Wubin is a small town on the inland route from Perth to Port Hedland.
The Heritage Wheat bin Museum displays the history of wheat in the area.
Wubin and Buntine Rocks provide spectacular views and are perfect picnic sites.
There are a couple of websites stating that the old school site in town is now available as a stop-over for caravans and motorhomes but we have been in touch with
the local shire and they say this isn't the case.
The primary industries in the area are sheep and wheat farming.
Tourists visit the area most often in spring when the wildflowers are in bloom BUT before making the long trek to see, it is wise to check if the winter rains
have been good enough. We have been out to Buntine Rocks in different years and on one occasion found beautiful wildflowers and on the other occasion
found absolutely nothing.
For more information about Wubin please see this website.
Initially the name 'Woobin' was given to a railway siding in 1913 but an error in printing resulted in the spelling that is in use today. It originally came from the name of
a nearby spring but the meaning is not known.
The townsite was gazetted in 1913 and the first land sales occurred the following year. The railway began operating in 1915.
The town school operated until 2007 but closed due to a lack of students.
Wubin celebrated its centenary in 2008 with the re-opening of the refurbished CWA rooms. The Centenary pathway was also opened along with the
J E Ellison Machinery Display Shed.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
The following is from the Adelaide Advertiser dated 8th August 1928.\
THE WUBIN MURDER - TRIAL OF CLIFFORD HULME.
In passing the death sentence on Clifford Hulme, a migrant from Leeds, for the murder of his employer, a farmer of Wubin,
Western Australia, the judge said the only question was whether he was sane or insane at the time he committed the dreadful crime, and
the jury had decided that he was sane.
Perth, August 7.
In the supreme Court to-day, Flora Margaret Smith again related the incidents of the night of horror at the small farm in West Wubin on June 22, when,
she said, her husband's murderer confessed to his deed, cut the clothes off her, and assaulted her while she was tied to the bed, and attacked her three daughters,
aged 8, 6, and one year respectively.
Clifford Hulme (29), a migrant from Leeds, who was an employee on the farm, was charged with the murder of her husband, Harold Eaton Smith. He
pleaded not guilty.
The Crown Prosecutor (Mr. Woolf) said there would be no dispute on two facts that Smith was murdered, and that the accused was the killer. All that the
jury would have to consider was the mental condition of the accused at the time of the crime. Hulme had been in Australia for a number of years. He
was treated by Smith as one of the family, having meals with them and sleeping in a nearby camp.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Dea. who appeared for the accused, Mrs. Smith said when Hulme first told her that the tractor had rolled on her husband she believed
him, and when he stopped her going to the tractor she thought that he was acting for the best. Her husband and she had every confidence in Hulme. Her
husband had frequently been absent for a day and left Hulme at the farm. Hulme never made an improper suggestion to her. It was long after nightfall when
Hulme assaulted her.
Parrett, the deceased's brother-in-law, said he found the body, which had the arms upraised, with the palms outward, as if in horror. The witness had known
Hulme for five years at Wubin and thought him quite an honest, every-day fellow. He previously had every confidence in Hulme, who he believed, was
very fond of Smith's children. He did not know that he was always making them toys and drawing things for them.
Constable Bowbottom, cross-examined, said when Hulme confessed the murder to him he seemed quite normal, and was smoking a cigarette, offering one to the
witness. Hulme was always quiet and reserved, and did not seem to mix much with company. He had never had occasion officially to notice Hulme, and he
had never known him to drink.
Dr. Anderson said he examined Hulme at Dalwallinu. He seemed normal. The witness had been in charge of the mental ward at the Perth public hospital. He
went to see Hulme under the impression that he must be insane, knowing what he had done.
The Accused's Story.
The accused gave evidence on oath that he had always been well treated by the Smiths, and he never had any quarrel with them. About 4 o'clock on the afternoon
of the tragedy a light flashed before his eyes. He dropped his axe, grabbed a gun, pointed it at Smith, and pulled the trigger. He could not say why he had
done this. The next thing he remembered was sitting by roadside drinking water out of a rut on the road and washing his face. It was then dark, and
he was 16 miles from Smith's farm. He sat there thinking things out, and a voice kept saying in his ears, "You have shot Smithy." He thought it best to give
himself up. He had had funny turns before, and wandered in the bush. A relative of his mother's was said to have died in a lunatic asylum. He tried to commit suicide in Egypt.
Cross-examined, the accused said the lights before his eyes were red and yellow, and flashed for two seconds. He shot Smith immediately after the lights
appeared. He had not heard any voices, but had a buzzing sound in the head.
He was a private in the infantry during the war. When he was on guard in Egypt, he attempted to kill himself, but told the sergeant of the guard that he had shot at a prowler.
A court of enquiry was held, but nothing was done to him. He was passed as normal before he was granted a passage to this State as an assisted migrant.
Medical Evidence for the Defence.
Dr. Bentley, Inspector-General of Insane, said he examined the accused on three occasions, and was of opinion that Hulme was insane at the time of the
tragedy. There were periods when he was not responsible for his actions, although he was sane when the witness examined him. The absence of motive for
the crime, combined with the extraordinary violence to the woman and children, led him to that opinion. Loss of memory had followed blackwater fever cases. In
his opinion a man did not commit murder for no reason whatever. Hulme told him that Smith and Mrs. Smith were always most kind to him. The witness did not
depend on what Hulme said himself, so much as he did on the whole circumstances of the crime. He was not prepared to say from what class of insanity
Hulme was suffering. A statement might be made while a patient was in a dream which might not be afterwards remembered.
Dr. Kerr, the prison doctor at the Fremantle Gaol, said he saw the accused immediately after his admission to the gaol. He spoke to him then, and questioned
him in regard to the voices. At that time Hulme had no delusions. The witness did not think anyone could affirm definitely the state of the accused's mind
when he committed the crime.
Cross-examined, the witness said he would not say the insanity was feigned, but the loss of memory was. The accused was in the sixth standard when he left
school at the age of 14. He thought that the accused was normal enough in his present serious position to feign insanity.
It was a characteristic of madness that a lunatic often attacked those nearest and dearest to him. Lay opinion would say that anyone who would commit a crime
such as was alleged against the accused was mad. The witness thought that Hulme was perfectly normal now.
Dr. Anderson, recalled, said Hulme did not complain about noises and buzzing sounds in his head, or flashes before his eyes.
A Terrible Crime.
The Chief Justice (Sir Robert McMillan), in opening his summing-up, said: I have listened in this court to many terrible stories of crime, but never to one
which equals this in horrible details of terrible killing, brutal assault, and unspeakable cruelty to little children, one a babe.
Yet all these things were actually done by the accused man. This court is only concerned with one thing, the question of the
accused's sanity at the time. It is not for the Crown to prove that the accused was of insane mind at the time the crime was committed.
After an hour's retirement the jury returned a verdict of guilty of wilful murder. When asked if he had anything to say. Hulme shook his head with hardly a
The Chief Justice, in sentencing him to be hanged said -The only question was whether you were sane or insane at the time of the murder. The jury have found
that you were sane, and all that remains for me is to sentence you to death.
The fictional book "Secrets Mothers Keep" by Lina J Bettenay, was later written and was inspired by the murder.
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Wubin Rocks, Buntine Rocks, Wheatbin museum (July-September).
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Moore
Federal : Durack
Postcode : 6612
Local Government : Shire of Dalwalinu
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