John Thomas Biggar BARKLIMORE
Went missing from "Innesowen" Stn., North west of
Cobar, NSW on New year's Day 1920 aged 45yrs.
In 1970, some bones were found at "Burnamwood
Well", which was once part of "Innesowen".
These bones were found in the bottom of a hollow
tree stump, underneath one and a half square kerosene tins, which had
been forced down on top of them.
Along with the bones of two large hands were some
sawn through rib bones, which had been burnt, six teeth and a pipe stem.
On investigation by detectives from Bourke, Cobar
and Dubbo, who were certain these were human bones, the collection was sent to
Forensic services in Sydney and after some time, John's son Thomas John
Barklimore (now almost 95yrs.) was sent word that the bones appeared to be
that of a large marsupial.
A serial killer, Albert Moss, in the area at the
time of the disappearance was rumoured to have killed John, along with several
others whose remains were found at intervals along Brummagen Creek between
Narromine/Dubbo in 1938. Moss was arrested and jailed in what is now known as
Old Dubbo Gaol.
note - This information comes from John's granddaughter Jane -
Apparently Albert Moss was
alleged to be in the area with a pushbike at the time as an itinerant worker
(or murderer, as I believe it to be true).
John Thomas was on his way out to Burnamwood
Well on 01/01/1920 (about 18 miles from the homestead at
"Innesowen") to pick up a couple of "poddy calves" and either move them or
bring them home with him. Dad (8yrs.old) remembers wanting to go with him as
he took him the fresh eggs his mother had packed for him for the trip.
John must have been intending to make the trip over a few days, as it would
have been well up in the 40's plus at that time of the year.
Stockmen were alerted when he hadn't returned on
time and then a search was mounted. The police had black trackers to assist,
but apparently the tracker dogs were in Victoria at the time and it was
considered too far and would take too long to get them to Cobar. Remember
they would have been about 100mls. from town searching for him.
The searchers found the buggy in readiness to
go, with the horse/horses in their harness and their "winkers" on and the
two orphaned calves tied up in the back as if he must have been ready
to leave and return home when he was set upon.
There is an old timbered well on the site, an
old set of cattle yards and a steam driven pumping engine, all of which
were in use, in those days. All of these were thoroughly searched of course,
but I wonder how thoroughly?
In 1970 the two shearers I mentioned earlier
were actually hunting around for old bottles to add to their collection and
when they asked Dad's permission to search any old camp sites on the
property. When he showed them the spot and explained that this was the last
known whereabouts of his father 50yrs.before, they decided that looking for
his missing father at the site was much more interesting.
They proceeded to search everywhere and started
to delve into the old hollow tree stumps that are everywhere and when they
pulled the rusty kerosene tins out of one of them, (because this in itself
would have seemed peculiar to anyone) there were the bones ( in the form of
two large hands and the rib bones, which had been sawn through and burnt,
the ebonite pipe stem and the six teeth. This is all that was found at the
time of the search in 1970.
This was also the last time the police were in
Can't help wondering where the rest of the bones
The results at the time said "the bones appear
to be that of a large marsupial" (a pipe smoking variety with a denture!)
Whether the rumours were true or not, I don't
know, but Moss was supposed to have told his cell mate at the time that
there were actually "a baker's dozen" of his victims and the 13th one
was in or near a well in the above area mentioned, although this was along
If anyone reading has any knowledge or
information about this very old case PLEASE let me know. John's son Thomas and
his granddaughter Jane are anxious to know more about what happened.