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a possible new line of enquiry, updated.

From Byron D:

AdelaideNow published an article by Lynton Grace 29th April 2015 that includes a photo of “Jo Thomson” that shows her aged about 14 (?) in a school photograph.

The school looks fairly high quality judging from the brick work etc. and I think that one of your readers might be able to identify the school. The odd sized bricks would seem to be a possible clue.

If we can identify the school (or tie) where Jessie (“Jo Thomson”) was attending circa 1935 then we might then be able to discover if she went by the surname Harkness, or something else.

If it is “something else”, as I suspect, this would open up a new line of inquiry.

middle row, far right

The article.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/somerton-man-mystery-new-details-revealed-of-jo-thomson-nurse-in-the-case/news-story/4c6bccbd2318584ad0cc6daaf3d8abd4

A co-educational secondary school with a full uniform of socks, pullovers, jackets and ties .. in the thirties, in Sydney.

~~

Comments from other threads :

I remember the photo coming up on Derek’s site about 8 months back. The setting didn’t look right somehow and did not look like depression generation kids to me; too tidy, too healthy though the school appeared somewhat suburban Marrickville if that’s possible. Sanders.

Looks as if the girls are wearing some type of wide collar (?), is it some kind of Quaker school perhaps? Clive.

Mordialloc College Melbourne circa. 1964 is my opinion. Sanders.

The kid standing under the far fourth window looks a lot like Robin to me so we‘ll amend the year to ‘62, say about August/September just before the hols. When he was two months off his fifteenth birthday. Someone is having a lend of us; Can you guess. Sanders.

Very weird.
I actually thought that the boy directly behind Jess looked a lot like Robin and assumed that maybe it was one of her brothers!
You are correct JS. See here:
http://www.kingston.vic.gov.au/library/Library-Services/Local-History/Kingston-Historical-Walking-Trails/Mordialloc-Trail/Mordialloc-College
…But the picture on their website is marked 1937 and the windows are looking about the same as on the other photo so, the timeframe would seem correct. Misca.

Also…Second row, the second boy in from the left…I think he looks like a young version of SM. Is there any way to access alumni information? Misca.

No doubt the kid is Robin, so did the family move to Victoria from S.A. or was there a split and who is the little cutie with the halo sitting down in front of Beatle Rob. You can bet London to a brick it ain’t our Jessie circa, ‘35. There‘s so much history missing from this yarn, almost as if we’re not meant to get to the Taman (sic). Sanders.

Don’t let us create any conundrums with this one, the hairstyles give it up and you can see that Robin in particular wears his long which is early sixties trend, certainly not proper for mid thirties and Jessie‘s school days. Now have a look at Robin Thomson ballet gallery and you can compare features with him as a young man OK. Sanders.

jesse h at school 2

Robin Thomson

98 Comments Post a comment
  1. Misca #

    John Sanders identified it! See the comments on the last thread.

    Also, see here:

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/202202704?searchTerm=%22Mordailloc%22&searchLimits=

    September 9, 2017
  2. Misca #

    I’ll do my best to explain this one without a visual. The pic with Jess is “doctored”. If you go the photo I posted from 1937. Look at all of the windows (which incidentally are all open the exact same degree.). Look at the very first rectangular window that has no panes open. To the left of that is a decorative recession of brick running from bottom to top parallel to the side of the window. If you look on the “Jess” photo. It’s not there. It’s gone. Also, the distance (and number of bricks) between the side of the window and the beginning of the arched doorway is half the width on the “Jess” pic.

    Byron- If you’re around and can post them side by side, it would make it very clear! I can send you the two if you can’t access them!

    September 9, 2017
  3. John sanders #

    Doesn’t appear to be any doubt about that mate. But why go to all the trouble?, then forget the panel window inclusion. Get the feeling the purp cut the image down so that the missing framework scaffolding could not be seen an compared with the ‘37 pic. Good spotting.

    September 9, 2017
  4. Byron Deveson #

    It seems that Jessie was a pupil at the Mordialloc-Chelsea high school which is in the general vicinity of where the Harkness family lived at the time.
    The Argus 31st October 1935 page 14. “School sports, Modialloc-Chelsea High. ….
    “Girls -Sack Race-J Harkness”.
    I note that there are references to other Harkness at the school in other years who are probably siblings of Jess.

