Christina DORMAN – wife of Walter
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stations: ?, Bungonia
Service: From ? to ?
Died on: ?
Funeral date: ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: ?
Goulburn Evening Penny Post Tuesday 29 January 1884 page 4 of 4
ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING. IN our last issue we reported the accidental shooting of Mrs. Dorman, wife of Constable Dorman, of Bungonia.
News was brought into town on Friday evening that the unfortunate young woman had died early that morning. The following is a report of the inquest held by Mr. Betts at Constable Dorman’s residence, Bungonia, on Saturday, touching the death of the late Mrs. Dorman, the finding of which was “that the said Christina Dorman died from injuries caused by a shot from a revolver fired by Walter Dorman, and that such firing was purely accidental.”
Walter Dorman deposed; The body just viewed by the coroner and jury is that of my wife, Christina Dorman ; I am a mounted constable stationed at Bungonia ; I have been in the force about two years, and I have been living at Bungonia about three months ; deceased was 23 years of age last February ; we had been married about nine months ; the day before yesterday, the 24th instant, about half.past 11 am, I went out with a man of Mr. Styles’ to inquire as to a fire which had occurred at Mr. Chas. Styles’ place ; from there I went to Woods, and then came home ; I found deceased at home and two of the Miss Broadheads’ were with her ; I came inside ; after having my dinner I came into the sitting room and sat down at the table ; I took a pair of handcuffs from my pocket and laid them on the table ; the oldest Miss Broadhead said “you have not much use for them here;” my wife said ” no, this is a very quiet station ;” each of them took the hand cuffs and put them on their wrists and tried to get them on and off while locked ; my wife then said “show the Miss Broadheads your other instruments, Walter – your sword and revolver;” I said “all right;” I went into the bedroom and got the revolver ; I came to the table ; there were six cartridges in the revolver, that is one in each chamber ; I emptied four chambers and then went on talking ; I was in the act of preparing to take the fifth cartridge out when deceased said ” Oh, don’t you remember you have only four in it ?” : I said “Oh yes, you’re right;” ; I then closed the stem and closed the cap and reversed the revolver ; I then held the revolver pointing towards the floor and looked through to see if it was empty ; I could see nothing and thought it was empty : I then raised it and said ” Now, I have got you all;” I pointed the revolver first at the wall and then at one of the Miss Broadheads and passed it round, pulling the trigger ; after I pointed it at the second Miss Broadhead my wife said, “Oh, don’t point it at anybody ;” just as she said this I was in the act of pointing it at her ; the revolver went off and I saw my wife sinking back in her chair ; the next instant I saw blood coming from the side of her neck, and I said “Oh, good God, I have shot my wife ; ” I ran to her assistance ; I felt her neck where the blood was spurting from it ; I could feel the bullet under the skin ; the Miss Broadheads ran out crying, and I called to them to bring in Mr Armstrong ; I worked the bullet out with my thumb from where the wound was and I now produce it ; the bullet is considerably out of shape and appears to .have come in contact with some hard substance ; I afterwards saw a hole in my wife’s dress below the elbow ; I pulled up her sleeve and found there was a wound as if the bullet had passed through the flesh of the arm ; the wound on the neck was on the right side about two inches below the ear ; at the time I pointed the revolver at deceased she put up her arm, and it was just at that instant the revolver went off ; I was sitting on a chair at the time I fired, and the other three was sitting also ; I stopped the bleeding as well as I could until Mr. James Armstrong came in ; I told him I had shot my wife, and asked him to send for a doctor ; Joseph Armstrong was at once sent to Goulburn for a doctor, and I told them the horse was fit to travel, and not to spare him ; I remained with my wife, supporting her on an easy chair, until the doctor arrived – in about three hours and three quarters afterwards ; my wife appeared to be insensible for about a quarter of an hour after receiving the shot ; she then called and spoke to me ; Dr. McKillop remained about an hour, and then came again in about another hour and stayed until about eleven o’clock, when he returned to Goulburn; he gave me directions what to do ; he told me it was a very dangerous case, and that there was paralysis of the lower parts, but that with great care deceased might pull through ; I asked him if he need come out again, but he said not unless we noticed any change, and that I could send in to him and report ; I attended to deceased all night ; at about midnight Sub-inspector Fenton arrived, and he remained with me some time ; he took a statement from my wife ; she was quite sensible and conscious at the time, and knew perfectly well what she was saying ; about 3 am deceased said she felt a curious sensation in her throat ; I gave her some essence of lemon in some water, which seemed to relieve her a little, and after this she became feverish ; she complained again several times about her throat ; about half past nine deceased’s father and mother and sister arrived ; I took them in to see deceased; she recognised them all ; deceased’s mother was very excited, and made a great noise ; deceased asked me what the noise was, and said she felt so frightened ; she then sank back upon her pillow and never rallied ; she died at ten minutes past eleven on Friday morning : about a fortnight since I loaded the six chambers of the revolver, and the same day I fired two shots at a native bear ; after I came home I put the revolver in the bedroom, and my wife must have seen that there, were only four cartridges in it, or I may have told her that I had fired two shots at the bear ; I usually had the six chambers loaded ; a day or two after shooting at the bear, I came across two loose cartridges in my box, and put them in the revolver, but I had forgotten that I did so, and when my wife said ” Don’t you know there are only four cartridges in it,” and l believed that it was so ; when I pointed the revolver at the Misses Broadhead and my wife I fully believed it was empty ; my wife and I lived very happily, and had no quarrel ; I was perfectly sober, and had not tasted anything in the way of drink that day ; the paralysis of deceased’s body extended all below the breast, and it continued up to the time of her death ; my wife saying there were only four cartridges in it put me off my guard, and if she had not said so I should have examined the revolver more carefully.
