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Trove Tuesday - William Arthur Guymer

This weeks Trove Tuesday posting involves the circumstances surrounding the death of William Arthur Guymer.

Source: Sad Fatality. (1885, February 7). Southern Argus (Goulburn, NSW : 1881 - 1885), p. 5. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109767039

Transcript:

Sad Fatality.

William A. Guymer, a son of Mr. Alfred Guymer, a well-known resident of the Goulburn district, met his death yesterday morning in a very peculiar manner.  It appears the unfortunate man had unloaded a waggon contained firewood at the Baw Baw limeworks, when he drew away about twenty-five yards distant, and entered a shed to rest himself.  Whilst there a blast in the quarry went off, and a piece of limestone struck Guymer on the head.  So severe was the wound inflicted that he died in about half-an-hour afterwards.  Dr. Gentle was sent for, and on arrival found that life was extinct.  Deceased was 24 years of age, and leaves a wife and one child.  It is stated by the men working in the quarry that deceased was warned of the blast being about to take place ; but it appears he did not pay much heed, thinking there was no danger.  An inquest will be held to-day.


Source: A Sad Fatality. (1885, February 7). Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), p. 4. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article98441278

Transcript:

A Sad Fatality.

A FATAL blasting accident occurred yesterday morning between 8 and 9 o'clock at the Baw Baw lime works.  The victim was a young man named William Guymer, son of Mr. Alfred Guymer, who resides at Baw Baw.  From the particulars that can be obtained, it seems that the unfortunate man had delivered a load of wood at the works, and had, after unloading some of it, gone into a shed, distant about twenty-five yards from the quarry, to rest.  Just at this time a blast was fired, and a piece of the stone that was shifted struck the deceased on the head, injuring him so terribly that he expired in a few minutes.  The poor fellow never spoke after being struck.  It appears an alarm was given before the blast was fired, but the deceased could not have heard it.  A message was despatched for Dr. Gentle, but before he arrived the deceased had breathed his last.  The inquest will be held this afternoon at Baw Baw at 3 o'clock.  A sad circumstance in connection with the fatality is that Guymer had only been married twelve months.




Source: GOULBURN VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE. (1885, February 7). Goulburn Herald (NSW : 1881 - 1907), p. 4. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103281972

Transcript:

FATAL BLASTING ACCIDENT.-Between eight and nine o'clock yesterday morning a young man named William Guymer, son of Mr. Alfred Guymer of Baw Baw, was killed through a blast fired in the lime quarries.  It appears that Guymer went to the limeworks with a load of wood, and after unloading a portion of it went into a shed about twenty-five yards from the quarry to rest.  Whilst he was there a blast was fired, and unfortunately a piece of the stone came in the direction where the deceased was sitting, and struck him in the head, inflicting such injuries that he died within twenty minutes, without uttering a word.  It is said that the alarm was given by the men before firing the blast, but the deceased must have not have heard them.  Dr. Gentle was sent for but life was extinct before his arrival.  An inquest will be held this afternoon.  The deceased was about twenty-six years of age, and had been married only about twelve months.


I found the differences in the reporting of the story in the three local newspapers quite interesting and believe I was better informed about the incident after reading through all three.  It was a good reminder to me to make sure I read all available accounts of an occurrence, instead of relying on just one source.

The inquest into William's death took place on the Saturday the 7th February 1885 at Baw Baw, New South Wales.

New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1796-1942 about William Arthur Guymer

Name: William Arthur Guymer
Inquest Date: 7 Feb 1885
Inquest Location: Baw Baw

Source: Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1796-1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.





Source: INQUEST. (1885, February 10). Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), p. 4. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article98440254


Transcript:

INQUEST.