    But the big ticket item is found on page 8 of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 1st November 1935. “Mordialloc horticultural society. …..The Mayor (Cr. Benwell), Cr. J. Blanuche, Cr. Geo. Woods, Mesdames Pain, Pleasants, Harkness, Gillespie ….”.

    I am beginning to suspect that Robin’s Pleasants DNA came from Jessie, and this might explain why Jessie was distant from her family (as reported by a family member).

    September 9, 2017
  5. Clive #

    The Argus, 9 April 1936 Page 4-mentions a J.Harkness of 7 Stawell St, Mentone-any connection?

    September 9, 2017
  6. Misca #

    Clive – Yes. That is where her parents were living in 1936. They moved to 2 Cremona Street in 1937.

    September 10, 2017
  7. John sanders #

    Jessica Ellen would have been 14 in ’35 and just a tad too senior for bag racing events, whereas Jean Mohr at 11would have done just fine, and did in my opinion. Jesse’s first electoral enrollment in 1943, aged 21 at Nth Sydney does suggest her living in NSW well before her nursing career began.

    September 10, 2017
  8. Misca #

    Could be Jess, could be Jean..(probably Jean) .Here’s another one:

    “Owing to the large number of entrants,and the high standard of efficiency and interest manifest by’the girls and boys in outlining the splendid Christian life of the late King George V., the adjudicatorsrecommended that the following entrants be awarded illuminated merit certificates,
    which will be forwarded to the winners Immediately:-
    J. Blackley, Dunmunkle, via Minyip, 14 years; Margery Archer, Ryecroft, Lyndhurst, 12 years;
    J. Harkness, 7 Stawell street, Mentone, 13 years;
    Elizabeth Hooke, Yerabin, via Buangor, 12 years; T. Riches, Warrion, 14 years;
    Merle Holden, 16 Victoria street. Geelong West. ”

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/11026700?searchTerm=%22J%20Harkness%22&searchLimits=l-title=13

    September 10, 2017
  9. Misca #

    Why would someone mess around with the photo?

    September 10, 2017
  10. John sanders #

    Misca: It can only be Jean who was 13 in ‘36. Jessie would have been going on 16….. People have messing with photos since the time of Louis Daguerre; Though reasons are somewhat ‘camera obscura’ and in need of some intense closer assessment, and speculation perhaps.

    September 10, 2017
  11. Misca #

    No big discussion with me as to who it was. I think it was Jean. Just wanted to make a clear connection to the Stawell address.

    I still don’t have a clue as to why someone would want to doctor a photo like that. Makes me think that, unlike sis Jean, Jess might have been somewhere else. Otherwise, why mess with the photo?

    September 10, 2017
  12. Clive #

    Is it possible that the photo was not ‘doctored’, but due to the number of pupils two separate photos of students were taken?

    September 10, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Misca: Put your mind at rest. There are infact seven same sized windows along that front right wing and its clear enough examining the whole building, that although the two shots appear to be taken from a similar position, you’ll find that the camera is further back and slightly more to the left creating the optical illusion of a much smaller disappearing window near the alcove Clive is also correct in that both these photos were probably taken at about the same time, the other kids being a year or two younger that’s all. Still 1962 of course and still no Jessica.

      September 10, 2017
  13. Misca #

    I believe that they are two separate pictures but I still think that the 1935 one “with Jess” was altered.

    September 10, 2017
  14. Thedude747 #

    Thats just weird but easily done in photo shop!! The very last 2 kids on the left behind “Jess” looks well out of place. Haircuts are not circa 1930s. I have top agree that it looks like Robyn and does anyone think the very last kid could be Kate?
    Is someone in the family having a lend of us?

    September 11, 2017
  15. Misca #

    JS – You seem to be convinced that XH was the culprit in all of this. Apart from hunch, why him? What makes you think he’s a psychopath? What other info makes it credible that he would kill? Also, while convinced that he’s the bad-ass, you’re looking for the victim…Why did you initially pick Thadee?

    September 11, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Misca: ‘the Listeners’, opening night Adelaide Tivoli 30/11/48, Thadee was involved with Joanna Priest the composer. Too many other reasons outlined in other old posts. By the way his best mate Leon Woizikowsky signed Packies book 11/37.

