Mentally Unstable Swagman Drowns Himself In Local Billabong


Three troopers are undergoing counselling after a routine arrest turned to tragedy when the suspect threw himself into a waterhole and drowned.

“That escalated rather quickly,” a distraught trooper Andrew Patterson told The (un)Australian. “At most the poor guy was probably looking at a six month good behaviour bond for stealing one sheep.”

“We were riding by his camp and noticed the bloke grinning like an idiot and doing a bit of dance by himself so we were concerned that he might have been consuming some drugs,” fellow trooper Winton Banjo added. “I observed a suspicious jumbuck shaped lump in his tuckerbag and was preparing to ride back to the station to get a search warrant when he up and jumped into the billabong.

“Like I suspected. Drugs.”

Trooper divers recovered the body of drifter Andy Sang from the small dam on the property of local a squatter. All three troopers are to receive counselling and given fully paid compassionate leave.

“I’m going to have to take some time off to recover from the shock,” said visibly shaken trooper Billy Boyle. “People don’t realise how emotionally wrenching the life of a trooper can be. I suspect I’ll be haunted by the ghost of that poor soul every time I ride by that billabong.”

[This article first appeared in The (un)Australian on August 12, 1895. It is reproduced as part of a historical series looking back on early (un)Australian articles.]

Peter Green

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1 reply

  1. Another example of The Government’s disregard of the Plight of ‘Returned Servicemen!’ I served with Andy at Gallipoli and saw the Horrors He had to Endure! His mates were falling all around Him, due to the incompetence of Their ‘so called’ Officers and Gentlemen! Gentlemen They may have been, but ‘Officers’ They weren’t! They couldn’t have organized a ‘Nosh-up’ for a Woodpecker in The Dandenongs! Andy came back to a Nation that was grateful for His Sacrifice but, was governed by People who were only grateful for the fact that They hadn’t actually had to go and get Their Hands Dirty! So, Andy was left on His Own! What was He to do? He did what He was Trained to do! He Lived off The land, He survived by moving from place to place and doing odd jobs, carrying His possessions in His ‘Swag’ or ‘Back-Pack!’ When He got really Hungry He ‘Duffed’ or to use todays terms, ‘Stole’ a Sheep! What The Hell! He’d spent His Youth protecting the Interests of The Rich, They surely weren’t going to miss ‘One’ Sheep? Hard lesson to learn ‘Andy!’ What The Rich have, They will Fight to hold-on to! (About the only time They will ‘Ever’ Fight!) So ‘Andy Sang’ You didn’t commit Suicide, You were driven to give-up what You’d spent Your Life Fighting For, by People who were only interested in what They could gain by someone else’s Sacrifice!

    Liked by 1 person

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