THE coroner (Mr. A.M. Betts) held an inquest at Baw Baw on Saturday before a jury of six on the body of William Guymer.
Henry Akers deposed : I live at Baw Baw and am a quarryman ; the body just viewed by the coroner and jury is that of William Arthur Guymer ; he was a wood-carter; he has left a wife and one child ; yesterday about 11a.m. Daniel Kate and I bored a hole about 16 or 18 inches deep to blast out some limestone rock at Mr. Noble's quarries ; when the hole was about half loaded with powder Kate called out to the men to look sharp and get away with the carts ; after it was loaded Kate called "fire;" I did not know at this time that I was going to light the fuse ; Kate turner round and said "light the fuse, Harry ;" I saw the men going away, and I called "fire;"  I lit the fuse and ran away ; in about three or four minutes I heard someone down towards the sheds calling out ; I saw Mr. Noble running ; I went also, and saw Mr. Noble holding the deceased in his arms ; about a minute and a-half before this the blast had gone off ; deceased was bleeding from the ear and the side of the head ; I got some water, and then I took Mr. Noble's saddle-horse and rode for Dr. Gentle ; the doctor returned with me at once, but when we got to the quarry deceased was quite dead ; deceased was below where the blast was fired, sitting on some wood, and he had just delivered a load of wood ; he was about forty yards away from where the blast was fired ; I did not know he was there when I lit the fuse ; I do not think deceased could have heard when we called out "fire;" the kiln was burning at the time, and it was between the quarry and where deceased was ; I saw some of the stone go up and come down again, rainbow form ; some of the stones fell where deceased was ; the same warning was given as is always given before we fire; deceased was between two heaps of wood, and I do not believe any of the other men saw him ; deceased had been delivering wood at the quarry about a month ; I do not know whether he knew that we were blasting yesterday ; there were 8 or 9 other men about the kilns at the time the blast went off ; none of the others were hurt ; I could not see deceased's team from where I was ; I did not know deceased was there at all.
Daniel Kate gave corroborative evidence, and added that Mr. Noble and he carried the deceased into the shed after the accident, and he died in a minute or two afterwards ; he also said - It is not the practice to go and see if anyone is about the kiln when a blast is about to be fired ; the other men must have seen deceased ; they called out "fire" also ; he (deceased_ was within hearing of them, and ought to have heard the men calling out ; it it is no one's duty specially to see that no one is in danger when the blasts are fired ; I have never been cautioned, but I am always careful to give plenty of warning.
E.D. Smith, a fireman at the quarries, deposed : Deceased came to the quarry with a load of wood about 10 a.m. ; when he had half unloaded the wood I asked him to move the horses on ; he got off the waggon and did so ; he sat on a log by my side, and while we were talking a shot was fired at the quarry ; I said "look out, Bill here comes some stone over:" I dodged a stone, but it struck deceased at the back of the ear and knocked him off the log ; the blood commenced to flow at once, and deceased was unable to move ; I called for Mr. Noble, and he came and raised deceased from the ground ; he was quite insensible ; deceased and I had been sitting on the log from 5 to 10 minutes before the shot went off ; we heard no warnings of any kind ; we heard no one call out "fire;" the kiln fire makes a great noise, and would prevent us hearing ; we did not see any of the other men run away ; I did not know that the blast was going to be fired ; I have been working there nine weeks ; the usual warning is to sing out "fire;" there was a previous blast yesterday morning, and I was then struck by a small stone ; I made no complaint, as I thought it would be useless ; I asked deceased to move his horses because I wanted the wood near the kiln.
J.F. Noble, leasee of the quarries, deposed : I did not know Guymer was about the quarry ; if he had not been sitting down I would probably have seen him.  (Witness gave a quantity of corroborative evidence ; he said that deceased breathed 7 or 8 minutes after he was moved into the shed.)  The stone must have struck him on the right side of the head near the ear ; I saw a stone there which was 2 or 3lbs weight ; I have often cautioned the men to give notice and to be careful when the blasting is going on ; the men at the kiln should be able to hear when the warning is given ; I have heard them myself call out "fire" when I have been in front of the kiln ; I have know the men remain in front of the kiln after warning has been given ; they would be safe close into the kiln, but not some distance from it ; we have never had a man injured before through the blasting ; I never had any complaint from the firemen that they could not hear the warning in consequence of the noise by the kiln ; I was in charge of the works at the time the occurrence took place, but I did not know or see the deceased ; deceased was I believe 23 years of age.
The jury returned a verdict that the deceased was killed by a stone from the blast-that the occurrence was accidental ; but in the opinion of the jury greater precautions should be taken in future to see that no persons are in a position of danger when a blast is about to be fired.