      September 11, 2017
      • Misca #

        I know. I’ll be damned if I can find his height. ; )

        September 12, 2017
  16. John sanders #

    Misca: Actually ‘hunch’ is a poor choice of words, my initial suspicions were based on a number of factors more to do with things like him having the motivation, means and opportunity, to do the job successfully using his cunning an skill as an accredited apothecary, then to decamp without bringing any suspicion upon himself or his possible accomplices. My ‘hunch’ though has moved on since then to where it might well be considered very nearly a factual presumption in my view. See some of the comments that other more informed sources have used to describe him; the words psycho/sociopath, violent, deranged and vengeful come readily to mind. One example was in his outright tirade of abuse directed towards his book agent of thirty years Beatrice Davis for sending a Xmas card to his wife Sadie, knowing full well that she was Jewish, then similar regarding the delivery of a get well card when there was no real expectation of her recovery. Of course the sad business of his best friend and mentor Yasukichi Muraykami dieing in Tatura is probably what really put him over the edge, that and the fellow‘s wife being cheated out of the family home in Darwin, would have been the catalyst for his mission of vengeance (katakiuchi) against those deemed responsible. I think that if you can get hold of De Gruen‘s bio, you may get a better picture of what a nutter this fellow was.

    September 11, 2017
  17. Byron Deveson #

    John,
    It perplexes me that Jessie’s uncle was an expert in most things toxicological, pharmacological and pharmaceutical. And he once manufactured pharmaceuticals. He was a pharmacist and an expert witness in a case involving toxicological matters, but nobody has paid any attention to him. The SM case probably involves poisoning after all. And DA said that Jessie was interested in pharmacology all her life.
    Do you know if Xavier Herbert ever interact with Jessie’s uncle? Jessie’s uncle was a pharmacist around Proserpine, Queensland in the 1920s.

    September 11, 2017
  18. John sanders #

    BD: Strange you should mention it as I had prepared a post on the subject last night that missed the mail. John Moir Harkness was eighteen years ahead of Xavier and we do know that he spent time in W.A. most likely to have been when young Herbert was studying the mystical art of apocethary so there’s a possibility. In later years both lived in Mosman and I have a feeling that there are records relating to Xavier doing dispensary work at RNSH so it would be hardly surprising for them to have been at least acquainted. There are more strange things going on in the Moir Harkness household that need investigating, one concerning John‘s first wife Grace (1909) and her being the mother of a child by the year 1923, another being his apparent visit to his homeland about 1930 to do with contesting a will, at which time he has a new wife Irene (1901) and daughter Beryl (1928), then settling back on the North Shore by 1933 along with mysterious Grace Louise apparently from his first marriage. No records exist for Jessica in Melbourne prior to the early forties at least, she’s in Sydney nursing in her mid twenties, the supposition being that sas she was born in the city, then she most likely had never left. Why could she then not have been raised as a daughter by uncle John, possibly under the alias Irene Louise Moir Harkness. By 1940 Irene is no longer at the address which suggests a young lady having gone out to make her own way in the world, but of course we are going to need a good researcher to uncover the facts pertaining to the original young lady, if ever there was one….I am not that researcher unfortunately so be my guest.

    September 11, 2017
    • john sanders #

      BD: You’ll find that Xavier did locum hospital dispensary work at many of those Nth Qld.towns like Tully, Emerald, Isa, Charters T. & Atherton, but much later than ’25 when uncle John was up Proserpine. But he and sister Kathleen ran a pharmacy in suburban Melbourne around 1922 if that helps.

      September 11, 2017
  19. Misca #

    There is most definitely some odd business with John Moir Harkness. At some point in the 1920’s, he began listing his name as “John Moir-Harkness”. I’m not sure why. I’m also not sure what happened to his first wife although I have read on one tree that she left with a man who was stationed in India. Maybe John couldn’t get his marriage papers sorted and changed his last name for his second marriage?

    Grace Louise Moir Harkness (daughter from first marriage) was born in 1910. She married Lionel Douglas Woodward and they had a daughter in 1935. (He’s a very interesting fellow.). The marriage did not last and they both went on to re-marry/live with other people. I cannot find marriage records but she ends up with a certain John Paul Henri (1907-1988) and Lionel Douglas ends up with Ilma Grace Selby. Grace Louise died 2 October 1990 in Wahroonga.

    Dorothy Joan and Beryl Fay can also be accounted for as they marry and have children. John and Irene Myrtle also appeared to have had a son John who died in 1926 probably as an infant.

    JS – I have not found the information regarding John returning to England to contest a will and would be most interested if you could direct me to it.