Ellen Broadhead deposed: I am the daughter of William Broadhead, and live at Brisbane Meadow; on Thursday last about four o’clock I and my sister Sarah came to see Mrs. Dorman ; in a quarter of an hour afterwards her husband came home, and we were sitting in the room ; after Dorman had his dinner he came and sat in the same room with us ; he put a pair of handcuffs on the table, and after we had looked at them Dorman went out of the room ; he returned with a revolver in his hand; he handed it to me ; I saw it was loaded, and told him to take it back ; he said, ” I’ll unload it for you, then, and you can have a lok.at it;” he then kept hammering it on the table, and took some cartridges out ; I asked him if it was a six chambered revolver, and just then the fourth cartridge dropped out ; Mrs. Dorman then interrupted him, and she said, “o, don’t you remember there were only four in ti ; ” Dorman said, ” O, yes, you are right ” Dorman gave the revolver two or three raps more on the table, and seemed to he looking through it ; he then said, ” I’ll show you now that’s there’s none in it, ” and he pointed into the corner of the room, and snapped the trigger ; he then pointed the revolver at my sister, and snapped the trigger again ; then the same with me ; and then he did the same at the deceased ; the revolver went off add immediately afterwards Dorman said, “O, she is shot;” just as the revolver went off deceased put up her arm and said, ” O, don’t ;” I saw blood coming from deceased’s neck she sank bab in her chair; and did not speak; Dorman said, ” O, run for Mr. Armstrong, ” and my sister and both ran out. Acting Sub-Inspector Fenton deposed: On Thursday night last I came to Bungonia, and arrived at the Police station at about half-past 11 pm ; I previously saw Dr. McKillop at Garard’s public house ‘ from what he told me I concluded he had but little hopes of deceased recovering ; I then came to Constable Dorman’s residence at the Police station ; I saw him and he showed me into the room where his wife was lying in bed ; she seemed very weak, but was able to speak and was conscious ; she made some statement to me in the presence of her husband as to how she received the injury ; I asked her if it would distress her to make a statement to me which I could take down in writing, and she said ” No;” she then, in her husband’s presence, made a statement which I reduced to writing and now produce; I read it over to her after taking it; she replied it was right; Dorman was present the whole time, and I invited him to sign it, which he did. and I also signed it; deceased was not fit to sign it and I knew that her arms were paralysed (statement read to the jury): Constable Dorman made no remark after the statement was read, but he subsequently told me he was glad it had been taken. James Armstrong, of Bungonia, was also examined. ‘The following is the statement of Christlina Dorman as given in Acting Sud. lnspector Fenton’s evidence -” I am very ill, but I hope I shall get better; I have been married to my present husband, Constable Walter Dorman, about nine months, and during that time we have lived happily together; about noon yesterday, the 24th day of January, 1884, my husband went away on duty and returned soon after 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, and on his return the two Miss Broadheads were with me ; my husband’s dinner was ready for him, and after having his dinner he joined the Miss Broadheads and myself in the parlour ; he then took his handcuffs out of his pocket and placed them on the table; I do not know the Miss Broadhead’s christian names, but one of them remarked that he had not much use for them here (meaning Bungonia) ; we all tried the handcuffs on; I then told my husband to bring his sword and other instruments, and he brought his revolver from the bedroom, and unloaded four chambers of it ; I then said I thought that was all that was loaded ; he then looked into the revolver and said he believed that was, and then laughingly’ said, “Now I have got you all,” and pointed the revolver at one of the Miss Broadheads and then at the other, and each time snapped the revolver, and the third time he snapped it at me, and as be was pointing it I said don’t point that at anybody, and at the same time I held up my arm (my right arm) ; I then heard the discharge of the revolver but felt nothing and immediately after I saw I was bleeding from the neck, I then heard my husband say, ‘Oh, my God, I have shot my wife,’ and he asked the Miss Broadheads to go for Mr. Armstrong and began to cry, and he extracted the bullet from the right aide ol my neck and was trying to stop the bleeding and I became faint and was unable to speak for some time ; my husband was soon afterwards assisted by Mr. James Armstrong and others who remained with me off and on till Dr. McKillop arrived ; ‘I never knew my husband to present his revolver at anyone before yesterday ; he was then perfectly sober, as he is now, and I am satisfied the wounding of me was purely an accident, and that he believed, as I did, that there were only 4 chambers of his revolver loaded, in fact I saw a few days ago that there were only four of the chambers loaded, and that was why I remarked when he took the four bullets out of the revolver that was all there was in it ; I am perfectly sensible, but I have no feeling in my arms or lower part of my body.” .
Goulburn Evening Penny Post Thursday 31 January 1884 page 4 of 4
BUNGONIA. THE peacefullness of our little township has been greatly disturbed by a series of melancholy events which have taken place during the last week.
On Tuesday last, a son of Mr. James Armstrong’s tripped while running, and falling on one arm broke it at the elbow. The little fellow was immediately taken to Goulburn, where the limb was set by Dr. Morton, and I am pleased to say the patient is progressing favourably.
The fatal gun accident which happened to Mrs. Dorman, an accurate account of which was given in your edition of Saturday last, continues fresh in the minds of the people here, and everyone sympathises with Mr. Dorman in his sad bereavement. On Sunday morning about 11 o’clock an infant daughter of Mr. James Armstrong, died. The poor child was six weeks of age and had been ailing almost since her birth. Owing to the continued dry weather and scarcity of good water, many persons here are suffering from diarrhoe ; colds also ale prevalent in consequence of the sudden change which took place in the atmosphere.