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Meet Estyn D Jones of Henley Beach

PeteBowes: There was a man called Estyn Dick Jones living in Henley Beach at the time. There are plenty of reports about him on newspapers (Trove) and the National Archives of Australia. He was bankrupt by 1939, in the courts, see case Yerkey V Jones, it’s a classical case of the ‘wives special equity’, he enlisted in 1941 (2/27th Infantry Battalion) and ended up in a Court Martial by 1946, after being dispatched on the SS Stirling Castle ship to an Australian Mission in Berlin, Germany. Pat.

My theory is that the SM was looking for Estyn (hence the Henley Beach ticket) and that the signature on the Rubaiyat is J Estyn for Jones, Estyn. Maybe the book was a gift from other person (even Jessica Thompson or Boxall), but the SM (aka Carl Webb) was going to see Estyn, maybe because he had business with him (and Jessica or her husband) or was something related to his dead brother Roy Webb (2/29th Infantry Battalion), maybe Estyn knew Roy, or many other possibilities. Pat.

https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/602522

I received the above comments from Pat yesterday and without a second thought flipped over to Cipher Mysteries and copied every comment relevant to Estyn I could find. I’m reasonably sure Dome won’t mind, besides, he’s busy on other matters.

~~

Estyn D. Jones was married to Florence May (they are widely mentioned in newspapers, their court case has been mentioned in law studies ever since). I can’t find any marriage records in Australia, so maybe they were already married when they left Wales (he was born in Mold, Flintshire) or elsewhere. Pat.

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ListingReports/ItemsListing.aspx

There was a man called Estyn Dick Jones living in Henley Beach at the time. There are plenty of reports about him on newspapers (Trove) and the National Archives of Australia. He was bankrupt by 1939, in the courts, see case Yerkey V Jones, it’s a classical case of the ‘wives special equity’, he enlisted in 1941 (2/27th Infantry Battalion) and ended up in a Court Martial by 1946, after being dispatched on the SS Stirling Castle ship to an Australian Mission in Berlin, Germany. Katie-Dee

Could Estyn Dick Jones be the real owner of the book? Maybe he knew Roy Webb from the Infantry Battalion? Pat.

Jones, ESTYN Dick
Service Number: SX6688
Enlisted: 24 June 1940
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Mold, England, 11 July 1907
Home Town: Henley Beach , City of Charles Sturt / Henley and Grange, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: 28 February 1970, aged 62 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide Pulteney Grammar School WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Henley Beach Council WW2 Honour Roll and Addendum

Estyn was a founding member of the North Glenelg Sub Branch of the RSL and served as Senior Vice President 1956. Pat.

Now, don’t both those capital E’s^ look interesting ……

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TRAIN TICKET TO HENLEY BEACH | The Somerton Man

Found in Webb’s pocket

Evidence shows Jessica Harkness wasn’t too bothered ….

“The Advertiser” 11 Dec 1948 Page 16: For sale: ‘Oak table with 4 chairs and Child’s playground”. Mrs Thomson, 90a Moseley St, Glenelg. (No contact number given.)

There are still plenty of people out there who believe Jessica Harkness and Prosper Thomson were somehow involved in the death of Carl Webb despite there being no evidence. It’s a road well-travelled. Been down there plenty of times meself.

The small coastal township of Glenelg would have been a HOTBED of gossip and intrigue in the days after Webb’s body was found lying beside the steps leading to the beach, looking like he’d just fallen asleep. A good-looking clean shaven man, well dressed, unmarked.

Stone. Cold. Dead.

Imagine. The local hotels, bakery, green grocer, bars, paper shop, pharmacies, cafes, restaurants, The regulars who used the same steps to reach the beach every day. Their theories, their questions. All of them asking .. who is he?

Webb’s body stored in the Adelaide morgue and subject to an unending stream of visitors who thought they knew him or were just curious, no doubt some Glenelg residents amongst them. All of them asking …. who is he?

And there’s Jessica, serene, high above the crisis, flogging off unwanted items in the classifieds ten days after the body was found.

Knowing who he was.

Then, three weeks later she was looking to pay cash for a bungalow and rent out Moseley St. (Advertiser 1 Jan, 1949 page 9)

thanks Clive for the heads up

 

John Russell Keane

Chapter by chapter the Somerton Man mystery closes its pages. We have Carl Charles Webb and now John Russell Keane, leaving the relationship Jessica Harkness shared with Webb and the circumstances surrounding his death unaccounted for.

