No.6091 Private Nicholas Newton
Nicholas Newton Jnr was born to Nicholas Newton (Snr) and Mary Middlemiss at Kyneton in 1900. His parents had married in 1888 at Frencham, Victoria, and had the following children:
- Roland Newton - born 1891 at Trentham/Blue Mountain, Victoria (Served in WW1 as No.483, K.I.A. 1915)
- Edward (Ted) Newton - born 1893 at Blue Mountain, Victoria (Served in WW1 as No.3410)
- Frances Newton - born 1896 at Blue Mountain, Victoria
- Elizabeth (Bessie) Newton - born 1897 at Blue Mountain, Victoria
- Nicholas (Nick) Newton - born 1900 at Kyneton, Victoria (Served in WW1 as No.6091)
- William Newton - born 1908 at Werribee.
- Gerald Newton - born 1912 at Werribee.
Nicholas's father Nicholas Newton (Snr) and his wife Mary, both appear in the Victorian Electoral Roll, as living in Werribee, from 1903. At that time, his occupation was an Agent. By 1909 he had become a Produce Dealer, and between 1912 and 1917 he was a Chaffcutter.
Nicholas (Snr) and his wife Mary owned a Chaff cutting business and grain store in Werribee before the war. They had two chaff-cutting plants in operation in the Werribee South area (before the land was cut up into blocks as part of the Closer Settlement Scheme), and was assisted in this operation by his sons.
Obituary of Nicholas Newton, Werribee Shire Banner, 16 May 1929, p.6.
On 28 April 1915, Nicholas's brother, Sgt Roland Newton was killed at Gallipoli. Roland Newton's passing was mentioned at a service held at St. Thomass Presbyterian Church on 29 July 1915, where the Reverend Ash described Sergeant Roland Newton as "Little Jonathan". "He had died for duty. What better could a man do than he had done? The country and the flag need every man’s help."
Werribee Shire Banner, 3 June 1915, p.3.
This was possibly the motivation that led Nicholas Newton to leave Werribee and move to Sydney, where he enlisted at the age of 16 years.
Immediately before his enlistment, Nicholas was living with the Salvation Army, at their building in George Street, Sydney.
At the young age of 16, Nicholas Campbell Newton applied to enlist in the A.I.F. at the Sydney Showgrounds, on 8 March 1916, and was accepted. Because he was underage, he attempted to hide his real identity.
Firstly, he added a second Christian name of "Campbell". This is the only time that that christian name appears in the records.
Secondly, he claimed that his parents were deceased, but they were in fact living in Werribee.
Thirdly, he nominated his next of kin as his ‘friend’, Walter Finklee [Finlee], of Werribee.
I cannot find and trace of a person of that name.
On his application to enlist, young Nicholas claimed that he was 18 years of age, and that he was working as a Carter (possibly a chaff carter in his father’s business). He nominated that his place of birth was in the County of Cumberland, in New South Wales.
Nicholas Newton completed his basic training at Bathurst in N.S.W., and on 10 March 1916, he was appointed to “C” Company of the Depot Battalion, at Bathurst. He remained there for a month, until 15 April 1916, when he was appointed to the 8th Reinforcements for the 30th Battalion.
On 1 May 1916, Private Newton was attached to the 13th Battalion, and continued his training at the military camp at Kiama, in New South Wales.
He was charged with being absent without leave for one day, on 25 June 1916, and was fined 10 shillings and seven days extra fatigue duty. This possibly caused him to have a change of heart, as he was discharged from duty one month later, on 27 July 1916. The official reason being that he was "under enlistment age."
Nicholas Newton possibly returned to the family home in Werribee after being discharged.
The Victorian Electoral Roll 1919 records that Nicholas Newton (Jnr) was living at Werribee, with his sister Bessie, and that he was working as a Vocational Trainer.
Between 1924 and1925 Nicholas Newton (Jnr) was living at Duncan's Road, Werribee, where he was a farmer. With him was his sister Frances.
Nicholas Newton (Snr) died at Werribee 10 May 1929.
In 1931, Nicholas Newton had moved to Mackay in Queensland and began his association with gambling and crime. In that year he was charged in the Police Court with stealing money. “Nicholas Newton (31), was charged that on August 15, 1931, he stole eight £1 notes from Leslie White ... in Yen Lock’s gambling shop”.
Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld), 18 August 1931, p.8.
After being placed on remand, he came before the Police Court on 24 August 1931, and was committed for trial on 6 October 1931.
Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld), 25 August 1931, p.6.
During his trial he told the court that he had been nine years on the Soldiers’ Settlement at Werribee; a sports promotor at Maryborough, and had played inter-state football. When cross examined he admitted previously pleading guilty (plea bargaining with the local police) to a crime of stealing at Biloela, and being fined £10.
The jury at his trial found him guilty after a ten-minute deliberation.
Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld), 7 October 1931, p.4.
He was "...sentenced to two years imprisonment, but suspended on his entering into a bond in his own recognisances of £50, to be of good character for 12 months."
Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld), 14 October 1931, p.2.
In 1933, he was back in Victoria where he appeared before the Werribee Police Court, charged with receiving money in connection with the Moonee Valley horseraces on 27 May 1933. In his defence he stated that he was out of work, and was only receiving a war pension. After being fined £25, he asked for time to pay, as he was about to commence work locally in a few weeks.
