World War 11 Casualties
Docker William Arnold
Soldier Drowned At Ralphs Bay
Dvr William Docker, soldier, stationed at Brighton, was drowned when a dinghy overturned off Gellibrands Pt., Ralphs Bay at 6 pm yesterday.
The accident occurred when four men, members of a boating party, were returning to a launch after having been ashore.
Among those in the party were Bernard James Baade, of 10 Sunderland St. Moonah Keith Noel Prior, of 104 Hopkins St. Henry George Newland, of Strickland Ave.; and Douglas Elliot of ll Florence St. Moonah.
They told Sgt Edwards of the Wharf Police, that with Docker, they left New Town Bay at 9.30 am on a pleasure trip in a launch to Ralphs Bay.
The party went ashore, and at 6 pm Baade, Newland, Elliot, and Docker returned from the shore in a dinghy. The launch was about 120ft. from the shore. The dinghy swamped and overturned, and there was a heavy sea running. Neither Docker nor Newland could swim. Baade said that when he went to Docker's assistance Docker caught him and pulled him under. Had he not let go both would have been drowned Prior, who was on the launch, threw Baade a rope and he was able to get on board. Newland was also thrown a rope, and with the help of Elliot, was dragged on to the launch.
Prior then went to the help of Docker, who was clinging to the upturned dinghy. Docker caught him and dragged him under two or three times. Prior said that he had to let go or be drowned. Docker then sank. It is expected the police will begin dragging today.
The Mercury 18 Dec 1944
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