[Editor: This article was published in The Benalla Standard (Benalla, Vic.), 25 June 1901.]
Sad case of drowning.
Quite a gloom was cast over the town yesterday afternoon when it became known that Joseph Ryan, a son of Mr Denis Ryan, had been drowned in a hole about 300 yards below the bridge.
The unfortunate boy, who was about eight years of age, in company with two school mates, Doherty and Pope, went to the river to eat their lunch. After this the deceased suggested that they should have a swim. His companions objected, whereupon little Ryan determined to go in by himself.
He swam some distance and returned to the bank, entering the water again in a few seconds. Unfortunately this time he was only visible for a few seconds, and the last they saw of him was his trying to clutch at the branches of a willow tree, about five yards from the bank. This he failed to do, and then sank.
The alarm was given by the other lads, and half an hour after the accident Mr Maguire arrived, and he pluckily dived in after the body. He was unable to see anything of it, and finding the current very strong, he was able to extricate himself only with difficulty.
A crowd soon collected, and about an hour after the sad occurrence Mr John Roe, who was out at the end of a log on the east side of the river, where it divides into two streams and about 20 yards from where the lad went in, saw the body lying against some rubbish between the end of the log and a stump. He called to his brother, Mr D. Roe, who jumped on to the stump, and between them they lifted the body out of the water. It was only about a foot under the water, although the river at this spot is about 11 ft. deep.
Life was at once seen to be extinct, but as a last hope attempts were made to restore animation. The clothes were procured from the opposite bank, and the body covered and taken to the residence of Mr Ryan by two constables.
Great sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Ryan in their bereavement.
The Coroner was communicated with, and a magisterial inquiry will be held to-day.
The Benalla Standard (Benalla, Vic.), 25 June 1901, p. 2
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]