Ira Gelling Craine (known Paddy) escaped a few times in his life, sometimes when he was in the army during WW1 and there were several occasions when he went AWOL. He was of course punished for these excursions. This is just one example from his war records – on this occasion he was detained for 11 days, forfeited 11 days pay – which brought his total loss of pay to 22 days
But later in life he escaped again, he escaped from the constraints of society and built himself a humpy* in the bush. The only punishment on this occasion was self imposed as he deprived himself of the comforts of living in a house.Here he was able to indulge his hobby of mining.
As well as having sunk this shaft he sometimes would pan for gold as well.He was not always alone – it would seem that friends occasionally dropped in to visit – but don’t seem to have been offered a seat. Sadly Paddy had another way of escaping – he liked a drink or three, and when under the weather he would cause some embarrassment to his family. While on leave during his war service years (or maybe AWOL) he arrived unannounced at a cousin’s house in the home country of his parents, the Isle of Man, and soon found he could walk to many of the local hostelries. In Australia he worked on the railways, and when near Minyip the home town of his brother Phillip, he would drop in to stay. His grand daughter Florence recalled these occasions as causing some grief to her mother, but “we kids always thought he was wonderful.” He certainly looks very contented in these photographs.
War Service Record courtesy of National Archives of Australia
Photos courtesy of the Linton Historical Society, Victoria
*Humpy – originally a word to describe a temporary dwelling built by the aborigines, but now in common use for a make do, temporary home.