Source: Fatal Blasting Accident. (1885, February 10). Southern Argus (Goulburn, NSW : 1881 - 1885), p. 2. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109767056


Transcript:

Fatal Blasting Accident.

An accident occurred at the Baw Baw lime works on Friday last, by which William Arthur Guymer met his death.  The facts connected with the sad event were all disclosed at the inquest on Saturday, before Mr. A.M. Betts, coroner.  It was about 11 o'clock on Friday, when a blast was fired, the men having charge of it being Henry Akers and Daniel Kate.  They having made all preparation, gave the usual caution consisting of cries of "fire."  Deceased was below where the blast was fired, sitting on some wood, talking to a workman named Edward David Smith.  During this conversation the shot went off, and Smith said "Look out, Bill ; here comes some stone over."  Smith dodged the stone, but it struck deceased at the back of the ear and knocked him off the log.  Help soon arrived, and when deceased was picked up he was insensible.  The man Akers road into town for Dr. Gentle, who returned at once, but when they reached the spot Guymer was dead.  Deceased was about forty yards away from where the blast was fired, and the man who lit the fuse did not know he was about, neither did Kate ; besides the kiln was burning at the time, and it was between the quarry and where deceased was.  The evidence of Smith showed that they did not know the blast was going off, neither did they see any of the other men running away.  John Francis Noble, the lessee of the Baw Baw lime quarries, gave evidence as to the customary practice when blasting took place ; there was more danger some distance from the kiln than close to it ; he had never had anyone injured through blasting before ; no complaint had been made to him about not hearing in consequence of the noise made by the kiln.  Deceased was 23 years of age, and had been carting wood to the lime works.  He leaves a widow and one child.  The jury returned the following verdict :- That on the 6th day of February at Baw Baw William Arthur Guymer was killed by a stone from a blast ; that the occurrence was accidental, but in the opinion of the jury greater precaution should be taken in future to see that no persons are in a position of danger when a blast is about to be fired.






Source: THE LATE FATAL BLASTING ACCIDENT. (1885, February 10). Goulburn Herald (NSW : 1881 - 1907), p. 2. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103280835

Transcript:

THE LATE FATAL BLASTING ACCIDENT.

On Saturday afternoon last Mr. A.M. Betts, coroner held an inquest at Baw Baw, touching the death of William Arthur Guymer, who as reported in our last issue was killed by a stone from a blast fired at the Baw Baw lime-works.  The following is a summary of the evidence given :- 
Henry Akers, a quarryman, residing at Baw Baw, deposed that the deceased's name was William Guymer ; he had left a widow and child, and was a wood-carter ; on Friday morning, about eleven o'clock, Daniel Kate and witness bored a hole about sixteen or eighteen inches deep to blast some limestone rocks in Mr. Noble's quarries at Baw Baw ; when the hole was half-loaded with powder Kate sang out to the men to look sharp and get away with the carts ; after the hole was loaded Kate sang out "fire!" twice ; then he turned round to witness and said, "light the fuse, Harry;" witness saw the men going away, and called out "fire," and heard others calling out "fire;" witness then lit the fuse and ran away ; a few minutes after he heard some one crying out at the sheds, and saw Mr. Noble running ; witness went to the sheds, and saw Noble supporting deceased in his arms ; this was about a minute and a-half after the blast was fired ; deceased was bleeding from the ear and the side of the head ; witness brought some water, and then saddled Noble's horse and went into town for Dr. Gentle ; the doctor returned with him, but when they arrived at the quarry the deceased was dead ; just before the firing of the blast the deceased had delivered a load of wood, and was sitting on some wood about forty yards away from the quarry where the blast was fired ; witness did not know that the deceased was sitting on the wood when he fired the blast, and he thought that the deceased could not have heard them calling out "fire;"  the kiln was burning, and it was between deceased and the quarry ; witness saw some of the stones fall in rainbow form ; some of them fell where deceased was between two loads of wood ; the usual warning was given before firing the blast ; he did not believe that any of the men saw the deceased where he was ; he did not know whether the deceased knew that they were blasting on Friday ; there were eight or nine men about the kiln, and some of them were hurt.
Daniel Kate corroborated the evidence of previous witness.
Edward Daniel Smythe, fireman, working at Baw Baw lime-works, deposed that on Friday the deceased was delivering a load of wood at the works ; when he was half unloaded witness asked him to move the horses ; he did so and then sat down on a log beside witness, and they commenced talking ; a shot was fired from the quarry and witness said, "Look out, Bill, here comes some stone over;" witness dodged a stone, which afterwards struck the deceased at the back of the ear, and knocked him off the log ; blood commenced to flow at once, and deceased was unable to move ; witness called out to Mr. Noble, who came over at once and raised deceased off the ground ; neither witness nor deceased heard anyone give the alarm before the shot was fired ; the kiln makes a noise and this would prevent their hearing anyone cry out "fire;" neither of them saw any of the men running away ; witness had been struck by a stone from a blast fired previously that morning ; the usual warning is to sing out "fire."
John Francis Noble, lessee of the Baw Baw lime-quarries, deposed that he heard the warning given that a shot was going to be fired, he heard Smythe call out and went down to the kiln ; saw deceased lying on the ground and blood coming from his head ; witness carried him into a shed that was near and sent for a doctor , but deceased died in seven or eight minutes; there was a stone near deceased weighing about two or three pounds ; witness had often cautioned the men to be careful in firing shots ; it is no person's special duty to see that the men are out of danger ; the men at the kiln should be able to hear the warning ; witness has heard it when at the kiln ; the fireman had never complained to him that he could not hear the warning ; witness was in charge of the works at the time the accident took place, but he did not see the deceased ; he believed the deceased was about twenty-three years of age.
The jury returned a verdict that the deceased was accidentally killed by a stone from a blast, and added as a rider that is was their opinion that greater precautions should be taken in future when a blast was being fired to see that no person was in danger.


