1337. Charles Frederick Eather
EATHER v. EATHER.
A case of local interest came on for hear ing at the Divorce Court, Sydney, on Fri- day last, the 29th February. Charles Frederick Eather, of Windsor, petitioned for a. divorce against his wife Minnie Pauline ' Eather (formerly Jones), alleging- the - grounds of her adultery with Allan Fred rick Graham, of Windsor, who was joined in as co-respondent.
Mr. Justice A. G. Ralston tried the issues - and Mr. M. F. Loxton, who was instructed, by Mr. R. Bruce Walker, M.L.A., looked after the interests of the petitioner. No appearance was put in by, either the respondent or the co-respondent. Charles Frederick Eather deposed: I lived happily with my wife from the time of my marriage in May, 1905, until about March of 1922. I left my work in Windsor at this time and obtained a position at Botany Woollen Mills. I kept my home going at Windsor and my wife and family resided there. I would return at week-ends. In January, 1922, my son William told me something. I spoke to my wife about it and she said, 'Well Graham is a better man than you, and I'll have him." It was about a month after this that I went t0 work on the Monday morning as usual, and on re turning on the following Friday I found the house empty and all the furniture gone and my wife gone, and only two of the children remaining. It was not until six months after this that I found my wife at North Sydney. She was living with the three girls and Graham. I spoke to her and asked for an explanation of her conduct She said 'It is my business.' I saw my eldest girl Zeta 1 didn't see Graham at that time. I went over another time to get evidence about Graham, at night time. I went to the door and she opened it. When she did I saw Graham in the hall. I lost my temper and got on to both of them. Graham didn't say anything. She said, "Keep away from this place. I want nothing of you." About three months after this she came back to Windsor. It was about Xmas time of 1922. Graham came home also. she camped on the river banks. Graham was with her most of the time. About this time a child was born to her, of which I am not the father. Mr. Loxton: I will tender the birth certificate of the child and your Honor will notice that the name of the child as registered is "Alan Graham Eather," and it was born on December 12, 1922. Zeta May Levena Eather deposed: I am a daughter of the petitioner, and am 17 years of age. I remember my mother leaving my father and going to Sydney to live I went down in the train with her. I left her at the brewery with Allan Graham After a while I went to live with my mother at North Sydney. I lived there for about a year. Graham lived with her. We had a cottage rented. There were some other people in the house— Minnie' Molloy, Ernie Hooper and a man named Bob Griffith. Mother and Graham occupied the same room in which there was a double bed. In December of 1922, my mother, Graham and myself all returned 'to Windsor, and she gave birth to a child. She told me that Graham was the father of the child. Graham still continues to see her, and goes out with her. . His Honor was satisfied with the evidence before him that adultery had been committed by the co-respondent, and also that the father of the child was Allan Gra am. He found for the petitioner on all the issues, and gave him the custody of the infant children of the marriage. The co respondent was ordered to pay costs of the suit, and a decree made returnable in six months.
