10 Jun 1914 - Eveleigh Heist

On this day 10 June 1914, the Eveleigh payroll robbery took place. What makes this crime unique is not only the fact that it was committed in the middle of the day in a busy area but it has been reported to be the first robbery in Australia where a get away car was used.

Source: The Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848-1957). Eveleigh Robbery: Freeman and Ryan guilty. Twiss acquitted

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Eveleigh Depot, no date. NRS 17420 551-47

Robbery under arms: the Eveleigh Heist, 1914

On 10 June 1914 the Eveleigh Heist - robbery of the payroll took place. It was a daylight robbery of the payroll at the Eveleigh Workshops

The scene of the crime
It was the morning of 10 June 1914, payday at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops on Wilson Street, Sydney. Paymaster for the NSW Railways, Frederick Charles Miller, along with his junior, John Henry, drew up at the factory complex in a horse-drawn wagon. Albert Andrews was driving the wagon that day, as he had on many occasions. They were returning from the bank with two cash boxes on the tray: one containing £3696; the other £3302...All of a sudden an old drab-grey car sped up and skidded to a halt in the gravel beside the wagon. It was driven by Ernest Alexander Ryan (aka Shiner), with Samuel Freeman (aka Jewey) in the passenger seat; both men were wearing handkerchief masks and driving goggles... more

Creating this story was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. There are Supreme Court deposition court papers in the State Archives Collection, where the witness statements and words of the accused bring the records alive. Complimenting this series are the gaol photographs, bringing faces to the the voices from the depositions.

Howard Family photographs

Police photographer George Howard

George B Howard was a prominent police photographer in Sydney during the 1920s