    BTW – I researched these daughters for very much the same reason you suggest…I keep thinking that Jessie couldn’t have just sprung up out of nowhere and that perhaps she was raised by a relative.

    September 12, 2017
  20. John sanders #

    Misca: Perhaps Jessie was raised by her maternal relatives, the Lee family of Princes St. Sydney (Marrickville), which might account for her being the only Harkness child born in N.S.W., if I’m not mistaken. Perhaps mother had problems taking care of her with the two boys then Jean on the way in ‘22. You’ll note that the last child was Ellen which may be significant in that Ellen was also Jessie’s middle name. Not unheard of to have multiple like names in one family, but could be a further pointer to Jessie being gone by the time of Ellen’s birth….Some mention of John at Court in Bristol 1930 but it could have been his dad, yet I have seen other stuff about him in the W.A. goldfields, then London and N.Z some time back but probably not important.

    September 12, 2017
    • Misca #

      Yes of course. I have looked for this. There are a few possibilities. Nothing cut and dry of course.

      September 12, 2017
  21. Perhaps there is a hint amongst all these names as to why she called herself JEstyn on the inscription in Boxall’s ROK.

    September 12, 2017
    • Misca #

      Oh so many rabbit holes, aren’t there? I think I have posted this before and I got no comments back. I’ll post again in case it might ring some bells for someone. The only really relevant Jestyn connection I have found is to Hilary Trotter. She was a well known ballet critic who also knew Joanna Priest. Her middle name was Justin. Now, she was born in 1933 and her father was Thomas Jestyn Williams. She married a certain Dr. John Trotter with whom she had four children; one of which was Victoria Jestyn Trotter. Victoria and Robin Thomson knew one another (albeit different generations) as they danced together on occasion.

      So, there’s that.

      September 12, 2017
      • Misca #

        Hilary Trotter’s middle name was Jestyn. Auto-correct changed it to Justin.

        September 12, 2017
  22. Clive #

    Is it possible that Jessie was born outside the marriage?

    September 12, 2017
    • Misca #

      We don’t really know her birth date…So anything is possible.

      September 12, 2017
  23. John sanders #

    Clive: Possible but unlikely due to her positioning within the sibling arrangement. Then again she could well have been brought into the family as a favour to John when he was having family and money problems. Let‘s do some checking around Nth Sydney Girls School and Marrickville Intermediate Girls Highschool for a Sydney upbringing.

    September 12, 2017
    • Misca #

      Sure. Let’s go checking. If it were that easy, we’d already have the list of students from the 1935 Mordailloc College class.

      September 12, 2017
  24. Misca #

    John – Does the Von Stieglitz family relate in any way to Xavier or any of your research? They are related to Prosper.

    September 12, 2017
  25. Misca #

    This one is for your theory – TheDude:

    OMG I’m almost afraid to post this because I cannot find the bookmarks to support it…But there was a new car that came out in 1948 and it was manufactured in a plant close to Adelaide. There were a couple of models being driven about that shouldn’t have been on November 30th.

    When I found this tidbit I thought maybe the investigators were covering for the poor bloke that had taken the model car out (without permission).

    September 12, 2017
  26. Byron Deveson #

    John,
    John Moir Harkness was running the “Gloria Perfumery Company” in St. James Street, Melbourne up until he went bankrupt in August 1919 (The Argus (Melbourne) 30th January 1922 page 11). From memory John and a daughter were still living in Melbourne in 1922 when his company was wound up in 1922.
    A search of Trove shows that John Moir Harkness was at Proserpine and Mackay in 1927,
    John was involved with a notorious confidence man Bert Balfour (Bert carried out scams involving cars and boats at one stage). See Smith’s Weekly 20th September 1924 page 9. “Innocents abroad: Story that Melbourne “pals” did not print.”

    September 12, 2017
  27. John sanders #

    The so called FX model Holden was launched in Melbourne on 29/11/48. There were about 10 or so vehicles be driven by big wigs of the company already on the road for final fine tuning and road testing by then, possibly a couple in Adelaide where engines or gearboxes were being made. Note the date and although this stuff has been out there for awhile , it is worth repeating because Prosper may have been in Melbourne on the day trying to get approval for a dealership. Remember the person who found nobody at home in Mosley Street about that time, then also a spate of ads in early December, possibly indicating a busy homecoming period.

