Oscar McDONALD

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ?

36 old

Suicide – Jumped from a cliff

Died  21 December 1919 – Belmore Falls, Robertson

Funeral  27 December 1919, Robertson

Buried  Church of England, Robertson.

 

 

Media reports:

 

Goulburn Evening Penny Post ( N.S.W. )

Tuesday  30 December 1919  page 2 of 4

CONSTABLE DROWNS HIMSELF.

Moss Vale Monday. –

The body of Constable Oscar McDonald, of Rugby, near Young, who drowned himself on the 21st instant, came to the surface in a water hole at Belmore Falls, and was discovered on Saturday morning.

At the inquest a verdict of suicide while temporarily insane was returned.

He was 36 years of age, and leaves a wife and seven children.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/98903618?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc#pstart9600234

 

 

The Sydney Morning Herald

Tuesday  30 December 1919  page 7 of 10

CONSTABLE DROWNS HIMSELF.

MOSS VALE, Monday.

The body of Constable Oscar McDonald, of Rugby, near Young, who drowned himself on the 21st instant, came to the surface in a waterhole at Belmore Falls, and was discovered on Saturday morning. At the inquest a verdict of suicide while temporarily insane was returned. He was 36 years of age, and leaves a wife and seven children.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15881840?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc#pstart1252437

 

 

Northern Star ( Lismore, NSW )

Wednesday  31 December 1919  page 5 of 8

GENERAL TELEGRAMS.

Verdict of Suicide.

SYDNEY, Tuesday.—

The body of Constable Oscar McDonald, late of Rugby, near Young, who drowned himself on the 21st inst., came to the surface in a waterhole at Belmore Falls, Moss Vale.

At the   inquest a verdict of suicide while temporarily insane was returned.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/93020545?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc#pstart8841887

 

 

The Scrutineer and Berrima District Press

Wednesday  31 December 1919  page 2 of 4

Belmore Falls Tragedy.

The body of Constable Oscar McDonald, of Rugby, near Young, who was missing from Sunday, 21 st instant, came to the surface of the waterhole at Belmore Falls, where his clothes and a note, to his wife stating that he was tired of his life were found, and was discovered on Friday morning and dragged out of the water.

At the inquest following the discovery, the district coroner (Mr. H. W. Taylor) returned a verdict of suicide whilst suffering from temporary insanity.

Deceased was a son of Mr. Robert McDonald, of Robertson, and was born in that township 36 years ago.

He leaves a widow (a daughter of Mr. John Lindsay, of Moss Vale) and seven children.

The remains were interred in the Church of England cemetery, Robertson, on Saturday, the Rev. J. F. Rofe officiating at the graveside.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/124751250?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc#pstart13323653

 

 

The Southern Mail ( Bowral, NSW )
Friday 2 January 1920 page 2 of 4
The Suicide at Belmore Falls
THE BODY FOUND.

The body of Constable Oscar McDonald, of Rugby, near Young, who had been missing since Sunday, the 21st December, came to the surface of the waterhole at Belmore Falls, and was discovered on Friday morning and dragged out of the water.

Some days previously the clothes of the missing man were found near the top of the falls with a note to his wife stating that he was tired of his life, and it was surmised that he had jumped into the deep waterhole 300ft beneath.

Efforts to recover the body by dragging, however, failed.

At the inquest following the discovery, the district coroner ( Mr. H. W. Taylor ) returned a verdict of suicide while suffering from temporary insanity.

Deceased was a son of Mr. Robert McDonald, of Robertson, and was born in that township 36 years ago.

He was on a visit to his birthplace on sick leave from the police force, suffering a nervous breakdown. A long bout of insomnia had left him in a state from which death would appear to give a happy release.

The late Constable McDonald leaves a widow ( a daughter of Mr. John Lindsay, of Moss Vale ) and seven children.

The remains were interred in the Church of England Cemetery, Robertson, on Saturday, the Rev J F Rofe officiating at the graveside.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/113381577?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

The exact same version, as above – from the Northern Star, also appeared in Robertson Advocate ( NSW ), Friday 2 January 1920 page 2 of 4

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/120009398?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

 

 

The Southern Mail ( Bowral, NSW )

Tuesday  6 January 1920  page 2 of 4

THANKS.—  The Widow, Family, and Relatives of the late Constable Oscar McDonald desire to Thank the police and public generally for their assistance and sympathy in their late sad bereavement.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/113381583?searchTerm=%22oscar%20mcdonald%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc#pstart11797711

Belmore Falls - Robertson, NSW.  1500mt fall

Belmore Falls – Robertson, NSW. 1500mt fall

Belmore Falls:

Rugby Police Station, NSW - No date

Rugby Police Station, NSW – No date

The earliest mention of Rugby Police Station ( which no longer exists as a Police Station ) in the National Library of Australia is 16 December 1875.

In October 1900 there was a Constable Overton stationed at Rugby Police Station.

As of 2014, there is no mention of Rugby Police Station, or Oscar McDonald inside the date range of 1900 – 1923.

In December of 1923 there was a Constable John Walderma CHITTY stationed at Rugby Police Station.

On 2 September 1927, approval was given for the installation of a telephone in Rugby Police Station.

The last mention of Rugby Police Station, in the papers of the day, is 4 July 1930.

 

On Saturday 19 July 2014, I went to the old Church on the corner of Illawarra Hwy & Meryla St, Robertson, to speak with the current Minister there.

He didn’t have any records with him and there are definitely no graves within the grounds of the Church, nor is there a Church of England Cemetery ( now ) – as stated in the article dated 2 January 1920.

The Minister did, however, direct me to one of the oldest residents in the area who runs the General Store up the road.

Before I troubled her, I attended the Robertson Cemetery located at the very end of Missingham Parade – at the below GPS co-ordinates.

It is a lovely cemetery, with graves dating back to the mid 1800’s and there would be no more than 100 marked graves there – but, as much as I searched, I could not locate the grave for Oscar.

There are several unmarked graves, there are several graves with upturned headstones that have fallen over with the process of time.  There are also graves whereby the inscriptions just can’t be read, due to weathering and then there are the graves that are totally shrouded in thick creeper vines and trees.

After spending a considerable amount of time there, without success, I decided to go to the old General Store and speak with the elderly lady who runs the place.

Now, considering this funeral happened nearly 95 years ago, I introduced myself to the lady and told her exactly what I was seeking.

Now bugger me if, after all these years, she steps forward to the bench in front of her and says, “I know I have that book around here somewhere”.

From under a few news papers, she removes an old brown tattered and torn book which holds most of the records of the Robertson Cemetery.

She flicks through the book to the appropriate date and there, before us, was the hand written note of her own long deceased father ( this lady is around 80 herself now ) is written:

“Decr 27th 1919.

Oscar McDonald buried in grave paid for by his father.”

Unfortunately there were no other details as to the location of the grave but, the woman assures me, Oscar would have been buried on the right hand side of the driveway as you enter the cemetery.

So, at this stage, that is the best I can do in relation to plotting exactly where Oscar is buried.

The elderly woman is retiring very soon, so this original book will be lost with time.  She tells me that she has given a photostat copy to the local Rail Museum and the local Cemetery Trust – as the cemetery is owned by the Community.

Burial record of Oscar McDonald recorded in an old book in the General Store at Robertson.

Burial record of Oscar McDonald recorded in an old book in the General Store at Robertson.

 

 

Approximate vicinity of grave site

 

 

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