Werribee Shire Banner, 22 June 1933, p.3.
Nicholas Newton moved back to Queensland in 1935, and he was charged in the Brisbane Police Court, with false pretences. Nicholas Middlemiss, alias Nicholas Newton, alias Nicholas Day, a shopkeeper, appeared before Police Magistrate Mr. J. Stewart Berge, where he pleaded not guilty, and was remanded until 21 October 1935. He was charged with falsely pretending that he had authority to dispose of a mine that he had previously bought. The prosecution told the court that the defendant had no ties with Queensland, and that he had only recently returned from the southern states. He was released on £40 pounds bail.
The Telegraph (Brisbane), 14 October 1935, p.6.
From a 1936 South Australian Police Gazette:
A provisional warrant had been issued at Adelaide for the arrest of Nicholas Newton, alias Nicholas Middlemiss (his mother’s maiden name), alias A J Larcombe, alias James, alias Harold Cane, alias Kane. Described as 36 years, 5 foot 7 inches, bald, first joint left little finger amputated, wearing a returned soldiers badge. An Indictment has been filed in the Court of Quarter Sessions at Sydney, charging him with larceny by a trick.
Ancestry: S.A. Police Gazette, 18 May 1936, p.190.
In 1938, Nicholas Newton, a registered bookmaker of Marli Flats, The Esplanade, St.Kilda (and a former Werribee resident), was charged in the Werribee Court of Petty Sessions with negligent driving. He crashed his car into a stationary car, 3 miles on the Melbourne side of Werribee. He was fined £2 pounds with 1 pound 12 shillings costs.
Werribee Shire Banner, 15 December 1938, p.5.
Nicholas Newton (Newtown) married Veronica Margret Furlong in 1938.
(Victorian Certificate No.1938/2398)
Nicholas then served in WW2 [1939-1945], as No. V144352 and VX24843. His service record has not yet been released, but he did enlist at Caulfield in Victoria, and his next of kin was his new wife, "Veronica Newton."
Ancestry: WWII Military Service Records, 1939-1945
Their marriage did not last, and the couple divorced three years later in 1941.
Veronica Margaret Newton, 30 years, Ross-street, Port Melbourne, divorced Nicholas Newton, 40 years, Fitzroy-street, St. Kilda, hair dresser; Misconduct.
The Age, 23 July 1941, p.9.
From March 1943: "In the Criminal Court yesterday a jury acquitted Ernest James de Valle, labourer, Fitzroy-street, St. Kilda, and Nicholas Newton, soldier, of the same address, on a charge of robbery in company. The accused men were discharged."
The Age, 31 March 1943, p.4.
Nicholas Newton then came to note in South Australia, when in 1946 he was involved in a case at the Adelaide Police Court.
"Committed for trial – Douglas Patrick Kelly, 31, of St John’s Row, Glenelg, was charged with having at Glandore, on February 15, with intent to defraud, obtained 115 pounds from Stanley Norman Bannear, by falsely pretending that he had been sent from Melbourne by Nicholas Newton, to have opened a cheque marked “not negotiable” by Bannear, drawn on the Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd., Adelaide.
Kelly, who pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence, was committed for trial. Bail was allowed."
The Advertiser, (Adelaide), 13 November 1946, p.6.
The case returned to the Supreme Court of South Australia where it was adjourned "to enable the Crown to make further enquiries the court adjourned to a date to be fixed..."
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 1 April 1947, p.8.
Again in the Supreme Court of South Australia, in September 1947, "...writs for the enforcement of estreatments by sale of assets were ordered in the case of – Nicholas Newton, of The Esplanade, St Kilda, Victoria, who failed to comply with a £47 bond to give evidence on a case in the Criminal Court".
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 30 September 1947, p.12.
His case was listed in the Supreme Court of South Australia, on 13 November 1947. Fines and Entreated Recognisances – R. v. Nicholas Newton.
It was listed again in the Supreme Court of South Australia on 17 November 1947. Before the full court, R. v. Nicholas Newton.
The Advertiser(Adelaide), 15 November 1947, p.13.
A writ was issued by the Supreme Court of South Australia against Nicholas Newton of The Esplanade, St Kilda, in connection with his failure to attend the Criminal Court as a Crown witness, in the case in which Douglas Patrick Kelly was charged with false pretence.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 18 November 1947, p.9.
He then left Victoria, and moved to Queensland. Nicholas Newton (aged 54) was fined 20 pounds in the Cairns Court on 29 June 1953, with having instruments of gaming in his possession. He pleaded guilty to the charge.
The Cairns Post, 30 June 1953, p.3.
Nicholas Newton died in Queensland in 1974. His Death Certificate is No.B51544.
Medals and Entitlements:
- Nil awarded
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: "Newton, N."
The name Newton, N. from Werribee, first appeared in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 3 August 1916, p.1.
Thomas Newton (perhaps a relative) was the Manager of The Manor in Werribee in 1925.
A Nicholas Newton was born at Kyneton in 1900 to Nicholas Newton and Mary Middlemiss. (1900/12206). He enlisted twice in WW2 as No.VX24843 and V144352.
The National Archives of Australia web site lists a “Nicholas Newton, age 16, born at Werribee Victoria”. His file is not online.
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