    September 12, 2017
  28. thedude747 #

    The new car was the Holden FX Misca. Australia’s first (fully) locally manufactured car. Prime Minister Ben Chifley was at the Holden Elizabeth plant just north of Adelaide on November 29th 1948 to launch the new vehicle.
    The cost of a new FX was equivalent of 94 weeks wages for the average Aussie bloke. hence the margins on the black market were huge. A new FX fresh of the Holden plant stolen in Adelaide, re birthed in Melbourne could sell on the black market for 70 to 100k indexed in todays money.
    Interesting that there were cars getting around Adelaide the following day that shouldn’t have been.

    September 12, 2017
  29. thedude747 #

    Apologies Misca, Chifley launched the “FX” at the fisherman’s bend social hall in Melbourne. Not at Elizabeth as some local SA sites claim.

    September 12, 2017
  30. John sanders #

    Misca: Now that would be some name to remember Von Stieglitz. I can recall one time checking Sydney intermediate classes for 1935 but I was looking for someone else. I’ll see if I can get it again though I doubt that Jessica would have reached that level.

    September 12, 2017
    • Misca #

      As you can imagine, some of them changed their name.

      September 12, 2017
  31. I keep thinking that Jessie couldn’t have just sprung up out of nowhere and that perhaps she was raised by a relative. (Misca)

    Is it possible that Jessie was born outside the marriage? (Clive)

    The only really relevant Jestyn connection I have found is to Hilary Trotter. She was a well known ballet critic who also knew Joanna Priest. Her middle name was Justin. Now, she was born in 1933 and her father was Thomas Jestyn Williams. She married a certain Dr. John Trotter with whom she had four children; one of which was Victoria Jestyn Trotter. Victoria and Robin Thomson knew one another (albeit different generations) as they danced together on occasion. (Misca)

    I can feel a link coming on.

    September 12, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Pete: So long as it satisfies the relevance criterior link it up, however whilst this stuff is interesting to discuss, it doesn’t seem to be taking us anywhere that we haven’t visited before. This Jestyn Justin caper has been Trotter’d out before with a certain degree of regularity, the connection to Robin then living in Canberra and the Trotter lass from there etc. It just seems to be really long bow drawing to me, and yes I’m guilty too. Why not give a carnivor like Misca free rein to select a favorite theme and we can take a swing at it collectively.

      September 12, 2017
      • It’s never been trotted out on here before …

        September 12, 2017
      • Misca #

        It’s not a “favorite theme”. It became a dead end but it’s the only clear reference to the name Jestyn that I have found that actually relates/connects. As far as I know, Hilary did not use her middle name when writing and I think I may have posted the link that showed that Robin and Victoria Jestyn danced together either here or on cipher. I don’t want to confuse the issues; just putting it back out there given Hilary’s father’s name.
        Thomas Jestyn William, as you can appreciate JS, was not an easy man to find.

        September 12, 2017
  32. John sanders #

    Over there on SM thread round up 24/1/14 when the world was young and things were Rosie. Also on Marshall and Smithsonian perhaps. I seem to member my own comment re possible Singapore origins for our girl, connections to John Willie etc.

    September 12, 2017
  33. Ok, go nuts, I’ll look after the drinks and keep the lights on.

    September 12, 2017
    • Misca #

      You’ve been a while now and the stocks are running low.

      September 13, 2017
  34. Misca #

    thedude – The car launch a huge deal and I remember thinking that if the book was found in one of them, that would be a compelling reason for “big daddy Leane” to intervene regarding the name of the person. I can’t remember exactly but I think I had found some of the info in the naa files. (Govt correspondence.)

    September 12, 2017
  35. Misca #

    Australian Car May Be Known as Holden:

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/216552672?searchTerm=test%20car%20adelaide&searchLimits=dateFrom=1948-01-01%7C%7C%7CdateTo=1948-12-31

    Lots of Holden’s in Adelaide.

    September 12, 2017
  36. Misca #

    Note from that article that five of them had already been doing road tests as of Sept 1, 1948.

    September 12, 2017
  37. Misca #

    This could also explain why the person could remember the exact date the car had been parked there several months later.

    September 12, 2017
  38. John sanders #

    Misca: From my understanding at least one of the Rubaiyat finders could not be sure whether it was the time of the Para Fields air show on 20/11/48 or the day of our day of SM infamy 30/11/48. The FX Holdens were mid sized cars of modern US design so one would certainly be expected to know the difference between Australia’s new flagship auto and some rust bucket of pre war Roots design such as the ubiquitous Hillman Minx. Hey Dude747 you forgot to mention your input (pre flying days) regarding the Vicky Jestyn (Trotter) business or was that a Dude namesake, Pete would like to know the outcome of the follow up inquiries.