William Arthur Guymer is my 2nd Great Grand Uncle,  born in 1861 he was the son of Alfred Guymer and his wife Hannah Maria Jones. In 1882 he married Caroline Janet Harvey in Goulburn, New South Wales. After William's death in 1885 (which for some reason is listed as George A. Guymer in the NSW BDM Death Indexes) Caroline was left to raise their two children Alfred and Rachel.  In 1894 Caroline remarried and the family later moved to New Zealand.

The children of William Arthur Guymer and his wife Caroline Janet Harvey were:


  • Alfred William Guymer 1884 -1959 
  • Rachel Bentley Russell nee Guymer  1885-1963


Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922 about William A Gramore

Name: William A Gramore
Birth Date: 1861
Father's Name: Alfred Gramore
Mother's Name: Hannah
Birth Place: New South Wales
Registration Year: 1861
Registration Place: Goulburn, Gunning, Yass (County of Argyle), New South Wales
Volume Number: V18615758 121C

Source: Ancestry.com. Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

NSW BDM Birth Index

 V18615758 121C/1861 GRAMORE WILLIAM A ALFRED HANNAH
7950/1863 HARVEY CAROLINE J WILLIAM CAROLINE GOULBURN
12518/1884 GUYMER ALFRED W WILLIAM A CAROLINE J ARGYLE
13006/1885 GUYMER RACHEL WILLIAM A CAROLINE J GOULBURN

NSW BDM Marriage Index

3358/1882 GUYMER WILLIAM ARTHUR HARVEY CAROLINE JANET GOULBURN
3811/1894 ELLIOTT DAVID A GUYMER CAROLINE J GOULBURN

NSW BDM Death Index

6733/1885 GUYMER GEORGE A ALFRED HANNAH GOULBURN

Source: NSW BDM Indexes.  NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Retrieved from http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/

New Zealand BMD Marriage Index

1908/4656 Rachel Bentley Guymer John Russell
1908/7347 Elizabeth Matthews         Alfred William  Guymer

New Zealand BDM Death Index

1945/19465 Elliott Caroline Janet 81Y
1959/33854 Guymer Alfred William 75Y
1963/33297 Russell Rachel Bentley 78Y

Source: New Zealand - Births, Deaths and Marriages Online. Retrieved from https://www.bdmonline.dia.govt.nz/

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