Tuesday, 17 January 2017



I was an avid reader of newspapers even as a child, though some of the pages seemed to be missing at times, due to parental 'guidance'.
However, there was one paper that I was never allowed to read, well, not till I was about mid teens.

That was the TRUTH.. of course, it had the most interesting headlines. This edition was way before my time, but this story was another great TROVE treasure when I was looking for more on my husband's family..

Winifred Eleanor Goopy (nee Conlon) was born 22 November, 1905. Her first marriage was in 1927, her second was in 1932, when she married William Francis Callanan Goopy, called Frank. 
Funnily enough, her father was William (Conlon), her first husband was William Edward Davis and then her third husband was also a William (officially).

Winnie lived a long life, till 16 December in 1998. She rests with Frank in Lutwyche Cemetery, Brisbane.

Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900-1954), Sunday 23 April 1944, Page 10



In the testimony as revealed in the Coroner’s Court, Miss Willett had been subject to epileptic fits. She had assumed an acquaintanceship with Americans, and because of a misunderstanding with one of them, had taken it to heart and then sought to put an end to her troubles.

The inquest was opened by Mr. E.R. Gibson, Deputy Coroner, who had some severe comments to make regarding a woman witness, friend of the deceased.

 The night before Miss Willet died she was with an American friend. Blonde-haired Mrs. Winifred Eleanor Goopy, however denied in evidence that she was with the deceased that night and that they had met in Leichhardt-street.


Later, after questioning by the Deputy Coroner and Sergeant J. Denning (examining the witnesses) Mrs. Goopy admitted that she had been there.

The Deputy Coroner declared: “I take a very serious view of any person giving false evidence in this court and it is my attention to refer the evidence the sergeant concerning your being at Leichhardt-street on he night of February 8. I am not prepared to comment on what action, if any, might be taken, but I am informing you now of my intention to report the matter.”

Constable G.R. rose, West End, said that in Miss Willett’s room, he found two sealed letters and a note. One of the letters was addressed to Mr. Sam Brassington, M.L.A.

Sergeant Denning (to the constable) ; Mr. Brassington was a friend of the family? - Yes.


The letters did not concern anything about the inquest?-No. I gave it to Mr. Brassington.

The constable went on to say that according to he post-mortem examination by Dr. E. H. Derrick, there was a suggestion that Miss Willett had made an unsuccessful attempt to poison herself with gas.

Constable Brose had said he had made enquiries and had learned that Miss Willett was subject to epileptic fits. He discovered also that she was friendly with with a Sergeant McLaughlin of the U.S. Army, who had visited her at her flat on several occasions.

Sergeant Edward McLaughlin, U.S. Army, testified that he met Miss Willett about seven months ago. He had been introduced to her by an American friend, Sergeant Glisch, who was now in the battle area and who had been keeping company with Miss Willett. Since then said McLaughlin, he had visited Miss Willett once or twice a week, but the last time he saw her at the flat was on February 1.

Sergeant Denning: Were you keeping company with Miss Willett? - No, it was just a social call.


Why did you discontinue seeing her? - She used to ring me up at work and if I could not see her, she used to get annoyed.
What was her reaction over this?-She had a kind of a spell-a sort of a fit.

McLaughlin said he had seen her in fits before. deceased would fall over and go out of her mind, talk about things that happened in her childhood and become more or less delusioned. On the night of February 8, he met her in Leichhardt-street outside his club. Mrs. Goopy was with her.

Miss Willett did not want to go home, said witness, but eventually went with him and other people. Two blocks from her place she had “one of these spells.”

At the door of her home, said McLaughlin, Miss Willett said she had received a telegram telling her that her brother had been killed in New Guinea.

“Good-bye, this is the last time you will see me,” the woman said, according to McLaughlin. Any time she had been upset, she had said the same thing, aded witness.

The second time he was at Miss Willett’s flat, went on McLaughlin, there was an argument between Miss Willett and Sergt. Glisch. Miss Willett threw a bottle of lysol over Sergt. Glisch’s head, and he was in hospital for 14 days.

McLaughlin added that he remained at the flat for a while after Glisch had left -this was several months before the suicide- and Miss Willett attempted to throw a bottle of lysol over him, but he took it out of her hand. He left after that. 

Sergeant Denning: Did she ever tell you she was in love with you? -No, but she said she was fond of me.

On the last occasion you saw her, did you make up your mind not to see her again?-Yes.

Did you tell her that?-Yes.

Have you any idea as to what caused her to commit suicide?-I think it was the news about her brother being killed and the fact that she was depressed through the fits she had.

“Before I left at 4.30pm,” said Mrs. Goopy,  “Miss Willett asked me if I would sign a will. She had been ill so long and she said she had a lot of property and that if she died in one of those fits, she didn’t know where her property would go. I argued with her, but eventually I signed the will which the deceased had made out.” Witness added that the will was made out in favour of deceased’s sister.

“Miss Willett told me,” said the witness, “that she had had a misunderstanding with McLaughlin, but she seemed to worry more over the fits than Mc Laughlin.”

Mrs. Goopy admitted that she had previously denied that she had been with Miss Willett and McLaughlin on the night of February 8 when they met in Leichhardt-street, but she admitted this evidence was untrue.

The Deputy Coroner: Why did you first deny it?-I have personal reasons.

Mrs. Catherine McDougall, wife of the proprietor of the West End flats where Miss Willett’s tragic death occurred, told the court that she often heard noisy parties in the flat and a lot of American soldiers visited there.

On the application of Sergeant Denning, the inquiry was adjourned to Allora.


  1. Nothing like the Truth for gossip. Sad story of despair but one can't help wondering what Mrs Goopy's "personal reasons" were. It is a wonder they didn't follow up on that. :)

  2. Always gossip, and often a twisted story... I feel it is a very sad story also.
    As for Winnie, I only met her a few times, but I really liked her... Her 'personal reasons' could be anything, she was married at the time, maybe it was as simple as that. Her first husband died after just 4 years married.

  3. Poor Rachael, I feel sorry for her.

    1. So do I, she seemed very much a lost soul.


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