7a[Coroner's Inquest (Thomas Darlington), Whim Creek, December 1911. State Records Office of Western Australia, Consignment 3631, Bundle 12: "Case 1 Rex v Seleno", Testimony of Thomas William Hill]

seems to suggest that Alex Kay came in for trouble, advising Italians to leave

"Hello It is you is it. You had better go away to your Camp. There will only be trouble for you..."

Seleno: "How many man want to fight me?

One man then said "Only one man will fight you at once and if you want fight you had better come outside

James Aylward standing close

7b[Coroner's Inquest (Thomas Darlington), Whim Creek, December 1911. State Records Office of Western Australia, Consignment 3631, Bundle 12: "Case 1 Rex v Seleno", Testimony of Rupert Love]

29/12/11

Police Quarters Whim Creek

Adjourned Inquest on Thomas Henry Darlington.

Rupert Love Sworn Saith

I am a waiter at the Federal Hotel Whim Creek. I knew deceased Thos Hy Darlington by sight. I saw him alive about a week ago. Do not know if it were Saturday 23rd inst. I know the two prisoners by sight as Seleno and Cattelleni. Police here stated Cattelleni's real name Cappelli. I was on verandah of Federal Hotel shortly after ten pm on 23rd inst. I saw Seleno leaning against the bar. His back against the front bar. I saw Cappelli inside the door. I saw Aylward come up to Cappelli and asked him what he had under his coat. Did not hear Cappelli's reply. Aylward hit Cappelli. Cappelli had light grey coat on. From position of Cappelli's hand it would have been possible for him to have had his hand in inside pocket of coat produced.

Aylward struck Cappelli in face once with closed fist. This knocked Cappelli's head against the front door. There was no confusion at this moment. Cappelli turned and run out on road. toward the creek at fast pace. I saw Seleno struck over the left eye by someone. Blow knocked hat off but not Seleno down. Seleno then picked up had put it on counter & replaced int on his head.

He pointed to someone in crowd and said "That man, How many you want to fight me." There was little confusion in bar after this. Heard someone outside calling out & Seleno called out from the bar in louder tone than ordinary speaking. Do not know what either of men said. Appeared to have been in foreign voices. When I heard shout from road I looked out & afterwards saw man who I recognised as Cappelli come on to verandah with knife in his hand. He walked straight up with knife in hand apparently with some object in view. I heard voice I recognised as James Aylward call out "The bastard has a knife in his hand." There was a light in front of hotel but it was fairly dark on verandah between front door & front step of verandah. I could not get good view of knife. Could not see breadth of blade. Cannot identify knife. It appeared to taper towards end of blade.

I could not see knife gleaming. Not sufficient light to see that. When I heard Aylward call out I jumped back off verandah and stood back. I heard a scuffle on verandah but could not say who it was. I was excited at the time. Scuffle may have lasted two minutes. Two men then left verandah hurriedly in same direction Cappelli went in first place. I saw blood on one of the men who ran away but could not say which one. Am quite sure I saw blood. Shortly after I saw deceased lying on back inside bar door with two men bending over him. Saw blood coming from near his right shoulder. Did not see cut on deceased neck. I ran for doctor and returned part way with him. Doctor then went in. When I returned to hotel I heard the doctor say the man was dead. I have been in Whim Creek over six months. Worked on plant where Seleno was trucking from. Found Seleno decent chap. Have never heard him making threats toward anyone. I was in bar frequently during the night. Saw nothing unusual in manner of men but they were merry. Was not speaking to deceased. Had not seen deceased that night. I saw Seleno in parlour as I passed through as I passed through previous to row. He was speaking to someone but do not know what about. Did not see prisoners from time I saw Darlington bleeding until I saw them today in custody in Court. I did not see anything which would have prevented either of prisoners leaving hotel at any time. Did not know then where prisoners wre camped. Understood Seleno camped near hall.

By Coroner. Did not see either prisoners drinking. Did not hear them quarreling. Heard no threatening language toward them whatever.

Deceased referred to in this statement was Thomas Henry Darlington.

R. Love

for [Caton?] Shelmerdine

J.P. D.M.O.

Acting Coroner

7c[Coroner's Inquest (Thomas Darlington), Whim Creek, December 1911. State Records Office of Western Australia, Consignment 3631, Bundle 12: "Case 1 Rex v Seleno", Testimony of George Westley Tozer]

...

mechanic lodging at the Federal Hotel

in the pub on the evening of the 23rd

knew Capelli as Cattellani

"I heard nothing myself but something that prisoners heard evidently upset them. The prisoners apparently resented the remarks."

claimed Capelli walked around with his right hand in his inside pocket. "Some one told him to take his hand out of his pocket."

Tozer says "I put my hand against his pocket to see if he had anything there. I cannot say if prisoner had anything in his pocket."

