Margaret was born in 1910, one of 14 children of Thomas and Eliza Dunn, the ‘Dunns of Dunnville’ at Failford.2 She was married to Alfred Croker for just one year when tragedy occurred in 1932.3
On the evening of Friday 7 May, Clarence Bonney was riding his Norton motorcycle to a dance at Failford Hall. Coming from the opposite direction was James George driving a horse and cart which carried his two children. Neither vehicle had headlights and they did not see each other until just before they collided on Failford Road. The accident caused the horse to break loose and bolt. Bonney suffered minor injuries and after receiving medical treatment he attended the dance.
Meanwhile Alfred and Margaret Croker were taking an evening stroll near Failford Hall when they heard a galloping horse. Alfred flashed his torch but the riderless horse knocked them both over. A bystander at the dance, Henry Allard, ran to the scene where he found both victims lying on the road. Margaret was seriously injured so they took her to Nabiac where she subsequently died. Bonney was completely unaware of the unfolding tragedy.
At the coroner’s inquest, it was revealed that Bonney had previously lost his licence for speeding and while speed was considered in this hearing, the coroner ultimately found that Margaret died from a fracture of the base of the skull accidentally received through being knocked down by a galloping horse at Failford.4
Margaret is buried at Failford Cemetery and Alfred, who passed away 30 years later, rests at Wingham Cemetery.5
Author: Marilyn Boyd
1 Daryll Moran, ‘The history of Failford and the Wallamba River District’, Wallamba and District Historical Society, 1987.
2 NSW BDM, birth index for Margaret Dunn, No. 32214/1910.
3 NSW BDM, marriage index No. 13872/1931.
4 Northern Champion, 18 May 1932, 4.
5 Australian Cemeteries Index, https://austcemindex.com/inscription?id=8896508