Edward Joyce 1914 – 1934

Aug 7th, 1934 | By | Category: Joyce Obituaries

Edward. Born, 10 Oct 1914, in Molesworth, Tas. Died, 7 Aug 1934, in Mt Fawkner, Tas.  The following information comes from a newspaper clipping in the possession of Norma WUNSCH nee JOYCE ‑

                                FATAL EXPERIMENT ‑ STEAM DRUM EXPLODES ‑ YOUNG MAN KILLED ‑        TRAGEDY AT MOLESWORTH “Tragic results were associated with an experimental steam engine at a sawmill at Mount Fawkner, near Molesworth, about seven miles from New Norfolk, yesterday, when Eddie JOYCE, aged 19 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.J. JOYCE, of Molesworth, was killed instantly through the explosion of an oil drum used as a boiler.

                                For some time, Norman Alfred BOLTER, aged about 30 years, and Harry BOLTER, aged about 23 years, sons of Mr. Alfred BOLTER, who operates a sawmill on the slopes of Mt. Fawkner, between Collinsvale and Molesworth, have occupied themselves in their spare time with the building and working of a steam engine in the blacksmith’s shop at the  mill. In order to create steam for the working of the small engine, it has been the usual practice to place on the shoeing forge the boiler section, which was made from a round oil‑drum about two feet long and about a foot in diameter. The main part of the engine was connected with the boiler drum by two half‑inch pipes, each between four and five feet in length, and when sufficient steam was created by the heat of the forge the small engine would operate.

                                MEN WORKING AT FORGE

                                About noon yesterday, Eddie JOYCE, who resided with his parents some little distance from the mill, visited the shop in order to make a handle for an oil engine owned by his father. On arrival at the shop he was met by Norman and Harry BOLTER, and it was not long before the miniature engine was in action. A start was made to manufacture the handle required by JOYCE, and while the iron which was being used for the handle was heating the steam drum was left on the forge. Harry BOLTER was operating the forge bellows, and JOYCE was attending to the iron in the fire underneath the oil‑drum.

                                The iron was taken out of the fire and placed on the anvil, but when it failed to work up  readily it was put back into the fire and reheated…

                                One end of the oil‑drum was only a yard or so from the deceased as he was leaning over his work at the forge, and as the heat increased it appears that the three men failed to realise that the pressure in the boiler was becoming greater.   With tragic suddenness, the end of the drum farthest from JOYCE blew out under the steam, and the drum was driven backwards with great force. It struck JOYCE a terrific blow in the chest. His third finger on the left hand was severed, and the forefinger was almost cut off. He also received slight wounds on the forehead. The drum struck him with sufficient force to knock him backwards over the anvil, and he was dead in an instant.

                                Both other young men, who were close by, escaped, though Norman BOLTER’s face was blackened by the explosion…

                                The police at New Norfolk were informed by telephone, and within a short time Inspector TOMKINSON and Constable REID were on the scene. With the assistance of Messrs. F. EISZALE, V. DEEGAN and others, the body was placed on a motor‑lorry and removed to the morgue at New Norfolk.  At the instance of the Coroner (Mr. H.A. WARNER), Dr. J. MCPHERSON, of New Norfolk, performed a post mortem examination on the body of the deceased, and evidence as to the cause of death will be given by him. It is believed that while there was little outward sign of injury on JOYCE’s chest where he was struck, portion of the chest bone, which was forced backward, had pierced the heart… Late in the afternoon an inquest was opened. Evidence of identification was given by John William JOYCE, a brother of the deceased, and the inquiry was adjourned until 3 p.m.to‑day.” 

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