WHILE WE ARE ENCOURAGING THE WORLD TO THINK OF COLLECTING AS A HEALTHY WAY TO SPEND TIME, here is a cautionary tale reported in the West Australian, 4 September 1944.
ACCIDENTALLY SHOT. Businessman’s Serious Plight.
LAUNCESTON. Sept 3.–
Alexander Patterson Mitchell (about 50) assistant manager of Patons and Baldwins Knitting Mills, Launceston, is in a serious condition in the Launceston General Hospital, following an operation for the removal of a revolver bullet in the abdomen. According to a police report he was shot accidentally with a .38 calibre Belgian revolver by Geoffrey Arthur Dudley Youl, farmer and retired colonel, of Leighlands, Perth (Tas).
The report states that Mitchell was one of a party which met, as was their custom, at the residence of Peter Anderson, Delamere-road, Trevallyn, Launceston, who is a licensed dealer and collector of firearms, on Thursday night. They were looking at Anderson’s collection of firearms when a revolver was handed to Youl. He pulled the trigger without thinking when the party was assembled around a table and Mitchell, who was about three feet away, was shot in the abdomen and sank back in a chair. Youl, who was on the best of terms with Mitchell, did not notice that the revolver was pointing at Mitchell nor that it was loaded.