    September 12, 2017
    • john sanders #

      ‘Just in time I found you just in time’ was a war time standard tune made more famous in the fifties by cranky Frank Sinatra. Our golden hearted though grubby minded colonial nurses of that era may have prefered the lead in of ‘Jestyn time he pulled out jestyn time’ to suit the situation and their needs. This probably has no bearing at all on how our Jestyn got her intruiging monicker. There is one weird crazy coincidence however, and it relates to the lyricist who was none other than J. STYNE; how about that.

      September 13, 2017
      • Misca #

        Rupert Murdoch bought his home a while back.

        ; )

        September 13, 2017
  39. John sanders #

    Misca: Are you talking about Karl Rawson re Chalmers Thomson

    September 13, 2017
  40. John sanders #

    Karl Rawdon Von Stieglitz, my error.

    September 13, 2017
  41. Misca #

    JS – No. How is Karl associated with Chalmers? I don’t really have anything specific of interest regarding them (the VS’s), I just thought you might given your knowledge. There is a Thomson who married a VS and then the family changed their name to Thomson. Just looking for all possible connections.

    September 13, 2017
  42. A discreet knock at the door before it opens. Bowes enters the room bearing a tray of chocolates and two small glasses of a clear, viscous liquid.

    ‘Sir?’ he asks.

    ‘Madam?’

    ‘Just put them down anywhere.’

    Bowes exits.

    Carry on.

    September 13, 2017
    • Misca #

      Lovely. Thanks. Appreciate the reference to tenaciousness but at this point, perhaps a smoother beverage might in order. Perhaps you might find your way to come back tomorrow?

      September 13, 2017
  43. John sanders #

    Misca: Just that Karl, a Tasmanian historical author, spent some time on the land in the Richmond area, West of Sydney in the early twenties, close to where Chalmers Thomson had his small rural acreage. Karl wrote a host of historical novels around the same themes as Xavier and was said not to let the truth get in the way of a good yarn. Both being lovers of Colonial poetry, I could imagine them having a short amicable chat at a Henry Lawson appreciation event, before then coming to blows as per ‘Bill and Jim Fall out’ as they would soon realise their own extreme differing views on class and politics. I believe that Karl could have collaborated with Xavier’s mate Inky Stephenson regarding a treatise on Australian Bushranging that he co wrote whilst in Tatura, KRV being the recognised authority on Tasmanian outlawry.

    September 13, 2017
    • Misca #

      Maybe tomorrow…

      September 13, 2017
  44. John sanders #

    I’m busting get back to new revelations concerning the Darwin Colonial hearing for Percy Williams but I can abide and wait for a lull period if you wish.

    September 13, 2017
    • JS – management have enquired as to whether you wish to run the Percy Williams thread separately rather than exhaust our few assets here.

      September 13, 2017
  45. Misca #

    I’ve been thinking lately, that if we ever manage to solve this thing..we might just all be a tad disappointed. Maybe it’s all stupid and not connected to anything that we’ve looked at. Wouldn’t that just be a great big smack in the face!

    I’ll take up on your “lull period” luv. I’m in need of a bit of rest.

    September 13, 2017
  46. Misca #

    With SAPOL files in his lap, GF’s reference to Hillman Minx is particularly amusing.

    September 13, 2017
  47. John sanders #

    Misca: Von Stieglitz, appears to be a complete bummer, with no likely relationship to any of our Thomsons that I can see. Obviously they be an old Saxon family that settled in the colonies back in the very early days. Mother Eleanor had the name reverted back to her first married name after old pop Von Stieglitz kicked over and some of the children took up Thomson, some stayed with Von Stieglitz and the residue called themselves Turner which was her maiden name. One of the lads had the Christian name of Chalmers which comes close to old man Chalmers Thomson but thats as close as it gets for my money.

    September 13, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Pete: I’ve decided to attempt an exhumation in order to check for glycocide residue and then have the Corononial inquest at Darwin reconvened for Percy’s sake. I should be able to get the costs put on my VA gold card.

      September 13, 2017
      • I can bring shovels, then dinner at the Hilton?