Source: Windsor and Richmond Gazette 7 Mar 1924
2251. William Charles Eather
CORONER HOLDS INQUIRY LATE W. C. EATHER
IN recording a verdict of accidental death at the conclusion of an inquiry conducted by him into the circumstances of the death of the late William Charles Eather, of Windsor, following the sulky in which deceased and two others were driving being struck by a motor cycle on the Richmond road on the night of April 25, 1936, the Hawkesbury District Coroner (Mr. H. S.Johnston, J.P.) on April 6th., expressed himself strongly on the subject of people using electric torches in sulkies and on bi cycles at night, classing the practice as 'suicide' and expressing the hope that in future such people would make better pro vision for the safety of their own and other lives by using proper illumination in such instances. The inquest was held at the Windsor Court House, 'Sergeant Campbell (Richmond being present to assist the Coroner in the production of evidence, and the first witness was Dr. G. P. Arnold, Government Medical Officer, Windsor, who stated that he conducted a post mortem examination of the -body of the late William Charles Eather on March 29, 1937, and was of the opinion that death was due to toxaemia absorption following on sloughing areas of the back after the severing of the spinal cord. In reply to Mr. C. F. Eather (father of deceased) the doctor said death was certainly caused through the accident in which deceased had been involved some time previously. Charles Frederick Eather, laborer, Wind or, stated that at 2.30 p.m. on April 25, 1936, deceased, who was witness' son, left home in a sulky, accompanied by his brother Frederick, for a drive to North Richmond. Deceased, who had been receiving an invalid pension for some 5 or 6 years previously, but could make his way about comfortably with the aid of a stick, was driving the sulky. Later that evening witness was informed that his sons had been involved in an accident, and immediately went by car to the spot on the Richmond road, where he saw deceased lying beside the road unconscious. Dr. Steele, of Richmond, who arrived on the scene before witness, had attended to deceased, and witness then had a bed arranged on a lorry, by which means he had deceased conveyed to his home. Shortly afterwards Dr. Arnold examined deceased and had him removed to the Hawkesbury District Hospital, where he remained until his death. On March 29, 1937, witness, in the presence of the Coroner, identified a body at the hospital morgue as that of his son, who had left no property or will, and whose life was not insured. When witness first reached the scene of the accident he saw a motor cycle lying inside the cement portion of the roadway. Frederick Joseph Eather, laborer, Windsor, stated that he had accompanied his brother, the deceased, in the sulky on the subject afternoon on a drive to North Richmond, and they also took with them Richard Haggar. They remained at North Richmond for about 30 minutes, having 3 or 4 drinks, and left on the return trip at about 4.30 p.m., with deceased driving. At Richmond deceased drank a light shandy, and they continued on their way home, carrying a full bottle of beer in the sulky, when, at a point near the R.A.A.F. wireless station, they heard a motor cycle approaching from behind. Witness was carrying a. torch, and flashed this on the off-side wheel of the sulky to warn the cyclist behind. He could not see any light on the cycle, which a few seconds later crashed into the rear of the sulky, the 3 occupants of which were thrown to the roadway. Witness was partly stunned by the impact, and on re covering saw deceased lying in the centre of the roadway. Some people who arrived just then in a car went on to call a doctor, and shortly afterwards Dr. Steele arrived and attended to deceased, who was then carried to the side of the road, being later removed to his home on a lorry. The sulky had the shafts broken, the seat knocked off the off-side spring broken and the axle bent, and Haggar and witness left it at the spot, walking home and leading the horse. De ceased was a competent driver, and had driven for several years. In reply to Sergeant Campbell, witness ' said that he had refused to give a statement to the sergeant on one occasion after the accident, on the advice of his solicitor, and he would still say that deceased was driving the sulky at the time of the accident. Sergeant T. R. Campbell, Richmond, sta ted that at 6.30 p.m. on April 25, 1936, in consequence of a telephone message received, he went to the scene of an accident on Richmond-road, where he saw a motor cycle lying on the side of the road, and a sulky, badly damaged, on the grass at the left hand side of the road, facing in the direction of Windsor. He also saw lying beside the road a man who appeared to be unconscious, and from inquiries made he ascertained that this man's name was William Charles Eather, of Forbes-street, Windsor, while the rider of the cycle was Jack Donahay, of the R.A.A.F. Station, Richmond, and the driver of the sulky was Frederick Eather. Donahay informed witness that he had been riding in the direction of Windsor at between 25 and 30 miles per hour, with his headlight burning, when he saw a sulky about 12 feet ahead of him, carrying