Horace Bambrick (b1881)


When Horace Bambrick was born on February 19, 1881, in Orroroo, South Australia, his father, Robert, was 53 and his mother, Jane, was 40. He married Ivy Maud Herold on December 15, 1913, in Rockhampton, Queensland. They had 12 children in 26 years. He died on September 19, 1949, in Ogmore, Queensland, at the age of 68.

Horace Bambrick (1881-1949) - Find A Grave Memorial via Judy Schramm

Early Life

Read about the time he saved his father's life here: Injury of Robert Bambrick (age 71) in Broken Hill, saved by son Mr H Bambrick

And here's a lengthy newspaper article from 1905, when Horace was ~24, and witness to a crime... (click to expand)

A FATHER'S VENGEANCE (click to expand)

Shocking Story from White Cliffs
Two cases revealing some strange fea-
tures were heard before Mr Harcourt
Holcombe, P.M. at the White Cliffs
Police Court on Tuesday 19th instant.
The facts leading up to the more seri-
ous charge are, briefly: Early in the
present month a mature aged man
named John Henry Hall, an old resi-
dent of the district, returned to the
field after an absence of six months
in Broken Hill. Prior to leaving White
Cliffs, Hall had been working mates,
opal digging, with Walter Smee and
Horace Bambrick. On his return Hall
took possession a of two-roomed house
he owned at the foot of Turley's Hill,
which he removed some 60 yards away
from where it had been standing. This
took place on the 6th instant, and on
the 7th (next morning), between 6 and
7 o'clock, Walter Smee, who resides in
the same vicinity, with his wife and
family, went to the hut occupied by
Hall and chopped it down with an axe.
Hall gave information to the police,
who arrested Smee on a charge of ma-
liciously damaging Hall's property.
Smee then swore an information
against Hall, charging him with an in-
decent assault on his daughter, a child
aged 8 years and 10 months. Hall was
arrested on this serious oharge, and re-
manded for the magistrate's court.
The first case heard was that against
John H. Hall, of indecent assault, on a
girl under the age of 14 years. Mr.
C. J. Clarke, appeared for the prosecu-
Simon Fraser, senior constable of
police, deposed: I had a conversation
with accused, saying, "I intend to put
several questions to you, which you
need not answer if you do not wish ; "
I said, "Did Smee accuse you of inter-
fering with his daughter six months
ago?" accused replied " Yes, he did;"
I asked, "What did you say?" Hall
said "You surely don't believe it?
Smee said, 'It is only a school children's
tale, I don't believe it; we will go on
to work as before;'" I asked, "Did
you go on to work again with Smee?"
accused replied, "Yes;" I asked him
if he had interfered with Smee's
daughter, and he replied, "I did not;'
I said, " Shortly after Smee accused you
did you go to Broken Hill?" He said,
"Yes;" I said "Why did you leave
White Cliffs?" he said, " They humbug-
ged me out on the open country, and I
would not put up with it;" when ar-
rested, accused said, " I am very glad
he has done it; I wanted him to do it
six months ago."
Bertha Smee, when led to the table
to be sworn, appeared nervous, and soon
broke into sobs. She, however, gave
her evidence with intelligence, and told
a most revolting story - a story to shock
anyone. She was assaulted, first, she
said, in Hall's bedroom, in his house,
around which she used to play. She
was assaulted more than once. Hall
gave her lollies and biscuits and money.
Hall never told her not to say anything.
She could not remember the dates of
the assaults. Her father had not told
her what to say.
Walter Watkyn Smee, father of the
child, deposed : I am a miner and reside
at White Cliffs; I have known accused
for seven or eight years; I was working
mates with him before the assault hap-
pened; Horace Bambrick was also mates
with us; Hall lived close to my place
on Turley's Hill ; from something
was told in February last I went and
saw accused ; previous to going I asked
my daughter some questions; before I
spoke to Hall I spoke to my daughter,
And she told me something; when I got
Hall in the kitchen I locked the door;
I said, '"You ~~~ dog, what did you do
that to my child for?" Hall said, "I did
her no harm ; I said, " If you had gone
further I would have shot you;' Hall
said, "I did wrong, I know; but I did
her no harm;" I said, " You can get five
