Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The tragic death of Donald Norman Buckby

Donald Norman Buckby owned the Smithfield Chaff Mill located near the Smithfield railway station. The Chaff Mill was a three storey galvanised building and functioned for about 20 years between 1918 and early 1940’s.  It has now been demolished.

Donald Norman Buckby, a middle aged man, committed suicide at Smithfield by hanging himself from a beam in the stable. He was a former resident of near Smithfield, but who had sold his property and was living with relatives at Wasleys, when he suffered a nervous breakdown.  He was brought into Dr. Dawes' private hospital for treatment.  One evening, the Doctor having a call to Smithfield, gave Buckby the chance of a spin in the open air, and on arrival at that town left the patient in the car with the driver whilst he, accompanied by the nurse, went into the home of Mr Hales. Buckby appeared alright, and getting out of the car told the driver that he would return in a few minutes.
He then went into the stable. Dr. Dawes was away about 10 minutes, and on reaching the car at once asked for Buckby, who had not returned. It being dark in the stable Dr. Dawes got Mr. Hales to secure a lantern, and together they entered, the horses giving a clue of something untoward having happened by snorting and exhibiting fear. Buckby was found suspended from a post by a coupling' strap around his neck. The body was at once cut down and artificial respiration resorted to, but without result — life was extinct.
Bunyip Friday 3 Dec 1920            

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