drowned with his daughters Martha Ann and Rachel Jane on 20th January
Ann Wall (daughter) and Rachel Jane Wall
(daughter), buried in the same plot.
"An inquest was held at the Maid if Australia Hotel Pitt Town on Friday 21st January 1881, before Jas. B. Johnston, Esq JP coroner for the district on the bodies of Richard Wall, Martha Wall and Rachel Wall, when the following evidence was adduced:-
Thomas Wall a farmer residing in Windsor, deposed that the bodies viewed by the coroner and jury were those of his brother, Richard Wall and his daughters Martha and Rachel; they all left his house on Thursday afternoon, at half past 3 o’clock, for the purpose of returning to their homes, at Lower Portland; they were going in a boat; from something he was told he went about 11 o’clock pm to Mrs Burdekin’s farm, and there he saw a Mr Woodbury who told him that his brothers boat was fast to his boat, and that he had found it bottom upwards in the river; witness then returned to Windsor, as the night was dark, and they could not do anything, but on the following morning about 7 o’clock he with Messrs. Woodbury, J. Kirwan, and W. Pendergast commenced searching for the bodies and about half past 11 o’clock the first body was found by Constable Roberts, and shortly afterwards the other two bodies were discovered.
Senior Constable Roberts deposed that having heard that a man and his two daughters have been drowned in the Hawkesbury River, he proceeded to a place called Foul Weather Reach and commenced dragging the river for the bodies and found two women’s hats on the beach , and opposite to them some parcels, and about 11 o’clock he found the eldest girl Martha Wall, and William Grono afterwards found the other two bodies.
William Grono deposed to finding the bodies of Richard Wall and his youngest daughter, they were clasped together when found.
Dr. Fiaschi gave evidence, his opinion being that death resulted from suffocation by drowning. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased met their deaths by being accidentally drowned, through the upsetting of a boat, on the evening of the 20th January 1881."
Source: The Australian Saturday 29th January 1881 p. 3
"A sad accident occurred on the Hawkesbury yesterday evening. Richard Wall a farmer, with two daughters, was returning from Windsor in a boat and were caught in a squall at full reach. The boat upset and all three were drowned. The bodies were found this morning; those of the father and younger daughter being clasped together. Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser Saturday 22 January 1881."
Source: Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser Saturday 22 January 1881. p. 4 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article814779