years for this, but it is better to keep
it quiet and hush it up."
The P.M. : Why did you make it
known now?
Witness: Because he came back and
I cut his house down ; when i told him
we would hush it up Hall said, "You
have treated me very fair; I am glad I
have got you to deal with; if this thing
got about, people would not believe it
if they saw us working together;" he
also said he would go away ; I said,
" If you do, people will think there is
something in it;" I suggested we should
continue working for a week, and then
he could leave; next day Bambrick and
I walked over to Hall's place; I
said to Hall, " Bambrick knows
all; I have told him everything;'
Bambrick said to Hall, " You cow-
ardly dog, you deserve hang-
ing;" Hall said, "I have done no
harm;" some strong words passed, and
I made a hit at him, but Bambrick
stopped me, saying,, " This is not the
way to keep It quiet;." Hall came to
my place after that; while I was dress-
ing he said. "I am sorry for what I
have done; you have treated me very
fairly in this matter; if it had gone to
court I could not Have got out of it, and
sending mo to gaol would do no good ;'
I said, "You and Bambrick can have the
claim, I can't work with you;" Hall
said, "I will go away;" I said, "No, if
you do people will think there is some-
thing wrong;" we all discussed it, and
agreed to work on for a week till it
blew over; Hall went to work on the
open country; we agreed to pull mul-
lock for him, and he was to pull for
Samuelson; we arranged to meet and
all walk home together for a few days;
so far as people knew, we were still
mates; Samuelson came to me and
asked why Hall was not hauling for
him, as agreed; I saw Hall after Sam-
uelson spoke to me, and said to Hall,
"Samuelson asked me why you are not
hauling for him, and I did not know
what to tell him; you are making
things as bad as ever;" Hall was sit-
ting down; I said, "Get up on your
feet and I will fight you;" Bambrick
got hold of me, saying it was better not
to fight; Hall said ho would go away;
two or three days after fhat he left for
Broken Hill ; that was on February 25
or 26 last; I next saw him on Septem-
ber 5; a fortnight ago he walked past
where I was working; next day I saw
him making preparations to shift his
house; when I came home from work I
saw he had shifted his house about 60
yards from where it stood; the house
was on a frame; he moved it close to
the track where my children go to
To accused: The day I called you
into the kitchen was February 13 or
14; I am sure it was later that Feb-
ruary 6; I did not tell you I had ques-
tioned Bertha closely, and that I was
satisfied there was nothing wrong, and
that I was sorry I had interfered; you
were not the party I objected to work
with on Block 9; I did say in discussing
this affair I would got a mate for you
I did not ever say I was sorry I accused
you ; I said I was sorry you so forgot
yourself as to do such a thing; I did not
say it was a terrible thing to take a
man's character away.
Dr. E. De Marco stated that he had
examined the child, but without any
very definite result.
Horace Bambrick said that about the
middle of February he was working
mates with Smee and Hall; he went
with Smee to Hall's hut and heard
Smee say, "Bambrick knows all about
it"; witness said to Hall "You cow-
ardly dog. you want hanging;" some
strong language followed, and Smee
said, "We must keep this thing quiet."
The P.M. pointed out at this stage
that there was a striking similarity be-
tween the two statements made by
Smee and Bambrick. To witness:
"You are repeating word for word the
evidence just given by Smee. This
seems peculiar, when the affair happened
nearly nine months ago."
Continuing, witness said; Smee said,
"You and Hall can work the claim. I
can't work it any longer!" I said to
Hall, " Jack, I had a friendship for you
once, but we are friends no more; gold
or silver won't repair the wrong you
have done Smee; it is your place now to
do what you can to save Smee from
shame and the wrong you have done
him;" Hall said, "I know I have done
Accused, who reserved his defence,
was committed to take his trial at the
Wilcannia Quarter Sessions on Novem-
ber 14, the charge against him be-
ing altered to assault, with intent to
carnally know. Bail was allowed (and
forthcoming), accused in £100 and two
sureties of £50 each.