The incomplete chapters.

~~

Flying Officer John Russell Keane (409839), the son of Freda Grace Webb and Thomas G Keane, served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two. He was attached to RAF No. 5 Operational Training Unit at the time of his death in November 1943. John was the son of Gerald Thomas Keane and Freda Grace Keane of East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. He died on 29th November 1943 aged 26 years old.

Keane was the pilot on board Lockheed Hudson AM694. The crew took off from RAF Long Kesh, near Lisburn, Co. Down at 1520hrs on 29th November 1943. The non-operational flight was a bombing exercise over Lough Neagh. At 1609hrs, the Australian crew completed their task but proceded towards Templepatrick, carrying out a series of steep turns over Loughermore Estate near Dunadry, Co. Antrim. They were due to return to base and this section of the flight was unauthorised.

During one of these turns, the pilot throttled back both engines and the plane lost height rapidly. The engines stalled and the port wing struck the ground. The Hudson burst into flames and all those on board died in the impact.


Back Row: 1. Flight Sergeant Sydney Ross Hore, 2. Michael Lancelot Huppatz, 3. Leading Aircraftman Donald Edward Hefford, 4. Flight Lieutenant James Hodges, 5. Warrant Officer Clifford Anthony Ingham, 6. Flying Officer Ross Walter Geue, 7. Pilot Officer Stanley Ernest James, 8. Warrant Officer John Morton Kemp, 9. Flight Sergeant Wilfred Harper, 10. Pilot Officer Arthur Leonard Gibbons. Middle Row: 1. Pilot Officer Leslie Ronald Giles, 2. Flying Officer John Russell Keane, 3. Flying Officer Leslie Clive Greaves, 4. Flying Officer Mervyn Charles Heal, 5. Flight Lieutenant Roy Campbell Kennedy, 6. Flight Lieutenant Peter Bowen Jackson, 7. Flight Lieutenant Kevin Elliott Harrison, 8. Flight Lieutenant Peter James Harnetty, 9. Flying Officer Harry Girven, 10. Warrant Officer Frank Henry James Grey, 11. Flying Officer Robert Mackay Hilliard. Front Row: 1. Leading Aircraftman Ian Eric Johnston, 2. Flying Officer Eric Hurrell, 3. Flying Officer Reginald Douglas Green, 4. Flight Lieutenant Ross Vigors Hanns, 5. Corporal Walter Richard John Rice, 6. Warrant Officer John Kendrick Jones, 7. Warrant Officer Keith Leonard James Killen, 8. Flight Lieutenant Eric Anthony Gogler, 9. Flying Officer Frank Knowles Harker.

All information lifted from the following site.

John Russell Keane

Derek Abbott revealed that Mr Webb’s oldest sister, Freda Grace Webb, was married to Thomas Gerald Keane, who went by Gerald.

The couple’s son, John Keane, died in the World War II in 1943, which was the same year Mr Webb’s brother Roy died in battle.

John Keane’s possessions included items such as a map of Chicago and some American coins, which implies he resided in the US at some point.

‘Therefore, the hand-me-downs that (Carl) Charles Webb received from his brother-in-law might likely have included clothing of his nephew, explaining why a number of items in the Somerton Man’s possessions appeared to be of US origin,’ Professor Webb added.

It also gave a further clue as to why Mr Webb had the word ‘Keane’ labelled on his tie when his body was found.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11099129/Somerton-Mans-family-revealed-wearing-American-clothes-time-death.html

Some of these items if not all might also have belonged to Keane.

‘He was sullen, rude, wrote his own poetry and may have had mental issues.’

The Suicide by Elihu Vedder.


The Keane Connection.

John Keane, died in the World War II in 1943, which was the same year Mr Carl Webb’s brother Roy died in battle.

John Keane’s possessions included items such as a map of Chicago and some American coins, which implies he resided in the US at some point.

‘Therefore, the hand-me-downs that (Carl) Charles Webb received from his brother-in-law might likely have included clothing of his nephew, explaining why a number of items in the Somerton Man’s possessions appeared to be of US origin,’ Professor Abbott added.

It also gave a further clue as to why Mr Webb had the word ‘Keane’ labelled on his tie when his body was found.

The Sister

Mr Webb had five siblings including two brothers and three sisters (pictured, older sister Doris Maud Webb)

Mr Webb had five siblings including two brothers and three sisters (pictured, older sister Doris Maud Webb)

A Tragic Chain of Events.

Documents revealed Webb suffered unspeakable tragedy in the years leading up to his death in 1948, with four of his close relatives dying in a seven-year stretch.

His father Richard died in 1939, his brother Roy and brother-in-law John Keane died in the war in 1943 and his mother died in 1946.

There was also the breakdown of his marriage to Dorothy Jean, which led to the couple’s split in April, 1947.

He Would Be Sullen and Rude.

‘If he (Carl) lost he would be sullen and rude to me, or anyone else, if he lost at cards, he would become unpleasant to everyone,’ Mrs Webb said in documents.

She described him as living a quiet life and being in bed by 7pm each night and that he sometimes ‘refused’ to speak to her.

Dr Colleen Fitzpatrick suspected Mr Webb had mental health issues and would ‘spiral down’.

~~

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11099129/Somerton-Mans-family-revealed-wearing-American-clothes-time-death.html

His DNA

Speaking to the Guardian Abbot said: “The most important thing is that the DNA taken from the hair caught in the plaster cast of Somerton man matches with distant cousins of Carl “Charles” Webb on both maternal and paternal sides of the family.”


His Poetry

Details about Webb were provided when the couple filed for divorce. “One of the interesting details is that [Webb] was into writing his own poetry,” Abbott says, which connects to the evidence of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

~~

Now we have Carl Webb, we have to start all over again.

“I suspected right from the beginning of this case – because a lot of the spy theories came around in the ’40s. I thought, ‘That’s all very well, but it’s more likely to be something banal, really.’ And that’s what it turned out to be, all quite pedestrian,”

Derek Abbott

Banal: so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

Oh, really?

~~

Carl Webb, electrical fitter / instrument maker, checked his suitcase into Adelaide Station’s luggage office on the 30th of November 1948, paying for a 24 hour lodgement. Then he bought two tickets to two beaches. The following morning he was found dead on one of them.

Coroner Cleland“Although he died during the night of the 30th November – 1st December, I cannot say where he died.”

Professor John Cleland“The lividity around the ears and neck was perhaps surprising in view of his position, but it was explainable. It would depend on how much the head was supported, it may have been slight, perhaps no more than one’s head supported on a pillow.”

Professor Sir Stanton Hicks” …. If it (the poison) had not been self-administered, and the body brought there (Somerton Beach), that would remove any doubts as to the time at which death took place, as well as any other difficulties.”

~~

Perhaps Webb was in Adelaide to see Prosper Thomson knowing he had a connection to Clinic Distributors and was using their Hindley Street address for his classifieds. That may have accounted for his purchase of the Henley Beach ticket.

He may have made a call from the station to determine if Prosper was there after finding the Clinic Distributors number in the phonebook. Or perhaps he was told the number by someone before arriving in Adelaide.

Perhaps he wrote it down before setting out.

~~

Littlemore: “Chief Inspector, you said there were two ‘phone numbers in – in the book.”

Brown: “Yes.”

Littlemore: “What about the other one.”

Brown: “The other one – er was of er – business premises and we were not able to trace or find any person that had -er spoken to the deceased person. Um – we were satisfied that er- this was just probably noted down in a – in a general way that any -er ordinary person would note the ‘phone number down.”

Littlemore: ” But not necessarily so satisfied about the first one.”

Brown: “No.”

~~

Perhaps Webb was in Adelaide to see Prosper Thomson knowing he had a connection to the Moseley Street address and was using the it for his classifieds. That may have accounted for his purchase of a Glenelg ticket.

Perhaps he was told the number by someone before arriving in Adelaide as finding a telephone number in a phonebook is almost impossible without knowing the name of the subscriber. Perhaps that’s when he wrote it down.

He may have made a call from the station to determine if Prosper was there.

And it’s beginning to look like he was.

 

New Mission: Carl Charles Webb.

There’s a scene in Sicario: Day of The Solodado where Josh Brolin realises a young girl he’s transporting has gone missing and he calls out his team of mercenaries to say that they have a new mission.

Same here with Carl Charles Webb, once known as The Somerton Man.

Himself

Webb was thought to have arrived in Adelaide in November 1948 carrying various tools in his suitcase that were perfectly suited for gaining entry to motor vehicles and starting them without using a key (see previous post).

