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LUCY BLANCHE SKIPPER 1900-1931

Brisbane Courier, 15 July 1931
SHOT THROUGH HEAD.
FATALITY AT DAYBORO.
When Miss Ellen Mary Newman, of Samsonvale, returned to her farm yesterday evening she found her partner, Miss Lucy Blanche Skipper, aged 30 years, lying in front of the house with a bullet wound through her head. The injured woman was at- tended to by the Dayboro ambulance, and was being conveyed to the Bris- bane General Hospital when she died.

The two women were engaged in banana growing, having settled in the district about five years ago. Miss Newman went into the township about 4.30 p.m. yesterday and returned at 6 p.m. She found her friend lying by a tree in front of the house, with a rifle alongside her. There was a wound in her head showing where a bullet had entered near the right eye, pierced the skull, and passed through the top of the head. As there were still signs of life Miss Newman called the am- bulance from Dayboro, but the attempt to save her life failed, death taking place before the ambulance entered Brisbane.

The deceased was a native of New South Wales, and had suffered recently from a nervous breakdown.


Brisbane Courier, 16 July 1931
TRAGIC END.
BANANA FARMING ROMANCE.
With the death of Miss Lucy Blanche Skipper, of Samsonvale, on Tuesday, ends one of the most romantic chapters of banana-farming in Queensland. The "Courier" yesterday reported how Miss Ellen Mary Newman, returning to the plantation on Tuesday, found Miss Skipper lying in front of the house, with a bullet wound in her head. She died on the way to the General Hospital.

Ellen and Lucy In 1928 the two girls drove from Sydney to Brisbane in their car. They had been in business together in Syd- ney and New Zealand, and, to an astonished estate agent, unfolded their plan for taking up banana farming in Queensland. They confessed complete ignorance of the methods to be followed, but put in the balance their willingness to learn. As the agent, Mr. C. D. Edwards, told the story yesterday, he tried to talk them into some other business, but they would not agree, and, as a last resort, he took them one day to Samsonvale with an- other prospective buyer of a plantation. A local farmer had planted ten acres of bananas, but found that his dairying activities prevented his giv- ing the adequate time to the planta- tion. He had offered to lease it. They were ten steep acres, and the idea of the journey was to emphasise the difficulties. The result, however, was that the prospective purchaser turned the proposition down, and Misses Newman and Skipper took it up. The farmer, on their offering to engage male labour, if necessary, in order to clean the plantation, which had been neglected, had been won over.

Miss Lucy Blanche Skipper (right),
who was found in a dying condition on Tuesday evening
by her partner. Miss Ellen M. Newman (on left of photograph).

COMPLETE SUCCESS.
Five months later the ten acres were spick and span, and the male labour had not been necessary. Even an offer by surrounding farmers to form a working-bee had been politely, but firmly, declined. Not for appearance alone did the plantation gain a name: its productsósome one christened them the "Bananarina" brandówere always among the top-price class in Brisbane and Sydney.

About a year ago Miss Skipper sold out her interest to Miss Newman, and took up nursing. Later she returned to Samsonvale and the plantation, and concentrated on bee-farming. Each girl, however, helped the other in the two activities. Several weeks ago Miss Skipper had a nervous breakdown, and spent some time in a hospital in Brisbane. She went back to Samsonvale, and on Tuesday afternoon helped to start the car for her companion, who was going to a local store. When Miss Newman returned half an hour later she found that her friend had car- ried out a threat made some weeks before to end everything. Yesterday's post-mortem examination revealed that the wound had been self-inflicted, with the rifle found beside Miss Skipper's body.


Sydney Morning Herald, 16 July 1931
FARM TRAGEDY.
Woman Fatally Shot.
ROMANTIC PARTNERSHIP ENDS.
BRISBANE, Wednesday.

When Miss Ellen Mary Newman, of Samson- vale, returned to her farm last evening, she found her partner, Lucy Blanche Skipper, 30, lying in front of the house with a bullet wound through her head. She died later in the Brisbane General Hospital.

With her death, ends one of the most romantic chapters of banana-farming in Queensland. In 1928, the two women drove from Sydney to Brisbane by car. They had been in business in Sydney and New Zealand, and decided to take up banana-farming in Queensland. They settled on 10 acres of land at Samsonvale, and later the farm's products branded "Bananarina" were always among the top price class in Brisbane and Sydney.
,br> About a year ago, Miss Skipper sold her interest to Miss Newman and took up nursing. Later she returned to Samsonvale and con- centrated on bee-farming. Several weeks ago, she had a nervous breakdown, and spent some time in hospital in Brisbane. She returned to Samsonvale and yesterday afternoon helped to start the car for her companion, who was going to the local store. When Miss Newman returned half an hour later, she found that her friend had apparently carried out a threat made some weeks before "to end everything."


Brisbane Courier, 3rd September 1915
SHOT IN HEAD.
DEATH OF. A WOMAN.
On July 14, on a banana farm at Samsonvale, Lucy Blanche Skipper, who had been working the property in conjunction with another woman, was found shot in the head, and died in the Ambulance on the way to a hos- pital in Brisbane. Further evidence in the inquest into the death of Skip- per was heard by Mr. J. J. Leahy, Acting P.M., in the Coroner's Court yesterday.
Evidence given by Ellen Mary Newman at North Pine, where the inquest was opened, was to the effect that Miss Skipper was 31 years of age, and had been a nurse at a mental hospital in New Zealand. Witness said she and Miss Skipper had come to Australia together. They bought a banana farm at Samsonvale, which they worked on an equal shares basis. Later witness bought Miss Skipper's share, as Miss Skipper anticipated getting married, but subsequently Miss Skipper said that her matrimonial prospects were at an end.

Three months ago, witness said, she found a poison bottle underneath the mattress of deceased's bed. Miss Skipper told her she had intended taking poison, but had not had courage to do so.

RIFLE NEAR BODY.
On July 14, continued witness, Miss Skipper helped on the banana farm. During the afternoon witness was ab- sent for about three-quarters of an hour, and when she returned she saw Miss Skipper lying near the house. There was a rifle beside the body, and a wound in the head. Miss Skipper was placed in the ambulance, but died at Strathpine, on the way to Brisbane. Yesterday evidence was given by Campbell R. S. Hill, qualified chemist. He stated that he had supplied half an ounce of prussic acid in March last to Miss Skipper, who said she required it to poison cats on her farm.
The inquest was closed.

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