks of the Labor Party came, Mr Dodd felt that he had no alternative but to support compulsory military service. It speaks volumes, however, for the affection felt for him amongst all sections of the people when it is known that at the election of 1922 no opposition was tendered to his nomination for re-election for the South Province.
Despite the distressing nature of his illness, Mr Dodd continued to attend the sittings of the Legislative Council, where his speeches were always listened to with the closest attention. For years he had been a local preacher of the Wesleyan Church, and at various times he filled the pulpits of various denominations. Like every thoughtful man, he deplored the war deeply, but in an address before the North Perth Presbyterian Church he told his hearers of how in some respects humanity had gained as the result of the dreadful struggle, instancing the improvement of medical knowledge and the breaking down of the class spirit. Mr Dodd has left a widow and five sons.
The funeral will take place to-morrow.
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