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From the archives, 1920: The (mis)Adventures of George Oliver Bartlett

Clyde is situated three stations beyond Dandenong, on the Korumburra line, and Mr. Boyce was sitting in his office when the door opened, and he found himself gazing down the barrel of an evil-looking revolver, held by a tall, thickset man, of fair complexion, with a discharged soldier’s badge in his coat. This burglar was most unusual, for he wore a clean white shirt, which indicates that cleanliness may sometimes be next to ungodliness. Holding Mr. Boyce at the point of the revolver, the nicely laundered gentleman helped himself to £4 10/.

A 1914-1918 Discharged Returned Soldier Badge.

A 1914-1918 Discharged Returned Soldier Badge.Credit:Australian War Memorial. REL28892

Before he decamped he took from his pocket a photograph, on the back of which he solemnly wrote an acknowledgement of the theft, and handed the document to the station master. The “hold up” then took his departure, leaving the “held up” in a state of amazement, for the photograph on which the acknowledgement had been written was that of the ungodly man in the clean shirt.

Mr. Boyce immediately communicated with the police at Cranbourne, Dandenong and Kooweerup, and some developments are expected.


Published in The Age, March 3, 1920.

The police have effected an arrest in connection with the robbery at Clyde railway station. As already reported an armed man suddenly presented himself before the relieving assistant station master and robbed the station of the sum of £4 10/. The behavior of the man was that of a lunatic. Before departing he left a photograph of himself, on the back of which he wrote a receipt for the money he had taken.

With such a good clue to work upon the police were not long in making an arrest. Proceeding to the Kardinia Park Hotel, Beaconsfield, Constable Jas. Lombard, of Berwick, and Constable Keogh, of Brighton, found there a man named George Oliver Bartlett, 24 years, whom they arrested and charged with having committed the robbery.

It is said that Bartlett has made an admission in writing, and that he boasted to the police of the deed.


Published in The Age, November 12, 1920.

George Oliver Bartlett, 25, and Harry Bernard Hoare, 19, the two prisoners who escaped from the reformatory prison farm on 4th inst., were brought before the police court on Thursday and committed for trial.

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