        September 13, 2017
        • john sanders #

          The Hilton might not go for the card, so what about a couple of pieces of battered threadfin at Tom Savis fish cafe, he owes me a feed.

          September 13, 2017
  48. Misca #

    Back to the Holden business, just for a moment…Remember all of those discussions about which chemist might be involved? Perhaps just another odd coincidence but looky here at whose mrs showed up:

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/129890039?searchTerm=%22holden%22&searchLimits=dateFrom=1948-01-01|||dateTo=1948-12-31

    September 13, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Misca: Well there you go, so it was Patty Atkins afterall, Foxy lady that one if you ask me and never could trust sweet little Georgie May behind the wheel of a Holden..You and I have some history with this one don’t we luv.

      September 13, 2017
  49. Misca #

    And around we go…JS – I never did find your connection between Alfred Middleton and Lucy Fox. Can you share what you have? I’ll go in and take a look.

    September 14, 2017
    • john sanders #

      I’ve still got it all in my noggin mate and now that Nick is not here to pooh pooh the whole book , car, Mr. Francis connection, I don’t see any problem with going back over what I saw as being fertile ground. But tell me, are we talking about Mrs. Bob the younger, or old Bob’s biddy behind the wheel of our brand spanker Francis Xavier model Holden.

      September 14, 2017
      • Misca #

        Well that all depends JS on which Bob you might be taking about. As luck would have it, there was more than one Robert Fox in Adelaide at the time. One was a bonafide chiropodist and the other one was not. Which one are you talking about?

        September 14, 2017
  50. Misca #

    Now I am completely confused. You wrote:

    “Edith Wytkin says her biological father was Alfred Middleton and a person of that name married a Lucy Fox. Alfred was married twice as was Lucy and whilst he was buried as Middleton, he also called himself Fox, putting it all together I looked at the Wytkin/Middleton/Fox family origins and rightly or perhaps erroneously gave the b-i-law connection a pass.”

    I have not found any of this information. Can you help me find it?

    Let’s be clear. There were two Ediths.

    Edith Jessie Middleton’s father was Alfred Middleton. You seem to be implying that he married twice and one of those times he was married to a certain “Fox”. I have not found record of that. I could be wrong but Edith Jessie Middleton’s father was Alfred Martin Middleton and he died in a tragic accident and drowned in 1913 when Edith’s mother Berta was pregnant with their fifth child.

    September 14, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Yep that seems to be about right, then Edith got palmed off to the Angus family with whom she was raised. I’ll chew things over a bit because I think that I erred with the two Middletons to which I fessed up and that would seem to put an end to the R.W Fox, Les Whytkin b.i.l. connection. Howsomever I will back check on the old Lucy Fox matriarchal side and see if I can perhaps tie her up with the Angus line or maybe to Edith May? who replaced the Middleton/Angus lass and who lived with him as his wife out at Swan Reach. I recall with interest that both Robert and Les left Glenelg not long after ’49 and ended their days in S.A.’s south west corner which may gave some bearing on their relationship.

      September 14, 2017
  51. Misca #

    Does anyone have a reference as to how telephone numbers were organized in 1948? For example, many of the Adelaide (Glenelg) numbers were listed as “X1234”. Some had other alpha starters. Different cities had different set-ups. Is there any sort of reference to this sort of thing???

    September 14, 2017
  52. Misca #

    Sometimes people write phone numbers on their hands, sometimes they write them in their pants? Thanks to all of these discussions, I went back to revisit my Robert Fox files (It’s all quite sad, I know). And there, low and behold are links to ads he placed in 1948. Can you guess what his phone number was? No? I’ll tell you. “X1171”. Does that ring any bells? If not…Scoot on over to other sites where laundry marks have been discussed.

    September 14, 2017
  53. Misca #

    4393 – 17 or 37 King William Street. “The Nook”. Looking for counterperson. Two paces away from Adelaide Train station. Anyone know what “The Nook” was?

    September 14, 2017
  54. Misca #

    GF – He talked about scraps of paper with lists of phone numbers he searched through. What list was he talking about? We talk about one or (possibly) two numbers on the back of the book. What was his source material? Do you think he might be willing to explain his “lists”???

    September 14, 2017
  55. Misca #

    Last little bit. On the back of GF’s book is “W9048”. WTF? I asked about this a while ago and was told that it was a bit of artistic license. Huh? Makes no sense to me to wallop something like that on the back of a book that is pretty much cut and dry and factual (apart from word play on people’s names). Why would the “artist” just plop that alpha numeric bit of nonsense there? Why would GF allow it?