William W. Smee and Horace Bam-
brick were then charged with malicious-
ly damaging property, valued at £6
the property of J. Hall. They were
defended by Mr. C. J. Clarke. Smee
pleaded guilty and Bambrick not guilty.
John H. Hall said: On the 7th in-
stant I was living in a house at the
foot of Turley's Hill, 18ft. x 8ft. 6in. :
the house was composed of hessian and
rag sides, and galvanised iron roof;
the house was in good order before
Smee came; after he had done with it
it was a complete wreck; Smee and I
built the house; it took us three days;
there was 189ft. of studs at 4 1/2d. per
foot; I bought it second-hand; I paid
£4 10s. for it.
The P.M. here reduced the charge,
as the property destroyed was under
£5. Smee was charged with malicious-
ly damaging Hall's house, and Bam-
brick was charged with aiding and abet-
ting. The latter still pleaded not
Hall (examined by Senior-constable
Frazer) continued his evidence. He
said : On the 6th instant Bambrick
came to my place and said, "You have
to shift further away; you can go to
the other side of the town or out on the
open country ;" I told him I would not
shift, and that I was going to stop be-
tween 6 and 7 o'olock next morning
Smee came to my place and called out-,
Smee returned in 10 minutes with Bam-
brick ; I was 10 yards from my place
on the way to the police station ; Smee
had an axe; Bambrick was running;
Smee had the axe and commenced to
chop; Bambrick ran up to me; he said,
"Oh! Well, you can go for the
police, if you, like;" I said, "You go
back and don't interfere with me;"
Bambrick then went back where Smee
was chopping.
To the P.M.: Bambrick only stood
looking on.
To Mr. Clarke: Bambrick came to my
place and called; he did not say, "Smee
can't have you staying here after what
you have done; your own commonsense
ought to tell you that; he does not
want you to leave the field, but to shift
to the other end of the town or out on
to the blocks; Bambrick said "If you
don't go I have a good mind to tear your
~~ out ;" I did not say, " As we have
been such friends people will talk;" when
Bambrick was running up to me I pick-
ed up a stone ; I thought from the pre-
vious night he was going to assault me;
I did not hear Smee say to Bambrick
" You keep out of the way;" I am not
sure what I paid Neilson for the place;
the place is a complete wreck; the win-
dow Is smashed, tho iron is bent, and
the timber cut up.
A. G. Lucas said he saw Bambrick on
the morning of September 7; he and
Smee were going in the direction of
Hall's house between 6 and 7 o'clock;
he saw Bambrick 10 yards from his
place; he was going back to Hall's,
where Smee was chopping; Bambrick
stayed there for a while, and Smee went
to his own place; witness's door was
open all the time, and he heard the row
from the street.
Charles Boxall, builder, said he had
inspected Hall's place ; the repairs
would cost £3 7s. 9d.; there were 13
studs broken, one rafter, and one pane
of glass; he was prepared to repair and
erect the house for £3 7s. 9d.
To Senior constable Frazer. He did
not examine the chimney nor the win-
dow sash.
To Hall : He did not notice the
ground plate broken.
The P.M. said he was satisfied that,
although Bambrick may have known
what was going to happen, he took no
part in the destruction of the house
with Smee, and would dismiss the in-
formation against him. Smee, however,
was fined 20s. and ordered to pay £3 10s.
compensation to Hall.
"The Miner's" White Cliffs correspon-
dent telegraphs that only the press was
admitted to hear the evidence in the
above cases.



Horace married Ivy Maud Herold and they had 12 children. A dozen. There are many descendants running around the place today.


Horace worked hard his whole life -- he died while working hard at age 68. Working hard is perhaps an understatement. Loading sleepers is extremely hard work at any age. Here is the newspaper story from when it happened in 1949... (he was definitely 68 not 65... that's the Bully for ya.)

Horace Bambrick, 65, a member
of No. 2 drainage gang, col
lapsed and died while loading
railway sleepers near Bowman
yesterday morning. The body
was brought to Rockhampton
where a post-mortem was car-
ried out. Bambrick resided
in Elphinstone Street, North

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954) Tue 20 Sep 1949 Page 4


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