Tozer says Alex Kay, James Aylward and Tom Edwards were at the side bar.

Seleno got off table and then sat down, this being while Cappelli was walking up & down. Seleno was apparently calm. I left the side bar, walking into my room through the office & returned shortly afterwards from my room to side bar.

[What did he go to fetch?]

I walked from side bar through front bar on to front verandah. I saw deceased Thos Darlington in front bar when I walked through. I saw Seleno in the front bar when i was going on to front verandah. Did not notice Cappelli there. I met Edward Kay and Aylward on front verandah under [?head] light. I spoke to Kay and others. Kay decided to go in and advise Seleno to leave, this apparently through conversation on verandah. I heard Kay speak to Seleno advising him go home. Aylward was standing some short distance away. Seleno did not appear to have any intention of going. He turned his back to counter and rested elbows on counter. I was not taking much notice of them. While they were advising Seleno to go home I turned my back on them. When I turned round again I noticed a red mark on Seleno's left eye as if he had been hit. Did not notice any blood near his eye. I then walked from front verandah, through front bar, to side bar room. Shortly after this, I heard a noise in front bar as of a scuffle. I walked through to see what it was & saw proprietor Hill putting crowd out of bar to front verandah. Hill was successful in getting men on to verandah. Hill returned to bar & I walked to front door to see what was taking place. I saw two men scuffling together on front verandah. Did not see who they were. They were apparently in holds. I was about three feet from them. Light was poor on verandah and I could not see clearly through crowd. There were crowd on verandah. Could not see anyone interfere with the two men fighting. I did not see any blows struck by either of them. While I was standing in front door I saw a man, whom I took to be Cappelli, standing on the road and calling out Fire three times. I called out there is a man out on the road with a gun. Man on road was facing the crowd & apparently trying to bluff. I did not see if the man had a gun. He did not appear excited and his voice seemed calm. Man on road had light coat on & by this I took it to be Cappelli. I cannot say if Thos Darlington was on front verandah. I cannot say who the men were who were struggling. I then walked back to the side bar parlour. Within a few minutes I was returning to the front bar when I heard a man say "He has been stabbed." It was all confusion about that time. I saw Darlington brought into bar & laid upon floor with his feet near the door. Do not know who brought him in. His clothes were almost all spotted with blood but it mostly seemed to be near neck & chest. The greater part of blood was apparently coming from his throat. Some one, "Phillips", was despatched for both Doctor & police. Const Growden arrived within a minute or two of man being brought into bar. Const Growden immediately examined the injured man. Police enquired if Doctor had been sent for. I said Yes. Const Growden then took few notes and re-examined the body & said man was dead. I heard Police authorise someone to take Charge of the body & allow no-one to remove it until arrival of doctor. Shortly after this I saw Dr Shelmerdine arrive. He examined the body & pronounced life to be extinct. Body was then taken out of bar & placed in end room. I did not see either of the two prisoners from the time body was brought into bar until I saw them in custody at the Whim Creek police station on 28th inst. I remained at the hotel. After it became known the man was dead I heard talk of lynching. Dr Shelmerdine addressed crowd from Verandah with view of restraining men from committing act of violence toward Seleno & Cappelli. The prisoners were not drunk. Appeared to me to be fairly sober. Deceased was under the influence of liquor. I knew deceased to be a particularly good tempered man & not at all quarrelsome. Seleno appeared to be a quiet man but Cappelli was quarrelsome under the influence of drink & displayed more bravado. That the majority had never see Seleno in a quarrel previously. I heard no threats made toward prisoners by any one. There were no obstacles in way of either prisoners leaving hotel at any time. Back door was open. I did not hear any complaint made by Seleno to the licensee of hotel Thomas Hill as to his being afraid of the crowd. I was not aware of any personal grievance between either prisoner & anyone. There was a labor trouble a short time ago between the Whim Well Copper Mines and the employees. The majority of the men ceased work. I heard the two prisoners returned to work against the wishes of their fellow workmen. I have not seen the two prisoners' camp.

By Coroner. I noticed deceased was intoxicated about 9.30. He was obviously intoxicated & His state of intoxication might have been taken for jolity. Men were not more excited than any ordinary hotel fight. There were no threatening crys. Nothing of nature of threat was heard by me which should have caused prisoner commit act of violence. There were crys of Lynch Them some time after known man was dead. Quarter of hour or so after. Apparently greater number of crowd did not agree to this. Feeling was running very high.

