William Green was born at Knorrit Flat in 1886.1 He married Laurell Patch of Coraki in 1914 and operated a fleet of buses around Lismore.2 Family stories say that the marriage between William and Laurell became unstable. One sad tale describes Laurell stripping naked and lying on the road in front of the bus William was driving which was full of passengers. Undaunted, William promptly drove around his wife and continued on his way.
On the night of 14 April 1931, William went fishing at 9:30 pm at Evans Head. He had arranged to meet a friend by the riverbank. When the friend arrived there was no sign of William except his upturned rowing boat, fishing equipment and floating oars. Days of searching for William’s body proved fruitless and the case was labelled a mystery.3
Sightings of William were reported to police including one from a relative that claimed to see William on a train to QLD dressed as a swagman. Adding to the mystery was the fact that William had recently sold his bus service.4 These rumours proved to be correct when William contacted his siblings to let them know he was alive and well in QLD.
William changed his surname to Mills, his mother’s maiden name, and moved to Western Australia where he married Maisie Giese. William, Maisie and their two daughters moved back to NSW settling in Chatham. Prior to William’s retirement he was the curator of the cricket pitch of the Johnny Martin Oval at Taree Park. He died in 1974 and is buried at Wingham Lawn Cemetery as William Green.5
Author: George Sawyer
P.S. Laurell was granted a “decree absolute” in 1935 and that same year married Henry Field. She passed away in 1981.
1 NSW BDM, Birth Index for William G Green, No. 23212/1886.
2 NSW BDM, Marriage Index for William G Green and Laurell Patch, No. 6624/1914.
3 Northern Star, 16 April 1931, 6.
4 Northern Star, 20 April 1931, 4.
5 NSW BDM, Death Index for William George Green, No. 56477/1974.