A 75-YEAR-OLD mystery involving a Bundaberg woman has never been solved.
Marjorie Norval, 30 at the time she disappeared, was from a well-known
Miss Norval was a public service typist who helped the wife of the then
Queensland premier William Forgan-Smith with her social arrangements.
She was described as a young, attractive girl with good social
In 1938 Miss Norval had applied for some leave from her job, and told
workmates she was going back to Bundaberg for a visit.
She also told friends she was going to Bundaberg for three days.
But she also told other friends different stories about where she was
On the evening of November 11, 1938, she was last seen walking up the
steps of the Brisbane Central Station.
According to files at the Queensland Police Museum, no Bundaberg train was
due to leave Brisbane for hours after the time Miss Norval was dropped off at
After several days friends and family realised no one knew where she was,
and Miss Norval's disappearance was reported to police.
By the end of November the State Government had offered a reward of 500
pounds, but there was still no reliable information about what had happened to
According to the Queensland Police Museum all sorts of rumours about Miss
Norval were spread.
One of them was that she was pregnant by a prominent politician.
The rumour was that she was killed to prevent a scandal and that her body
was thrown into the bay.
However, police were unable to track down any leads.
The search was extensive at the time, with more than 1000 people
According to the museum police checked every motor boat in the Brisbane
River, combed the bush within 100km of Brisbane and dug up suspicious-looking
patches of ground, but the only bodies found were those of dead animals.
Abortionists and suspected abortionists were closely watched.
The search for Miss Norval had a tragic aftermath. The water police were
called on to help and a plane was used to search islands and inlets from
Jumpinpin and north.
But on November 28, 1938 an RAAF amphibian aircraft carrying four men
crashed at Alberton Ferry, near Beenleigh, during the search for Miss Norval.
Everyone on board was killed.
An inquiry was held in 1943 into Miss Norval's disappearance.
At the end of it, magistrate Mr Leahy said he believed Miss Norval had
undergone an operation from which she had not emerged alive; an operation which
most people assumed to be an abortion.