no lights, and he was unable to avoid a collision. Frederick Eather said that he was driving the sulky at the time of the accident, but later refused to make a statement, stating that he did so on the advice of his solicitor. Donahay had since been dismissed from the Air Force, and his pre sent whereabouts were unknown. In reply to Frederick Eather, the sergeant repeated that his questioner had told him that he was driving the sulky. Eather immediately denied this to the Coroner, who. thereupon turned inquiringly to the sergeant, and the latter said that he could only repeat that his inquiries at the scene of the accident indicated that Frederick Eather was the driver. , In reply to Mr. C. F. Eather, the sergeant said that both the sulky and cycle were on their correct side of the road, and the cycle had ample room to pass. To questions by the Coroner, he said the lamp on the motor cycle was warm when he arrived on the scene, giving him the impression, that it had been recently burning, and he saw a torch while making his inquiries, but did not know who owned it. To a further question by Mr. C. F. Eather, he said that the headlight of the motor cycle should have shown the sulky ahead some considerable distance away. At this stage the Coroner announced that as both Donahay and Haggar were unavailable, he could only read the statements they had made to the police and these would be admitted as exhibits with the papers of the inquiry. The statement of Jack Owen Donahay, re siding at the R.A.A.F. Station, Richmond, was to the effect that at 6.45 p.m. on the subject evening he was riding his motor cycle along- Richmond road, in the direction of Windsor, at about 25 or 30 miles, an hour, approximately 3 feet on his correct side of the centre of the roadway, with his head light burning, this light illuminating the roadway about 18 feet ahead, and for a distance of about 8 feet beyond that point. When about 50 yards from the wireless sta tion he first noticed the sulky, showing no lights, about 12 feet ahead, and he had no time to avoid a collision, although he ap plied his brakes hard and swerved to the right. On his machine striking the sulky he was thrown to the roadway and rendered, unconscious, and on regaining consciousness he found that the police had arrived. As a result of the accident he sustained in juries to the head, a torn ligament in the left knee, and abrasions to the back of the left hand and arm. He had previously held a rider's licence in Victoria, but did not have one at the time of the accident as he had only secured the cycle a fortnight earlier and had understood that in this State,, as in Victoria, a rider was allowed 14 days after purchasing his machine in which to secure a licence, but on learning that this was incorrect he had since obtained a li cence. After the accident he noticed on the road a broken bottle which appeared to be a beer bottle, and one of the occupants of the sulky who spoke to him appeared to be under the influence of liquor. Deponent was perfectly sober at the time. The night was a very dark one, and there was a line of | trees on both sides of the road. The statement of Richard Haggar, laborer, Windsor, was to the effect that he had accompanied deceased and Frederick Eather to North Richmond on the subject after noon, and at Richmond they each had a drink, while at North Richmond he and Frederick Eather left deceased in the sulky and had a few drinks, also purchasing a bottle of beer each, the only drink, to his know ledge, which deceased had being one they took out to him. On their way back deponent and Frederick Eather had a drink at Richmond while deceased remained in the sulky, and they continued their way home. Near the wireless station a motor cycle co lided with the back of the sulky, which was on its correct side, while Frederick Eather was seated in the middle showing the rays of a torch straight ahead. Deponent could not say whether there was any light on the cycle. Deceased was quite sober at the time of the accident. After the collision deponent saw deceased lying on the grass at the side of the road and the rider of the cycle lying in the middle of the road. This concluded the evidence, and the Coroner, before recording his finding, said it was unfortunate that two of the witnesses were unavailable, and he had been obliged to do the best he could in the circumstances as regards their evidence. He was very sorry for the father of deceased, and asked Mr. Eather to accept his sympathy. At the same time, however, he might mention that he had referred "over and over again" to this practice of using torches in sulkies and on bicycles at night, which was 'practically suicide.' There had been no light in this instance to show the rider of the cycle that there was a sulky ahead, and in any case it was against the law to use a torch for such purposes. He wished people would realise the seriousness of the position and eliminate this risk to their own and other I people's lives by using proper lamps. His Worship then recorded a finding to the effect that deceased had died from injuries accidentally received through a collision as a 'result of which he was thrown from the sulky in which he was riding' to the roadway.
Source: Windsor and Richmond Gazette 15 Apr 1938