Robert Charles Colville

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Charge of Manslaughter.
KERANG, Tuesday.-An inquest was held to-day concerning the death of William Henry Gilham, who died from injuries on July 11. Superintendent Black appeared for the police, Mr. Myles O'Brien for Robert Charles Colville, and Mr. Trebilock for Mrs. Gilham.
Constable Mann said that Colville had missed some tools from the Pyramid Creek bridge punt, and he suspected Gilham, and swore an information against him. A search warrant was taken out on July 4, when Gilham's house was searched, but nothing was found.
ALbert Hayman, labourer, employed by Colville, gave evidence that on July 11 he was working on the Pyramid Creek bridge with Bert Casey. Colville was working on the other end of the bridge. Gilham pulled up in a motor-car, and walked back towards Colville. He said he would make Colville apologise to him or he would throw him in the river. Later witness saw Colville and Gilham struggle. Colville had a saw. Colville seemed to be hitting Gilham on the head with the saw. Casey separated the men. Gilham walked to the other end of the bridge and laid or fell down. Gilham had blood over his face. Gilham said, "I am done; he settled me with an adze."
Dr. Nankivell gave evidence as to the injuries, and said that in his opinion death was due to one injury, which caused laceration of the brain and hemorrhage. The edge of an acze would cause a fracture of the skull. A saw would cause a cut on the head, not a fracture. That would be caused by something blunt. There were two wounds on the head, one on each side. One might have been caused by striking a beam, but not the other. The injuries on the right side of the head might have been caused by striking a beam. There was a fracture on the left side of the head.
John Thomas Walsh gave evidence as to Gilham saying, "He has knocked my brains out."
Senior-constable Fisher gave evidence as to Colville on July 11 stating that he wished to five Gilham in charge for having attempted to murder him with an adze. He went to Gilham's house and asked him what was the matter. Gilham said Colville had cracked him.
E. Blyth Keats said that he saw Gilham about on July 11. Gilham was drunk, and said he was going to "do Colville in."
J. S. Armstrong said that Gilham had told him that he resented having his house searched, and that the next time he met Colville he would kill him.
The coroner (Mr. Cook, P.M.) found that William H. Gilham died from injuries inflicted with an adze by Robert Charles Colville on July 11. He found Colville guilty of manslaughter, and ordered that he should appear at the Bendigo Supreme Court on August 2. Bail was fixed in one surety of £250 and accused himself in a like amount.[1]

In 1962 Robert Colville was the contractor for the construction of a new bridge at Clunes.

At Clunes. Courtesy personal collection of Andrew Matheson.


See also



  1. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 27 July 1927, page 9. Digital copy accessed via Trove.

Further Reading

External links

Victorian Heritage Database - 'Tragedy Bridge', Kerang

--Beth Kicinski 14:11, 4 June 2013 (EST)

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