From the Headlines – A Dodgy Doughie

From the Headlines – A Dodgy Doughie 

The remarkable story of a dodgy doughie that went to great lengths to cover up his crime!

Headline – Truth newspaper Sunday 27th October 1907 Pg 8

Name: George Henry Bayldon

Company: Bread Carters Union

Position: Secretary

Crime: Theft – money belonging to the Union.

Total: £5/5/0

George Henry Bayldon was certainly not one of the worst of the worst to spend time locked up in HM Prison – Brisbane, later called Boggo Road Gaol. He did, however, commit a crime, was sentenced and did his time.

So what did he do? He spent the money belonging to the Bread Carters Union to keep his family. The wages for these workers was not even close to being enough to get by. He thought that he would be able to borrow the money and return it before the next meeting, but due to his financial state, the loan was refused.

Instead of owning up to the theft, and asking for time to re-pay citing the circumstances he was in, George took the astounding step of faking an assault and robbery on himself. He threw himself on the footpath knocking him almost cold; ensuring to scrape both sides of his face. He scattered his papers and possessions all over the road, lay still, and waited for someone to happen by before yelling for help.

Of course, the Good Samaritan took care of him and transported him home. But the rouse wasn’t over yet! He went to the trouble of summoning the police, and made a full report. It wasn’t until Tom Power, a noted officer of the law, (who happened to have been passing by that very spot at the time of the supposed incident) disputed his report and George Henry Bayldon finally confessed to the theft and the subsequent rouse.

Arrest warrant – Queensland Police Gazette 1907 Pg 354

For some unknown reason, he was not arrested on the spot and the Union was left to deal with the matter. Amazingly, they didn’t act on it speedily at all! Perhaps there was some sympathy for Bayldon?  Regardless, Bayldon didn’t hang around to find out. He fled up north, obtaining employment on the Johnstone River Tramway outside of Ingham. It was September before a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Finally, George Henry Bayldon faced his day in court. He appeared before Police Magistrate Macfarlane. Even though he threw himself on the mercy of the court saying “I had no intention of keeping the money! I only took it to keep my wife from want” it fell on deaf ears.

George Bayldon in court – Truth Newspaper 27th October 1907 pg 8

The magistrate sentenced him to four months with hard labour in Boggo Road Gaol, additionally, the money found in his possession at the time of his arrest was to be handed to the Union. Furthermore, the magistrate remarked that should Bayldon be able to raise the remainder of the stolen money within four weeks, his sentence would be reduced to one month with hard labour. Therefore, some sympathy was felt for his family’s plight.

Bayldon however, could not raise the money in time and he served his full sentence with hard labour.   He did, however, get his daily bread in gaol!

After his release, Bayldon and his family left Queensland and headed south. He died in Fairfield, Sydney in 1935.  

So ends the story of the dodgy doughie of Boggo Road Gaol.



This Sunday, you can hear more stories from a prisoner’s perspective.  Larry Campbell, a former prisoner at Boggo Road, will guide you through some of the most turbulent years of the Gaol’s history.   To book tickets for our fascinating prisoner tour click here.

This article was contributed by Research Coordinator Sue Olsen as part of the ongoing research program for Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd. The aim of the program is to bring to light and share articles relating to Boggo Road for the purposes of review and study. Do you have a story to share or something you would like us to know about? You can contact the research team here.


Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol