Old news from Armidale and New England

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Killed by Lightning

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Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 – 1860), Saturday 9 December 1848

Country Intelligence.

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS.)

ARMIDALE.

DREADFUL ACCIDENT; – TWO MEN KILLED BY LIGHTNING. – About six o’clock on Tuesday evening last, three men, named William Lilley, John Smith, and [unknown], brickmakers, after being at work all day, went into their hut or gunya, as it may be termed, being only a few sheets of bark stuck up end ways, having a small entrance or hole hardly sufficient for a man to creep into. The first named men went in, and being rather fatigued from their day’s exertions, laid down together on the bed, while the other man cooked their supper. During this time the storm was at its climax, and passing directly over the hut a frightful peal of thunder was heard, instantaneously preceeded by a vivid flash of forked lightning, which entered the hut through the apperture before mentioned, and struck the two men who were lying on the bed, killing them instantaneously. The third man was only slightly injured, having had his arm scorched by the electric fluid as it re-passed through the entrance of the hut. Our excellent neighbour, Dr. Markham, was seen (as soon as the dreadful event was made known, galloping across the plains, to the scene of this sad disaster, but medical aid was useless, the vital spark had fled, Dr. M. being of opinion (to use his own words) that they went off like the snuffing of a candle. Such was the fearful end of two strong able young men, neither of them having reached his thirtieth year, illustrating the fact, that “in the midst of life we are in death.”

The inhabitants of Armidale are about drawing up a petition to his Excellency to appoint a magistrate and coroner resident in the town. It is positively a fact, that in this rising township if any person has a little police office business to transact, he is compelled to stay sometimes a fortnight before he can gaze on the glorious countenance of a J.P. to do him justice on the premises.

Written by macalba

April 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

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