He was later found to have had two tickets in his pocket that indicated that he had two destinations in mind after arriving, settling for Glenelg rather than Henley Beach.

At the time Prosper Thomson was using a Moseley Street Glenelg phone number in his business of buying and selling used cars and his girlfriend Jessica Harkness was living there with her young son, Robin, his father unknown. She had arrived in Adelaide from Melbourne pregnant the year Webb deserted his wife. They had also lived in Melbourne.

Webb deserted his wife Dorothy Jean (nee Robertson) in 1947 after a childless marriage lasting almost six years.  She then moved to Bute in South Australia, a town 144 kilometres distant from Adelaide.

Bute

It is not known if Webb visited Bute before lodging his one suitcase at Adelaide Station on November 30th and buying the tickets to Henley Beach and Glenelg as no train tickets were found on his body, similarly, no lodging stub for his suitcase was found either.

Webb was found dead on Somerton Beach a short distance from the Moseley Street address the following morning and the only signs of violence found on the body was an abrasion between the knuckles of his right hand. Any identification he might have carried was removed.

Three medical witnesses called to the inquest were of the opinion that his death was not natural. The coroner could not say where he died. The two Persian words printed on a slip of paper found in his pocket took six months for the police to translate. The book it was torn from was handed in after the inquest was adjourned and it was found to have Prosper Thomson’s Moseley Street phone number written on the back cover together with series of lines of capital letters which have yet to be deciphered.

The labels on some of his clothes were noted by the coroner as being ‘carefully removed’, which may indicate they were bought second-hand from a clothes dealer who removed them prior to sale.

In the month before Webb deserted his wife, Prosper Thomson was advertising for a partner for an Adelaide used car business as well as placing several wanted ads for weapons (rifles).

In the month after Webb deserted his wife Thomson was advertising for a building suitable as a workshop.

The police were of the strong opinion that Webb was known to Prosper’s girlfriend, Jessica Harkness. Prosper Thomson was never interviewed by the police and as a result it is not known if he too knew Carl Webb.

As of yet no photographs of Carl Charles Webb have been unearthed other than the one taken of his body and none of his sizeable family is on record as having recognised him from his image reproduced in the many newspaper reports printed over the past seventy years.

Newspapers published in every city and major town in the country.

It is also noted that despite Webb being of a suitable age and having a very strong physique, there is no record of him as having any war service, unlike his brother Roy who died in a POW camp in ‘43.

Roy Webb, born 1904.

Roy Webb’s Will was witnessed by his sister Freda KEANE and her husband Gerald Keane of East Brunswick, Victoria.

1947 – Prosper Thomson’s want ads and the possible uses of Carl Webb’s tools.

Updated … *

Screwdriver and Bobby Pin

 

The Six Pencils.

*‘Graphite powder is the preferred lock lubricant for professional locksmiths, so you know it’s good for lockpicking, All you need is a lead pencil.’  Robin Mansur. lock-picking.wonderhowto.com

 

Cut down knife and screwdriver.

*‘Johns & McHale specialised in odometer manufacture and ex-employees talk of how they learned how to disconnect them in rental cars to reduce their costs. There’s also a nice video on youtube showing how you clock a vintage mechanical odometer. All you need is a small screwdriver and a strong, thin, flat edge to prise apart the numbers on the barrel if you want to move them individually.’ Lifted from CipherMysteries, comment by Jamie.

 

Particle Brush containing an unidentified black powder.

Could be used to apply pencil graphite to the inside of car lock to assist the lockpicker. The black powder shaken from the brush was not successfully analysed by James Cowan as he only tested it for common poisons.

 

Scissors

Could be used to strip ignition wires. An electrician/electrical engineer would have no trouble hot wiring any car in the 1940s.

 

~~ 

*The Rubaiyat associated with Carl Webb had the Moseley Street phone number Prosper Thomson used for his classifieds (from July 1947) written on the back cover.  Number X3239.

Prosper Thomson’s girlfriend Jessica Harkness, who lived at Moseley Street at the time, almost fainted when she was shown Webb’s bust. When questioned by the police she divulged nothing. Prosper Thomson was not interviewed.

Carl Webb’s body was found on the morning of December 1, 1948 only two hundred yards away from Jessica’s home in Moseley Street.

The coroner ruled that Webb did not die where he was found, citing the body’s conflicting lividity.