[signed] GW Tozer

7d[Coroner's Inquest (Thomas Darlington), Whim Creek, December 1911. State Records Office of Western Australia, Consignment 3631, Bundle 12: "Case 1 Rex v Seleno", Testimony of James Thomas Aylward]

Police Quarters Whim Creek 29/12/11

adjourned inquest on Thos Hy Darlington

James Thomas Aylward Sworn Saith:--

I am a miner residing at Whim Creek. I knew deceased Thomas Henry Darlington. Have know him about 8 or nine months. He was a miner. I know the two prisoners. One Joe Seleno & the other as Cattelini. Don't know his Christian name. Police here stated Cattelini's name is Cappelli.

I remember 23rd inst. Was at Federal Hotel about 10 oclock at night. I was in side bar first some time before ten oclock. I saw prisoners there. They were standing by door leading from front bar to side bar. I was standing with Alex Kay & said to him "There are two of them here" Was referring to the two prisoners. It said it very low. Do not think even Alex Kay heard it & dont think the others could have heard. Seleno then came up & asked if I had called him a scab. I glanced toward Seleno. Alex Kay then said "No, go away, we are not speaking to you & do not want to have anything to do with you." He turned away and went to his place near the door. Some time after I went through the front bar to Verandah. I saw Cappelli, either in front bar or in the front doorway, with his right hand near inside pocket of coat. He had grey colored coat on Similar to the one produced. I asked him to take his hand out of his Coat. He had his hand inside Coat earlier in night and I thought it suspicious. I don't know if Cappelli had knife in hand or not. Did not notice deceased in bar at time but had seen him in bar earlier in night. Deceased appeared to have had some drink but otherwise appeared to be alright. I did not then ascertain if Cappelli had weapon or not. I went out on verandah some time afterwards, unable to say how long. On my way out I said to deceased "There are two of these Italians in here making a noise." This was on verandah. He said "Right ho Jim We will have one each." I told him "If Seleno interferes keep him off. I will see if Cappelli has anything in his pocket. I will hit him. Darlington said "Right." I then went back to bar. Cappelli was standing near the front door & I hit him without speaking a word. I struck him twice in the face. I did not knock him down. Did not notice any marks. Cappelli then ran towards the Creek. He did not make any threats. I watched him run out of sight. I did not notice Seleno. Could not say if Seleno was in the bar when I struck Cappelli. Good few were in the bar as far as I can remember. I struck Cappelli with my closed fist. I dont know what deceased was doing at this time. I was a bit mixed. He was either on verandah or in bar. I went out on verandah & remained there some time. Saw Cappelli return. He came straight up to verandah. I saw he had a knife in his hand. Could only see blade which looked to me to be long sharp pointed blade about 3 or 4 inches long. I called out "The bastard has a knife." Can not identify the knife. Lad named Love was standing near me also another Man. Cappelli seemed to go toward the bar door. I was on the verandah & kept well out of way when I saw the knife. Cappelli came on to the verandah. I did not warn them in the bar only called on Verandah. Cannot tell what effect my warning had on Crowd. Could not say how Cappelli was dressed when he came back to verandah. Cappelli said something in a foreign language. Could not say to whom words were spoken. There were a number of men around the front door when I was standing in dark. Did not see anyone in holds. I saw two men running away. Could not say who they were. I then went back to front door. Saw Darlington on floor with good deal of blood about him principally near Chest. Had a look at him. I had no idea what had caused blood on Darlington. Went out to front verandah & heard some one say some one had gone for Doctor. I had a lot of drink in. I did not see either police or Doctor arrive. Saw Doctor there later. Did not see the deceased after Doctor arrived. Saw Doctor on front verandah. I could not say if sufficient time had elapsed from time I saw Cappelli return until I saw men running away for Cappelli to have handed Seleno a knife. It may have been ten minutes or less. I knew deceased very well. Was familiar with his Manner. Used to get out with him occasionally. He was very jovial. He was not antagonistic towards foreigners to my knowledge. The only attack I saw on prisoners was when I hit Cappelli. Did not hear any threats towards prisoners prior to 23rd or on that day. Do not know of any grievance between deceased and prisoners. Had not heard any remarks towards them by deceased. There was no reason for Cappelli to have returned to render assistance to Seleno. Thought he had returned with knife after me for striking him. Did not know Seleno needed assistance. Took good care Cappelli did not find me. I know no reason why either of the prisoners could not have left hotel at any time. I did not like prisoners' company the reason being that they went to work during recent trouble against the principles of unionism. I had been good friends with Seleno prior to that. Others went to work as well as the two prisoners. I have not seen these others maltreated & do not think they have been. Men were very excited after quarrel. Heard no threats of lynching. I did not attend the funeral of deceased on 24th Instant.

Coroner./ I do not know if Deceased kept his part of Contract when I was at Cappelli. I do not know if deceased interfered with Seleno when I was with Cappelli.

notes:

It looks very much like Aylward and Darlington were the main troublemakers.

Significantly, Aylward did not attend Darlington's funeral the next day.