On the morning of 12 April 1934, Violet Jobson, a young waitress at the Harrington Hotel, started her shift about 6.30am, but was too ill to work. Eric Hogan, the licensee sent word to her parents that she was very unwell.1
Violet had been ‘keeping company’ with Joe Bateman, a commercial traveller from Newcastle, who visited the Harrington Hotel at the beginning of every month.2 Finding herself pregnant, she had confided in a colleague, Mrs Dorothy Field (aka Mrs Watts).
On the evening of 11 April 1934 Violet was taken to visit Mrs Rose Bailey, who, with her husband Fred, lived in a shanty at the Chatham encampment for the unemployed. Returning later that night the tragedy unfolded.3
She was admitted to the Manning River District Hospital and died there on 25 April 1934.4 Her final resting place is Scotts Creek Anglican Cemetery on Mitchells Island.
Rose Bailey was arrested and charged that she did ‘unlawfully use an instrument on a young woman with intent to thereby secure a certain event’. However, the Coroner, Mr Hubert Flett, found that the cause of death was septicaemia following a miscarriage but how it was caused he was not prepared to say. The defendant was therefore discharged.5
Joe Bateman’s wife, Elizabeth, commenced divorce proceedings in 1938.6
Author: Penny Teerman
1 Northern Champion Wednesday 16 May 1934 Pg 2
2 Manning River Times Saturday 19 May 1934 Pg 2
3 Northern Champion Saturday 19 May 1934 Pg 7
6 Newcastle Sun Wednesday 30 November 1938 Pg 7