The cold case investigator – ex-detective Gerry Feltus – interviewed a man who had formally reported to the police in 1959 that he and three others had seen a man carrying another man along Somerton beach on the night of November 30, 1948, the night before the body was found.  Feltus, a seasoned detective, found the man reliable.

Some conclusions  may be drawn.

~~

Some of the classifieds Prosper Thomson placed in 1947 together with other relevant information.

1947 – Jessica Harkness arrives in Adelaide from Melbourne.

Feb 47 – Clinic Distrib. WANTED – Paying cash or exchange take over terms for Roadster.

Mar 47 – Clinic Distrib. FOR SALE – Morris 10 hp series 1940 for Dodge or similar. Genuine NSPR.

Mar 47 – Box 1009j. WANTED – House or flat. Thomson

Mar 47 – FOR SALE – Dodge 1923 single seater NSPR £110

Mar 47 – Wanted .22 rifle (Three times this month). Hindley St.

Mar 47 – WANTED .22 auto or repeater -cash or exchange Healing Cycle. Thomson

Mar 47 – WANTED. Car, any make, any model, buckboard will do. Thomson Box 1009j.

Mar 47 – WANTED. Partner for used car business – £500 to £1000. City premises. Box 1009j £500 to £1,000

April 47 – CARL WEBB DESERTS WIFE.

Apr 47 – Wanted. Car or buckboard, any make. McTaggart (twice more this month). Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED. Employment of any kind. Good refs Thomson. Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED. URGENTLY. Car any type, spot cash. Thomson. Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED DESPERATELY. Car, any type, pay cash. Box 953H. £75 to £200

May 47 – WANTED. Any make car, cash or takeover terms. Thomson. £150. Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED. Building suit workshop – pay ingoing or buy plant. URGENT. Thomson. Box 953H.

June / July 1947 – Jessica Harkness gives birth to son Robin.

July 47 – WANTED. 1946 / 47 sedan for taxi. URGENT. Thomson, X3239. Moseley Street.*

 

And a big thank you to Dude47, who’s been been plugging Webb as a shifty sort of character from day 1.

The Somerton Man’s Ship Has Sailed

The end of a long voyage

Read more

CARL ’CHARLES’ WEBB and His Family Tree.

See end of post for family tree.

~~

The Somerton Man is said to be Carl ‘Charles’ Webb.

Born 1905 Footscray, Melbourne.

He had six siblings.

He disappeared in ‘April 47, the same year Robin was born and Jessica moved to Adelaide from Melbourne.

Deserting his wife, Dorothy “Doff” Webb. Maiden name Dorothy Jean Robertson.

They had no children.

She divorced him in absentia in 1951 and by that time was living in Bute, South Australia, 90 miles from Adelaide.

Electrical Engineer – Instrument Maker.

Australian.

DNA match made. First cousin three times removed on his mother’s side.

No photo of him found.

No official record of him found other than his record of birth.

No death record.

None of his family on record as having identified him as the Somerton Man from newspaper photos

Derek Abbott claims success. Colleen Fitzpatrick claims success.

SA police have no comment to make, neither verifying or confirming this claim.

Abbott has found Webb had a brother-in-law named Thomas Keane who lived in Brunswick, and believes the sharp objects were likely used in his work as instrument maker.

Abbott found family records showing he wrote poetry and liked a punt on the racehorses.

The following lifted from CNN, article written by Hilary Whiteman.

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/07/26/australia/australia-somerton-man-mystery-solved-claim-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

Who was Carl ‘Charles’ Webb?

According to Abbott, Webb was born on November 16, 1905 in Footscray, a suburb of Victoria’s state capital Melbourne. He was the youngest of six siblings.

Little is known about his early life, Abbott says, but he later married Dorothy Robertson — known as Doff Webb.

When Webb emerged as the prime person of interest on the family tree, Abbott and Fitzpatrick set to work, scouring public records for information about him. They checked electoral rolls, police files and legal documents. Unfortunately, there were no photos of him to make a visual match.

“The last known record we have of him is in April 1947 when he left Dorothy,” said Fitzpatrick, founder of Identifinders International, a genealogical research agency involved in some of America’s most high-profile cold cases.

“He disappeared and she appeared in court, saying that he had disappeared and she wanted to divorce,” Fitzpatrick said. They had no known children.

FAMILY TREE

https://www.ancestry.com.au/family-tree/tree/184165889/family/familyview?cfpid=372402315111

Courtesy of Byron Deveson.

 

 

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