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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

William Arthur GILLARD

Born 1909 in Beesands, Devonshire, England [20] [21]
Son of fisherman Albert GILLARD and Emma Mary STEER [20] [21]
In 1911 he was living in Beesands with his maternal grandparents, parents and elder sisters Eliza, Maud and Florence [20]
His last address before leaving England was at Park Farm in Kingbridge, Devonshire, England [203]
Departed London, England on the steamship Orontes on 26 October 1929 bound for Western Australia [203]
After a month at sea he arrived on the Orontes in Fremantle, Western Australia on 25 November 1929 [63]
Farmhand for F. W. Gustav LIEBE on Waddi Farm in Waddy Forest in 1930[4: 1-Feb-1930]
Following the explosion of a kerosene tin he was severely burnt was rushed to the hospital in Three Springs, where he died [4: 1-Feb-1930]
Died 29 January 1930 in Three Springs; buried Three Springs General Cemetery, Three Springs (Methodist, Plot 2) [4: 1-Feb-1930] [24]


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 1 February 1930:
Burned - A Sudden Explosion
"A farm worker named William Gillard, aged 19 years, employed by Mr Liebe, Waddy Waddy, met with his death under tragic circumstances on Wednesday. It appears from inquiries made by Constable Street, of Three Springs, that the young man was handling a tin of kerosene, and was smoking at the time, when an explosion occurred. He was immediately enveloped in flames and all his clothing was burned off him. Assistance was promptly rendered, and the unfortunate man, who had received terrible injuries, was hurried to the Three Springs Hospital. He was met at Carnamah by Dr. Mayrhofer and Matron Coffey, who rendered immediate attention, and on arrival at Three Springs everything was done for him. No hope was, however, entertained from the first, owing to his extensive and serious injuries. He remained conscious practically to the last, but died a few hours after admission to the hospital. Two Italians, who were working about half a mile away, told Constable Street that they heard a sudden report, and immediately after saw a dense column of black smoke. When this had cleared away they saw Gillard fall to the ground with his arms outstretched. A subsequent examination at the spot of the tin of kerosene showed there was a small nail hole in it, through which it is supposed gas, generated by the heat of the sun, had escaped, and, coming into contact with Gillard's cigarette - it is supposed he was smoking a cigarette - had become ignited, causing the explosion. An inquest was afterwards held at Three Springs, at which a verdict of accidental death was returned. The funeral took place in the Three Springs cemetery. Deceased had only been in Western Australia about two months. He is understood to have a brother living in Devonshire, but so far as can be ascertained, he had no relatives in the State."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'William Arthur Gillard' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 9 August 2022 from www.carnamah.com.au/bio/william-arthur-gillard [reference list]




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