Saturday, March 13, 2010

William Hodge the policeman (6)

After the smal flurry of articles from Jan 1852 to Jul 1853 describing William Hodge's police work in the South Head Road vicinity (which included being assaulted/beaten at least twice) there is a significant gap till William again appears in newspapers in Oct 1859, now a police constable (rather than sergeant) at Gundagai.
We know from property deeds that William purchased a block of land at Gundagai in 1855 so they transfered around that time, and being in far-flung Gundagai police activities were not reported in the SMH, though it is likely that a 'local' paper such as the Gouldburn Herald will yield more details.

In this final article related to William's police work (originally found by Steve Hodge), it described him again being beaten, this time by two prisoners. The first report was in the Argus (Melbourne):

The Argus
Monday 3 October 1859
The following is the substance of a telegram from Gundagai relating to the escape of two prisoners:
"On Saturday night, about 7 o'clock, two prisoners, awaiting their trials at the Gundagai Sessions, escaped from the lock-up in this town, after seriously beating the constable with the butt end of a pistol and batten. Two women, the constables' wives, were also hurt in trying to assist their husbands to prevent the escape of the prisoners. The two men have not been recaptured yet."

A more complete report following in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 4 October 1859

GUNDAGAI, SEPTEMBER 26TH, This town was thrown into a great state of excitement, on Saturday night, by the report that two prisoners had escaped from the lock-up. The report proved correct, and the facts of the case are simply these: About seven o'clock, the constable, William Hodge, in charge of the prisoners, was in the act of taking some tea for the prisoners into the cell, and as soon as he opened the cell door, the two prisoners rished at him and dragged him into the cell. He called out for his pistol, and a constable's wife (Mrs. Harvey) was in the act of giving it to him when one of the prisoners took the pistol from her and struck her a severe blow on the head and then gave the constable's aton to the other prisoner, when both commenced beating Hodge in a terrible manner about the head with the butt end of the pistol and the baton. The two prisoners made their escape, taking with them the pistol and baton. The two women did their best to aid and assist, but against such determined villains, and with such weapons in their hands, their efforts were unavailing. The men are not yet recaptured. They were awaiting trial for saddle stealing at Adlong. Correspondent Goulburn Herald.

There was a very short follow-up article I've found in the Maitland Mercury.

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser
Thursday 6 October 1859
Constable Hodge, who was severely beaten by the two prisoners who recently made their escape from the Gundagai lock-up, is rapidly approaching convalescence. 

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