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An expensive watch and an automatic rifle.

To the untrained searcher’s eye it would appear that the frequency of trade ads placed by Prosper McTaggart Thomson was reduced after the Tudor Watch ad was published under his name on December 18th 1948.

January 1949, 3 ads

February 1949, 0 ads

March 1949, 2 ads

April 1949, 0 ads

May 1949, 0 ads

Then, after an ad was published under his name for an automatic rifle on June 18th – one day after the inquest commenced – Thomson stopped his trade advertising for two years.*


John Sanders put forward the notion that the out of character ads were meant as threats against an un-named witness at the inquest.

And given the two year cessation of Thomson’s trade ads after June 18th, Sanders appears to be on the right track, but travelling in the wrong direction.

Placing newspaper ads in 1948 entailed filling out a form containing the words wished to be published, then adding a name, an address and a phone number. Payment to be made at the cashier’s window. Or by simply phoning the newspaper concerned.

No ID required.


Was Prosper being urged to forget what happened at 90A Moseley Street Glenelg on the 30th November 1948 when a man from out-of-town whose trade was stealing cars came a-calling?

*needs checking

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. dusty #

    That’s Sanders for you, ‘taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home’. We must not be forgetting that sometime about 1950, the Thomsons took off to Perth to (get the paper from Queenie) & take their vow; So being away from his patch may account for Prosper’s break in trade ads as noted. There was also another period in which according to some, he went across the pond to Port Wakefield? in connection with the Duffield auto business for a period.

    February 9, 2020
  2. Somebody find a pic of one of Adelaide’s notorious wearing a gold Tudor watch, valued these days between $2k and $6

    February 9, 2020
  3. dusty #

    I wonder if Olive Neil still remembers that Tuesday morning in June ’49 when she attended court and traded notes with fellow witness, fatherly Jack Lyons, the jeweller wearing the nice gold time piece prior to both giving their by now compromised testimonies. Jack had been in the trade many years, had his own jewellry cum watch shop and as such, would certanly have noticed the beach body’s newish gold Tudor Oyster chronometer had one been worn. One might wonder whether he’d also seen it in the evening with SM’s arm raising sequence, perhaps returning later to remove it from a cold hand for safe keeping. Of course there was another Neil that had swung next morn with his similarly hard up mounted friend and who could also have seen the glitter of gold. Who’s to know, but it’s not too late to inquire, both Olive Neil & Neil Day are still with us and desirous of at last coming clean. PS. Olive must have known ‘Digger’ Lyons before that 21st June day.

    February 9, 2020
    • I don’t believe SM was wearing a watch. There was no mark of a watchband mentioned.

      February 9, 2020
  4. dusty #

    Who would be likely to mention the mark of a watchband and why?

    February 9, 2020
  5. The same coot who found blood on his knuckles.

    February 9, 2020
  6. dusty #

    Pathologist Dwyer would have had no cause if it wasn’t connected with his job.

    February 9, 2020
    • The bloke who used to split hairs around here has been given the bum’s rush.

      February 9, 2020

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