    If you search phone numbers on that ditty – J T Stapleton Pty Ltd comes up. I have found no connection to this case apart from Quentin’s hooking up with a Mrs. Stapleton who I can’t yet link to the “J T Stapleton”.

    Just sharing. Maybe someone has another little piece?

    September 14, 2017
  56. Misca #

    Pete – You there? Maybe it’s time for a new thread (or two)? How will we ever be able to find ourselves with so many different topics being discussed with a potentially un-related title.

    To drink?

    Something different and exciting would be nice. I’ll go with whatever you recommend. A little snack would be good too.

    September 14, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Bloody Marys, A pos. rhesus (decent jug), with a side dish of deep fried scorpion.

      September 14, 2017
      • Sanders spends his Can Tho weeks with memories, malt whisky and music. His CDs comfort him and revive long dormant emotions ….

        September 14, 2017
  57. Clive #

    Misca, ‘W9048’ on the back cover of GF’s book. GC came up with the very interesting possibility that ‘W9048’ wasn’t just ‘artistic licence’ as suggested, but rather to do with shoe/slipper adverts in 1948 newspapers!

    September 14, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Does anyone have any idea as to why Mr. G. Feltus has chosen not to come over and offer us the wealth of his superior knowledge and detective instinct regarding our quest for some knowledge, on mundane matters such as Mr. Francis. We know that he has claimed no respect for the professor, who has now sadly left us; And Nick Pelling, who is about to pull the plug in the interests of intellectually based disinterest, would surely not in his own contact with God, have dared to offend his lack of sophistication. Then of course Mr. Bowes, author, tried gamely to buy him off with a signed copy of his own knowledge based book, albeit with a twist in the tale, but all to no avail. So I’ll ask again nicely; Gerrard, from one old suit to another, someone who has had the odd beer with the likes of old Ron Thomas; could you please point us in the right direction, just to ease the pain, if its not too much trouble. I’ve not had the chance to read your novel but if its anything like PB’s ‘The Bookmaker’ it will be worthwhile and most informative I’m sure.

      September 15, 2017
      • john sanders #

        Misca: Quentin, Stapleton, ditty… All sounds like non authorised side serve tete a tete’s; Can you comment or is it a need to know at this stage..My Lucy Fox quest not only discounts Middleton connection, it also points away from both of our chiropodist Foxs, albeit there being a deal of Pete’s ‘six degrees’ theory evident…Your pharmacist Lean from further up the road was also into chiropodry it seems.

        September 15, 2017
  58. W9048 was also the telephone number for J.T. Stapleton Real Estate in Mona Vale.

    September 15, 2017
    • john sanders #

      GF: Maybe you could also comment on the W9048 mystery and also why the book cover has beach boulders in place of the seawall and broken stairs.

      September 15, 2017
  59. You forgot the missing pullover on the body, JS, probably just an oversight.

    September 15, 2017
    • john sanders #

      Not to mention the heart to sword tie stripes; Inky Stehenson would never have made silly cover errors like that; very sloppy work indeed indeed.

      September 15, 2017
      • Misca #

        In all of the years I have been following this case, GF has never once commented. Don’t expect him to do so now.

        September 15, 2017
        • Going by his last reported exchange where he peeled Dome another backside for being an idiot … I’d say he’s all done with it.

          September 15, 2017
  60. Clive #

    GF’s book cover shows the SM’s right leg drawn up-wasn’t it his left per witnesses?

    September 15, 2017
  61. Misca #

    Right leg vs left leg in my opinion is acceptable “artistic license”…W9048 in an obvious felt tip scrawled above and to the right of the CODE, is not. It comes off as being part of the code or relevant in some way. Given the very black and white nature of GF’s book … It just doesn’t fit.

    September 15, 2017
    • john sanders #

      If it is a felt tip then it may be an innocuous piece if artistic license after all. But if not, W9048 could afterall be Harry Strangway’s initiating file cover number designating the 90th serious ‘W’ater event (ie drowning or similar) for 1948. Strangway had been a Motor Squad detective and I’m thinking that his mate at Somerton on 1/12/48, Constable (Sgt.) John Moss was probably related to old Judah Moss Solomon a former Adelaide mayor.

      September 15, 2017

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